Understanding Climate Risk

Science, policy and decision-making

Archive for May 28th, 2011

Cutting, pasting and throwing grad students under the bus

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Most of the so-called scholarship purporting to disprove human-induced climate change has failed epically. Recent events give a perfect example of why this is. However, reactions to the fall-out show that some of the so-called ‘good guys’  also need to take a good, hard look at themselves. Science without standards ain’t science.

The current issue of Nature Magazine has an editorial covering the retraction of a paper co-authored by Yasmin Said and Ed Wegman of a paper that contained material from the 2006 Wegman report. The retraction is due to high levels of unattributed material in the paper uncovered by bloggers Deep Climate and John Mashey.

One main criticism of mainstream climate science is the level of collaboration between scientists and their role with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This is portrayed as a conspiracy where the peer review system is abused by scientists giving each other favourable reviews and shutting out the opposition. This supposed lack of ethics in mainstream science is one of the main themes being used to foster doubt and confusion amongst the public. It wasn’t helped by the stolen CRU emails. However, if the contrarian view is to be supported by a respectable scholarly literature, shouldn’t the same high standards apply?

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Written by Roger Jones

May 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm