Short-circuiting Peer Review in Climate Science

Russ Steele

When discussing climate change the local left set peer review as the minimum standard for the allowed science.  If the facts were not peer reviewed they was not allowed in the discussion. Now that very standard is being questioned.

According to an important paper by the National Association of Scholars the climate change peer Review Process is broken. As a result bad science is being used by the EPA to destroy our economy.

Here is an excerpt from the GWPF, my emphasis:

On Tuesday the ITSSD (pronounced itz-d) released a white paper that questions the value of a number of influential scientific research projects. ITSSD waded through a dense thicket of federal acronyms and legal documents to determine how much money taxpayers have spent on federally-funded climate research and how rigorous and useful that research has been. ITSSD concluded that on numerous counts, government research agencies and their constituent university researchers compromised the peer review process that is the foundation of intellectual standards in scientific research and that is also required by U.S. law. According to the paper,

Detailed addenda accompanying ITSSD FOIA requests filed with EPA and DOC-NOAA during March – May 2014 strongly suggest that the peer review science processes EPA and DOC-NOAA had employed in vetting the USGCRP and other federal and IPCC agency assessments supporting the EPA’s Endangerment Findings did not comply with U.S. law. In other words, such peer review processes did not satisfy Information Quality Act and relevant OMB, EPA and DOC-NOAA implementing IQA guidelines standards applicable to highly influential scientific assessments (“HISAs”).

Readers unfazed by legal jargon and lengthy acronyms may read the full paper here. For all others, below is a brief summary of the findings. The essence of ITSSD’s findings is that it appears that the EPA and some other federal agencies validate each other’s work, which is pretty much the same thing as validating their own work. The circle appears unbroken. Independent review of assertions of scientific fact is by no means guaranteed and might even be precluded. But we don’t really know because the public is denied any clear account of who is validating what. Apparent conflicts of interest are hidden away and the EPA stonewalls requests for disclosures.

You can down load the whole paper HEREWhy is this important in Nevada County?  The same short-circuited peer reviewed science is being used by CARB to regulate CO2 in California. This questionable science is being used to justify AB-32.  As a result, our energy costs are soaring, all justified by questionable science.


About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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2 Responses to Short-circuiting Peer Review in Climate Science

  1. Russ Steele says:

    From the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science

    The lack of reproducibility of scientific research undermines public confidence in science and leads to the misuse of resources when researchers attempt to replicate and extend fallacious research findings. Using recent developments in Bayesian hypothesis testing, a root cause of nonreproducibility is traced to the conduct of significance tests at inappropriately high levels of significance. Modifications of common standards of evidence are proposed to reduce the rate of nonreproducibility of scientific research by a factor of 5 or greater.

    This has been an issue in climate change science, especially with the iconic “Hockey Stick” that was widely distributed following the distribution of IPCC Assessment Report Number Two, known as AR2. Dr. Michael Mann has refused to provide the data used to produce this iconic representation of climate change. AR2 forms the basis for CARB’s AB-32 the Global Warming Solution Act of 2006. As the NAS notes reproducibility is the corner stone of science. Yet, the “Hockey Stick” data has not been made available to third party scientist for reproduction and validation. It is a fraud, until proven other wise through replication.

    Yet, Steven Frisch clings to AB-32 and AGW climate change mantra, even though there is no evidence to support the connection between human CO2 emissions other than a plethora of computer models that have failed to signal the curent 17 year pause in global warming, or predicted the slight decline that started about 2002 and continues. In fact the current global temperatures are now outside the 95% confidence interval of all 28 models. In other words, Mother Nature is not a warmer and has not been reading the lefty talking points and memos.

    Rather than address the real issues of pal peer reviews discussed in the above post and the lack of reproducibility identified by NSA, Steven has attacked the messenger who is not being funded by one of his lefty organizations like the Tides Foundation. In his mind it is a non-issue because it was produced by a conservative funded academic organization. If we apply his logic, most of the AGW papers are suspect because they were funded by government agencies who will benefit, or environmental organizations like the Sierra Club or Union of Concerned Scientist all very liberal organizations. I appreciate Stevens dedication to his cause, but in the end global cooling will prove him wrong.


  2. stevefrisch says:

    This is a great example of how the anti climate science community uses obfuscation and diversion to counter climate science. To the initiated, the abbreviation “NAS” in this post has nothing to do with the trusted and prestigious National Academy of Sciences. No, it is the Scaife Foundation funded National Association of Scholars.

    The “National Association of Scholars”, set up ostensibly to fight the supposed ‘liberal bias’ in academia, has released reports critical of affirmative action, supporting climate change skepticism and opposing academic programs that encourage social justice movements.

    This should be no surprise to anyone since its board includes anti-affirmative action activist Ward Connerly and the head of the National Catholic League William Donohue.

    The National Association of Scholars is funded by the Richard Melon Scaife, the Robert Olin Foundation, the Bradley Foundation the Castle Rock Foundation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation; a verifiable who’s who of climate change skeptic funders and conservative foundation activists.

    For a review of the rationale behind this new breed of ‘academic’ institution I strongly suggest people read the Powell Memo, which lays out the need for conservatives to create academic institutions like the “NAS” that can pump out research for ideological purposes.

    This new report, cited by the “NAS” and released last week was attributed to the Institute for Trade, Standards, and Sustainable Development. So who is the ITSSD? Well that is kind of hard to figure out what they actually do since no other major research has ever been attributed to them specifically and they appear to specialize in reprinting opinions from their members rather than doing independent work. It does seem pretty clear from their web page though that their main goal is redefining how academics define ‘sustainability’ in order to muddy the waters while exposing their own unique brand of free market ideology.

    But who are they really? They have a pretty impressive list of advanced degrees on their web site, but according to Guidestar, the non-profit rating agency, their last several IRS 990 forms have shown they have almost no assets ($63 in 2013).

    But really with initials like “NAS” and highfaluting titles like the “Institute for Trade, Standards, and Sustainable Development” who could blame unsuspecting reports working on deadline for confusing them with people with unbiased credentials? The attempt by the “NAS” to confuse harried reporters with the real NAS, the National Academy of Sciences, is kind of par for the course with the nut job noise machine of climate skepticism.

    And that does not keep people like Anthony Watts at his WUWT blog from pushing out an uncritical reprint of the press release, touting the new “report” that suggests the EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions “may be compromised by a short-circuiting of peer review.”

    Nor does it keep my friend Russ from pushing this tripe it out, regardless of the complete lack of credibility the ubiquitous Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development has.

    I wonder if he used source this weak when he was doing super secret work on rocket science and national defense for the Defense Department?

    But I know, it is all part of the plan to disseminate bullshit and call it roses. Just another day in climate change denial land.

    Fortunately, no one in the real media has been suckered by this fake “NAS”.

    Only you rubes…..


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