Peer reviewed peer

With abject apologies to Hot-Topic who has done this sir Henry Rawlison / Lord Monckton pastiche so much better!
But I have got tired of waiting for a new episode and recent events seem to warrant one so I have had a go at writing my own….. wish I could think of an animation to go with it!


His Lordship sat back in his library chair behind the desk purchased by the seventh marquis and looked with contentment on the slim magazine that lay on the smooth leather surface in front of him. All was good with the world, he thought, let them try and ridicule him now, he was a published, peer-reviewed author of a key scientific paper which would overturn the world of climate science. He was a peer, peer-reviewed in a reputable and famous journal ( impact factor 1.365!).

A warm glow of happiness filled him as he looked again at his published paper and took a sip of the golden liquid in the small glass by his side.
He was a peer reviewed peer he mused, but of course the reviewers were not peers as well so they weren’t really his peers, …

…. But then he was unique in being a peer and a world leading scientist. It made him peerless, not in the sense of being excluded from being a parliamentary peer of course. That was just a vengeful plot by the Maxist-Socialists who had enviously removed the natural privileges of the true Englishman… But peerless because he was a peer and a published peer reviewed scientist; it made him appeer double…perhaps he could double his speaking fee on the next tour…

This hubristically happy reverie was interrupted by the creaking approach of his old servant and wrinkled retainer, who’s name we need not mention.

With a discrete cough he placed his Lordship’s laptop on the desk in front of him. On top of his triumphant publication.

What is it now” demanded his Honourableness, mildly peeved at his enjoyable train of … self-congratulation having been derailed.

I am afraid your paper is being attacked from both sides” his trusted butler and general factotum told him gently.”

In an example of life imitating art any small shred of dignity that his honourable lordship retained was probably the result of the efforts of his ‘Jeeves’ to constrain his more idiotic forays into the world of science and politics. If only he had been on the American trip when his Lordship had endorsed the fake Obama birth certificate in return for a Stars and Stripes waistcoat…


A brief moment of irritation was replaced by the reflection that if BOTH sides thought he was wrong then clearly he was right, occupying the reasonable middle ground between the two irrational extremes… As his cognitive gears slowly syncromeshed he emitted one annoyed syllable.

Who !” He said.

Well some at WUWT are very annoyed that you have accepted the UN agenda 21 hoax that CO2 has anything to do with altering the climate. Or that forcings and feedbacks have ANY role to play in altering the climate when it is all just natural variation” explained his aged aide.

I thought they were on my side, I’ll sue that Watts fellow if he doesn’t get such libellous remarks removed” spluttered the now irritated peer reviewed peer, “let me tell them where they are wrong” he said reaching for the laptop.

As he set some of the Wattians straight he reflected that he had wanted to eliminate CO2 altogether, but his minions, (a thousand years of aristocratic heritage prevented him from regarding them otherwise) Sonny and Leggy had insisted that the paper needed to have SOME basis in agreed reality if the reviewers were going to approve it. Even if the Noble Lord submitted the paper with a case of his golden elixir of eternal life to them. A Gift that seemed much appreciated by some of the Chinese staff, although perhaps something had got lost in translation…

So what are the scientists saying, do they acknowledge that by adding a few terms and corrections to the old simple climate models I have created an irreducible simple formula that completely describes the climate and overturns all the errors of the green doctrinaire leftists so-called scientists?” Asked the peer, his feelings of success wavering after the warm glow of a few minutes earlier.

Not exactly” said his wrinkled retainer, “One of them points out that you cite paleoclimate studies that show winters were warmer in early Holcene which invalidates all the climate models that fail to reproduce this. But that this would invalidate your OWN model even more strongly because it suggests even less temperature variation than those mainstream models.” The lofty Laird’s patient batman waited while this information filtered slowly through the puzzled peer’s thoughts. The dreams of becoming the new Newton, the Galileo of climate science overturning the old dogma, melting away from his employer’s sight…

Of course the scientists also points out that the research you cite for this information is wrong and the actual research is open to dispute. The change in temperature could actually be a change in rainfall and humidity, after all plants and trees are not thermometers” the ancient servant of the Lord of Beltchley pointed out helpfully. {LINK}

Exactly,” spluttered the angry aristocratic, his volume rising in direct proportion to the growing sense of unease, ” it’s all balderdash and poppy cock, group-think by the blinkered believers.” He knew that any proxy indicator of temperature could be accepted or rejected as required.

But a chill of apprehension started to unsettle the peerless peer, he remembered the comments of a young student who had helped them with the paper, a pretty young thing, but unacceptably disrespectful to her elders and betters.

You claim that the feedbacks in the climate system can not exceed 0.1 because otherwise the system would be much more unstable as any good process engineer knows.” She had said. “ but the Earth’s climate is the result of contingent evolution, not design by an omnipotent process engineer 6000 years ago so why could water vapour for example NOT have a feedback of say 0.3? That would mean that as a result of small changes in energy the climate could flip between glacial and warm periods with small insolation changes, or even between an almost all ice covered snowball, alternating with a hot globe with tropical jungle at the poles and no ice.

The sense of disappointment and apprehension grew, had those pesky reviewers missed a fundamental logical contradiction in the paper? Perhaps the case of the golden nectar had not been such a good idea. Were his dreams of scientific fame and preeminence as his paper overturned the last decades of error and hoax slipping away, to be replaced once again by ridicule and disrespect? How could a brilliant mind with a classic education that ensured that cogito ergo  sum rectus as he liked to think, have let a mistake enter his work?

Frustration and rising anger coloured his cheeks and his old servant stepped back and waited for the explosive outburst as his master cast around for a scapegoat for this latest disappointment.

He roared.


Paleoclimate has been suggested as one factor for the pattern of history in human development. For several tens of thousands of years humans were nomadic hunter-gatherers with very little evidence of settlement. There is an argument that humans were coastal or waterside scavengers, started with the old aquatic ape theories of Max Westenhöfer in the 1940s. Perhaps this would make sense of the relatively rapid migration of humans as soon a land bridge opened out of Africa around 70,000 years ago.

A coastal dweller in the times of glacial cycles would be faced with an unstable foraging environment. Sea level rise may be slow, but with levels rising and falling through the glacial/interglacial cycles before the Holocene any humans exploiting coastal resources would have motive for moving rather than making long term settlements. Perhaps this very variability drove the rapid rate of migration. And the lack of development of agriculture and settlement until the relative stability of the Holocene.
( rapid in the sense of moving along the coast from Africa to Australia in ~30,000 years is a rate of around two twenty miles a decade.)

Just speculation! grin.

6 responses to “Peer reviewed peer

  1. Pingback: The wrinkled retainer returns with a Peer-reviewed Peer

  2. A-ha, gremlins!

    (Inquiring minds want to know – are these related to Tol’s gremlins?)


  3. Not just related, but possibly the same Gremlins…
    These Gremlins interfere everywhere, I would not be at all surprised if they went after a Curry.


  4. I hope my noble shirtmaker, Monckton of Brenchley will follow his sporting instincts, and reinvent himself as a Green hockey puck magnate.


  5. I am a big fan of a good, well made shirt, it is reassuring to know the the Lairy Lord has a trade to fall back on when his credibility becomes too low to market to even the most dogmatically devoted.

    Although he reveals his Nouveau riche, arriviste background… stripes are only for pajamas (if worn) for real gentlemen.


  6. Those Gremlins are properly called Tol’s Demon, a cute little thing who sits at the door between two bags of wind.


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