Copernicus Publications is an Open Access enterprise that provided the ability for an academic entity of some sort or another to create a new Open Access journal. In March 2013 the journal “Pattern Recognition in Physics” was started up and added to the Copernicus lineup. The journal apparently put out a few items, and then, recently, produced Special Issue 1, called “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts.” The special issue editors were Nils-Axel Mörner, R. Tattersall, and J.-E. Solheim. Readers of this blog will recognize R. Tattersall as TallBloke, the bloke, apparently tall, who threatened to sue me into oblivion a couple of years back because I accept, generally, mainstream climate science and he does not.

prp-cover-web

After the initial production of the special issue, though apparently before all the papers promised were produced, Copernicus pulled the plug on the journal. Here is their statement in full:

Termination of the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics

Copernicus Publications started publishing the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics (PRP) in March 2013. The journal idea was brought to Copernicus’ attention and was taken rather critically in the beginning, since the designated Editors-in-Chief were mentioned in the context of the debates of climate skeptics. However, the initiators asserted that the aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines rather than to focus on climate-research-related topics.

Recently, a special issue was compiled entitled “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”. Besides papers dealing with the observed patterns in the heliosphere, the special issue editors ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project” (Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 205–206, 2013).

Copernicus Publications published the work and other special issue papers to provide the spectrum of the related papers to the scientists for their individual judgment. Following best practice in scholarly publishing, published articles cannot be removed afterwards.

In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.

Therefore, we at Copernicus Publications wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of the journal as well as the malpractice regarding the review process, and decided on 17 January 2014 to cease the publication of PRP. Of course, scientific dispute is controversial and should allow contradictory opinions which can then be discussed within the scientific community. However, the recent developments including the expressed implications (see above) have led us to this drastic decision.

Interested scientists can reach the online library at: www.pattern-recogn-phys.net

Martin Rasmussen
January 2014

So, let me rephrase. A group of climate science denialists made up a story about what they wanted to do and convinced a publisher to let them create a “peer reviewed journal.” The publisher was rightfully suspicious, but just as rightfully, open to the idea. We can’t, after all, be repressing the development, publication, and dissemination of science just because we don’t like some feature or another of the people involved.

This might explain the sense of deja vu you may be having.

This might explain the sense of deja vu you may be having.

Not long after the journal existed, the perpetrators of what we may now recognize as a hoax produced the “special issue” which includes fake science “disproving” global warming. One of the key results asserts that the interaction of celestial bodies can produce a pattern that happens to match the pattern of Earth’s surface temperature changes over recent time.

This, of course, is where “pattern recognition” (which is indeed a thing in science, though mainly for exploratory purposes) can go wrong. This is where the famous phrase “correlation does not imply causation” (which I’ve discussed here) comes in. It would not be hard to find a pattern in celestial reality to match the basic Hockey Stick curve. If we then add to that pattern some wiggles that relate, say, to insolation (the amount of energy coming in from the sun, which varies over time) and a major climate driver like ENSO (the El Nino thing) to make the “pattern” more climate-looking, we’ve got a nice match. The reason this is not hard is because celestial bodies move in a diverse range of periods and there are enough celestial bodies that we can produce many different combinations of their movements, and then pick the one that matches our data. This is roughly similar to using a quasi-random number generator to produce thousands of lines on a graph, then picking the line that matches our data, except that the final analysis using celestial bodies can say “We’ve found a pattern matching orbital geometries of the solar system that explains climate change” instead of “We made up a line from random numbers and it matches climate change.”

I see patterns.

I see patterns.

As I read through the papers in the special issue, I could not help but to remember the old Cosmos show, in particular the scenes (in Episode 3?) of early astronomers trying to figure out this thing where the planets go around the sun. It was Tycho Brahe, if I recall correctly, getting very frustrated when his model … physical model … fell apart in his hands because there were too many parts and not enough glue. Indeed, the basic science referred to in some of the work presented in the special issue is ancient solar system dynamics and has a nearly metaphysical feel to it.

This method is even seen as inappropriate among the hard core climate science denialists. Science Denialist Anthony Watts, while making sure to decry the suppression of his fellow denialists by the scientific mainstream, admits that the bogus analysis is bogus:

I will say that some of the papers in that special journal edition really aren’t any better than curve fitting exercises. …

As many WUWT readers know, while years ago I expressed some interest in planetary tidal force effects on climate, I have long since been convinced that there’s zero planetary effect on climate for two reasons: 1) The gravitational effects at distance are simply too small to exert the forces neccessary, and 2) The methodology employed often results in hindcast curve fitting a theory to data, where the maxim “correlation is not causation” should have been considered before publishing the paper.

The denialosphere is, naturally, reacting strongly to this event.

Jo Nova, noting that the “Streisand Effect” may ultimately help the bogus papers achieve more attention than they otherwise might (and I certainly hope this is true … examples of really bad papers are very useful sometimes), calls for a general boycott of any journal that does not speak out against Copernicus’ closing of Pattern Recognition: “it’s time to boycott any journal which does not speak up against this weak act of caving in to the dominant paradigm. It is not about whether they agree with the scientific conclusions, it’s about free speech. It’s about science.”

TallBloke, one of the editors of the special issue, was already busy using the journal to raise funds for his own accounts, apparently, when he had to interrupt himself to become indignant. On December 13th he posted an update on the special issue and told readers, “If you would like copy of the print edition, please use the donate button on this site (top left of the sidebar) to remit 18.50 Euros plus 4 Euros to cover the cost of the journal copy and postage/packing. I will then pass these orders on to Copernicus. Thanks for all your support and consideration.” Read that twice. Yeah, I’m not sure either. Anyway, after the axing, he notes, “A conclusion and its implication in the summary paper was: because our scientific investigation leads us to the prediction that the Sun is headed into a protracted minimum, the warming forecast by the IPCC might not happen. This has led to the journal being axed by the parent Publishing house Copernicus. The papers are still available … Please download and disseminate them widely.” Tallbloke also gives us, usefully, the text of the letter sent to the coordinating editors Nils Axel Mörner and chief editor Sid Ali Ouadfeul:

Dear Sid-Ali, dear Nils-Axel, We regret to inform you that we decided to terminate the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics (PRP).

While processing the press release for the special issue “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”, we read through the general conclusions paper published on 16 Dec 2013. We were alarmed by the authors’ second implication stating “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”. Before the journal was launched, we had a long discussion regarding its topics. The aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines. PRP was never meant to be a platform for climate sceptics. In addition to our doubts about the scientific content of PRP, we also received information about potential misconduct during the review process. Copernicus Publications cannot risk losing its excellent reputation in the scientific community. We therefore wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of PRP and decided today to cease the publication. This decision must come as a surprise for you, but under the given circumstances we were forced to react.

We hope that you understand our reasons for this decision. We thank you very much for your cooperation and wish you all the best for your future career.

Best regards, Martin and Xenia
Copernicus.org

Luboš Motl repeats the falsehood that the journal was terminated because of one sentence by writing “One sentence in Scafetta’s paper on solar/climate patterns was too much for the AGW loons and their cowardly slaves and collaborationists,” and concludes his blog post by stating, in reference to mainstream science, “They have poisoned the Academia way too much; they have depleted their right to live,” followed by a rather ham-handed attempt to link climate scientists to the Nazi Gold Dawn party in Greece.

(I can tell you from personal experience that we are not all linked; Golden Dawn took the trouble a year ago or so to declare that I am the Anit Christ. And they produced a lot of evidence to support their claim!)

Ugo Bardi had this to say about “Pattern Recognition” (the journal and the thing you do):

…they say that it was closed, among other things, because of “the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis”

That, however, is just a part of the story and most of it had to do with the denialist stance of the editors on the matter of climate. But the problem with this journal was even deeper. What is exactly to be intended as “pattern recognition in physics”? … It is, at best, the “curve fitting” approach to physics which may be a lot of fun, but if it is not based on a good physical model is just normally an exercise in irrelevance.

So, the very concept of a physics journal dedicated to pattern recognition, alone, is very doubtful, to say the least. Then, it is no wonder that a (so-called) physics purely based on pattern recognition in physics results arrives in the denial of the physical basis of climate change.

Remember this moment, folks. I don’t think you are going to see Ugo Bardi and Anthony Watts agreeing on something too often!

Big City Lib had already recognized the nefarious nature of this journal. Of the names of some of those involves, BCL writes:

People that read this blog may be familiar with some of these names. They are climate change denialists of one stripe or another. Tattersall is a blogger who writes under the name of Tallbloke. W. Soon = Willie Wei-Hock Soon. N. Scaffeta = Nick Scaffeta. Nils-Axel Mörner is a crazed wingnut who is also a goddamn water witch! JE Solheim thinks that a simple harmonic model (movements of the sun, moon and planets together with linear trends) provides a better fit to the global temperature data since 1850 and likely a better predictor than the assembly of 44 climate models used by the IPCC….

So what appears to have happened is that a small group of denialists paid money to Copernicus Publishing, launched their own journal under its imprint, and published crap. Now they can say its all passed “peer review”. It will be interesting to see exactly what this means under the circumstances. That they read one another’s stuff?

That was written before the Journal’s termination and the assertion by Copernicus that the peer review process was conducted with “malpractice.” So, to answer BCL’s question: Yes, they appear to read one another’s stuff! Good call!

Retraction Watch and Science are discussing this as well.

Comments

  1. […] Science Denialists Make Fake Journal, Get Shut Down.. […]

  2. #2 Vandana Singh
    United States
    January 18, 2014

    This is fascinating. Even if one invents a complicated explanation for climate change that denies anthropogenic causes and somehow fits all the data, how is it possible to explain away the basic physics behind anthropogenic CC? From the greenhouse effect to the heat-trapping property of CO2 (known since the mid 1800s) to the perturbation of the natural carbon cycle due to fossil fuels — what rug does one sweep that under? At least Ptolemy had the excuse that when he came up with the idea of multiple epicycles to explain the motion of celestial bodies in the geocentric paradigm, there was no known good alternative explanation that fit the data. Ptolemy’s epicycles were horrendously complex, but they did work until Brahe’s better data showed that they didn’t, really. The image of the climate denier as the noble dissenter standing up to the dominant paradigm turns somewhat comic under scrutiny.

  3. […] 18: Apparently some denialists tried a low trick with a new science journal — check it out here. […]

  4. #4 dean
    January 18, 2014

    How expensive an endeavor was this entire scam journal? Enough to require funding beyond what the “scientists” involved had? If so, any ideas about the source of that funding?

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    January 18, 2014

    Good question, Dean.

  6. #6 G
    January 18, 2014

    Yes, good question. How can we find out? Keep asking the question in enough places that the responsible parties have to answer it?

    Would it be at all useful to produce a satire version of the journal, using ridicule as a means of deflating obnoxious memes?

    Journal: “Pattern Recognition in Metaphysics.”

    Article: “Patterns in sciuridae behavior, their origins and terrestrial impacts.”

    Abstract: “Analysis of the behavioral data of globally-distributed sciuridae species demonstrates conclusively that the activity of squirrels is partly responsible for observed increases in global temperature…”

    Remember, per a Supreme Court decision, “satire is protected speech!”

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    January 18, 2014

    Pattern recognition in knitting.

  8. #8 dean
    January 18, 2014

    Pattern Recognition in Communications: A journal dedicated to the analysis of similarities and differences in comments, articles, and research from climate “skeptics”, with the goal of determining their origins.

    Nah, wouldn’t work: too long for a tee shirt.

  9. #9 HaryyWiggs
    January 19, 2014

    Tis good to see their petards being self-hoist..;) It’s also good to note, given he is paranoid about his identity being known, that R. Tattersall is the person behind the “Tallbloke” blog. Tattersall, however, has NO compunction about outing those with whom he disagrees. Thanks, Greg, for the timnely expose of this, the dismissives latest, and increasingly desperate attempt at diverting those with *real* science in their corner.

  10. #10 HaryyWiggs
    January 19, 2014

    Woops…I began reading your article one paragraph too late, and see you’d already identified Tattersall/Talbloke. My apologies.

  11. […] Laden’s blog: Science Denialists Make Fake Journal, Get Shut Down. Greg coverage brought this statement by Copernicus Publications, from Roger Tattersall’s own […]

  12. #13 harkin
    January 20, 2014

    Don’t forget to include the climate scientists who are now running away from their projections and express more certainty the more wrong they are. Talk about denialists – #lull #theoceanatemywarming

  13. #14 Eric Lund
    January 20, 2014

    I’ve had dealings with Copernicus–they publish some legitimate geophysics journals, including Annales Geophysicae, which IIRC is the official journal of the European Geophysical Union. That would have provided additional cover for the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing that this fake journal was.

    Solar irradiance varies by ~0.1% over a solar cycle. That produces a temperature variation of ~0.1K on Earth (Earth’s temperature is about 300 K, and the energy Earth radiates is proportional to T^4). Even if we did go into a Maunder-type minimum in which solar irradiance decreased by ~1%, that would be a cooling effect of ~1K, less than the ~2K we’re already committed to. So even if the article’s premise about a Maunder minimum were correct, it wouldn’t stop global warming; at best, we’d get a few extra decades to clean up our act.

  14. #15 Greg Laden
    January 20, 2014
  15. #16 deegeejay
    tranquility base
    January 20, 2014

    Link in violation of blog policy summarily deleted.

    oops . . . ouch!

  16. #17 David Sanger
    January 20, 2014

    Part of the problem, perhaps, lies with Copernicus Publishing which provided too little oversight and too easy an outlet with Launch YOUR Journal for people who were unable to get their papers published anywhere else.

    Hopefully they are not supporting any other niche publications posing as peer-reviewed journals.

  17. #18 Greg Laden
    January 20, 2014

    Or, this is the occasional cost of an open system. In the end, the fake journal was eliminated!

  18. […] Science Denialists Make Fake Journal, Get Shut Down. Greg Laden (Chuck L) […]

  19. #20 Greg Laden
    January 21, 2014

    Normally I do not allow links to climate denialist sties but I’m making an exception because this is such a great example of bullshit.

    First, note that many of the items cites are not peer reviewed, even though the list says so.

    Then note that many of them do not “support skeptic arguments at all” if you actually look at them. For instance, a quote from a 2012 peer reviewed paper in Geophysical: “Consistent with previous studies, we detect the influence of greenhouse gases, aerosols and natural forcings in the observed temperature record. Our estimate of greenhouse-gas-attributable warming is lower than that derived using only 1900–1999 observations. Our analysis also leads to a relatively low and tightly-constrained estimate of Transient Climate Response of 1.3–1.8°C, and relatively low projections of 21st-century warming under the Representative Concentration Pathways. Repeating our attribution analysis with a second model (CNRM-CM5) gives consistent results, albeit with somewhat larger uncertainties.”

    That is standard, run of the mill climate science and the results of that paper are in accord with the IPCC range of sensitivity (and there are of course scientists who think the sensitivity is higher, this number is shorter term rather than longer term, and subsequent research tends to put the number higher for various reasons).

    Then there is the fact that the not so skeptical papers are in the more recent time periods, and many, many of these papers are old. Scientific consensus something that happens over time. Contrary to what science skeptics would have you think, it is not the case that a global warming concept was put into play and then all the scientists after that were required to go along with it. For example, hundreds and hundreds of these papers are from 2000 or before.

    And again, the vast majority of these papers DO NOT SUPPORT SKEPTIC ARGUMENTS at all, over alarm or anything else.

    This, in other words, is bullshit.

  20. #21 Poptech
    January 22, 2014

    “First, note that many of the items cites are not peer reviewed, even though the list says so.”

    Name one.

  21. #22 Poptech
    January 22, 2014

    “Then note that many of them do not “support skeptic arguments at all” if you actually look at them. [...] Our analysis also leads to a relatively low and tightly-constrained estimate of Transient Climate Response of 1.3–1.8°C, and relatively low projections of 21st-century warming under the Representative Concentration Pathways.”

    So skeptics have not argued for low climate sensitivity?

    Why do you keep making false statements about the list?

    There are over 800 papers published since 2000 and over 1000 papers published since 1990 on the list.

  22. #23 Poptech
    January 22, 2014

    “And again, the vast majority of these papers DO NOT SUPPORT SKEPTIC ARGUMENTS at all, over alarm or anything else.”

    This is an absolutely baseless statement. Every single paper on the list supports a skeptic argument.

  23. #24 Greg Laden
    January 22, 2014

    “Name one”. Maybe later if I have time and an at computer … They exist.

    In terms if research 1990 is a long time ago.

    Skeptics have nor argues that CS is between 1 and five depending on model and type if sensitivity. They’ve argued that it is zero.

    Most if the papers do not support science denialist arguments.

    I am not making fakes statements. That this is a list of arguments against msinstream climate science is an absurd lie no matter how many times you repeat it.

  24. #25 Greg Laden
    January 22, 2014

    Ok maybe I was wrong when I said many are not peer reviewed. On first look I thought I spotted one or two out of a dozen that were commentary in peer reviewed journals ( which are not PR). On second quick sample I saw none. So I commend you on picking out peer reviewed papers. Good job

  25. #26 Poptech
    January 22, 2014

    You were so sure there were none, so why should anyone else here take anything else you say about the list seriously?

    “Skeptics have nor argues that CS is between 1 and five depending on model and type if sensitivity. They’ve argued that it is zero.”

    Strawman, the paper you quoted is 1.3-1.8C. Skeptics frequently argue for a low climate sensitivity below 2C.

    Have Dr. Lindzen, Christy and Michaels all argued for a low climate sensitivity?

    Where do skeptics say they do not believe in science?

    All of the papers support skeptic arguments. Just like your bogus claim that none were peer-reviewed, you continue with more baseless nonsense.

    I have proven you make false statements.

  26. #27 Poptech
    January 22, 2014

    Skeptic papers that support a low climate sensitivity, below 2C.

    Revised 21st century temperature projections
    (Climate Research, Volume 23, Number 1, pp. 1–9, December 2002)
    - Patrick J. Michaels, Paul C. Knappenberger, Oliver W. Frauenfeld, Robert E. Davis

    +1.9 C

    Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 20, Numbers 1-2, pp. 177-189, January 2009)
    - David H. Douglass, John R. Christy

    +1.1 C

    On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
    (Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, Volume 47, Number 4, pp. 377-390, August 2011)
    - Richard S. Lindzen, Yong-Sang Choi

    +0.7 C

  27. #28 Marco
    January 23, 2014

    It should be noted that Andrew (Poptech) uses the plausible deniability excuse for his list by claiming that only the peer-reviewed papers are counted, even though the list contains papers that have likely not been peer reviewed. This, of course, is a rather dishonest excuse, since the list does not make it clear which papers are counted and are thus claimed to be peer reviewed, and which papers are not counted and thus claimed to be not peer reviewed. But still, it is the excuse that Andrew has used on multiple occasions.

    We’ll ignore for a moment the likely poor peer review that most papers get at E&E and a few of the other journals on the list.

  28. #29 Poptech
    January 23, 2014

    More baseless allegations,

    Criticism: Papers on the list are not peer-reviewed.

    Rebuttal: Every counted paper on the list is peer-reviewed. Critics have been repeatedly asked to provide an example to support their false allegation, yet always fail to do so. The list also includes supplemental papers, which are not counted but listed as references in defense of various papers. These are proceeded by an asterisk (*) and italicized so they should not be confused with the counted papers. There is no requirement for supplemental papers to be peer-reviewed as they have no affect on the list count.

    The supplemental papers were always italicized and originally proceed by a dash – ,
    this was changed to an asterisk * to make it more clear.

    E&E is cited 22 times by the IPCC.

    Energy & Environment is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary scholarly journal (ISSN: 0958-305X)
    - Indexed in Compendex, EBSCO, Environment Abstracts, Google Scholar, JournalSeek, Scopus and Thompson Reuters (ISI)
    - Found at hundreds of libraries and universities worldwide in print and electronic form. These include; Cambridge University, Cornell University, British Library, Dartmouth College, Library of Congress, National Library of Australia, Ohio University, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, University of California, University of Delaware, University of Oxford, University of Virginia, and MIT.
    - Thompson Reuters (ISI) Social Sciences Citation Index lists Energy & Environment as a peer-reviewed scholarly journal
    - EBSCO lists Energy & Environment as a peer-reviewed scholarly journal
    - Scopus lists Energy & Environment as a peer-reviewed scholarly journal
    - “E&E, by the way, is peer reviewed” – Tom Wigley, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    - “I have published a few papers in E&E. All were peer-reviewed as usual. I have reviewed a few more for the journal.” – Richard Tol Ph.D. Professor of the Economics of Climate Change, Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands
    - “All Multi-Sciences primary journals are fully refereed” – Multi-Science Publishing
    - “Regular issues include submitted and invited papers that are rigorously peer reviewed” – E&E Mission Statement

  29. #30 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2014

    Also, did you add the papers yet in that fake journal that science denialists created for their own fake peer review system? The journal that was shut down by the publishers because it was an embarrassment?

  30. #31 Marco
    January 23, 2014

    Andrew, you might want to check that list for “opinions”, “commentaries”, “forum” or “pro/con” articles. Papers published in those sections where peer review amounts to an editorial read-through….

    I don’t care the publication details you provide about E&E, fact remains it has published a large number of papers that do not belong there (social sciences journals should not publish physics), its peer review is very questionable (just look at the nonsense it has published), and there is at least one clearly documented piece of a not-peer reviewed paper by Willis Eschenbach, which shows you the trouble with your list: the Editorial makes it clear it was not peer reviewed, the piece itself was marked “Viewpoint” or something like that (can’t remember the exact details).

  31. #32 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2014

    “Andrew, you might want to check that list for “opinions”, “commentaries”, “forum” or “pro/con” articles. Papers published in those sections where peer review amounts to an editorial read-through….”

    That is what I thought I saw on my first small sample, but I don’t recall which example. Yes, the list would have to be checked for that.

    But since the premise of the list … that this is a thousand plus papers that support science denialists claims … is so absurd that it is hardly worth the effort.

    This is a good list, though, in that it includes a lot of good climate science papers with links to where the papers or abstracts might be found! Nice of them to put it together.

    But the claims about what the list means are, again, absurd lies.

  32. #33 Marco
    January 23, 2014

    Greg, there are loads of publications in journals that can be safely regarded as bottom feeders in their field. I mean journals like the Journal of the American Physicians and Surgeons or the Scientific World Journal (plenty more examples).

  33. #34 Marco
    January 23, 2014

    Greg, I remember having a discussion with Andrew about a paper that concluded there were either other additional drivers for the PETM, or climate sensitivity is much higher. Which, then, according to Andrew meant it somehow supported (pseudo)skeptic arguments.

    There are other papers on the list that have been long superceded or been shown outright wrong. I especially like his inclusion of the Barrett paper in Spectrochimica Acta Part A. It was so wrong, it could not be more wrong, and even caught the attention of John Houghton. But, perhaps most relevant here is that I know that same journal has been publishing complete and utter nonsense for several years now in a field related to mine. As in “textbook errors” nonsense, where anyone remotely competent as a scientist should have said “wait a minute, this doesn’t make any sense, you contradict yourself in your own paper multiple times”. And not 1 paper, but hundreds such papers. Literally hundreds, I am not exaggerating.

  34. #35 Poptech
    January 23, 2014

    Greg, I am well aware of the problems with PRP and have stated I cannot list them because of this.

  35. #36 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2014

    It is rather fun to watch so much of the science denialist community eat their own. Clearly, the whole PRP fiasco was going to far even for extremists.

  36. #37 Poptech
    January 23, 2014

    Marco, I am well aware of which articles in a journal are actually peer-reviewed. There are no “opinions”, “commentaries”, “forum” or “pro/con” articles.

    You are making all sorts of baseless arguments that are debunked in the rebuttals section,

    Criticism: Paper [Insert Name] is not a natural science paper.

    Rebuttal: This is strawman argument as it is not claimed that all the papers are natural science papers, only that they are all peer-reviewed. Just like the WGII and WGIII sections of the IPCC reports, peer-reviewed papers from social scientists and policy analysts are included in the list. These papers appear in the appropriate socio-economic sections (e.g. Socio-Economic) separate from the natural science sections on the list. There are over 1000 natural science papers on the list.

    E&E’s peer-review is good enough for the ISI, Scopus and the IPCC.

  37. #38 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2014

    Straw man calling the man straw.

  38. #39 Poptech
    January 23, 2014

    Marco, E&E is an interdisciplinary journal and has a diverse editorial board to handle different types of papers. Reviewers are chosen based on relevant qualifications to the subject matter of the paper.

    The fact remains Energy & Environment is listed by the ISI and cited 22 times by the IPCC. You are confusing Oliver Manuel’s paper – “Earth’s Heat Source – The Sun” with Mr. Eschenbachs that was peer-reviewed. Dr. Manuel’s paper is not on the list.

    there are loads of publications in journals that can be safely regarded as bottom feeders in their field. I mean journals like the Journal of the American Physicians and Surgeons or the Scientific World Journal (plenty more examples).

    The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (4 papers) and the The Scientific World Journal (1 paper) are both peer-reviewed journals. Your claims are baseless, as there are 303 journals on the list with ones like ‘Geophysical Research Letters’ being highly represented.

  39. #40 Poptech
    January 23, 2014

    Greg, if you are unable to present any examples to support your baseless arguments, then you should not make them. Any papers that are shown not to have been peer-reviewed will be removed from the list. The list has been available online for years now and relentlessly attacked, yet the same baseless claims keep being made with no evidence.

    “But since the premise of the list … that this is a thousand plus papers that support science denialists claims … is so absurd that it is hardly worth the effort.”

    Why are you not being intellectually honest? This is not the premise of the list. No where on the list does it claim not to support science.

    But the claims about what the list means are, again, absurd lies.

    Name the paper that does not support a skeptic argument.

  40. #41 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2014

    Pop tech, you fucking idiot. I have argues that your list is not a thousand papers that support denialism. Your lucky I even let you post the link as it violates my usual policy.

    Actually I’m now going to delete the link because I find you annoying.

  41. #42 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    That policy of yours is denying science.

  42. #43 Joshua Dalla
    http://www.stiebel.com.au
    January 23, 2014

    As it appears that many before me have already pointed out, there is some very dubious ‘science’ discussed in this article. But hey, if people are going to keep believing and devouring this sort of stuff, other people are going to continue to write it.

  43. #44 Poptech
    January 23, 2014

    Marco, the PETM paper has since been removed, since it can too easily be used to also support that climate models underestimate warming. Clarifications and corrections to the list have been made over time making the list more robust. Valid criticisms have always been addressed.

    The list is a resource and does not discriminate based on anyone’s opinion of a paper’s “quality”.

    Criteria for Removal: Papers will only be removed if it is determined by the editor that they have not properly met the criteria for inclusion or have been retracted by the journal. No paper will be removed because of the existence of a criticism or published correction.

    And not 1 paper, but hundreds such papers. Literally hundreds, I am not exaggerating.

    You have only demonstrated an ability to make baseless criticisms here.

    ‘Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy’ is listed in the ISI Science Citation Index.

    http://science.thomsonreuters.com/cgi-bin/jrnlst/jlresults.cgi?PC=MASTER&ISSN=1386-1425

  44. #45 phillydoug
    January 24, 2014

    Don,

    I thought you might find this interesting, since you seem very concerned about ‘illiegalities’, ‘false claims’, and various (alleged) misdeeds by the ‘science crowd’:

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/01/michael-mann-climategate-court-victory

    Although public figures like Mann have to clear a high bar to prove defamation, Judge Weisberg argued that the scientist’s complaint may pass the test. And he brushed aside the defendants’ claims that the fraud allegations were “pure opinion,” which is protected by the First Amendment:

    Accusing a scientist of conducting his research fraudulently, manipulating his data to achieve a predetermined or political outcome, or purposefully distorting the scientific truth are factual allegations. They go to the heart of scientific integrity. They can be proven true or false. If false, they are defamatory. If made with actual malice, they are actionable.

    Weisberg’s order is just the latest in a string of setbacks, which have left the climate-change skeptics’ case in disarray. Earlier this month, Steptoe & Johnson, the law firm representing the National Review and its writer, Mark Steyn, withdrew as Steyn’s counsel. According to two sources with inside knowledge, it also plans to drop the National Review as a client.

    Weisberg’s order is just the latest in a string of setbacks, which have left the climate-change skeptics’ case in disarray. Earlier this month, Steptoe & Johnson, the law firm representing the National Review and its writer, Mark Steyn, withdrew as Steyn’s counsel. According to two sources with inside knowledge, it also plans to drop the National Review as a client…

    The lawsuit centers on Mann’s famous “hockey stick” graph. In 1999, Mann and two colleagues charted 1,000 years worth of climate data, and found a steep uptick in global temperatures beginning in the 20th century. The graph, named for its iconic shape, became a potent, easy-to-grasp symbol of global warming. And it was featured prominently in the landmark 2001 report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which concluded that “the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years.”

    The chart also made Mann a target for climate-change skeptics. This was especially true beginning in 2009, when more than 1,000 emails were stolen from Britain’s University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU), one of the world’s leading climate research institutions. In one message, CRU’s director, Phil Jones, famously described using Mann’s “Nature trick” to “hide the decline.” He was referring to a technique that Mann had used to control for variations in tree-ring data in a paper for the journal Nature. But Skeptics—among them the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a free-market think tank that has received funding from the Koch bothers and Exxon Mobile—seized on this revelation as evidence that scientists were conspiring to cover up a decline in global temperatures.

    Soon, climate researchers found themselves under siege. Mann’s inbox was flooded with death threats and messages calling him a “fraud,” a “fucking terrorist,” and a “one-world-government socialist.” As Mother Jones reported in 2011, “Images of Mann and other scientists were posted on neo-Nazi sites. The CRU’s Jones temporarily stepped down from his post; he later said he contemplated suicide.”

    Pennsylvania State University, where Mann works, and at least six other institutions conducted separate investigations into the allegations of scientific misconduct. An independent probe commissioned by the University of East Anglia faulted the researchers for their bunker mentality, and found their responses “to reasonable requests for information were unhelpful and defensive.” But none of the investigations turned up evidence of malfeasance or data manipulation. After completing its inquiry, the US Environmental Protection Agency posted a fact sheet on its website stating:

    The CRU emails do not show either that the science is flawed or that the scientific process has been compromised. EPA carefully reviewed the CRU emails and found no indication of improper data manipulation or misrepresentation of results…Some people have ‘cherry-picked’ a limited selection of CRU email statements to draw broad, unsubstantiated conclusions about the validity of all climate science.

    Still, the emails remained a rallying cry for skeptics, some of whom turned their ire on Penn State, which allegedly declined to interview Mann’s critics during its probe…

    “As the staid scientific journal Nature put it, climate researchers are in a street fight with those who seek to discredit the accepted scientific evidence, and we must fight back against the disinformation that denies this real and present danger to the planet,”

    Key be bits for you to mull, Don:

    “none of the investigations turned up evidence of malfeasance or data manipulation”

    “Some people have ‘cherry-picked’ a limited selection of CRU email statements to draw broad, unsubstantiated conclusions about the validity of all climate science.”

    And from the Judge:

    “Accusing a scientist of conducting his research fraudulently, manipulating his data to achieve a predetermined or political outcome, or purposefully distorting the scientific truth are factual allegations. They go to the heart of scientific integrity. They can be proven true or false. If false, they are defamatory. If made with actual malice, they are actionable.”

    Don, you may wish to keep this in mid as you continue to flog this conspiracy theory, which you ironically (bizarrely?absurdly?) claim under the mantle of ensuring scientific integrity. That is, you are engaging in the sort of baseless allegations that a federal judge found actionable under defamation laws. Maybe Dr. Mann’s attorneys could enlighten you a bit on the subject.

    In the meantime, you may wish to reassess why you think your are pursuing a line of inquiry that has any merit whatsoever.

  45. #46 Marco
    January 24, 2014

    Andrew is lying when he claims there are no opinion/forum/pro-con articles. There are several of those – although I will admit not all are recognizable as such.
    For example, there’s Anthony Lupo’s paper in Missouri Medicine, which is in their pro/con section.
    Scafetta’s translated Italian piece is not peer reviewed, but editorially reviewed (I happen to know that through Italian friends how that ‘journal’ (it’s actually a magazine) works). The Electricity Journal may be formally “peer reviewed”, but if ever there was evidence needed for “pal review”, that journal would be a good contender. No journal worth a scientific mention would add a cartoon like the Electricity Journal added to Linden’s 1992 opinion piece (again, peer review being at best Editorial review for the papers in that journal).

    Cue Andrew’s handwaving…

    And no, I am not confusing Manuel’s paper with that of Eschenbach. I did not say that Eschenbach’s paper was on your list (although Eschenbach did mention that paper in a comment). Rather, I pointed out that you can’t just trust a paper to be peer reviewed just because the journal claims to be peer-reviewed, with E&E/Eschenbach’s paper being a good example: you had to read the Editorial to know it wasn’t peer reviewed.

    Regarding the E&E peer review we can discuss time and time again, but being added to ISI or Scopus doesn’t mean all that much more than that it follows a very basic set of ground rules. It is classified as a social science journal, so its natural science papers are simply at odds with its (self-proclaimed) classification. That it has some Editors who claim to have the appropriate qualifications to look at the natural sciences papers submitted is funny, considering the PRP debacle.

  46. #47 Marco
    January 24, 2014

    The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons being “peer reviewed” does not in any way rebut my criticism of it being a bottom feeder journal. I’ve been so kind not to point out its obvious and self-proclaimed political bias, since even without that it is a bottom feeding journal. And as I noted, plenty more such examples. I’ll add one more: the Electricity Journal is a special-interest journal that has a scientific impact of zero.

  47. #48 Don Johnson
    January 24, 2014

    phillydoug, I think you are confused. I’m not touting this conspiracy theory. I have said over and over and now again that I am not discrediting the science. I am doing to things here.

    1. Asking why P Jones decided, very stupidly in my opinion, to send out an email asking other scientists to delete any emails that might be facing FOI requests. The one time I mentioned M Mann was when I said that he also forwarded that email to another, showing his complicity in P Jones actions, but he DID NOT delete emails. So, there’s one person who agrees with me. It might have been best to not forward the email, but I understand the position he was put in with a colleague asking help. Now, what is your point again? I’d really appreciate it if you stop letting all those nuts speak for me. I know I brought up the hockey stick in my first post, and it was a mistake really to associate myself with it. But my point was, look at this mess! How do we prevent it. How do we behave in a way that will keep integrity safe given the nature of this nasty nasty debate. I think I am making a point for integrity and purity. I don’t think it’s absurd, I think it’s realistic. Please let me know what you think.

    2. I can’t say these things without being branded a denier. Something is wrong with this culture.

  48. #49 Poptech
    January 24, 2014

    Marco the editorial says nothing other than,

    “The first paper by R. Clark presents the arguments that a further increase of CO2 in
    the atmosphere may not lead to an enhanced greenhouse effect. Especially the
    processes of radiation transfer in the atmosphere and the mass- and heat transfer at the surface are being reconsidered. The next paper by W. Eschenbach deals with
    thermostat hypothesis, that is the regulatory function of weather events.

  49. #50 PT
    January 24, 2014

    For some reason Greg is holding my comments in moderation now.

    Marco the editorial says nothing other than,

    “The first paper by R. Clark presents the arguments that a further increase of CO2 in
    the atmosphere may not lead to an enhanced greenhouse effect. Especially the
    processes of radiation transfer in the atmosphere and the mass- and heat transfer at the surface are being reconsidered. The next paper by W. Eschenbach deals with
    thermostat hypothesis, that is the regulatory function of weather events.

  50. #51 Poptech
    January 24, 2014

    Marco, I just contacted the editor of Missouri Medicine about the Lupo article and confirmed it was not peer-reviewed (while the journal does include peer-reviewed papers) so it has been removed. I have always made such corrections, which have no effect on the list count and as explicitly stated in the disclaimer: “This list will be updated and corrected as necessary.”

    Linden’s 1993 (not 1992) paper in The Electricity Journal includes an abstract, which you will mainly only find with peer-reviewed content. You can see from this issue that it is listed as an “Original Research Article” and other articles in that issue do not have an abstract,

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/10406190/6/6

    You not liking the Electricity Journal (6 papers) has nothing to do with it being peer-reviewed.

    If you can provide some actual evidence that the Scafetta’s paper in La Chimica e l’Industria is not peer-reviewed I will remove it as well. I will investigate this charge when I have more time, since I do not speak Italian.

    The ISI classification of E&E has nothing to do with it’s self proclaimed classification which is an interdisciplinary journal. For such cases they maintain a diverse editorial board which allows the appointment of reviewers with relevant credentials to the contents of the paper. Trying to smear E&E with the PRP nonsense is disingenuous. The irrefutable fact remains that the IPCC cites E&E 22 times,

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2010/04/correcting-misinformation-about-journal.html#IPCC

  51. #52 Greg Laden
    January 24, 2014

    You need to recheck all the journals on the list and apologize to the people on this comment thread for your appalling behavior

  52. #53 phillydoug
    January 24, 2014

    Don J:

    “my point was, look at this mess! How do we prevent it. How do we behave in a way that will keep integrity safe given the nature of this nasty nasty debate. I think I am making a point for integrity and purity.”

    Thank you for clarifying your motive; I think your zeal to ‘purify’ may have contributed to my associating you with denialists, and your insistence on revisitng claims (the ‘hiding’ of e-mails looks suspicious) that are held as ‘smoking gun’ evidence by denialists that AGW is non-existent. That and, if you’ll pardon my repitiotiousness, use of a phrase like ‘science crowd’.

    In the aggregate, these things make you sound a lot like a denialist.

    So when you say: “I can’t say these things without being branded a denier. Something is wrong with this culture.”, I would ask that, before demonizing the culture of science and scientists, you instead be open to considering you are expressing yourself in a way, making reference to items and notions, that cause you to be perceived as no different from many denialists.

    To clarify what I mean, let me focus on my second point, your revisiting of the ‘e-mail hiding’ concern. If you refer to the excerpts from the article I offered, you’ll see this:

    Pennsylvania State University, where Mann works, and at least six other institutions conducted separate investigations into the allegations of scientific misconduct. An independent probe commissioned by the University of East Anglia faulted the researchers for their bunker mentality, and found their responses “to reasonable requests for information were unhelpful and defensive.” But none of the investigations turned up evidence of malfeasance or data manipulation. After completing its inquiry, the US Environmental Protection Agency posted a fact sheet on its website stating:

    The CRU emails do not show either that the science is flawed or that the scientific process has been compromised. EPA carefully reviewed the CRU emails and found no indication of improper data manipulation or misrepresentation of results…Some people have ‘cherry-picked’ a limited selection of CRU email statements to draw broad, unsubstantiated conclusions about the validity of all climate science.

    Still, the emails remained a rallying cry for skeptics”

    That is, you seem not to accept the findings six independent investigations, over many months, at great expense of time and money (better spent doing real research), that found NO evidence of efforts to mislead, or distort evidence.

    The folks charged with performing these investigations took very seriously the need to defend the ‘intergrity’ of science. They did that. You stating that there’s still more that needs to be done to ‘purify’ science sounds simply like you ignore or dismiss these efforts, and the conclusions.

    Fixating on ‘the e-mail scandal’ aligns you with the denialists who, as the last line I excerpted expressed, beat the drum of ‘the appearance of wrongdoing’– “the emails remained a rallying cry for skepticst’, despite the conclusion of no worngdoing.

    It’s been settled Don. There’s no ‘there’ there. There’s no further ‘purification’ needed.

    Suggesting something is deeply wrong with scientists who refuse to credit these rehashed, utterly disproven allegations, does not indict the scientific process, or Greg. It makes you sound like you can’t distinguish the real concerns from the hogwash thrown around by denialists.

    Science has it’s intergrity; assigning yourself the role of defending it’s ‘purity’ may not be a role you’re as suited for as you imagine.

  53. #54 Don Johnson
    January 24, 2014

    phillydoug, I understand where you’re coming from. But please understand how frustrating it could be to keep reminding you that I am not trying to deny the science. Even though I’m doing what deniers do at times, please understand that different people sometimes share a thing or two in common. We both might think that, ‘hiding’ emails – but I would prefer to say ‘deleting’ because that is what the button says, and it is the word that was used by P Jones himself – is a bad idea. And just bad for science. Why on earth should I be called a denier for that reason. If you really look at it phillydoug, you’ll see it’s an absurd thing to do. Especially when I’m not denying the science. And I’ve repeated it so many times.

    “Fixating on ‘the e-mail scandal’ aligns you with the denialists” Is how you say it. But another might say that “Fixating on ‘the e-mail scandal’ aligns you” phillydoug with the ‘alarmists’. I am asking you to keep focus on what part of that ‘scandal’ I am addressing. Which is mostly about the poor decision to delete. And what that reflects on the culture. And how that is playing out here in this board. Is there no more ‘there’ there, as you said, there? There have been more than a few people tell me, perhaps in the other thread, they would happily delete emails that had to do with his work.

    And I am not assigning myself any roles. I’m commenting on Greg’s post. I’m just some guy on the internet. But if you need someone with a name, here is a quote I caught by Hans von Storch “I come under fire from both sides – the sceptics and alarmists – who have fiercely opposing views but are otherwise siblings in their methods and contempt.” http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/feb/09/peer-review-block-scientific-papers (despite the brow-raising title, the article shows how the science was clear) . That is just one example, and the commissions have expressed similar sentiments. That keeps getting ignored here.

    As for my use of the phrase ‘science crowd’ – it was a sarcastic way to address the people defending science but acting more like the meat-heads in the gym. I am sorry you missed my tone. But please, it was nothing more than a way to address those people with sarcasm.

  54. #55 Don Johnson
    January 24, 2014

    phillydoug, to clarify why I said that you may be ‘fixated’ –

    you keep saying I am part of that conspiracy group, even though I keep telling you that I do not believe it discredits the science, and even though I keep repeating that it’s just bad behavior and that it leads to bad press. I’ve said that it’s not smart not that it discredits the science.

    Yet you keep ‘Fixating’ on the conspiracy. You keep saying that I am
    “Accusing a scientist of conducting his research fraudulently”,
    the same stance you took when you advised me before, almost legally, that I
    “may wish to keep this in mid as you continue to flog this conspiracy theory, which you ironically (bizarrely?absurdly?) claim under the mantle of ensuring scientific integrity. That is, you are engaging in the sort of baseless allegations that a federal judge found actionable under defamation laws. Maybe Dr. Mann’s attorneys could enlighten you a bit on the subject.” How bizarre.

    The only thing absurd is that you keep accusing me of making baseless accusations, while I keep telling you I just think it’s in bad spirit to avoid inquiry by deleting emails, and by supporting a culture as nasty and tribal as to make scientists want to do so.

  55. #56 Poptech
    January 24, 2014

    Greg, as you can clearly see I make corrections for any errors. You need to apologize for falsely claiming that “many of the items cites are not peer reviewed” without evidence. One does not equal many, especially when it has no effect on the list count – as I leave room for a margin of error.

    I have proven Marco completely wrong about the Eschenbach paper and his other criticisms revolve around not liking certain journals, not if they are peer-reviewed or not.

    The list has been checked many times, but since it is dynamic and frequently updated errors can happen. Every journal is checked that it is peer-reviewed before a paper is added but I am not about to email every editor for every single paper.

    When you can show with evidence that “many” of the counted papers are not peer-reviewed I will gladly apologize. Until then, please support your arguments with evidence.

  56. #57 Greg Laden
    January 24, 2014

    I looked at five or six papers randomly and found one to be not peer viewed. Since then another has been found. Looks looked you may have quote a few based on an admittedly amall sample. I have nothing to apologize for.

    You on the other hand owe all future generations of people an apology. I’m quite serious about that.

    Your next comment will be that apology.

  57. #58 Greg Laden
    January 24, 2014

    Oh, and no more sneaking around the comment moderation system. Try to be less smarmy.

  58. #59 Marco
    January 25, 2014

    Andrew, you claimed all papers on the list were peer-reviewed. You now admit that some papers may not be peer reviewed. So, you might want to add that to your disclaimer. You also did not show me wrong about the Eschenbach paper. I told you I referred to a paper not on your list (but Willis mentions the paper himself in a comment), but where you’d have to look in the Editorial to find out it isn’t peer reviewed.

    Also, take a good look at those Linden papers you included (did you perhaps sneakily remove the 1992 paper? It was there before!), and you will find that it is a personal description of what he thinks, made pretty clear in the title of the paper itself. That’s not a scientific paper, it’s an opinion paper.

  59. #60 Marco
    January 25, 2014

    Don, von Storch is an interesting character, making large claims about MBH98/99, then decline to share data when an apparent major mistake was found by others (a largely hushed story, only available in a fringe of the German press), and later acknowledging a mistake in their 2005 GRL paper in some bottom feeding journal that had a major impact on their criticism. The story of that is here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/04/a-correction-with-repercussions/

    Pearce’s piece is also filled with strange claims and even outright unsupported speculation, as reported here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/the-guardian-disappoints/ (look for part 6).
    In particular Pearce’s claim that Phil Jones would have known that Lars Kamel had called climate science “pseudo-science” is completely unsupported. Why would Jones know Kamel? I only heard the name after Pearce wrote about Kamel, and it’s not like I am a newcomer in the climate debate on blogs, where one after the other person is hailed as the new Galileo showing climate science wrong. Surely he’d be highlighted if he were some important person, but even then it is not likely Phil Jones would have known the man and his opinions.

    One obvious problem is perhaps best illustrated by Gavin Schmidt’s comments: Pearce has a view of the peer review process that does not correspond to the actual peer review process. Peer review is explicitely a gate-keeping excercise, and scientists can get seriously pissed when something gets through that they consider is outright wrong, and more so if it appears it is let through just as a form of “interesting”. Again, take the Kamel-paper, where Pearce apparently thinks the paper should have been published just because it contradicted a prior finding. That it was “slight” and “not revealing details” dídn’t matter to Pearce. But to a scientist it does matter. Claims need to be substantiated by the methodology and data. If that is missing, a scientist will tell you to go back and do your homework. Pearce’s comment about Phil Jones knowing Kamel’s statements on climate science is a claim that any peer reviewer worth this name would demand to have substantiated or removed in a scientific paper.

  60. #61 Don Johnson
    January 25, 2014

    Yes, if you look that article in the Guardian by Pearce, part 6 of the bunch, you’ll see that a lot is in yellow, and that is because those sections are commented on, mostly refuted, by people at the bottom – and mostly by Gavin Schmidt I believe. Pearce seemed to get the timeline of events right though in regards to von Storch resigning over his and others protest of a bad paper being published.

    I appreciate you showing how sometimes you have to dig on the internet, find an obscure article from the fringe of German press and then bring it to light to see if there’s something there. I hope you would all be ok with me doing the same. Thanks Marco.

    I’ll stop posting here and respond to any of this stuff in the other thread.

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