Thursday, 26 November 2009

Yet another vignette showing climate scientists at play.

What a lovely bunch they are. After reading his work and his communications with others, one can but admire a man like Roger Pielke Snr. He is someone who has been contributing to the science of climate in the way that Darwin intended. On merit rather than on the extent and influence of his academic coterie. Even as a layman observer of the climate science community, his looks like a lonely position.

In a recent blog piece Roger retraces a distasteful (but increasingly familiar) looking episode of climate science in action. In that post by Roger is one email that made my jaw hit the ground. I reproduce it in part below with the bits that caused my mandibular dislocation:

Subject: Chapter 6: an alternative? [email not for the faint hearted?]
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:22:32 +0100
From: Thorne, Peter


Dear all,

Health warning: This mail does not hold its punches as the youngest member of this panel I suppose that I have the most to lose through Chapter 6 in its current form in terms of future research career. I also suspect that I am the most likely to run around making a pain in the proverbial of myself. My apologies for that! I’ve tried over the past few weeks to help others in the Chapter 6 redrafting, but I really think that the structure we had just will not work. Therefore I took the liberty of spending 3 hours this morning developing an alternative, which I attach. I will caveat that David has looked at this, but the rationale and most of the text is my responsibility, not his (in other words the buck stops here).


What does this say to you? I know that it is not in context, blah blah blah. But let's just cut to the chase. A young and (by all indications) ambitious researcher felt that a scientific report might not be good for his career advancement and so personally redrafted it as a replacement for the combined work of the team.

Just as background, this was a CCSP report. CCSP stand for Climate Change Science Program. They provide the scientific basis for the US, a bit like the IPCC role at an international level. So this was a biggish deal and should have had an objective and inclusive approach to the broad base of scientific views, including those represented by (NB not held by) Roger Pielke. Could it really be true that some young buck thought such an approach might stimey his scaling of the greasy pole of success and so, with or without the support of others, arranged to hijack proceedings? Hard to believe and yet hard to rationalise otherwise the self stated conflict of interest and resulting actions detailed in that email.

And it is the Climate Change preachers who constantly parrot on about how sceptics are compromised.

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