George Monbiot has the latest on David Belllamy’s descent into crankdom:

Among other gems, Bellamy’s interview contained the following marvellous assertion of independence: “peer-reviewed journals – it’s the last thing I would use now.”

Comments

  1. #1 James F
    March 25, 2009

    That’s right! Stuff posted on web sites is just as good!

  2. #2 Ezzthetic
    March 25, 2009

    I don’t blame him.

    The last Peer who reviewed his journal was Lord Monckton.

  3. #3 Eli Rabett
    March 25, 2009

    Why does this remind Eli of

    God does not exist – Nietzche

    Nietzche does not exist – God

    I can’t spell Nietzche – Eli

  4. #4 bi -- IJI
    March 25, 2009

    Saw this linked from Monbiot’s article:

    > Tunisian pilot who prayed as his plane went down jailed in Italy.

    <cranky> Coincidence? I think not! </cranky>

  5. #5 Zara Svelte
    March 26, 2009

    Bellamy’s decline into crankdom is very sad. I remember him on television from my childhood – his enthusiasm for the natural world, his explanations of the wonders of science, his wonderful paintings and tunes on the didgeridoo. Oh no, hang on, that was Rolf Harris.

  6. #6 toby
    March 26, 2009

    It is true … Bellamy was a larger-then-life, overgrown child whose enthusiasm just swept you along.

    Pity he’s turned into a gobshite.

  7. #7 Luna_the_cat
    March 26, 2009
  8. #8 QrazyQat
    March 26, 2009

    Did he ever have anything accepted in a peer-reviewed journal?

  9. #9 Dr Dave
    March 27, 2009

    QrazyQat, yes he has a pretty reasonable publication record up until he moved into the media. WoK lists 8 items in Nature, the most recent in 1976. One of these papers has >40 citations. His last proper academic paper appears to have been published in 1986 in the Canadian Journal of Botany.

    Of course this just serves to show just how sad it is that he now says the things he does. It will be a shame if he is remembered for this, and not for his real contributions to knowledge and education.

  10. #10 Marion Delgado
    March 27, 2009

    Oh please, Tim. I was all over the intertubes for years with dozens of examples of these bastards’ war on peer review. That was the marching orders for a couple of years. Overlapped with the war on consensus, and the war on data gathering later, which was called feathering the researchers’ nests (cf. “Only In it for the Gold”).

    The Line of the Year was “Peer Review is broken.” Also “Peer Review is a flawed concept.” Then “This crackpot website/pamphlet is peer review.” They’ve just come ’round again to the attack peer review mode.

    There is not one part of science they accept.

  11. #11 John Mashey
    March 27, 2009

    re: #9 Dr Dave
    It is sad but true that a tiny fraction of scientists does this, one must include both good and bad together. That someone has contributed does not mean that one ignores that, but one also doesn’t ignore the damage done later either. Crankdoms vary in their harmfulness.

    Linus Pauling Vitamin C [not too bad]
    Willliam Shockley eugenics [mostly ignored, I think]

    Frederick Seitz, Robert Jastrow, William Nierenberg (i.e., the core Marshall Institute folks); climate, non-regulation of anything.

    From anti-science reasons, I’d speculate:

    Bellamy: PSYCH-1, PSYCH-5
    Seitz, Jastrow, Nierenberg: IDEOL-1
    (at least from Naomi Oreskes’ & others’ research)

  12. #12 Dave A
    March 29, 2009

    Perhaps he was thinking that peer review can get you dodgy papers like MBH98, Santer et al 2008 and Steig et al 2008, ie a crock.

  13. #13 dhogaza
    March 29, 2009

    ie a crock

    DaveA’s just given us an accurate mental image of what fills that space between his ears.

    None of those three papers are “crocks”.

  14. #14 ScaredAmoeba
    March 30, 2009

    Dave A’s comment #12 was obtained from ‘climate change facts’ website ‘sponsored’ by Peabody Coal, Western Fuels, ExxonMobil and the Scaife Foundation.

    Access to website is limited to invited trolls only.

  15. #15 Dave A
    March 31, 2009

    dhogaza,

    Not crocks? Dodgy statistical methods all round, but not crocks? You jest!

    Scared Amoeba,

    Stay in your self chosen environment because you obviously can’t handle the fact that others can think for themselves.

  16. #16 dhogaza
    March 31, 2009

    Stay in your self chosen environment because you obviously can’t handle the fact that others can think for themselves.

    Uh, DaveA, you’ve proven on many a website that you can’t think at all, much less for yourself, and know absolutely nothing about anything remotely connected to climate science.

    You’re a cut-and-paste unteachable troll.

  17. #17 Dhogaza
    March 31, 2009

    I will admit that DaveA is not as stupid as Tim Curtin. But then again, neither is my front porch.

  18. #18 Jeff Harvey
    April 1, 2009

    DaveA: if you can think for yourself as you claim, then why write utter garbage like,

    *Perhaps he was thinking that peer review can get you dodgy papers like MBH98, Santer et al 2008 and Steig et al 2008, ie a crock*

    The you write, with no evidence at all,

    *Dodgy statistical methods all round*

    Thinking is not a pre-requisite for making vacuous hit-and-run statements like these. Where’s your evidence? How many peer-reviewed papers have you published in the empirical literature? What you wrote sounds *exactly* like it came from ‘climate change facts’ websites ‘sponsored’ by Peabody Coal, Western Fuels, ExxonMobil and the Scaife Foundation. Throw in a few right wing blogger sites and others promoting a political agenda, and there’s your evidence.

    What your empty comments prove is that, in their responses, dhogaza and ScaredAmeoba are, in fact, completely correct.

  19. #19 Dave A
    April 1, 2009

    Jeff Harvey,

    Go visit Climate Audit and educate yourself. Nothing at all to do with Peabody Coal etc. Stop deluding yourself that everyone who doesn’t agree with you is influenced by the coal/oil etc lobby.

  20. #20 dhogaza
    April 1, 2009

    Go visit Climate Audit and educate yourself.

    We know all about Climate Fraudit.

  21. #21 Jeff Harvey
    April 2, 2009

    Dave A sunk humself, as I expected he would. He does not read the primary literature but depends for his information on a web site (dhogaza sums up what most here think about it).

    So Dave, what are your qualifications to be able to tell ‘good science’ from ‘bad science’? How many articles have you published in relevant fields in the empirical literature?

    Speaking as a senior scientist, I think its actually you who needs a little bit of educating in science.

  22. #22 Dave A
    April 2, 2009

    Jeff Harvey,

    So now there is the appeal to authority. OK, tell me why exactly you are a “senior scientist” and why you think that makes you more qualified to comment?

  23. #23 jonno
    April 2, 2009

    Come Dave… asnwer the question… do you even have journal access?

    Do you understand that not everthing you read ont the web is true?

  24. #24 jonno
    April 2, 2009

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Harvey

    Dave you can’t even use the net properly, let alone understand ‘science’

  25. #25 bi -- IJI
    April 2, 2009

    Come on, guys. Dave A is doing nothing but trolling with a link to Climate Fraudit.

  26. #26 Ed Darrell
    April 3, 2009

    Speaking of rejecting peer-reviewed research, Steve Milloy has a new book and a new blog, both titled “Green Hell.” He’s not talking about the hell Wall Street is putting us through. Check it out for yourself.

    Oy.

  27. #27 Jeff Harvey
    April 3, 2009

    Dave,

    I think that scientists are often – though not always – better qualified to comment on aspects dealing with science. I am not a climate scientist but a population ecologist. However, I defer to the expertise of those doing the research, and as far as I know not a single contributor to climate audit is a trained climate scientist, and between them they have very few papers in scientific journals. The vast majority of climate scientists are in agreement as to the cause of the current warming. There are a few outliers, but they are comparatively small in number. This explains why the recent ‘abomination’ of a climate conference attracted such a motley crowd of pseudo and non-scientists, the ‘usual suspects’. The much vaunted climate sceptics list that was produced a couple of years ago contained names most of which had contibuted little to the scientific literature on climate or any field for that matter. How do I know? I checked the names of many on the list against their performance on the web of science and most had published at most a few articles; many had none. There were very, very few with more than 30 articles in the scientific literature. For me, this speaks volumes about their ‘status’. I think that I am doing ‘OK’ and I have published 88 articles in the peer-reviewed literature since 1993. Less than 30 in more than 20 years of research should exclude scientists from being considered luminaries, at least that is my opinion.

    But I asked you a simple question: Climate audit is a web site that spends a lot of time criticizing published studies. Why not go to the primary literature? If climate audit is your main source of climate science-related information,then this tells me all I need to know about your ‘knowledge’ of climate science.

  28. #28 Former Skeptc
    April 3, 2009

    [Why Climate Audit should never be trusted](http://atmoz.org/blog/2008/08/08/the-anatomy-of-a-climateaudit-post/) as a source of scientific knowledge.

  29. #29 Dano
    April 3, 2009

    Climate audit is a web site that spends a lot of time criticizing published studies. Why not go to the primary literature? If climate audit is your main source of climate science-related information,then this tells me all I need to know about your ‘knowledge’ of climate science.

    Shorter Jeff Harvey:

    Climate Audit has chosen ‘neither’ when asked to “put up or shut up” wrt publishing actual research to back its claims.

    Best,

    D

  30. #30 Dave A
    April 3, 2009

    Jeff Harvey,

    Of course I don’t just read CA but spread my net widely, including much primary literature when I can access it. And of course, like you and others I am sure, I can’t pretend to fully comprehend everything I read.

    I will take some issue with you about peer review. You must surely accept that it has a number of problems, what I call ‘backscratching’ for example. The same small group of ‘experts’ review each others work and then it gets published unless it is fundamentally flawed ( Occasionally even the latter gets published witness my posts above :-) )

  31. #31 Chris O'Neill
    April 3, 2009

    Dave A:

    Of course I don’t just read CA but spread my net widely

    Why didn’t you say this in the first place instead of only suggesting CA as the place to “educate yourself”?

  32. #32 Bernard J.
    April 4, 2009

    I will take some issue with you about peer review. You must surely accept that it has a number of problems, what I call ‘backscratching’ for example.

    “Backscratching”?

    Every scientist I knows takes quite a lot of satisfaction in correcting every minute inconsistency that they might find in a draft of a manuscript, whether they know the author or not. It’s a reflection on the reviewers if they fail to do so, and even if the reviewing is anonymous to the authors and to the audience at large, journal editors know, and reviewers value their reputations as being competent in their fields.

    If a paper is poorly reviewed it is either because there are few or no suitable expert reviewers in the field, or because the selected reviewers (or the journal editors) are overworked. Backscratching doesn’t come into it, unless of course one is speaking of ‘journals’ of Energy and Environment and its ilk – then all bets are off.

    Are you actually familiar with how scientists conduct their publication work?

  33. #33 dhogaza
    April 4, 2009

    The same small group of ‘experts’ review each others work and then it gets published unless it is fundamentally flawed

    Are you describing CA, WUWT, or both? Both claim to be expert, but are only ‘experts’, i.e. self-declared, no meaningful track record. Anthony Watts even sucks as a photographer (something I am expert at).

    If you’re talking about peer-reviewed science, then leave out the insulting quotes around the word expert.

    It just makes you look more stupid.

  34. #34 bi -- IJI
    April 4, 2009

    Shorter Dave A: I don’t read peer-reviewed publications because he knows they’re wrong even before reading them!

  35. #35 bi -- IJI
    April 4, 2009

    s/he knows/I know/

  36. #36 Dave A
    April 4, 2009

    Shorter bi–IJI,

    I don’t read anything I didn’t write.

  37. #37 Chris O'Neill
    April 4, 2009

    I thought

    s/he knows/I know/

    was shorter than

    I don’t read anything I didn’t write.