Mean-spirited scepticism

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Mean-spirited scepticism

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Was Prospect right to recommend this "McCarthyite" book?

Was Prospect right to recommend this "McCarthyite" book?

The Hockey Stick Illusion by A. W. Montford, published by Stacey International, 2010. 482 pp, £10.99

In the August issue of Prospect, Matt Ridley recommended this as one of the “must read” books of the summer. You need not bother—The Hockey Stick Illusion is a McCarthyite book that uses the full range of smear tactics to peddle climate change denial.

There is both clear evidence and general agreement that the earth has warmed up in the last 100 years, probably by about 0.8 degrees. The scientific consensus is that this has been caused by human activity, and that we need to take steps to prevent further warming. This view is not universally shared, even by scientists, and it is therefore important to put recent warming in context. That is why a number of scientists have sought methods to try to

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  1. August 24, 2010

    Bishop Hill

    An interesting review. Particularly so because Professor Joyner doesn’t dispute any of the facts presented in my book. Not one. On that basis alone, I would urge people to read the book themselves and make their own minds up.

    Prof Joyner says “Consistently and without evidence he queries the actions and motives of those with whom he disagrees.”

    This is nonsense. There are 270 references in the book. What are the climategate emails if not evidence of the “actions and motives” of the people criticised. As with some other reviews of my book, I am left wondering if Prof Joyner has actually read it.

    (One factual point. McIntyre’s tree ring research has been available online since it was produced.)

  2. August 24, 2010

    geoffchambers

    If Professor Joyner is going to publish a review which contains nothing but ad hominem attacks on the author, he should at least get his facts right. The author Andrew Montford doesn’t dispute that there is warming, and that some of it maybe man-made. He said so on Newsnight last night. Steve McIntyre is not a climate sceptic. He said so at the Guardian debate last month.
    This book is an analysis of the statistical and scientific validity of a number of of scientific papers which are important because of the political conclusions based upon them. Professor Joyner has nothing to say about the science or the statistics, presumably because he finds nothing to criticise there. His only criticism is of the author’s presumed motives. Odd.

  3. August 24, 2010

    Roddy Campbell

    Gosh I feel quite lucky that Richard Joyner didn’t see fit to opine on my piece in February’s Prospect on Global warming, http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2010/02/too-hot-to-handle/

    I somehow feel, perhaps unworthily, that Prof Joyner is missing the point on Montford’s book, which of course was 90% written before Climategate, and had a bit added post-climategate.

    The emails revealed, unsurprisingly for those who read Climate Audit and Realclimate regularly, that most of what Montford had put together was true/valid/legitimate, choose any word.

    Without climategate this review would be more justifiable. With climategate it is not.

    Dendrochronology is fraught with difficulties, more than most proxy reconstructions – as Eduardo Zorita said in his recent review of McShane and Wyner 2010 http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/08/mcshane-and-wyner-on-climate.html :

    ‘They claim that the uncertainties are much larger than those included in the ‘hockey stick reconstruction’ and that the shaft of the hockey stick is rather an artifact of the method. These conclusions are, however, hardly new. The flatness of the shaft is actually only defended by Mann et al. and more recently in a much weaker fashion then 10 years ago.’

    and

    ‘… their conclusions are hardly revolutionary. Already the NRC assessment on millennial reconstructions and other later papers indicate that the uncertainties are much larger than those included in the hockey stick and that the underestimation of past variability is ubiquitous.’

    Does Prof Joyner not acknowledge that the Hockey Stick is under (gentler) attack from within the climate consensus, many of whom are shocked by the attitude of the Team to any criticism? Has he not read Judith Curry’s writings post-climategate?

    I think he needs to get out more.

  4. August 24, 2010

    Djelibebi

    There is just so much wrong with the final conclusion paragraph of this review that it is difficult to now where to start! The review itself is deeply flawed. The final para reads:-
    “Two things will strike any professional research scientist as serious flaws in Montford’s conspiracy theory. Most importantly, researchers live by proving that their ideas, their data, their experiments, their conclusions, are better than those previously published. Those many scientists who have supported Mann and the hockey stick gain little thereby. By contrast, if they did produce a temperature graph that is different from the hockey stick, but better justified, their reputation would rise. Secondly, Montford never explains why supporting an accepted idea will generate research funding, when the opposite is true. Once a scientific problem is regarded as solved, funding invariably moves elsewhere.”
    1) The serious flaws are surely the lack of proper statistical analysis of the data used to produce the Hockey Stick.
    2) The lack of of any willingness to have the data “proved” – TRUE researchers DO live by having their data independently verified. The Climategate tapes prove that the “Hockey Team” were highly averse to such normal scientific practice.
    3) The financial “gain” was immense because the Scientific process was prostituted. We all know the joke about adding “affect of Climate Change” to a grant application.
    4) The hockey stick motif left science behind when the highly politicised IPCC used it as its Logo!
    5) Funding did not move elsewhere and that can be easily proved.
    6) The funding became politicized – Cartoons of dogs drowning, films of children hanging onto trees whilst flood water raged below them – all proof that the “problem” was never solved and that the fires of advocacy had to be continuously stoked by Alarmists.
    This whole review of what is a well presented and well written factual account of the battle for truth against spin and dodgy dossiers just shows how worried the advocates are that their gravy train is rapidly rolling to a stop.
    Read the book – make your own mind up.

  5. August 24, 2010

    MackemX

    “There is both clear evidence and general agreement that the earth has warmed up in the last 100 years, probably by about 0.8 degrees. The scientific consensus is that this has been caused by human activity, and that we need to take steps to prevent further warming”

    So that’s accepted science?

    “Once a scientific problem is regarded as solved, funding invariably moves elsewhere.”

    So no more of taxpayers money is going to UEA/CRU in these areas any more?

    If one was to set out to review a book, perhaps the technique of taking some parts one objects to, providing refence/quotes to back up the primary sources asertion and then critiquing them may be an appropriate methodology to adopt. If one sets out to rubbish a book, it’s generally easier to dive straight into an unreferenced ad hominem attack on the author. it saves having to read the source material and/or offer any sort of genuine criticism or insight.

    Very poor.

  6. August 24, 2010

    Dave L.

    Obviously Professor Joyner has never visited Climate Audit and has no knowledge about statistics. It is just as obvious that he is ignorant about the Climategate e-mails.

    If Joyner wants to rumble with the Big Boys, he needs to first learn the fundamentals of how the game is played.

  7. August 24, 2010

    Phil Howerton

    Talk about a “McCarthyite” smear! This review is the epitome of a smear. One cannot help but wonder if this guy can read and understand the English language. The Bishop’s book is exactly the reverse of everything this guy alleges.

  8. August 24, 2010

    Gordon McKeown

    This is an astonishingly poor review of an important book and as a long-term subscriber I’m disappointed that Prospect have published this. Montford’s book is closely argued, is well written and does not allege a simplistic conspiracy theory.

    The grotesque politicisation of “Climate Science” has resulted in much shoddy work and I’m afraid this review is another example.

  9. August 24, 2010

    Westerner

    Hard to believe that Prof Joyner actually read the book. Prospect really shouldn’t be publishing stuff like this, which so diminishes the magazine.

  10. August 24, 2010

    James P

    I note that Professor Joyner “has received no funding for this review”. Is that why he doesn’t appear to have read the book?

  11. August 24, 2010

    Bernie

    This is an astonishingly poor review. Prof. Joyner demonstrates little understaning of the statistical issues involved in proxy reconstructions, the problematic research practices of Mann and Lonnie Thompson, the IPCC process or the political realities of grant funding processes particularly in the United States.
    I expected more from the Prospect editors.

  12. August 24, 2010

    James P

    So, the hockey team is an “imagined group” is it? The Professor clearly doesn’t know that this is what Mann and his chums called themselves!

    One has to wonder how Prospect chooses its reviewers…

  13. August 24, 2010

    John Carter

    I wonder if the reviewer has ever looked at, or has even been aware of the considerable scientific evidence which shows that Professor Mann’s methodology was extremely unsound.
    Professional statisticians have recently produced peer reviewed papers showing that the results Professor Mann presented cannot be confirmed and that the methods he use to produce his graphs are not statistically valid.
    How much more evidence do the \true believers\ need to open their eyes to the truth?

  14. August 24, 2010

    John Shade

    I have long since ceased to be dismayed by the intellectual level of some professors. In my distant undergraduate days, I recall all the ones I encountered as being deeply knowledgeable, lucid in argument, open to reason and evidence, and intolerant of such crude devices as the ad hominem. Maybe I was starry-eyed. So, no surprise at seeing such a vulgar polemic disguised as a book review. But I do have a certain amount of sadness. I found Montford’s book to be impressive, honest, fair-minded, and informative. I think the reviewer, in his haste to defend the climate establishment (why?), has overlooked the simple reality that they are now downplaying the hockey-stick plot that was once their banner. They have been seriously embarrassed by it. And well they should be. I commend the book to all with any interest in science, let alone in those many bits of it with a link to climate.

  15. August 24, 2010

    igsy

    Joyner speculates that Montford’s imagination was responsible for the “hockey team”. This will come as a surprise to Michael Mann, who was the first to coin the term in an interview with “Mother Jones” in 2005. In any event, the Climategate e-mails bear stark witness to the hockey team’s corporeal reality.

    By the way, regular observers of the scene just refer to this like-minded, power-broking clique of climatologists as the “Team”.

    Joyner pooh-poohs the idea that the Team is dedicated to smothering criticism of the hockey stick on the grounds that Montford proffers an uncompelling motive as to why they should.

    Well, on my reading of the Climategate e-mails, it’s as apparent as a pig in a library that the Team is indeed dedicated to smothering criticism of the hockey stick reconstructions. Why they are so inclined is not terribly relevant. Surely, as a scientist, Joyner should realise that it is necessary and sufficient to observe that they exhibit these behaviours. Criminals caught red-handed are not acquitted on the grounds their motives are debatable.

    In effect, Joyner believes that “better” temperature reconstructions would have replaced the hockey stick if it were as duff as critics allege. Not so in climate science and, again, Climategate shows us how this fails to happen. To take one angle of many, the Team evidently has the research journals by the short and curlies, and in many instances effectively are the research journals. When the Team wants sand thrown in the wheels of an opposing paper or comment, it just leans on the journal to appoint a Team member as a reviewer. If it believes an editor is not wholly on board with their worldview (in the Team’s parlance, a “leak”) it will pull strings and use influence to get the “troublesome” editor removed. The Team is a gatekeeping machine without peer [sic].

    So why does the Team want to crush peer-reviewed criticism? Why does the Team want the peer-reviewed literature “re-defined” in order to keep out papers they don’t like? It is hardly Montford’s fault that he doesn’t satisfactorily uncover this unsavoury motivation, and in any case, motive per se is a throwaway issue in his book, not something that should be used as the main thrust of argument against him.

    As to the second of Joyner’s alleged “flaws” in which he contends that supporting an accepted idea doesn’t generate research funding – I have to ask, is the Professor serious? I would very interested in any evidence he can provide for the scarcity of research grants into XYZ and its effect on Climate Change/Ocean Acidification/Sea Level/Highest Temperatures In A Thousand Years, etc.

    Finally, Joyner find “real wickedness” in Montford’s innuendo. I can only assume that Joyner has never read any books or articles (or e-mails!) by members of the Team. He would surely live in fear that divinely-inspired thunderbolts will once again strike the Earth.

    Overall, this is a very weak review – demeaned by an immature analogy to McCarthyism – that does not even attempt to properly address the primary and serious issues contained in Montford’s book. It is apparent to me that Joyner has little understanding of the history of the paleoclimatic reconstructions and the associated extraordinary behaviour of the climate science community.

  16. August 24, 2010

    ad

    Those many scientists who have supported Mann and the hockey stick gain little thereby. By contrast, if they did produce a temperature graph that is different from the hockey stick, but better justified, their reputation would rise.

    To judge from this review, they would be denounced as “climate change deniers” in the same way that Professor Joyner denounces A. W. Montford.

  17. August 24, 2010

    Latimer Alder

    I am confused.

    At the head of the piece it appears to be by ‘Richard Barry’. At the foot it tells us about Prof. Joyner and his finances.

    Which one wrote the extremely poor article? And has either of them actually read and understood the book in question? There is little evidence of it, whichever strung it together.

    PS : I am not surprised that payment was not given for this piece. It does not meet a basic level of merchantable quality under the Trades Descriptions Act!

  18. August 24, 2010

    Tom Scharf

    Prof Joyner says:

    “There is both clear evidence and general agreement that the earth has warmed up in the last 100 years, probably by about 0.8 degrees. The scientific consensus is that this has been caused by human activity”

    Incorrect.

    The consensus is that humans are “partially” responsible for the temperature rise of the last century and some is from natural variability. How much is from humans is still hotly debated (see CO2 forcings).

  19. August 24, 2010

    Phillip Bratby

    I have read the Hockey Stick Illusion twice and as a scientist, I found it compelling reading. Prof Joyner claims to be an emeritus professor of physical chemistry. I find it hard to believe that he is even a scientist. No proper scientist would even consider that there is such a thing as a scientific consensus.

    I suggest that in future, Prospect use better book reviewers. I urge anybody reading Joyner’s review to buy the book and judge for themselves.

  20. August 24, 2010

    SimonJ

    ¨The author spent his professional life as a chemistry researcher in academia and the oil industry.¨
    So, at last we have someone in the pay of ¨Big Oil¨. And which ¨side¨ does he represent, might I ask? I believe that automatically disqualifies him. Ha ha ha.

  21. August 24, 2010

    Chris S

    Richard Joyner is emeritus professor of physical chemistry, Nottingham Trent University, who has apparently spent the last 20 years living in a cave.

  22. August 24, 2010

    Richard J

    In recent weeks, following the well-deserved and highly successful reception of this meticulously-researched expose of the mischief behind the Hockey Stick poster-child of global warming activists, a campaign to denigrate the author of this book appears to be underway. As a professional earth scientist with amateur interest in medieval history I was more than curious as to how the Medieval Warm Period had disappeared from the IPCC climate change historical reconstruction. Rumours such as ‘we have to get rid of the MWP’ in the context of climate science came to my attention at about the same time. Latterly, I have tried to follow the intricacies of the statistical postings on Steve MacIntyre’s blog Climate Audit examining this topic, and found myself floundering in the detail. It was when I read this book that the context and significance of what I had read, became so crystal sharp. Latterly, I am relieved to find that also, eminent climate scientist Judith Curry, was likewise struggling with the detail and greatly enlightened by the book bringing it all together. (She of course accepts the basic premise of an atmospheric CO2 radiative warming effect, as incidentally do most sceptics, including Andrew Montford. It is the scale of this effect that is the great debate).

    The Hockey Stick Illusion is a classic landmark expose in the history of science, and of course attracts controversy as such from those who defended it.

  23. August 24, 2010

    Latimer Alder

    Thanks for correcting your error in attribution. It is now abundantly clear that it is Joyner who has failed to understand (or even read??) the book in question.

    Richard Barry is entirely exonerated.

  24. August 24, 2010

    Alex Cull

    A rational reader of Prospect Magazine unacquainted with the book in question and with the Hockey Stick controversy may well be nonplussed and intrigued after reading the above review and the comments following it. How could the reviewer have missed the mark so badly, he or she might wonder, or, conversely, how could the commentators have misread the review so utterly?

    My advice to you would be to read the book – The Hockey Stick Illusion by Andrew Montford – and then come back to this web page and re-read Professor Richard Joyner’s review of it. You will now understand why this otherwise puzzling and extreme difference of opinion exists.

    Here is my position. I think that Andrew Montford’s book is very good indeed, and I pretty much endorse Matt Ridley’s review of it on the Prospect Magazine site back in March 2010. I also think that Professor Joyner’s review is truly execrable. The pejorative expressions Joyner employs – “mean-spirited”, “conspiracy theory” and all the rest, could justifiably be turned around 180 degrees and used to describe the review itself, rather than the book it is nominally about.

    But don’t take my word for it. Read The Hockey Stick Illusion for yourself, and whatever point along the spectrum of opinion you occupy, make your own mind up about what it reveals. Then come back and read this review again.

    If I’m right, you might then seriously start to wonder, not only about the accuracy and fairness of the review itself but about the motivation of the man who wrote it.

  25. August 24, 2010

    Jeffrey York

    It would appear that not only GCSEs and “A” Levels, but also “Professor” has become severely devalued.

  26. August 24, 2010

    Mike Post

    An odd review. Buy the book and read it. It is full of good sense. I find it hard to believe that Professor Joyner has any idea what McCarthyism was.

  27. August 25, 2010

    peter oneil

    It is patently obvious that Professor Richard Joyner has not read the e-mails which form a backdrop to this story. The book was written before the e-mails were released, and the e-mails served only to confirm the findings in the book. I notice that Professor Joyner has not taken issue with any of the salient facts in the book.
    It is obvious that this is not a revue of the contents of the book, but rather , something else!

  28. August 25, 2010

    Tuto

    I have read The Hockey Stick Illusion, but I’m not sure that Prof Joyner has. As a book review, this is pretty poor as it says little about the content, the style, the presentation of the scientific evidence or the believabilty of that evidence. It doesn’t even acknowledge that Montford supports his case with over 200 references, and in so doing invites the curious to check his sources and his analysis.

  29. August 25, 2010

    geronimo

    “There is both clear evidence and general agreement that the earth has warmed up in the last 100 years, probably by about 0.8 degrees. The scientific consensus is that this has been caused by human activity, and that we need to take steps to prevent further warming”

    Not only has Prof Joyner not read Montford’s excellent book, but he appears not to have read the alarmist bible either. The IPCC report says that the temperature has risen by 0.8C in the last 100 years and that only 50% of the rise can be attributed to natural forcings. It then attributes the other 50% to CO2 because CO2 has risen during this period. So the rise in temperature caused by CO2 over the last 100 years according to the scientific consensus is 0.4C.

    As for the review, take out the ad hominems and it is content free.

  30. August 25, 2010

    Robert Blair of Kew

    This review tells us nothing about Montford’s book and quite a lot about Professor Joyner – sadly, all that we learn is to his detriment.

  31. August 25, 2010

    Roddy Campbell

    I am a little perplexed that Prof J. has not seen fit to appear in the comments section. The criticisms of his review have been direct, but reasonably polite, and his absence does give the impression that he has no answer to them.

  32. August 25, 2010

    rms

    To even bring up “McCarthyism” in any discussion/debate about science is abhorrent.

  33. August 25, 2010

    Dropstone

    I would say that Prof Joyners review is pretty much a gamma minus.

    Where and what exactly is the University of Nottingham Trent?

    Surely he means Nottingham Poly?

  34. August 25, 2010

    MAGB

    Recent books by Lawson(Guide to Climate Change Lunacy) and Plimer (Heaven + Earth) have shown how those with vested interests such as left wing activists and scientists desperate for funding consistently try to suppress or misrepresent conclusions of scientific research that they find inconvenient. Whether global warming is man-made or not is a question that needs informed and honest debate.

    Your view is not universally shared, Professor, certainly by this scientist, and your support of shutting down debate is shameful.

  35. August 25, 2010

    GrantB

    Well done Professor Joyner, you can now look forward to having your review front and centre on the Wikipedia discussion page about The Hockey Stick Illusion.

    Similar reviews to yours are given by Mr Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and Dr Alastair McIntosh who has a PhD by published works in liberation theology, land reform and community empowerment from the Academy of Irish Cultural Heritages.

    Distinguished company you keep. But if you do wander over to the Wiki discussion, please read Professor Judith Curry’s review of the same book. She oddly enough, is the Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

  36. August 25, 2010

    GrantB

    Professor Joyner, in a twinkling of an eye events have now overtaken my previous post. Your review is already being earnestly discussed over at the Wiki.

    Congratulations and again, well done.

  37. August 26, 2010

    Niklas

    Talk about a smear campaign.

    37 comments, the first of which from the books author, all of them negative and derogatory.
    This, good folks, is what is known in internet lingo as a “forum invasion”.

  38. August 26, 2010

    KurtS

    What a depressing number of useful idiots for Enron seem to be on the this line. Come on guys a little independence of thought. Stop being cash contrarians. Its not worth it.

  39. August 26, 2010

    GrantB

    Niklas – “37 comments, the first of which from the books author…”

    There’s others then. Can you direct me to them?

    KurtS – “Come on guys a little independence of thought.”

    And your independent thoughts on the book and the review are….?

  40. August 26, 2010

    StuartR

    @Niklas and KurtS
    It seems likely that the people who have read and liked the book, and subsequently heard about this review from the Authors website (as I did), feel that this review is unfair and biased (and just plain unprofessional) – and so are motivated to say so here.

    I suggest taking that possibility into consideration when considering what makes up the demographic of commenter’s here before leaping to any conspiracy theories. I also think the fact that this review is of a very poor quality makes it very hard for any other demographic to appear in this comment section. Which now seems more likely to me since the only comments here not critical of Mr. Joyner’s review, however still cannot defend Mr. Joyner but rather attempt some innuendo against the commenter’s. I really think people should read the book themselves.

  41. August 26, 2010

    James P

    KurtS

    “useful idiots for Enron”

    I think you mean Exxon. Enron ceased trading a while ago, after a little local difficulty…

    If you did mean ‘Big Oil’, that is also unfortunate, as we sceptics are not often funded by anyone. Professor Joyner, on the other hand, openly admits to having been “a chemistry researcher in academia and the oil industry”. Oops.

  42. August 26, 2010

    James P

    “a forum invasion”

    I’m sure it’s still perfectly open to the good Professor’s supporters and, indeed, himself to post suitable rebuttals. They do seem conspicuous by their absence, though. Perhaps his mum could oblige…

  43. August 26, 2010

    Dr Jonathan McKenna

    Forum invasion indeed. I wonder how many of these comments come from regular readers of Prospect? And how many people were re-directed here from AM’s own website? Thus do the echo-chambers of the internet work…

    Of course, I wonder why anyone would want to read a book written by someone who is patently unqualified to comment on these issues. AM is neither statistician nor climate scientist. Indeed, he has never done any scientific research. Speaking personally, when faced with the bewildering array of literature available on this topic, I would choose books written by people who can demonstrate some mastery of the science involved… in the same way I would seek the help of experts in matters of health, law or, indeed, plumbing.

    My only criticism of Prof Joyner’s article is that he missed another key weakness in the argument. AM believes that climate scientists have inflated the importance of their science to assure their continued funding. (Of course, there is no evidence for this; neither is there any historical precedent to show that science is capable of letting this happen – while denialism has a long and shameful history). But no such deception is required. The funding of climate science – and the livelihoods of climate researchers if you like – is certain. Because every reasonable, intelligent and informed person will recognise that climate science is (i) complex and, in many aspects, far from resolved; and (ii) vitally important in understanding how we might (or might not) need to manage our impact on the planet.

    The ironic thing is that the more the climate consensus is challenged, the more funding will be allocated to iron out the wrinkles and settle the arguments.

  44. August 27, 2010

    mikep

    Dr Mckenna adds nothing of substance, just the argument that Montford lacks qualifications. But I have read the book and Montford explains the statistical problems clearly and accurately. Moreover he describes the history of this particular debate. What precise objections do you have to Montford’s account of the statistical problems and the history? And I have been a subscriber and now occasional reader of Prospect for some years.

  45. August 27, 2010

    Alex Cull

    Dr McKenna, it’s interesting to see different perspectives here; where you see a \forum invasion\ and \echo-chambers\ (boo, hiss!) I see the magic of hyperlinks, the marvellous egalitarian nature of the internet and plenty of free and healthy debate (hurrah!)

    Clearly we disagree both about Andrew Montford’s book and Professor Joyner’s review. But where I do agree with you, ironically perhaps, is where you state the following, which is worth repeating: \Because every reasonable, intelligent and informed person will recognise that climate science is (i) complex and, in many aspects, far from resolved; and (ii) vitally important in understanding how we might (or might not) need to manage our impact on the planet.\

    Yes, absolutely.

    And I’d also agree with your final paragraph, although personally I would remove the \ironic\ in this case, and would consider putting \consensus\ in speech marks. I cannot speak for others but suspect that the view expressed in this paragraph (and, more importantly, in the segment I’ve excerpted above) might well be shared by Andrew Montford, Steve McIntyre and the vast majority of the growing number of people wrongly stimgatised as \deniers\.

  46. August 27, 2010

    Alex Cull

    Something rather strange happened to the punctuation in my last comment – where you see a dash (/), imagine that I had put speech marks (“) instead!

  47. August 28, 2010

    TG O'Donnell

    I believe that the effective unanimity of comment on Professor Joyner’s review results more from a general disappointment at the quality of his review rather than any ‘forum invasion’, since it is not unreasonable to expect a reviewer to actually engage with the arguments presented prior to dismissing them as ‘McCarthyite’.
    In addition, the professor has unfortunately ignored the opportunity to explore one of the central issues raised by Montford’s excellent book as identified in the subtitle; ‘Global Warming and the Corruption of Science’. It would have been interesting, and perhaps illuminating, to learn what a professional academic felt about the several failings of academe and the peer review process as documented by the writer.

    However, it is worth making the point that, in asking Professor Joyner to review The Hockey Stick, the editor is at least helping to keep this most important debate in the public arena and for that Mr Goodhart should be thanked.
    TG O’Donnell.

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