BPSDB The other day I posted “450 more lies from the climate change Deniers” and the response has been interesting.
This has given fodder for sharing some more examples and reasons why the list is total nonsense.
By sampling approximately one third of the references from “450 320 299 286 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming” I showed that, of the references I looked at, all were:
- not peer reviewed, and/or
- known to be false, and/or
- irrelevant, and/or
- Out of date (no longer relevant), and/or
- not supportive of climate change Denial*
- Pielke dumps (on) the list
- Energy & Environment is peer reviewed
- Some more struck from the list
- Poptart and other Denier’s respond react say stuff
- What did anyone expect?
The author of the 450 list (Andrew) has commented on this blog 45 54 65 (and counting) times. (aka Poptech and more, rechristianed “Poptart” because he keeps popping up all hot and smoking, but turns out to be ‘nutritionally’ valueless). Some of his comments are worth sharing for the insight they give into the alleged thinking that went into compiling the list.
Pielke dumps (on) the list
As noted in an update on the original post:
Pielke pulls 21 papers off the list! 21 papers on the list were authored by Pielke Jr or Sr (both scientists), who said “they’d better change that to 429 papers, as their list doesn’t represent what they think it does.” Better Recheck That List (Hat Tip to Former Skeptic for the heads up)
Here is what Poptech (the list’s author) has had to say about Pielke’s comment (emphasis added):
“I hardly consider a blog comment by Pielke (if that is him) to be substantial.”
So blog comments by Poptech are substantial, but not Pielke? and who else would post to Pielke’s blog if not Pielke? Let me guess … Al Gore!
“Pielke’s comments are ridiculous as no one is stating he personally is skeptical of a human influence on climate (many skeptical scientists support the basic premise but are skeptical of the alarmist claims).
The papers listed support skepticism of the current alarmist position on climate and will not be removed.
The fact that he used the word “assuming” means he was not even sure himself. “
Sorry Pielke is wrongas there are still 450,
1) Pielke is perfectly literate and quite capable of understanding what the list claims to be, but rather than address Pielke’s statements honestly Poptech simply dismisses them.
2) Apparently (according to Poptech) Pielke is a competent enough scientist as to conduct complex climate research worthy of being on the list, but such a moron that he can’t understand a simple list. Got it.
3) “The papers listed support skepticism of the current alarmist position” So now we’re shifting the definition of what the list actually is … except I can’t help noticing no amendment or clarification posted to the list.
I guess everyone’s supposed to understand that “Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming” doesn’t actually mean “Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming” since the papers are not necessarily skeptical of either global warming or that it is caused by humans. Got it.
4) “will not be removed.” Nothing new there cf Inhofe, Heartland etc. Once the Deniers put you on a list nothing can get you off. “means he was not even sure himself” But Poptech is sure, and certainly no need to discuss it with Pielke himself. Denier zealots know the opinions of scientists and the meaning of their work far better than the scientists themselves. Got it.
He assumed incorrectly that I was listing the papers “refuting” AGW and all the authors and their papers refuted AGW. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Finally some honesty, albeit clearly unintended.
Word to the wise Poptart … so far Pielke has refrained from saying what he really thinks of the rest of your list, but I’m sure if you piss him off enough he will reconsider … just so you know.
Energy & Environment is peer reviewed
Peer review is a process that helps ensure the quality of science. It is not a perfect process (and here), but nonetheless a valuable one. I stated that Energy & Environment (hereafter E&E), a journal which published 82 of the papers on the list, is not peer reviewed. Poptech insists that E&E is a peer reviewed journal, so what are the facts?
1) E&E does NOT appear on the Science Citation Index Master Journal List. The ISI is considered “the” listing of peer reviewed journals, and for the most part if a journal does not appear there, it is not peer reviewed.
2) EBSCO (another index) does include E&E as peer reviewed
According to EBSCO, they use “the following tools to identify peer reviewed journals:
1. The Serials Directory, an online directory of serials with descriptions
2. The publisher of the journal
3. Feedback from librarians and professors
4. EBSCO Publishing staff librarians”
1 & 4 are in-house to EBSCO, and 2 is not necessarily reliable … so it is unclear to me how meaningful this inclusion on EBSCO is.
4) Scopus, another journal index, lists E&E as a trade publication as distinct and separate from peer reviewed journals.
3) There is no mention of peer-review in E&E’s description of themselves, a pretty significant omission if it actually is peer reviewed.
4) E&E openly admits to allowing politics to influence editorial decisions (here). Not only that, but the editor has stated:
In addition, she “says that the more mainstream climatologists agree, the more suspicious she becomes about claims that human activity is causing global warming.” For Boehmer-Christiansen, the more consensus there is among scientists, the greater reason there is for skepticism. I wonder how she feels about heliocentrism.
Thanks to Kfr we know that she has also said (emphasis added):
By the way, E&E is not a science journal and has published IPCC critiques to give a platform critical voices and ‘paradigms’ because of the enormous implications for energy policy, the energy industries and their employees and investors, and for research. We do not claim to be right …
Sonja A Boehmer-Christiansen 3 Sept, 2009
More unintended honesty, and here is what an astute commenter on digg.com found:
Um … here’s something curious: E&E is sometimes clearly marked into different sections which distinguish editorial, viewpoints, book reviews and refereed articles. But E&E is inconsistent, they curiously have a section called just “articles”, sometimes bundling everything under this title.
Everything was generic “article” and it wasn’t until I got down to the 10th article “Climate outlook to 2030” only to find this is a viewpoint and not a refereed article.
The next is “Dangerous global warming remains unproven” which is a non refereed report.
The first refereed paper from E&E is the 16th E&E article listed: “Evidence for “publication Bias” Concerning Global Warming in Science and Nature”. All the previous are generic “article” or some other.
So while E&E is a peer reviewed journal according to EBSCO, not all of the articles are claimed by the journal to be peer reviewed. A cursory examination of the first 16 E&E articles in the 450 list shows that only one is claimed to be peer reviewed by the journal.
UPDATE: 10:00 But Huangfeng has not stopped there:
I went through the 84 E&E articles listed in the “450 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming”. I noted what sections, if any, that each article was published under and here is what I found:
2 articles listed as “Climate sceptic voices”
1 as letters
1 as “Report”
9 as “Viewpoints”
5 were completely undesignated
46 were listed as “Articles”
1 as “Peer reviewed papers”
19 as “Refereed papers”
Admittedly there is a chance that those listed as “Articles” may in fact be peer reviewed, however in at least one issue of a volume of E&E, there was a “Refereed papers” section and an “Articles” section. Further, often when a listing of “Articles” was designated to everything, it would include many more items than was usual to be labelled as “Refereed papers” found in the properly labelled volume parts, some were obviously book reviews. This would seem to imply that none of the “Articles” were refereed or that some were but you cannot be sure, but you could be reasonably sure that they at least some were not refereed.
You cannot state for certainty that any paper labelled under “Articles” is a peer reviewed paper.
As for the 2 “climate sceptic voices” and 9 “viewpoints” – these should be immediately removed from the 450 list if you want to maintain any pretension to credibility with the title. If you want to have a stronger listing then I suggest removing everything except the 19 “Refereed papers” and the single “Peer reviewed paper”. Or you could change the title to say “possibly peer reviewed”.
UPDATE Nov 19: as the debate rages HuangFeng continues to offer rational, thoughtful, empirical input:
“The claim is that articles appearing in the journal “Energy & Environment” that are listed under the “Articles” category are peer reviewed.
Examining the most recent three volumes I found the following:
a) In the latest issue (Vol 20, #7) there is a section called “Refereed Papers” with 5 articles and a section called “Articles” with 1 paper. “Articles” is clearly made to be different and separate from refereed papers in this issue.
b) In issue #7-8 of volume 18 there are 13 articles under the category “Articles”. One is clearly labelled “Food for thought”.
c) In issue #2 of volume 17 there is no categorisation at all. There are clearly articles which are editorial, fuel for thought, letters, reports and book reviews.
d) In issues that separate Refereed from Viewpoints there are 8 to 10 articles in total in these sections combined, with viewpoints being 25% to 60% of these. However, in issues where there is no differentiation between Refereed and Viewpoints and everything is categorised as “Articles” there are 7-19 articles. While there is the possibility that all of these articles are refereed, I would strongly suggest that the numbers make this appear to NOT be the case.
If the suggestion is that the categorisation of “Articles” always means “Refereed Papers” then (a)-(c) are incorrectly categorised, therefore a error has been made.
Finally, why are there no “Viewpoints” in issues where “Articles” is used for refereed papers?
I suggest that an article appearing in any issue of Energy & Environment under the general category of “Articles” cannot be claimed to be peer reviewed.
If Sonja claims otherwise then I suggest this raises extreme doubt on the validity of Energy & Environment as a peer reviewed publication, and further suggest a petition to EBSCO to have the peer reviewed status be removed from that publication.”
HuangFeng’s findings are shared by others. See John Hunter’s experience here.
When E&E does do peer review, it seems that the process is not to choose as reviewers scientists who will scrutinize the quality of the science, but rather those who will approve of the conclusions. The result is that E&E has an appalling record for publishing work that no self-respecting journal would touch (see here, here, here, here, and here).
Seriously, you have to read this (emphasis added):
IPCC reports on the dangers of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) are based on an obsolete model of the Sun, a misunderstanding of the many ways that Earth is connected to its heat source, and on politically driven conclusions. The scientists are not at fault. The die for the present disaster was likely cast in the late 1940s or early 1950s, when federal research agencies like NSF started using the anonymous review system to obtain consensus opinions. Politicians realized that knowledge is power when World War II ended with an explosive and decisive display of success by the Manhattan Project. I have seen the unholy alliance between politics and science grow since my scientific career started in 1960, despite this warning by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his 17 January 1961 Farewell Address to the Nation: “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded”
This is supposed to be s scientific journal? seriously?
Summary on E&E
A given paper in E&E may have been peer reviewed (but unlikely). If it was, the review process might have been up to the normal standards for science (but unlikely). Hence E&E’s exclusion from the ISI Journal Master list, and why many (including Scopus) do not consider E&E a peer reviewed journal at all.
Since it seems that the majority of the the E&E papers on Poptech’s list were NOT peer reviewed, and since the probability that the few that were reviewed met the minimum standards for science is low, it is fair to say that E&E publications on the list are not peer reviewed, at least until Poptech cleans up the list (like that’s going to happen).
Regardless, it looks like the E&E papers would all fail at least one of the other tests listed above (known to be false, not relevant, etc) anyway.
Some more struck from the list
Thanks to J. Smith for:
Has anyone noticed that one of the papers (at least) is shown twice :
Response to W. Aeschbach-Hertig rebuttal of “On global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate. Are humans involved?” by L. F. Khilyuk and G. V. Chilingar
(Environmental Geology, Volume 54, Number 7, pp. 1567-1572, June 2008)
– L. F. Khilyuk, G. V. Chilingar
And they’re only about 10 papers apart. Wonder how many more there are.
Lots more about that original paper here :
and Marco for
1. Double counting. For example, Craig Loehle’s reconstruction is counted twice: first the original paper, then the correction. There’s a few more of those corrections to papers that are listed. Another form of double-counting is the reply to comments. These replies are hardly ever peer-reviewed. In most cases the Editor briefly looks through them, but certainly does not review them.
UPDATE: and Former Skeptic for
Harold E. Brooks says this on RC:
Re: The 450 papers list
I just noticed I’m the lead author on one of the papers on the list. I have absolutely no idea how that paper could be construed as “skeptical of man-made global warming.” I have no idea how it could be construed as saying anything at all about man-made global warming.
Poptart and other Denier’s respond react say stuff
Predictably the Denier’s response to valid criticisms of the list is incoherent babble. Two I enjoyed were:
- The claim that since I didn’t show that every paper on the list is invalid it follows that all of the papers are valid, and
- Another commenter was looking forward to me publishing the article in Nature or Science, but until then everything I said was false ie a Denier blog is true until refuted in one of the two premier science journals in the world. Double standards much?
But surely the best has to be from the author Poptart himself. Not only has he been rabbiting around the comments on my article, he has been doing it on other forums where others dare to question the accuracy of his list.
In 45+ comments on this blog Poptart’s responses amount to:
- the list is valid because he says so
- all articles refuting the validity of any of the papers on the list are politically motivated nonsense
- those who question the validity of the list want to oppress/censor/etc “real” science
Not a single instance of citing a credible source to defend any part of the list (of course how could he? there are none) or justify anything on it. Indeed no references to actual science at all. Just a collection of ad hominem attacks, red herrings, straw men, other logical fallacies and both explicit and implicit claims that he knows best.
In fact Poptart is so consistent at ignoring the substantive criticisms and mindlessly reiterating that the list is valid just because he says so that I really think he should rename it “Superfreakopeer-reviewed…”
What did anyone expect?
Naturally one understands how the lay person might be confused by Poptart’s list. They do not know the literature, nor do they typically have the skills to assess scientific papers.
For anyone even slightly familiar with climate science the news that the list is completely bogus is no surprise. The only way it could be otherwise would be if:
- there were some critical, legitimate paper(s) that no one had ever heard of. If you know anything about science, you know that just isn’t going to happen. If there really were such paper(s) absolutely everyone would know about it, and talk of little else; or
- you actually believe the Denier conspiracy theories that tens of millions of scientists from 140 nations are in on a plot to create a hoax (it’s true, they meet Thursdays, it’s potluck so bring something). If you believe that then you probably believe that your cat answers back when you talk to it. In fact your cat is probably the one who told you about the conspiracy.
So, the list is not 450 papers, and many are not peer reviewed, not skeptical of global warming, nor supportive of it, not skeptical of anthropogenic causation of climate change, not actually papers, and not actually skepticism, which leaves us with the correct title ““450 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming”.”
That’s right, the correct title for Poptart’s post is “ ______.”
I look forward to seeing the correction.
UPDATE: see 450 more lies from the climate change Deniers
“Since 1982, spring in East Asia (defined here as the eastern third of China and the Korean Peninsula) has been warming at a rate of one degree Fahrenheit per decade.” Earth Gauge
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