By John O’Sullivan
We are often told that we should trust only scientific studies appearing in ‘respected’ peer reviewed journals. But is the peer review system the true gold standard of scientific merit?
In Britain and elsewhere independent scientists are becoming increasingly frustrated and dismayed as to what mainstream publications class as ‘good science.’ Doubts are rising, even among the elite, as evidenced in the UK’s Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) reporting on the Future of Scholarly Scientific Communication (FSSC). In ‘Peer review: not as old as you might think’ (June 25, 2015) The THES asks: “Is peer review broken?”
Many are beginning to realize scientific ‘peer review’ as we know it, is a relatively recent phenomenon. The Oxford English Dictionary says that it was not until 1967 that “peer review” was first used – in the US – to describe “a form of review of competence by others in the same occupation.”
Now, 50 years on, those deliberating at the FSSC and elsewhere are having to concede “peer review” should no longer be treated as a shibboleth or a “sacred cow.”
Peer review in climate science is laughingly dismissed as “pal review” after government research credibility in this field nosedived since 2009 and the ‘’Climategate’’ controversy. Then, thousands of leaked emails exposed a clique of government-funded climate alarmists conspiring to keep skeptical papers out of the major science journals. An international conspiracy to make man-made global warming appear as “settled science” almost succeeded that year in convincing world leaders to agree to massive cuts in industrial CO2 emissions at Copenhagen (COP15).
So, this brings us to the crux of this article: peer review of the so-called greenhouse gas theory, cornerstone of man-made global warming alarmism. This ‘theory’ is famously credited to Svante Arrhenius (1896). From his paper ‘On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground’ we are told that carbon dioxide (CO2) might be our climate’s control knob. Though in the paper, Arrhenius refers to carbon dioxide as “carbonic acid” as per convention at the time and contrary to some misunderstandings, Arrhenius does not explicitly suggest that burning “fossil fuels” would cause global warming.
Peer review of the climate Co2 theory? Well, none was done at that time because formal science journal peer review only widely existed since the late 1960’s.
The most famous contemporary debunk of the Arrhenius climate theory (1896) was by fellow Swedish scientist Knut Angstrom. Angstrom objected to the value that Arrhenius had used as the absorption coefficient for CO2. At the time Angstrom refuted the quantitative accuracy of the absorption coefficient (1900), but Arrhenius rejected Angstrom’s numbers. By 1906 Arrhenius gave a revised estimate of the effect of a doubling of CO2 being 1.2°C directly and 2.1°C with the water vapor feedback effect included.
Thus, Arrhenius had acknowledged that he had overestimated the impact of a doubling of CO2 by about two hundred and fifty to three hundred percent. This overestimate had to have come largely, if not exclusively, from an overestimate of the absorption coefficient for carbon dioxide.
In 1909 Professor HW Woods performed his famous definitive experiment debunking the GHE. That seemed to nail it. Though a few scientists continued to consider Arrenhius’s work for about a decade. But by 1905 most had rejected Arrenhius on the basis that the amount of carbon dioxide in the air was so small compared to the amount of water vapor that even a doubling of it would have an insignificant effect on global temperature.
We know this was the consensus of opinion in the scientific world into the 1950’s. In 1952 the American Meteorological Society (AMS) flatly rejected the GHE and any notion carbon dioxide controlled climate. The AMS wrote that the theory:
“was never widely accepted and was abandoned when it was found that all the long-wave radiation absorbed by CO2 is also absorbed by water vapour.”
But mainstream scientific dissent was systematically brushed under the carpet from the 1980’s when it was recognized the world had switched from an era of cooling to a 30-year warming trend. At the same time scientists noted atmospheric levels of CO2 had been rising, too.
Opportunists such as billionaire, Maurice Strong, saw the chance to impact public policy and take advantage making a ‘correlation equals causation‘ claim, breathing new life into the forgotten GHE. As climatologist Dr Tim Ball noted:
“Global warming uses pseudoscience to achieve a socialist political agenda. It was chosen because it was a global threat that required global governance. It was created through the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), sponsored and organized by Maurice Strong. It is the originator of what is broadly called the Green Agenda, an economy based on eliminating CO2 and shifting to alternate energies through Agenda 21.”
History was then re-written to make it appear the GHE had never gone out of fashion. Leading the way was Spencer R. Weart, director of the Center for the History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics. Weart is pre-eminent among establishment science historians with his GHE propaganda. Weart’s book, ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’ was made compulsory reading for modern students in this field.
The Hidden Fudged Numbers of L. F. Richardson & G S Calender
Critically, Weart and others appear to not realize that modern government climate computer models rely on the GHE equations made by British math guru, Lewis Fry Richardson. In the 1920’s Richardson created a simple but flawed equation to model the atmosphere into a series of layers but he never intended this to be used for climate forecasting. Richardson’s work was identified and exposed by PSI researcher, Derek Alker (2016).
We know that from 1950 new, more detailed measurement of the absorption spectra of water vapor and carbon dioxide revealed that there were some wavelengths of infrared radiation that carbon dioxide absorbed that water vapor did not. Richardson never knew this.
Richardson’s key climate equation is little known but the work of Guy S Callendar is widely lauded by GHE believers. Callendar composed a famous early history of the role of CO2 in climate analysis. But his article is little more than cherry-picked fakery. It purported to show that temperatures around the world had increased by half of one degree Celsius between 1885 to 1950. Callendar gives the temperature record for five areas; the British Isles, Japan, Turkestan, New Zealand and Chile. But the temperature records for all other areas, including the United States, Canada and Australia, he deemed not suitable for inclusion.
Not surprisingly to us skeptics, of the five Callendar showed, two – Japan and Chile – did not show any temperature increase. Turkestan showed an increase of about half a degree; whereas the British Isles and New Zealand showed a temperature increase of about 1°C. Callendar then concocted an average of his five chosen figures; (0+0+½+1+1)/5= half of one degree.
But for some reason Callendar only showed the temperature record for UK going back to 1850. Yet the Central England Temperature Record (CET) goes back to about 1820 and if he hadn’t cherry picked it away it would have revealed that the temperature in 1830 was just as high as it was in 1950. Thus Callendar – through biased selection of the countries and the time period – got partial support for his thesis that temperatures around the world had increased by half of one degree over a 65-year period.
Callendar’s connivance as a data cherry picker was nothing unusual. The Royal Society has been warning readers since the 1830’s to beware. The RS admitted their reviewers were not selecting papers to publish based on the “certainty of the facts” they contained. As our cited Times Higher Ed. Article admits, on the question of peer review:
“….the committee focused on their “importance and singularity” and the quality of their communication.”
Facts weren’t the be all and end all in establishment science, you see. But facts should matter and empirical evidence is abundantly available to discredit the GHE, as Hans Schreuder shows.
The Military-Industrial Complex Co-opts Science
In 2009 Phil Jones, head of the UK’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and among the most influential of world government climate scientists admitted it was standard practice to ‘hide’ data. Even pro-green The Guardiannewspaper was shocked at the extent these ‘scientists’ sunk to by hiding temperature data that discredited their alarmist theory, as shown in ‘Leaked climate change emails scientist ‘hid’ data flaws’ ( February 1, 2010).
No one must question such ‘settled science’ when it is so owned and paid for by a clique of powerful international actors. Even the AAAS admits President Dwight D Eisenhower had famously warned about this:
“During the 1961 address, in which the president famously warned of the danger to the nation of a growing armaments industry referred to as a “military-industrial complex,” he included a few sentences about risks posed by a scientific-technological elite. He noted that the technological revolution of previous decades had been fed by more costly and centralized research, increasingly sponsored by the federal government.” 
Is it mere coincidence that the modern ‘gold standard’ peer review system in scientific journals began so soon after?
These same people won’t allow any debunk of their precious greenhouse gas (GHE) theory to appear in any of the so-called prestige science journals, which they control. So much so, groupthink pervades the entire climate consensus academic establishment who want to believe carbon dioxide “traps” heat as part of a “greenhouse effect” making earth warmer than it should be.
But there is growing recognition of the dangers of “group think.”
Perhaps it is no wonder that Albert Einstein was among many who despised the secretive, error-prone and biased peer review system. In 1998 an extensive review of the literature on peer review exposed the problems. Too often there is a low level of reliability and agreement over the quality of submitted papers. Lack of objective evaluation criteria is rife and reviewers’ mistakes are hidden in their evaluations and bad papers accepted and good papers rejected. The general finding being that established journals are usually biased against innovative work. They tend to support the status quo.
But it gets worse.
We need to add to this farce the ‘Hansen howler’ – Dr James Hansen, NASA’s former golden boy who gave the game-changer 1988 ‘Global Warming has Begun‘ presentation to the U.S. Government, botched his famous 1981 calculations for the atmospheric CO2 ‘Window’. In Britain that very same year in a speech to the Royal Society, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also sounded the greenhouse gas climate alarm.
Then and now, consensus science relies on the junk science Hansen published in the journal, Science 
In that travesty, Hansen wrongly claims carbon dioxide absorbs in an atmospheric “window” from 7 to 14 micrometers – which transmits thermal radiation emitted by the earth’s surface and lower atmosphere. But the scientific reality is that carbon dioxide only has an effect on the atmosphere from about 13 to 17 microns – a far smaller, more trivial ‘window’ than Hansen’s bogus claim for between 7 to 14 micrometers.
No retraction of that junk paper nor apology or acknowledgement from Hansen, ‘Science’ or all those ‘experts’ who still cite that garbage. Again, any reliance on the ‘gold standard’ of peer review in the ‘best’ of academic journals is proven to be utterly misplaced.
Widely publicized peer reviewed but junk science underpinning government policy doesn’t die easily, even when proven so clearly wrong. Again, the system betrays us all.
Author of the Times Higher Ed. Article Aileen Fyfe admits:
“But the various research teams looking into the history of peer review, including my own, do not yet know enough about why the post-war expansion of scientific research, on both sides of the Atlantic, led to the transformation of refereeing into “peer review”, or why it then came to dominate the evaluation of scholarly research.”
As some of the participants at the Future of Scholarly Scientific Communication meeting suggested: “…as the internet era progresses, we will increasingly move away from journals as the key means of communicating science. It is, therefore, worth considering whether a process that developed for print journals at learned societies will still be fit for purpose in that brave new world.”
Some of us, like Einstein, think that the peer-review system should be abandoned in favor of a “market of ideas.” In an open arena the best research would more readily be identified by the crowd, hence reducing the cost of the review process.
Slowly, slowly some ‘big’ journals and scientific communities are following the lead of innovative online publishers such as Principia Scientific Intl. and making their review process public. Though whether it is too little too late to save the credibility of climate science research remains to be seen.
But all is not lost. In 2017 some of the ‘lesser’ peer reviewed journals permitted publication of studies debunking the GHE as we saw with ‘17 New Scientific Papers Dispute CO2 Greenhouse Effect As Primary Explanation For Climate Change’. Even in Japan, scientists are pointing out the hidden fatal errors James Hansen et al. rely on and another paper in 2018 shows how our planet’s temperature is easily explained without reliance on any GHE. Recently, Russian scientists have declared the GHE dead as global cooling sets in; while a team of Italian scientists called for a “deep re-examination” of the failing theory.
As ‘Slayer‘ Hans Schreuder warns: “The only way to save climate science is by the recognition that carbon dioxide does not “trap” heat and that there is no “greenhouse effect” making earth warmer than it should be.”
 See: CEP Brooks, American Meteorological Society (1951) in its Compendium of Meteorology (Brooks, C.E.P. “Geological and Historical Aspects of Climatic Change.” pp. 1004-18.
 ‘After 50 Years, Eisenhower’s Warnings Against a Scientific Elite Still Cause Consternation’ (February 11, 2011) Warren E. Leary: https://www.aaas.org/news/after-50-years-eisenhower-s-warnings-against-scientific-elite-still-cause-consternation
 Hansen’s Hansen J., Johnson D., Lacis A., Lebedeff S., Lee P., Rind D., Russell D., SCIENCE 28 August 1981, Volume 213, Number 4511, Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide].