Inhofian Reporting: Peerless work?

The Minority on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) http://www.bpsdb.orgCommitee (read James Inhofe (R-Exxon)) has just released a “report”: 0ver 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007

As a taxpayer, to start with, I am outraged that my taxes are used to support such truthiness and distortions.

As a human being, I am outraged that such deniers (Roadblock Republicans) are able to stand in the way toward moving the nation and the Globe toward a more sensible energy future.

And, as an analyst, I am outraged that such mediocrity is allowed to be pedaled as a “report” with the imprimateur of the US government and a US Senate Committee behind it.

A full throated examination of the mediocrity of this collection of misleading climate denier and climate skeptic and delayer material is beyond the ability of one single post. 

But, after the fold,  this posting provides just a taste of the reviews and examinations of just the first three of the “peer-reviewed studies” cited by James Inhofe and his staff-support for Global Warming Denial.

Take a look and join with me in questioning what “peer review” means when coming from James Inhofe’s mouth.

Inhofe calls on us to listen to the UN IPCC Chairman, Rajendra Pachauri:

Please listen to the voice of science

Inhofe’s “science” does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.  See what science has to say about these “peer-reviewed studies”.

Let us take the first three on the list.

1. Scafetta and West: RealClimate’s deconstruction:

The study by S&W has some suspicious results … their analysis is sloppy in the estimate of change, underestimating the observed temperature change … the paper oozes of vague but subjective and cherry-picked statements … paper also offers some incorrect references … Thus, S&W make a number of unjustified assumptions and sweeping statements which turns it into a mere speculation

2. McKitrick and Michaels; RealClimate analysis

One of my main concerns then was that their analysis had not taken into consideration the dependency between the data points, … they have not done it properly this time, and they still do not eliminate the effect of dependency. … The fact that they used sea-level pressure (SLP) data from (1974) because they could not find more recent data, suggest that they still are not up-to-date. Updated data, such as the National Center for Environmental Prediction SLP, have long been available … Their regression analysis appears to suffer from over-fitting, since they have thrown in a lot of variables (both ‘meteorological’ and ‘economical’) for various vague reasons.

Not surprisingly, their analysis produces some strange results as a result of this shortcoming. … M&M2007 is biased and gives an incorrect picture, as they do not discuss the fact that also the world oceans are warming up, and whether any economic activity can take the blame for that.

So in summary, I think the results of M&M2007 analysis and conclusions are invalid because
– They do not properly account for dependencies.
– They over-fit the regression.
– Their results look unreasonable.
– They “cherry pick” the MSU data that gives the lowest trend

3. Loehle … again RealClimate

Many people hold the mistaken belief that reconstructions of past climate are the sole evidence for current and future climate change. They are not. … the climate of the medieval period has received a very high (and sometimes disproportionate) profile in the public discourse … The Loehle paper was published in Energy and Environment – a journal notable only for its rather dubious track record of publishing contrarian musings. … What does this imply for Loehle’s reconstruction? Unfortunately, the number of unsuitable series, errors in dating and transcription, combined with a mis-interpretation of what was being averaged, and a lack of validation, do not leave very much to discuss.

It is a tiresome task, but simply using search at Real Climate provides the ability to show just how peerless the peer review process must have been for Inhofe’s cited “studies”.

Determining the right “peer”

James Inhofe is determined to highlight that these are “peer reviewed” studies and papers. As the material above suggests, real scholarly review of the works in question (at least three, chosen at random, e.g, the first three in the list) shows that they do not stand up to the rigor of serious review. Thus, how did they make it through “peer” review?  Perhaps the answer comes from how peer is defined.  After all, when it comes to the accused murderer, who are his (or her) peers?  Other citizens? Or murderers?  Thus, who are global warming deniers’ “peers” and how does a “peer-reviewed” publication like Energy and Environment determine reviewers?  Would Jim Hansen be asked to review a piece submitted to E&E and would his review be given weight? Or, are the reviewers chosen from a select few fellow-travelers in global warming denier, skeptic, or delayer circles?  Hmmm …

NOTE/UPDATE: For other perspectives, many written after this original post:

That blog provides a long list of names of people who disagree with the consensus, and I have no doubt that many on this list are indeed skeptics. The question is: does their opinion matter? Should you revise your views about climate change accordingly?

SEE ALSO: Another Notch on the Inhofe Scale and an Oily Christmas Gift courtesy of the US taxpayer. 

NOTE:  To be honest, such denier / skeptic / delayer disingenuous work and the necessity to battling it are serious obstacles to sensible efforts to Energize America to a prosperous, climate friendly future.

We can all help makeAmericaEnergy Smart.
Ask yourself:  
Are you doing your part to

23 responses to “Inhofian Reporting: Peerless work?

  1. Pingback: Another notch in the “Inhofe Scale” « Energy Smart

  2. Pingback: Scholars and Rogues » Blog Archive » 400 scientists deny the importance of global heating

  3. Pingback: Think Progress » Sen. Inhofe’s misleading climate denial “report.”

  4. Pingback: Climate Progress » Blog Archive » Inhofe recycles unscientific attacks on global warming, NYT’s Revkin gives him a pass

  5. Pingback: 400 ‘prominent scientists’ dispute climate change? »

  6. Pingback: Drasties - Nou breekt me de klomp.

  7. Its funny how the right believes just because someone is a “scientist” they know everything about everything…..”sure hes a economist but hes a scientist so he knows what the causes of global warming are”….(banging my head against the wall in frustration)

  8. Pingback: Senate Report Debunks “Consensus” on Global Warming « ideonexus

  9. My tax money paid for this Inhofe crap?!

  10. Pingback: Drasties - Nou breekt me de klomp.

  11. The issue is a scientific one, based on observations. As individuals we can each study the evidence to post-doctoral level. Or, if we do not have the talent or time the next best thing is to rely on the consensus of those who have studied the matter in depth. If you were ill would you trust a fellow Digger, blogger or someone who studied medicine for many years? If one maverick doctor disagrees with the consensus would you trust your life to them or the majority opinion?

    Who is qualified to know who the real experts are? Scientific Academies would be a good place to start.

    The National Scientific Academies of the following countries issued this statement in support of the IPCC

    “The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognise IPCC as the world’s most reliable source of information on climate change and its causes, and we endorse its method of achieving this consensus. Despite increasing consensus on the science underpinning predictions of global climate change, doubts have been expressed recently about the need to mitigate the risks posed by global climate change. We do not consider such doubts justified.”

    National Academy of Sciences (US),
    Royal Society (United Kingdom),
    Chinese Academy of Sciences,
    Science Council of Japan,
    Russian Academy of Sciences,
    Academia Brasiliera de Ciências (Brazil),
    Royal Society of Canada,
    Académie des Sciences (France),
    Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany),
    Indian National Science Academy,
    Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy),
    Australian Academy of Sciences,
    Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts,
    Caribbean Academy of Sciences,
    Indonesian Academy of Sciences,
    Royal Irish Academy,
    Academy of Sciences Malaysia,
    Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand,
    Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. (2001) (2005)
    For the comments of other scientific bodies

    The scientific evidence and consensus is with the IPCC. Just as the scientific evidence and consensus is for evolution.

    No one on the IPCC doubts that there are cycles and natural factors. The question is whether the global warming observed since the mid 1970’s has a significant human cause. The IPCC says yes with 90% certainty.

    Sir David Attenborough was once a climate skeptic, believing that it can all be explained by natural causes and cycles. He changed his mind, this is why

    UK Government’s Meteorological Office debunking of climate-change-denial myths

    New Scientist magazine addressing the main skeptic claims

  12. The title of the NYTimes Dot Earth blog post is
    Climate Consensus ‘Busted’?

    which doesn’t carry the same meaning as
    Climate Consensus Busted
    (which is how it ‘s represented in your blog post)

    Not to say that this exonerates it altogether, but the actual sin is smaller than what was presented.

  13. Anna — Thanks for the catch. Was striving to provide links to some of the other discussions (both before and after I originally posted). This was typo, rather than purposeful. You might want to look at Joe Romm’s discussion, which directly addresses Revkin’s post.

  14. Specifically, the “consensus” about anthropogenic climate change entails the following:

    1) the climate is undergoing a pronounced warming trend beyond the range of natural variability;
    2) the major cause of most of the observed warming is rising levels of the greenhouse gas CO2;
    3) the rise in CO2 is the result of burning fossil fuels;
    4) if CO2 continues to rise over the next century, the warming will continue; and
    5) a climate change of the projected magnitude over this time frame represents potential danger to human welfare and the environment.

    These conclusions have been explicitly endorsed by:

    Academia Brasiliera de Ciências (Bazil)
    Royal Society of Canada
    Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Academié des Sciences (France)
    Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
    Indian National Science Academy
    Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
    Science Council of Japan
    Russian Academy of Sciences
    Royal Society (United Kingdom)
    National Academy of Sciences (United States of America)
    Australian Academy of Sciences
    Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
    Caribbean Academy of Sciences
    Indonesian Academy of Sciences
    Royal Irish Academy
    Academy of Sciences Malaysia
    Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
    Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

    In addition to these national academies, the following institutions specializing in climate, atmosphere, ocean, and/or earth sciences have endorsed these conclusions:

    NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS)
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
    State of the Canadian Cryosphere (SOCC)
    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    Royal Society of the United Kingdom (RS)
    American Geophysical Union (AGU)
    American Institute of Physics (AIP)
    National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
    American Meteorological Society (AMS)
    Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)

    These organizations also agree with the consensus:

    The Earth Institute at Columbia University
    Northwestern University
    University of Akureyri
    University of Iceland
    Iceland GeoSurvey
    National Centre for Atmospheric Science UK
    Climate Group
    Climate Institute
    Climate Trust
    Wuppertal Institute for Climate Environment and Energy
    Royal Meteorological Society
    Community Research and Development Centre Nigeria
    Geological Society of London
    Geological Society of America
    UK Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment
    Pew Center on Global Climate Change
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    National Research Council
    Juelich Research Centre
    US White House
    US Council on Environmental Quality
    US Office of Science Technology Policy
    US National Climatic Data Center
    US Department of Commerce
    US National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service
    The National Academy of Engineering
    The Institute of Medicine
    UK Natural Environment Research Council
    Office of Science and Technology Policy
    Council on Environmental Quality
    National Economic Council
    Office of Management and Budget
    The National Academy of Engineering
    The Institute of Medicine
    UK Natural Environment Research Council
    Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
    Engineers Australia
    American Chemical Society
    American Association of Blacks in Energy
    World Petroleum Council
    The Weather Channel
    National Geographic

    The following companies agree with the consensus:

    Air France
    American Electric Power
    Aristeia Capital
    BP America Inc.
    Calvert Group
    Canadian Electricity Association
    Caterpilliar Inc.
    China Renewable
    Covanta Holding Corporation
    Deutsche Telekom
    Doosan Babcock Energy Limited
    Duke Energy
    Electricity de France North America
    Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand
    Energettech Austraila Pty Ltd
    Energy East Corporation
    Energy Holding Romania
    Energy Industry Association
    ETG International
    Exelon Corporation
    F&C Asset Management
    FPL Group
    General Electric
    German Electricity Association
    Glitnir Bank
    Global Energy Network Institute, Iberdrola
    ING Group
    Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
    Interface Inc.
    International Gas Union
    International Paper
    International Power
    Marsh & McLennan Companies
    Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company
    MissionPoint Capital Partners
    Munich Re
    National Grid
    National Power Company of Iceland
    NGEN mgt II, LLC
    NRG Energy
    PG&E Corporation
    PNM Resources
    Reykjavik Energy
    Rio Tinto Energy Services
    Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS Group)
    Stora Enso North America
    Stratus Consulting
    Sun Management Institute
    Swiss Re
    UCG Partnership
    US Geothermal
    Verde Venture Partners

    In addition, the scientific consensus is also endorsed by the CEO’s of the following companies:

    A. O. Smith Corporation
    Abbott Laboratories
    Accenture Ltd.
    ACE Limited
    Aetna Inc.
    Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    AK Steel Corporation
    Allstate Insurance Company
    ALLTEL Corporation
    Altec Industries, Inc.
    American Electric Power Company, Inc.
    American Express Company
    American International Group, Inc.
    Ameriprise Financial
    AMR Corporation/American Airlines
    Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
    Apache Corporation
    Applera Corporation
    Arch Coal, Inc.
    Archer Daniels Midland Company
    ArvinMeritor, Inc.
    AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP
    Avery Dennison Corporation
    Avis Budget Group, Inc.
    Bechtel Group, Inc.
    BNSF Railway
    Boeing Company
    Brink’s Company
    Carlson Companies, Inc.
    Case New Holland Inc.
    Ceridian Corporation
    Chemtura Corporation
    Chubb Corporation
    CIGNA Corporation
    Coca-Cola Company
    Constellation Energy Group, Inc.
    Convergys Corporation
    Con-way Incorporated
    Corning Incorporated
    Crane Co.
    CSX Corporation
    Cummins Inc.
    Deere & Company
    Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
    Delphi Corporation
    Dow Chemical Company
    Eastman Chemical Company
    Eastman Kodak Company
    Eaton Corporation
    Eli Lilly and Company
    EMC Corporation
    Ernst & Young, L.L.P.
    Fannie Mae
    FedEx Corporation
    Fluor Corporation
    FMC Corporation
    Freddie Mac
    General Mills, Inc.
    General Motors Corporation
    Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
    Goodrich Corporation
    Harman International Industries, Inc.
    Hartford Financial Services Group
    Home Depot, Inc., The
    Honeywell International, Inc.
    HSBC – North America
    Humana Inc.
    IBM Corporation
    Ingersoll-Rand Company
    International Textile Group
    ITT Corporation
    Johnson Controls, Inc.
    JP Morgan Chase & Co.
    Liberty Mutual Group
    MasterCard Incorporated
    McGraw-Hill Companies
    McKesson Corporation
    MeadWestvaco Corporation
    Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
    Merck & Co., Inc.
    Merrill Lynch & Company, Inc.
    MetLife, Inc.
    Morgan Stanley
    Motorola, Inc.
    Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc.
    National Gypsum Company
    Navistar International Corporation
    New York Life Insurance Company
    Norfolk Southern Corporation
    Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
    Nucor Corporation
    NYSE Group, Inc.
    Office Depot, Inc.
    Owens Corning (Reorganized) Inc.
    Pactiv Corporation
    Peabody Energy Corporation
    Pfizer Inc
    PPG Industries, Inc.
    Praxair, Inc.
    PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
    Principal Financial Group
    Procter & Gamble Company
    Prudential Financial
    Realogy Corporation
    Rockwell Automation, Inc.
    Ryder System, Inc.
    SAP America, Inc.
    Sara Lee Corporation
    SAS Institute Inc.
    Schering-Plough Corporation
    Schneider National, Inc.
    ServiceMaster Company
    Siemens Corporation
    Southern Company
    Springs Global US, Inc.
    Sprint Nextel
    St. Paul Travelers Companies, Inc.
    State Farm Insurance Companies
    Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Textron Incorporated
    Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
    Tyco Electronics
    Tyco International Ltd.
    Union Pacific Corporation
    Unisys Corporation
    United Technologies Corporation
    UnitedHealth Group Incorporated
    USG Corporation
    Verizon Communications
    W.W. Grainger, Inc.
    Western & Southern Financial Group
    Weyerhaeuser Company
    Whirlpool Corporation
    Williams Companies, Inc.
    Xerox Corporation
    YRC Worldwide Inc

    I’ll take this “consensus” over the 400 “scientists” handpicked by Sen Inhofe for his minority skeptics report.

  15. Pingback: Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007.

  16. Pingback: Debunking Inhofe’s 413 … « Energy Smart

  17. Pingback: Climate Progress » Blog Archive » More on the laughable, padded “Inhofe 400″

  18. Pingback: Global Warming Denier Website Receives Federal Award « Energy Smart

  19. Pingback: OK-Sen: Inhofe Shares His Thoughts on Global Warming - The Seminal :: Independent Media and Politics

  20. Pingback: A Black Hole of Denial? « Energy Smart

  21. Lots of good points here, I think I need to go read more about this!

  22. Do we know that science is sponsered by companies and therefor it is hard to know whether the outcome of a study is neutral. …

    Energy has a Karma. It changes the it’s enviroment. We need to look for Solar energy and h20 energy. No more burning stuff this is so 20th century. These days people who sell “energy” charge us too much to fill their deep pockets

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