A Short History of the Polluted Peer Review Process WSJ 1/4/10

January 6, 2010

The “unholy cabal” are trying to put a positive spin on their unscrupulous and, and my opinion, censure worthy actions.  Mann is a geoscientist and as a fellow geoscientist I find his lack of interest in correcting his well exposed errors appalling.  The items below are in response to Mann’s earlier opinion piece blaming the scientific peer review process with regards to the “climate science” problems that have recently been exposed.   His complacency with regards to the biased peer review process over the last 10+ years certainly makes his 12/31/09 piece ironic.

Michael Mann’s Dec. 31 Letter to the Editor, “Science Journals Must be Unpolluted by Politics,” states that I falsely claimed that work by me and “other fossil-fuel-funded climate change contrarians” has been “unfairly blocked . . . from appearing in mainstream science journals.”

In fact, this started nearly 20 years ago, when Stephen Schneider, the editor of Climatic Change, rejected a manuscript of mine reconstructing upper-air data, saying that its “counter-paradigm” nature required that it be subject to more vigorous peer review than other submissions.

Prof. Mann claims that other “skeptics” (whatever that means), such as University of Alabama’s John Christy, have “no problem” with the mainstream journals. Prof. Christy recently documented a remarkable series of publication irregularities directed against him and other scientists, revealed in the climategate emails (www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/a_climatology_conspiracy.html).

Recently, Roger Pielke Jr., director of the University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, noted a series of “effort[s] by activist climate scientists to stage-manage the peer review process much like how one might manage a partisan blog for public consumption.” One of his sources is again climategate, which is rife with threats to boycott a journal that dared to publish papers that Prof. Mann and his friends disagreed with.

In passing, I would note that the University of Virginia, where I worked for nearly 30 years, has rather rigorous standards for promoting scientists like myself through the academic ranks. Instead, Prof. Mann cites President Barack Obama’s science adviser John Holdren as an authority on my work, all the while arguing for keeping science “unpolluted by politics”!

Patrick J. Michaels

George Mason University

Fairfax, Va.

Prof. Mann claims that credible climate skeptics such as John Christy have had no problem publishing their work in mainstream scientific journals. But look at what Prof. Christy and co-author David Douglass wrote in Americanthinker.com on Dec. 20 about the extraordinary 11-month delay one of their recent papers encountered after its initial acceptance for publication:

“The CRU emails have revealed how the normal conventions of the peer review process appear to have been compromised by a team of global warming scientists, with the willing cooperation of the editor of the International Journal of Climatology (IJC), Glenn McGregor. The team spent nearly a year preparing and publishing a paper that attempted to rebut a previously published paper in IJC by Douglass, Christy, Pearson and Singer (DCPS). The DCPS paper, reviewed and accepted in the traditional manner, had shown that the IPCC models that predicted significant ‘global warming’ in fact largely disagreed with the observational data.

“We will let the reader judge whether this team effort, revealed in dozens of emails and taking nearly a year, involves inappropriate behavior including (a) unusual cooperation between authors and editor, (b) misstatement of known facts, (c) character assassination, (d) avoidance of traditional scientific give-and-take, (e) using confidential information, (f) misrepresentation (or misunderstanding) of the scientific question posed by DCPS, (g) withholding data, and more.”

George S. Taylor

Los Altos, Calif.

Prof. Mann’s rebuke of Patrick Michaels’s claim that his work was not published in peer reviewed scientific journals made me chuckle. Before being discredited, Prof. Mann’s infamous and misleading “hockey stick” graph of a thousand years of climate change was widely published and included in an IPPC report. It was Prof. Michaels and others who provided the statistical evidence demonstrating that Prof. Mann’s graph omitted both the Medieval Warming Period (where it was as warm or warmer than today) and the Little Ice Age.

Dean C. Coddington

Greenwood Village, Colo.
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A16

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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