20 August 2009

Pathologies in Climate Science: "There Should be Consequences"

[UPDATE #2: In the comments M. J. Murphy from Toronto escalates the threat:
I think what Michael is saying is that there should be consequences for publishing crap.

And he and others are also intimating that you and your Dad's long term reputation might suffer if you continue palming off bullshit that impresses nobody but Rush Limbaugh and a bunch of far right teabaggers.

Seriously, Pielke, what happens if the Republicans don't retake Congress nexr year? You and Lomberg will never be called as expert witnesses again. No dough, no meeting munchies. You are betting your academic standing on the fate of a party of red-necked greasebags from the ugliest part of the deep South.

D'you guys want to be the Climate Science version of Michael Behe?
I'm not sure where Mr. Murphy gets the idea that I am a Republican (I'm not), nor do I conduct a partisan political calculus before doing my research. This gets more and more amazing.]

[UPDATE #1: In the comments Michael Tobis explains that the "consequences" that he wishes to see are the diminishment of professional reputation, apparently in order to "dissuade" those who seek to present views that he disagrees with and does not find politically acceptable.
]

The publication of Klotzbach et al. offers an opportunity for a sort of real-world sociological experiment in the climate scientific community. Our paper builds on a large scientific literature and explores a largely unrecognized mechanism that may explain a significant (>10%) amount of the global surface temperature trends. It might prove to be correct, or it might prove wrong. We think that the arguments have merit, and so too did our peer reviewers. Science normally works by advancing hypothesis, collecting data and reporting what you find. Results are published, considered and this leads to new hypotheses and the process repeats. Along the way people debate and discuss interesting results, at conferences, at water coolers, in blogs and even in legislatures.

But this is climate science, and the rules here are a little different. Our paper enters a context where many climate scientists are also strong political advocates. This means that they judge papers not simply by their substance but by who they perceive that the results will benefit in the political process. Our paper suggests that global temperature trends are overstated if the surface trends are used to represent trends in the lower atmosphere. If true, this would likely have some relevance for climate modeling, comparisons of surface and satellite temperatures, and understanding possible measurement biases in the surface record -- that is, many topics that people like to debate. However, it does not have a lot of significance for the overall political response to climate change, as I have noted multiple times.

The paper has been received as being interesting because immediately upon its release we have been engaged in a public colliquoy with several climate scientists including Gavin Schmidt, James Annan and Michael Tobis who have tried everything possible to discredit our paper and its authors, ranging from snark, quick and dirty analyses on tangential aspects of the paper and sematic argumantation. In both science and politics such behavior is of course business-as-usual, and over the long-term science is largely self-correcting. So such behavior might be boorish but it is nothing really to complain about, as it is fairly normal and expected.

But our colloquoy with climate scientists has taken a disturbing turn as one of these scientists (Tobis) has now elevated his various complaints to a thinly veiled threat against the authors based on his views about what he sees as political implications of our paper. He writes (emphasis in original):
If there were no policy issues at stake, if the modest and dubious results of the paper weren't being egregiously overvalued and misrepresented, the scientific community could proceed in the ordinary dignified fashion of ignoring nonsense and focusing on sense. But with the standard Pielke to Watts to Morano to Inhofe play and its like, we are forced to pay attention.

Regarding getting out of this very unfortunate flavor of time sink, one thing I can imagine is to have gradations of "peer review" more complex than "published" or "unpublished". Inhofe shouldn't be waving something like this around in the senate claiming it meets the highest standards.

Even harder, but more urgent, is have a mechanism to prevent authors from promoting public misinterpretations of their publications. That sort of behavior should have consequences.
One wonders, what sort of "consequences" should I and my co-authors be subject to? After patiently enaging Tobis on his web site and here in a sincere effort to discuss our work, he decides to issue a threat? Climate science is pathological indeed. [I was unaware that Inhofe was waving our paper around as Tobis claims, can someone provide evidence of this?]

One can fully understand that if a set of collaborators who collectively have probably thousands of peer reviewed publications are met with not just derision but a threat of consequences upon publishing and discussing a peer-reviewed paper building on years of work, this will create a poisonous atmosphere for just about everyone in climate science. This is probably the point.

Let me emphasize that the vast majority of climate scientists are decent, hard-working people, and I count very many as very good friends. However the actions of a few cast a dark shadow on the entire community, and this will continue until the community starts to self-police the bad behavior of its most publicly visible voices.

Threats have no place in public discussions involving climate scientists.

39 comments:

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

Pielke Sr address additional issues here:

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/comment-on-the-webog-of-michael-tobis-my-final-word-on-klotzbach/

Michael Tobis said...

It's not intended as a threat.

It's taking note of a missing feedback on extra-scientific behavior. Specifically, I refer to the new trend of putting one thing in print and claiming it means something entirely different in public. Such behavior should have consequences for scientific reputation.

Are you suggesting to the contrary that one should be allowed to publicly misrepresent one's results with impunity?

Presumably not. Presumably you claim not to be misrepresenting anything. If that's so my wished-for "consequences" wouldn't apply. I stand by my plea for consequences in the general case. If science goes extraterritorial, then reputation should follow.

However, to reduce the implication of threat, I have changed the word "prevent" (which implies prior restraint, which I think is not a good idea) to "dissuade".

Sharon F. said...

Michael, In my opinion, what you allude to in your comment is not a "new trend." In other fields than climate science, it is fairly common for scientists to publish something and then make a wide variety of claims, which some, reading their papers, do not agree is in alignment with their publication, or more commonly, make pronouncements way beyond what the paper actually says or overblow its significance.
Perhaps because climate science is a relatively new field, you all don't have as much experience with this kind of thing.

Also I would say that the "scientific community" may try to be dignified (the quote from you above), but in the presence of normal human competitiveness and egos, in my experience, it can never really succeed.

bigcitylib said...

I think what Michael is saying is that there should be consequences for publishing crap.

And he and others are also intimating that you and your Dad's long term reputation might suffer if you continue palming off bullshit that impresses nobody but Rush Limbaugh and a bunch of far right teabaggers.

Seriously, Pielke, what happens if the Republicans don't retake Congress nexr year? You and Lomberg will never be called as expert witnesses again. No dough, no meeting munchies. You are betting your academic standing on the fate of a party of red-necked greasebags from the ugliest part of the deep South.

D'you guys want to be the Climate Science version of Michael Behe?

Not Whitey Bulger said...

Roger: look under your car before you start it. And I'd get a dog if I were you - a big one.

EliRabett said...

Stop whining

Michael Tobis said...

BCL does not speak for me.

Sylvain said...

Mr Tobis called for consequences for those who misrepresent their own work.

"Even harder, but more urgent, is have a mechanism to prevent authors from promoting public misinterpretations of their publications. That sort of behavior should have consequences. " -Mr Tobis

I wonder how a scientist can misrepresent his own work.

If I understand the paper correctly, from what you posted:

1) there has been warming in the last 30 years.
2) There is a statistically insignificant trends between ocean surface temp and tropospheric satellite data.
3) There is a statistically significant trends between land surface temp and tropospheric satellite temp.
4) The difference between land surface temp and satellite temp cause a warming bias.
5)result the unprecedented warming of the last 30 years is overstated.

But shouldn't this be true:

Doesn't the model predicted that the troposphere would be warming up faster than the surface.

If this statement is true then, the discovery of a warming bias in the surface data set should confirm:

1) That the model were correct.
2) That the model are to sensitive to co2 forcing.

Am I in the left field in my understnading?

markbahner said...

"And he and others are also intimating that you and your Dad's long term reputation might suffer if you continue palming off bullshit that impresses nobody but Rush Limbaugh and a bunch of far right teabaggers."

What do you see as scientifically incorrect about their paper?

clazy said...

Odd that "scientists" should doubt the power of truth to persuade. Apparently these people consider themselves qualitatively different from the ignorant masses, who could never grasp the significance of their discoveries. Add messianic conviction, and the temptation to indulge in rhetoric becomes overwhelming, since the objective is not to instruct but sway. Courage? Hardly.

Eric said...

This is exactly what I alluded to in a previous blog. The real motivation for the Tobis attack was political. Global warming has become another front in the eternal liberal vs conservative mainstream American culture wars, which for me personally is a source of endless contempt.

I assume it is the reason for the venomous, threatening and bullying tone of RealClimate although Gavin Schmidt is actually British and should know (a lot) better. His boss is of course James Hansen who's political allies are well known.

Michael Tobis says BCL doesn't speak for him which we have to completely accept but the message, although less extreme is still clear.

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone is a lot more politically astute than the average climate scientist and (for an American), very left wing.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/29127316/the_great_american_bubble_machine/7


The new carbon-credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that's been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won't even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.

Olympus Mons said...

Politics isn't about convincing others. Is about making them act in a certain manner, in spite of what they think.

Michael Tobis is scary.

Olympus Mons said...

markbahner
What he finds incorrect is the fact that he is a type B (or A, or Beta, or omega, or liberal, or leftist or whatever) and therefore has troubles each time a W shows up in the stream of M (David Amodio philological study, and the stream of M’s and W).
So every time some new data is introduced in the stream of global warming hypothesis, he, and Michael Tobis for that matter, feels highly uncomfortable with it.
They do have trouble dealing with what they perceive as “distracting information”, because being as they are, they can not hold their route steady if one throws disturbing information, W into the stream of M’s, to their linear thinking.
So do not be to harsh on them, because actually they act out of self preservation of their believes. They have to stop the W from showing up! By all means necessary.
And Roger, be careful, because history tell us… they are dangerous, really dangerous, in the pursuit of “owing the street”. – because they know they own the street when people like you and your father abstain from speaking their mind!

lkdemott said...

I view myself as a skeptic of AGW alarmism. From my perspective, the antics of those criticizing your paper do much more to confirm my skepticism than the conclusions set forth in your paper. The sloppy statistical work of many prominent climate scientists, their unwillingness to engage their serious critics, and now, their unwillingness to tolerate any evidence contrary to any aspect of their theory no matter how ancillary, suggest to me that they are not trustworthy scientists who objectively pursuing the truth.

edaniel said...

Is it fair to speculate that this entire debacle could have been avoided if only the Approved Protocol as specified here:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/08/resolving-technical-issues-in-science/

had been followed?

In blatant dismissals of the Protocol, however, we find these:

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/08/exchange-with-gavin-schmidt-on.html

http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2009/08/pielkes-all-way-down.html

http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2009/08/klotzbach-in-blogosphere.html

http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2009/08/my-final-word-on-klotzbach.html

http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2009/08/evidence-for-bias-in-atmospheric.html

http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2009/08/curiouser-and-curiouser.html

Apparently, The Protocol was intended to be applicable to everyone except the authors of The Protocol.

gravityloss said...

The aim is truth, not any partisanship or balance.

That's what science and Michael Tobis drive for.

You won't get truth unless you demand it. Hence lying in public should have consequences.

Lying could be for example claiming your study says something it doesn't say.

Lying also has some very real consequences in the world. People die when doctors lie for example.

edaniel said...

Oh, I forgot.

None of the dissenting analyses and opinions, not a single one, mean anything until they have been peer-reviewed and approved for publication in a certified-climatologists-approved Climate Science Journal.

Completely devoid of usefulness and to be avoided, shunned even. To date, all have appeared as posts and comments on that most dreaded source, and the ultimate in not-science, Blogs.

Andrew said...

Mr. Tobis is to be congratulated for distancing himself from the rabid, inflammatory comments of a political hack. Roger, I know you usually don't allow such strong, offensive language, are you trying to let BCL embarass himself?

Oh and by the way, the way the polls are going you have nothing to worry about regarding getting called for testimony. BCL is seriously thinking wishfully if he doesn't realize how bad the D's prospects look in 2010.

Sharon F. said...

Thanks, edaniel ! I had never seen that bit on "resolving technical issues in science". I was particularly intrigued by this quote
"That the original authors are allowed to respond to a comment in the same journal issue, and the comment’s authors get to consider this response before deciding to go ahead with their comment, are key hallmarks of a fair procedure, in addition to a neutral journal editor and independent reviewers overseeing the process. Even if the authors of comment and reply continue to disagree to some extent, this comment process in most cases resolves the issue to the satisfaction of the scientific community. It lays out the facts in a fair and transparent way and gives outsiders a good basis for judging whom is right. In this way it advances science."
People in my field don't actually do this.. they just write papers that disagree with each other and there is no actual conflict resolution mechanism- but that's pretty much OK for non critical to the world kinds of issues. The problem with depending on "fair" and "neutral" is that it assumes that the science is traditional and not postmodern (like climate change is)and that any individual human or institution can claim to be "fair" or "neutral". In my view, journals are simply not up to the task of the science discussion of today. We definitely need a new mechanism for post modern science. Maybe the blog (minus the snark) is the appropriate place.

itisi69 said...

NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Amongst our weaponry are such elements as fear, weblogs, ruthless efficiency and almost fanatical devotion to Global Warming. (Free to Monty Python)

"Stop Whining". Now there's, as usual, an excellent contribution by Elirabett

SBVOR said...

Science be DAMNED!

Get in line with the ideology of climate hysteria or face the “consequences” dished out by what Jonah Goldberg accurately describes as Liberal Fascism!

Been there, seen that. Now choose anonymity.

Michael Tobis said...

I appreciate Roger's prompt publication of my effort to put distance between myself and BCL's dreadful rudeness.

However, the summary of my intent in mentioning consequences, "to dissuade those who seek to present views that he disagrees with and does not find politically acceptable" is not a fair representation of my position.

The questions I mean to raise are 1) how far one's informal claims for a paper should diverge from the paper's actual contents be before the claims can be considered unfair 2) when such unfair practices are indulged, what consequences should ensue so that the unfair activity is not rewarded and thereby encouraged.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with whether I agree(as if I were particularly influential) or anyone else agrees with someone's opinions.

It is about whether one's claimed scientific support exists in the place one claims it. There is hardly a better way to bend the facts than to bury them in scientific obscurity. This applies to bending the facts in any direction you care to name.

I think I'm being clear. It's surprising to have this very reasonable concern painted as threatening.

Suppose I were a sea ice researcher, and showed evidence of a model that all Arctic Ocean sea ice would vanish by summer 2050. Suppose a reporter asked a scientist if that meant 6 meters of sea level rise from the Greenland ice sheet on that time scale. Is the correct answer "no, not at all"? Or is it to nod solemnly and say "the total disappearance of all that ice, such as we showed in our JGR paper, is an urgent and deep concern to us all."

Note that in the second instance, the scientist isn't even saying anything untrue. But he would be encouraging a misinterpretation of the evidence and his own publication record. Don't you think something like that should have consequences?

Stan said...

If Tobis' wished-for consequences were actually to take place, AGW would be universally seen as vastly overblown and alarmist scientists like Jones, Mann, Rahmstorf, Steig, Schmidt, Hansen, Karl, Peterson et al would be laughingstocks. The instances of their making irresponsible public statements which far outstrip the science are many.

Tobis' excoriation of Anthony Watts is revealing. Watts exposed Tobis' bedfellows for their commission of scientific malpractice (we'd expect even a junior high school science teacher to tell her students of the importance of calibrating thermometers, siting them in accordance with basic scientific standards, and checking them periodically. Expecting climate scientists to meet junior high standards is apparently expecting too much). It seems Tobis prefers to embrace scientific malpractice rather than scientific advancement which doesn't accord with his politics.

gravityloss said...

So, Roger,you've now twice misrepresented Michael Tobis.

First the "dissenting is killing 1000 people" misrepresentation, and then the "he's threatening me for dissenting" cases.

lkdemott said...

So what do the prosecutors/juries/executioners in the blogs want to do with michael mann's recent claim that hurricane activity is at its highest in the last 1000 years. I would suggest that maybe he has overstated his case just a wee-bit

John F. Pittman said...

I think it unfair to hold authors of a work responsible for what is reported. In fact, I have found for a number of years that even science reporters follow the adage of "man bites dog." More condemnatory are the actions of mainstream climate scientists who stood in the limelight when the world was gasping at the exaggerations of Gore and crowd. Who when questioned about the science thought such inacuracies served the public well. Now that the public seems to prefer another story, they now want to claim a higher moral ground than the one they are sunk to their knees in. Where was the outrage for "coal death trains", for fake scenes, for shoddy stats on sea level rise? Or one of my favorites, reducing information and somehow getting better CI's like Steig?

Should we allow corrigendums such as Steig, or simply allow burning at the stake? What will be so different if Klotzbach et al. needs a corrigendum? I guess the only real conclusion that can be drawn is that if persons such as BCL or Tobis don't like one's work or even the comments attached to it by another person, one should be fired.

Somewhere in Shakespeare there was an appropriate remark about the stench of such moralizing a posteriori. Yes, I remember "Lillies that fester, smell worse than weeds."

MrPete said...

Just take a look at the interpretation of satellite sea ice data to see what has happened.

How strongly does the climate science community hold to the reality that we only have 30 years of solid data, a minor blip in time?

Try to find ONE headline about arctic sea ice that references the 1978 beginning of satellite measurements, rather than referencing historical records or even "all of human history."

The problem is huge, and it is largely on the backs of the alarmists, as Stan has noted.

SBVOR said...

Stan sez:

“The instances of their making irresponsible public statements which far outstrip the science are many.”

But, don’t blame them. They’re just following the alarmist guidelines laid bare by Dr. Stephen Schneider. Schneider, on his own web page, quotes himself (emphasis mine):

“On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective [in advancing the political cause] and being honest [in describing the science]. I hope that means being both.”

I can safely report back that -- in the case of the alarmists -- hoping “that means both” has not made it so.

Sharon F. said...

Michael.. I think your comment "when such unfair practices are indulged, what consequences should ensue so that the unfair activity is not rewarded and thereby encouraged." is very astute.
Like I said before some scientists overstate, hyperinflate, have a low data to pontification ratio in their papers, commonly. Standardly, what happens is that other scientists in the field say to each other over beers at a conference, "there goes old Blithers again, sigh, what can you expect?"
Blithers is called to testify by elements of Congress. However, the other faction of Congress hauls out Blithers' archnemesis (let's call her Smithers), and so the science-slinging begins. Which tends to be good theater if you don't take it too seriously.
The attention of the media and policy makers is its own reward, and so the non-rewarding of the science community, is, I would argue, ultimately irrelevant in discouraging Blithering behavior.
I would like to be clear that I am not accusing Roger of engaging in such behavior. I am just saying the behavior is as common as scientists with egos larger than their data files (or in this case model outputs) and would be as difficult to eradicate as any other less than desirable human trait that scientists.

wattsupwiththat said...

Oh I've been waiting for this moment....

BigCityLib, purveyor of bigfoot photos and basking in the traffic created by a bigfoot radio show aptly named "Rick and Bubba".

http://bigcitylib.blogspot.com/2007/10/all-hail-rick-and-bubba.html

What shall be the penalty Mr. Murphy suffers for publishing this "crap"?

As for Mr. Tobis, wait for the papers.

wattsupwiththat said...

Oh, forgot to mention that the Rick and Bubba radio show Mr. Murphy was so happy to get scads of bigfoot related web traffic from presumably caters to an audience of...

"red-necked greasebags from the ugliest part of the deep South."

Gosh.

Artifex said...

Mr Tobias,

Might I suggest if you have a specific critique of Rodger’s data, methodology or math that you present it ? I would find a discussion of the actual science and methods far more interesting than trite politics. If there is a hole in the analysis, I am all ears and promise to be open minded concerning your specifics. As to what is demonstrated by the paper, I am completely capable of drawing my own conclusions. Thanks anyway for that.

I am entirely uninterested in semantic games, sweeping and over-broad proclamations as well as the usual strawmanning and assignment of motivation. If you have specific technical issues with the paper, make them. I must also admit that I would like to see that argument in a forum such as this one where there is a bit of integrity, and technical arguments that are politically inconvenient will not be snipped or edited and the poster banned. I have significantly more faith in Rodger’s objectivity than I do in the sites you usually frequent. I fully believe that even if you have specifics that eviscerate Rodger’s methods, he will still publish them here. That’s a far cry from standard operating procedure in most of the standard AGW sites.

In short, if you have something objective and technical to say about the paper, I am very interested. If you have nothing more than objections about how this doesn’t fit into the political environment in the fashion that you desire, we can note that as well.

As a last aside:

When you are arguing for repercussions for misrepresenting research, I am somewhat sympathetic. Your example is compelling and yes, I personally believe that there should be professional consequences (even if it is only the derision of one’s peers) in cases such as the one you posit.

Once again however, you seem to have two sets of rules, one for the folks that share your political goals and one for the other players. Instead of the hypothetical sea ice researcher that you postulate, lets look at the very real case of MBH 99 (We have to do this if for no other reason than to satisfy Rodger’s law that all threads end up at this point). Let’s look at that one in your “Yes/No” context

1. Is Mann’s math nonstandard and subject to dispute by serious statisticians - Yes
2. Does the math used by Mann produce the characteristic hockey stick shape in the presence of noise - Yes
3. Do the results of this study depend on a very, very small set of proxies (2 or 3) - Yes
4. Does Mann use proxies that are very questionable and who’s use was discouraged by NAS - Yes
5. With poor mathematical technique and dicey proxies can we really scientifically draw the conclusions MBH is trying to arrive at ? - No

By your standards then, we can expect that you were a vocal critic of this paper and the methodology or did you finds it politically inexpedient to do so ? What repercussions has Dr Mann faced ? What repercussions do you suggest that he faces ? Were the above questions for which I provided yes/no answers answered honestly or instead was it argued that the sloppy results “didn’t matter” because other studies had shown the same thing ?

I would claim that this particular study is such a hot button precisely because it demonstrates the exact attitude in the AGW supporters that you are currently complaining about but in an even more pronounced fashion (the arguments against MBH 99 is specifics not semantics)

I suggest you get the beam out of your own eye before complaining about the speck in your neighbor’s eye.

Andrew said...

Stan, the observing network is in bad shape, sure, but to say: "Expecting climate scientists to meet junior high standards is apparently expecting too much" signifies a misunderstand of the way the surface station network operates. The real problem is with ordinary people, weather observers to presumably thought what they were doing was fairly innocuous. There are some really embarrassing stations monitored by professionals, but most of the stations, and by extension most of the bad stations, are operated by regular Joe volunteers. The real scientific travesty is that nobody bothered to conduct an extensive survey, in spite of large government funds, until Anthony came along. And then the private sector, without even any profit motive involved, just dedicated volunteers, kicked NOAA's @$$ at doing something they should have done long ago. But to say that climate scientists set up the network in such poor condition is not accurate, because they didn't set it up, the observers did.

clazy said...

Michael Tobis, maybe the scientist who you think is lying in fact believes what he is saying. How can you know? You seem to be suggesting that a scientist's public comments should in effect be peer-reviewed like their publications. No? Then stop suggesting that there ought to be some systematic means for policing public comments and censuring those you disagree with. Do what anyone else does when they disagree with a story in the newspaper: write a letter to the editor. Or you could call the journalist and try to persuade him of your perspective. It's that simple. As for your peers, they don't need you or some panel to decide whether another scientist has misprepresented himself; they can do it fine on their own.

Stan said...

Andrew,

I'm aware of how the stations are organized and run. I believe that no competent scientist could ever publish a study which relies on the data from those surface stations without first making an effort to determine if they were properly calibrated and sited.

We both agree on the scientific travesty. I'm saying that a scientist has a serious responsibility to investigate the source of his data before he makes pronouncements based on that data.

"I've made an analysis which says that the world is coming to an end unless we spend trillions. Oh by the way, the analysis is based on data whose accuracy I cannot vouch for because I've never bothered to check it. But you can rely on my analysis because I am a respected climate scientist and my work appears in a peer-reviewed journal!" How appalling!

The "garbage in, garbage out" idea apparently never made it to climate science.

Old Dad said...

It would seem to me that the harshest consequences for publishing shoddy work is the fact that one has published shoddy work. In due course, ones reputation, the reputations of your coauthors and the reputation of the publisher will be suitably diminished. The rest is politics and, hence, subject to gross manipulation. To codify this manipulation merely gives cover to the scoundrels who perpetrate it.

We see the damage to science that results, in particular, climate science everywhere. What rightly should, and often is, a civil and constructive dialogue between colleagues, devolves into a pissing contest more suited to PR hacks than to scientists.

Mick said...

Now where in the spectrum does a politically-correct climate science study fall when it is then used by MSM for one of their typical your-grandma-will-fry-by-Friday stories? Does granting interviews and having other intercourse with such journalists cause Tobis et al to fall afoul of their own strictures?

ourchangingclimate said...

Michael Tobis explains himself again in 22; the proper response would be to for Roger to edit his update #1 to better reflect Michael's view. I'm looking forward to Roger's reply to Michael.

All he sais is that misrepresenting one's own or somebody else's research in the media ought to be dissuaded. It's hard to imagine anyone disagreeing with that position.
(Clazy and others: it's NOT about dissallowing statements that he disagrees with.)

Disagreement of course may arise when it's about this particular case (was Roger misrepresenting his own research findings?) or about how the dissuation should take place. But the principle makes perfect sense.

Bart

TokyoTom said...

1. the actions of a few cast a dark shadow on the entire community, and this will continue until the community starts to self-police the bad behavior of its most publicly visible voices.

Roger, it seems to be that you and Michael Tobis are calling for exactly the same thing, but if not I`m interested in hearing how the form of "policing" you want differs from what you think Micale Tobis wants.

2. our colloquoy with climate scientists has taken a disturbing turn as one of these scientists (Tobis) has now elevated his various complaints to a thinly veiled threat against the authors based on his views about what he sees as political implications of our paper.

I fail to see how any of Mr. Tobis`s displeasure and opinions on how the K et al. article was quickly and wrongly misinterpreted by those seeking to influence political decision-making can be taken as ANY kind of a threat, Roger, but maybe I lack understanding about his official stature in the scientific and political science communities. What looks to me like somebody expressing their opinion and trying to influence the opinion of others might very well simply be a shallow mask for what insiders understand to be a latent threat of official sanction, or of physical violence.

Can you clarify the nature of the threat you and your co-authors perceive from Mr. Tobis?

3. I am curious whether, if you could step away briefly from this paper and assume for purposes of argument that it was written by others whom you were unconnected with, you might offer advice to the authors as to how they should handle unofficial and official releases of, and discussion by politically interested parties of, such a paper. Do you have any cautionary or fair play suggestions?

4. several climate scientists including Gavin Schmidt, James Annan and Michael Tobis who have tried everything possible to discredit our paper and its authors, ranging from snark, quick and dirty analyses on tangential aspects of the paper and sematic argumantation. In both science and politics such behavior is of course business-as-usual, and over the long-term science is largely self-correcting. So such behavior might be boorish but it is nothing really to complain about, as it is fairly normal and expected.

I suspect that Messrs. Schmidt, Annan and Tobis would have differing views of their behavior and that of yourself and your co-authors. I also suspect that, as is fairly normal and expected, they, like you, are complaining about it, and are trying to cast themselves in the best light.

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