Friday, March 8, 2013

{#11c}LaFramboise- peer review / citations -The Delinquent Author

Oh my, just had a chance to read this tonight, for the first time in many months, and am quite embarrassed by all the typos I found.  What can I say, I was pretty burned out on the project by this point.  I'm no educated writer, journalist or scholar, I'm just a working guy who's been paying attention for a long time and I'm learning the writing as I'm going along.  In a way, I admit it's silly of me even tackling this, someone better skilled than me should be doing it… but, where are they?

I'm simply filling a vacuum so please be tolerant of my rough edges.  
And I invite anyone to copy any of this and do something better with it than I can.
edited 11/25/2013


Other event's have overtaken this project.  And we only have so many hours in a day.  So for the time being this will be the last in this series looking at Donna LaFramboise's disingenuous crazy making.

This is the third and final installment on chapter 11 "The Peer Review Fairy Tale" looking at details of Donna's own Fairy Tales. 

From her manipulation of Pachauri quotes to her decidedly misleading presentation of what the IPCC promises, while giving a skewed description of what it produces.

Including a look at Donna's mistaken assumption that only peer reviewed literature is authoritative and that all else deserves an "F."

Chapter eleven of The Delinquent Teenager  "The Peer Review Fairy Tale".  

For an introduction explaining why I'm reviewing this piece of work, please click here.

{Courier font identifies LaFramboise's words
Laframboise, (2011-10-09). T D T W W M W T C E (Kindle Locations 195-201). Ivy Avenue Press. Kindle Edition. }

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11 - The Peer Review Fairy Tale   
Having repeatedly encountered the claim that IPCC reports rely solely on peer-reviewed literature, in early 2010 I was taken aback by a blog post authored by economist Richard Tol. He complained that, in a particular chapter of the 2007 Climate Bible(1), IPCC authors had ignored the findings of peer-reviewed studies and had instead cited non-peer-reviewed material to make the opposite case. 
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Please refer to:

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Looking up that chapter's list of references online, I wondered how this could be. And yet, as I began to scan these references for the first time, I discovered the IPCC had relied on numerous sources that had not, in fact, been published in scientific journals.  
It turns out the we-use-only-peer-reviewed-scientific-literature claim is total nonsense. It turns out those North Carolina legislators were misled by the head of the IPCC himself.  
At that point in time I had no idea how large the discrepancy between the IPCC's marketing message and reality actually was. I just knew something smelled. 
~ ~ ~ 
Consider Donna's fallacies: 
"authoritative scientific literature" = "peer reviewed" 
ergo (in Donna's audience's mind) "non peer reviewed literature" = "F"

On what basis is such a conclusion drawn?

The IPCC's Principles and Procedures are clearly delineated and improved as lessons are learned :

Donna et al. has cynically changed the landscape of the dialogue.  She writes off authoritative Government scientists and NGO scientists along with references to within the IPCCs own reports as automatic "Fs" never looking at what those citations are all about.

Donna is comfortable fabricating this landscape that misrepresents the IPCC.  She refuses to give credit where credit is due, and hyper-inflates any mistake or flaws.

I know many people want to believe the whole "lefty" world is in on a grand conspiracy and "manmade global warming" is a hoax and Donna is happy to feed that paranoia - I wish we'd figure out how to break that spell.

Still, the truth is out there, if you are concerned about the IPCC you owe it to yourself to study up on what they themselves have to say.

I know that no matter where I go in those documents, it looks to me like serious professional people working to produce the best reports they can.  I also know that informed review after informed review continues to show that the IPCC has been very good at reflecting the state of the scientific understanding.  Not perfect, but they sure are close enough for us to know what we need to know.
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It's important to appreciate that the 2007 edition of the Climate Bible(2) had been around for three years by then. There had been ample opportunity for any journalist - particularly those who write exclusively about science or the environment - to do some rudimentary fact-checking. This isn't hard. The full report is readily accessible on the Internet. But it seems no one had ever bothered. 
~ ~ ~ 
the reports have been looked at by many science journalists.
The reason no one spoke up was because the IPCC 2007 reports ARE a fair representation of the state of the science.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I counted the references in the chapter Tol had mentioned. Next I split them into two groups: journal articles and everything else. Non-peer-reviewed material is often called grey literature and it seemed to me there were 139 in this category. That meant only 58% of the source split them into two groups: journal articles and everything else. Non-peer-reviewed material is often called grey literature and it seemed to me there were 139 in this category. That meant only 58% of the source material had come from peer-reviewed publications. This is a long way from 100%. Anyone who thinks it isn't should keep only 58% of their next paycheque and donate the remainder to charity. 
~ ~ ~ 
Chapter citations are not a numbers contest!  

Nor are citations confined to the most important papers used.  

Citation list all the literature looked at.  Donna doesn't explain any of that.

Donna is displaying all the attributes of the single minded cynical prosecutor - "ANYTHING you say can and WILL be used against you."
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Entirely at random I chose another chapter and performed a similar examination. To my astonishment, of the 260 references listed in that instance only 64 were to journal articles. Twenty-five percent. At that point I sat back in my chair, took off my glasses, and rubbed my eyes. What was going on? Had I accidently found the two chapters of the 2007 Climate Bible(3) (out of a total of 44) that were outliers? Or was the problem more widespread? 
~ ~ ~ 
What problem?  
Here Donna continues her intellectual dishonesty.  

Remember, citations are not confined to only peer review. 

Citations are a list of everything included in the discussion!  Get it?

When Pachauri and other officials say IPCC base their findings on "Peer Reviewed Scientific Literature" that does NOT mean that only peer reviewed literature get's looked at or listed in the citations.
EXTREME WEATHERAn Audit of LaFramboise's IPCC Citation Audit.
Working Group 3, Chapter 1 of the 2007 IPCC report    

IPPC references =                          14..................28%
Government Study/Report =          14..................28%
Authoritative Sources =                  10..................20%
Peer-reviewed (LaFramboise) =     12..................24%

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Wondering whether anyone else had noticed the shockingly low percentage of peer-reviewed sources in this second chapter, I did something else for the first time. I went looking for the comments IPCC expert reviewers had submitted after reading early versions of this chapter. Had they spotted this problem?  
It turns out this matter had, in fact, been raised. But the IPCC shrugged it off.  
These reviewer comments, paired with responses from IPCC authors, suggest that everyone was taking part in a shared hallucination. A great deal of lip service got paid to peer review, but in practice it was a next-to-meaningless concept. 
~ ~ ~ 
The hallucination going on here is D0nna's suggestion that important scientific studies demand 100% of their citations be peer-reviewed literature.
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When Takayuki Takeshita, a researcher associated with the University of Tokyo, suggested that a presentation he'd helped prepare be taken into account, IPCC authors told him it was ineligible since it didn't satisfy the requirement that sources be published. But if these authors really cared about the rules, three out of four of that chapter's references would never have made the cut. 
Elsewhere, when Takeshita said he considered an assertion in the chapter to be "doubtful" and noted that it conflicted with almost "all of the literature I have ever read," he was told: "Rejected; text simply quotes the study, and good chance the study is correct." 
~ ~ ~ 
Here again notice how Donna doesn't give you any citation or reference to investigate for oneself.  She makes vague claims - then makes verification of her words as difficult as possible.  Her blog is just as vague.  The chapter in question is "Chapter 5 Transport and its Infrastructure"
Mobility is an essential human need. Human survival and societal interaction depend on the ability to move people and goods. Efficient mobility systems are essential facilitators of economic development. Cities could not exist and global trade could not occur without systems to transport people and goods cheaply and efficiently (WBCSD, 2002). 
So it isn't like we are talking about climate or weather in this chapter.  Nor were any cutting edge science issues requiring the latest peer-review literature at stake.  

Why does Donna hide such details?
Remember the IPCC is mandate to report on the state of the science, and that include more than only "peer reviewed" published papers.
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Did you catch that? Despite the fact that the study in question wasn't peer-reviewed, the IPCC authors thought there was a "good chance" it was correct – and that was the end of the matter. 
~ ~ ~ 
Donna withholds details making it impossible to objectively assess the veracity of her story.  All LaFramboise is presenting is her own prejudged prosecutor's one-sided opinion.
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On two separate occasions, another expert reviewer, John Kessels from the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands, complained that press releases were being cited to support statements of fact. "[I]s a press release scientific literature?" he asked. When the final version of the 2007 Climate Bible(4) appeared, the press releases remained. 
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Please note Donna once again does the unjustified mental jump from "Scientific Literature" to "Peer Reviewed Scientific Literature."  

Furthermore, it's disturbing that I can't find this quote LaFramboise alleges Kessels made in the IPCC comments.  Look for yourself, there were 50 comments by Kessels, perhaps I've missed it in my repeated searches.

Incidentally, the tone of comments and IPCC acknowledgements is rather different from Donna's spin.

Donna's implication is that Kessels is unhappy with the quality of IPCC citations.  

Thus, I find it ironic that Kessels is repeatedly requesting additional information of the type that Donna has branded with an "F."    Here take a look:
~ ~ ~ would suggest that authors get hold of Bert Daniels (2002) thesis entitled Transition Paths Towards CO2 emission reduction in the steel industry(John Kessels, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands) p19 of 59 
~ ~ ~  
Would it not be better to discuss industrial size proposed projects, their size mitigation potential and the potential cost of the credits from the mechanisms rather than give an overview of the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms which can be covered in Chapter 13. There is a wealth of literature from the World Bank, IETA that lists and discusses large industrial projects. This section could discuss that the effectiveness of JI and CDM is that so many projects with this much potential mitigation in the industry sector have been proposed and the value of the credits and incentive to industry is estimated at ....(John Kessels, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands) p44 of 59 
~ ~ ~ 
Include also an example of a developed country or several programmes for comparison such as IEA studies, (John Kessels, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands) p46 of 59 
~ ~ ~ 
Is there any progress reports produced by any of the companies, does the WBSCD not produce reports on progress of many of its initiatives? (John Kessels, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands) p48 of 59 
~ ~ ~  
The Japan steel industry initiative is interesting but what is the actual size of the companies involved, what was the actual emission reduction based on the status quo prior to the initiative and is their information on the cost of these initiatives? (John Kessels, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands) p48 of 59 
~ ~ ~  
What evaluations? What were the results? How do they compare with industry that do not have fiscal incentives?(John Kessels, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands) p51 of 59 
~ ~ ~ 
This section needs to be rewritten using more input from the IPCC Expert Meeting Report in Tokyo 2004 which involved industry input there are some major gaps with many of the drivers not mentioned until section 7.11.2 including regional differences, competitive advantage, intellectual property rights, leapfrogging, country characteristics it would be better to perhaps mention these earlier(John Kessels, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands) p56 of 59
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As for those press releases Donna condemns, they were technical press releases from a company making specialized high capacity Li batteries and specialized capacitors.  

Why these "technical information press releases" deserve an "F" is not clear.  

Power System, 2005: Press release 2005.6.27. Development of High Power and High Energy Density Capacitor (in Japanese). <> accessed 30/05/07.  
Yuasa, 2000: Press release 2000.4.20 - Development of high capacity Li batteries with Mn type cathode (in Japanese). <> ac-cessed 30/05/07.
All this is more evidence that LaFramboise misrepresents the truth.
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It had now become clear to me that an audit of all 44 chapters of the Climate Bible(5) needed to be undertaken. The list of references appearing at the end of each one had to be examined. It was important to know just how many were actually peer-reviewed. But since some chapters list 400 or more references, and a few list 800 or more, the job was too large for one person. I needed help.  
The Internet is a powerful and amazing invention. On March 8th, 2010 I wrote a blog post asking for assistance. The rules were simple. The references appearing at the end of each IPCC chapter would be examined by three people, working independently. They'd identify the non-peer-reviewed entries, tally them up, and calculate the percentages.  
In the event that their findings differed slightly (the IPCC doesn't always include complete information, and it's difficult to tell whether some journals are peer-reviewed or not), the result most favorable to the IPCC would be used. Where there was uncertainty, the IPCC would receive the benefit-of-the-doubt. This wasn't about nitpicking. What mattered was the big picture.
~ ~ ~ 
"the IPCC would receive the benefit-of-the-doubt."  

What a disingenuous joke this is!  

Donna set's up dishonest standards - refuses to consider the substance of those non peer reviewed documents she brands as junk.  

Now she promises to be fair in the sorting? 
How can that be when her sorting method is biased in the extreme.  Read her words Donna is about nothing but the attack, and slander, she couldn't careless about the substance for details of issues.  Sewing hostility seems her only goal.

As for Donna's promise of illuminating the IPCC process, she's done nothing so far but confuse and stupify.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Within hours, I began receiving offers of assistance from people around the world. A surgeon from Kentucky. A night-shift worker from Australia. A software whiz from Vancouver. A retired engineer from Germany. Soon, more than 40 individuals from 12 countries had been in touch and a four-week dash to the finish line had begun.  
Ordinary people volunteered many hours of their personal time to this project, which I called the Citizen Audit. In a handful of cases, fearing negative repercussions in their workplace or communities, they asked not to be publicly identified. One man told me that his neighbors might slash his tires or set fire to his house.  
Think about that. What kind of moment in history do we inhabit when people feel that helping to fact-check a UN document places them at risk? In an era in which freedom of thought, religion, and speech are supposed to be valued why should counting up references in the Climate Bible(6) be the slightest bit controversial? 
~ ~ ~ 
Oh the melodrama.

To answer Donna's rhetorical question: because you have created a rigged game, by eliminating all information that might undercut your thesis.

Donna has cynically calculated and molded her "survey" in a way that's intended to put the IPCC in the worst possible light for folks who want to hate it.  

As for learning, LaFramboise has done nothing to illuminate how the IPCC process actually functions.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
After the results were all in, a few more days were required to do the math, write a brief report, and compile some tables. Five weeks later, on April 14th, we made our results public. Of the 18,531 references in the 2007 Climate Bible(7) we found 5,587 - a full 30% - to be non peer-reviewed. The peer review score was so low in 21 out of 44 instances, the chapter would have received an F on an elementary school report card (59% or less). 
~ ~ ~ 
An "F" clearly indicates that Donna considers anything that is not "peer reviewed" junk.  

Lets think about this.  Donna claims Pachauri promises that the IPCC reports are based on the best scientific literature available - but why does that mean that the IPCC should only look at peer reviewed literature and ignore all the rest?

That's a big logical fallacy.  There is plenty of authoritative valuable, {essential even} non peer reviewed scientific literature.  

Why does Donna hide that from her willfully gullible audience?

This is yet more support for my claim that Donna is a propagandist and no investigate reporter.

Take a look at what my audit of one chapter discovered:

An Audit of LaFramboise's IPCC Citation Audit.
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Among the sources used to support IPCC assertions were newspaper and magazine articles, unpublished Masters and doctoral theses, Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund documents, and yes, press releases. 
~ ~ ~ 
But please notice Donna does not give her audience a breakdown of those claims.

And as shown with the two "press releases" mentioned above, there's more to it than Donna's simplistic cartoon.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
While Chairman Pachauri had declared an Indian government discussion paper fit only for the dustbin, we found that the Climate Bible(8) cites dozens of discussion papers. In one case, the document relied on by the IPCC was clearly labeled as 'version one' of a draft.
~ ~ ~ 
Again so long as Donna stays away from specifics she's free to claim anything her little hostile heart desires.
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I wish I could say the release of our findings triggered a media frenzy, that journalists took notice and that this UN body was asked some tough questions. Such as: 
~ ~ ~ 
It's a shame that Donna will never admit the reason there was no "media frenzy"  (then or now) is because her claims are fatuous and vacuous.  

But, that won't stop the echo chamber from repeating them endlessly, since it keeps the troops happy.
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If the IPCC can't be trusted to describe it's own report accurately why should we believe anything else it says? 
~ ~ ~ 
Someone who doesn't do an honest job of finding out what the IPCC actually claims and who won't examine what IPCC shares - is in no position to make such charges.  Look for yourself:
~ ~ ~
Methodologies Report
One of the main IPCC activities is the preparation of comprehensive assessment reports about the state of scientific, technical and socioeconomic knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response strategies.

Since its inception in 1988 the IPCC has prepared four multivolume assessment reports. They can be viewed under Publications and Data
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How can the head of the IPCC be so misinformed? Does chairman Pachauri intend to set the record straight with those North Carolina legislators? 
~ ~ ~ 
What, more melodrama?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
To my knowledge only one news outlet contacted the IPCC. A spokeswoman acknowledged the IPCC was aware of the Citizen Audit findings, but declined to comment.  
Six days after we released our results, an article authored by Pachauri appeared in a Yale University online publication. It claimed the 2007 edition of the Climate Bible(9) "cited approximately 18,000 peer-reviewed publications." We found less than 13,000. 
. . . . . . .
In the footnotes Donna adds:
"Pachauri said the IPCC cited "approximately 18,000 peer-reviewed publications." I suspect what he meant is that, when one counts all the entries in the reference lists at the end of all the IPCC chapters one arrives at the number 18,531."
~ ~ ~
She also makes an issue that the same article might be cited in more than one chapter.

It's as though this is some numbers contest.

Below I take a closer look at this Pachauri interview.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It further said that "a limited amount of gray (or non-peer-reviewed) literature" had been cited "in cases where peer-reviewed literature was unavailable." Actually, this occurred 5,587 times.
~ ~ ~ 
Keep in mind Donna's slandering of this "gray literature" comes without any review or consideration of what she is slamming.  Meaning it is pretty vacuous since every knowledgable person knows that not all authoritative scientific information comes from peer reviewed studies.
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Here are some quotes from this interview:
20 APR 2010: Opinion - environment360
Despite Attacks from Critics, Climate Science Will Prevail
The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledges it has been a rough few months for his organization. But, he argues, no amount of obfuscation and attacks by conspiracy theorists will alter the basic facts — global warming is real and intensifying. 
by Rajendra K. Pachauri
(It is significant that the U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee last month issued a report essentially exonerating the researchers involved of any ill intent or wrongdoing, as did an independent panel established by the university.) 
Though some of the criticism has been thoughtful and was welcomed by the IPCC, much of it relied on unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and gross mischaracterizations that would be laughable were they not intended to create a bias in public perceptions on this critical issue. Certainly, in any
human endeavor there is always room for improvement, and that is particularly true of enhancing the level of thoroughness in searching for new knowledge.
In this context, the IPCC has listened and learned from the more reasoned criticism voiced recently. As I will explain later in this article, the panel is also taking action to refine its procedures in response to fair and objective criticism. But to call climate science a “hoax,” as some fringe critics have done, amounts to a tremendous disservice to science and to humanity as a whole.
. . . Yet their (IPCC) work is unprecedented in scale; it is the world’s most comprehensive source of climate change information. The latest assessment, AR4, completed in 2007, had more than 450 lead authors who worked during the course of several years to complete the report; their efforts were supplemented by about 800 contributing authors and some 2,500 expert reviewers. 
At each successive stage of drafting, the report was carefully reviewed. A total of about 90,000 comments were produced during the review process. The authors considered and reacted to each of those comments. By the time it was completed, AR4 cited approximately 18,000 peer-reviewed publications. It also included a limited amount of gray (or non-peer-reviewed) literature in cases where peer-reviewed literature was unavailable. (For example, there is often no peer-reviewed literature on impacts of climate change, both current and projected, in many developing countries.) 
AR4 has been criticized for exaggerating the severity of climate change. On the other hand, many regard the report as too conservative and an understatement of the impacts of climate change. . . 
IPCC procedures are robust and rigorous, but they can always be improved. Upholding exacting standards is a responsibility and a sacred trust that IPCC authors — and I — accept with the utmost respect and sincerity. It is our duty to correct or clarify the inevitable oversights and errors that may slip into reports of this magnitude and complexity. 
With this in mind, I would like to provide a response to some issues that have given rise to recent controversy.
Himalayan Glaciers
Amazon Rainforest
African Agriculture
Major findings of the AR4
The Road Ahead
This comment comes from the discussion following the article 
(Interestingly Donna refuses to allow comments on her private website - it's so much easier to create great arguments in and intellectual vacuum.) 

In any event, this comment, replying to one by Donna, is worth sharing: 
"Donna: Why don't you just read the scientific literature directly, as the Swedish National  
Broadcast company did in a recent survey: 
"The Science department has gone through ISI, the world's largest database of peer-reviewed research articles and searched for publications that clearly contradict the conclusion of human-induced global warming. The survey also looks for “climate sceptic” scientists and research articles which are often cited on Internet and blogs.
From 2009 onwards, we have found a total of five articles that explicitly question the man-induced global warming. During the same period, more than 8000 research papers on climate change have been published, according to the ISI database" 
Why would I trust the work of "Anonymous" from Canada or "TTY" from Sweden? If they can not come forward with their names, this is not worth much. Reading science literature does take some training and knowledge. Being able to see clouds does not make you a climate expert, no more than being able to put a Bandaid on a wound makes you a trained physician. "
Posted by B. N. on 22 Apr 2010
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Here's some more information regarding that "gray literature"

Gray literature: The IPCC cites 18,000 references in the AR4; the vast majority of these are peer-reviewed scientific journal papers. The IPCC maintains a clear guideline on the responsible use of so-called “gray” literature, which are typically reports by other organizations or governments. Especially for Working Groups 2 and 3 (but in some cases also for 1) it is indispensable to use gray sources, since many valuable data are published in them: reports by government statistics offices, the International Energy Agency, World Bank, UNEP and so on. This is particularly true when it comes to regional impacts in the least developed countries, where knowledgeable local experts exist who have little chance, or impetus, to publish in international science journals.
Reports by non-governmental organizations like the WWF can be used (as in the Himalaya glacier and Amazon forest cases) but any information from them needs to be carefully checked (this guideline was not followed in the former case). After all, the role of the IPCC is to assess information, not just compile anything it finds.  Assessment involves a level of critical judgment, double-checking, weighing supporting and conflicting pieces of evidence, and a critical appreciation of the methodology used to obtain the results. That is why leading researchers need to write the assessment reports – rather than say, hiring graduate students to compile a comprehensive literature review.

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