10 September 2008

Checking the links

Let's continue a little bit on the "Khilyuk and Chilingar" story. First of all, I do not plan to go into debunking all the errors in their papers. This would be endless. My rebuttal did a bit, and Eli Rabett a good bit more. The fact that these guys do such fraudulent things as multiple publication is sufficient proof that they are not to be taken seriously. By the way, I wrote an e-mail to the editors-in-chief of Environmental Geology and Energy Sources, informing them about the twin papers. I'm waiting for a reaction...

What I was wondering most when I saw the 2004 and 2006 papers by Khilyuk and Chilingar was how such weird papers could ever be published in a reviewed journal. Someone must have made sure that no competent reviewer ever gets to see them. The ones who could do this best are the people on the editorial boards of the journals in question. So who are they?

As lurker pointed out, the well-known climate skeptic Fred Singer is in the board of Environ. Geol. Seems like a good explanation, but he claimed not to have reviewed the manuscript. And I tend to believe him. For there is another suspect among the editors: Lee C. Gerhard, a climate-skeptical paper of whom Khilyuk and Chilingar like to cite in their papers (Gerhard, L. C., 2004. Climate change: Conflict of observational science, theory, and politics. Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull. 88:1211–1220).

And what about the journal Energy Sciences, Part A? Their editorial advisory board reveals it quickly: There is a fellow named G. V. Chilingarian. Chilingar or Chilingarian, this is of course no one else than the first author of the twin papers. Now, there is nothing wrong with being on the editorial board of a journal and at the same time being an author in that journal. Except that, if you wish to place a bogus duplicate of another paper, there may be a slight conflict of interest.

What do Gerhard and Chilingar have in common? As they both publish on climate change, you might think they are both climate scientists? Well, not exactly. The journal in which Gerhard published his piece tells it all: American Association of Petroleum Geologists. They are both petroleum geologists. Well, nothing wrong with that, we sure need some clever guys finding the last drops of oil these days, don’t we? Just maybe they would better focus on that task rather than writing amateurish papers about climate change.

Anyway, it surely comes as no surprise that people related to the oil business are amongst the most vocal climate skeptics. If you need more proof of this connection, read the Exxon Report by the Union of Concerned Scientists. I don’t know whether these oil people just fight against losing some business or whether they don’t want to be blamed for ruining the climate – in any case they definitely are not impartial on that matter. They fight with all means, and as aaron correctly points out, these are professional means. Although, the recycling fraud of Chilingar does not leave a very professional impression …

So, my advice with regard to a reality check: Always check the links and sources, and don’t trust climate skeptics that smell of petroleum!


  1. > Chilingar or Chilingarian

    Is this a name that can be spelled several different ways? Innocent mistake?

  2. Chilingar himself has done this. I believe his heritage is Armenian and there is always some slop in going from names in one language to another. Chilingarian may be a patronymic (Russian names are like that, add ova to a woman's last name)