Seeking volunteers for Crowdreview of IPCC’s references!

Donna Lafromboise of ‘There is No Frakking “Scientific Concensus” on Global Warming’ is seeking volunteers who are willing to spend 3-10 hours in reviewing the IPCC’s references – simply to check (and count) the number of ‘peer-reviewed’ references versus ‘other’ sources (like, say, an ad by WWF, a press release, a guess in an obscure non-scientific magazine, and so on).

The reason?

Most of our policymakers (worldwide) are pretending (acting as if) the 2007 IPCC report were the absolute truth, represented a 100% scientific consensus (you know – anyone who disagrees is automatically defined as a non-scientist, or worse – a denialist!).

One of the reasons most often cited for considering this to be THE authoritative last word that we, pesky humans are boiling poor Mother Earth do death is that the IPCC report is based on solid scientific evidence. All the IPCC evidence, the warm-mongers claim, is based on scientific studies which were peer-reviewed and published in reputable scientific journals.

‘Peer-review’ is what makes a scientific study ‘respectable’.  It is a process in which other respected scientists (ones who are not connected with the people who did the original work and who wrote it up for publication) read the original study, examine how the data was collected, how it was manipulated, how the study analyzed the data and whether the data supported the conclusions which the authors of the study made.  In other words, it’s like having a teacher mark your homework…..  If it is ‘good’ – it passes the ‘peer-review’ and the scientific journal can publish the study with the knowledge that their reputation will not be tarnished by doing so.

This, of course, puts great pressure on the scientists reviewing the study.  No, they are not expected to re-create the experiment, but, they are responsible for making sure that good scientific methodology was followed, that the data collected actually measured what the original scientists thought it measured (THIS is where MORE mistakes in scientific studies happen than most people – including scientists – are aware of), that the statistical analysis used was appropriate for the data, and so on.  It is a big responsibility – with the greatest asset a scientist has on the line:  their reputation!

That is why ‘peer-review’ is considered to be an assurance of ‘good, sound science’.

And THAT is why the IPCC and its supporters argue that since the IPCC is based on ‘peer-reviewed’ scientific studies, it is above reproach!


For the sake of the argument, let us set aside any claims that the IPCC-associated scientists turned ‘peer-review’ into ‘pal-review’ and actually check to see just how accurate the claim that the IPCC used only scientific studies which were ‘peer-reviewed’ and published in reputable scientific journals.

In her post, Donna says:

‘How much of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is based on peer-reviewed literature? Recent examinations of two random chapters found only 24 percent and 58 percent of the sources cited were peer-reviewed journal articles.’ ‘

So, she has decided to put the whole thing to the test!

But, that is a lot of checking….  Therefore, she is looking for volunteers who would be willing to share the load:

‘The goal of this project is for each chapter to be counted thrice, by three volunteers working independently of one another. In the event that tallies differ dramatically, further examination will occur. Should they differ only marginally, the count that is most favourable to the IPCC will be used.’

So, if you have a bit of time and are willing, head on to her site and get counting!