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Credibility gap


I was most disappointed to see the paper on Climate Stability in the Proceedings of ICE - Civil Engineering (see News this week). I always understood that this publication was for papers on civil engineering by civil engineers.

David Bellamy is a has-been television presenter who in the past has compared himself to Galileo and is fond of referring to 'pseudo' science. For example in the paper he refers to the work by Svensmark and Friis-Christenesn, that has been widely discredited because of the authors', 'incorrect handling of the physical data' (the real data shows the opposite of what they proposed).

In New Scientist (April 2005) he claimed that a large percentage of the world's glaciers were advancing not retreating, gures that were widely shown to be incorrect and resulted in a letter to The Times (29 May 2005) saying that he had decided to draw back from the debate on global warming. He should have stuck to his word.

This sort of bunkum is suitable for sensationalist television programmes such as the recent one on Channel 4 but not peer reviewed journals.

There are lots of journals that carry papers on climatology.

Unfortunately they wouldn't publish such mumbo jumbo and so the authors have sought a softer target.

Dr Richard Barnes (M), doctor_b@tiscali. co. uk

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