This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday & Wednesday.
We’re supposed to trust the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) because much of the research on which it relies was published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
But what happens when the people who are in charge of these journals are the same ones who write IPCC reports?
Nathan Gillett, one of its editors, served in four separate AR4 capacities – as a lead author, an expert reviewer for both Working Group 1 and Working Group 2, and as an expert reviewer of the Synthesis Report. He is now a lead author for the upcoming IPCC report (AR5).
As editor James Renwick’s bio page makes clear, he was a contributing author to the 2001 IPCC report, a lead author for the 2007 report, and is currently a lead author for AR5.
Other personnel associated with the Journal of Climate may be found under the headings Editors Emeritus and Associate Editors. Prominent IPCC participants such as Michael E. Mann, Gavin Schmidt, Andrew Weaver, Francis Zwiers, Gabriele Hegerl and Peter Stott appear on these lists.
Is this not too incestuous for words?
Is no one concerned that there is no distance whatsoever – never mind anything approaching a firewall – between the people who decide whether a study deserves to join the haloed ranks of the scientific peer-reviewed literature – and the people who then write IPCC reports declaring what this peer-reviewed literature tells us about climate change?
And let’s not even talk about what percentage of the published papers authored by some of those mentioned above earned their peer-reviewed status via the Journal of Climate. That’s another story for another day.