Magazine Editor Resigns Over Global
Warming Paper

Remote Sensing editor took responsibility for a
paper questioning global warming.

Summary: The editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing magazine has
resigned over the publication of a
paper questioning global warming.  
Wolfgang Wagner of Vienna University of Technology said reviewers
of the paper failed  "to identify fundamental methodological errors or
false claims," and, as a result, the paper shouldn’t have been
published.  The paper had questioned the reliability of climate

Wagner said he wasn’t blaming anyone for the breakdown in the
reviewing process, but, as editor-in-chief, he had to take responsibility.  
He said the problem wasn’t that the paper presented a minority view but
that it ignored the arguments of its opponents.  He resigned, he said, "to
make clear that the journal
Remote Sensing takes the review process
very seriously."

The paper by remote sensing specialists Roy Spencer and William
Braswell drew a lot of attention.  It used NASA data to try to show that
atmospheres in climate models retained more heat than the real
atmosphere does.
 Forbes magazine said the article blew a “gaping
hole in global warming alarmism.”  But climate researcher Kevin
Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado
argued that clouds don’t do what the paper claims they do, that is, they
don’t react to cool the atmosphere.

Some people said the real problem was that the paper didn’t fit in with
the purpose of the journal.  Trenberth said the journal deals with remote
sensing used by geographers rather than by atmospheric scientists.  He
hinted that, as a result, the reviewers weren’t qualified to notice any fatal
flaws in the paper.  While not completely disagreeing with that view,
Wagner indicated that not all interdisciplinary research need be
rejected.  “Spencer and Braswell used satellite data sets and checked
them against models;” he said, and “that's what we [remote sensing
researchers] do all the time."

To read the entire article, click on

Comment: The LSI Blog post on August 3 covered this story as
originally reported by Yahoo News and
Forbes.  So, with the new
information, my view in that post that poor computer data input may be
responsible for some global warming assertions MIGHT have to be

Still, there is plenty of room in this latest report for people to be
suspicious.  If neither Mr. Wagner nor any of the people working under
him did anything wrong, why is he resigning?  Was he perhaps under
pressure to resign because this paper was not “politically correct”?  As
for the claim that the authors of the paper failed to include contrary
views, is that a valid reason for rejecting the paper?  If so, most articles
on evolution would then be rejected because they don‘t usually consider
alternate viewpoints.  The original report also indicated that the
conclusions reached by Mr. Spencer and Mr. Braswell were consistent
with “long-term NOAA and NASA data.”  Is there also a problem with this
NOAA and NASA data or just the interpretation of it?

It bears repeating that once again we have controversy over trying to
understand processes occurring in our present world.  This is why
creationists often get so upset in some cases where anti-creationist
scientists make bold, matter-of-fact statements about the distant past
without any means of verifying (or falsifying) what they are saying.  
This controversy reinforces the principle that science should always be
open to new ideas as new data becomes available.  

Creationists too must be careful not to overstate their ideas.  Some
positions they hold such as a young earth (thousands of years, not
billions) and entropy (a declining, not an evolving universe) appear well-
founded in the Scriptures and are supported by much scientific
evidence.  Other ideas may have only indirect biblical support but may
still make sense (example: the fossils are largely the result of Noah’s
Flood because the remains of the creatures that died in the Flood must
lie somewhere).  Still other ideas (e.g. the water vapor canopy theory;
theories to explain the starlight travel time problem) appear to be strictly
theoretical or hypothetical, and that should always be acknowledged.

The Bible was not written to answer every scientific question we may
have about the world of the past or even the present world, such as the
global warming controversy.  Yet, we can believe every word in this book
— “
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17).”  And
especially we can, in fact we
must, believe the central message of this
sacred text. As St. John said, regarding his writings, “
But these are
written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
that by believing you may have life in his name
(John 20:31).   

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Dr. Bruce Holman wrote: I can't be sure about this, but it sounds like
chastisement for not being vigilant about enforcing the liberal agenda.
We don't know specifically what "methodological errors or false claims"
the reviewers failed to identify, but it's hard to believe the journal did not
know this was a hot paper.  Accordingly I would be surprised if they did
not do a more thorough than normal job reviewing the article.  From
what I remember of the article it used pretty standard methodology and
thus it is likely the "false claims" were the issue.
It's too bad the "scientific" proponents of global warning were not
subject to the same scrutiny when they published what have been
admitted to be fraudulent methodology, data, and false claims.
It's sad that we live in a liberal police state where even scientific papers
are banned because of their political implications.  This was not the
vision of the founding fathers of our country.  They believed that free
discourse results in disclosure of the truth and more informed public
decisions. But that apparently is not what liberals want.

Gerhold L. Lemke wrote: Let's try to understand that there may be
many factors prompting a "liberal agenda."  One of these would have
o be the in-your-face willingness of some conservatives to claim
"Ignoramus" on matters of simple discovery.  (In old England, when a
grand jury decided that not enough was known for a case to go to
trial, they reported: "Ignoramus - We don't know.")  But the "We" in
this case doesn't speak for secular folks who know about such things
as "Gobekli Tepe" (see Google) and "paleoclimate" going back into
Deep Time.  Why shouldn't "liberals" be irritated by willing ignorance
and argument based on it?  GLL

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Parade (June 19, 2011)
The opinions expressed
here are those of The
Editor and do not
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the views of the Lutheran
Science Institute. Please
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About Me - Warren Krug
The Editor

Decades ago I attended a
so-called Lutheran
university where I could
have lost my faith. The
science professors promoted
the theory of evolution and
made fun of anybody who
believed in the account of
creation as presented in
the book of Genesis.
Thanks be to God, some
creationist literature and
the Bible soon helped get
me back on the right track.
Ever since then I have
taken an active interest in
the creation/evolution

Background image from NASA