Another Example Of Overstepping The Scientific Method

Howard Waldman has alerted us to a PNAS paper that further illustrates research which has overstepped the scientific method. This is in response to my post

Predicting Wars Based On Climate Change – Really?

He wrote

 [Y]ou may be interested to learn that a similar project has already been
published: Burke et al, “Warming increases the risk of civil war in Africa”, .

The abstract of this paper reads

“Armed conflict within nations has had disastrous humanitarian consequences throughout much of the world. Here we undertake the first comprehensive examination of the potential impact of global climate change on armed conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. We find strong historical linkages between civil war and temperature in Africa, with warmer years leading to significant increases in the likelihood of war. When combined with climate model projections of future temperature trends, this historical response to temperature suggests a roughly 54% increase in armed conflict incidence by 2030, or an additional 393,000 battle deaths if future wars are as deadly as recent wars. Our results suggest an urgent need to reform African governments’ and foreign aid donors’ policies to deal with rising temperatures.”

This article also illustrates how much the PNAS has moved from the publication of valid science.

 There is also a Comment and a Reply on this paper in the PNAS, that Mr.  Waldman alerted me to which I will seek to obtain this week. The title of the Reply “Relationship between temperature and conflict is robust” shows the perspective of the authors of the PNAS paper.

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