Scientists Call it Peer Review, Conservatives Call it “Suppression”

Peer Review

Whenever the Right claims that have uncovered some kind of liberal conspiracy, do not head for the fall-out shelter, wait for the noise and mindless chatter to clear. Yesterday and even earlier this morning the Right was claiming that a report  by Alan Carlin and John Davidson of the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics was breaking scientific news, a nail in the coffin of climate change science. Turns out, no surprise,  they were wrong. “Suppressed” Climate Change Document was Junk Science,

Curiously, while the authors work for the NCEE (National Center for Environmental Economics), part of the EPA, they appear to have rather closely collaborated with one Ken Gregory (his inline comments appear at multiple points in the draft). Ken Gregory if you don’t know is a leading light of the Friends of Science – a astroturf anti-climate science lobbying group based in Alberta. Indeed, parts of the Carlin and Davidson report appear to be lifted directly from Ken’s rambling magnum opus on the FoS site.

[    ]…But it gets worse, what solid peer reviewed science do they cite for support? A heavily-criticised blog posting showing that there are bi-decadal periods in climate data and that this proves it was the sun wot done it. The work of an award-winning astrologer (one Theodor Landscheidt, who also thought that the rise of Hitler and Stalin were due to cosmic cycles), a classic Courtillot paper we’ve discussed before, the aforementioned FoS web page, another web page run by Doug Hoyt, a paper by Garth Paltridge reporting on artifacts in the NCEP reanalysis of water vapour that are in contradiction to every other reanalysis, direct observations and satellite data, a complete reprint of another un-peer reviewed paper by William Gray, a nonsense paper by Miskolczi etc. etc. I’m not quite sure how this is supposed to compete with the four rounds of international scientific and governmental review of the IPCC or the rounds of review of the CCSP reports….

They don’t even notice the contradictions in their own cites. For instance, they show a figure that demonstrates that galactic cosmic ray and solar trends are non-existent from 1957 on, and yet cheerfully quote Scafetta and West who claim that almost all of the recent trend is solar driven! They claim that climate sensitivity is very small while failing to realise that this implies that solar variability can’t have any effect either. They claim that GCM simulations produced trends over the twentieth century of 1.6 to 3.74ºC – which is simply (and bizarrely) wrong (though with all due respect, that one seems to come directly from Mr. Gregory). Even more curious, Carlin appears to be a big fan of geo-engineering, but how this squares with his apparent belief that we know nothing about what drives climate, is puzzling. A sine qua non of geo-engineering is that we need models to be able to predict what is likely to happen, and if you think they are all wrong, how could you have any faith that you could effectively manage a geo-engineering approach?

Finally, they end up with the oddest claim in the submission: That because human welfare has increased over the twentieth century at a time when CO2 was increasing, this somehow implies that no amount of CO2 increases can ever cause a danger to human society. This is just boneheadly stupid.

So in summary, what we have is a ragbag collection of un-peer reviewed web pages, an unhealthy dose of sunstroke, a dash of astrology and more cherries than you can poke a cocktail stick at. Seriously, if that’s the best they can do, the EPA’s ruling is on pretty safe ground.

H/T to TNR, Fake EPA Scandal Of The Day. Not to pick on some over caffeinated rightie bloggers whose missives from mom’s basement might suffer from the lack of fresh air and sunlight, the corporate media have the same lazy habits and seem to have lifted their reports from those bloggers, CBS Jumps a Whale Shark at DKos. A direct link from the DK post,

Just for starters, the contrarian report that CBS accuses the EPA of ‘suppressing’ revives the old zombie lie that a warming sun is to blame for global warming, except when it’s not, then the earth is actually cooling. The old favorite of the fossil fuel industry goes like this: without any of the hundreds of solar observatories detecting it, the sun warmed up in 2004 and 2005 just in time to cause the hottest years in the NASA Global Temperature Record marked by heat waves and monster hurricanes that caused the deaths of thousands of people all over the world. When other historically warm years came along, that’s actually global cooling and the sun again magically cooled off without anyone noticing.

There’s no need to point out that the sun, the most studied object in the universe after earth itself, shows no signs of doing anything of the sort, nor is there any point in presenting data showing unequivocally that the earth is not cooling unless one conveniently cherry picks an interval right after the hottest year on record. Because — now follow along boys and girls — the sun can’t be the sole cause of global warming on a cooling earth. But here’s some data sets just for kicks.

And another direct link via DK, EPA’s Alan Carlin channels Pat Michaels and the Friends of Science

A new uproar in the blogosphere has broken out over the supposed “suppression” by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) of an internal review of the EPA’s proposed endangerment finding on greenhouse gases. The review purported to show that the latest “research” calls into question the scientific consensus on climate change. It turns out that the report, written by Alan Carlin, with assistance from John Davidson, of the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics, is drawn heavily from the contrarian blogosphere, especially Ken Gregory of the Calgary-based “astroturf” group Friends of Science.

And in one case, a lengthy “analysis” of a recent peer-reviewed paper has been lifted, without attribution, straight out of World Climate Report, the climate “news” blog run by uber-contrarian Pat Michaels.

Highly recommend the Deep Climate post who has updated his orginal with more on the corporate astroturf on whose findings the “suppressed” junk science was lifted.

CBS isn’t evil, they and 60 Minutes in particular has done some good work over the years. In a way that is what makes this latest failure in fact checking all that more disappointing.

By way of TPMCafe, San Diego sheriff seeks probe in use of pepper spray at political event

The investigation was ordered after Francine Busby met with Undersheriff Bill Gore to complain about the use of pepper spray at her fundraiser Friday at a home in the upscale Cardiff neighborhood. Busby is seeking her party’s nomination for a rematch next year with Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Carlsbad) in the 50th Congressional District.

[   ]…The deputy called for backup and used pepper spray on the crowd. More deputies arrived. Barman was arrested for allegedly assaulting a deputy, and a second attendee, Pam Morgan, 62, of Rancho Santa Fe, was cited for obstructing an officer.

Busby said today that the deputy “clearly overreacted.”

“There was no noise, there was no problem, these were middle-aged men and women talking very quietly,” she said.

According to the report from TPM a rowdy neighbor who had been shouting expletives at the Busby house and clearly anti-Democrat was the one that called to report all these middle-aged trouble makers – make sure you bring the mace. If this district does not sound familiar, its convicted felon Duke Cunningham”s(R) former stumping grounds.

Antique Map the Americas and Poles 1526. Much like today’s global warming deniers, in 1526 there still would have been a few flat earthers and they could have probably found an odd academic or two to support their case.

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