Science deniers sometimes complain that there are gatekeepers to peer reviewed publications. Yes indeed. They are called editors and scientific peers. Their job is to try to make sure that published papers meet certain minimum standards - like being accurate, being supported by evidence, and meeting accepted standards of professional decorum. In the case of S Fred Singer one would have to say he is without peers. Earlier this month, in an article at that strange website called most inappropriately "American Thinker" (archived here), Fred posted three reviews he said an article of his received from a quality journal, Eos. What is surprising is that the editor sent Fred's article out to review. What is even more surprising is that Fred seems unashamed by the scathing reviews. So much so that he shared them with the world at large (or the narrow segment that reads articles at American Thinker).
Dear Dr. Singer:
Thank you again for submitting to Eos your Opinion manuscript entitled "Geo-engineering - stopping ice ages."
Based on the recommendation of the 3 reviewers, I am not able to accept it for publication at this time. I have attached the reviewer reports for your reference.
Thank you for the opportunity to examine this work.
[redacted by Sou]
Reviewer #1 (Comments for Author):
This paper should be rejected. It contains unsupported claims and name-calling. And the reference list is missing. I attach the manuscript with annotations of all the problems, but the main problems are two-fold:
**The author claims an ice age is imminent, but has no evidence to back up this claim. What do climate model projections say? As I understand the science, massive global warming is imminent in the next century with business as usual, long before any astronomical forcing takes hold.
**The scheme of spraying soot onto ice will have to be repeated each time it snows again. The paper claims it will be cheap, but has no data or calculations to support this claim. Furthermore, I can think of many risks and negative impacts of such a scheme, but these are not discussed.
Reviewer #2 (Comments for Author):
Comments on "Geo-Engineering-- stopping ice ages" by F. Singer
Singer argues that humanity's urgent climate business is to prevent another ice age. To do this, he suggests a geo-engineering experiment involving the melting of ice fields by spraying them with soot, thereby decreasing the albedo and warming the planet. Unfortunately, there is already a global scale geo-engineering experiment that has been quite effective at increasing the temperatures and melting polar sea ice: the increase of CO2 via the burning of fossil fuels.
It is therefore hard to see this paper as anything less than a provocation to the scientific community (a bad joke). It should not be published.
Reviewer #3 (Comments for Author):
This letter to Eos by S. Fred Singer responds to a recent report on geo-engineering from the National Research Council, which evaluates the feasibility and potential consequences of efforts to counteract anthropogenic greenhouse warming. He claims that geo-engineering efforts should instead focus on avoiding the next ice age, the transition to which would occur over millennial timescales.
This was an interesting letter to read, primarily because it provides a glimpse into the mind of someone who views the issue of climate change from a truly delusional and twisted perspective. It is undeniable that over the last several decades the extent of Arctic sea ice has rapidly declined while melting of the Greenland ice sheet has accelerated. In Mr. Singer's view, what should we do? In his opinion, we should sprinkle soot on snow fields, hastening their melting and adding to the observed sea level rise, all in the name of fending off an ice age that may be thousands of years away. It is difficult to determine if this letter is intended as a joke or if it's meant to be a "deliverable" for some cause, because it is so devoid of reason.
I could almost support the publication of this letter because it exposes the warped mindset of those who view anthropogenic greenhouse warming as the product of some UN-based conspiracy. However, the internet has no shortage of posts such as this. Eos owes it to its readership to save them the effort of filtering through nonsense to get to serious information.
For your bemusement - h/t Jan Paul van Soest who in turn tipped his hat to Andrew Dessler and Bart Verheggen. (Twitter is terrific!)