Odes for Peter Gleick
October 22, 2011 6 Comments
Although you’d never know it to look at me (of course!), I grew up in the era when folk music reigned supreme! And I still have (although I cannot play due to incapacitated record player) some <gasp> LP (long playing) vinyl recordings by (amongst others) The Kingston Trio. Those were the good old days when it was actually possible hear the lyrics … or in climatological data parlance, distinguish the signal from the noise;-)
But speaking of signals and noise … when Donna Laframboise’s exposé of the IPCC, The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert – which I wrote about a few days ago – began climbing rapidly in Amazon.com’s rankings* Peter Gleick** was amongst the first (of relatively few) to make a lot of negative noise which signalled very strongly (as I was the first to write in response) that he had failed to actually read the book before putting his knee-jerk fingers to keyboard.
* As I write this post, the status of The Delinquent Teenager … is:
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
5 star: (54)
4 star: (9)
3 star: (1)
2 star: (0)
1 star: (7)
› See all 71 customer reviews…
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#1 in Books > Outdoors & Nature > Conservation
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Science > Environment > Conservation
#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Politics & Current Events > International > Relations
**I’m sure you’ve heard his name, because (at least according to him) he’s “an internationally recognized climate and water expert and works at the intersection of science and policy, including issues related to the integrity of science.”
Gleick may or may not be concerned about “the integrity of science” – or perhaps “integrity” means something completely different in Gleick-speak. There is certainly no indication of any integrity on his part on Amazon: He’s been singing sounds of silence there ever since.
Mind you, Gleick certainly was very noisy over at Judith Curry’s blog a few days ago. There were many requests that he substantiate the claims he had made on Amazon. Yet in his 16 “comments”, he studiously avoided doing so. He even ignored the request of Dr. Richard Tol:
Now that we’re on the subject, you accuse Laframboise of telling lies. Can you quote chapter and verse?
Please note that I have a stake here. I reviewed two drafts of the book. I did not find any falsehoods (let alone lies, which imply intention). I would like to know where I went wrong in my duty as a reviewer.
And I could detect no signal of integrity in any of Gleick’s “responses”. Alas, he’s the man who never returned who seems to have Lost (his integrity) On The MTA.
But I do owe Gleick a vote of thanks for inspiring me to take this virtual trip down musical memory lane. And in return – since Gleick obviously would benefit greatly from knowing how a book review (worth reading) is actually written – I offer him a link to Peter Foster’s review of The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert that appears on page FP19 in today’s edition of the National Post, along with the first of two excerpts from the book.
I do have a minor quibble with Foster’s claim that “One of Ms. Laframboise’s greatest coups was to gain access to at least some of the responses to a questionnaire the IAC sent to IPCC authors.” As Donna had graciously noted in her Acknowledgements, it was I who “gained the access“.
But overall, I’d give Foster’s review an “A+”. Clearly he has read the book – and understands what it’s all about. Gleick, OTOH, is a worried man (singin’ a worried song!) who has yet to demonstrate that his “review” is deserving of anything more than an “F-”.