Commenters on the climate debate have a tendency to see things in terms of black and white or of goodies and baddies. Typical of this kind of thing is the desperate attempts by MSM upholders of the IPCC consensus to portray Richard Muller as a former sceptic who has now seen the light. This idea only gains any credence at all because of Muller's role as an early supporter of McIntyre's work on the Hockey Stick. However, as has now been documented elsewhere, his characterisation as a sceptic is hard to square with most of his other comments on the climate issue and also with his flat denial that he has ever been a sceptic. It is probably safe to say that he is a firm upholder of the IPCC consensus who is honest enough to state clearly that the Hockey Stick was flawed.
It is probably also not stretching the truth to suggest that Muller enjoys being in the public eye, and today Ross McKitrick has revealed a rather sorry tale about the trouble Muller's publicity hunger has got him into. The story concerns the peer review of the last batch of Muller et al papers last year. As Ross explains, he was a peer reviewer of one of the papers:
I submitted my review just before the end of September 2011, outlining what I saw were serious shortcomings in their methods and arguing that their analysis does not establish valid grounds for the conclusions they assert. I suggested the authors be asked to undertake a major revision.
In October 2011, despite the papers not being accepted, Richard Muller launched a major international publicity blitz announcing the results of the "BEST" project. I wrote to him and his coauthor Judy Curry objecting to the promotional initiative since the critical comments of people like me were locked up under confidentiality rules, and the papers had not been accepted for publication. Richard stated that he felt there was no alternative since the studies would be picked up by the press anyway. Later, when the journal turned the paper down and asked for major revisions, I sought permission from Richard to release my review. He requested that I post it without indicating I was a reviewer for JGR. Since that was not feasible I simply kept it confidential.
Since then, there has been another round of peer review, in which McKitrick recommended rejection of the paper, since few of his earlier objections had been addressed. Now, in the face of the latest Muller publicity blitz, McKitrick has decided to reveal all. You can read his article here.
Roger Pielke Sr's latest article, covering the paper by Anthony Watts and the op-ed by Richard Muller, is well worth a read. Watts' work is described as "seminal", while Muller's claims are said to be "an embarrassment" and "easily refuted".