On June 27, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a statement saying it had “complete[d] the process of implementation of a set of recommendations issued in August 2010 by the Inter Academy Council (IAC), the group created by the world’s science academies to provide advice to international bodies.”
Hidden behind this seemingly routine update on bureaucratic processes is an astonishing and entirely unreported story. The IPCC is the world’s most prominent source of alarmist predictions and claims about man-made global warming. Its four reports (a fifth report is scheduled for release in various parts in 2013 and 2014) are cited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. and by national academies of science around the world as “proof” that the global warming of the past five or so decades was both man-made and evidence of a mounting crisis.
If the IPCC’s reports were flawed, as a many global warming “skeptics” have long claimed, then the scientific footing of the man-made global warming movement — the environmental movement’s “mother of all environmental scares” — is undermined. The Obama administration’s war on coal may be unnecessary. Billions of dollars in subsidies to solar and wind may have been wasted. Trillions of dollars of personal income may have been squandered worldwide in campaigns to “fix” a problem that didn’t really exist.
The “recommendations” issued by the IAC were not minor adjustments to a fundamentally sound scientific procedure. Here are some of the findings of the IAC’s 2010 report.
Alternative views not considered, claims not properly peer reviewed
The IAC reported that IPCC lead authors fail to give “due consideration … to properly documented alternative views” (p. 20), fail to “provide detailed written responses to the most significant review issues identified by the Review Editors” (p. 21), and are not “consider[ing] review comments carefully and document[ing] their responses” (p. 22). In plain English: the IPCC reports are not peer-reviewed.
No formal criteria for selecting IPCC authors
The IAC found that “the IPCC has no formal process or criteria for selecting authors” and “the selection criteria seemed arbitrary to many respondents” (p. 18). Government officials appoint scientists from their countries and “do not always nominate the best scientists from among those who volunteer, either because they do not know who these scientists are or because political considerations are given more weight than scientific qualifications” (p. 18). In other words: authors are selected from a “club” of scientists and nonscientists who agree with the alarmist perspective favored by politicians.
The rewriting of the Summary for Policy Makers by politicians and environmental activists — a problem called out by global warming realists for many years, but with little apparent notice by the media or policymakers — was plainly admitted, perhaps for the first time by an organization in the “mainstream” of alarmist climate change thinking. “[M]any were concerned that reinterpretations of the assessment’s findings, suggested in the final Plenary, might be politically motivated,” the IAC auditors wrote. The scientists they interviewed commonly found the Synthesis Report “too political” (p. 25).
Really? Too political? We were told by everyone — environmentalists, reporters, politicians, even celebrities — that the IPCC reports were science, not politics. Now we are told that even the scientists involved in writing the reports — remember, they are all true believers in man-made global warming themselves — felt the summaries were “too political.”
Here is how the IAC described how the IPCC arrives at the “consensus of scientists”:
Plenary sessions to approve a Summary for Policy Makers last for several days and commonly end with an all-night meeting. Thus, the individuals with the most endurance or the countries that have large delegations can end up having the most influence on the report (p. 25).
How can such a process possibly be said to capture or represent the “true consensus of scientists”?
Phony estimates of certainty
Another problem documented by the IAC is the use of phony “confidence intervals” and estimates of “certainty” in the Summary for Policy Makers (pp. 27-34). Those of us who study the IPCC reports knew this was make-believe when we first saw it in 2007. Work by J. Scott Armstrong on the science of forecasting makes it clear that scientists cannot simply gather around a table and vote on how confident they are about some prediction, and then affix a number to it such as “80% confident.” Yet that is how the IPCC proceeds.
The IAC authors say it is “not an appropriate way to characterize uncertainty” (p. 34), a huge understatement. Unfortunately, the IAC authors recommend an equally fraudulent substitute, called “level of understanding scale,” which is more mush-mouth for “consensus.”
The IAC authors warn, also on page 34, that “conclusions will likely be stated so vaguely as to make them impossible to refute, and therefore statements of ‘very high confidence’ will have little substantive value.” Yes, but that doesn’t keep the media and environmental activists from citing them over and over again as “proof” that global warming is man-made and a crisis…even if that’s not really what the reports’ authors are saying.
IPCC participants had conflicts of interest
Finally, the IAC noted, “the lack of a conflict of interest and disclosure policy for IPCC leaders and Lead Authors was a concern raised by a number of individuals who were interviewed by the Committee or provided written input” as well as “the practice of scientists responsible for writing IPCC assessments reviewing their own work. The Committee did not investigate the basis of these claims, which is beyond the mandate of this review” (p. 46).
Too bad, because these are both big issues in light of recent revelations that a majority of the authors and contributors to some chapters of the IPCC reports are environmental activists, not scientists at all. That’s a structural problem with the IPCC that could dwarf the big problems already reported.
IPCC critics vindicated
So on June 27, nearly two years after these bombshells fell (without so much as a raised eyebrow by the mainstream media in the U.S. — go ahead and try Googling it), the IPCC admits that it was all true and promises to do better for its next report. Nothing to see here…keep on moving.
Well I say, hold on, there! The news release means that the IAC report was right. That, in turn, means that the first four IPCC reports were, in fact, unreliable. Not just “possibly flawed” or “could have been improved,” but likely to be wrong and even fraudulent.
It means that all of the “endorsements” of the climate consensus made by the world’s national academies of science — which invariably refer to the reports of the IPCC as their scientific basis — were based on false or unreliable data and therefore should be disregarded or revised. It means that the EPA’s “endangerment finding” — its claim that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and threat to human health — was wrong and should be overturned.
And what of the next IPCC report, due out in 2013 and 2014? The near-final drafts of that report have been circulating for months already. They were written by scientists chosen by politicians rather than on the basis of merit; many of them were reviewing their own work and were free to ignore the questions and comments of people with whom they disagree. Instead of “confidence,” we will get “level of understanding scales” that are just as meaningless.
And on this basis we should transform the world’s economy to run on breezes and sunbeams?
In 2010, we learned that much of what we thought we knew about global warming was compromised and probably false. On June 27, the culprits confessed and promised to do better. But where do we go to get our money back?
Inconvenient Questions Global Warming Alarmists Don’t Want You to Ask – February 18, 2007 – LINK
Top Scientists Say: You Are Not the Cause of Global Warming – October 22, 2007 – LINK
Global Cooling Continues; Global Warming Alarmists Still Issuing Death Threats – December 28, 2008 – LINK
UK Telegraph: 2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved – December 28, 2008 – LINK
National Climatic Data Center: Cooling in Last 10 Years – January 10, 2009 – LINK
The Debate is Over. Global Warming Alarmism is About Achieving Central Control of the Economy and Now They Admit It Openly – March 27, 2009 – LINK
Al Gore: Climate change issue can lead to world government – July 11, 2009 – LINK
EPA Tried to Suppress Global Warming Report Admitting Skeptics Correct – October 23, 2009 – LINK
New AP Article on “Global Cooling Myth” Spins a Bad Study – UPDATED: Look where they put THIS ground station… – October 27, 2009 – LINK
Professors Paid to Plagiarize – UPDATE: Global warming scientists hacked emails show manipulation of data, hiding of other data and conspiring to attack/smear global warming skeptics! – November 19, 2009 – LINK
National Association of Scholars on the “ClimateGate” Scandal – November 28, 2009 – LINK
Examples of the “Climategate” Documents – UPDATE: BBC Had the emails and files for 6 weeks, sat on story. UPDATE II – They carried out their conspiracy threat; much of the raw data from CRU destroyed! – November 28, 2009 – LINK
Scientific American thinks you are stupid: The dissection of a blatant propaganda piece for global warming alarmism. – December 6, 2009 – LINK
The Roundup: IPCC Authors Now Admitting Fault – No Warming Since 1995 – Sea Levels Not Rising. Senator Inhofe: Possible criminal misuse of taxpayer research funds. – February 23, 2010 – LINK
OOPS AGAIN: IPCC scientists screeching about the cataclysmic effects of sea-level rises forgot to consider sedimentary deposits… – April 23, 2010 – LINK
UN IPCC Co-chair: climate policy is redistributing the world’s wealth – November 18, 2010 – LINK
More Hadley Center Global Warming Horror Claims Debunked by Real Science – December 6, 2010 – LINK
ClimateGate One Year Later. Elite Media Still Lying – December 6, 2010 – LINK
More ClimateGate One Year Later – December 7, 2010 – LINK
IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT: Most global warming models are exaggerated, many scientists in it for the grant money or treat it like a religion – December 7, 2010 – LINK
How Global Warming Propaganda Works – December 8, 2010 – LINK
NASA’s global warming evidence page filled with lies, half truths and suspect data – December 10, 2010 – LINK
Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research: Halt economic growth, start government rationing. Global Warming Alarmists Party Fat in Cancun – December 21, 2010 – LINK
Global Warming Conference Delegates Sign Petitions to Ban Water and “Destabilize U.S. Economy” – February 15, 2011 – LINK
Global Warming Alarmist Quote of the Day – Former Canadian Environment Minister Christine Stewart: No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits…climate change provides the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.
AAUP Seeks to Limit Transparency Over Climate Science – September 19, 2011 – LINK