Friday, September 02, 2011

The End of Day One of Today's Battle

There has been full-out war in the comments at Roy Spencer's blog, with Spencer responding to many of them. Just read it.

David Deming, a contrarian from the University of Oklahoma, says there was "political pressure" for Werner Wagner (the editor) to resign. But he offers no evidence at all. Spencer himself writes
"The 'gatekeeping' activities of IPCC scientists is indisputable, and has been reported on repeatedly (e.g. here)."
As far as I can tell, that link is just more of the usual misinterpretations of the "Climategate" emails. When asked what evidence there is of IPCC involvement in Wagner's resignation, Spencer says he has nothing specific:
"Only their history of interference in the peer review process. And why would the editor not even bother to ask for my side?"
To me it's obvious why the editor didn't ask for Spencer's side: he saw all he needed to know from Spencer's blog posts, and he said as much in his resignation letter (third paragraph).

I don't see any evidence that any "IPCC scientist" (for want of a better term) put "political" pressure on the editor (doe anyone know of any?), but I suspect they did let him know their thoughts on the paper he published. Is that wrong? I don't think so. Is it normal? I don't really know. Sure, it'd be nice if everyone made their comments in the peer reviewed literature, via rebuttal papers and letters, and maybe in four years there'd be a resolution to the issue that no one would notice.

But, for better or worse, we don't live in that era anymore.

Moreover, today's climate science isn't a normal scientific situation. I'm sure the "IPCC scientists" are absolutely sick of being insulted, of having their integrity questioned, of receiving abusive emails, of being said their life-long work is all a "hoax" and a fraud and worse. You would be too. They're no doubt fed up with being hauled before Congressional committees (as Barton did to MBH), of having their emails stolen, of being the target of certain Attorney Generals, of being bullied by $240,000/yr Marc Morano, and of having their personal emails requested through legal channels. I would be too, and so would you.

So they're fighting back. Spencer can't complain now, when he's one of the most political scientists out there. And he is. He is on the Board of Directors of the George C Marshall Institute. If he dislikes being called "political" he can start by resigning from that position.

After today, though, I can't see how Spencer escapes from being irrelevant.

PS: Do you think the BBC took a cheap shot when their captioned of their picture of Spencer by writing he was a "committed Christian"? At first glance I thought so, but upon reflection I changed my mind. He is. Is that relevant? Is it relevant if someone believes in something for which there is no evidence?


Anonymous said...

"Is it relevant if someone believes in something for which there is no evidence?"

Are you refering to the evidence that Spencer is a commited Christian?

JMurphy said...

There is no need for evidence concerning Spencer's committed Chrisitianity - he doesn't deny it, does he ?
However, judging by the evidence of his committed Christianity and his recent 'scientific' output, there is plenty of evidence that Spencer believes in things for which there is no evidence.