This post is directed at the ABC News (Aus), ‘Drum Opinion’ post of the same name! Ref: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2761976.html
The foregoing comments in Part 1 regarding funding and other influences apply to all papers. It is also appropriate to iterate that addressing one side of an issue is not “clearing up the debate “, which is why this blog is attempting to address the “other side”.
(‘The Conversation’ website: Part 6: Climate change denial and the abuse of peer review)
CLEARING UP THE CLIMATE DEBATE: Professor Stephan Lewandowsky holds “sceptics” accountable for their subversion of the peer review process.
I am having great difficulty in commenting on this paper. The first thought, not to do with peer review or this paper particularly, but a very general thing, is the repeated use of the term ‘climate change’.
There may be an implied meaning which could be said to be ‘changes in climate detrimental to mankind and caused by human activities’. The actual term itself is absolutely technically meaningless when used in this context because it simply refers to the planet’s climate as a variable parameter, or set of parameters. Also implied, as far as the AGW supporters are concerned, is a warming trend, once called ‘global warming’ but dropped because it could not be shown that there was continuing warming occurring. Also implied, again by the AGW fraternity, is the “settled science” of additional greenhouse gasses resulting from human polluting activities being the cause of undesirable global heating. Furthermore, the “settled science” of CO2 being the necessary target, via carbon emission controls, for lessening the warming rate. Whew!
So a term, once meaning a natural phenomena relating to weather and climate patterns, becomes a term analogous to criminal behaviour, therefore requiring social control or constraint. A term, now equalling an undesirable condition, one which must be controlled in a world-wide manner set down by a small number of groups, one of which comprises scientists who were originally tasked to develop a basis for this climate control system. The use of this term in this way is a ‘con’, if ever there was one!
Because we have some other scientists, not yet convinced of the “settled science” claims, clamouring to be heard by whatever means possible, finding difficulty in publishing anywhere other than the internet, we consequently have here a paper harassing them for not following the “rules” of engagement.
We have the issue of peer-reviewing, already covered in Part 5. This, in it’s own way, is a contentious issue. Much has been stated about the flexibility and incestuousness of this process in the AGW ‘industry’, so there may be some stone-throwing from glass-houses occurring. Whatever the case, there is no ‘level playing field’ in sight.
The most important factor, however, is that proving a scientific claim to be true or at least acceptable, unfortunately seems to rely on the peer-review system. One would like to think that scientific theories were self-evident but they certainly aren’t in this case. As so often happens in this debate, such as it is, the truth or validity of a theory seems to be overshadowed by this argument of peer review and ever-increasing claims of lack of credibility of the scientist or author.
Truth and validity should not be determined by anything other than the facts. If the facts or hypotheses are disputed, some method is required to prove them, scientifically, beyond dispute. If not resolvable, the hypotheses remain that and cannot reasonably be called facts. If not proven to be facts, by a better method of assessment than peer-review, the hypotheses should not be considered to be an acceptable foundation for world-wide implementation of financial and industrial controls as proposed by the ‘powers-that-be’, whoever they may be.
In cases where there is insufficient incontrovertible scientific evidence to convince all ‘players’, and peer-review is needed to back-up findings that are of some real importance, then there needs to be impartiality regarding the peers and a degree of consensus on the selection of them.
As usual, I can’t resist sticking my neck out a bit, climbing out on the proverbial limb. I think the degree of mud-slinging in Prof Lewandowsky’s paper was a bit excessive, after all it is a scientific paper. I wonder if certain people might appreciate a right of reply?
On the technical side, I cannot help wondering about the reference to the “hockeystick” paper by Professor Michael Mann and colleagues.
The hockeystick is the iconic graph that shows the sky-rocketing temperatures of the last few decades in comparison to the relatively constant temperatures during the preceding centuries. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences affirmed the basic conclusions of Professor Mann, as have numerous other papers published during the last decade.
It is my opinion that that statement is open to question by many.
[This post is obviously not a complete, scientific treatise on the subject. It is however, a guide to the reader to indicate that the ‘warmist’ papers are not to be taken at face value. They need to be analysed and proven to be above question before acceptance, because they are agenda-driven and might cost you your lifestyle and maybe even your freedom.]
The other series articles will be addressed, in turn.
Comments on “open letter” are Part 1: “Conversations: Climate change is happening” Part 1.
Comments on “greenhouse effect” are Part 2: “Conversations: Climate change is happening” Part 2.
Comments on “alarmist AGW views justified” are Part 3: “Conversations: Climate change is happening” Part 3.
Comments on ” the staggering ways we influence the shape of the globe” are Part 4: “Conversations: Climate change is happening” Part 4.
Comments on “peer-review and related matters” are Part 5: “Conversations: Climate change is happening” Part 5.
Climate change: Why is it a hot topic? (donovanhand.wordpress.com)