HomeWeather NewsTeam Climate Crisis Resorts to Bullying, Again • Watts Up With That?

Team Climate Crisis Resorts to Bullying, Again • Watts Up With That?

Opinion by Kip Hansen — 16 August 2023

One would think that the public relations fiasco that stuck climate science (and sullied the reputation of science in general) as a result of ClimateGate back in 2009 would restrain climate scientists from attempting to suppress published peer-reviewed studies that they “don’t like” or the conclusions of which are “not helpful” to their climate crisis advocacy positions.  

But, it appears that Michael Mann and his cronies are at it again forcing the retraction of a paper published last January (2022), in the European Physical Journal Plus (EPJP), a peer-reviewed academic journal (one of the 2,900 journals published through Springer Nature).  That  paper is titled, “A critical assessment of extreme events trends in times of global warming,” by Gianluca Alimonti, Luigi Mariani, Franco Prodi and Renato Angelo Ricci.  [hereafter, Alimonti (2022)]. 

The journal’s website version of the paper currently shows this banner:

The inestimable Roger Pielke Jr. covers the ongoing story on his substack piece:  “Think of the Implications of Publishing — A whistleblower shares shocking details of corruption of peer review in climate science” first published on Jul 17, 2023.    Do read Pielke’s piece for his insight into all the gory details.

The basics are this:

1.  Alimomnti et al. write a paper that “reviews recent bibliography on time series of some extreme weather events and related response indicators in order to understand whether an increase in intensity and/or frequency is detectable.” (link to the paper above and to the .pdf here).  In other words, they look at published materials.

2.  As they are writing during the summer of 2021, they review papers before that time, including IPCC AR5, and a draft portion of AR6 (not yet published in final form).

3.  Their Abstract:

Abstract This article reviews recent bibliography on time series of some extreme weather

events and related response indicators in order to understand whether an increase in intensity

and/or frequency is detectable. The most robust global changes in climate extremes are

found in yearly values of heatwaves (number of days, maximum duration and cumulated heat),

while global trends in heatwave intensity are not significant. Daily precipitation intensity and

extreme precipitation frequency are stationary in the main part of the weather stations. Trend

analysis of the time series of tropical cyclones show a substantial temporal invariance and the

same is true for tornadoes in the USA. At the same time, the impact of warming on surface

wind speed remains unclear. The analysis is then extended to some global response indicators

of extreme meteorological events, namely natural disasters, floods, droughts, ecosystem productivity

and yields of the four main crops (maize, rice, soybean and wheat). None of these

response indicators show a clear positive trend of extreme events. In conclusion on the basis

of observational data, the climate crisis that, according to many sources, we are experiencing

today, is not evident yet. It would be nevertheless extremely important to define mitigation

and adaptation strategies that take into account current trends.”

[emphasis added – kh]

4.  Apparently, it is the bolded conclusion above that the following persons have complained about while calling for the paper to be retracted:

Greg Holland (CV .pdf) ; Lisa Alexander ; Steve Sherwood ; Michael Mann ; Friederike Otto ; Stefan Rahmstorf

5.  Here I quote Roger Pielke Jr. from his substack (here):

“To be clear, there is absolutely no allegation of research fraud or misconduct here, just simple disagreement.  Instead of countering arguments and evidence via the peer reviewed literature, activist scientists teamed up with activist journalists to pressure a publisher – Springer Nature, perhaps the world’s most important scientific publisher – to retract a paper. Sadly, the pressure campaign worked.”

Does this sound familiar at all?  “Kevin and I will keep them out [of the IPCC report] somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!” — Phil Jones ClimateGate email.

The full conclusion, which the Climate Crisis Advocates say should not have been published, and thus, must be retracted, is this:

“Fearing a climate emergency without this being supported by data, means altering the framework of priorities with negative effects that could prove deleterious to our ability to face the challenges of the future, squandering natural and human resources in an economically difficult context, even more negative following the COVID emergency. This does not mean we should do nothing about climate change: we should work to minimize our impact on the planet and to minimize air and water pollution. Whether or not we manage to drastically curtail our carbon dioxide emissions in the coming decades, we need to reduce our vulnerability to extreme weather and climate events.”


“We need to remind ourselves that addressing climate change is not an end in itself, and that climate change is not the only problem that the world is facing. The objective should be to improve human well-being in the twenty-first century, while protecting the environment as much as we can and it would be a nonsense not to do so: it would be like not taking care of the house where we were born and raised.”

Alimonti and his co-authors wrote and re-wrote addenda attempting to satisfy complaints, but these were rejected despite their validity.

Prominent media (both partner members of the Covering Climate Now climate crisis propaganda news cabal) published attack articles, denigrating the authors and quoting the very same climate scientists that called for retraction.  The Guardian (Graham Readfearn) here and Agence France-Presse appearing at here.  So, it is not just Pielke Jr.’s “activist journalists” – it is the media outlets themselves which are climate-crisis activists / propagandists, colluding and cooperating with one another in a concerted attack effort.

The only climate scientists to speak out about this suppression of good science are Judith Curry (in a tweet) and Roger Pielke Jr.  (here and here).   

It looks like Springer Nature’s journal European Physical Journal Plus (EPJP) is going to move and retract the paper – because they have allowed themselves to be bullied by the same crew (and/or their activist  descendants) that brought us ClimateGate  fourteen years ago. 

Where are the rest of the climate scientists?  Hiding behind their academic desks, trembling lest the bullies target them also? 

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Author’s Comment:

First, while I agree fully with the chief findings of Alimonti et al.:  There is no climate emergency – there is no climate crisis.  I would not have written the same “Conclusion” section found at the end of their paper.  However, they have every right to state their opinions clearly and as loudly as they wish – without having their paper attacked and suppressed by the climate crisis bullies. 

Mann et al., if allowed to get away with this without push-back, will be re-energized to repeatedly bully journals into withdrawing/retracting  papers that  fail to support their climate-alarm activist positions.

It is appalling that a Springer Nature-associated journal would allow itself to be bullied in this way.  And equally appalling that the larger Springer Nature organization would not step in to prevent this type of cowardly caving-in to pressure from activists.

I know that many active climate scientists read here – though maybe not openly.  Won’t you speak out from your own positions?

Are we entering into a new ClimateGate era in climate science, in which the bad actors rule and the majority, all good men and women, fail to call them out?

Thanks for reading.

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