Lv 7
gcnp58 asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 1 decade ago

Do you think this c.v. is impressive?

James A. Peden is on Inhofe's list of climate experts. Here is his self-written bio from an op-ed piece he wrote on climate:


(scroll down to the end)

Sounds darned impressive. Here is the list of papers covered by Science Citations Index attributed to James A Peden:



INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH 12(4): 50-& (1970)

Times Cited: 0




Times Cited: 31

Note that the paper mentioned as his Ph.D. thesis in his biography doesn't list Peden as the first author. The only first author paper he did publish, on something he supposedly developed, has not been cited. Ever.

Is this list of publications enough to qualify someone as an expert scientist in any field, let alone atmospheric radiative transfer?


Don-ho: Try to focus. Instead of attacking me, as I am not trying to pass myself off as a climate expert, try addressing the question. Do you feel publishing two papers almost four decades ago in a field very far removed from climate qualifies you to be a modern-day expert in the subject?

Think of it in these terms, suppose you want to sue Al Gore for damages caused because his movie led to your now driving a 3-cylinder car instead of the V8 you deserve. Would you feel comfortable calling Peden as your expert witness or would you suspect that he would get completely dismantled and discredited by the defense?

5f5: What does Al Gore have to do with this? Nobody passes Gore off as an expert. He's an informed layman. For grins, I ran James E. Hansen through SCI and came up with 57 citations by restricting keywords to "climate or radiat*" If you run an unrestricted search on Hansen JE and then refine it to physical sciences you get 257 citations.

Update 2:

Dana: I don't think one second-author paper out of a Ph.D. thesis is very successful. It's barely marginal. Here's what James A. Peden really does for a living:


These "expert" climate skeptics are simply not credible, by and large. This is why so little money gets paid to the skeptics. They work cheap because you don't have to pay them very much. If you wanted, you could make probably $30k extra a year churning out anti-global warming diatribes. That's big money to a web designer living in Vermont.

Update 3:

Eco-J: Nice. But why leave all that out on your bio? Is it classified? If so, and couldn't be put on your bio, then why post it publicly here? And isn't even discussing what you were working on a violation (knowing the general area and all)? So your response seems a little weird to me, but then I don't do classified research. But more importantly, why would someone with your technical skills make so many freshmen science mistakes in your article on CO2 and radiative transfer (see the other response below)? The point is that if you are who you say you are, then you know what you are writing is scientific trash. Would you try to get that published in the Journal of Radiative Transfer, for example, as a serious explanation for why radiative transfer is wrong? If not, why write it? Technical people read that and think, like I do, that you're a clueless boob scientifically, cashing in on a thin technical background and probably taking some quick cash for churning out crap.

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Thats two more papers than I surmised by reading part of the article. There are more errors in the paper than I want to list, but the first few are:

    1. Peden does not understand PCA and accepts McIntyre's mistaken view uncritically. PCA is basically an eigenvalue method that uses the dot products of all pairs of (normalized) data vectors to form a covariance matrix. The covariance matrix is diagonalized to yield eigenvalues and eigenvectors and the original data vectors can be represented as a linear combination of eigenvectors. If the method works well, most of the variance is explained by the first few eigenvectors. If random data is entered, correlations between data vectors vanishes and a straight line result is expected. The baseline for the pre-industrial period is flat because the data fluctuations are random. Steve McIntyre wasted two years discovering the obvious. He could have arrived at the same result in less time by enrolling in an 1 term undergraduate course in linear algebra. It took me just 2 days to code the PCA algorithm in C++, including the supporting vector and matrix class hierarchy and a GUI.

    2. The first figure is poor and the second figure representing the thermal black body curve is wrong. The Planck distribution is well known an not that hard to calculate. As a 'scientist', Peden ought to get this elementary feature right.

    3. Peden confuses atomic spectroscopy (electronic transitions) with molecular spectroscopy (vibrational and rotational transitions).

    4. Peden does not understand that a saturated absorption broadens and the wings become important. There is no mention of thermal broadening or collision induced broadening.

    5. Peden confuses the Van der Waals size of a molecule with its absorption cross section and arrives at an incorrect and misleading result citing Dr. Heinz Hug. Peden ought to have consulted Dr. Gerhard Hertzberg instead who worked out the basic physics 50 years earlier and received a Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions. I suspect that Hug is a proctologist rather than a physicist.

    6. Peden then makes the comment "Man-made CO2 doesn't appear physically capable of absorbing much more than

    two-thousandths of the radiated heat (IR) passing upward through the atmosphere." which directly contradicts Dr. Hug's experimental data cited immediately before. (Hug does the wrong experiment with an unsuitable instrument and botches the interpretation, but his data is essentially right). In fact, the absorption is quite strong: My spectrometer can follow changes in the local CO2 concentration with every breath of a person standing near the instrument.

    7. Peden repeats Dr. Spenser's incorrect estimate of the water vapor contribution to the greenhouse effect. Water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas, but the contribution is more like 75% - 85% rather than 95%. At least Spenser does not make the absurd claim that Peden does to the effect that O2 and N2 are greenhouse gasses. These molecules do absorb in the infrared, but their absorption cross sections are 12 orders of magnitude smaller than the absorption cross sections of greenhouse gasses like H2O and CO2.

    8. Oxygen at 35% of the atmosphere??? Fine until there is a little spark.

    I find it difficult to conceive of a practicing scientist making so many blunders. Is Peden actually alive, or is someone else abusing a name taken from a tombstone? If he were dead that would explain the lack of papers.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'll answer you directly:

    I presented several more papers on ion-molecule reactions at various professional conferences, which were published only as part of the proceedings and are not referenced in the literature, then joined a company doing classified research on state-of-the-art atmospheric sensors for detecting over-the-horizon nuclear events... the results of which are still classified so you can't see them... sorry.

    I then became interested in aerosystems technology and headed a research group investigating solid state display technology for cockpit displays in the 1970s. Our findings were held in strict company confidence and were not revealed to the public. Today you see the results of our early work in every new military and civilian aircraft.

    After retiring from active research, I started the Middlebury Community Network as a retirement hobby, it was quickly chosen as a Microsoft Pick-of-the-Day in 1997 and has been a highly successful project ever since.

    I don't know exactly what your personal emotional problems are, but something is causing you to vent about persons whom you have never met. You might like to seek some help for your anger management problem.


    James A. Peden

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  • 1 decade ago

    Sounds to me like he had a pretty successful scholastic career. Four decades ago. Since then I guess he's pretty much cruised on easy street. I like how he mentions Al Gore (at least 5 times), Steve McIntyre, and Berkeley protests all in one article. Oh, and "sloppy scientists" who "overlook the changes in the sun." I guess those sloppy satellites overlooked it too. LOL!

    He's about as credible as the rest of the guys on Inhofe's list though.

    Source(s): You make a good point - I was second author on a paper and I only got a Master's degree. Maybe I'm being a bit generous.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Sounds more impressive than Algore's credentials.

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  • Ken
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    So this guy's a "prominent scientist"? lol

    A quick skim of his article shows the real reason he's no longer in a career associated with science. I especially like how he claims several NASA scientists have recently "resigned in protest", yet he fails to mention any. Typical hearsay, just like most of the "science" in his article.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Did you want us to compare it with your CV?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Very impressive. Thanks.

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