Saturday, September 21, 2013

Curry and Watts - dejected, rejected

Sou | 4:19 AM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment

The deniers really are running out of stuff to complain about.  Judith Curry is getting nuttier by the day (archived here) and now anti-science blogger Anthony Watts has joined in the fray at WUWT (archived here).

Three out of five GRL papers get rejected

Three years ago a paper got rejected by Geophysical Research Letters.  GRL is quite a prestigious publication and according to a paper in BAMS by David M Schultz, it rejects 59.2% of submissions.  That's not counting author withdrawals or submissions transferred to other journals.  That means that just going by odds, if you submit a paper to GRL it's more likely to be rejected than published.

A motley lot of deniers

The paper purported to be a comparison of climate models with observations.  The authors of the paper are a who's who of deniers - Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. Knappenberger (Pat 'n Chip), John R. Christy (who tells fibs to US Congress), Chad S. Herman (who I don't know) and Lucia M. Liljegren (a nitpicking blogger who is a science denier of the "lukewarmer" variety).

After the first rejection, this motley lot called in James D. Annan to try to resurrect the paper and package it in way that would be acceptable to the journal.  This didn't succeed either.  I've no idea why James decided to throw in his lot with that lot.  According to Judith Curry he was one of the reviewers for the first draft.  Maybe he thought he could turn it into something useful.  But again according to Judith Curry, the next draft was reviewed by four people, all of whom recommended it not be published.

An excuse for Judith Curry to unfairly wail "not fair"

Judith Curry, who converted to denialism some time ago, has decided to make a big deal out of this, acting as if the journal is 'gatekeeping' against sceptics.  She won't entertain the notion that the paper didn't meet the requirements of GRL, which it obviously didn't.  Although she says she "couldn’t see why it was rejected", she's not a climate modeler nor is she a statistician, so what would she know?  And even if there were "nothing wrong with it" that doesn't automatically mean that GRL would have accepted it.  Journals reject papers for many reasons other than being "wrong".

Anthony Watts has picked up the story too.  (Archived here.)  He's always keen to promote the "gatekeeper" myth that papers get rejected because they are written by fake sceptics rather than because they don't meet the standard or other criteria of the journal.  He's also probably preparing his readers that his own still pending paper won't meet the criteria of any decent journal.

Remember, this all happened three years ago.  James Annan wrote about it on his blog back in May 2010. Why they didn't bother to try another journal is anyone's guess.  Maybe the feedback from reviewers discouraged them from doing so.  Or maybe they just wanted an excuse to cry "gatekeepers".

An excuse for Judith Curry to sing the praises of disinformers

The reason for Judith bringing all this up seems to be so that she can once again sing her praises of disinformation peddlers - David Rose and John Christy.

Judith Curry "came out" as a science denier quite a while ago.  She no longer pretends to be "building bridges".  She's pitched her tent with the disinformers and is now a disinformer in her own right.  Anthony Watts, needless to say, welcomes her with open arms.

If you want to read the paper itself you can do so here to save you having to wade through the nonsense on Curry's blog.  James Annan's blog includes some discussion of the analysis if anyone is interested in the unpublished work.

Just another nutter

I'll leave you with what is probably the denier quote of the day, from Judith Curry this time:
And we see where ‘pause denial’ has led the IPCC, potentially to a crisis point in the AR5.  It will be very interesting to see how this plays out in Stockholm next week.

Crisis point?  Judith Curry really is just another nutter of the David Rose  and Heartland Institute variety.

Approaching crisis point

There is no 'crisis point' yet - although we are rapidly approaching it.  The sooner we act the less it will cost and the greater the likelihood that human civilisation will survive. The latest cost estimate is one per cent of GDP but the cost will rise the longer we leave it.

From the WUWT comments

Just a couple, because they typify WUWT denier weirdness and paranoid conspiracy (archived here):

gopal panicker says:
September 20, 2013 at 10:05 am
cooling started three years ago…have fun

GunnyGene says:
September 20, 2013 at 10:16 am
It was obviously rejected because it doesn’t support the political agenda of global domination by Progressives,etc. You are familiar with Agenda 21, I presume?


  1. We just had a paper rejected. There was nothing really wrong with it (they said), it's just that they get so many papers they need to publish the best (and ours, while good, didn't meet their needs).

    That's a first...usually we have a whack of things to respond to, rewrite, include more data, etc. Suppose we could complain that they're suppressing our work on effects of depositional N in N-deficient soils in boreal forests because they're N-deniers.


    1. Sorry to hear that, Dan. Nitrogen is a big deal. We don't read so much about it in the popular press but I've noticed quite a bit on it in the literature.

      Hope you get your paper published elsewhere.

    2. I recently completed Thomas Hager's 'The Alchemy of Air', which was quite the revelation! I literally had no idea about the whale nitrogen issue; and Hager's probably right to describe Haber and Bosch as the 2 most influential people you've never heard of!

      The thing that stuck with me most was the 'half of the nitrogen in your body had been created in synthetic fertiliser plants' statistic...

    3. Yep, bill. I don't know much about chemistry myself, but will point out its practical success every time: no, the conversion of lead to gold went nowhere, but who cares anyway, you cannot eat gold. Just ask King Midas. Now, about converting air to food...


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