Opinion by Kip Hansen — 26 August 2023 UPDATED See end of post.
The renewed and reinforced Climategate Gang has risen once more, bullying Springer Nature Publishing into retracting a peer-reviewed paper by colluding with the climate crisis news cabal, featuring The Guardian, AFP, and the UK’s Sky News. The Climategate Gang complained and vilified the paper and its authors in the public press rather than the scientific standard of writing to the publishing journal with a Response and Comment or submitting a new paper for publication in opposition to the paper they found objectionable. It is a stain on the reputation of Springer Nature and the Editors of the publishing journal, The European Physical Journal Plus, and reflects badly on the entire scientific enterprise that half a dozen activist scientists could try and convict a published peer-reviewed journal paper in such obvious collusion with biased campaigning mass media outlets.
This was the subject of Team Climate Crisis Resorts to Bullying, Again published here at WUWT ten days ago. At that date, the paper was simply “under dispute”. Now, as of 23 August the publishing journal, The European Physical Journal Plus, has officially retracted the paper with this statement:
“Retraction Note: A critical assessment of extreme events trends in times of global warming
The Original Article was published on 13 January 2022
Retraction Note: Eur. Phys J. Plus (2022) 137:112
The Editors-in-Chief have retracted this article. Concerns were raised regarding the selection of the data, the analysis and the resulting conclusions of the article. The authors were invited to submit an addendum to the article, but post publication review of the concerns with the article and the submitted addendum concluded that the addendum was not suitable for publication and that the conclusions of the article were not supported by available evidence or data provided by the authors. In light of these concerns and based on the outcome of the post publication review, the Editors-in-Chief no longer have confidence in the results and conclusions reported in this article.
- The authors disagree with this retraction.”
That, my friends, is a very sorry version of a much darker and insidious truth.
Tony Thomas writes in Quadrant-online, How Science is Done These Days, a much fuller and far more honest rendition of the story which has also previously been covered by Roger Pielke Jr. in his substack piece: “Think of the Implications of Publishing“. Retraction Watch has published a dishwater-thin version of the story: “Paper that found ‘climate crisis’ to be ‘not evident yet’ retracted after re-review“. Re-review is not a normal journal practice – as far as I know — but the Retraction Watch piece reveals a new piece of information:
“A spokesperson for Springer Nature, the publisher of the journal where the paper appeared, told us: The Editors-in-Chief of the European Physical Journal Plus have retracted this article. When they became aware of concerns, the Editors — with advice and assistance provided by Springer Nature Research Integrity Group — launched a thorough investigation following an established process in line with best-practice Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines. This process included a post-publication review by subject-matter experts of the article and an addendum submitted by the authors during the investigation.After careful consideration and consultation with all parties involved, the Editors and publishers concluded that they no longer had confidence in the results and conclusions of the article. The addendum was not considered suitable for publication, and retraction was the most appropriate course of action in order to maintain the validity of the scientific record.”
And what were the “concerns” they became aware of ? As Reviewer 1 of the addendum submitted by Alimonti et al. said in his review of the addendum: “I think editors should seriously consider the implications of the possible publication of this addendum.” [ source ]
Yet another version of Phil Jones’ Climategate email: “I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!” So, it is not just on the shoulders of the editors of the small and rather obscure journal The European Physical Journal Plus but the corruption of science seems to extend all the way up the ladder at Springer Nature.
I have been in touch with Gianluca Alimonti, lead author on the now-retracted paper, via email. I asked several days ago if he would make their proposed Addendum available so the public could see what was being rejected by Springer Nature’s “re-reviewers”. As of the 23rd August, he said “… we are still requesting the Editor to publish our Addendum and in this situation, we think it is not appropriate to have it made public.” [ personal communication] I have responded asking if now that the Editors have retracted the paper, and we assume will not then be publishing the Addenum, if he will now provide us with a copy. And as Alimonti concluded in his email to me: “Let’s see how it goes….”
UPDATE: 26 August 2023 Alimonti responds via email: “I’m leaving for sailing and I may not have internet connection for a week but….stay tuned!” [This was and is often my own solution to troubled times….Kip]
UPDATE on UPDATE:
Roger Pielke Jr. has supplied links to many of the important documents that are the subject of this story, including the text of the Addendum:
- Alimonti et al. original paper – PDF
- Alimonti et al. Addendum – PDF
- Reviewer 1 of the Addendum – PDF
- Reviewer 2 of the Addendum – PDF
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An absolute appalling violation of scientific publishing standards. As they shout in the halls of UK’s House of Commons: “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
Alimonti has teamed up with Luigi Mariani and published a new paper “Is the number of global natural disasters increasing?” Their answer? No, they are not increasing. We will wait and see if this paper is targeted by the Climategate Gang as well.
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