Donna LaFramboise - 11 - The Peer Review Fairy Tale - examining crazy-making - take 2
Posted: 26 February 2013 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello,
hope you folks don’t mind me tossing this out there. 
After going balls-to-the-wall red face on the first ten chapters (which was all I promised myself cool smile ) -
I had to climb out of all those rabbit holes and get away from the climate science denialist wacka moles for a while.
I caught up on some chores, took a few walks, watched a bunch of fun documentaries and been meditating on the 1-2 billion year ago “happenings” {I always suspected more was going on than the ‘nothing’ claims I read about}.  Fun stuff… it appears something like 80% of Earth’s minerals may be the products of biological processes directly or indirectly (like a plume of chlorophyl produced oxygen getting absorbed by various elements ‘oxidation’).  Takes the whole Limestone/life epiphany to a whole new level.  That’s not all, fun newish stuff out there about early tides… helps fill in missing pieces in the tapestry of geologic understanding.


But, enough of diversions.  This evening after a few days respite I was back to chewing on Donna’s magic.
I come up with this… first thoughts/draft.
Putting it out there just in case anyone else has any interest… or thoughts to share.

11 - The Peer Review Fairy Tale

LaFramboise: “Having repeatedly encountered the claim that IPCC reports rely solely on peer-reviewed literature,”
~ ~ ~
Let’s look at this premise Donna keeps pounding on.

Donna’s “repeated encounters” revolve around selective quotes from PR interviews.  Donna totally ignores IPCC’s actual policy outline. 

LaFramboise derides Pachauri for overstating reality - then she tears into him
with the most florid emotionalizing and a hyper-inflated melodrama of her own fabrication. . . what’s fair or honest about that?

Fine, perhaps Pachauri was the over enthusiastic coach during interviews - but why does that give Donna license to hyper-inflate her claims? The Fact Remains that the IPCC never claimed or claims to cite only peer-reviewed documents!

Just as important, notice that Donna never discusses the “Citations” roll in a study?  An actual journalist would have explained to her audience what citations are all about.  Instead we see LaFramboise mesmerize her audience with a wholly unreasonable expectation that every citations needs to be a peer reviewed study.

Who ever said every citation must reflect a peer reviewed report/study? 

Donna get’s a free ride with her - “if the citation isn’t peer review it’s junk” meme…

But, it’s plain crazy-making!

Think about it, citations are a record of all the documents looked at during the writing of a specific paper or IPCC chapter.  The “citations list” says noting about the rank/weight of one particular citation over another.

It’s a fair question to ask:  What does it matter that Donna found a little over a quarter of the “citations” for this chapter where specifically “peer reviewed publications?” 

Who says those papers weren’t the foundation for that chapter with all those other citations acting as supporting information?

Beyond some misleading generalizations, Donna never takes a real look at those other citations.

{My figures are based on my own survey of the 50 citations used for IPCC’s WG3Ch#1(2007).}

Over a quarter of the citations were references back to other IPCC sections.
What’s wrong with that?  What justifies these references getting written off as junk?
~ ~ ~

Another +quarter of the “non-peer review” citations come from authoritative governmental organizations such as
European Environment Agency,
U.S. Department of Energy,
German Federal Ministry of the Environment (BMU),
German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA),
International Energy Agency.
Donna would have us believe that every government report is to be consider suspect or junk.  Doesn’t all this start sounding a bit wacky paranoid? 

Experts throughout the world consider these government sponsored Earth Observation reports quite authoritative - remember this information is public and well vetted by the community of experts.  Why won’t Donna acknowledge any of those reports as valid pieces of supporting information?
~ ~ ~
The next large category of “non-peer reviewed” citations are those Earth “advocating” NGO’s… Donna (and the right wing’s) hated Greenies.  Donna’s loathing and her absolute dismissal of the various global Earth advocacy NGOs is unnerving. 

At this point I’d like to ask: 
Donna, why do right-wing people harbor such hostile feelings towards “greenies”? 
Have such folks actually forgotten that our Earth’s environment is our life support system? 
Why the distrust and contempt for protecting our biosphere? 

Beyond that, when it comes to these organizations, Donna ignores their rich heritage of research and Earth Observations.  These organizations have sponsored or undertaken many important studies because no one else could or would.  They have filled an important gap that deserves thanks rather than ridicule and dismissal.  Furthermore, Donna never mentions that a good many NGO science based reports do get peer-reviewed. 

Also I noticed that some citations Donna dismisses turn out to be reports that refer back to peer reviewed publications.  Why do those deserve being dismissed?  After all learning is a process of gathering all the information you can and then sorting out the grain from the chafe.

Guess the real tragedy of the games that Donna and other luminaries of the ‘scientific consensus denying’ crowd play, is that tacit agreement between speaker and their politically motivated audiences.  Seems to me the audience wants easy answers - they like being handed an enemy like the greenies to blame everything on - they don’t want to think about the tough reality outside their windows.  They want simple answers, scapegoats and to be told they don’t need to change or think about anything.

So who’s the biggest liar? 
The person telling the lies or
the people grasping at easy answers no matter how obviously contrived and vapid those answers might be?

[ Edited: 27 February 2013 11:28 AM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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