Monckton Blasts PRP Journal Shutdown: “21st Century Equivalent Of Nazi-Era Book-Burning” By “A Vicious Campaign”

monckton1401022UPDATE: Eschenbach whines…about being attacked! He comments below:

Finally, attacking me for what I said, without using my name and without quoting what I said? Really? Is this your idea of proper behavior?” 

Can you believe it!
=======================

Hopefully this will be my last word on this matter.

Christopher Monckton, 3. Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, has responded to the PRP journal cancellation affair, which has created quite a stir within the skeptic climate science community. In it he has some deservedly harsh comments, which I steeply tend to agree with.

He calls the PRP shutdown a “21st century equivalent of Nazi-era book-burning“, led by “a vicious campaign sedulously waged by the canting profiteers of doom“. He calls the publisher’s director Rasmussen “a formless lump of lard“.

And unfortunately it seems a few skeptics played into the hands of the campaign or, for selfish reasons, even played along with the shenanigans, so some have claimed.

In his forceful piece, Christopher Monckton offers a persuasive defence of Niklas Mörner, the distiunguished Swedish scientist and PRP editor who has more than 500 publications to his credit. Mockton writes (my emphasis):

Unlike Galileo, who also got into trouble over the theological implications of the interaction between the Sun and the planets, professor Mörner did not even get a trial in front of the Holy Inquisition. For the Thermageddon Cult is, to its very roots, instinctually Communist. Fair trial, Tovarishch? No way, Josevich.”

And kudos to Anthony Watts, who hardly emerges unscathed in this matter, for featuring Monckton’s response at his blog. Anthony still appears to maintain a hardline against the science floated by the special PRP issue and its authors, which is fine. But I think he should not slam the door entirely on them. From a reader comment he wrote, I got the feeling he belittles the journal in calling it “a repository for way out there ideas“. A premature dismissal on his part? Time will tell. But let’s keep in mind that Galilieo’s and Wegener’s ideas also were also once called “way out”. In the end, it turned out that it was the mainstream itself who were way out. Anthony also called Monckton’s piece “emotional”.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that a certain WUWT contributor is having perhaps too much influence at the number one skeptic blog, a blog to which we owe so much to. As talented as that person may be, it seems odd he would take it upon himself, given his relatively scant scientific credentials, to tell the rest of us which science is to be believed. One paper or two doesn’t make a person the authority. There were other self-anointed climate science quality czars who came out of the woodwork and over-extended. I was particularly disappointed with Poptech, from whom we found plenty of childish comments, like here.

At NTZ my first reaction to the PRP shutdown, I admit, was on the overly harsh side. I also unwisely allowed myself to be spurred on in part by emotion, i.e. my frustration arising from the systematic and institutionalized attempts here in Germany to marginalize and silence legitimate skeptic voices. With PRP I thought: Here we go again.

But then Anthony came out with his strong critique of the scientists behind PRP group and that really got me to rethink my original position. On the surface Anthony made a very convincing case, and many of his points had merit, and still do. Maybe the journal is bogus, I wondered.

But since then background details and responses from the other side have emerged and indicate that, under the bottom line, the original NTZ position was not far off after all. And some of the “nepotism” allegations leveled at WUWT remain just that: allegations that still have to be looked into. Christopher Monckton’s essay confirms my original position that this was for the most part a sloppy and mean-spirited attempt by Copernicus to silence one side.

Everyone hopes that the dust will settle soon. As far as I’m concerned, the whole thing for me is a bygone. Hopefully this will be my last word on it. We are all going to make mistakes at one time or another. I urge readers here not to hold anything against anyone: forgive and forget.

In the future we have to work to ensure that other opinions and positions get heard without unnecessary attacks. Getting views on the table unhindered and leaving egos aside is what climate science needs more than ever today.

I really do hope the PRP journal sees success and I look forward to writing about it in the future.

Also read Monckton’s letter to Copernicus director, Rasmussen: http://tallbloke.files.pdf.

And read PRP special issue.pdf

 

22 responses to “Monckton Blasts PRP Journal Shutdown: “21st Century Equivalent Of Nazi-Era Book-Burning” By “A Vicious Campaign””

  1. Bernd Felsche

    I urge readers here not to hold anything against anyone: forgive and

    Ditto. I can understand why people hold a certain point of view. And why they would rather defend their ideas instead of sending their “child” out into the cold to stand on its own feet.

    But I’m unlikely to forget. Methods of approaching individuals to discuss their ideas will be adjusted.

    Right now, my temperature is high (fighting influenza, I suspect). So I’m self-censoring to minimise future regret.

  2. Nicola Scafetta

    Pierre,

    thank you. The problem with Anthony is that he has attacked our work for personal ideological motivations. He has not spent any time reading our papers.

    I made a book collection of all papers (20Mb)

    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/pdf/PRP_special_issue.pdf

    The accusation of Rasmussen (director of Copernicus), amplified by Anthony’s band questioning the peer-review process of our collection are groundless.

    The purpose of the peer review process is to check errors and suggest improvements and clarifications. A pal-review is essentially a false or “palliative” review, that is a review that does not really check for errors or suggest improvements and clarifications.

    Thus, the only way to determine whether a work has received a true review or a pal review is to determine whether the work contains evident errors that a normal review process would have noted.

    I can testify that Morner acted professionally. It is up to the critics to demonstrate otherwise by demonstrating that the works are of a low quality.
    But Anthony criticized without even reading!

    1. Bernd Felsche

      Do you have any idea where and when the supplementary data will be made available? Roger mentioned that he was working on that a day or 3 ago.

      I’d like to “play” with some of the data behind the figures but would rather not bother the author(s) with individual requests if patience suffices.

      The first one about which I’m curious is Solheim’s sea level vs sunspots. At a glance, my eyes spot that the rate of change of sunspots is “paralleled” by the rate of change of sea level. Plotting rate of change of sunspots against rate of change of sea level eliminates the time axis.

      As sunspots are a proxy of solar activity (certain types anyway), the change in the sun that notional induces a change in insolation to change sea level, could be well-established or even just passed but the time the sunspots are observed. Such temporal lags are “eliminated” (please don’t ask me to prove it mathematically) if one “observation” is plotted against the other.

  3. William Connolley

    > 21st century equivalent of Nazi-era book-burning

    M too loses on Godwin.

    > He calls the publisher’s director Rasmussen “a formless lump of lard“.

    And he has no interest in civilised discourse.

    > professor Mörner did not even get a trial in front of the Holy Inquisition

    Any time Morner wants to get his research “tried” he can simply submit it to a peer reviewed journal for comment. Unsurprisingly, he isn’t keen to do this.

    And, of course, Morner isn’t a prof: he’s retired.

    > I urge readers here not to hold anything against anyone: forgive and forget

    Except for people you don’t like. You shouldn’t forgive them, obviously.

    1. DirkH

      William Connolley
      24. Januar 2014 at 20:47 | Permalink | Reply
      “> 21st century equivalent of Nazi-era book-burning
      M too loses on Godwin.”

      Godwin’s “law” applies to deteriorating debates where one side starts to insult the other as Nahzie; not to meaningful comparisons. For instance, comparing Pol Pot’s killing fields to Nahzie extermination camps has nothing to do with Godwin’s Law.

      Always happy to help, Wiki-weasel.

  4. cementafriend

    I put this comment on Willis sole published paper in an earlier thread which may have been missed by some readers here.
    cementafriend
    24. Januar 2014 at 07:10 | Permalink | Reply – See more at: http://notrickszone.com/2014/01/22/david-and-goliath-nicola-scafetta-fires-back-at-harsh-willis-eschenbachs-criticism/#comments
    The single paper was in a special edition of Energy & Environment. I downloaded the special edition from here http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/EE_21-4_paradigm_shift_output_limited_3_Mb.pdf. It is my understanding that the papers were discussed in a group by all the authors then either not further peer reviewed or peer reviewed within the group. Some of the papers are very good. The paper by Dr Noor Van Andel ( a chemical engineer who is now deceased) “Tropical rainstorm feedback” covers similar information to that from Willis but goes into chemical engineering details mentioning mass transfer and the Sherwood Number (which to my knowledge no so-called Climate scientists has ever mentioned). In this the calculated sensivity factor of 0.19C/CO2 doubling is closer to the mark than the guesses and assumptions of others.
    Dr Van Andel also has an excellent paper “Note on the Miskolczi theory” showing that he is one of the few who understands Miskolczi who also has an article explaining Optical thickness.
    The set of papers is worth reading. It is a pity Willis has not grasp the significance of some of the other papers in this issue. Maybe he did not read them. On my neglected blog I point to a paper he used as a refeernce but clearly did not read.

    Someone should ask Willis who reviewed his paper (was it one or more of the authors in the special edition). Also, why has he never (to my knowledge) thanked Dr Van Andel for mentioning his paper and why has he never mentioned or referenced Dr van Andel’s paper. It is likely he does not understand it. Dr Van Andel mentions the Sherwood and Schmidt dimensionless numbers. Dr Gavin Schmidt (NASA & RealClimate) confessed he did not understand the Schmidt number. Dr Gavin Schmidt is supposed to be one of the intellectuals in the AGW movement but he is certainly not competent to review either of the papers by Dr Van Andel E&E issue.
    William Connolly, what understanding do you have of subjects such as thermodynamics, or heat &mass transfer and why does the RealClimate blog contain such a lot of unscientific nonsense? Is it because the supposed peers are incompetent?

    1. A C Osborn

      I am sorry that I dod not know of your Forum as I would have visited it.
      That is one of the problems for small bloggers, if they don’t appear on big site Blog Rolls they remain virtually unknown.
      Any chance that you will resume it?

    2. Poptech

      Your statement that the some of the papers were not further peer-reviewed after the internal review is blatantly false, it explicitly says,

      “Next, EACH PAPER was submitted to criticism by two external referees.”

  5. Poptech

    What exactly did I say that was not true?

    Your post reads as,

    1. I responded rashly and emotionally.
    2. WUWT made a factually valid argument that has merit so I reconsidered my first response.
    3. Monckton made an emotional argument that supports my first reaction so I am going back with #1.

    The logic of this thought process escapes me. Apparently facts don’t matter and it is simply who can be more emotional.

  6. Willis Eschenbach

    Pierre, you say:

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that a certain WUWT contributor is having perhaps too much influence at the number one skeptic blog, a blog to which we owe so much to. As talented as that person may be, it seems odd he would take it upon himself, given his relatively scant scientific credentials, to tell the rest of us which science is to be believed.

    First, what is your point in not using my name when you are making accusations about me? Do you consider that to be ethical?

    Next, perhaps you could quote my words where I tell people “which science is to be believed”. I fear that I don’t recall doing that.

    Finally, attacking me for what I said, without using my name and without quoting what I said?

    Really? Is this your idea of proper behavior?

    In any case, some clarification would be appreciated.

    w.

    1. DirkH

      “Finally, attacking me for what I said, without using my name and without quoting what I said? Really? Is this your idea of proper behavior?”

      May I bring this to the readers attention
      http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/cool-it/#comment-7257
      in which Willis Eschenbach just said
      “Not because the authors questioned the consensus, but because they just waved their hands and said in essence “our pile of 19 papers shows that the IPCC claims are wrong, so there”. The authors didn’t say which IPCC claims, or which papers disproved those specific claims. If I were a reviewer, I’d never let that kind of unreferenced vague handwaving pass muster.”

      Notice that Willis Eschenbach attacked the authors of the PRP special issue without quoting what they actually said. He is not applying the high standard he demands of others to himself.

  7. Willis Eschenbach

    cementafriend
    25. Januar 2014 at 07:45

    I put this comment on Willis sole published paper in an earlier thread which may have been missed by some readers here.

    “Sole published paper”? Sorry, you missed a couple. I published a peer-reviewed “Communications Arising” in Nature (a short scientific piece limited to 500 words), a peer-reviewed paper in Diversity and Distributions, and a third peer-reviewed paper in E&E. So you are starting by revealing that you haven’t done your homework.

    cementafriend
    24. Januar 2014 at 07:10

    Someone should ask Willis who reviewed his paper (was it one or more of the authors in the special edition).

    No clue, didn’t know then or now, unless their names were actually “Reviewer 1″ and “Reviewer 2″. Didn’t know the names of the two E&E reviewers for the other paper either, didn’t know the names of the three Nature reviewers, didn’t know the names of the Diversity and Distributions reviewers. I always assumed that that’s why they are called “anonymous reviewers” … should I have asked for their names?

    Also, why has he never (to my knowledge) thanked Dr Van Andel for mentioning his paper and why has he never mentioned or referenced Dr van Andel’s paper. It is likely he does not understand it. Dr Van Andel mentions the Sherwood and Schmidt dimensionless numbers. Dr Gavin Schmidt (NASA & RealClimate) confessed he did not understand the Schmidt number.

    Sorry, but that was a decade ago. I have no memory of reading the Van Andel paper then, so I fear I can’t answer your question about understanding it. I was living in Fiji at the time with poor internet connections, so I was nowhere near as active online at the time as I am now. I fear that as near as I can recall, the idea of publicly thanking Dr. Van Andel never crossed my mind. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Anyhow, hang on, I have the issue around here somewhere … OK, found it. Dr. van Andel’s comment about me, in its entirety, was:

    Willis Eschenbach (this issue) shows that in the tropics, every day clouds form as a consequence of solar heating of the surface, that these clouds develop into rainstorms as soon as the surface temperature exceeds a limit, so a “governor” is in place that shuts off the solar heating and even can cool the surface to temperatures lower than hours before.

    Your contention is that I should have publicly thanked Dr. van Andel for that?

    Always more to learn, I guess …

    w.

  8. Paul Vaughan

    My one & only dead serious issue with Watts is and has been his tolerance of stalking, harassment, malicious misrepresentation, & devilish pushing of solar-terrestrial 2+2=5 (presumably to support some political &/or financial agenda) by dark agents of ignorance &/or deception, in particular Svalgaard (10), Eschenbach (5), & Mosher (1) (listed in decreasing order of magnitude of egregiousness, svalagaard scoring much higher due to extensive abuse of authority).

  9. RC Saumarez

    I cannot imagine why anyone takes Willis Eschenbach seriously. His mathematics, in which he considers himself an expert, is facile and when challenged he reacts badly. The problem is basically that he is so limited that he simply cannot understand the objections that people make to his work. Abuse is not a substitue for reason and Mr Eschenbach does not have a monopoly on reason.

    Although he is widely admired by the credulous, the educated are unconvinced by his research.

    1. Paul Vaughan
    2. Poptech

      How is Roger Tattersall remotely considered an expert? Yet he was both an editor and a reviewer in the PRP special edition.

      Roger Tattersall, HNC [Higher National Certificate] Mechanical and Production Engineering, Leeds Metropolitan University (1985); B.A. History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds (1988); Customer Services manager, Vital online Ltd. (2000-2004); Fundraising Coordinator, Yorkshire Air Ambulance (2006-2008); Digital Content Manager, School of Education, University of Leeds (2009-2013)

      I can see no reason for this, other than he posted a lot about this topic on his blog, which is not a defensible argument.

  10. cementafriend

    In the E&E issue (Vol21 nr4 2010 -not that long ago Willis ) Arthur Roersch guest editor writes
    “The manuscripts were sent for critical review to several members of the discussion
    groups from which they originated, though consensus was not always reached among
    those participating in this internal peer review system. Next, each paper was submitted to criticism by two external referees. If one of them felt inclined to recommend rejection of the paper, a third referee became involved. If the third reaction was positive, it was left to the author himself to weigh the criticism. Thus the conclusions in each paper remain the sole responsibility of the author.”
    Willis now admits he did not read the papers. Einstein was well read when he developed his theories. He fleshed the theories out with some maths. Dr Van Andel had a good understanding of heat & mass transfer. He developed and patented a new type of heat exchanger (FWX-fine wire exchanger)
    Arthur Reorsch writes “next paper by W.Eschenbach deals with thermostat hypothesis, that is the regulatory function of weather events.
    N. van Andel then further quantifies the effect of wind speed on mass transfer by
    water vapour and heat transfer by evaporation.” (note Willis’s paper contains no maths) Van Andel goes further and calculates a sensitivity factor. One would have thought that would interest Willis but then (like the AGW alarmists ) if you do not understand the maths in Chemical engineering then I suppose you develop junk models to hide your lack of competence.

    1. Poptech

      This is a very different review process, as we have learned that even most of the anonymous referees in PRP were authors in the special edition. With E&E the internal review process can be considered legitimate pre-review (the only thing I consider pal-review useful for), since it has no bearing on the actual peer-review by the two outside reviewers. You can pre-review papers internally all you want before the accepted practice of peer-review which includes outside reviewers.

  11. Poptech

    This works both ways, it is odd Lord Monckton would attempt to publish a physical science journal given his scant scientific credentials.

    It is even odder Roger who has no advanced training in science whatsoever was both an editor and a reviewer in the PRP special edition.

    Roger Tattersall, HNC [Higher National Certificate] Mechanical and Production Engineering, Leeds Metropolitan University (1985); B.A. History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds (1988); Customer Services manager, Vital online Ltd. (2000-2004); Fundraising Coordinator, Yorkshire Air Ambulance (2006-2008); Digital Content Manager, School of Education, University of Leeds (2009-2013)

    I can see no reason for this, other than he posted a lot about this topic on his blog, which is not a defensible argument.