Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ten of the Best Climate Research Papers

One of the most common retorts to climate realism is the assertion that skepticism about AGW has to be validated by peer review for its publication to be worthy.  Anything not vetted by the scientific elite is by implication, merely biased, industry-funded hokum: if it was true, refereed journals would be publishing it.  These claims reveal a self-serving naiveté about the veracity and impartiality of the peer review process and ignore the fact that many significant advances in science throughout history have occurred outside the control of peer review.  That aside, the claims miss the point that much of the contemporary focus on climate realism reflects the use of new media, especially blogs, precisely because the peer review process within climate studies was neither impartial nor open to all viewpoints (see Wegman). 
In direct response to consistent taunting for realists to cite published, refereed publications that challenge the omnipotence of AGW theory, respondent Cohenite has posted these papers at the Jennifer Marohasy's blog. Not supringsingly, the list has generated a reactive list of counter sources. 
[Interesting question: how many of those in opposition to a particular viewpoint, have actually read the contrary perspective? On the basis of many blog postings and comments, it is clear that many people react rather than respond to views they disagree with, and many fail to understand where and how dominant constructs differ that might lead them to different conclusions about information, especially "scientific" data)].
To Cohenite's list, I would add any of Richard Lindzen's comments on climate change (e.g. this or this) and his other studies, Kristen Byne's excellent summation of the available sources and the ongoing deconstruction of the implied certitude of AGW statistics at the Climate Audit blog.
But citing a blog to answer assertive claims that science can only be science if it is published in refereed journals seems to be missing their point isn't it?  Yes, it is, because I do not accept that truth is subject to majority vote, nor disciplinary censure.  Truth is not decreed by elite groups.  Truth is determined by the veracity of its claims, the conformity with life experience, with empirical measurement and the strength of its logic -- all of which can be more immediately assessed, discussed and deconstructed within the structure of a blog much more readily that the strictures of academic convention, including peer review. 
Information and understanding are no longer confined to the hallowed walls of academia.  They never have been.  Its just that now, the information media available to the mass public allows anyone to publish and to publish directly without the control and intercession of self-interested intellectual elites. 
Get over it.  Embrace the new media and focus on the substance of the message, not its origins.  Validity and veracity will stand the test of scrutiny -- something an audit of environmental science reveals many published works of research fail.