I’m not complaining… but…

“Climategate” — the CRU Hack or Leak — whatever it is, sucked me back into the whole climate debates. I left it after a few months and moved on to other matters, but still occasionally read at various blogs although I rarely posted. After the release of the emails and documents, I couldn’t help but peek at the response on both sides and wasn’t at all surprised at what I saw. Pretty much entrenched positions on both sides, if not a hardening of them.

I do find CA to be pretty unprofessional in tone at times but then, it is a personal blog and Steve McIntyre has quite the history with the principles in the CRU “event”. I have to admit I understand his barely suppressed glee at the emails and data, although I do think that he loses a lot of credibility  — whatever credibility he had — with those who are not his aficianados by his response to them. Not that I imagine he cares — it’s pretty clear to me from the tone of the blog how he feels towards “the Team”.

To people used to CA, and some who seem to be Steve’s disciples, I suppose it is just the Master talking, but to an outsider, his recent blog posts smack of motive hunting and insinuation, speculation and overreach. But that’s just my opinion.  For example, the latest blog post focuses on one line of text taken from a Jones email sent around the time Nature rejected his comment. Talk about speculation on motives in that thread! It’s quite breathtaking. Why, some of the posters are ready to call a grand jury based on the “evidence”. He seems to enjoy this whole schadenfreude and it smacks of revenge despite his assurances that he’s not “complaining“.

Here’s McIntyre:

Innocuous enough on the surface. What makes this sentence interesting (and I noticed it because I looked for something like this) is that, in my opinion, the sentence is sufficient to identify the paper in question. Further, there is convincing evidence that Jones did in fact carry out the requested review (after May, as he says here) and, even though the review is not in the Climategate documents, it is nonetheless accessible and, together with other Climategate Letters, leads on to many backstories.[my emphasis]

Yes, the backstories — another chance for McIntyre to complain about his treatment by “the team” or to rehash old complaints in order to rouse the rabble…

What gets me is that he then takes to referring to the “Jones comment” as if it is pretty much a given that Jones was the author of the review. Now, if he knows Jones is the author, he should just tell us and if he doesn’t know it, he should find out before posting such speculation on the internet if he wants to maintain credibility.  The scary quotes don’t excuse it.

It’s this tactic of his — posting a leading comment with a disclaimer that he does not mean to speculate or do something verboten, but all the while wording his posts so that readers “get the drift”. He then lets the commenters to the dirty work — they’re not concerned with appearances, but in cheering on from the sidelines. When people bring it up, he complains he’s too busy to police all the posts, etc. I thought he was semi-retired? Note that he rarely replies to comments.  Well, that’s actually pretty easy to understand since most of the commentary is just one big love fest.

Responses in the comments section are to be expected. There are a few more reasonable people who identify it as pure speculation, but others seem to buy into the little mind game uncritically:

I don’t disagree with the decision to allow Jones to comment. There is some logic to preventing the publication of a blatantly incorrect comment, and an involved reviewer would be more likely to point out a gaping flaw in the argument.

~

It would seem that the issue, rightly considered, is whether jones was allowed to be ananonymous commenter, and given equal or greater weight than the two approving commenters. Had they openly allowed Jones to reply, it would have been a different question.

~

Jones, Nature, Mann et al appear to have kept the existence of the conflict of interests secret and/or denied one exists so that they can violate and/or avoid confirmation with the accepted standards for fair and impartial peer review.

Even when some takes care not to assume it was Jones, the amount of motive speculation about Jones and what it would mean if Jones did in fact do the review is amusing.

Isn’t that the whole point, Jones didn’t decline (if he was asked that is) because it is clear from the other emails that the team spent a good deal of time trying to muzzle articles that were critical/had different conclusions to their agenda. I would agree with you that without the participation of Nature in this discussion to confirm or otherewise that Jones was a reviewer no jury would find that Jones was the reviewer. However the fact that the reviewer cited an unpublished Jones paper, along with his habit of self-aggrandisment in reviewing would lead any prosecutor to believe he had and try to get proof.[my emphasis]

A final note based on a post by Steve McIntyre below:

Steve: As I said in the first comment, I’m not trying to re-litigate the process but to examine the Jones Review. (For what it’s worth, Zorita subsequently expressed his regret for his 2nd review, explaining that he had not fully understood the Mann situation at the time.) Once again, I discern somewhat of a cultural difference to the handling of conflicts of interest. Academics attempting to justify acting in a conflict seem to look for whether it was possible to get to the same answer in a different route. And in many cases it is. As I noted before, in a business/legal situation, this sort of argument isn’t permitted. In the case at hand, Nature cited the reasoning of the “Jones Review” in their rejection and thus it is reasonable to deduce that the Jones Review affected their decision. This isn’t to say that they couldn’t have got to the decision a different way; on the other hand, with just the Jolliffe and Zorita reviews, they could also have proceeded. One doesn’t know – because the Jones Review proved to be the one that they cited in their reasoning. While the business/legal framework is a bit foreign to academics, I urge that some thought be given to it, if it’s not natural to you, because conflicts of interest have been thought about and litigated much more in business/law than in academics.[my emphasis]

I really like this anti-academic stance of McIntyre’s. Note how he often comes back to it, claiming that the way things are done in science or academia is so inferior to that in business, lauding their standards and ethics and controls over those of scientists and those in academia.  It’s laughable, especially in light of the recent world recession caused by the ethics and controls and practices of the business world… But I digress.

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34 Responses to “I’m not complaining… but…”

  1. This was not one of Steve Mc’s finest posts. He is at his best when he is analysing data, not when he gets into his personal vendettas.

    • That’s the problem with doing this audit project through a personal blog vs. some kind of more professional enterprise that is limited, completely moderated, and while it might be open to others to view, it would be limited to technical analysis and discussion of the documents and data. The way it is now, there is too much personal innuendo and commentary – little jibs and jabs at the team and the like.

      As well, you get the chorus chiming in with their comments, thanks, admiration, and conspiracy theories or unfounded conclusions and sweeping generalizations. It’s obviously very popular, but it’s also not as professional as it should be. I would, if anyone asked for my opinion 🙂 have advised Steve to have two blogs — one technical and moderated and the only posts would be by those with some creds and only professional in nature — none of this kind of speculation. The other could be his really personal commentary and speculation if that’s what he wants to do.

      Of course, he can do what he wants, but when I read here, it raises my hackles because I haven’t drank the Kool Aid or taken the red pill yet – I haven’t decided which it is.

      Just my opinion.

  2. After reading Susann’s post, I decided to read Steve’s post and the thread. I wanted to check out Susann’s assertions which I must say are quite careless.

    1. “some of the posters are ready to call a grand jury based on the ‘evidence’ ”

    This assertion puzzles me. I saw only one comment from Dave Dardinger who was responding to Kenneth Fritsch. Kenneth was relating Steve’s post to broader, general issues about peer review in climate science and questioned what the consequences of a flawed peer review process would be on “climate science”. It appears that Dave misinterpreted Kenneth’s comment as a question about consequences for those who practice unethical peer review. Dave stated the following: “Personally I think it will all come out as part of a judicial proceeding; though given the way our legal system works these days (in the US) I’m not sure “justice” will be done. But the truth at least will come out. The question is who wants to foot the bill for filing a suit against someone. And that depends on who has standing and who stands to lose. Probably it will require something like a mandatory cap and trade system to create an incentive to go to court.”

    Since Dave’s comment was a response to Kenneth it was a general comment and not specific to the question of whether Jone’s was the 3rd Nature reviewer. Dave’s cap and trade reference suggests it is general and not specific to the question raised by Steve’s post.

    There were some commenters who borrowed a legal frame of reference to answer the 3 questions which Steve invited comment on – ie evidence is not strong enough to meet a legal standard of proof, etc.

    2. “It’s this tactic of his — posting a leading comment with a disclaimer that he does not mean to speculate or do something verboten, but all the while wording his posts so that readers ‘get the drift’.”

    I don’t see this at all in Steve’s post. He is quite openly arguing a case where he thinks Jone’s was the third Nature reviewer and invites comments on his opinion. He does not hint at it hoping that the readers pick it up. I think this comment would be quite misleading to those who have not read the post.

    3. The references to “disciples” who presumably blindly follow Steve’s every word, and do “the dirty work — they’re not concerned with appearances, but in cheering on from the sidelines”.

    There is *some* merit to this as there are comments which fall outside of rational discussion – merely a chance to vent or project cynical opinions onto the discussion. However, they hardly dominate the thread. The suggestion that Steve somehow engineers through a “mind game” is pure cynicism and way off base. Read any popular blog whether it be skeptical or pro AGW or even dot.earth. There were many, many more comments in the thread which were rational discussion responding to Steve’s questions, peer review issues, conflict of interest issues, etc. IMV there are enough questions arising from Steve’s post, coupled with the emails and other incidents over the years which are in need of serious debate and discussion.

    4. “I really like this anti-academic stance of McIntyre’s. Note how he often comes back to it, claiming that the way things are done in science or academia is so inferior to that in business, lauding their standards and ethics and controls over those of scientists and those in academia. It’s laughable, especially in light of the recent world recession caused by the ethics and controls and practices of the business world”

    Actually, your comment did make me giggle a bit, not because of Steve’s comparison, but yours. You missed Steve’s point. He was comparing the (lack of) safeguards against academic conflict of interest with his experiences in accountability of publicly owned business. There are *independant* regulatory and legal safegaurds designed to limit conflicts of interest with (for example) the potential to defraud investors. Steve was involved in independant auditing processes which uncovered the Bre-x scandal. Far from lauding the “ethics and controls and practices of the business world”, these independant safegaurd processes exist because such corruption is inevitable. It is true that these systems are not perfect, but then again, niether is airport security, nor any other public safegaurd.

    • You see, that always made my spidey senses tingle — his links to Bre-X and his statement in interview that the hockey stick reminded him of the kind of graphics used to defraud investors. I think he went into this thing expecting to find fraud and that can’t help but “frame” his whole approach. Isn’t that the gist of Steve Mosher’s posts about me? Going into something with a frame already in place means you aren’t objective? Doesn’t mean you can’t come to the right conclusion, but it makes it more likely that you will see patterns that might be there — or might just be your mind forcing them in order to fit your expectations — precisely what he and McKitrick accuse Mann of doing, and Jones and pretty much every climate scientist.

      As to the rest of my comments — well, I stand by them. We both have our own view on things I guess.

  3. Rattus Norvegicus Reply January 9, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Of course, it wasn’t just reviewer three who recommended against publishing the revised comment. Reviewer one and two also both stated that the comment should not be published in Nature. At least one suggested that it should be published as a paper in a more specialized journal. But actually trying to publish a paper seems to me to be anathema Steve.

    • Rattus,
      You have a very strange mind claiming that submitting a paper is anathema to Steve when he has published several papers and has submitted many others which were rejected through Climategatekeeping.

      I fully expect Steve to have several papers published this year. I expect the pressure on journals not to publish skeptic papers will be less since the CRU and Michael Mann has lost so much clout even with those in the warmist camp.

      • Steve will have several papers published this year, if by several you mean zero.

        He might have a couple in E&E, but not in any climate or geophysical science journals The only paper he has had had published in the actual scientific literature was the GRL paper in 2005. He’s had a few, weak as it turns out comments published since then.

        In addition the original 2005 paper has been subject to a thorough debunking in Wahl and Amman 2007. In Mann’s own words, “he almost had a point with the PCA centering stuff, if it had made any difference to the results”. I would also point out that by circa 2002 Mann was already aware of the weaknesses of his original method of analysis since he was already actively researching the properties of a different method, see Mann & Rutherford 2002. Given Mann’s publication record since Steve came on the scene in 2003 it doesn’t seem as though he has lost any credibility in the scientific community.

      • I expect the pressure on journals not to publish skeptic papers will be less since the CRU and Michael Mann has lost so much clout even with those in the warmist camp.

        That is wholly optimistic and unreasonable. The claws really come out now. There will be about a year of “settling” before “reality” sets in. “McIntyre” still has quite a fight ahead before this even settles to a degree of “civil”.

        I understand there a high degree of impatience of science validation, but science does not depend on faith or trust… it just is. It may take three seasons of “cooling” before the audience is convinced, but so be it.

        On a supposition, if there is any self respectable climatologist around, the question now is, what is the interaction of the AO and the PDO/ADO for the northern hemisphere?

        • Your are probably better off asking this over at RC. It is an interesting question.

          IMNAC, but the PDO does not seem to be a driver of global climate, although it does have regional effects. The PDO is a shift of cool water from the far northern Eastern North Pacific to the far northern Western North Pacific. It was originally noted in studies of salmon catches in the Gulf of Alaska and the PNW.

          The AO seems to be driving what we are seeing right now. There is currently a large blocking high planted firmly over Greenland which is driving the jet stream farther south than usual. I live in an area of the US which is situated in the boundry between the influence of the cold air brought down by the jet stream and warmer air to the west. In the last month when the jetstream drifts west from its’ mean position we tend to experience a few days of bitterly cold weather. When it drifts to the east we experience periods of warm weather (~10-15F above normal). The arctic, while still cold is running several degrees above normal. Another aspect of this high is that the Gulf Stream is being diverted by strong easterly winds in the North Atlantic to the western coast of Greenland (this is just my opinion from looking at synoptic maps). Normally winds in the North Atlantic are westerlies.

          ADO? What is the ADO? Do you mean AMO or NAO?

        • intrepidwanders,
          We can certainly see a circling of the wagons amongst the most visible alarmists, but the average climate scientist is keeping his head down right now and not making any public statements because they do not know how deep the rot goes or how much cooling we are going to see. It is a very uncertain time.

          However, I am optimistic for two reasons. First, the PDO is in its cool phase and no El Nino will ever be extremely powerful for the next 30 years or so. Second, certain climate scientists are coming to the same conclusion. Have you seen this article?

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242011/DAVID-ROSE-The-mini-ice-age-starts-here.html

          It is based on this scientific paper.

          http://ilmasto.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/keenlysideetal_nature_2008.pdf

          Interestingly, I do not think editors at Nature understood it. They looked at the title and thought “Oh good! Improvements in decadal scale forecasting!” They did not realize it undermines the case for CAGW.

          Perhaps this paper also answers the question you asked.

          • I have to really laugh at this. It smacks to me of grasping at straws.

            First, CA aficianados criticise reliance on models — well, most all of the “evidence” in that paper is forecasts based on — models.

            Second, this is one paper. CA aficianados seem to reject thousands of papers that find warming, but latch on to one paper that seemingly provides ammunition against warming. Doesn’t make much sense unless you start from the position of “anything BUT AGW”.

            CA aficianados point to one cold winter in the NH as evidence of global cooling due to some yet-unknown trend, and yet reject the instrumental record that shows warming over the course of a century and which models can only explain when they add in AGHGs.

            It’s “Anything But AGW” desperation all over again.

            • Susann,
              It is not grasping at straws. The fact the GCM models relied on by the IPCC cannot model oceanic oscillations has been a common criticism among skeptics for some time and is one of the big reasons skeptics do not like the models. Here is a computer modeler who has attempted to model the oscillations and found natural climate variability to be much greater than thought earlier.

              No one says we cannot learn anything from computer models. Many skeptics do say the problem with models is they have no forecasting skill and improperly calculate uncertainty. As Pat Frank pointed out in his article in Skeptic magazine, the uncertainty aggregates each year. But the computer models do not do that.

              This is not “anything but AGW” or even “anything but CAGW.” This is a matter of seeing what one correction to an imperfect model does. The claim the models can only explain past warming by adding in AGHGs is bogus. The models were not capable of reproducing the oceanic oscillations. Now that we have a model which can, past temperature can be hindcast without over reliance on powerful AGHGs.

              By the way, this is only one paper but it builds on and confirms recent research on aerosols. It was formerly thought the cooling from 1945-1975 could only be explained by the cooling effect of aerosols. But recent papers by Chylek and others have shown aerosols have less cooling impact than previously thought. The cooling of this period cannot be from aerosols and so it must be from natural climate variation Rather than sayng this is one paper, the proper understanding is that strong natural climate variation through oceanic oscillation is the only way to explain the cooling.

              • Have you seen this article?

                http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242011/DAVID-ROSE-The-mini-ice-age-starts-here.html

                It is based on this scientific paper.

                http://ilmasto.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/keenlysideetal_nature_2008.pdf

                Interestingly, I do not think editors at Nature understood it. They looked at the title and thought “Oh good! Improvements in decadal scale forecasting!” They did not realize it undermines the case for CAGW.

                Actually, this is a blatant misrepresentation of the paper in question has been thorougly debunked, thanks to the tireless efforts of Deep Climate.

                According to DC:

                The Mail on Sunday article said that Latif’s research showed that the current cold weather heralds such “a global trend towards cooler weather”.

                It said: “The BBC assured viewers that the big chill was was merely short-term ‘weather’ that had nothing to do with ‘climate’, which was still warming. The work of Prof Latif and the other scientists refutes that view.”

                Not according to Latif. “They are not related at all,” he said. “What we are experiencing now is a weather phenomenon, while we talked about the mean temperature over the next 10 years. You can’t compare the two.“

                “The natural variation occurs side by side with the manmade warming. Sometimes it has a cooling effect and can offset this warming and other times it can accelerate it.”

                So, like, no.

                • Earlier tonight I discussed on your blog an article quoting Latif objectng to the article in the Daily Mail. I also quoted from Latif’s article in Nature in which he is clearly talking about a global climate regime shift that would be multi-decadal and cause global cooling.

                  Latif is a believer in CAGW. No question about it. But his research is being embraced by skeptics because he is doing some of the work skeptics have said needs to be done.

                  It appears the news writer simply took Latif’s words from his Nature article and combined them with the weather report. This is not a connection I made in my comment, but it is not entirely without some support. Latif’s paper is predicting cooler temps and we are having a much cooler winter than the Met Office predicted. Latif may not like it, but it does appear his prediction is coming true.

                  • Cram, you are busy distorting on this blog. Here there, everywhere.

                    Please go to DeepClimate and actually read what DC has researched about Latif and this debacle. The NAO and AO cause REGIONAL fluctuations in temps. While many Europeans and those in the SE USA were experiencing cold, the Arctic and other portions of the N. Hemisphere were experiencing very mild temps for this time of the year. The global mid-tropospheric temp in Dec was almost +0.3 C– the globe was still warmer than average, despite this cold weather.

                    Latif predicted cooler winters over Europe, and portion of N. America and the N. Atlantic. This is the first winter; if it happens a few more times between now and 2015, his forecast will have verified. That said, don’t expect global temps to be below average– what Latif was predicting is a REGIONAL phenomenon. At best a prolonged negative phase of the NAO and/or AO will slow warming from GHG forcing, but will not overwhelm it. Remember, AGW does not mean warming everywhere all the time, we are concerned about the increase in the mean global temperature.

              • Ron, Keenlyside took an existing model and initialized it with current SST data. There is a good discussion of it here. I think that this is a good effort and probably a fruitful direction for further research. However as with all pioneering papers, it has a few problems, as pointed out at the link.

                FWIW, it doesn’t look as if their first decadal forecast is going to be correct.

  4. A fundamental concept that should not be forgotten is “reasonable doubt” or “scientific research”. One is a political (social) principle, the other is observation. When you make a judgement, that is a personal choice. Sometimes another is needed to decide the objectivity. Neither of these systems have been employed in this case.

    Since this is a system, this assessment should be under a more objective judiciary system. All should be removed from any influences. Other than that, we must wait for the nature of things to take course. Most of this argument is the substance of tabloids.

    Ad hominem arguments are not the discussions that are reveal the truth that you look for. Based off of the data that you have seen, and not the personal offenses, “what do you see?”. Is this reasonable doubt as to the conviction of CO2 causing Global Warming? Is Steve trying to mislead anyone for his personal gain?

    I may be completely off base, but I just see a large group of people that wish to relieve their intuition side that rang like a bell when this whole concept was released onto the public (my personal recollection is 20 years ago in high school, back in the “o-zone days” that miraculously fixed itself in 1992 right after the Montreal Treaty). Since CO2 is less of a political threat than water moisture, one can see easily it became a target, and how important it became important to keep CO2 on the top of discussion, even if the science proved otherwise.

    Anyhow, unless you wish to become a climatologist, it comes down to a simple question that would determine the fate of someones life… reasonable doubt. The choice is in your hands.

    • That’s quite convoluted and might I say slightly paranoid thinking — CO2 is a target because it is less a political threat than water moisture and so it is important to keep it on the top of discussion even if the science proved otherwise? Huh?

      CO2 is an important greenhouse gas — do you deny it?

      There is a greenhouse effect on earth — do you deny it?

      Humans have increased the concentration of CO2 through burning of fossil fuels and land use changes from about 280ppm pre-industrial to about 380 ppm since the industrial revolution — do you deny the levels or the science that is used to determine that?

      You are entitled to your opinion — everyone has one and they are like, well you know the line — but you are not entitled to your own facts.

  5. Ron Cram, sorry but you lie. Rattus is correct, SteveM has had one paper published in GRL, which is now in the unfortunate position of trying to explain how Lindzen and Choi’s hopelessly flawed paper got into print. Honestly, lying and others to yourself to rationalize supporting a mendacious pseudo scientist.

    Yes, and as Rattus also pointed out to you E&E is not considered to be a peer-reviewed journal, even by its own editor.

    And do not try and blame “gate keeping”, that is lame. It is clear that you have been brainwashed by McI. You probably believe that he is not guilty of harassing scientists….good luck with that. Someone does some digging and finds 68 requests from McI and affiliates of CA within a 5 day period (58 to UEA/CRU0 and 10 to the Met office)! Then there is McI lying about having the Russian tree ring data and harassing Briffa in late 2009, even though McI had had the data since 2004.

    Cram, another McI acolyte with his/her eyes wide shut. Keep gobbling up the fodder he is feeding you, b/c I know what I or Rattus or anyone else tells you won’t change your mind.

    • Insight,
      You are mistaken. I have spoken to the editor of E&E about this and she assures me it is peer-reviewed. You have probably been reading the people at RC. Anything you read there, should always be checked out before repeating it or you may look silly.

      Climategatekeeping is real. I have seen one of the papers rejected because of Jones and it is an extremely good paper by a Berkeley professor. I guarantee you it will be published this year. I can also guarantee Steve Mc will submit papers this year which will be published although it is possible publication may be pushed off until next year.

      • Ron, we’ll have to take your word that the papers are good and will be published. You say that you have seen one of the papers rejected — do you know that Jones reviewed it or are you just speculating?

        Climategatekeeping is real but so is the gatekeeping in all disciplines, I would imagine. That is what the peer review process is all about – keeping out the obvious dreck according to existing science and standards. What you see as an attempt to defraud the public I see as BAU part of normal science — “experts” in the know who are part of the established science review papers to ensure they are up to standard. Yes, some papers are rejected — not because they are of low quality but because they do not in line with current thinking, or don’t fulfill the needs of the journal or are not “pathbreaking” or of specific interest or are of too specific interest. If Nature only publishes <10% of the papers it receives — and I believe it is <2% — most all papers submitted are not published on a regular basis.

        People often cry foul when they are rejected. It's a normal human defense mechanism.

        I can't know if Nature unjustly refused to publish good papers (or E&E unjustly published bad ones) if I don't have access to the papers and the comments, and of course, can't judge as a peer — which I can't since I am not one. I can only look at the debates as an outsider interested in this battle as a phenom in its own right.

    • I recall reading somewhere that the editor of E&E felt, in defense of letting certain papers through the review process lightly, that it was her right to publish papers that she liked just because that’s what editors do.

      People write — in my opinion unrealistically — about peer review in journals as if it were some kind of scientific acid test where the methods and data are put to thorough scrutiny. From what I have read about the process, it is more of a vetting by peers, to make sure that on the surface, the work appears legitimate and of value. Many journals are out to make money and those that aren’t are still headed by editors or editorial boards and reviewers made up of us mere hominids, who tend to be quite biased. There are processes in place to try to ensure the science is sound, but innovation and exploration are also encouraged and sometimes works on the edge can be fraught with missteps and wrong turns. This doesn’t excuses cases of outright fraud, but it does suggest that some people are being unrealistic about the peer review process — honestly unrealistic or not so honestly.

      The affront of some people at CA over the peer review system reminds me of my old great aunt, who had quite the scandalous youth and used to get her feathers ruffled when she heard of young women today who had the same as if she couldn’t imagine such behavior.

      I don’t believe the affront is entirely sincere in either case.

  6. Cam,

    The current editor may say that, she seems to flip-flop on what she says. Greenfyre has done some research on this matter. Their findings:

    “E&E does NOT appear on the Science Citation Index Master Journal List. The ISI is considered “the” listing of peer reviewed journals, and for the most part if a journal does not appear there, it is not peer reviewed.

    2) EBSCO (another index) does include E&E as peer reviewed

    Scopus, another journal index, lists E&E as a trade publication as distinct and separate from peer reviewed journals.

    3) There is no mention of peer-review in E&E’s description of themselves, a pretty significant omission if it actually is peer reviewed.

    4) E&E openly admits to allowing politics to influence editorial decisions (here). Not only that, but the editor has stated”

    And this

    “By the way, E&E is not a science journal and has published IPCC critiques to give a platform critical voices and ‘paradigms’ because of the enormous implications for energy policy, the energy industries and their employees and investors, and for research. We do not claim to be right …

    Sonja A Boehmer-Christiansen 3 Sept, 2009”

    You should know who Sonja is Cram….the editor of E&E, and she is the same woman who came up with this beauty “In addition, she “says that the more mainstream climatologists agree, the more suspicious she becomes about claims that human activity is causing global warming.” Wow. Does she know that evidence for AGW is found across numerous scientific disciplines, not just climate science. She sounds like a conspiracy theorist who feels that she needs to oppose the mainstream science– that sounds like an agenda and is not conducive for objectivity.

    E&E, no matter how you spin it, is not a quality or reputable journal.

    And Cram, how do you feel about what de Freitas did at Climate Research, rubber stamping papers by skeptics? You have got this “Gatekeeping” story back to front. None of the papers CRU folks were threatening to keep out of the IPCC were kept out of the IPCC, those skeptics’ papers appeared. And what happened at CR was not gatekeeping.

  7. Insight,
    Many of the things you say are true but your conclusion is wrong. E&E is not listed by ISI and other directories, but that does not mean it is not peer-reviewed. The fact E&E is not listed has more to do with Climategatekeeping than anything. Remember Jones’s promise to “redefine what the peer-reviewed literature is?” He was writing in reference to GRL, but knew of their previous success with E&E.

    It is true E&E is not a high impact journal and they have published some papers which have been poorly received, but then so has Nature and many other high impact journals. It happens. But E&E has also published some interesting papers which were confirmed in other journals, such as the M&M paper later confirmed in GRL.

    Gatekeeping is a matter of record. You cannot deny it. It is in the CRU emails for all to see. The fact Saiers was replaced after GRL published M&M is also a matter or record. Saiers should be reinstated if GRL wants to regain its lost credibility.

  8. Here is the entire comment from Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen in order to fully appreciate the avowed inclination of one of the two E&E’s editors:

    “The climate change ‘community’ appealed to by Mark Aunet is surely a bit of a mirage – there are several such communities and they are not friendly to each other. However one of them , the climate modellers well funded primarily in the EU and USA strongly supported by UN bodies, is still very much at top and has been receiving all the grants and fame. This is not surprising, because this official ‘scientific community’ has the support of the green zeitgeist (and hence of many western NGOs and the supporters they fund elsewhere), as well as being more directly useful to a number of political and economic agendas and interests. These include the energy-resource poor states in Europe, the energy wasteful and also import-dependent USA, their military establishments and even the IOCs (international oil companies), not to mention the Chinese government, and other countries seeking aid. Decarbonisation is therefore sought by the ‘West’ for many reasons and climate change is but the ‘scariest’ and most popular justification for what is in fact a huge agenda of government intervention and control at all levels and in all areas of human existence. Green technology and green jobs are not necessarily the way out of recession and economic decline… the matter should be debated not implemented. Before allowing this agenda to advance much further, e.g. at Copenhagen, we ought to be pretty sure that the climate threat is real. Now that our leaders seem to have give up faith in economic models based on the efficient -market paradigm (but only after serious failure/crisis: see the discussion with A Turner in Prospect, August 2009), I expect some similar disenchantment to happen with climate models based on the radiative forcing idea with carbon dioxide and hence carbon fuels – as the primary villain. But here the crisis has not yet happened, and may not happen for some time. Climate itself may have to decide the issue. In the meantime, decarbonisation is widely perceived as a step forward for the ’west’. By the way, E&E is not a science journal and has published IPCC critiques to give a platform critical voices and ‘paradigms’ because of the enormous implications for energy policy, the energy industries and their employees and investors, and for research. We do not claim to be right, but the editor – having researched the subject since the 1980s – believes that climate is too complex to be predicted for policy purposes, and that many voices – scientific communities? – should therefore be allowed to compete for truth. Science does not progress by consensus.”

    [ Source: http://bit.ly/5QmoR ]

    • By the way, E&E is not a science journal and has published IPCC critiques to give a platform critical voices and ‘paradigms’ because of the enormous implications for energy policy, the energy industries and their employees and investors, and for research.

      [my emphasis]

      That kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

      • I think it says it all when the editor of that journal reveals:

        “I’m following my political agenda — a bit, anyway. But isn’t that the right of the editor?”

        Their “peer review” is no more robust that the “peer review” contrarian arguments get over at contrarian blogs.

  9. Cram,

    So let me get this right. Jones arranged for E&E (a FF journal really) to not be listed as peer-reviewed? Where is he on record making such a request to ISI? Heck, even if he did request it, how would he make sure the request was enforced? He “promised to redefine what peer-review lit is” when referring to GRL, well he obviously failed, b/c GRL is still considered peer review! People vent all the time on email Cram, thinking about something, spouting about something or threatening to do something are just that, rhetoric, people rarely follow through. More conspiracy theories from The McI clan. I’m surprised you leave the house; maybe you do not.

    Very few papers published in E&E are subjected to intense peer review, and I doubt very much that the reviewers are “warmers”, bit rather sympathetic to the “skeptics”. Lindzen and Spencer and Christy all publish in mainstream journals,
    No GateKeeping there. And how do you know for a fact that Saiers leaving was b/c of the MM paper. What is McI’s excuse? Answer, he does not have one, so he invokes the GateKeeping defense. Poor maligned McI (sarc). Funny how you defend McI, but then get all indignant about Jones et al. Some news for you Cram, McI is no angel. Not even close. In his eyes, I and other warmers like Hansen are climate jihadists. What is sad, is that the analogy does not even work.

    Paper by ‘skeptics’ are welcome, but only if they conduct proper science. Sad for you, but many papers by skeptics simply do not stand up to closer scrutiny (Soon and Baliunas, McLean, Lindzen and Choi etc.). And I’m not talking of minor errors that McI spends years obsessing over and blowing out of proportion for his devout acolytes on an internet blog. Lindzen and Choi for example has serious flaws as demonstrated by a new paper published in GRL by Fasullo et al. (2010).

    Yes, of course errors are made, even in good journals, but what is also important is how often that happens and whether or not the errors affect the conclusions. Papers in E&E fail that test much more frequently than do papers published in Nature or AMS.

    You seem obsessed by Gatekeeping. Show us evidence other than references made in the stolen CRU emails. And, also please do not ignore what happened at CR when de Freitas was editor. Amazing how you ‘skeptics’ keep forgetting that inconvenient truth of how the ‘skeptics’ there subverted and manipulated the review process on a grand scale.

    This is all an orchestrated distraction from the fact that we need to move away from the status quo. The peer-review system is not perfect and the Lindzen and Choi paper is another example of that, you need to remember that its limitations work both ways, and it is not always because of the ‘warmers’ GateKeeping.

    PS: Have you ever tried to place yourself in Phil’s shoes. Constant harassment, violent threats, death threats even, having people distort and misrepresent your work on blogs and all over the internet and news (long before the hack even). No wonder they lost their cool sometimes and sound paranoid in those emails. McI has been harassing Mann for years now and Mann would be within his rights to slap a harassment suit on McI. Lucky for McI he is in another country. Note how McI does not harass Canadian scientists such as Weaver. He prefers the more cowardly approach. That and the fact that he never (?) audits papers by skeptics. Auditing, when done properly is not biased, nor is it public. Can you imagine if the IRS only audited the taxes of wealthy white men, and then did so for everyone to see. Now you will say ‘well I have nothing to hide, so bring it on’. That would be a pathetic cover. In reality, you would be marching on the Hill demanding the justice and equality. And regardless of what you think, such a policy would not be ethical or legal, and would amount to nothing more than ‘profiling’.

    ClimateAudit = ClimateFraudit. That is, claiming to be something that it is not.

    • Insight, I couldn’t agree with you more.

      However in the interest of journalistic accuracy, two points.

      First, the “even if I have to redefine what the peer reviewed literature is” quote from Jones refers to two papers he thought should not be included in 4AR. One of them is McKitrick and Michaels and the other one I can’t recall. Both papers were discussed in 4AR.

      Second, Saiers left the editorial board of GRL because his three year term expired.

      Don’t want to give Cram anything to dig his teeth into now, do we?

      • Rattus, are you sure Saiers served the full three years? In the CRU emails, Mann makes a point of the leak at GRL being “plugged.” I thought that comment was in reference to Saiers. Why are you convinced Saiers served the full three years?

  10. Rattus,

    Thanks for reminding me. I made the point out elsewhere on this blog about certain papers not being excluded from AR4, but failed to do so here.

    The news about Saiers was new to me. Thanks.

    Honestly, there is a conspiracy theory around every corner for these guys.

  11. Stolen emails are a dream come true for folks like McIntyre. It allows him to throw in any odd interpretations of emails, which naturally lack context, to his own benefit. But two can engage in speculation – mine certainly being no less robust than McIntyre’s. First, McIntyre appears unhappy that someone gave him a poor review on a submitted comment. Rather than considering revising his comment or that he might be in error, he insists that it’s right and there must be something evil going on. After all, two other reviewers gave him “mostly” positive reviews. Who are those two reviewers? They appear to be individuals that are critical of PCAs, and agree largely with McIntyre (anyone who doesn’t agree with him is part of “the team”). Zorita even has strong irrational personal animosity towards some scientists…

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2009/11/zorita_goes_for_the_jugular.php

    RC recently detailed a problem with the peer-review process on a particular journal (GRL).

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/lc-grl-comments-on-peer-review-and-peer-reviewed-comments/

    The main issue is that the editors selected reviewers recommended specifically by Lindzen and Choi, and no independent ones, which defeats the purpose of independent peer review. Of course your buddies are going to like your work (much like how the Wegman Report was “reviewed”). So, based on circumstantial evidence and innuendo, something McIntyre knows very well, we can conclude that it’s likely the initial reviewers were the ones McIntyre recommended.

    Feel free to present this hypothesis on his blog (I have little stomach to sit in the pews of contrarian churches).

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