“BREAKING: Editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing resigns over Spencer & Braswell paper“ (2011-09-02). Anthony Watts reposts Roy Spencer’s sputtering self-defense over the humiliating fall-out from his spectacularly stupid Remote Sensing paper, which we covered back in July. Seems the knock-out punch to the “IPCC climate conspiracy” was actually a denialist own-goal even after a co-ordinated media campaign. Perhaps Anthony is trying to “get out in front” of the embarrassing details to ensure his readers stay locked in the feedback loop.
What provoked Roy’s passionate self-defense? The Remote Sensing editor-in-chief, Wolfgang Wagner, has resigned in disgust (PDF here) over the deception by denialist scientists he believed were impartial reviewers and over the campaign that Spencer organized to promote the overstatement of his paper’s unsupported conclusions and play up its publication as proof of a credibility. Remote Sensing got played.
Spencer’s paper concocted a deliberately over-simplified climate model for the sole purpose of creating the appearance of a scientific refutation of the prevailing climate models and was gamed into Remote Sensing by “sympathetic reviewers”. The well-primed denialist community, including Forbes, Fox News and of course dear Anthony, immediately trumpeted its alleged conclusions.
Roy’s deeply nuanced summary of the response to his paper is “IPCC :1 Scientific Progress: 0″. Or perhaps I’m right and they’re wrong. Of course invoking “the IPCC” is equal parts conspiracy theory and wounded ego. Funny how denialists can spent years muttering about imagined conspiracies but determinedly look the other way when their own actually, if amateurishly, collude to form one. On second though, not so much funny as inevitable.
To restate Roy’s over-simplified assessment of his over-simplified paper, this is “Scientific Progress: 0, Roy Spencer -1″. Roy and company colluded to insert a worthless paper into the scientific record through an off-topic journal and both time and effort have been wasted in dealing with an obvious scientific dead-end. Thanks for nothing.
Read more about at:
- Ars Technica – Editor who published controversial climate paper resigns, blasts media
- Deltoid – Editor-in-Chief of Remote Sensing agrees that Spencer and Braswell (2011) should not have been published; resigns
- More Grumbine Science - Peer review and Wagner Resignation over Spencer and Braswell
- Rabett Run - Honor and Respect, Wagner apologized
Well this hasn’t taken long. Spencer’s ‘final nail in the coffin of AGW’ has completely unravelled. Turns out his crayon version of atmospheric physics has in fact proven the validity of current “alarmist” climate theories and models! Thanks Roy. That’s what happens when you work backwards from a baseless conclusion and ignore logic. Thanks for wading through the stupid, Dr. Dessler (preprint here, watch a video summary here).
Real Climate has posted intelligently about the dynamics of scientific publishing, but if you want to read mutterings about conspiracies and “repression” of determined stupidity, well, you know where to go…
It was S&B’s desire to avoid dealing with [people disagreeing with and criticising his conclusions ], that likely led them to a non-standard journal, whose editor very likely followed the authors suggestions for (friendly) reviewers, whose resulting reviews didn’t do very much (if anything) to strengthen the paper.