Getting GRLed

Getting GRLed” (2011-09-27). Did you know that Geophysical Research Letters editor Noah Diffenbaugh is a thug? According to Anthony Watts it’s true! You see the denialist’s favorite economist Roger Pielke Jr. submitted a paper on tropical cyclones (they’re not worse!) and it was rejected (it the sense of being told to resubmit), simply because the two reviewers wanted revisions! This is clearly more bullying by “the Team”. And also a conspiracy.

Summarizes Anthony, who knows scientific oppression when he sees it (emphasis mine):

It came back with two reviews, both with some corrections, one reviewer suggesting publication without major caveats [originally spelt “caeats”], the other grudgingly [originally spelt “grudingly”]suggesting publication to the editor, Noah Diffenbaugh, and asking for revisions. So far so good (you’d think).

The ever-stringent Anthony opines that the paper “seems straigh[t]forward enough”, but you’d think that Roger Jr.’s claim that “increasing damage around the world over the period(s) of record can be explained entirely by increasing wealth in locations prone to TC landfalls” might need some supporting analysis and not simply rest on what seems a mere assertion.

Perhaps Richard Tol’s comment on Anthony’s post gets to the real heart of the matter:

The decision for major revision was justified as the original paper oversold its results.
Instead of revising the paper, Pielke Jr decided to pick a fight and was told to FO.

Turns out this is all normal boilerplate editorial communication but the thin-skinned Roger Jr. will not revise (ie improve) his paper. He’s chosen to stomp away in a huff shouting about bad faith. The JGR is dead to him! Seems the bad faith lies with Roger Jr. unless you listen to Anthony’s followers. In which case Roger Jr.’s taking a noble stand against a fifth-rate “Team” journal’s bullying. Considering the years of complaining about scientific journals, both Anthony and his reader’s ignorance of how journal submissions work is quite stunning.

Tip to Anthony: look before you leap and pause long enough before posting to run spellcheck. Otherwise your posts look hasty and ill-considered. What? They’re supposed to be?

New term from the Chronicle: “Climate Thuggery”

New term from the Chronicle: “Climate Thuggery” (2011-08-01). Funny how the National Association of Scholars sounds a lot like the National Academy of Sciences. I guess Anthony Watts didn’t spot the difference. The “Scholars” have been subverted by conservative interests and are now merely a right-wing front, the Academy is actual distinguished scientists (I mean, communists). Also the “Chronicle” isn’t the respected Houston Chronicle, it’s just the mouthpiece of the National Association of Scholars.

Now then given Anthony’s approval, sparked by roving bridge-builder Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., of “NAS” President Peter Wood’s position on the climate change debate, what are his credentials? Well, like most denialists, Wood’s education is entirely outside of the field of climate science. He’s an anthropologist. He’s an enthusiastic conservative though, so of course he thinks properly. That’s pretty much it.

So let’s turn to Climate ThuggeryWood’s final nail in the coffin of (arguing about) AGW. The first three sentences are a pretty good warning:

Is anthropogenic global warming (AGW) a valid scientific theory?  Is it well supported by the empirical data or is it mostly an artifact of computer modeling?  I don’t have answers to these questions.

From there it’s just resentful assertions such as “Far from welcoming discussion, [the proponents of AGW] seek to suppress it.” and false claims of using lawsuits to silence denialist critics. (The lawsuit accusations are hilarious as the lawsuit Wood mentions was aimed at correcting denialist Tim Ball’s actual libel; Ball is remembered for explicitly trying to use a lawsuit to silence a critic, a tactic which blew up in his face when the criticisms were confirmed.) And, of course, that denialists are being bullied. Dr. Wood’s whole piece is classic example of combining baseless accusations with claims of victimization.

All this because apparently Wood found himself squirming under the microscope of John Mashey after accusing Mashey of defending the “tattered reputation of “hide the decline” Michael Mann, the climate scientist whose famous “hockey stick” chart shows exponentially increasing global temperatures in the near term”. Tellingly, Dr. Mann remains highly respected in the climate science field, and the out-of-context “hide the decline” quote was not by Mann. But that just gets lost in the confusion with Wood’s other nonsense. Read the whole idiotic original complaint at Bottling Up Global Warming Skepticism, which by word count is actually about P.T. Barnum, and don’t miss out on the pleasure of Peter’s pompous squirming in the comments. covers Dr. Wood’s ignorant partisanship at NAS President Peter Wood: wrong, dishonest or hopelessly compromised?

2011-07-04 Update: Someone’s embarrassed at “The Chronicle of Higher Education”. John Mashey and Robert Coleman were given space to respond to Wood’s political attack. Read Bottling Nonsense, Misusing a Civil Platform and see Wood neatly packaged.

Real Climate on Spencer – Bad timing or just bad judgment?

Real Climate on Spencer – Bad timing or just bad judgment?” Anthony Watts decides to read nefarious purpose into the timing of a RealClimate review of denialist scientist Roy Spencer’s book “The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists”. They seem to have posted it on the same day that a series of massive tornadoes (nothing to do whatsoever with global warming!!!!!) took out power in Spencer’s hometown of Huntsville, Alabama.

Did they deliberately release their review when they thought they would be safe from Spencer’s devastating intellectual rebuttal? Those cunning, corrupt, dishonest communist climate scientists! But the always high-minded Anthony Watts sorted it out with an e-mail offering ethics advice. Anthony’s readers start the libeling by themselves.

So what of Spencer’s book? Could he be right? Would it really take “only one research study to cause the global warming house of cards to collapse”?

Well unless you embrace Spencer’s astonishing belief that decades of work by thousands of scientists around the world could actually flip into untold thousands of admissions of “my bad”, no.

Instead Spencer accuses “the IPCC researchers” of “fundamental mistakes” that only he has discovered, but never identifies the dumb scientists or references their alleged mistakes. He waves away detailed paleo data with “we don’t have a clue”. (I suppose as a creationist he is uncomfortable with any date before 4004 BC.) He’s so intellectually flexible that he’s already contradicted his own book in later papers. Is it true that “short-term fluctuations in the energy balance and surface temperature are consistent with a low climate sensitivity” (the whatever-he-can-get-away-with book, April 2010), or  that “the climate system is never in equilibrium” ( the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysical Research, August 2010)? I guess the ice ages are impossible.

Perhaps next Spencer will be confidently asserting that toothpicks are made when beavers sneeze? He should stick to remote sensing, where he actually has some expertise.

Read some other critiques at Climate Progress and Barry Bickmore. Anthony Watts and right-wing blogs such as “The American [un]Thinker” offer gullible high praise of course.