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Journal Editor Resigns Over Flawed Global Warming Paper

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the owning-up dept.

Earth 396

Layzej writes "Remote Sensing Editor-in-Chief Wolfgang Wagner resigned earlier today (PDF) over a global warming study published in his journal that was said to cast doubt on global warming models but was later found to be flawed. Wagner stated that the paper most likely contained fundamental methodological errors and false claims. He further expressed dismay over how 'the authors and like-minded climate skeptics have much exaggerated the paper's conclusions in public statements.' The author of the paper, Dr. Roy Spencer, has responded to the resignation."

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396 comments

Proof! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291478)

Climate Change is melting jobs!

Re:Proof! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291814)

Man made Climate Change is the biggest scam in history.

If it's man made who the heck are we affecting every planet in our solar system also?????

Re:Proof! (2, Insightful)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291950)

Fairly typical stuff from the AGW crowd. This is how it works:

Phil Jones on Horizon:

"The basic science is in the peer-reviewed literature, and I wish more people would read that than read the emails."

Phil Jones in CRU email:

"Kevin and I will keep them out somehow - even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is ! Cheers, Phil"

Obviously people put pressure on him to resign given publication of the paper. In mitigation, he decides to stick with the party line.

Re:Proof! (4, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292028)

Man made Climate Change is the biggest scam in history.

If it's man made who the heck are we affecting every planet in our solar system also?????

I really love the way it is possible nowadays to instantly find the answer to that [skepticalscience.com] , which you must have known about but you didn't bother to list here. It's an excellent illustration of exactly what this case is about. Scientific truth requires you not just to not just mention your own evidence but also explain away the evidence on the other side. Probably you guys need to start reading things by Feynman. Here's one to start you [lhup.edu] . Have a look at how the article I referenced not only points out your statement is wrong (Mars and Jupiter are not warming) but then goes on to address in detail the evidence behind your claim (the warming on other planets is explainable by other means).

However the difference is, slashdot posters don't have science as part of their job title. That's why you don't need to resign and the guy who's running the journal should. When he decided to take on something outside his area he had an extra duty to be sure he had consulted the areas experts. Probably he did his best and he failed deeply. If he continues on as the journal's editor then people will have difficulty believing the other articles in the journal have been correctly verified.

Re:Proof! (1, Troll)

yourmommycalled (2280728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292164)

Uh because it's not This is a trick question right? You know that it gets warmer on the earth when the earth moves from winter to spring right? So why should it be different when pluto warms when going from winter to spring then to summer. The temperature record for Mars is full of data gaps but what continuous records of Mars temperatures do not show a temperature increase. Please read a little about the astronomy and meteorolgoy before you repeat crap from Rush/Beck/Hannity/fauxnews

How is this different? (-1, Flamebait)

slapout (93640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291500)

"have much exaggerated the paper's conclusions in public statements"

You mean in much the same way climate change promoters exaggerate claims from other papers?

Re:How is this different? (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291534)

Lemme guess, we're going to hear more about Al Gore, the pseudo-skeptics' favorite whipping boy.

Re:How is this different? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291584)

Here is to hoping Fox jumps on this example of corruption and fraud in academia.

Re:How is this different? (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291724)

Well if I remember correctly Dr. Spencer's conclusions at best would have questioned whether some satellite imagery could detect the effects of global climate change; however his one paper was heralded by many to be the penultimate refutation of climate change supposedly negating the research of many, many scientists.

As an analogy in paleontology, scientists have assembled early hominids in terms of lineage based on techniques like carbon dating and skeleton features. They have made slight errors in the past on dates and relationships between hominids. An exaggeration would happen if a scientist with an Intelligent Design agenda questioned the dating on one of the hominids and then the ID community would proclaim that evolution has been disproven.

Re:How is this different? (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291842)

his one paper was heralded by many to be the penultimate refutation of climate change

What would have been the final point that refuted climate change? Was there another paper planned?

Re:How is this different? (2)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292046)

That is an incorrect analogy and it is also rather mischievous. You need to read Dr Spencer's refutation [drroyspencer.com] before you start throwing around the old and bottom numbingly boring "all AGW sceptics are creationists" meme. There's too much arm waving going on here.

Re:How is this different? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292108)

It's interesting to note that the intersection of the sets of AGW deniers and creationists is not a null set.

Global warming conspiracy (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291510)

They got to him!

You know... (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291516)

I don't know why you guys argue about this. The world's gonna end in 2012 anyway, who cares about the climate?

Re:You know... (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291830)

I don't know why you guys argue about this. The world's gonna end in 2012 anyway, who cares about the climate?

Actually, Jesus is (re)scheduled to come back before this year is out, so all us Lisp programmers won't even care about next year's weather, let alone climate change.[*]

[*] Lisp being God's preferred programming language, as everyone should know. (Presumably making the righteous choice on that will get you rapturized as surely as making the righteous choice about which religion to join.)

Re:You know... (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291906)

Actually, that's not far from the truth when it comes to the likes of the Know-Nothing "Hyperchristian" Republicans. You know the ones, the Palins, the Perrys, the Bachmanns, all the ones that sign up for the Dominionist/Reconstructionist "christian warrior" woo-woo Rushdoony claptrap.

Because they honestly, truly, believe that the end of the world is nigh and you may as well loot the planet before you're yanked bodily from Earth. The future of Earth is going to be full of raining blood and plagues anyway. Worrying about the future of the Earth in 100 years is a load of horse-shit to them because they'll be sitting at the right hand of Jesus while the Tribulation is happening.

Or so they hope.

--
BMO

Re:You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37292210)

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it" (Alan Kay)... maybe the apocolypsians will band together and nuke the world just to prove that something they say could have a shred of truth (was the guy who recently admitted to working on a nuke a christian?). Apparently its possible to use a washing machine as a makeshift centrifuge :P

I think the most dangerous people who could possibly cause armageddon is our ignorant politicians. They'll eventually get greedy or bored enough to wage nuclear war. We're all just lowly SCVs in the global game of StarCraft and they're hiding away in their command centre plotting how to best use their ghosts that they've spent so much minerals and lesbian gas developing (after all what's the point of building nukes if you aint gonna use em eventually).

I'm locked in here tighter than a frog's butt in a watermelon seed fight.

oh no! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291518)

anal anus arse ass asses asshole assholes asskisser asswipe ballsack bastard beastiality biatch bitch bitches bitchin bitching blowjob blowjobs boner boob boobies boobs bullshit bunghole buttface buttfuck buttfucker butthole buttplug circlejerk clit clitoris cock cocks cocksuck cocksucker cocksucking cum cumming cums cumshot cunilingus cunillingus cunnilingus cunt cuntlick cuntlicker cuntlicking cunts damn dick dike dildo dildos dipshit douchebag dumbass dyke ejaculate ejaculated ejaculates ejaculating ejaculation fag fagget fagging faggit faggot faggs fagot fagots fags fatass fatso felatio fellatio fingerfuck fingerfucked fingerfucker fingerfuckers fingerfucking fingerfucks fistfuck fistfucked fistfucker fistfuckers fistfucking fistfuckings fistfucks fuck fucked fucker fuckers fuckin fucking fuckings fuckme fucks fudgepacker gangbang gangbanged gangbangs gaysex goddamn gonads hardon hardcoresex hell homo hooker horniest horny hotsex hussy jackass jackingoff jackoff jack-off jerk-off jism jiz jizm jizz lesbo mothafuck mothafucka mothafuckas mothafuckaz mothafucked mothafucker mothafuckers mothafuckin mothafucking mothafuckings mothafucks motherfuck motherfucked motherfucker motherfuckers motherfuckin motherfucking motherfuckings motherfucks muff nig nigga nigger niggers orgasm orgasms pecker penis phonesex pissoff prick pricks pube pussies pussy pussys queer rape raped retard screw scrotum shit shited shitfull shiting shits shitted shitter shitters shitting shitty sleaze slut sluts smut spunk tit titties titty twat vagina wank whore

Re:oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291762)

Is this that list of censored words from the other day?

Re:oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291806)

So it would appear. I guess the kids in that district are back to school, and testing the new system by commenting on slashdot.

Resigned? (1)

forgot_my_username (1553781) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291538)

I am resigned to hyperbole... both for or against global warming.
But, to quit your job because you made a mistake would leave the banking industry with only janitors.
...maybe that is a good idea...


My take on global warming/non-warming ... who cares?
I was taught to not shit were I sleep.

Re:Resigned? (2)

very1silent (2194890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291556)

Wolfgang Wagner didn't quite his job. He quit what was most likely a volunteer position as editor.

Re:Resigned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291610)

Seriously. Why would an Academic Journal pay for editors, authors, or reviewers? That just cuts into their profits. Think about this, man.

Re:Resigned? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291956)

But, to quit your job because you made a mistake would leave the banking industry with only janitors. ...maybe that is a good idea...

Yeah, I wish they'd quit their jobs. Or better yet: got fired. And then tried, sentenced and locked up. In death row.

Most likely? (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291644)

the paper most likely contained fundamental methodological errors and false claims."

So, he resigned without bothering to find out for sure whether the paper in question contained fundamental methodological errors and/or false claims?

I can see resigning as editor because "I screwed up by allowing fundamentally unsound science into my magazine", but I have a hard time with resigning because it MIGHT have been bad (but he's not sure).

Re:Most likely? (5, Informative)

very1silent (2194890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291714)

He is pretty sure:

The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend also in the literature (cf. [7] [ucar.edu] ), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers.

Re:Most likely? (5, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291766)

Let's take the mitts off here. Spencer is a posterboy for the Heartland Institute, and so basically an oil company shill.

ID (5, Informative)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291892)

He is also an intelligent designer.

Re:ID (0)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291946)

And we should use that as a litmus test for deciding whether or not someone could possibly be rational about any science topic?

Shall we leave the science only to strict atheists?

Re:ID (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291990)

I'd say being an ID advocate is a damned good litmus test for rationality. Actually claiming that Creationism can be scientifically validated simply because you remove the word "God" from your assertions and replace it with "Intelligent Designer" suggests a troubling lack of rational capacity.

Re:ID (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37292086)

You sound like one of them Teabaggers trying to divert attention from the matter at hand. Go take your teabag and shove it up your ass.

Re:ID (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292180)

Divert attention from what? A crap paper by an oil company shill who could only get it published in an obscure journal, and still managed to get caught peddling bullshit?

Re:ID (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37292106)

It's not intelligent designers vs. atheists. It's intelligent designers vs. people who understand logic, reason and science, many of whom are religious. Adding "...then a miracle happens here..." to the beginning, middle and end of evolution, geology and astronomy (among many other branches of science) isn't scientific, logical or rational.

You can believe in God and science, it's only when you listen to the idiots that they become mutually exclusive. A lot of those idiots have radio & TV shows, and far too many are involved in politics.

It's a litmus test to see if they're capable of continuity of scientific theory or think it's OK to invoke divine intervention when the facts are uncomfortable.

Re:ID (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292124)

We should leave the science to the scientists. Considering literal creationism to be scientifically bullshit does not make one an atheist. Not considering it to be bullshit doesn't make one a bad scientist, either, but pretending it has anything to do with science (which the term Intelligent Design inherently does by recasting it as a scientific hypothesis) does.

Re:ID (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292264)

Science is more than a convenient process. It's a way of thinking about the world rationally. Creationism isn't science.

I have no faith in somebody's intellectual capability if they are willing to throw reason out the window because it challenges their beliefs. Particularly if that person is a scientist. Creationism is almost the embodiment of unscientific thinking - roughly, an unwillingness to question the world and the state it's in. How does one think scientifically about one part of the world, and not others? You either appreciate the scientific way of looking at the world, or you don't.

I am a strict atheist, I make no bones about it. But I know a lot of people whose religion is in metaphors, and they understand the importance of the Creation myth to their religion and its structure, but don't actually think it happened. Genesis is important to them for realizing their place in the world, not that it literally took 7 days a few thousand years back.

Though I'd say that those who actually believe that a document written in Aramaic, translated to Hebrew and Latin, and finally to English, is the literal word of God have some serious comprehension issues to begin with. I've met people who literally thought the Bible was written in English.

Re:ID (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292322)

Yes.

And. no.

You can believe in a God and do science. The moment you give your god a falsifiable property, be ready to have it tested.

Understanding both evolution, and the start of the universe in no way means you can't have belief.

Re:Most likely? (0)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291924)

So we've gotten straight to the point of ad hominem?

That was quick :)

Please, MM, cite a single flaw in the Spencer paper.

Re:Most likely? (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292008)

Go to his bloody blog, where three or four actual researchers are doing that right now. But do it quick before Spencer bans them and deletes their posts.

Re:Most likely? (1)

very1silent (2194890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292012)

Basically, it uses a model which appears tuned to produce a particular result and confuses cause with effect [realclimate.org] :

To help interpret the results, Spencer uses a simple model. But the simple model used by Spencer is too simple ... The model has no realistic ocean, no El Niño, and no hydrological cycle, and it was tuned to give the result it gave.
...
Clouds mainly occur because of weather systems (e.g., warm air rises and produces convection, and so on); they do not cause the weather systems.

Re:Most likely? (4, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292176)

As his critics have pointed out, Spencer has basically just created a model that confirms his own claims. More to the point, he avoided going to a mainstream journal with this paper, obviously knowing that he'd get laughed out of the room. Where someone is going to try to publish pseudoscientific bullshit, this is the preferred method is to do so via some obscure journal, thus proclaiming "We are published!"

See the Synthese [evolvingthoughts.net] debacle for a similar ID stunt.

Re:Most likely? (2, Informative)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292130)

Spend half a day googling for Roy Spencer, and you will build an obvious profile of a oil-funded ideological right-wing-christian who puts his politics ahead of anything remotly resembling scientific rationality.

Before you start jumping up and down on the ad hominem, Roy Spencer's arguments are taken seriously, and responded to in detail (as your google search will easily uncover). The problem is that Roy and his ideological peers never /listen/, but just keep on charging ahead.

Re:Most likely? (0, Flamebait)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291720)

He's resigning because he is getting pilloried behind the scenes by the global warming/wealth redistribution crowd for upsetting their apple cart. Another example of scientist being browbeat/coerced into toeing the line.

    You've got the head cheerleader claiming that global warming "deniers" are equivalent of racists. No matter what you think about the climate, you have to see that as destructive to finding the truth.

      Brett

Re:Most likely? (1, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291784)

I'm sure you can actually provide some verifiable evidence for this "behind the scenes" claim, right? I mean, you wouldn't just a liar would you?

Re:Most likely? (-1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291846)

I see you don't like your apples on the ground, either,

Re:Most likely? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291884)

I see you have no argument

Re:Most likely? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291980)

I see you are a coward. As I am. I believe in Global Warming. I am coward.

Re:Most likely? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292032)

Are you hoping to evade the question in this manner?

I asked a pretty straightforward question, so are you going to give a straightforward answer?

Re:Most likely? (1, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291810)

That is one interpretation. Another interpretation is that what happened left a bad taste in his mouth. I guess you would have to read the papers involved, and the story around the submission to really know.

/or/

You could just jump to the most emotionally convenient conclusion.

And that is what makes a skeptic a denier.

Re:Most likely? (0)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291974)

You could just jump to the most emotionally convenient conclusion.

Isn't that what makes an CAGW believer a denier of natural climate change as well? :)

Re:Most likely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37292066)

Isn't that what makes an CAGW believer a denier of natural climate change as well? :)

No one is denying natural climate change. The general belief is it's much smaller than human causes.

Re:Most likely? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292160)

Isn't that what makes an CAGW believer a denier of natural climate change as well? :)

No, because non-anthropogenic causes of warming are thought of and examined to see if they can explain what is happening. So far there is a strong preponderance of evidence that they cannot, and that human-created emissions can.

And that's not exactly a convenient conclusion for many of us. Convenient would be if it were natural (or just not happening at all), and we could hope it'd just go away on its own before causing any big problems, or was just a minor blip in our otherwise mostly stable climate. The only hope for it stopping if it is human caused is that humans decide to change how we do things, or by the human civilizations that allow industrial-scale pollution failing. Which, given human nature, seems to be the more likely case. This is not convenient for me at all.

Re:Most likely? (2)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292244)

It would if all a CAGW believer did was jump to emotionally convenient conclusions.

There is a book called "Heads in the Sand", which goes into the psychological mechanisms of denial, which I understand very well from my academic background. The first rule of denial is to project your intellectual shortcomings onto anybody who questions you. This is really quite bizzare when seen from the outside, but the person doing it really cannot tell that they are doing it. In this way, the emotionally confronting exercise of actually questioning one's beliefs /never/ happens, and thus the confirmation bias runs rough-shod over higher cognitive systems. Unconscious mechanisms take care of erasing your memory of anything inconsistent with your own intellectual supremecy.

This is a famous quotation from Ronnie's Knots, which addresses the issue:

The range of what we think and do
is limited by what we fail to notice.
And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice,
there is little we can do to change;
until we notice how failing to notice
shapes our thoughts and deeds.

Re:Most likely? (3, Funny)

Swarley (1795754) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291866)

Brett Buck is posting on Slashdot because he's getting threatened behind the scenes by a global shadow organization of ex-KGB who have kidnapped members of his family pending his cooperation with their Slashdot forum agenda.

Making grandiose claims without the slightest hint of factual basis or evidence is FUN!

Re:Most likely? (4, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291836)

FTA: "...research was not properly peer-reviewed and wrongly accepted"

The core of the matter is the paper was given credence by its publication, which is supposed to be backed by a review process. It never received that, the reputation of the publication was harmed and the person responsible is resigning.

Re:Most likely? (3, Informative)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292090)

Not only he fairly sure the claims of the paper is wrong, he took issue with the way THE AUTHORS overtly politicised the paper through exaggerated claims. In his own words:

With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements, e.g., in a press release of The University of Alabama in Huntsville from 27 July 2011 [2], the main author’s personal homepage [3], the story “New NASA data blow gaping hole in global warming alarmism”

I guess Wagner felt he was the victim of a climate denial drive-by shooting. We see this phenomena all the time in intelligent design. Publish a "rebuttal" in a little known non-mainstream journal, and then press-release the hell out of it. Note that the author, Roy Spencer, is also an intelligent designer too.

Re:Most likely? (0)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292280)

You got to figure it out:

Wrong paper showing global warming is true gets you promoted

Wrong paper showing global warming is false gets you fired^W to resign.

science has a well known liberal bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291654)

Well, they'll continue to quote it. For those people, science is about repeating something that someone smarter than you figured out. So, they don't care if it is discredited or flawed. That's also why you can troll them so easily with articles from The Onion.

You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291678)

I don't know why you guys argue about this. The world's gonna end in 2021 anyway, who cares about the climate?

Bad Summary (1, Insightful)

neonv (803374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291700)

The summary is wrong. Wagner did not say that the paper made false claims. According to his statement, he said:

"the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents."

He says the paper didn't address the views of opponents to his views. In response, the authors said

"But the paper WAS precisely addressing the scientific arguments made by our opponents, and showing why they are wrong! That was the paper’s starting point! We dealt with specifics, numbers, calculationswhile our critics only use generalities and talking points. There is no contest, as far as I can see, in this debate."

I don't know who's right. It sounds like politics getting in the way of science. Politics has no place in objective science. Conclusions need to be based on observations, not specific observations made to support a favored conclusion.

Re:Bad Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291748)

Hypothesis???, is that not sometimes the favored conclusion? create a test to prove a hypothesis? when setting out to prove global warming does or does not eixst, the facts and tests can be carefully selected to achieve the desired goal.

Re:Bad Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291768)

Exactly. Right or wrong, why not just let the peer review process run it's course. If the Spencer paper has problems isn't that just an opportunity for someone else to publish? Why would the editor resign other than for politics?

Re:Bad Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291772)

You sound like a an uneducated teabagging religious nut, asking for real science, believe what you are told plebe!

Re:Bad Summary (2)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292272)

Acutally, Wagner also took issue with exaggerated claims that /the authors/, and other skeptics made about the paper. This is an obvious allusion to being played by a political machine. I would probably resign as well.

WTF is with the AXE ads? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291710)

I'm accustomed to seeing ads for all sorts of IT-related or otherwise nerdly ads -- the kind of thing that might be a good use of advertising money, if only 90% of /.ers weren't using Ad-Block Plus.

But this past week, I've seen a new ad -- an ad for AXE, which as I understand is a hygiene/cosmetic product meant to replace the average male's body odor with a facsimile of the "ideal" male's body odor (from a female perspective), thus enhancing said male's chance of getting laid. However, it has no ability (so far as I know) to summon, teleport, or otherwise cause a strange female to appear in a nerd's mom's basement, which seemingly renders it entirely useless to the bulk of the /. crowd.

Or is incestous seduction of mothers (with the aid of such products) far more widespread, or at least widely desired, than I ever imagined?

Amazing (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291742)

Major ice sheets are evaporating, and there's someone in the wild that says, "hay, this is normal, don't worry." And then another person says, "Hay, this is great publishing!" It's like being in a theater and someone yells, "Fire!" and then a chorus of voices blocking the Exits screams, "There is no Fire!"

Re:Amazing - huh ? (1)

DalDei (1032670) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291812)

Major ice sheets are evaporating, and there's someone in the wild that says, "hay, this is normal, don't worry." And then another person says, "Hay, this is great publishing!" It's like being in a theater and someone yells, "Fire!" and then a chorus of voices blocking the Exits screams, "There is no Fire!"

So who in this story is saying "Don't Worry" and who is "Blocking the Exits" ? I get the part about "Great Publishing" and "Fire" - end-of-the-world stories make great news. But the rest of your comment is way over my head ....

Re:Amazing - doh (1)

iUseMyBrain (2036904) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291958)

Major ice sheets are evaporating, and there's someone in the wild that says, "hay, this is normal, don't worry." And then another person says, "Hay, this is great publishing!" It's like being in a theater and someone yells, "Fire!" and then a chorus of voices blocking the Exits screams, "There is no Fire!"

Ever wonder why Greenland is named "Greenland"? Maybe the Earth's climate goes through cycles... nah, that's too crazy of an idea..

Re:Amazing - doh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37292192)

It is called Greenland because all the people in Iceland didn't want people immigrating to their island.

Re:Amazing - doh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37292224)

... You fail geography forever. [wikipedia.org]

(Regardless of how factual the "false advertising" myth may or may not be, Greenland got its name barely a thousand years ago, which in terms of major climate cycles is last week.)

Re:Amazing - doh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37292312)

What an obviously falcious argument. Of course the climate goes through cycles.

Ever notice that people who smoke die? And so do people who don't smoke!! Case proven, smoking has nothing to do with health issues!!!!!

AG School of Energy Conservation (0, Flamebait)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291782)

Just another political brickbat in the climatology-gravy train war at those who would so brazenly question the gravy or the recipe. No doubt some of Spencer's critics are acolytes and professors from the Al Gore School of Energy CONservation.

Re:AG School of Energy Conservation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37292002)

No doubt you're a teabagging religious nutjob that thinks whatever Rush Limbaugh tells you to think.

Re:AG School of Energy Conservation (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292102)

The only gravy train I see around here is the Heartland Institute gravy train, funded to a rather huge sum by Big Oil. And shockers, Spencer has a close association to them.

Re:AG School of Energy Conservation (1)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292334)

Wagner (you know, the guy who resigned), said that he took issue with the exaggerated statements that the authors and other skeptics made about the paper.

But I guess that since Wagner resigned, and you are a "skeptic", then you already _know_ that Wagner resigned because of some Al Gorian related conspiracy. You should really look up the dictionary and read the definition of "skeptic" again. Then read the definition of "denial". My guess is that you will do neither, and nor will you learn the real story behind Wagner's resignation, or seek to understand the papers themselves and the discourse around it.

You already know to much about the affair to do that.

Why did he resign? (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291798)

For most journals this wouldn't be an editor's fault, unless they used bad judgment choosing the reviewers, or ignored negative reviews and published it anyway.

Reviewers wouldn't resign because they're not part of the staff, but the editors should avoid inviting someone to review again if they passed a bad paper. (And that can happen for non-ideological reasons. It's really hard to get qualified people to invest the time required for a thorough review. I've gotten feedback where one reviewer wrote two pages and another wrote two sentences.

Re:Why did he resign? (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291858)

And I should add...

Even passing a good review doesn't mean that a paper is correct. Reviewers are not expected to re-do the authors' work, and some ideas that seem sound at the time of publication just turn out to be wrong.

But if a paper states something that is known to be wrong at the time it is reviewed, the reviewers should catch it. Assuming they're qualified.

Re:Why did he resign? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37292036)

From TFA:

...added he "would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper's conclusions in public statements".
Wagner specifically referred to headlines such as "New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism" on the Forbes magazine website and "Does NASA data show global warming lost in space?" on Foxnews.com, which both attracted considerable attention online.

It seems like the editor feels responsible for the way the article was spun in the non-science media. As you said, having published something that should later be retracted is generally not grounds for resignation.

We Did It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291824)

Mike--

We did it! We redefined peer review! From now on reviewers with "climate sceptic notions" will be kept out of the process, despite their qualifications and proficiencies. Can I say Hallelujah? Hallelujah! This is a glorious day for Science!

Re:We Did It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291920)

Well that right there is the problem. This particular climate sceptic paper was kept out of the review process but managed to get published anyway, hence the resignation of the editor.

The climate change conspiracy is indeed subtle and mysterious in its ways, yet oddly ineffective.

Re:We Did It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37292114)

um, no. the problem is that ALL of the reviewers were climate sceptics. But nice try.

Roy Spencer again (5, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291872)

The paper in question was written by Roy Spencer. Aside from his views on climate change he's also a vocal proponent of intelligent design. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Spencer_(scientist)#Views_on_intelligent_design [wikipedia.org] and what he calls "the theory of creation". While in a strict formal logic setting ad hominem attacks are not useful, they are a relevant heuristic to decide if someone knows what they are talking about. In this context, it seems pretty clear that Spencer lets his ideological allegiances dictate beliefs instead of careful scientific thinking. There's a certain point where you just stop assigning large amounts of weight to claims made by an individual because they've demonstrated repeated failure before. Spencer is past that point.

Flawed? (3, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291910)

For all the drama of the editor's resignation letter, he seems to be awfully vague about any actual flaws in the paper. Citing argument against it somewhere on the intarwebs as a reason not to publish it is like asserting that no pro-AGW papers should ever be printed because of wattsupwiththat.com.

Any relatively intelligent warmists want to break down for us specific flaws in the paper?

Re:Flawed? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292080)

Read Spencer's own blog, where three or four other climatologists tear his claims apart. But do it quick. Spencer, I suspect, won't let any post that isn't from like minded ideologues survive long.

Re:Flawed? (1)

pnot (96038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292278)

For all the drama of the editor's resignation letter, he seems to be awfully vague about any actual flaws in the paper.

If you want a peer-reviewed rebuttal you'll have to wait till next week when Andrew Dessler's paper is due to appear in Geophysical Research Letters -- the wheels of peer review grind slowly, which is why blogs tend to get used for more instantaneous responses. If you are happy with a non-peer-reviewed rebuttal by two respected climate scientists go here [realclimate.org] .

Citing argument against it somewhere on the intarwebs as a reason not to publish it is like asserting that no pro-AGW papers should ever be printed because of wattsupwiththat.com.

The difference here is that Anthony Watts is not only not a respected climate scientist but not in fact a climate scientist at all.

Nothing Remotely Sensible... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291962)

The following is taken from Desmogblog [desmogblog.com]

  Spencer and the “Interfaith Stewardship Alliance”
Spencer is listed as a “scientific advisor” for an organization called the “Interfaith Stewardship Alliance” (ISA). According to their website, the ISA is “a coalition of religious leaders, clergy, theologians, scientists, academics, and other policy experts committed to bringing a proper and balanced Biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development.”

In July 2006, Spencer co-authored an ISA report refuting the work of another religious organization called the Evangelical Climate Initiative. The ISA report was titled A Call to Truth, Prudence and Protection of the Poor: an Evangelical Response to Global Warming. Along with the report was a letter of endorsement signed by numerous representatives of various organizations, including 6 that have received a total of $2.32 million in donations from ExxonMobil over the last three years.

  Satellite Research Refuted

According to an August 12, 2005 New York Times article, Spencer, along with another well-known “skeptic,” John Christy, admitted they made a mistake in their satellite data research that they said demonstrated a cooling in the troposphere (the earth’s lowest layer of atmosphere). It turned out that the exact opposite was occurring and the troposphere was getting warmer.

“These papers should lay to rest once and for all the claims by John Christy and other global warming skeptics that a disagreement between tropospheric and surface temperature trends means that there are problems with surface temperature records or with climate models,” said Alan Robock, a meteorologist at Rutgers University.

  Spencer and the Heartland Institute

Spencer is listed as an author for the Heartland Institute, a US think tank that has received $676,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998.

The Heartland Institute has also received funding from Big Tobacco over the years and continues to make the claim that “anti-smoking advocates” are exaggerating the health threats of smoking.

Spencer and the George C. Marshall Institute

Spencer is listed as an “Expert” with the George C. Marshall Institute, a US think tank that has received $630,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.

Naomi Oreskes [wikipedia.org] , who wrote Merchants of Doubt [guardian.co.uk] has quite a bit to say about the George C. Markshall Institute and their anti-science "scientific research."

Uggggggh! (2)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292000)

I read the response by Dr. Roy Spencer. I even went so far as to read some of the comments on his site and his responses to those comments. Regardless of whether Spencer's work is flawed or not, he handles himself like a juvenile blogger driven by ideaology rather than a professional scientist interested in research. At one point he bans another commenter from continued comments for raising issues with Spencer's original paper. Upon banning the commenter, he proudly proclaims in all caps,

CONGRATULATIONS, OBSCURITY, YOU ARE THE FIRST TO BE BANNED FROM THIS SITE. THE CHARGE IS EITHER (1) CHRONIC IGNORANCE, OR (2) MALICIOUS OBFUSCATION. YOUR CHOICE.

Reading the whole discussion is like watching the dick-waving comments go back and forth on Youtube, or like watching a transcript from a Bill O'Reilly episode where the guest speakers just yell at each other until someone gets their mic cut off.

This kind of petty bickering has got to stop if we're ever going to make any progress in this country again. We have to stop putting value in the antics of drama queens. It may have been cute in high school politics but this kind of crap is going to render our country irrelevant if it keeps going on much longer. (And for the pedants and assholes, I am American, so I use the term, "our country," to refer to the United States).

Re:Uggggggh! (3, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292060)

Well, more to the point, read his critics, who he seems determined to ban. They are making cogent points, calling him on his methodological failings, and he's basically sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting "Neener neener neener!" and basically claiming that the IPCC is screwing with him.

As I said, Spencer is a shill, and his peers know this. He's the Michael Behe of climatology, except even Behe is smarter than to try to get any of his ID bullshit published in any biology or molecular biology journals. Of course, Behe's benefactors don't have the vast sums of wealth that the oil companies do.

Re:Uggggggh! (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292232)

No, I get all that. I suppose I am just venitng my frustrations about the fact that, at some point in my younger years, I imagined issues important to society at large would be met by people with some semblence of mature discourse. The fact that both politics at our national level and a matter of scientific research are being governed by the same types of argumentation that prevailed when I was 16 and my peers motivations were fueled primarily by hormones is grossing me out.

So, IPCC Druids versus Creationists? (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37292100)

Two words: Cripple Fight.

If only 'twere possible for them both to be wrong. Actually, I'd settle for "wrong for the right reasons" and vice versa, which I think is where we're about at.

Who needs studies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37292282)

Just stick your head out the window. How many once in a hundred year storms, hurricanes and floods within a 10 to 15 year period do we need before we accept things are different? Hell how about in a single year! The Phoenix area is still running over a 110 degrees and it's September, It was 115 yesterday where I am and it's supposed to be nearly that until the middle of the month. Most of the anti global warming people are even admitting the change. Their position though is we didn't cause it, we can't change it either way so let's deregulate. We can play dualing papers until doomsday but the truth is on the 6:00 news. If the anti climate change people want to pray for something it shouldn't be deregulation it should be for New Orleans which right now has a monster tropical storm headed for it.

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