Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Tale of the Expert Reviewer

Brad Johnson has been looking over Marc Morano's Pack of Climate Denial Jokers, and somehow shuffled DiplPhil Dick into the weatherman deck only to have the real thing show up in the comments with an amusing line of self promotion The bunnies have previously met Richard S. Courtney, not of Epson, but his appearance at the Wonk Room wins the 2009 Tim Ball for Resume Stretching

However, I write to provide a correction. You list my affiliation as being “CoalTrans International” but I have had no connection with that organisation for nearly a decade.

I have several present affiliations and I suggest that the most appropriate for you to mention on your blog is that I am “An Expert Peer Reviewer for the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”. This affiliation seems most appropriate because it states that I am one of “the thousands of UN scientists” whom your organisation asserts to be noteworthy.

The IPCC’s most recent scientific so-called reports are its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) and its Synthesis Report. And I was asked to peer review the AR4 by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Synthesis Report by the IPCC’s Chairman (Rajendra Pechauri).

If you wish to know my other affiliations then we can negotiate the fee for the Disclosure Agreement.

Eli inquires of the bunny gallery, what a suitable recompense for this information would be, but the formulation
And I was asked to peer review the AR4 by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Synthesis Report by the IPCC’s Chairman (Rajendra Pechauri).
makes it real clear that the invitation was not personal, but a general one sent out to the world at large, often on boxes of cereal. Everyone and his dad was invited to review the AR4. Courtney will now try and get us to pay money for his virtual autographed Pechauri, but since Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC has personally assured Eli that he did not invite Courtney to review anything, let us go on. This was soon followed by

My thanks are three-fold.

Firstly, I do not usually give thanks for flattery but in this case I do. I am grateful that you have flattered me by listing me among such illustrious names as Lindzen, Singer, Spencer, Pielke, Harris, Briggs and etc..

Secondly, I am grateful that you have given me such amusement. You promote the myth of a scientific consensus that ‘dangerous man-made global warming is a reality’ but publish a list of dozens of eminent scientists who dispute such dangerous warming exists! I laughed so much it brought tears to my eyes.

Thirdly, I am grateful that you did amend the “affiliation” you attribute to me, but the amendment was to add “(ret)” after the incorrect affiliation. (And that gave me another laugh so is part of the amusement that I appreciate so much.)

But – as I explained – my appropriate and present “affiliation” for inclusion on your list is “United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”. Failure to replace my historic “affiliation” with my present “affiliation” to the IPCC is a blatant misrepresentation because you have had a clear explanation that my “affiliation” with the IPCC is current and is pertinent.

In conclusion, and in a spirit of good will, I provide the following comment which I hope is helpful to you.

As far as Eli and the rest of the world is concerned, the Expert Reviewers, volunteered their comments, and had no ongoing relationship with the IPCC.

The best is a comment from George Smith
I’m not embarrassed to be included with those weathermen luminaries above; specially Richard S. Courtney; who is one of those world famous IPCC chaps the UN keeps bragging about;


Anonymous said...

"Richard S. Courtney, not of Epson, but"

Is this a printing error? :-)

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think on the irony in one of RSC's comment over there:

"I suspect you have given me this honour because I began promoting science in opposition to the pseudo-science of man-made global warming in the early 1980s when Mrs Thatcher (then UK PM) began to use the issue as a political ploy. Hence, I was among the first (possibly the first) scientist to speak out against the pseudo-scientific political promotion that is man-made global warming."

And who was Mrs T's "scientific adviser" (well, one of them -- but that is usually passed over in resumés it seems)? None other than Viscount PseudoScience hisself!

Chortle, chortle!

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...


I would like to note that Boulder now appears to have a "team" to use RPJr's favorite line, or a "tribe" to borrow from Mr. Defender of the First Amendment Keith.

I think that team is very clearly RPJr, Tom Yulsman, and Keith Kloor. But if it was a "dance team", I would argue that they can't seem to quite get the rhythm.

Mus musculus anonymouse

guthrie said...

Thatcher used AGW as a political ploy? Why, was she a secret communist or something?

The last I knew, Thatcher set up the Hadley centre to study climate change, partly because she did actually have a scientific background, unlike the majority of MP's and journalists these days, and also it was an easy way to meet critiscism of her not caring about the environment.

Anonymous said...

Eli said:
As far as Eli and the rest of the world is concerned, the Expert Reviewers, volunteered their comments, and had no ongoing relationship with the IPCC.

Here's how I think it might work. Anyone can sign up to be an expert reviewer (even me). But once you do, you get on the IPCC list and get an "invitation" next time around. We'll see if that holds up in my case when AR5 rolls around.

Don't know about Courtney, but some of the "experts" appeared to have violated IPCC terms against citing or quoting the draft report - like the authors of the Fraser Institute's Independent Summary for Policy Makers (ISPM), which was a "summary" (more like distortion and cherrypicking) of the second draft.

There are good reasons for the IPCC embargo on drafts of course. And when I wrote the SourceWatch article on the ISPM, I had to chase down several incorrect cites that had moved or changed.

Anonymous said...

Guthrie, "Apparently" it was Maggie's plot to get the nuclear industry restarted - outflank the greenies.
Trust me - I'm a denialist.

Doesn't seem to have worked - not many nukes built in the UK since she got power.

guthrie said...

Well, they, meaning the civil servants, were trying to get the nuclear industry re-started back in the late 70's, when Benn had a run in with them and realised they were torpedoeing all other options except nuclear, and of course there was a mistake made with Salters duck figures which made them seem twice as expensive than they actually were, although it might have been an honest mistake.

Torness, being the newest, was actually begun in the 70's and finished in the 80's, and as far as I can tell we didn't need any more power stations after that, and anyway they realised it would take massive public subsidy to get commercial.

Anonymous said...

Where do they find these people?