More evidence of gatekeeping

Posted: December 20th, 2009 by Militant Libertarian

by Bishop Hill

The news that a Russian think tank has accused the CRU ofcooking the books has been doing the rounds of the internet. The other intriguing angle to this story though was further evidence of climate sceptic papers being illegitimately rejected by reviewers. Here Phil Jones reports to Mann what he has done.

Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL.

Now, someone has identified themselves as being the authors of one of the papers concerned. Commenting at Climate Audit, Lars Kamel says this:

One of those rejected papers about Siberian temperatures may have been by me. The time is about right. I got it rejected because of nonsense from a reviewer and the editor saw it as an attack on him when I critized the quality of the review. After that, I gave up the idea of ever getting something AGW critical published in a journal.

It will be interesting to see if Kamel’s paper on CRU’s handling of Siberian temperatures was valid, or if Jones rejected it simply because it disagreed with him. I wonder if we can get hold of Jones’ review? The second part of Kamel’s point is important though. This suggests that at least some sceptics simply gave up trying to get their views published because they knew they could not get their findings past the gatekeepers. This demonstrates that the IPCC reports can never be anything other than biased. The scientific literature does not represent the collected knowledge mankind has about the climate. It represents the collected views of part of the climatological community.

Another scientist has been speaking out on the same issue. Dutch professor, Arthur Rorsch, is making further allegations of misdeeds by climatologists. In an article entitled “Sick science” he explains how difficult it was for sceptics to get published.

“It is exactly as we feared.   If I were to submit an article from a friendly colleague who wanted to publish in a scientific journal, we would always get a rejection; without proper  argumentation. I was not the only Dutch researcher that happened to. Climate skeptics everywhere ran into brick walls.

He describes the emails as demonstrating an intent to deceive and has this to say of the state of climatology:

This is no longer genuine science.  These are politically motivated people…it is a religion, or rather, a belief.

Update on December 17, 2009 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The other paper appears to be Aufhammer et al. This second paper, interestingly has some of the Climate Audit regulars cooing with appreciation of what a good study it is.

Update: Aufhammer has now commented and says it’s a simple case of a good paper being rejected – bad stuff happens, in other words.  He does say that one of the original reviewers had very strong opinions against it, so I’m not convinced this takes away from the original point that much – climatologists were still trying to reject papers for invalid reasons.


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