Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Climate Journal Publishes Referees' Report In Response To "Witch-Hunt" Claims

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the see-here-are-the-reasons dept.

Earth 330

Sockatume (732728) writes "The resignation of Prof. Lennart Bengtsson from an anti-global-warming think tank has triggered widespread outrage in the British tabloids, with the University of Bristol Professor blaming his departure on a 'witch-hunt' environment amongst climate scientists and the rejection of one of his papers. The UK's Times quotes a passage from the reviewer comments in support of this, in which it is claimed that the paper was rejected for being 'unhelpful to their cause.' In response, that journal's publisher has taken the rare step of publishing the referees' report in full. The report describes Bengtsson's paper as a 'simplistic comparison of ranges from AR4, AR5, and Otto et al [data sets], combined with the statement they they are inconsistent,' 'where no consistency was to be expected in the first place' and therefore is not publishable research. The referee adds a number of possible areas of discussion which would allow Bengtsson to make the same data into a publishable paper, but warns that publishing it in its current state 'opens the door for oversimplified claims of errors and worse from the climate sceptics media.'"

cancel ×

330 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

The Science is settled! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017701)

The science is settled! Just like it was for Phrenology and Eugenics! Now give me my government grant!!

Re:The Science is settled! (1)

magsol (1406749) | about 5 months ago | (#47017725)

Did you not read the part of TFS where it said "oversimplified"?

Re:The Science is settled! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017795)

Did you not read the part of TFS where it said "oversimplified"?

That's completely out of context. The complaint of the referee was:

opens the door for oversimplified claims of errors and worse from the climate sceptics media.

The research itself isn't "oversimplified". The referee was concerned that it could be used by "the climate sceptics media".

Re:The Science is settled! (5, Informative)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47017839)

It is not out of context. The complaint from the referee if you read the complaint is that it was simplistic.

Re:The Science is settled! (1)

magsol (1406749) | about 5 months ago | (#47017845)

yes, it was intended to be out of context

my point was that comparing climate science to eugenics is a vast (and incorrect) oversimplification

Re:The Science is settled! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017905)

yes, it was intended to be out of context

my point was that comparing climate science to eugenics is a vast (and incorrect) oversimplification

True. Thought you were referring to the story and not the GP post's use of more than a bit of hyperbole.

"Anti-global-warming think tank?" (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 5 months ago | (#47018253)

Is an anti-global-warming think tank a think tank opposed to the warming of the globe, or is it a think tank opposed to belief that the globe is warming?

Re:"Anti-global-warming think tank?" (1, Flamebait)

WhiteZook (3647835) | about 5 months ago | (#47018387)

They're opposed to thinking.

Re:"Anti-global-warming think tank?" (4, Funny)

butalearner (1235200) | about 5 months ago | (#47018685)

They're opposed to thinking.

Thinking requires energy in the form of glucose in the blood, derived from food that we eat. So sustaining critical thinking processes require the consumption of more food, which generally comes from a grocer. They have to truck tons of it in every week, which inevitably belches many tons of CO2 in the air.

Therefore, they only oppose thinking for the purposes of saving the environment for our children. Won't you just think of the children? The best thing you can do is not think about them.

You know, for the children.

Re:The Science is settled! (4, Informative)

Layzej (1976930) | about 5 months ago | (#47017883)

"Summarising, the simplistic comparison of ranges from AR4, AR5, and Otto et al, combined with the statement they they are inconsistent is less then helpful, actually it is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of "errors" and worse from the climate sceptics media side.

One cannot and should not simply interpret the IPCCs ranges for AR4 or 5 as confidence intervals or pdfs and hence they are not directly comparable to observation based intervals (as e.g. in Otto et al).

In the same way that one cannot expect a nice fit between observational studies and the CMIP5 models.

A careful, constructive, and comprehensive analysis of what these ranges mean, and how they come to be different, and what underlying problems these comparisons bring would indeed be a valuable contribution to the debate.

I have rated the potential impact in the field as high, but I have to emphasise that this would be a strongly negative impact, as it does not clarify anything but puts up the (false) claim of some big inconsistency, where no consistency was to be expected in the first place.

And I can't see an honest attempt of constructive explanation in the manuscript.

Thus I would strongly advise rejecting the manuscript in its current form." - http://rabett.blogspot.co.uk/2... [blogspot.co.uk]

Re:The Science is settled! (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 5 months ago | (#47018053)

From the reviewers: "The overall innovation of the manuscript is very low, as the calculations made to compare the three studies are already available within each of the sources, most directly in Otto et al.

The finding of differences between the three “assessments” and within the assessments (AR5), when assuming the energy balance model to be right, and compared to the CMIP5 models are reported as apparent inconsistencies.

The paper does not make any significant attempt at explaining or understanding the differences, it rather puts out a very simplistic negative message giving at least the implicit impression of “errors” being made within and between these assessments, e.g. by emphasising the overlap of authors on two of the three studies.

What a paper with this message should have done instead is recognising and explaining a series of “reasons” and “causes” for the differences." - http://andthentheresphysics.wo... [wordpress.com]

Re:The Science is settled! (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#47018675)

The research itself was called 'simplistic' as well.

Re:The Science is settled! (-1, Troll)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about 5 months ago | (#47017737)

You must be from the American Petroleum Institute...

Re:The Science is settled! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017823)

Why don't you just call him a racist too. That's what morons do to people when they have no legitimate point to make.

Re:The Science is settled! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#47017901)

And what exactly was the poster's legitimate point? It was inflammatory and outright wrong.

Re:The Science is settled! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017837)

You must be from the American Petroleum Institute...

Ah yes, nothing like an ad hominem attack to soundly refute a claim.

Tell us, what other scientific discipline has ever been "settled"? Look here [ucr.edu] for over a century of experiments on relativity. Are scientists who TO THIS FUCKING DAY try to falisfy relativity labelled "deniers"?

Re:The Science is settled! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017871)

If they deny the facts on the ground, then yes.

Re:The Science is settled! (2)

WhiteZook (3647835) | about 5 months ago | (#47017889)

Are scientists who TO THIS FUCKING DAY try to falisfy relativity labelled "deniers"?

Seeing as they are not denying the theory of general relativity: no.

Re:The Science is settled! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018669)

Are scientists who TO THIS FUCKING DAY try to falisfy relativity labelled "deniers"?

For the most part, no, because they recognize that relativity already explains a large number of observations. If they succeed in finding a fault, then any theory that supersedes relativity would still have still have to reproduce those observations, and reproduce relativity in an appropriate limit.

There are a select few however that would (and in a case two have) gotten the label of relativity deniers because they reject various experiments already done. They are not out there running new experiments looking for detailed faults in the theory, but instead had a theory the proposed years ago and then come up with some superficial reason to reject any new observation that agrees with their theory.

Re:The Science is settled! (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#47017893)

Nobody said the science is settled. But when the overwhelming majority of experts in any field are leaning in one direction, to claim that there isn't something to what they're saying, or worse, claiming that that large majority is an argument against what they're saying is anti-intellectual.

In other words. Grow the fuck up. The universe doesn't owe your ideology any favors.

Re:The Science is settled! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017955)

I guess Obama and his minions didn't get this memo.

Re:The Science is settled! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#47017965)

What memo? That AGW is real, that three centuries of barfing millions of years worth of sequestered CO2 into the atmosphere isn't a climate-neutral activity? That memo?

Yes, I think he's got it.

Re:The Science is settled! (3, Informative)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 months ago | (#47018005)

The science is settled [npr.org]

He also said the Arctic would be ice-free by now.

Re:The Science is settled! (5, Informative)

WhiteZook (3647835) | about 5 months ago | (#47018099)

Who cares what Al Gore said ? He's not one of the scientists.

Re:The Science is settled! (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 months ago | (#47018193)

NPR apparently cared at the time, along with just about every other traditional media outlet. And the people who saw his movie. And the people who invited him to speak to congress. He was the #1 spokesman for global warming just a few years ago. Did you forget?

Re:The Science is settled! (1)

WhiteZook (3647835) | about 5 months ago | (#47018377)

No, I didn't forget. I don't live in the US, so I haven't seen much of Al Gore's stuff here. I mostly read about Al Gore from deniers. Funny that he's invited to speak to congress, when he's not a scientist/expert on the matter.

Re:The Science is settled! (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#47018499)

Who cares what NPR says. A great deal of information by the actual researchers is out there, so quit fixating on public figures and media outlets, and get the information from the horse's mouth. Heck, I don't even read SciAm anymore because it's become more of a science journalism rag, and I'd rather read what the scientists themselves say, whatever the particular field of research is.

Re:The Science is settled! (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#47018173)

Your example of the problems of climate science is climate scientists correcting Al Gore? Isn't that exactly what you want climate scientists to do in a healthy environment where the science decides the issues?

Re:The Science is settled! (1, Informative)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 months ago | (#47018371)

No. I was directly refuting "Nobody said the science is settled". It's not an example of anything other than that.

Re:The Science is settled! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018093)

Decades from now the leading scientists who are called "deniers" will be given National Medal of Science...if the denier is correct...

Re: The Science is settled! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018517)

As long as the supporters are convicted of crimes against humanity.

Re:The Science is settled! (5, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 5 months ago | (#47018311)

I think this is a bit oversimplified... I'd like to expand it to reflect what the referee stated....

When the overwhelming majority of experts in any field are leaning in one direction, to claim that they're incorrect without rigorous application of the scientific method but instead just making vague claims of overlap and inconsistency regarding the models you don't support and stating that the results don't line up with your preferred model, is not legitimate science. Legitimate politics, yes.

Science works by taking the accepted model and proving where it fails by quantitative and qualitative analysis. The method he was using in his paper is closer to using the Bible to prove that the world is flat when the prevailing theory is that it is a somewhat squished and misshapen globe.

Mind you, the world MAY be flat, but to prove that, you'd have to show where the prevailing models fall down, and show how your own model stands up where those others fail. Qualitative AND quantitative, people. He seemed to be flip-flopping between the two from the report.

Re:The Science is settled! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018325)

Nobody said the science is settled.

You have got to be fucking kidding. If there was the ability to search through the text of all the slashdot comments, you would be overwhelmed with the AGW Crowd claiming, "The science is settled".

This rates right up there with "There are no American tanks in Baghdad" or "You can keep your plan".

You people are fucking pieces of work.

Re:The Science is settled! (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#47018441)

The science on the Standard Model isn't settled, but that hardly means the Standard Model is wrong or falsified. It means it is incomplete. Not having an absolutely perfect theory (if such a thing is even achievable) does not mean the theory you have lacks all utility. There is a great deal of evidence for AGW. Is it complete, is it settled? No, but then again, neither is any scientific theory. Why does anthropogenic climate change receive this kind of special treatment.

Oh that's right, because someone stands to lose money, and, heaven forbid, people might have to change their behaviors.

Re: The Science is settled! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018711)

Overwhelming concensus? What overwhelming consensus?
Oh, you mean the thesis done by a pro-AGW masters student where an optional survey was held on an AGW website, that was deliberately misleading in its wording, and when the desired outcome of a consensus was not reached, fields of science most likely to believe in non-anthropogenic causes (such as meteorology and astronomy) were excluded until a consensus was reached, even though it included the opinion of many non scientists and ultimately only included the opinion of those who had a published paper on climate change (because as we all know publications are open to unpopular anti-AGW papers...LOL), and the thesis was reviewed by exactly one person, her pro-AGW professor, even though time and time again real surveys have shown that no such consensus exists and belief in majority AGW hovers around 50% at best?
That overwhelming consensus?

Re:The Science is settled! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018411)

The science of eugenics is sound.

The political/social issues with it are legion, but the science is simple evolution.

(Pro)gress (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017731)

So glad we've moved on from the bad days of the 80's and the Cold War, when the Right caught on to the fact that omgwereallgonnadie is the road to unlimited budgets and ability to make any arbitrary demands on the public they feel like...

Oh wait.

Re:(Pro)gress (0)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about 5 months ago | (#47017743)

Say hi to all our friends at the API, will you?

Re:(Pro)gress (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017849)

I'll be happy to listen as soon as the "environmental movement" has actual specific solutions with an actual analysis of the social impacts, for and against, of their forcible imposition.

Until then, it's just rent-seeking and soft extortion.

Witch-Hunt. Right. (5, Insightful)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about 5 months ago | (#47017741)

And the National Review is calling it McCarthyism [nationalreview.com] .

Sorry, but refusing to provide a public forum for crackpots is not a witch-hunt, or McCarthyism. It's science. The journal didn't publish the paper because the referee said it was an unsalvageable piece of crap, which is precisely how peer review is supposed to work.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (4, Funny)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about 5 months ago | (#47017769)

Exactly. Now if only we could get the same peer review process in place at certain media outlets that pretend to be news...

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 5 months ago | (#47017957)

This reporting seems to be spreading the idea that getting a paper rejected is abnormal. For most of us, it's entirely normal. Normal, decent computer science conferences/journals (the ones you never even hear about unless you're in the field) have a rejection rate of 2/3 to 3/4. In other words, MOST papers are criticized heavily in review, and rejected. In some fields (like philosophy) it's more like 90-95% rejection rate.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (4, Informative)

some old guy (674482) | about 5 months ago | (#47018429)

Surely you don't expect journalists of all people to have any inkling about rigorous peer review, quality of research, or any other attribute of publishing in a scientific discipline.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#47018515)

Particularly when the motive of the news item is to attack a scientific theory you don't like.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018501)

MSNBC would cease to exist.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#47017781)

Someone dug up some old comments by the Professor himself expressing his anger that you couldn't just ship all the climate scientists off to East Berlin. I guess he has a great sense of irony.

It's a shame that the GDR disappeared otherwise would have been able to offer one-way tickets there for these socialists. Now there's unfortunately not many orthodox countries left soon and I surely do not imagine our romantic green Communists want a one-way ticket to North Korea. But if interested I'd gladly contribute to the trip as long as it is for a one way ticket. Perhaps you could arrange a Gallup study, since it can not be ruled out that I underestimated rush to the exit5

http://rabett.blogspot.com.au/... [blogspot.com.au]

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (-1, Flamebait)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 5 months ago | (#47017917)

That alone is enough to show that his motivations were based on political bias and NOT actual science. The blasted politics have infested this subject for far too long.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (3, Interesting)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 months ago | (#47017975)

What do "motivations" have to do with the temperature? I thought this was supposed to be about "science".

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018011)

Here it shows that the author's intention was to create a flawed study with flawed conclusion just to promote a political agenda. So you would think it was about science but it wasn't. Sorry that your hero got caught with his pants down.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (5, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#47018525)

It was. The paper was crap, and further revelations put the author's crap paper in greater perspective. He's politically motivated, wasn't interested in a meaningful scientific critique, and has an ax to grind.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (5, Interesting)

Shatrat (855151) | about 5 months ago | (#47018195)

I think his implication is that they would be more comfortable in the employ of the Stasi, which had a pretty good grip on censorship and thought policing. Not that I agree with him, but I think you've misunderstood the statement.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#47018255)

If you say you're going to give someone a one-way ticket to a place they don't want to go to, it's safe to assume you're asking for them to be exiled.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (2)

Shatrat (855151) | about 5 months ago | (#47018603)

If you read the quote it says 'want' and 'offer'. He's accusing them of being communists. Why do you want so badly for it to be worse than that? Isn't that bad enough?

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (0)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47017813)

Sorry, but refusing to provide a public forum for crackpots is not a witch-hunt, or McCarthyism. It's science. .

Especially the part about labeling them crackpots.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (3, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about 5 months ago | (#47017833)

The journal didn't publish the paper because the referee said it was an unsalvageable piece of crap, which is precisely how peer review is supposed to work.

Obviously the referee is a part of the AGM movement and was doing his part to make sure the truth isn't published /sarcasm*

* Sadly I expect this to be used as a genuine counter argument.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (2, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#47017909)

There was an entire film starring Ben Stein that was making that claim about evolutionary biology. Ah my, how the pseudo-skeptic community just recycles previous pseudo-scientific babble.

The sad part is that major newspapers like the Daily Telegraph are carrying this guy's rejection, and of course, will never print the other side of the story; that the paper was just shyte.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (2)

sconeu (64226) | about 5 months ago | (#47018271)

And William F. Buckley is now spinning in his grave.

Re:Witch-Hunt. Right. (3, Insightful)

Prune (557140) | about 5 months ago | (#47018359)

While Bengtsson is wrong on this, he's no crackpot. This paper was rejected, but most of his previous ones were published and he is (was?) a respected scientist in the field. His problem seems to be that he has allowed himself to mix his politics with the science. That's wrong, but so is your ad hominem; calling him a crackpot cheapens the word, and your argument.

British tabloids (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017751)

The National Enquirer should pick up this story!

What's it matter? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017767)

I mean, at the end of the day, it seems like the only people who actually care about this guy or his paper are the people who work for Rupert Murdoch. It's sort of like the constant investigations into Benghazi (also spearheaded by News Corp).

Tabloids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017775)

I wouldn't call the Daily Telegraph a tabloid.

Re:Tabloids? (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#47017925)

I'd call it a very biased paper that allows its editorial department masquerade as its reporting department. Witness the incredible number of anti-NHS stories that were one-sided, biased, and clearly intended to underwrite a series of columns by various right wing regulars demanding the NHS be demolished, privatized or something between the two.

And yes, the Guardian does the same thing. British newspapers are, by and large, utter crap.

Re:Tabloids? (4, Funny)

Layzej (1976930) | about 5 months ago | (#47018003)

I wouldn't call the Daily Telegraph a tabloid.

Of course not. It's my go to source for the REAL truth on bigfoot, aliens, and the Loch Ness monster.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new... [telegraph.co.uk] - Hikers-capture-bigfoot-on-film

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.... [dailytelegraph.com.au] - have-aliens-hijacked-voyager-2-spacecraft

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new... [telegraph.co.uk] - Mystery-alien-like-creature-seen-in-Bristol-harbour

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new... [telegraph.co.uk] - Has-Apple-maps-found-the-Loch-Ness-Monster

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new... [telegraph.co.uk] - Has-the-Loch-Ness-monster-finally-been-caught-on-camera

Re:Tabloids? (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about 5 months ago | (#47018747)

Just because its posh propaganda doesnt mean it isnt propaganda. The Torygraph so nicknamed because of its history of right wing editorial has always been the subject of derision for its political bias. In that respect it is the same as a tabloid in that it tells its readers what to think.

Not sure which is worse... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017825)

The blowhard who makes a big deal about an academic paper being rejected during the process of peer review... ... or the smug ideologue who dismisses ideas that might be dangerous to the cause.

Oh wait, they're both European? Right, both then.

Re:Not sure which is worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017985)

Nobody dismissed the paper because it was "dangerous to the cause." The ref said that the paper was overly simplistic as it was just a comparison of data and then a statement that the data doesn't line up even when the data wasn't supposed to go together. Basically, it's a simple paper with a flawed research methodology. The problem with it being used by skeptics is that climate change deniers have shown no qualms to use flawed research to make their point. The ref didn't want this bad paper used as "evidence" against climate change. Inevitably deniers would have clung on to this "the data doesn't match!" even when the data isn't supposed to in the studies chosen. It's a nothing statement just like the "hide the decline" and "Mike's Nature trick" which don't go together anywhere but in the deluded minds of deniers.

Re:Not sure which is worse... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018355)

Frankly, I don't know enough about the science to evaluate the content of this guy's paper. What I do know are facts which leave me unable to fairly judge this case: (1) The reviewer, ostensibly, is qualified to review the paper's content and finds it unpublishable. Therefore, it is good that it isn't published. (2) The reviewer taints the decision with a foolish political footnote, inviting - if not forcing - the very kind of denial that he ostensibly was trying to avoid.

If the paper was bad enough to be rejected on its own (lack of) merit, then what in God's name did this guy hope to achieve by bringing it up in the first place? If I were in the AGW crowd, I'd be investigating the reviewer to see whether he's a Big Oil plant. Negligent buffoonery.

Re:Not sure which is worse... (3, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 5 months ago | (#47018495)

As an illustration, you could look at a paper that "proved" that white crows don't exist by taking a bunch of studies counting the black crow population in various areas, a few studies looking for white crows in various areas, and claim that the one study that found white crows in a black crow population was obviously flawed as it didn't line up with all the other studies. The studies were measuring different things in different places, and so shouldn't be expected to line up.

And whether the paper gets published or not, the methodology is flawed and white crows still exist.

Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017885)

Their is no incentive to agree to AGW, because when you do they will rise taxes for "GLOBAL WARMING"...

Consensus achieved (-1, Troll)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 months ago | (#47017941)

Step 1: Systematically ostracize, shun, bully, and threaten people who disagree with you.
Step 2: Make sure contrary views are never published.
Step 3: When people decide to be quiet instead of getting bullied, claim consensus.

Very sciency.

Re:Consensus achieved (1, Flamebait)

Megol (3135005) | about 5 months ago | (#47018029)

Step 1: Systematically ostracize, shun, bully, and threaten people who disagree with you.
[/quote]

Doesn't happen to anti-scientific people. I know that happen to climate scientists.

[quote]
Step 2: Make sure contrary views are never published.
[/quote]

Doesn't happen in the west. In fact those "contrary views" are frequently printed in the press and promoted by politicians.

Scientists instead look at the facts.

[quote]
Step 3: When people decide to be quiet instead of getting bullied, claim consensus.

Very sciency.

You wouldn't recognize a science if it painted itself purple and danced naked and screamed "SCIENCE!!!".

Sadly I'm currently out of moderator points so I'll post this instead.

Re:Consensus achieved (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018115)

Step 1: Post stupid views on website
Step 2: Get laughed at
Step 3: Claim people laughing are trying to hide the truth

Very Kohathy.

Re:Consensus achieved (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 5 months ago | (#47018185)

Step 1: Systematically ostracize, shun, bully, and threaten people who disagree with you.

I don't know if you've ever participated in a scientific debate with scientists but this happens regardless of what is being discussed. Some of the nastiest fights I've seen are between scientists about the most trivial of questions.

Step 2: Make sure contrary views are never published.

Correlation != causation. Getting a paper published in a prestigious journal isn't easy in the first place. From what I've seen most contrary views like AGW and creation science are not published because they are contrary. They are not published for a variety of reasons including errors, lack of innovation, lack of basic science, etc. For example if you wanted to publish a paper about T-Rex being a carnivore it would probably be rejected because that is rather old news. Now if you found evidence that T-Rex may have had dangerous pathogens in the saliva (like the Komodo dragon) which made it a more dangerous predator, that would be something worthy of publishing.

In this case, the referees noted the deficiencies and suggested corrections to make the paper more publishable. That does not sound like they were opposed to contrary views at all. But being contrary or not, the referees still have to enforce standards of science.

Step 3: When people decide to be quiet instead of getting bullied, claim consensus.

First when have the AGW and creationists every been quiet? Second, being louder does not help your cause when it comes to science. Having evidence helps your cause. Here is the one thing people don't understand about scientific consensus: Getting a vast majority of scientists to agree on anything is a big deal. It means scientists fighting from opposing sides have settled on the matter.

For example, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity was high theoretical when it first came out and hard to test even though it solved certain problems like the precession of Mercury. It required using a solar eclipse before some scientists began to think that it might be not just theoretical. Over the decades different experiments have verified that Einstein was right. No one doubts the validity of it today.

Re:Consensus achieved (2)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 months ago | (#47018257)

The point is that the claim of consensus is meaningless. And even if you did want to assign value to consensus, the nasty exclusionary tactics directly undermine that value.

Re:Consensus achieved (3)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#47018291)

Which nasty exclusionary tactics? Your coworkers and friends ostracising you because you're joining an organisation that exists to undermine their life's work? That's what happens when you get in bed with a widely-despised organisation.

A paper not being published because it's bad? That's science, baby.

Re:Consensus achieved (4, Informative)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 months ago | (#47018353)

Re:Consensus achieved (1, Redundant)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 5 months ago | (#47018699)

ONE scientists saying something in a private email == all of scientists to you? Even if Michael Mann actually did everything, everyone accused him of doing (which 6 separate investigations cleared him of doing), he does not represent thousands of scientists.

Re:Consensus achieved (1)

WhiteZook (3647835) | about 5 months ago | (#47018449)

Within the scientific community, consensus is meaningless. Outside this community, where non-scientists have to make decisions based on science, scientific consensus is the best tool we have.

Re:Consensus achieved (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 5 months ago | (#47018725)

The point is that the claim of consensus is meaningless. And even if you did want to assign value to consensus, the nasty exclusionary tactics directly undermine that value.

That's absurd circular logic. How was consensus reached? Was it reached because the evidence supported it? In your statement, you've already declared that consensus is meaningless because of exclusionary tactics yet have to provide that it is actually happening. I can say the same thing that that the reason polar bears haven't attacked me yet because of this magical rock I have. I'll sell it to you for $1000 or 900 Euro.

Re:Consensus achieved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018721)

Getting a paper published in a prestigious journal isn't easy in the first place. From what I've seen most contrary views like AGW and creation science are not published because they are contrary. They are not published for a variety of reasons including errors, lack of innovation, lack of basic science, etc. For example if you wanted to publish a paper about T-Rex being a carnivore it would probably be rejected because that is rather old news. Now if you found evidence that T-Rex may have had dangerous pathogens in the saliva (like the Komodo dragon) which made it a more dangerous predator, that would be something worthy of publishing.

The funny thing is that some of the most prestigious journals are also some of the places where it is easier to let contrary or extraordinary paper get through. They became prestigious in part by publishing ground breaking papers, which may have been controversial at the time but turn out to be true. As a result, they sometimes take risks with letting in papers they think might do that, a high risk approach for higher gains. The ground breaking papers tend to be remembered better than the ones that were wrong, although some more careful analysis can pick up on such biases or issues (or occasionally a single outrageous paper that gets through and gets a lot of attention). That said, they still push hard for quality, so crap papers, right or wrong, will have trouble. Crap still gets through and good papers get left out though, as some reviewers still are bad, and the author and/or editor don't handle it right.

Re:Consensus achieved (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#47018197)

...but enough about the conservative press.

Re:Consensus achieved (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018241)

AGW good! Climate deniers baaad! AGW good! Climate deniers baaaad!

I mean, what are the odds that science could be wrong about a staggeringly complex physical system which cannot be studied in isolation? It's not like they ever assumed the existence of some mysterious medium - an aether, if you will - which allowed electromagnetic radiation - luminiferous, for instance - to propagate through space.

Re:Consensus achieved (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#47018559)

Earth's climate is hardly the only complex system that we study.

Re:Consensus achieved (3, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 5 months ago | (#47018539)

Step 1: Systematically conduct flawed studies, search for like-minded or easily convinced people to side with you,, and threaten people who disagree with you.
Step 2: Attempt to get your flawed and subjective contrary views published as scientifically sound.
Step 3: When people decide to reject your articles based on flawed methods, claim conspiracy.

Sadly, both the parent's 3-step plan and this one are used constantly... mostly in politics, but increasingly in "scientific" communities.

So? (5, Insightful)

Taylor123456789 (1354177) | about 5 months ago | (#47017961)

I read an interview of him, and the rejection of the paper was a small part of his complaints. He is basically saying that anyone who questions anthropogenic global warming dogma is ostracized. This is the basis of McCarthyism and witch hunts. It also questions the foundation of the global warming "consensus" so often cited. The fact is that questioning orthodoxy is part of the scientific process. Ironically then, those who attempt to ostracize global warming skeptics for being "anti-science" are the ones themselves being anti-science.

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

Layzej (1976930) | about 5 months ago | (#47018089)

He joined the "Global Warming Policy Foundation" - and anti climate policy advocacy group known to spread falsehoods about the science in order to further their political objectives. He quit one week later when colleagues started distancing themselves from him. Well - what did he expect?

Re:So? (1)

crmanriq (63162) | about 5 months ago | (#47018641)

Anti-climate?

How can one be anti-climate? Does the "Global Warming Policy Foundation" advocate for elimination of climate?

[sarcasm off]

From thegwpf.org "The Global Warming Policy Foundation is unique. We are an all-party and non-party think tank and a registered educational charity which, while open-minded on the contested science of global warming, is deeply concerned about the costs and other implications of many of the policies currently being advocated."

As I understand (from a very short reading), GWPF believes that the climate is changing, but debates whether the cost of measures to mediate that change outweigh the cost to adapt to that change.

It would seem like they would be in need of qualified scientist (say a former director at the Max Planck Institute...?) to help them accurately quote facts.

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47018107)

He has a point. Within the citing for rejection is the statement;...... " and worse from the climate sceptics media side. "

It indicates a possible bias, and media reaction should never be a criteria for determining what has scientific merit.

Its also interesting that they guy has a reasonably 'reputable' career history, and also is quite up-front about his views. Yet this one instance is enough for many folks here to trash him, call him a crackpot and other names.

Maybe his paper is total crap. I guess he's got enough attention to get it circulated by other means if he wants.

Are submissions that support the generally accepted views on GWT given the same level of scrutiny? They could do some good to show similar rejections of those papers.

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#47018145)

You have to ask yourself, if so many of your qualified peers think you're crazy for taking a given perspective, and your new paper on the subject is rejected for being crappy: have they all lost their minds, or have you?

97% consensus claim is false. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018627)

Except the idea that most climate scientists favor the AGW hypothesis isn't even true.

The source of that meme is a paper lead by John Cook, who performed a meta-analysis of several thousand climate science papers, measured using the most embarrassingly confirmation-bias infected thought systems.

It's little better than a paper trying to prove that the Earth is only around 4000 years old and that Christ loves you. Among the several faulty assumptions: any paper just *talking* about gasses playing a role in climate behavior, but making no specific claims or mentions about climate change or AGW, in Cook's opinion automatically equates as full support for the AGW hypothesis.

Read it yourself and see if you can spot the logical errors:

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748... [iop.org]

now reviewers manage skepticism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47017971)

ÃoeSummarising, the simplistic comparison of ranges from AR4, AR5, and Otto et al, combined with the statement they are inconsistent is less then helpful, actually it is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of "errors" and worse from the climate sceptics media side.Ã

At least climate science journal publishers are now acknowledging that in *their* interpretation of the word 'science', the proper role of an article reviewer includes 'managing skepticism of the industry'.

Has this been openly stated before? Because as a scientist, it's incredibly shocking.

Re:now reviewers manage skepticism (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#47018127)

"If the press sees this crappy paper they will use it to perpetuate misconceptions" is a valid thing to point out when rejecting dodgy work. I dare say you would've found something similar in response to the papers that eventually wind up in the Journal of Cosmology.

Re:now reviewers manage skepticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47018223)

Has this been openly stated before? Because as a scientist, it's incredibly shocking.

It has not been openly stated before, and yes it is shocking to see what is hidden by the mask you trusted for so long. The only thing objective about modern scientific study is that each participant is trying to manipulate finding to support their own objective (sometimes fame, usually funding, rarely the pursuit of understanding reality).

That's rich (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | about 5 months ago | (#47018017)

FTFA: The Daily Mail, much loved for its objective reporting on climate change (and other stuff)
And just prior to that: Rupert Murdoch apparently trying (and failing) to look as harmless as possible.
And: Absurd anti-science faux journalism flares up again - as usual, it's Big Oil that's set to benefit, not the public

Self-introspection isn't the Guardian's strong suit, is it?

Re:That's rich (3, Informative)

wytcld (179112) | about 5 months ago | (#47018119)

"Self-introspection" as compared to introspecting other people?

So you don't like these headlines because, what, they're too mean about some of the idiots at the Guardian's competition?

Reading - not Bristol (1)

notjim (879031) | about 5 months ago | (#47018109)

The original article has the affiliation wrong; he is at the University at Reading, not the University of Bristol.

Correction: Reading (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#47018153)

He's at Reading, not Bristol. To be fair they're on the same train line.

Newsflash (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 5 months ago | (#47018215)

Tabloid press is, well... tabloid.

Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence (5, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | about 5 months ago | (#47018683)

It is not that science is rejecting scepticism. Heck, scepticism is fundamental to science. The issue that legitimate climate sceptics face is that they are trying to disprove a large body of evidence that is both diverse and mature. If sceptics want to prove their point, they have to collective evidence that is also diverse and mature. That is no simple feat.

That is also making a huge assumption: that the climate sceptics are legitimate. I'm sure that some sceptics are, particularly when it comes to critiquing particular pieces of evidence. On the other hand, they seem to be a tiny minority. Most of the debate that I see comes from people who have little understanding of science, nevermind climate science.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?