The exchange shows key scientists discussing removing journal editors who allowed papers to be published that disagreed with their findings or methodology. They identify the suspect editors in question and then suggest collecting data on their activities to potentially be used in getting them ousted.
There is also discussion about boycotting (i.e. “do an end run around”) the offending journals. And when all else fails, they attempt to “redefine” what they consider to be the peer‐reviewed literature.
These shenanigans prompted waves of nausea both within and outside of the climate community. So, has the lesson been learned that maybe it’s not a good idea to go beyond the normal rules of scientific civility and to actually cultivate a bit of climate science diversity?
No. Consider the developments since our last Current Wisdom article, “Please Sell Me Your Beach House.”
I was an author of a recently published a paper in Journal of Geophysics Research‐Atmospheres, which examined the magnitude current ice melt taking in Greenland compared with a statistical estimate of what has taken place there for the past 225 years. We were able to go back to the late 18th century because of a remarkable record of weather stations established by the Danish colonists.
We concluded that while the melt in recent years was quite high, it probably wasn’t unprecedented. JGR uses a single‐blind review process—that is, there were three reviewers who were anonymous to us, but they knew who we were. The double‐blind review processes, while common in other disciplines, and relatively rare in climate science, which is probably one of the systematic problems in the discipline that created an atmosphere primed for Climategate‐like storms. The fact that editors have not changed this policy in light of the Climategate emails is an ominous portent.
After our paper was published, one of the previously anonymous reviewers revealed himself through a blog entry on his website. This individual was Dr. Jason Box, geography professor at Ohio State University who has done a lot of work on the Greenland ice, and was therefore well‐qualified to review our work (and in fact, was one of the people that we suggested to JGR as a potential reviewer of our paper). His blog entry was not about how a paper that he recently reviewed perhaps shed some new light on the longer term history of ice melt across Greenland, but instead was highly (to put it mildly) critical of our results as well as the review process at JGR, and for good measure, as if it was somehow relevant to the science in our paper, decided to trot out the old “denialism” war horse and to explain that he, Box, is “inspired by scientific denialism.”
Here are some excerpts from Box’s blog posts titled “selective science=pseudo science”: