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Retribution of the warmists!? Prof. Pielke Jr. asked to remove himself from journal board after ‘strong critique’ of ‘shoddy paper’ by Naomi Oreskes & UN IPCC’s Michael Oppenheimer!

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado, has been formally asked to remove himself from the global warming journal Global Environmental Change, following his harsh critique of a study which appeared in the journal. Pielke Jr. is not a climate skeptic, but he has harshly critiqued many of his colleagues climate claims, particularly those on extreme weather. [Climate Depot note: More on Oppenheimer here and Oreskes here.]

The following is Prof. Pielke’s explanation of the situation:

“Welcome to the climate wars — retribution for stepping out of line? You be the judge.” – “Looks like a real tactical blunder by @NeilAdger , climate gatekeeping still in action.”


Interesting Timing to be Removed from GEC Editorial Board – By Roger Pielke Jr.:

Five days ago I critiqued a shoddy paper by Brysse et al. 2013 which appeared in the journal Global Environmental Change. Today I received notice from the editor-in chief and executive editor that I have been asked to “step down from the journal.” They say that it is to “give other scientists the chance to gain experience of editorial duties.”

Over the past 20 years I have served on the editorial boards of about a dozen or so academic journals. I have rolled off some when my term was up, and continued for many years with others. I have never received a mid-term request to step down from any journal. My 6 years with the GEC editorial board is not long in academia, and certainly much shorter than many other serving members.

Are my critique and the request to step down related? I can’t say. It is interesting timing to be sure. Perhaps it is an odd coincidence. Perhaps not. I did reply by accepting their request and asking the following two questions which might help to clarify the terms of my release:

Could you tell me which other members of the editorial board are being asked to step down at this time? And also, could you tell how many others have served on the board 6 years or longer and remain on the board?
If I get a reply I will update this post.

UPDATE: I just checked the GEC editorial board from 2005, the year before I was invited to join ($ here). There are 13 members of the 2005 board who continue through 2013 ($ here). If those 13 members (of 38 total in 2013) have not all be asked to “step down” at this time, then yes, I am getting “special” treatment.

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;-). 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.

I am of course happy to make way for other scientists to “gain the experience of editorial duties.” However, if my critique of a GEC paper is in any way related to my removal from the editorial board, then the message being sent to those other scientists is pretty chilling. For my part, I value my academic freedom to offer critique as I see things far more than being allowed into certain clubs. — Posted by Roger Pielke, Jr. at 2/20/201


The original Pielke Jr. post in question: ‘Science is the Shortcut’

Excerpt: There is a new paper out by Brysse et al. in Global Environmental Change (here $) which includes as co-authors Naomi Oreskes (author of Merchants of Doubt) and Michael Oppenheimer (long-time IPCC contributor and a contributing lead author for the AR5). The authors report a remarkable finding — they have identified a shortcut to divining the true state of knowledge of the science of climate change.

As the authors’ explain:

Evidence from recent analyses suggests that scientists, particularly acting in the context of large assessments, may have underestimated the magnitude and rate of expected impacts of anthropogenic climate change. We suggest that this underestimation reflects a systematic bias, which we label “erring on the side of least drama (ESLD)”.

What ESLD therefore means is that when scientists make a claim about climate change, particularly via the IPCC and other assessments, the presence of a systematic bias indicates that the odds are that things are really much, much worse. ESLD therefore offers a short cut to anticipating where climate science is headed.

An important reason for this bias, the authors assert, is of course none other than those evil skeptics:

[O]ne 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.

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.

Read Pielke Jr.’s full critique here.

Related Links:

Prof. Pielke Jr.: ‘US floods have not increased over a century or longer (same globally). — US hurricane landfall frequency or intensity have not increased (in US for over a century or longer)’ — ‘US intense hurricane landfalls are currently in longest drought (7 years+) ever documented — US tornadoes, especially strongest ones, have not increased since at least 1950. — US drought has decreased since middle of the past century. — US East Cost Winter Storms show no trends — Disaster losses normalized for societal changes show no residual trends (US, other regions or globally). — Trends in costs of disasters are not a proxy for trends in climate phenomena’

Pres. elect of American Meteorological Society slammed for ‘saying all sorts of things with little or no scientific basis’ at Senate hearing — AMS head claims his ‘spouse can see impacts of extremes’ — ‘Marshall Shepherd, professor of geography in the University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has been voted president-elect of the American Meteorological Society’

UN IPCC’s Michael Oppenheimer: ‘An activist first — A scientist a distant second’ — Scientific work ’roundly trashed’ even by fellow warmists! — Oppenheimer’s climate immigration study ‘reeked the stench of scientific corruption’ — Scientist to the Hollywood Stars: Oppenheimer ‘was the holder of the ‘Barbra Streisand Chair of Environmental Studies’ at EDF

Analysis: Warmist Naomi Oreskes, the Queen of Climate Smear, ignores the big money, has no evidence, throws names — ‘Oreskes’ work is based on a logical fallacy, inept research, and incompetent reasoning. What is remarkable is that so many “intellectuals” or journalists can’t or won’t see through her thin rhetoric’

Flashback 2008: Climate Skeptics Reveal ‘Horror Stories’ of Scientific Suppression