Saturday, November 28, 2009

Steyn says it better than I

A couple of days ago, when I posted Facts Versus VIPs, I included a link to what I wrote more extensively at BC
The AGW fanatics constantly shout “peer review, peer reviewed.” What they are insisting is that it means nothing if the critics are not a member of the climate guild. That there is a catch-22 to gain entry to that guild, they don’t let on, but we all know it’s there. It’s like gang members challenging “where you from?” or a Chicago boss asking “who sent you?”

Mark Steyn. writing further about the disclosures of the CRU emails, concludes thusly:
But don't worry, it's all "peer-reviewed."

Here's what Phil Jones of the CRU and his colleague Michael Mann of Penn State mean by "peer review". When Climate Research published a paper dissenting from the Jones-Mann "consensus," Jones demanded that the journal "rid itself of this troublesome editor," and Mann advised that "we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers."

So much for Climate Research. When Geophysical Research Letters also showed signs of wandering off the "consensus" reservation, Dr. Tom Wigley ("one of the world's foremost experts on climate change") suggested they get the goods on its editor, Jim Saiers, and go to his bosses at the American Geophysical Union to "get him ousted." When another pair of troublesome dissenters emerge, Dr. Jones assured Dr. Mann, "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

Which, in essence, is what they did. The more frantically they talked up "peer review" as the only legitimate basis for criticism, the more assiduously they turned the process into what James Lewis calls the Chicago machine politics of international science. The headline in the Wall Street Journal Europe is unimproveable: "How To Forge A Consensus." Pressuring publishers, firing editors, blacklisting scientists: That's "peer review," climate-style. The more their echo chamber shriveled, the more Mann and Jones insisted that they and only they represent the "peer-reviewed" "consensus." And gullible types like Ed Begley Jr. and Andrew Revkin of the New York Times fell for it hook, line and tree-ring.

Dear readers, I'm sorry I don't have the flourish with words of a Mark Steyn, but I do have my extensive background in engineering to recognize a snow job when I see one. I know how the "peers" act when they know the facts favor them, and I also know how they act when they are trying desperately to sell something that does not work. They're hoping to be up and out of the company with all their gains long before the fit hits the shan.

I'll try to find the energy to continue offering my insights. Seeing Steyn use some of the same metaphors and imagery as I do, however clumsy I am have been at it, I find reassuring that my writing is improving.

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