The Global Warming Debate, Peer Review and University Science

Mitchell Langbert

Dr. Tim Ball has written an article in the November 21 Canada Free Press in which he calls leading climatologists "frauds."  He bases this  on computer-based information obtained by someone who hacked into the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit server. The pro-anthropogenic climate change media, such as Associated Press and the Washington Post, emphasize the ethical issues associated with the hacking of the computers but downplay the implications for the credibility of  pro-anthropogenic academics.  The damage seems to be more serious than the Post yet admits. In his Canada Free Press article Ball raises questions not only about the credibility of climatological research but of the academic peer review process generally.  Given widespread public interest in this topic, increased  public scrutiny of peer review and of university research may be a collateral effect of the scandal. Concerning the peer review process generally Ball writes:

I was always suspicious about why peer review was such a big deal. Now all my suspicions are confirmed. The emails reveal how they controlled the process, including manipulating some of the major journals like Science and Nature. We know the editor of the Journal of Climate, Andrew Weaver, was one of the “community”. They organized lists of reviewers when required making sure they gave the editor only favorable names. They threatened to isolate and marginalize one editor who they believed was recalcitrant.

We may ask whether this kind of bias exists elsewhere in universities. If climate change has been politicized, what about studies like labor relations, law, sociology and economics?

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