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« Briffa responds | Main | Media reactions to Yamal »

A defence of Yamal?

David Appell, a blogger who has followed the Climate Audit story from the start, but from a different perspective to most readers here, says that some people "on the science side" are looking at what McIntyre has to say.

Which sounds good, because that's the way science works.

David also takes aim at Climate Audit's not being peer reviewed. I think this argument is completely overdone. Watson and Crick weren't peer reviewed. Einstein wasn't either. Didn't stop them being right.

Interestingly, David also tells us to look out for November's Scientific American. Sounds interesting.



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Reader Comments (10)

'peer review' is a crock.

Many people recognise the names and achievements of great scientists - Einstein, Newton, Galileo, Darwin. Nobody remembers their peers.

'Proof by peer-review' is the latest in a list of fallacies:
Proof by appeal to authority
Proof by majority vote
Proof by consensus
Proof by celebrity endorsement
Proof by repetition...

Oct 1, 2009 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

I would very much like to publish your two narratives about the Jesus paper and the Yamal controversy in the local Boulder Colorado newspaper. How may I get your permission to do so?

Oct 1, 2009 at 4:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterbouldersolar

All the papers using the hockey stick so far are peer-reviewed. Doesn't prevent them from being shaky, does it?

Oct 1, 2009 at 5:21 AM | Unregistered Commentercogito

@Jack Hughes:

Of course "nobody remembers their peers," the reviewer is supposed to be anonymous.

Interesting & related story on Einstein:

Oct 1, 2009 at 5:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterTHI


Drop me a line.

Oct 1, 2009 at 7:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterBishop Hill

Psychologists are now talking about "Climate Munchhausen's Syndrome" - where people desperately want there to be something wrong with the planet - in spite of the evidence that the planet is doling just fine.

In extreme cases this leads to faking or cherry-picking evidence. In milder forms it can be as simple as reading Monbiot's ramblings in the Guardian or buying "New Scientist".

Oct 1, 2009 at 7:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Now that's right on the ball, Jack Hughes. We do need to understand the whole of the AGW debacle, and I suspect the psychological and psychiatric aspects will be a very important part of the investigation.

The corruption of science is an important consequence, as is the corruption of the media. But to explain it all, we'll need the shrinks.

Oct 1, 2009 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank S

@Jack Hughes:

I agree. Psychology has a huge role to play in understanding the AGW movement. It is, after all, yet another attempted pogrom on human nature (and, in particular, human desire).

Anyone who has entered - or been drawn into - this state of mind is best approached with the question: "What might you be doing with the world if you weren't so busy trying to save it?".

The answer, were they able to find one, would be the mirror to all they refuse to accept about themselves.

The whole AGW/Green idea comes across as inhuman because the will (or the daydream) behind it is to be un-human.

Oct 1, 2009 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter S

David Appell demonstrates well how not to think in that post - he creates a false dichotomy between blog posts and science, and then complains about the "tone" of the debate (oh but it's fine for realclimate to launch attacks on "deniers", I suspect we won't hear complaints about that "tone").

The biggest risk Steve is exposed to now is, having alerted the world to the problem, that the hockey team will publish a paper first which presents the error with some appropriate spin, fast-track it through peer review and hold Steve's paper up. Steve's paper then gets rejected as it is not novel, and only the "team" story makes it into press.

As we've already seen with Hu, attribution claims are very difficult to make stick, and it's all Steve could be left with.

"Scientific American" would clearly not be the venue for such a paper as it is a tabloid science rag but I can imagine the hockey team attempting to get some spin on the story before Steve can get published; I'm sure that is part of David Appell's hint at the end.

Oct 1, 2009 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpence

How can a temperature reconstruction, the most modern part of which relies on a sample of 5 trees, pass peer-review? It's ridiculous!

How can it be that such a paucity of data does not require mention or explanation in a peer-reviewed paper?

If the data is of a quality that would pass peer-review, then why hide it for so long?

There is more to this than a small group of scientists cherry-picking data. For the chronology to have been published or used in so many journals and high profile temperature reconstructions, a large fraction of the climate science hierarchy hast to have been complicit. I suspect that Briffa was extremely surprised at being forced to archive his data, and more than a little furious!

Oct 1, 2009 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterRecyclist

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