Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Donna Laframboise new "book" - Instructions are on the cover

Sou | 2:38 AM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment

Into the dustbin is probably a very appropriate title for Donna Laframboise's new book, which I gather is nothing more than a collection of some of her blog rants against Dr Pauchari, Chair of the IPCC.  She's timed the release to appear just before the next Working Group 1 report from the IPCC - on the science of climate change. The book is likely to be one big ad hominem attack so any gullible reader is meant to conclude a. climate science is a hoax because b. Donna Laframboise wrote a book about the Chair of the IPCC.  Yeah, right.  Only one of the 8% Dismissives would believe a or b.

Donna, you may recall, is known for thinking that anyone under about 50 is too young to read, write, do literature reviews or conduct scientific research.  Her last book was called the Delinquent Teenager - a collection of diatribes against young scientists and against the use of any references in the IPCC reports other than directly to peer reviewed scientific literature.  In other words, she wanted to cast out the reports of Working Groups 2 and 3 (on adaption and mitigation), because they use industry reports, government statistics and various sources other than scientific literature.  She also frowned upon cross references to IPCC reports either in the same volume, different volumes of the same report or to previous reports.  She's just another nutter.

More recently she appeared on a youtube video arguing that the children of the future can clean up after us and we should continue to be profligate and pollute the atmosphere with CO2, presumably because the worst is ahead of us and she's no spring chicken any more so why should she care.

To give you more idea of how worthless the book is likely to be, it has been given the thumbs up by Judith Curry (archived here - who also praised David Rose's latest atrocity, not everyone there agrees).  Richard Tol (who went off the deep end a few months back and is still floundering) and Oliver "iron sun" Manuel have written positive reviews on Amazon.  And now, Anthony Watts who apparently runs the most viewed anti-science blog on the internet (archived here).  Anthony/Donna mysteriously writes:
Scientists aren’t supposed to embellish. They’re supposed to be clear-eyed about what is true and what is false. The idea that hundreds of scientists have been padding their resumés, that they’ve been walking around in broad daylight improperly claiming to be Nobel laureates, isn’t something any normal person would expect.
Umm, ye-e-es, these probably aren't what you would expect.  Anthony or Donna, you'll notice, isn't saying that any scientist is embellishing anything. Nor are they accusing hundreds of scientists of padding their resumes and walking around in broad daylight (heaven forbid a scientist ever had the time to emerge into daylight).  Nor are they saying that hundreds of scientists are improperly claiming to be Nobel laureates.  They are just saying that these are not things that any normal person would expect.

I guess that is setting the tone for Donna's book.  If what Anthony/Donna wrote is any guide and you are silly enough to waste any time reading Donna's book, you will undoubtedly be treated to a host of things that no normal person would expect.  Not that anyone is doing those unexpected things.  It's a bit like Richard Tol's comment on Amazon - if only Donna had dug up some actual dirt instead of just hinting that there might be some to dig up.  (His actual words were: "Laframboise' material consists of publicly available documents. She does not use freedom of information legislation to find out about internal discussions. She does not interview people. As a result, Into The Dustbin is a series of misdemeanors and glimpses of worse. Deeper digging would have revealed more."  He doesn't say what so I guess that means he's got "nothing" either.)

If you want gossip and scandal, you can always go and read the Mail Online.  It's cheaper than Donna's book and likely to be more titillating.

There is one more thing that Anthony strongly disapproves of and that is having the courage of one's convictions.  Dr Pauchari in his role as Chair of the IPCC as well as in his other day jobs is more aware than most of us of how dangerous is the territory we're heading toward.  However Anthony thinks that neither he nor, presumably anyone who has an understanding of climate, the earth system as a whole of any part of it, should act on that understanding.

I'm not sure where Anthony and Donna draw the line.  They are very prudish and don't approve of any scientist writing novels.  They probably also disapprove of any scientist reading a novel.  Science is serious stuff.

They also frown on certain activities associated with protecting the environment.  Whether they would go as far as urging scientists not to pick up litter on the street isn't clear.  But it's on the cards.  Donna thinks that Dr Pauchari is the devil in disguise for being recognised as a "green crusader", whatever that is.  But it must be quite dreadful.  He probably made the mistake of advocating that we do more to protect earth's resources somewhere along the way.

There are a few comments up on WUWT - I'll let you read them for yourself (under the article archived here).

I reckon save your dustbin for more worthy trash.

If you've got this far and you are wondering when I'm going to start reviewing Donna's book - you don't know me.  I've wasted enough time on the topic already.  I hope you don't expect me to waste time and money only to end up tossing it into the dustbin!


  1. There's a great little pre-packaged, none-too-discerning audience out there...

    1. They and the Donna Laframboises of the world deserve each other. The rest of us deserve better.

  2. So Judith has linked to a tired list of Pachauri-attack-by-UK -tabloid-fish-wrapper as though it still has a quality,currency and power it never had.... Laframboise is a mediocrity in a mediocre 'field' of self-nominated 'critics', barking mad and boring. Her every 'discovery' is a measure of her enduring ignorance.

    The only puzzle/sadness is that Judith Curry should feel a need to go anywhere near the woman's amateurism. It seems Curry's collapse is complete and her intellect gone. She is a captive of some genuinely nasty liars now....how did she allow it to happen?

  3. I read most of Donna's first book, "The Delinquent Teenager". It was glaringly obvious that Donna didn't know anything about science and scientists.

    Here is a quote that shows what a wingnut Donna is:

    ”No matter what they said the problem of the moment was – over-population, ozone depletion, acid rain, global warming – environmentalists have long advocated the same basket of solutions.
    These solutions amount to humanity forsaking industrialized society and a good measure of individual freedom. Apparently the answer is a return to Eden – to a slower, greener, more, ‘natural’ pace of life that embraces traditional values rather than mindless consumerism.”

    1. It's a mystery how a person like Donna can be so isolated from the rest of society - or so fearful (which is what I read into that quote, Lars).

      I know that "ethnocentrism" is an attribute of Altemeyer's right wing authoritarians. That is, they keep to themselves and aren't exposed to mainstream society. But that must be difficult in the age of the internet etc. More so if you have family, work colleagues etc. Maybe it's just that her mental capability is limited in a way that means she processes what she sees and hears such that it's re-interpreted to fit her fixed world view.

      The human brain is fascinating.

    2. I think that most of Donna's audience shares her sentiments.

      There is of course also the possibility that she doesn't believe it herself, but simply and cynically gives her audience what they want. Like Coulter and Delingpole, I suspect.

    3. Although her writing is overall not fully as nutty as Coutler's and Delingpole's.

  4. You could read a few chapters of Laframboise's previous book using the 'Preview' function on amazon.com. Here are some words I wrote having wasted some time doing just that ...

    Donna wants us to believe that the IPCC excluded world authorities in certain fields for idealogical reasons, and gives us a total of three examples, two of which are William Gray on hurricanes and Nils-Axel Mohner on sea level. Of Morner she correctly states that he was president of a distinguished Commission on sea level changes, but adds that "there is a disparity between what genuine sea level specialists think and what those who write IPCC reports believe."

    This is a lie. The reality is that Morner's ideas have been widely discredited and the Commission of which he was president (INQUA) felt constrained to write this to the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences:-

    "I am writing to inform you that Dr. Mörner has misrepresented his position with INQUA. Dr. Mörner was President of the Commission on Sea Level Change until July 2003, but the commission was terminated at that time during a reorganization of the commission structure of INQUA. Dr. Mörner currently has no formal position in INQUA, and I am distressed that he continues to represent himself in his former capacity. Further, INQUA, which is an umbrella organization for hundreds of researchers knowledgeable about past climate, (INQUA) does not subscribe to Mörner’s position on climate change. Nearly all of these researchers agree that humans are modifying Earth’s climate, a position diametrically opposed to Dr. Mörner’s point of view."

    You'd think a genuine 'investigative journalist' (the above is available via wiki) might have slipped in this nugget, no?

    Similarly, Gray's global warming research has been dismissed as substandard by his peers, you can read a critique here : http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/04/gray-on-agw/

    And Dr Curry is similarly unimpressed by Gray … “I am not going to critique Gray’s paper, it is beyond rational critcism, I will save technical comments for such an unlikely event as any of this actually ever gets published. Bill Gray is not a player in the scientific debate, his ideas reflected in the paper referred to at RC are so flawed that they are unpublishable"

    Laframboise does not seem to consider the possibility that the IPCC failed to include her 'people you'd expect to find at the heart of the organisation' not because they were contrarian, not because thet have retired from academic life (Mohner and Gray are in their seventies & eighties respectively), but because they've gone nuts.

    I notice a chapter entitled The Peer Review Fairy tale. I haven't read it but I speculate it is a rehash of her deeply dishonest 'survey' of the number of peer-reviewed references in the reports. This made crass errors, for example categorising a book chapter as not peer-reviewed even though it was an exact reprint of a widely-cited and refereed journal article, dismissed the numerous self-cites to previous IPCC reports as 'non-reviewed' even though these are some of the most reviewed documents on the planet and counting references that could never have been peer-reviewed (e.g. a quote from Sir Isaac Newton's diary, research by Agassiz etc) towards the non-peer reviewed total, to get her numbers up!

    Not the most reliable or impartial author, then. I read the seven chapters available on Amazon preview and while it contains the logical fallacy that a Greenpeace or WWF member cannot at the same time be a good scientist, it doesn't include the bit where she shows how the IPCC science is mistaken. Presumably that comes later on?

    1. Thank you for that, Phil. You've more tolerance than I.

      It looks as if it's largely the same nonsense as her last book with some words a bit different. Some people choose not to earn a crust by honest means.

    2. I noted similar issues.

      Also, her ad hominem towards Greenpeace and WWF members (or often just "associated with", like Ove Hoegh-Guldberg) was rather asymmetric. After all, she loudly complained about the absence of "experts" like Paul Reiter and Roy Spencer. Reiter was on the Advisory Council of the Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy, as well as writing for Tech Central Station (set up by a lobbying group). He is also attached to the Heartland Institute. Roy Spencer...well, we all know he's on the Board of the George C. Marshall Institute, and that he is an Advisor to the Cornwell Alliance. Mörner is also attached to certain lobbygroups, like the ICSC and the now defunct NRSP. Why oh why isn't *that* a problem, Donna?


    3. "Associated with" often means that they simply have helped Greenpeace to answer questions from the general public.

    4. In her attacks on the presence of 'green lobby' experts in WG2 literature, she utterly failed to note that many other contributors were/are employees of fossil-fuel energy corporations and consultancies. Yes,unreliable and one-eyed only begins to describe Laframboise. Her work is a yard-stick for the incompetence and ethical bankruptcy of organised pseudo-skepticism.

    5. And Nick, the most interesting part is not even Judith Curry's endorsement of LaFramboise's fevered delusions, but also Richard Tol's. Considering his outrage over the Cook et al study and supposed errors in its design and execution, you wonder why he skipped over the obvious problems in LaFramboise's book.

      Also note that the same asymmetric complaint about "activists" was present in the discussion of the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources, where a huge outrage was created about Sven Teske being a Greenpeace member was allowed to be lead author on one of the chapters. That there were lead authors from fossil fuel companies on the same chapter was duly ignored...


    6. The Laframboise books are both important as records of the deviousness at the heart of the IPCC. When the dust settles on these peculiar decades of distraught eco-ness, her work will continue to be valued as a source of insight wherever people ask 'How could anyone have ever taken the IPCC so seriously?'.

    7. I will assume this is a Poe.

      Donna is just a silly little blogger who wouldn't know a heart from a liver. She knows less than nothing about science and scientific organisations, and less than that again about climate science and the IPCC.

      She produces fodder for her fellow members of the scientific illiterati. Some of them are even dumb enough to pay her to feed them hogwash. I guess they find hogwash tasty.

      For myself, I prefer a good Merlot.

    8. I can only concur. LaFramboise is thoroughly ignorant about science and scientific research.


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