Wednesday, February 20, 2013


There are temptations that cannot be passed by, and alas, Eli has been forced to adopt (rather than mitigate) the Twitter.  The new address for bunny droppings, is, what else, @EthonRaptor, because who but a big, liver hungry bird could tweet.

Now some ask, precisely what was this delicious morsel of liver that brought the Rabett to this fine pass.  Indeed it was something special, it appears that Global Environmental Change has invited Roger Jr. to take a hike and they did it in fine Pielke fashion, noting that it was time to give others a chance to practice their editorial duties.  Roger, of course, wants a detailed explanation.  Eli suspects he ain't gonna get the whole thing, however, FWIW, he now says

UPDATE 2: Neil Adger, editor of GEC, replies to explain, contrary to the earlier email, that I have been removed from the editorial board due to a perception of my "waning interest in the journal" citing my declining of 3 reviews last year (I'd guess overall that I declined 50 or more requests to review last year and took on about 12, welcome to academia;-).
Maybe true enough, but when you are a member of an editorial board it is always your turn in the barrel (explanation of Eli's obscure reference for Carrot Eater), however, it is Roger and the whining never stops
Of course, he could have asked about my interest before removing me from the Board. He did not comment on my critical blog post. I take his response to mean that I am indeed the only one who has been removed at this time. So there you have it, another climate ink blot. Coincidence? You be the judge.
Eli judges, it is something else, e.g. that opinions against Roger's act are hardening.  What was once amusing is now no longer so, you only get to whine so often and Ethon's dinner has made a career out of it.

Which brings us to the more important part.  According to baby, the real reason he was canned was a shoddy blog post of his on a paper "Climate change prediction: Erring on the side of least drama?" by Keynyn Brysse, Naomi Oreskes, Jessica O’Reilly, and Michael Oppenheimer which appeared in GEC.  Roger, of course, provides a link (here $) to the paywalled version, Eli, in a few seconds with google scholar found the free to download article in press version.  Coincidence?  You be the judge:)

If you want a non shoddy review of the paper, try Skeptical Science.  Eli as is his wont is going to look at two things.  First, the authors select a few key topic, intense rainfall, melting of the Arctic, ocean heat uptake, CO2 emissions and sea level rise where clearly the consensus evaluation underestimated the effect.  They also looked at hurricane intensity and frequency and permafrost melting, two cases where there is no strong consensus and described how these were conservatively handled.  Now Eli comes to the first point, what got Roger going.  Well, wait for the second part, but the authors certainly set bait in by discussing his take on sea level rise.  Coincidence?  High regard?  You be the judge:) 
In a 2008 paper, Roger Pielke, Jr., expanded this analysis to include the predictions offered by scientists in earlier IPCC assessments (Pielke, 2008). Pielke observed that for sea level rise, actual changes have been greater than forecast in two of three prior IPCC reports, while falling below the median prediction in the First Assessment Report (FAR). Predicted temperature changes, also higher in the FAR than subsequently observed, were in line with observations for the three subsequent assessments, taken as a whole.
Pielke noted that ‘‘A comprehensive and longer-term perspective on IPCC predictions, such as this, suggests that more recent predictions are not obviously superior [to older ones] in capturing climate evolution’’ (2008, p. 206). This is of course true: More observations, model runs, and even greater understanding of individual aspects of a complex system do not necessarily lead to convergence on truth (Oppenheimer et al., 2008). But the relevant question is how the projections have stood up to empirical evidence of what actually has occurred in the natural world during the time period under discussion. Pielke concluded that ‘‘Once published, projections should not be forgotten but should be rigorously compared with evolving observations’’ (2008, p. 206). We agree. When one does this, as both the Rahmstorf and Pielke analyses do, one finds an overall tendency in the most recent three assessments toward either no bias or toward underestimation.
The spittle really starts to fly over at the rock, when it comes to discussing the reasons for the tendency towards underestimation.  Some time ago, James Hansen had talked about an innate conservatism in science.
He has suggested that ‘‘scientific reticence’’ is preventing scientists from effectively communicating the true danger of the potential disintegration of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets (GIS and WAIS) (Hansen, 2007). Hansen argues that scientific reticence involves ‘‘a tendency for ‘gradualism’ as new evidence comes to light,’’ and a ‘‘pressure on scientists to be conservative,’’ to submit scientific papers that ‘‘do not push too far and are larded with caveats’’ (Hansen, 2007, p. 2). Scientific reticence also influences assessments like the IPCC reports, he argues, which ‘‘produce a
consensus’’ among thousands of scientists from most of the world’s nations, who are collectively ‘‘extremely careful about making attributions’’ (Hansen, 2007, p. 5).
Brysse, et al. don't think this goes far enough
The frequent attacks on Stephen Schneider—as well as attacks on other climate scientists such as Benjamin Santer and Michael Mann—suggests that one possible reason why scientists may have underestimated the threat of anthropogenic warming is the fear that if they don’t, they will be accused by contrarians (as was Schneider) of being alarmist fear-mongers. That is to say, pressure from skeptics and contrarians and the risk of being accused of alarmism may have caused scientists to understate their results."
Now by coincidence, you decide, our friend feels insulted (must be hard being Roger, being insulted all the time)
Not only is the accusation of a systematic bias an insult to the integrity of practicing scientists, but the entire paper is built on an empirical foundation that does not touch the ground.
Well let's look at Roger's blog.  In the post immediately below, he accused Marshall Shepherd  President of the American Meteorological Society of giving distorted testimony to the Congress and flatly not telling the (Pielke version of the) truth.  Coincidence?  You be the judge:)

Eli understands that Brian is doing some crowd sourcing in the post below, Eli would appreciate entries in the Roger Pielke accuses those who disagree with him of being alarmist fear-mongers contest (and any other nasty thing he can think of).  Coincidence?  You decide:)


Steve Bloom said...

Eli, do you forget to your peril that all misinterpretations of Pielkes are to be undertaken only by Pielkes since only a Pielke can truly grasp the misstatements of a Pielke? IOW, in terms Ethon can understand, when at last the big bird takes the big bite he may find that the liver of a Pielke is composed of gall and little else.

PS - Don't forget to note how long it takes RP Jr. to block you, if he hasn't already.

Arthur said...

I can't imagine members of APS journal editorial boards habitually declining to do their work. Different journals operate differently I suppose, But Ed. Board should be much more an obligation than just being a referee.

Anonymous said...

"Pielke Proof"
-- by Horatio Algeranon

Pielke Proof
Is like a spoof,
A parody
Of basic truth.

To play the game,
For blogger fame
One simply kNOTs
A noted claim.

The "kNOT" operation (part of "Foolean logic") is "NOT with a twist", which involves first taking the opposite and then tying it (and oneself) up in knots with cockeyed arguments in order to make the denial more "palinable" (palatable to the Sarah Palin crowd)

Anonymous said...

Eli, I suspect that GEC wants to shift into "High Pal, Not Peer" review mode. I guess climategate was not a good teacher after all.

Anonymous said...

A 9:21 is that you Roger? Oh well, whoever it is they are just propagating another conspiracy and myth that is forever firmly entrenched in the minds of those in denial.

I suspect that Roger's open defamation of his colleagues is finally catching up with him. Roger now seems to also be openly entering conspiracy theories-- such is the life of someone in denial.

Another distinct possibility is that perhaps the journal grew tired of Roger's duplicity and/or displaying bias in what he accepted or denied for publication.

I would suggest that Roger, instead of assuming malfeasance or wrong doing on the part of others, that he take a long and hard look in the mirror and reflect on his inane (and his dad's) behaviour over the years. In Roger's land it seems that only he can do no wrong or not err, nothing would be further from the truth.

Many examples can be brought forth if Roger or someone else requests.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:52,

Do you deny pal review in climate science. Do we have to bring out all the emails again.

willard said...

Examples please, pretty please with some sugar on it.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Anon@9:21 doesn't really understand how peer-revew or science for that matter works. Peer review is not simply a barrier to keep crappy papers out. If it works well, it should also improve the papers. And that is precisely what any decent author should want.

Of course, the ultimate test is whether one's peers see that the work adds value and understanding they would otherwise lack--that is the real test. In contrast, the denialist papers lie there like a dog turd on a hot New York sidewalk--because their goal is to obscure rather than illuminate.

Hank Roberts said..."pielke+jr."+"most+misunderstood" -- there's something funny about how misunderstandings are distributed. Aren't there any mildly or slightly misunderstood issues around climate?

John Mashey said...

Pal review happens.

badger badger badger said...

Here's a dump of thingsbreak, mere whining omitted:

Brian said...

Re Eli's request for Roger's nasty comments, Eli may remember when good ol' Roger accused me in the NYTimes blog comments of using "misleading semantic arguments to attack people whose views they would rather not engage with directly....using that semantic twisting to spread lies about me here at the NYT." Andy Revkin gave it a highlight.

In Feb '09, Roger mislead people on James Hansen's position on carbon capture and I called him out on it in the same month, and again at Revkin in 2010. Roger called my statements misleading, mis-stated what I had said, and then mislead readers by giving a link to a different paper where he uses a different definition, written after I had made my critique.

Follow the bouncing ball if you like.

Brian said...

Sorry, "misled" not "mislead".

So misleading to have written that.

willard said...

Albatross' selection would still be interesting. He's an important scholar on Honest Brokering.

Speaking of which, here's my (pending clean-up) selection:

My favorite is NG's 20-words redux:

Economist: A will not work, therefore we must do B

Broker: B will never happen, therefore we must do A

Further argument fits the definition of “talking past each other”:

Economist: But B will work

Broker: But A is possible

(Sorry for the double post, Eli. You can remove my other comments. I'll check if I can do it myself.)