The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is an international panel of scientists and scholars originally convened by Dr. S. Fred Singer at a meeting in Milan in 2003. It is now a project of three organizations: Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, The Heartland Institute, and Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).
NIPCC’s mission is to provide independent evaluations of the reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). NIPCC has no affiliation with and receives no funding from any government agency or corporation. Because NIPCC is not a government agency, it is not predisposed to conform to any agenda other than pursuing the truth.
Since 2009, NIPCC has produced four volumes in its Climate Change Reconsidered series, all of them available for free online at www.climatechangereconsidered.org. More than one hundred scholars from 17 countries have participated in the production of NIPCC reports as coauthors, contributors, or reviewers. NIPCC also has published other books and shorter policy studies, similarly available on that website.
NIPCC reports are edited and published by The Heartland Institute, a national nonprofit research and education organization based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Due to Heartland’s high profile in the climate change debate, it has been demonized by environmental advocacy groups and their allies in the legacy media. Please visit Heartland’s website at www.heartland.org and especially its “Reply to Critics” feature for its rebuttal of such attacks.
General Principles for Preparing Climate Change Reconsidered Volumes
The Lead Authors, Chapter Lead Authors, Contributing Authors, and Chapter Reviewers are tasked with reviewing the literature on the scientific, technical, economic, and social issues regarding climate change, with an emphasis on reporting the actual data (not computer model projections) and peer-reviewed findings overlooked or ignored by the United Nations’ IPCC.
As noted earlier in the “About NIPCC” section, the purpose of NIPCC is to critique the reports of IPCC, not to repeat its findings or defend them. The Climate Change Reconsidered series is the “report from the Red Team” responding to IPCC’s “Blue Team” reports. Qualified authors and reviewers will have questioned the authority of the United Nations’ IPCC in their published work, public speaking, and elsewhere.
Lead Authors and Chapter Lead Authors shall concentrate on their areas of expertise and engage Contributing Authors and Chapter Reviewers based on their understanding and knowledge of the specific area of scientific inquiry to which they will attend.
Peer review is conducted with the assistance of the Editors and takes place expeditiously in a period of time appropriate to the necessary scientific evaluation of the materials presented in each chapter. Attention of reviewers is directed to the quality of evidence presented and validity of the scientific conclusions drawn in the literature cited.
The Lead Authors must hold a doctorate degree in a field of study related to the subject area and must have extensive publications histories demonstrating mastery of the topic and recognition as a leader by peers in the field. Lead Authors must have demonstrated the ability to write book-length treatments of issues involving climate change and the ability to work with others on multi-author edited works.
Lead Authors are responsible for conceptualizing the outline and table of contents of a volume in the Climate Change Reconsidered series. They must balance the need to produce text that is scientifically and technically accurate with the need to produce a document that is readable and likely to be read by a non-scientist audience.
Lead Authors recruit and work with Chapter Lead Authors to produce drafts and then see the book through peer review and to completion. They must anticipate and resolve differences in opinion among the scores of contributors to the book, always aiming to present the most accurate presentation of scientific fact and avoiding speculation, appeals to authority, and rhetoric.
Lead Authors set deadlines for Chapter Lead Authors and work with the Editors to ensure peer review is expeditious and fair. They review and approve the final draft of the book before it goes to the printer. They participate in the release of the book by being available to experts, media, and policymakers.
Chapter Lead Authors
Chapter Lead Authors must hold an advanced degree (Ph.D., M.D, M.S., or equivalent) in a field of study related to the content of their chapter or have a publications record demonstrating familiarity with the topic and recognition by peers in the field.
Chapter Lead Authors are responsible for ensuring their chapters provide an organized overview of the important scientific, technical, economic, and social issues regarding climate change, assessing each issue with scientific objectivity and attention to all relevant evidence. They must ensure that their chapters are produced on time, assess the scientific material presented and convey its implications correctly, and adhere to the style and structure that have been chosen for the book.
Chapter Lead Authors synthesize the material drawn from previous volumes in the Climate Change Reconsidered series, CO2 Science, and elsewhere. They recruit Contributing Authors to help write their chapter or specific sections of the chapter, and they identity Chapter Reviewers who are willing to objectively review a final draft and suggest changes.
Contributing Authors should hold a degree (B.S. or higher) in a field of study related to the content of their chapter or have a publications record demonstrating familiarity with the topic and recognition by peers in the field.
Contributing Authors analyze the scientific literature on climate change in their area of study and convey its conclusion and implications through text, figures, and citations for assembly and editing by the Chapter Lead Authors. Sometimes, Chapter Lead Authors will ask for permission to reprint or revise past work by a Contributing Author. In such cases, the original publication shall be identified and credited, and the Contributing Author will be asked to approve any revisions made to it.
Contributing Authors may be asked to respond to questions and suggestions made by the Lead Authors, Chapter Lead Authors, and Reviewers and assist in making necessary revisions.
Material provided by Contributing Authors will be supported by references from the peer-reviewed literature according to standard professional protocol. Text provided by Contributing Authors will be reviewed, edited, organized, and revised by Lead Authors, Chapter Lead Authors, and Editors in compiling the overall chapter copy.
Chapter Reviewers should hold a degree (B.S. or higher) in a related field of study, have published in the field, or have at least ten years of experience in a related field.
Chapter Reviewers agree to participate in the peer review of one or more chapters of a volume. They apply their individual knowledge and experience to analyze the text of the report and provide expert confirmation of the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the presentation. In cases where a chapter cites the work of a Lead Author or Chapter Lead Author, they provide independent review free of conflict of interest. They evaluate sources cited in chapters and wherever possible assist the Chapter Lead Authors in providing primary rather than secondary sources.
Because of the length and detail of the Climate Change Reconsidered volumes, as many as fifty reviewers have been used to ensure the scientific materials presented are accurate and the conclusions drawn regarding the meaning of the scientific evidence are sound. Reviewers may choose to remain anonymous.
Reviewers communicate with Lead Authors and Chapter Lead Authors through the Editors, who have some discretion as to whether to accept or include individual reviewer comments. The peer review process is described in more detail below.
Preparation of Chapters
The Lead Authors create the table of contents for each volume in the Climate Change Reconsidered series and then recruit Chapter Lead Authors and with them coordinate the organization and development of individual chapters. Together, they identify and recruit Contributing Authors and Chapter Reviewers.
Drafts deemed ready for peer review along with lists of possible Contributors and Reviewers are given to the Editors who then oversee the peer review process.
Summaries of new research shall be added to research and commentary that appeared in the earlier volumes in the Climate Change Reconsidered series. Earlier material should be condensed or summarized as necessary to direct attention to the best available research and to indicate when older studies have been superseded by newer research.
While every chapter should be as up-to-date as possible, NIPCC is aware of the enormous increase in the number of academic journals and the number of articles published each year. New research is often based on faulty assumptions, computer models that have not been validated, or given to reporting anecdotal evidence in support of an agenda. New journals and even older and highly respected journals often fail to conduct rigorous peer review of accepted articles. Older research is often (not always, of course) free of such bias and methodological errors and should not be forgotten or overlooked. A historical narrative approach that reports and summarizes earlier research also captures a fuller range of views and more insight into scientific progress than relying only on the latest scientific articles in each field.
Writing Process and Guidelines
Acceptable source material for volumes in the Climate Change Reconsidered series is material published by respected research organizations, peer-reviewed scientific journals, books published by recognized and credible publishers, or government agencies (primarily reporting data and not analysis). Newspapers and magazines should be cited only when used to document news of events or to quote public officials. Priority should always be given to authors willing to make their data available for public inspection and testing.
Recognizing that peer review procedures at some academic journals have been misused to block the publication of research that is contrary to the views of editors or influential figures in the climate science establishment, with the Chapter Lead Authors’ approval, consideration will be given to including material from non-peer-reviewed sources when credible and important scientific findings are not available elsewhere. All source material shall be cited and referenced according to standard professional protocol.
Lead Authors, Chapter Authors, and Contributing Authors will work together to create the initial chapter drafts. Editors may assist in this process, if required. Completed chapter drafts will then be submitted to the Editors for proofing, formatting, and peer review.
Editors will qualify the Reviewers and oversee the review process, described in detail below. Editors will review and return Reviewer comments to the respective Lead Chapter Authors. Lead Chapter Authors and Contributing Authors will work to address Reviewer comments and make necessary revisions for subsequent drafts. Completed drafts will then be submitted to the Lead Authors.
Editors will review the final draft and make any necessary changes. The final chapter drafts, after Editors’ review and publisher’s copy editing and layout for publication, will be sent back to the Lead Chapter Authors for approval of a final draft pursuant to publication. Lead Authors have final authority on any disagreements.
Peer Review Procedures
Production and review of chapter materials should be based solely on science and reason. The best available scientific and technical knowledge should be employed to ensure that each chapter attends to the full range of scientific knowledge on each topic and that each issue is presented with scientific objectivity and attention to all relevant evidence.
An appropriate circulation process is to be engaged, involving circulation to independent experts not involved in the preparation of the chapter to be reviewed, chosen with reference only to the scientific knowledge and proven analytical ability of the experts in that issue area.
Chapter Reviewers will be nominated by Lead Authors and Chapter Lead Authors based on expertise, reputation, specific recommendations of authors, and knowledge of reviewers’ past performance. Chapter Lead Authors and Contributing Authors may not act as Reviewers for material they helped produce.
Editors will contact nominated Chapter Reviewers and ask them to declare their affiliations, qualifications, any competing interests that might relate to the subject they are reviewing, and willingness to abide by confidentiality requirements and embargo dates. Reviewers may request revisions, additions, or removal of material. The Editors shall reply to Reviewers, convey their comments to Chapter Lead Authors, and in collaboration with the Chapter Lead Authors make changes if deemed necessary.
Editors will not alter any comments made by reviewers that have been intended to be read by the authors, unless the language is deemed inappropriate for professional communication or the comments contain information that is considered confidential. Differences among Reviewers and Chapter Lead Authors concerning the incorporation of Reviewer comments will be resolved by the Lead Authors. The Lead Authors will have final say over disagreements that may arise in the review process.
The Reviewer’s identity will be made known to the authors only with the Reviewer’s consent. Authors will be permitted to communicate directly with Reviewers, also subject to the Reviewer’s consent. Those Reviewers who wish to be acknowledged in the final report will be, but inclusion will not be required.