How GWPF Reports Are Peer Reviewed

  • Date: 11/12/15
  • Global Warming Policy Foundation

Greenpeace and some journalists are alleging that the Global Warming Policy Foundation does not subject reports to peer review, and that our Academic Advisory Council was made available for the purpose of reviewing a proposed study for a fossil fuel company. These claims are entirely false.

The peer review process used by the GWPF is similar to that of any reputable charity. The GWPF seeks out experts both within and outside the Academic Advisory Council when evaluating a proposed paper. Some reports are rejected outright while others are published after the authors deal with comments from reviewers. Not all members of the AAC are involved in reviewing every report, just as not all members of a journal Editorial Board are involved in reviewing every paper it publishes. The purpose of the GWPF peer review process is to ensure the high quality of its publications. The record shows that the GWPF has published a long list of high quality reports, whose influence is a testament to the expertise of our authors and the high standards of our peer review process.

With regard specifically to the report we recently published by Indur Goklany called Carbon Dioxide: The Good News, detailed comments were received by reviewers inside and outside the AAC. The author was asked to respond to them, which he did. Any allegation to the contrary is false. The validity of the research in the Goklany report is self-evident. As Professor Freeman Dyson said in the foreword, “To any unprejudiced person reading this account, the facts should be obvious: that the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide as a sustainer of wildlife and crop plants are enormously beneficial, that the possibly harmful climatic effects of carbon dioxide have been greatly exaggerated, and that the benefits clearly outweigh the possible damage.” Professor Colin Prentice of the Grantham Institute concurred, saying “much of it is quite correct and moreover, well-established in the scientific literature…the various benefits of rising CO2 are actually well established in the scientific literature, even if sometime ignored. They are indeed ‘good news’. ”

Regarding the accusations against Professor Will Happer, he did not ask the AAC to review a report he was proposing to write, and the claim he offered the AAC up for this purpose is a malicious misrepresentation of his correspondence. Had he done so, which he did not do, the GWPF would not have accepted the request anyway, not least because of our strict policy against accepting donations from or working for energy companies or anyone with a significant interest in an energy company. In effect we are being criticized for a hypothetical course of action we never undertook nor ever would have. The bizarre accusation has nothing whatsoever to do with protecting standards of public policy research, instead it is a transparent attempt to smear the Foundation’s reputation and suppress our contributions to ongoing debates on the important questions we address.

There should be no confusion or doubt in the public’s mind about these allegations against us. They deserve no credence whatsoever. We stand by our publications, our review process, and the integrity of the many experts who have contributed to the valuable work we have done to date and will continue to do in the years ahead.