More Thoughts on the War Being Waged Against Us

September 5th, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

After having a day or so to digest some of what others have said about this whole mess, I’ve been trying to find better ways of expressing the science which is being disputed here. I’ve also gone back and tried to figure out exactly which part of our analysis was (supposedly) in error.

A Re-Examination of our Paper
So, first I went back and re-read our paper to find out what we did that was so seriously in error that it caused the journal’s Editor-in-Chief to resign (but not retract the paper?)

My conclusion is that it is still one damn fine and convincing paper. The evidence verges on being indisputable.

Our paper not only didn’t ignore previous work on the subject (as we have been accused of by Kevin Trenberth), our main purpose was to show why the commonly used data analysis methods in previous works was wrong. To accuse us of ignoring previous work reveals either total ignorance or deception on the part of our critics. (Publishing a paper that “ignored previous work” was a central reason given by the Editor-in-Chief for his resignation).

The key figures in our paper are Fig. 3 & Fig. 4. We reveal the large discrepancy between climate models and observations in how the Earth gains & loses energy to space during warming and cooling, and show based upon basic forcing-feedback theory why most previous estimates of feedbacks from observational data are (1) virtually worthless, and (2) have likely given the illusion of higher climate sensitivity than what really exists in nature.

It is something we have shown before using phase space analysis.

We are told our paper will indeed be disputed this week, as Andy Dessler has hurriedly written and gotten favorable peer review on a paper in Geophysical Research Letters. (Gee, I wonder if the peer reviewers were also associated with the IPCC, whose models they are trying to protect from scrutiny?)

We Need Scientific Analysis, Not Opinion Polls of Scientists
What is particularly frustrating in all this is the lack of people who are willing to actually read our papers and examine the evidence. Most, if not all, of our critics could not even explain what we have shown with the evidence. They simply assume we must be wrong.

They instead resort to nearly libelous ad hominem attacks, and hand-waving objections which are either straw men, red herrings, or just plain false.

They claim the model we used was “bad” (even though it is commonly used in many previous studies, and recommended to us by one of the leading climate modelers in the world), and that is was “tuned” to match the data. The last claim is absolutely hilarious, since the more complex climate models they use are constantly being re-tuned by small armies of scientists in efforts to get them to better agree with the observed behavior of the climate system.

Our critics then repeat each others’ talking points to the press and in blogs, and since few outsiders are willing to actually read our papers, the public resorts to simply accepting opinions they hear through the various media outlets.

Where Have All the Real Scientists Gone?
The basic issue we research is not that difficult to understand. And unless a few of you physicist-types out there get involved and provide some truly independent analysis of all this, the few of us out here who are revealing why the IPCC climate models being used to predict global warming are nowhere close to having been “validated”, are going to lose this battle.

We simply cannot compete with a good-ole-boy, group think, circle-the-wagons peer review process which has been rewarded with billions of research dollars to support certain policy outcomes.

It is obvious to many people what is going on behind the scenes. The next IPCC report (AR5) is now in preparation, and there is a bust-gut effort going on to make sure that either (1) no scientific papers get published which could get in the way of the IPCC’s politically-motivated goals, or (2) any critical papers that DO get published are discredited with any and all means available.

We are constantly being demanded to meet a higher standard than our critics hold themselves to when it comes to getting research proposals funded, or getting research results published. This war was going on many years before the ClimateGate e-mails were leaked and revealed the central players’ active interference in the peer review process. We seldom complained about this professional bias against us because it ends up sounding like sour grapes.

But when we are actively being accused of what the other side is guilty of, I will not stay silent.

And (BTW) we get no funding from Big Oil or other private energy interests. Another urban legend.

I hate to say it, but we need some sharper tools in our shed than we have right now. And the fresh eyes we need cannot have the threat of a loss of government funding hanging over their heads if what they find happens to disagree with Al Gore, James Hansen, et al.

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