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« The anger of the climate community | Main | Carbon criminals »

Allen a'tale

Some readers may have seen Der Spiegel's coverage of the Bengtsson affair a couple of days back. I didn't cover it, as I recall because it didn't seem to add much we didn't know already. However, one interesting wrinkle has emerged today. This revolves around a quote from Myles Allen about the Lewis/Crok report:

Professor Myles Allen, a climate researcher at Oxford, says, "The problem is [GWPF's] anti-science agenda, clearly illustrated by the fact that they refused point blank to submit their recent report criticizing the IPCC 5th Assessment Report to the same kind of open peer review that the IPCC report was itself subjected to."

This has prompted a response from Lewis and Crok who describe this alleged 'point-blank' refusal. Crok writes:

I met Myles Allen when he was in The Netherlands for an IPCC meeting in January. I told him about our report and he was quite upset that we hadn’t asked him to review it.  Shortly after that meeting, Allen separately emailed both Lewis and myself asking if he could see a copy of our report. Lewis and I conferred and then responded to Allen indicating no objections to sending him the report on the basis that he would review it and comment on anything he disagreed with...

Unfortunately, Allen would not accept the confidentiality condition. Instead he suggested that Lewis and Crok send their draft to all the IPCC authors mentioned in the report and there seems to have been a certain amount of to-ing and fro-ing, before the report was ultimately reviewed by climatologists who were not involved in the IPCC process. As Crok concludes:

So, yes, Allen is right when he says in Der Spiegel that the GWPF refused to submit our report “to the same kind of open peer review that the IPCC report was itself subjected to”. We disagree about his qualification “point blank”. Allen, having asked for a copy of the report, then refused to review it under what we regard as normal confidentiality conditions. Three other AR5 lead authors were also offered the opportunity to review it. We leave it up to readers to decide if we and the GWPF acted reasonably, and whether this episode provides any evidence that the GWPF has an anti-science agenda.

Indeed. Prof Allen needs to tread carefully I would say, lest people think his tales need to be checked as much as, say, Bob Ward's do.

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Reader Comments (55)

jamesp - yes. However his statement "It's very substantially easier to predict climate than it is to predict the world economy" seems to me to have a direct equivalence to a statement such as:

"It's very substantially easier to travel to the moon by human powered flight than it is to travel to Alpha Centauri by human powered flight".

May 28, 2014 at 7:08 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Who is more supportive of vigorous science discourse within our culture? The GWPF or the IPCC?

The IPCC and the GWPF have for us a nice contrast of politically subservient science-like behavior versus a more individualized balance of observationally based science behavior.

The IPCC is a promoter of an alternate to modern science that tries to get respectability by only mimicking modern science while promoting a pre-science ideology.

The GWPF is filling an important critical climate science role largely because of the IPCC's hostility toward that essential role.


May 28, 2014 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

alpha centauri travel is coming to your highstreet shoppe faster than you think: for starters the newest insights (eg MIT's tegmark) is that we are all just mathematical objects. Ponder that for a second: Maths is an outfit where strange loops and movements ARE possible.

Anyway , professors:
They gained a lot of status in the 19th and begin 20th century (their high day with the invention of a couple of new physics the birth of probability , the working out of the great canons of electricity , theoretical mechanics, and analysis )
In these days professors were a freelancing community, it can not be repeated enough. Well respected well paid highest status and above all freelancing and very mobile and dynamic. Not mobile in the sense of Paul Nurse's CV (In which nice place am I going to vegetate the next 6months? let's see there is a vice chancellor leftwing enough in Switzerland to adopt me and my shyte) No they had a working ethic including open courses, sit-in meetings and famous symposia where it would have been thrilling to be present.

May 28, 2014 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

I sense a synergy between this and the previous post in which a report can be found of a 'Professor of Crime Science' making a bit of a chump of himself. Perhaps climate chumps and crime chumps could merge their departments. 'Crimate Science', or perhaps if the second word is too pretentious, 'Climate Crime Studies' might do the trick, or perhaps 'Criminal Climate Studies', or does 'Climate Criminal Studies' sound better?

May 28, 2014 at 11:01 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Here in New Zealand, a Professor is a head of a university department. In the USA, a Professor is a teacher with tenure in a university. The rest of the world appears to vacilate between the two definitions.
In neither case does the title imply anything more than the holder's job-related status.

May 29, 2014 at 6:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

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