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Open Letter to AGU: FoGT offers Support in Climate Denial

FoGT offers editorial Support to maintain Denial in AGU Journals

Deniers who keep up with the corrupt, stinking morass of the peer-reviewed ‘scientific’ literature – and many who don’t but who want to impress their Friends – will be intimately familiar with what our hero Lord Monckton called “perhaps the most important paper ever to have been published on the question of anthropogenic ‘global warming’”: the paper that appeared last August in Geophysical Research Letters by Lindzen & Choi. Lindzen & Choi analyzed the relationship between sea-surface temperature and satellite-observed outgoing radiation in and over the tropics from 1985 to 1999 and concluded that climate sensitivity, the global average temperature rise expected under a doubling of atmospheric CO2, is only about 0.5oC rather than the ~3oC of the consensus-conspiracy. The paper instantly became a denialist smash-hit, and all our Friends trumpeted it at every chance they could as the final proof that CO2 was nothing more than harmless plant food. Of course, the warmalarmists vigorously challenged this finding – and even we must admit that it seems they might have a point or two. These three papers, the last two published in the last month, documented a variety of errors we consider trivial (for example, unobjective data selection; trifling, really); but much more importantly, they demonstrated that because of the large energy transports into and out of the tropics, the relation between temperature and radiation flux in and over the tropics cannot be used as a proxy for that relation globally (a more detailed summary is here). Hmm. Shame about that.

Of course, this won’t mean that Lindzen & Choi will cease to be a part of the denialist canon, to be trotted out every now and again in
lists of papers skeptical of ‘man-made’ global warming and used to confuse an unfamiliar public; but it will mean that the warmists can quickly point out that it’s not quite what it’s cracked up to be and shut us deniers up about it for a while. This is very unfortunate, and frankly it’s a bit of a blow to the denialist credentials of the American Geophysical Union, publishers of Geophysical Research Letters and Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, the journal that hosted a paper by our friends McLean, de Freitas & Carter that became another denialist touchstone and which, together with Lindzen & Choi, made AGU the publisher of fully two-thirds of the peer-reviewed denial of 2009. Sadly, the McLean et al. paper, too, has lately been shown to be bollocks. [As an aside – it’s interesting to consider the two papers together, because while McLean et al. purported to show that ENSO, a phenomenon of tropical origin, has been exporting heat to the rest of the planet so efficiently it’s been responsible for almost all global temperature change since 1958, Lindzen & Choi implicitly assumed that tropical heat hasn’t been exported anywhere except into space. And the Friends of Science claim that temperature change is all because of the sun. Can’t accuse us deniers of being inconsistent…]

In the aftermath of all this, it’s evident that a bit of work needs to be done to polish up the AGU’s reputation. After all, we hope to publish in one of their journals the results of our own study showing that half a glass of gin & tonic (with ice, plenty of bubbles, and a slice of lime) is a better representation of the climate system than are current computer models (as soon as we complete our
data processing). We’re sure our readers will be reassured to know that accordingly, we have written to the chief editors of the two journals concerned to offer our services as reviewers or associate editors to help ensure that only the best science gets published. Our letter is reproduced below. We’ll let you know how they respond!

To: Dr Eric Calais, Editor-in-Chief, Geophysical Research Letters
Drs Joost de Gouw, Steven J. Ghan, Sara C. Pryor, Yinon Rudich, Renyi Zhang, Editors, Journal of Geophysical Research–Atmospheres
From: From: Dr Roger Romney-Hughes, Executive Director; Dr Derek L. Schweinsgruber, President; John A. Marr, West Coast Representative, Friends of Gin & Tonic
Re: Editorial & review assistance for GRL & JGR–Atmospheres

Dear Drs Calais et al.,

We represent
Friends of Gin & Tonic, a climate denial skeptic organization based in the Calgary, Alberta oilpatch. We have been disappointed to see in your journals in recent months articles and comments attacking two very important papers published there last year: Lindzen & Choi and McLean et al.. By our count, these two papers constitute two-thirds of the peer-reviewed climate denial of 2009, and it is obviously very important for AGU’s continued repute as a denialist organization that articles attacking them be subject to the utmost scrutiny before they are accepted for publication.

We recognize that this can be difficult. In the case of GRL, its low-pagenumber, quick-turnaround nature means there will often not be the opportunity to fully examine all data and methods behind a manuscript and there will necessarily be pressure to get manuscripts through editing and review quickly. If editors are rushed by other commitments or the reviewers selected don’t have quite the required expertise, we appreciate that this can sometimes lead to not-completely-defendable stories being accepted. Also, the recent policy of not accepting comments on GRL papers can further lead to those stories maintaining bit more authority than they really should (we are disappointed, though, to see that this policy might now have been abandoned, if
the exchange on Australian warming in this week’s issue is anything to go by; this constitutes yet another shameless attack by ‘climate scientists’ on engineers and we trust it was thoroughly vetted). These factors and the high reputation of the journal mean that, despite having to be a bit fast and loose, the review process for GRL needs nonetheless to be thorough.

In the case of JGR–Atmospheres, the longer papers and more rigorous review process should mean that data, methods and conclusions are more thoroughly examined and that manuscripts accepted for publication there should be able to withstand some scrutiny. It must come as some embarrassment, then, when these papers attract comments pointing out very basic errors in methodology and data selection, especially when the reviewers of those comments
remark that they wonder how the original paper got published in the first place. Evidently, editing and reviewing in JGR–Atmospheres, also a journal of high regard, could also do with being a little more thorough.

In this respect, we are pleased to be able to offer you our assistance. To ensure the veracity of manuscripts purporting to show that denialist papers previously published in your journals are incorrect, we are willing to act as their editors and reviewers. We are eminently qualified for this, being geologists (some with Ph.Ds!) who work in the petroleum industry and who have in our distant pasts reviewed a few papers for scientific journals. Equally, denialist manuscripts submitted to AGU journals should also be subjected to more rigorous review, so that more of the basic flaws leaving them open to attack in the first place  for example, differentiating a series to eliminate the very trend under investigation, or analyzing measurements on an open system but assuming it's a closed one when considering the results  can be removed or at least made less evident. We are eminently qualified for this, too, being geologists (some with Ph.Ds!) who work in the petroleum industry and who have in our distant pasts reviewed a few papers for scientific journals. And because we work for petroleum companies, we are doubly pleased to be able to offer you our services at no cost.

We look forward to your reply. In the meantime, carry on the good work.

Friends of Gin & Tonic