IPCC reform, now

After the leak of emails from the University of East Anglia showed global warming advocates apparently manipulating data and blackballing dissenting voices, now comes perhaps an even bigger scandal. This time, the discovery of serious scientific errors and accusations of conflicts of interests center on what was considered the gold standard of climate science: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its chair Rajendra Pachauri.

When the latest IPCC report in 2007 claimed that global warming could lead to the melting of the Himalaya glaciers by 2035 and thus to major water shortages in the region, it generated headlines around the world. The sensationalist prediction now proved to be grossly in error, based entirely on nothing but speculation by one little-known scientist way back in 1999. Astoundingly, Mr. Pachauri’s initial reaction was to deny everything. Claiming that the IPCC does not make mistakes he first viciously attacked people who disagreed, calling the criticism of India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh the stuff of “climate change deniers and school boy science”, before the sheer weight of evidence made him grudgingly admit the error. Another IPCC scientist, Georg Kaser, claims to have realized already in 2006 that the outlandish claim of melting glaciers was wrong, but could not get the IPCC to exclude the mistake from the report. the author, Murari Lal, admitted that “we thought that […] it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.” In another example of the IPCC’s substandard scientific process, the panel claimed, based on a paper that was not peer-reviewed, that there has been an upward trend in the damage caused by weather-related disasters. At the same time, it ignored a peer-reviewed paper that showed the opposite, namely that there has been no such trend. Likewise, it failed to listen to reviewers of the IPCC report who had pointed out this error.

That such a large body of work as the IPCC report would contain some errors is unavoidable. But what’s striking in this example is the sheer lack of the most basic standards of scientific review that allowed the glacier and disaster claims to be incorporated. It also illustrates that the IPCC lacks any mechanisms to correct false or contested knowledge.

The whole situation became even more explosive when Richard North, a blogger at http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/, discovered that Mr. Pachauri’s institute, The Energy Research Institute (TERI), has built a sizeable research effort on the Himalayan meltdown claim, collecting large grants based on this IPCC blunder. TERI and Mr. Pachauri are also the beneficiaries of considerable sums from companies with a financial interest in climate policy, such as Pegasus Capital Advisors, Toyota and the Chicago Climate Exchange. Amazingly, it appears that Mr. Pachauri has not broken any IPCC code of conduct for the simple reason that there is no such code of conduct governing conflicts of interest for IPCC participants and leaders.

Mr. Pachauri’s reaction to what has been billed “Climategate” was equally politicized. When the leaked University of East Anglia emails revealed, among other things, the intent of IPCC authors to violate IPCC procedures by selectively excluding peer-review literature, Mr. Pachauri’s initial reaction was also to play down any wrongdoing. Only when the scandal attracted broader media coverage did he agree on an investigation, which he later cancelled though without giving any reason.

All this seems par for the course for an IPCC chair who in recent months has increasingly participated in overt political advocacy, such as when he called on people to eat less meat and on Washington to implement policies that cut U.S. CO2 emissions. Mr. Pachauri also endorsed what appears to be an arbitrary target of 350 parts per million for the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases, even though the IPCC itself has offered no such recommendation.

The IPCC has now started the preparations for the next major report, to be released in 2014. It may be advisable to pause for wholesale institutional reform. The IPCC was set up to advise policy makers on climate science with the stated goal to be “policy-relevant and yet policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive.” Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention On Climate Change explained on January 21 that “the credibility of climate change policy can only be based on credible science.” The IPCC seeks to meet its rigorous standards of academic integrity through a thorough review process “to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information.” The IPCC has fallen way short its own standards. An effective climate policy that is acceptable to the public must be based on sound and impartial advice from institutions that do their science sustainably over many decades. Partisan advice will be unpicked, sloppy research will be exposed.

The IPCC cannot continue its work without adopting strong ethical guidelines for its officials. Under normal conflict of interest rules as followed by other leading scientific advisory institutions, Mr. Pachauri would no longer be tolerable as the IPCC’s chairperson. Any proper IPCC reform would also have to include a formal mechanism to correct errors and more transparent procedures for the appointment of key personnel. Apart from adopting new rules, the IPCC won’t be able to regain its credibility without adhering to existing rules regarding the appointment of experts and the review of scientific material. What’s at stake is not just the reputation of the IPCC but the reputation of all of climate science.

Richard Tol, Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
Roger Pielke Jr, University of Colorado at Boulder
Hans von Storch, GKSS Research Institute and Hamburg University
This piece was copy-edited by Daniel Schwammenthal

See also
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,673944,00.html
http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/0,1518,673765,00.html
http://www.nrc.nl/opinie/article2467237.ece/VN-klimaatpanel_moet_drastisch_hervormen
http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/0,1518,673779,00.html
http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/01/tol-pielke-and-von-storch-in-der.html
http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/01/der-spiegel-on-ipcc-and-disasters.html
http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/01/save-ipcc.html

UPDATE:
Lal’s quote was copied from here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html
He now claims he never said that: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/55682/title/Indian_climatologist_disputes_charges_over_Himalayan_projection
David Rose says he did: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/heat-over-faulty-un-view-of-asian-ice/

FURTHER UPDATE:
Pachauri explains himself here: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/327/5965/510/DC1

69 thoughts on “IPCC reform, now”

  1. Richard,

    Congratulations on co-authoring this article. It raises a few interesting questions.

    Is it possible for the IPCC to redeem itself and restore its credibility with an increasingly sceptical public?

    It’s not just any old random error that has been identified in the IPCC report; it’s headline claims that have had a massive influence on policy makers and the public in framing the global political and economic responses to climate change. If the IPCC had simply ‘gilded the lily’ on claims about Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035, or on the influence of carbon emissions on the frequency of hurricane and regional storms, or on the disappearance of Arctic sea ice by 2020 by virtue of genuine error in their scientific calculations or an accidental misreading of the evidence, that’s one thing. If they did so despite warnings that the claims were inaccurate, or in the face of evidence to the contrary, or simply because “we thought that […] it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action”, then that discredits the entire process.

    As for Pachauri, who’s going to tell him to go? What’s the mechanism to force his resignation? Because from the sound of things, he’s unlikely to fall on his own sword, or is he?

    I suspect that a lot of what’s happening now wouldn’t have ever seen the light of day if the Copenhagen conference had turned out to be a glittering success rather than a dismal failure. There’s probably more to come, as inevitably happens when a structure begins to unravel. The question is what’s going to replace the UN-led structure if it falls apart, since the problem of anthropogenic global warming still must be resolved one way or another.

  2. @Veronica
    There’s a new scandal everyday with the IPCC, so the longer they wait, the harder it’ll be to regain confidence. At the moment, all’s not lost.

    The IPCC’s rules and regulations did not foresee a crisis like this. There is no mechanism to impeach Pachauri. He answers to the assembly of IPCC members, a UN-like body. To date, only Germany and the Netherlands have expressed their displeasure with the going-ons, but only one junior politician has called for his head.

  3. Richard

    Good article and I would agree that the IPCC needs a few head changes to clean up it’s act. THe issue is too serious to have the IPCC associated with any credibility issues.

    However, the issue of the leaked emails from UEA is really a non-story that has been blown out of proportion by media sources that have no interest in science and reason. It relates to 2 lines in 2 emails (out of thousands of emails) and most of the publicity is around the use of the word ‘trick’. In defense of the authors it has been repeatedly stated that the word ‘trick’ refers to a calculation required to get the model to work, not to falsify the information (as is usually inferred in the reporting of this issue) . The investigation into this issue has still to come to a conclusion. Either way it really is a non-story that should be ignored by all interested in science and climatology.

  4. Given the errors made by the ESRI and the economics profession in general, I think we should just let this one slide.

  5. @Rory O’Farrell

    Other than Undertaking, perhaps, can you name a profession that does not make errors?

    @Kevin Fitz
    Good clarification ……… does the trick! Lets give UEA a break.

  6. @ Rory O’Farrell

    There’s a big difference between making errors in your work and ignoring/hiding errors in your work.

  7. @ David O’Donnell

    Well if the undertakers make a mistake its a very major one.

    @ MarcusOC
    If a kettle is black is that because it is absorbing carbon?

  8. “overt political advocacy, such as when he called on people to eat less meat”

    Come on Richard, that’s more common sense than overt political advocacy.

  9. Instead of economists and statisticians getting involved in modelling particular climatic outcomes or economic effects based on given assumptions, perhaps their time would be better used examining the actual scientific data that claims to connect climate change with man made carbon dioxide, for example, the Canadian statistician who examined the hockey stick graph and discredited it.

    UK chief scientist says climate change sceptics should not be dismissed

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7081039/John-Beddington-chief-scientist-says-climate-change-sceptics-should-not-be-dismissed.html

    “Prof John Beddington admitted the impact of global warming had been exaggerated by some scientists and condemned climate researchers who refused to publish data which formed the basis of their reports into global warming.

    In an interview, Prof Beddington, called for a new era of honesty and responsibility from the environmental community and said scientists should be less hostile to sceptics who questioned man-made global warming. “

  10. @Rory O’Farrell

    …. but rarely fatal!

    @Richard Tol

    No – I have not. Can you reproduce the relevant ‘lines here’ ? or provide the link to the relevant lines.

  11. @Greg
    Please note that I, as the moderator of this thread, am liable for your choice of words. Note that this blog can be read anywhere, so that I could be sued anywhere. Even if certain allegations are not actionable in a country that was neutral in World War II, they are in other countries.

    Please self-moderate your choice of words.

  12. @Richard Tol

    Followed those links to the emails ….. does the trick for me …. CRU is one unit within UEA ….. and PennState also gets a mention. So the tendency is to tar both institutions with the same brush ……… heads of these research units should really carry can ……… imagine being a genuine researcher in Uni East Anglia at the mo ……… I’d be circulating CV ……… yes, this is dodgy looking stuff …….. and provides good insight into the social and political constructions of findings and the pressures to gain further research funding etc ………….. prob best to call all this the ‘Mann-Jones Conspirac’ and write the screen-play ……….. black-balling dissenting voices is not news in academia imho ………. and ‘tweaking the data’ has a fairly long pedigree …………. and there are very very powerful commerical pressures against the ‘carbon reduction agenda’ ……….. surely I do not need to name them ………

    The IPCC needs a bit of a make-over at the top ………. this is power corrupting …….. again not news ……….

    Getting away from this – The Weather is probably a complex adaptive system …….. and Climate Change may be as well ……….. so possibly all these linear methodologies from the nat-science model are going no-where as they are insufficiently able to grasp the relevant phenomenon ……….. open eyes, bare feet, and common sense might be better predictors …………. I see the empirical evidence in the garden at times ………..

    Keep up the work.

  13. @ richard

    the leaked emails prove absolutely nothing. It is a simple case of quote mining a few lines from over a decade of correspondence to try to discredit the science behind the effect of man’s actions on climate change. The issue of credibility of The IPCC is relevant and important. The hacked emails on the other hand is the stuff of conspiracy theorists and manipulation of the media by interest groups. The real crime is the illegal hacking of the university. read this link

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/23/climate-change-emails-uea

  14. @Kevin Fitz

    Ah… emails hacked illegally ……… and at a politically opportune moment ………

    @Richard Tol

    … I must now reserve judgment on the so-called ‘Mann-Jones Conspiracy’ – the screen-play will have to wait – pathetic Uni communications is not news either – and there are more than enough ‘ERRORS OF JUDGMENT’ floating around at the moment.

    That said, looks like someone is going to have to REPLICATE analysis of these data sets before this one is put to bed.

    Keep up the work.

  15. The IPCC should be disbanded and a new body set up to start from first principles. AGW is based on the premise that the earth is warming at such a rate that it cannot be explained by natural forces alone. A full independent analysis of temperature records over the last 120 years needs to be undertaken by statisticians with special attention paid to source data selection and reliability. This must be completely transparent.
    The AGW alarmism of the last 2 decades has in my view been based on temperature records that have been, shall we say “forced”. All else is based on this house of cards.

  16. Look for those who stood to gain the most financially from the sordid mess and you’ll find the ones responsible for the corruption. The scientists, I’m convinced, we’re the least guilty of the lot.

  17. Erroneous? How about intentionally deceptive.

    “The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

    Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.”

    From the World Wildlife Fund web site:

    Climate Witness Science Advisory Panel (SAP)

    Prof. Dr Murari Lal, specialises in global and regional climate variability, scenario development, regional environmental change, … ecosystem modeling, regional adaptation & mitigation potential, water resource management; Environment and Carbon Trading Group Halcrow Consulting India Ltd., India

    Did you catch that:

    “Environment and Carbon Trading Group Halcrow Consulting India Ltd., India”

    Carbon Trading is part of the Environment Division, now that is a surprise.

    From the CRUs own website we know the World Wildlife Fund funds the CRU.

    I wonder where a charity gets the money to fund climate research.

    The WWF funds the CRU

    Murari Lal->WWF->CRU
    Murari Lal-> Halcrow Consulting->Carbon Trading

    How about we skip the pawn:

    Carbon Trading-> Halcrow Consulting-> WWF->CRU->IPCC

    Simplifing..

    Carbon Trading->WWF->CRU->IPCC
    Carbon Trading->CRU->IPCC
    Carbon Trading->IPCC

    Carbon Trading->IPCC->Carbon Trading

    Does that look right? An employee of a Carbon Trading department, working for the World Wildlife Fund, submitting bogus content to the IPCC, just to scare people into implementing Carbon Trading.

    You could not make this stuff up!

  18. @Kevin
    They can no longer properly be characterized as ’illegal emails’ for they have been accepted as evidence and determined to be probatory of guilt.
    One may refer to them as ‘the incriminating evidence’ or ‘the smoking gun’ or ‘the proof of the conspiracy’ or ‘the record of the deception’.

  19. As someone who has been following this story in detail since it broke a couple of months ago, and who has read most of the published CRU emails, I can only say that they present a prime facie case of unethical, illegal and unscientific behaviour, and that to someone who has spent the last three years researching the science involved, they appear to demonstrate a conspiracy to manipulate the data, even to invent it where it suits their authors. And they certainly demonstrate a determination to exclude bone fide scientists who presume to question the CRU group’s conclusions from the peer review process.

    Those of us who’ve been following the whole saga for years were not surprised by the content of the CRU emails. It’s possible however with a little googling to find critiques online of the significance of these emails, written by statisticians, code specialists, scientits in various related disciplines, and people whose careers have been blighted by these ‘climatologists’ who so cavalierly ignore the essential conventions of science. This stuff is complex and hard to grasp for newcomers, but believe me it’s explosive stuff which changes the narrative on ‘global warming’ radically.

    It’s very hard to get past the gatekeeping of ‘the Team’, as they are known, since the CRU group and their colleagues in the relevant US and other institutions have ‘owned the narrative’ for many years, abetted by sympathetic journalists in the mainstream media. They even have an avid supporter who is editor of the climate pages on Wikipedia and ruthlessly edits out withing minutes any dissenting voice the moment it is posted – he has bots to all the relevant pages: he’s been busy today deleting any additions to Phil Jones’s page which even attempt to record this story!

    Another of the CRU associates, NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, runs a climate website where he blocks and removes any posting which differs from or questions the AGW ‘consensus’. these people are fundamentalists who brook no opposition; and who do their best to destory the reputations of those who question them. And these men are almost on the public payroll, whether here or in the US.

    Anyone interested in the detail can get the whole story in 1000s of blogs and their attached comments at http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    There are plenty of other places to get information, for example statistician Steve McKitrcik’s ClimateAudit website (McK exploded Al Gore’s infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph and was/is the particular target of the CRU crowd – and a subject of many of the emails) or this account by the man who originally had his FOI requests to CRU refused:
    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/willis-vs-the-cru-a-history-of-foi-evasion/

    If you spend any amount of time reading the emails, in the light of all which has gone on tover the last ten years in the bitterly polarised ‘climate wars’, it’s impossible to believe that the ‘climategate’ emails are of no consequence.

  20. @All

    eMails are simply emails – and maybe/probably symptoms of something underlying ………..

    The core point is the re-analysis of the CRU data. Is someone on this? Std scientific procedure where there is a bit of contention ……….. and for those into the science, as distinct from the politics of the science, this is std mainstream procedure.

  21. @David
    The Hadley Centre is reanalysing CRU’s instrumental data. While some doubt the political independence of Hadley, unlike CRU, Hadley has at least qualified statisticians.

  22. @Richard Tol

    Good. And with the political pressures – I’d say the Hadley lads and ladies will be fairly careful here ……………. their findings will, I’m sure, be eagerly awaited …….. over and out on this one for a while. Keep up the work.

  23. I can think of no better way to damage the whole Green cause than to pump them up with falsehoods and then at the right time, leak them.

    Look up gatekeeper theory and the division of those who might be active politically. Divert as many as possible to a false cause. The set them at one anothers throats! Meanwhile, the looting and pollution, genuine pollution continues unabated. A sucker trap? There is no justification for the IPCC at all. Take a look around instead and work locally, addressing genuine problems. The rape of capital and labour by banking interests for one. Ever look at the membership of the inner circles of the club of Rome and the WWF?

  24. @Pat
    Sure. There is some evidence of the coal industry indirectly funding some of the more extreme greens (in the hope that they’ll embarrass the cause). There are more deep greens, I’d say, who do not need any encouragement for embarrassment.

    In this particular case, Pachauri was appointed with the active support of the previous US administration. There is even a conveniently leaked memo by ExxonMobil supporting Pachauri because he used to be an oilman. I think it is more plausible that the Americans did their homework, studied Pachauri’s past, and correctly predicted that sooner or later he would make a big mess.

  25. Hadley is in the CRU loop, but there are others well qualified who have been anyalysing the CRU data WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO OBTAIN IT. This has been the crucial problem: getting past the Team ‘gate-keeping’ … and unforgivably, some of the Team appears to have deleted the record of the original data sets on which they based their submissions to the IPCC, rendering many papers on which policy has been based worthless since they can never be replicated. It appears that all that remains is the cherry-picked or adjusted data. Many of the CRU emails deal iwth a consiracy to delete emails concerning original data and how it was ‘fudged’. Others clearly indicate a willingness and intention to delete original data requested under FOIs – this is criminal. if true.

    Thus we may never know which sets of data were originally used before the CRU guys began their ‘tricks’. This is not science. Indeed, the importance of the emails is that they may reveal a deliberate corruption of science. That is what the imminent Parliamentary Committee enquiry is intended to decide.

    In any event those who have the IT knowledge to understand the Harry_read_me emails (which concern the computer code used at CRU) say that these alone show that the conclusions of the CRU research are pretty worthless. Some anyalases online also assert that the CRU Team do not have the statistical expertise to use raw date properly, and that the emails clearly indicate this. (Other experts in their fields distupte the climatologists’ understanding of various aspects of physics, oceanography etc etc; but that’s irrelevant here).

    Most of us following the story are in no doubt that the CRU emails were leaked from inside by someone disgusted by the wholesale CRU disregard for standard scientific procedure; esp dangerous in this case since the economic future of every economy in the world is dependent on political response to the IPCC reports, whcih are fed by Hadley?CRU/NASA and their associate institutions. Only an insider could have slected and kept in sequence the cache which was posted on the remote server. There is detailed discussion of all this stuff in some of the links posted on wattsupwiththat under the tab ‘climategate’.

    Further FOI requests are now being issued (inc by McKitrick and associates) and there are many, inc qualified statisticians, willing to re-work the data if it still exists. Meanwhile Anthony Watts of wattsupwiththat.com has a huge temperature sampling project going forward on which he will publish very soon (some of his unverified data has been lifted from the website which he used to interact with his team of N Ameican volunteers, and used in a paper by accociates of the CRU team at NASA to discredit him, without even offering him a view of the paper! – but this is another story, see his webiste yesterday). Watts is convinced that the IPCC report 4 was based on chgerry-picked and manipulated temperature readings. Much on his websites discvussing this.

    The scientists and mathematicians who have been convinced of scientific wrongdoing for many years are not about to let go, believe me. Their one wish is to resotre proper scientific rigour to the process which provides the basis of so much public policy.

  26. @Sam
    Note that CRU only ever destroyed copies of data. That means that they cannot reconstruct their processed data. This implies that their work is not reproducible, i.e., unscientific. However, the original data are kept at the national meteorological offices. If that data got lost, it is no fault of CRU.

  27. Richard Tol’s idea that Pachauri may have been a plant is interesting – and amusing! – but it won’t’ imo stand up. Without the tipping point of the leaked emails of Climategate, there would never have been enough momentum to initiate a wholesale re-think of the science, and Copenhagen might well have succeeded in saddling the Western economies with crippling cap-and-trade taxes. And cap-and-trade is NOT about saving energy – it’s about the transfer of wealth.

    As it is, the US has most likely escaped in the nick of time since Congress will block cap-and-trade; but we in the EU are still governed by Brussels where the Commission is right behind the Green Agenda (and UN-led World Government) and it’s going to be extremely difficult to get out from under.

    Like other educated people I roll my eyes when people start to spoout consiracy theories, but this whole scam really has been breathtaking in its scope. There is still a lot of work to be done to sift the lies from the trut, which must start with the science; but public opinion is way in front of the media and the politicians already..

  28. PS @ Pat Donnelly:

    Most of us can only agree with the implication of your remarks above – that the true tragedy of all this is the damage to genunie Environmentalism and efforts to solve the pressing problems of the world eg fresh water supplies, distgrubiton of available food supplies, pollution in Asia, over-logging and destruction of the rain forests etc etc.

  29. It’s called fascism.

    This time around it’s known as Anthropogenic Global Fascism.

    That would be Man Made Global Fascism.

    It has nothing to do with the freedom of the individual to make informed decisions about environment, it has every classic element of Fascism.

    It has nothing to do with the freedom of individuals to assemble and agree on thought.

    It has everything to do with making each individual a slave to power.

    You won’t see this comment because it will be censored.

  30. Sam
    Thanks. Now who gains from that? How do we stop whomever from doing that to us again and again?

    Greg
    The truth shall set you free! Work makes freedom! Strength through joy! Now that we have discovered f in the encyclopaedia, where do you go from here? Fascism is ever present, particularly in Ireland. Fasces originated in Rome. We are still dominated by papal influences, despite the best efforts of Judah to gain lebensraum under Rome. Still keen Greg? Who are you Greg?

  31. Richard

    “@Sam
    Note that CRU only ever destroyed copies of data. That means that they cannot reconstruct their processed data. This implies that their work is not reproducible, i.e., unscientific. However, the original data are kept at the national meteorological offices. If that data got lost, it is no fault of CRU.”

    Bit of a coincidence though? The original may still be available somewhere on paper? Thank God for the paperless office ….. As you can see I was once quite a pain for my taxpaying %^$%&&#$ sorry, customers……

  32. @Desmond
    No. The target is and always has been 100%.

    It’s 100% because part of the emitted CO2 stays in the atmosphere practically forever. Therefore, the only way to stabilize concentrations is to drive emissions to zero.

    If we don’t stabilize concentrations, the planet will get hotter and hotter, until one day we’ll run into trouble. This paper, for example, shows that farm labour will become hard at day time in Southeast Asia.

    The CRU/IPCC shenanigans are doing great damage to the public image of climate science, but they have had little effect on climate science per se.

    If you carefully read the stories about glaciergate, then you’ll find that while 2035 had a big impact in the media, in politics, and in research funding, it was also immediately dismissed by the real experts.

    The scandal is about the IPCC reporting a prediction that was never supported in the peer-reviewed literature. That implies that the peer-reviewed literature was not contaminated by this particular error. It did not trickle down to the impact literature, let alone to the literature that looks at optimal greenhouse gas emission reduction.

    My position on climate policy has not changed. Last October, I was regularly called a skeptic and a denier for claiming that climate change is not the biggest and most urgent problem facing humankind. Now I’m getting flak for arguing that anthropogenic climate change is real and a problem.

  33. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7111525/UN-climate-change-panel-based-claims-on-student-dissertation-and-magazine-article.html

    Strange how they NOW have all the facts isn’t it? Well they need to correct matters as the science is in and the earth is cooling. So that they can set up another scenario and keep people with “excessive empathy” from interfering in “their” plans. Psyops and social control. Can’t blame ’em really, we all agree that emotion and impulse is dangerous. By training folks to become cynical they protect us from our better nature. Nature, geddit!? Democracy? Yeah, sure. Control. While our economy re adjusts. Follow the money. There is a reason why money is so important. Teaching people that demogoguery is a waste of time …… Learn or get used to being lead around as if there were a ring in your nose ….. I am only the messenger.

    Free yourselves and help others to be free. Stop telling others what to do! It is most unattractive! After all, you don’t like me telling you what to do, do you?

  34. @Pat
    You must admit that there is certain truth to what Sweeney says. He is pretty good at shooting himself in the foot. His argument that it is “scientists” versus “journalists and lobbyists”, for instance, is just rubbish.

  35. @richard

    Whilst the real scientists did dismiss 2035, the glacier story is but one of many that are of shoddy provenance. Allied to the corruption and bias of IPCC ( reviewers including Peter Finnegan of GRIAN for God’s sake) is what has been made clear by the CRU emails is that the whole process is simply incapable of being relied on for what is proposed. A 100% reduction in the emission of CO2.
    What is being proposed is unparalleled in the history of mankind, and therefore there should be no doubts whatsoever. I’m afraid I do not believe that the world is warming at such a rate that it cannot be explained by natural forces alone. The temperature records are a mess, and need to re-examined as I mentioned in an earlier post.
    There are many people who feel that the models have too quickly dismissed the role of water vapour, clouds, ocean circulation and solar input amongst others. As we know from the CRU emails dissent is frowned upon to put it mildly.
    You may be right about AGW, but I simply do not feel the arguments prove the case given the politicisation of the whole process. That’s why I believe an entirely new body needs to be established free from all influences of the past, and with no input from the likes of WWF and other lobby groups. This should be science based only and the views of dissenting scientists must be heard as well.
    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html
    I intend to await the conclusions from the CERN cloud chamber into Svenmark’s work before I reduce my own carbon footprint.

  36. Desmond, I think you are absolutely correct. Nothing of what has gone before is now trustworthy, so we need to revert to first principles.

    Apologies for my slip earleir, and thanks for the correction. It was the middle of the night! – and I’d been getting my head around a lot of stuff for many hours, not all of which is easily comprehensible to the layman. And there is just so much of it…

    “If you carefully read the stories about glaciergate, then you’ll find that while 2035 had a big impact in the media, in politics, and in research funding, it was also immediately dismissed by the real experts.”

    No: The point about the claim of Himalayan glacier melt is that the misinformation was dleiberate, not an error as is being claimed, and it was unchallenged over a long period.

    There is plenty online confirming that the IPCC was told of the error as long ago as 2004 at least, since a PEER REVIEWED paper of 2004 by Dr Jack Ives, the world’s authority on maintain glaciers (esp in that region) had poured scorn on the Hasnain claims. Jack’s paper (in the Himalayan Journal of Sciences, a peer review publication) was however discounted by the IPCC compilers in favour of a bit of reported hearsay fromn a WWF handout which was known to be untrue.

    For the story see
    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/un-ipcc-rotting-from-the-head-down/
    and http://climatechangefraud.com/home/1-latest-news/6219-can-climate-forecasts-still-be-trusted

    As an aside, the IPCC report didn’t even get the Himalayan glacier extent remotely right – the passage in AR4: “Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km² by the year 2035 (WWF, 2005).” 500,000 is the total extra-polar world extent; glaciers in the area in question total a bit over 300,000 km²

    The final truly shocking hting is, that teams of scientists wordwide who reviewed the AR4 Report either didn’t pick up on these elementary mistakes; or they did bring them to the attention of the lead authors but their concerns were dismissed (there are several instances on record of this), or they were so terrified of the consequences for their careers, that they kept quiet.

    The fact that climate science might have carried on regardless whilst the IPCC was publishing all this rubbish is hardly a mitigation, It’s the IPCC Reports which form the basis of Government, EU and UN policy – and that is why it’s such a towering scandal that they have been so shoddy, dishonest and intentionally misleading. They represent not science, but activist propaganda – for which we have all paid, and will contineue to pay, in our taxes!

    I for one object strongly to my taxes being used to produce endless hyperbolically alarmist propaganda, of which the sole aim is to levy yet more taxes.

  37. @ Pat Donnolly:
    “Now who gains from that? How do we stop whomever from doing that to us again and again?”

    Ah – the ‘follow the money’ scenario. That would need a whole new blog entry!
    There is a very long list, and one might call it ‘all the usual suspects’ (think Soros, Strong, Gore, Obama, Blair and carry on from there – all the bankers esp Rothschild, energy companies, etc etc)

    It’s very big money indeed – trillions, and that is not an exaggeration.

    The good news is, that the carbon / cap-and-trade markets already seem to be in free fall, The bad news is that a whole load of pension funds seem already to be invested in this stuff (inc the BBC’s, though I would find it hard to weep for them).

    Tuilp Mania ain’t innit

  38. Wow, it’s refreshing to see more and more people speaking out against the AGW witchhunt. The CRU whistle blower deserves our thanks.

    The situation today appears to be that the world has experienced a relatively tiny degree of warming since the end of the Little Ice Age – hardly surprising.

    Moreover, the past ten years suggest that the world might be cooling (after all, the dominant trend in the past several hundreds of millions of years has been glaciation, not warming).

    While there is more evidence that the ‘warmists’ have exaggerated or fabricated their ‘evidence’ for AGW, the same evidence seems to prove that mankind’s CO2 makes very little or no difference to the climate. So when are economists going to become brave enough to call for an end to carbon taxes?

    Check out the facts at: http://wattsupwiththat.com

    (PS: Of course we still need to take action against pollution, but soot and dirt, for example, are not essential to plant life, as CO2 is.)

  39. @Sam
    “I for one object strongly to my taxes being used to produce endless hyperbolically alarmist propaganda, of which the sole aim is to levy yet more taxes.”

    I understand your attitude.

    I can assure that there are more skeletons in the IPCC closet, but even now I have difficulty getting them out — the more subtle forms of manipulation and misrepresentation by the IPCC are too much for the average newspaper.

    I was on the radio yesterday with a former IPCC official who simply denied that Ch1 WG2 AR4 referred to a climbing magazine and a master thesis.

  40. @Toby

    Well, as Oscar Wilde put it ‘There is only one thing worse than being talked about – and that is not being talked about at all’ – (-;

    Climate science is inter-disciplinary. I resist bunker-mentalities wherever I find them ………

  41. I had not realised that Jonathon Leake was one of the the chief hobbyhorse-riders on the Himalayan glaciers farrago. See Leake’s latest screed attacked here (“Leakegate”).

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/leakegate_scandal_grows.php

    The true story of the glaciers is recounted here:

    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2010/02/anatomy-of-ipccs-himalayan-glacier-year-2035-mess/

    “…It may not appear obvious to some that “very likely” and “likelihood … is very high” have such different meanings, but this is a detail of IPCC procedure missed by both Elizabeth Rosenthal of The New York Times and Jonathan Leake and Chris Hastings of the Sunday Times….. ”

    Now that Michael Mann (the man behind the “tricks”) has been cleared of the main charges against him in the so-called “Climategate scandal”, I presume Richard will be reconsidering this latest post.

    http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/2010/02/in_the_wake_of_climategate_fin.php

  42. @Richard

    “You should not believe everything you read on a blog.”

    In the end, it is up to me what I believe or not, based on the evidence, and I am afraid Richard Tol & his merry band (Pielke, von Storch) have been rather exposed as a small, disgruntled outgroup of climate science. At some point in the last few years, these gentlemen lost whatever influence they once had in the field.

    Since the only audience where they now command approval is composed of denialists (see the posts above), then their appeal will be to the biases of the denialist camp (climatologists are religious freaks who worship Gaia, the IPCC is faking it, Pachauri is a crook, “Climategate” is the biggest thing since 9/11.. etc.). At the same time, they profess to accept climate change and Anthropogenic Global Warming, but whisper it only, at risk of losing face with the Wall Street Journal.

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