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CC: Scientific Journals 'Censoring Debate On Global Warming'

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    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2005
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      LEADING SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS 'ARE CENSORING DEBATE ON GLOBAL WARMING'
      By Robert Matthews
      The Telegraph
      May 1, 2005

      http://tinyurl.com/aedcv

      Two of the world's leading scientific journals have come under fire from
      researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable
      wisdom over global warming.

      A British authority on natural catastrophes who disputed whether
      climatologists really agree that the Earth is getting warmer because of
      human activity, says his work was rejected by the American publication,
      Science, on the flimsiest of grounds.

      Radcliffe on Sour power station with Dr Benny Peiser (inset). He disagrees
      with the pro-global warming line

      A separate team of climate scientists, which was regularly used by Science
      and the journal Nature to review papers on the progress of global warming,
      said it was dropped after attempting to publish its own research which
      raised doubts over the issue.

      The controversy follows the publication by Science in December of a paper
      which claimed to have demonstrated complete agreement among climate experts,
      not only that global warming is a genuine phenomenon, but also that mankind
      is to blame.

      The author of the research, Dr Naomi Oreskes, of the University of
      California, analysed almost 1,000 papers on the subject published since the
      early 1990s, and concluded that 75 per cent of them either explicitly or
      implicitly backed the consensus view, while none directly dissented from it.

      Dr Oreskes's study is now routinely cited by those demanding action on
      climate change, including the Royal Society and Prof Sir David King, the
      Government's chief scientific adviser.

      However, her unequivocal conclusions immediately raised suspicions among
      other academics, who knew of many papers that dissented from the pro-global
      warming line.

      They included Dr Benny Peiser, a senior lecturer in the science faculty at
      Liverpool John Moores University, who decided to conduct his own analysis of
      the same set of 1,000 documents - and concluded that only one third backed
      the consensus view, while only one per cent did so explicitly.

      Dr Peiser submitted his findings to Science in January, and was asked to
      edit his paper for publication - but has now been told that his results have
      been rejected on the grounds that the points he make had been "widely
      dispersed on the internet".

      Dr Peiser insists that he has kept his findings strictly confidential. "It
      is simply not true that they have appeared elsewhere already," he said.

      A spokesman for Science said Dr Peiser's research had been rejected "for a
      variety of reasons", adding: "The information in the letter was not
      perceived to be novel."

      Dr Peiser rejected this: "As the results from my analysis refuted the
      original claims, I believe Science has a duty to publish them."

      Dr Peiser is not the only academic to have had work turned down which
      criticises the findings of Dr Oreskes's study. Prof Dennis Bray, of the GKSS
      National Research Centre in Geesthacht, Germany, submitted results from an
      international study showing that fewer than one in 10 climate scientists
      believed that climate change is principally caused by human activity.

      As with Dr Peiser's study, Science refused to publish his rebuttal. Prof
      Bray told The Telegraph: "They said it didn't fit with what they were
      intending to publish."

      Prof Roy Spencer, at the University of Alabama, a leading authority on
      satellite measurements of global temperatures, told The Telegraph: "It's
      pretty clear that the editorial board of Science is more interested in
      promoting papers that are pro-global warming. It's the news value that is
      most important."

      He said that after his own team produced research casting doubt on man-made
      global warming, they were no longer sent papers by Nature and Science for
      review - despite being acknowledged as world leaders in the field.

      As a result, says Prof Spencer, flawed research is finding its way into the
      leading journals, while attempts to get rebuttals published fail. "Other
      scientists have had the same experience", he said. "The journals have a
      small set of reviewers who are pro-global warming."

      Concern about bias within climate research has spread to the
      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose findings are widely cited
      by those calling for drastic action on global warming.

      In January, Dr Chris Landsea, an expert on hurricanes with the United States
      National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, resigned from the
      IPCC, claiming that it was "motivated by pre-conceived agendas" and was
      "scientifically unsound".

      A spokesman for Science denied any bias against sceptics of man-made global
      warming. "You will find in our letters that there is a wide range of
      opinion," she said. "We certainly seek to cover dissenting views."

      Dr Philip Campbell, the editor-in-chief of Nature, said that the journal was
      always happy to publish papers that go against perceived wisdom, as long as
      they are of acceptable scientific quality.

      "The idea that we would conspire to suppress science that undermines the
      idea of anthropogenic climate change is both false and utterly naive about
      what makes journals thrive," he said.

      Dr Peiser said the stifling of dissent and preoccupation with doomsday
      scenarios is bringing climate research into disrepute. "There is a fear that
      any doubt will be used by politicians to avoid action," he said. "But if
      political considerations dictate what gets published, it's all over for
      science."

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