Het boek is een vernietigende ontmaskering van het IPCC, het Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
- IPCC stelt de relatie tussen malaria en klimaatopwarming bewust verkeerd voor:
For example, the Climate Bible said malaria-transmitting mosquitoes usually don't survive in areas where winter temperatures drop below 16°C (60°F). Reiter says that's nonsense. We now associate malaria with tropical locales, but poverty and an absence of health care are important factors. Hawaii, Aruba, and Barbados are all tropical, but malaria isn't a problem there. On the other hand, in the 1800s thousands died of malaria in North America and Europe - even in Siberia.
- Idem dito met het niveau van de zeespiegel:
It's the same story with sea levels. The former president of a Commission on Sea Level Change, Nils-Axel Mörner, also addressed the House of Lords committee. Mörner, who has 40 years experience in his field, called attention to the disparity between what genuine sea level specialists think and what those who write IPCC reports believe. Those in the second group, he says, lack hands-on expertise. Instead, they attempt to predict the future via mathematical formulas that have been fed into computers (computer modeling). Mörner told the House of Lords that, between 1999 and 2003, genuine sea level experts held five international meetings to discuss the available real-world evidence. They concluded that sea levels are unlikely to increase by more than 10 cm (4 inches) by the year 2100. Mörner says the claim that sea levels are rising quickly - or that entire island nations are in imminent danger of drowning - are simply not true.
- Het IPCC bestaat uit wetenschappelijk onervaren "onderzoekers":
One group consists of graduate students. Typically these are individuals in their twenties. Their experience of the world is neither broad nor deep. If they were merely performing administrative tasks that would be one thing. But the IPCC has long relied on their expert judgment. Richard Klein, now a Dutch geography professor, is a classic example. In 1992 Klein turned 23, completed a Masters degree, and worked as a Greenpeace campaigner. Two years later, at the tender age of 25, he found himself serving as an IPCC lead author. (The IPCC has three classes of writers. Coordinating lead authors are in charge of an entire chapter and are therefore the most senior in rank. Each chapter usually has two. Lead authors are expected to write a significant amount of text. Their numbers vary from a handful to several dozen. Contributing authors provide supplemental knowledge. They typically don't participate in the meetings attended by the other two kinds of authors, but are asked to write briefly about a narrow, specific topic. A chapter may have no contributing authors or as many as 20 of them.) Klein's online biography tells us that, since 1994, he has been a lead author for six IPCC reports. On three of those occasions, beginning in 1997, he served as a coordinating lead author. This means that Klein was promoted to the IPCC's most senior author role at age 28 - six years prior to the 2003 completion of his PhD. Neither his youth nor his thin academic credentials prevented the IPCC from regarding him as one of the world's top experts. Nor is he an isolated case. Laurens Bouwer is currently employed by an environmental studies institute at the VU University Amsterdam. In 1999-2000, he served as an IPCC lead author before earning his Masters in 2001. How can a young man without even a Masters degree become an IPCC lead author? Good question. Nor is it the only one. Bouwer's expertise is in climate change and water resources. Yet the chapter for which he first served as a lead author was titled Insurance and Other Financial Services. It turns out that, during part of 2000, Bouwer was a trainee at Munich Reinsurance Company. This means the IPCC chose as a lead author someone who a) was a trainee, b) lacked a Masters degree, and c) was still a full decade away from receiving his 2010 PhD. Who else falls into this category? Step forward Lisa Alexander. As recently as 2008, this woman was a research assistant at Australia's Monash University. After earning her PhD in 2009, she was hired by another Aussie university - which noted in its announcement that she had already "played a key role" in both the 2001 and 2007 editions of the Climate Bible. (She was a contributing author the first time, and a lead author the second.) The IPCC selected its 2001 authors during 1999. This means its leadership decided that Alexander was a world-class expert 10 years before she, too, had earned her doctorate. Sari Kovats, currently a lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is an even more egregious example. She didn't earn her PhD until 2010. Yet back in 1994 - 16 years prior to that event and three years before her first academic paper was published - Kovats was one of only 21 people in the entire world selected to work on the first IPCC chapter that examined how climate change might affect human health. In total, Kovats has been an IPCC lead author twice and a contributing author once - all long before she'd completed her PhD. One of Kovats' health chapter colleagues was an American named Jonathan Patz. He earned a Masters degree in Public Health in 1992 and had his first academic paper published in late 1995. Yet in 1994 the IPCC judged his credentials so impressive he was appointed one of its lead authors. Given the involvement of both Kovats and Patz, Paul Reiter's description of the IPCC's 1995 health chapter as amateurish starts to make sense. Rather than recruiting real experts like Reiter the IPCC enlisted young, inexperienced, non-experts instead. It has been doing so since the mid-1990s. Yet in 2011 newspapers still report that the IPCC is a collection of "the world's leading scientists."
- De selectie van het wetenschappelijk personeel zijn op veel zaken gebaseerd die niets met klimaatverandering te maken hebben:
The collected answers to the questionnaire total 678 pages. As early as page 16, someone complains that: "some of the lead authors...are clearly not qualified to be lead authors." Here are other direct quotes: There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter...we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent. (p. 138) The whole process...[is] flawed by an excessive concern for geographical balance. All decisions are political before being scientific. (p. 554) half of the authors are there for simply representing different parts of the world. (p. 296)
The questionnaire did not contain the word gender. Nevertheless, it is uttered dozens of times in the answers people provided. While some feel the IPCC should not aim for gender balance, others applaud the use of this selection criteria. Among those with firsthand IPCC experience, therefore, it is an open secret that some people are appointed for reasons that have little to do with world-class scientific expertise. Depending on whose opinion you believe, this is true in either a small minority of cases or with regard to as many as half of the authors. In the view of at least one person, every IPCC personnel decision is influenced by concerns unrelated to science.
- Het wetenschappelijk personeel komen vaak uit de hoek van de milieubeweging, of hebben er nauwe banden mee. Dat is inclusief het hoofd van het IPCC, Rajenda Pachauri:
The improper relationship between activists and the IPCC is illustrated by a 2007 Greenpeace publication. The foreword to that document was written by none other than Rajendra Pachauri. At the end of his remarks, beside his photograph, he is identified not as a private individual expressing private opinions but as the chairman of the IPCC. The following year Pachauri wrote another foreword for another Greenpeace publication. Think about this for a moment. The IPCC's role is similar to that of a trial judge. It examines the scientific evidence and decides whether or not human-produced carbon dioxide is guilty of triggering climate change. How much faith would you have in the impartiality of a murder trial if the judge was hearing evidence during the day and partying with the prosecution team during the evening? As has been mentioned above, the fact that Richard Klein worked as a Greenpeace campaigner at age 23 was no impediment to the IPCC appointing him a lead author at age 25. But that's just the beginning. Bill Hare has been a Greenpeace spokesperson since 1992 and served as its 'chief climate negotiator' in 2007. A Greenpeace blog post describes him as a legend in that organization. Yet none of this has prevented him from filling senior IPCC roles. When the 2007 edition of the Climate Bible was released, we learned that Hare had served as a lead author, that he'd been an expert reviewer for two out of three sections of the report, and that he was one of only 40 people on the "core writing team" for the overall, big-picture summary known as the Synthesis Report.
In 2009 an activist think tank observed that both Hare and a person named Malte have "long been key members of the Greenpeace International climate team." Malte's surname is Meinshausen. In 2001 he and Hare coauthored an analysis of the Kyoto Protocol. During 2002 and 2003 he was a Greenpeace spokesperson. [footnote 6-1] But these facts didn't prevent him from being recruited as a contributing author to not one, not two, but three chapters of the 2007 Climate Bible. Like the graduate students discussed above, Meinshausen's participation demonstrates that many IPCC authors are hardly elder scholars. He only received his doctorate in 2005.
Speaking of the WWF, its website includes a formal photograph of 20 of the IPCC's most senior personnel. In the second row there's a gentleman named Richard Moss, who has been involved with the IPCC for nearly 20 years. During part of that time he was employed by the WWF as one of its vice-presidents. Similarly, Jennifer Morgan spent several years as the WWF's chief spokesperson on climate change. She led its global climate change program and headed its delegation to the Kyoto Protocol negotiations. Prior to that, she worked for the Climate Action Network. Currently she is director of a climate program for the World Resources Institute.
In other words, Morgan is not one of the world finest scientific minds. She is a professional activist. Yet in June 2010 the IPCC appointed her to work on a report it describes as objective, rigorous, and balanced. Michael Oppenheimer is also worth a mention. When the public hears the term 'scientist' we think of someone who is above the fray - who's disinterested and dispassionate and who goes wherever the scientific results happen to lead. This implied neutrality is what gives scientists their authority. But in the 1970s a new kind of scientist began to emerge - the activist scientist. Nowadays these people occupy impressive positions at universities. They are often employed by respectable government bodies. All of that disguises the fact that they hold activist worldviews and that those views can influence their scientific judgment.
Prior to these appointments, however, Oppenheimer spent more than two decades as the chief scientist for the activist Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). That organization is so wealthy its list of staff experts includes more than 100 names. Among them are seven attorneys, eight economists, and a vice-president of corporate sponsorships.
- Klimaatverandering is big business:
Although we are familiar with the idea that big business exerts an influence on public debates, most of us have overlooked the fact that there's also such a thing as big green. Groups like the EDF lobby ferociously to advance their particular perspective. They also hire people who provide their activist agenda with a veneer of scientific respectability. Even now, Oppenheimer continues to advise the EDF. This means that his professional life has been spent in an activist milieu. The IPCC doesn't think that matters. His online biography says Oppenheimer has been "a long-time participant." He was a lead author for the 2007 edition of the Climate Bible, is serving as an even more senior author for the upcoming edition, and also helped the IPCC write a special report on "climate extremes and disasters." Perhaps one of the reasons the IPCC doesn't view Oppenheimer as irredeemably contaminated is because the scientific profession itself appears to have lost its bearings on such matters.
- Het gebruik van computermodellen leidt tot "groupthink":
In other words, climate modelers spend their professional lives in a virtual world rather than in the real one. If an engineer's bridge is faulty, it doesn't matter how highly his fellow engineers praise its design, harsh reality will make its shortcomings evident to everyone. Since climate modelers are insulated from real world checks-andbalances (there's no way to verify their long term predictions in the short term), the only thing that seems to matter are the opinions of other modelers. This is a recipe for tunnel-vision. It is groupthink waiting to happen.
- Meer over het krakkemikkige en bevooroordeelde selectieproces:
But there's the party line and then there are the experiences of real people. The person whose remarks begin on page three of the collected questionnaire answers is not an IPCC novice. He or she has been a contributing author, a lead author, and even a coordinating lead author. Yet, when asked to comment on how the IPCC selects its lead authors, this person says: "I'm not clear how this actually happens..."
In fact, Climate Bible authors are chosen via a secretive process. First, the IPCC receives nominations from governments - but it declines to make public the names of these nominees. Second, the IPCC fails to explain what selection criteria it uses. Third, when it announces who has been chosen, the only piece of information it feels obliged to provide is the name of the country the author represents. [footnote 8-1] In what other context, when a hiring announcement is made, is a person's nationality announced yet no mention is made of their specific credentials?
- Het "peer-review" process loopt verschrikkelijk mank:
But as we have discovered, the IPCC takes research findings at face value. It doesn't double-check that the raw data actually shows what a researcher claims it does. It feels no need to look under the hood - and discourages its expert reviewers from doing so. Holdren and Rood are therefore mistaken. The IPCC does not scrutinize the facts on which it relies. It performs no vetting whatsoever - never mind the sort that could be described as excruciatingly detailed. When IPCC insiders were asked for their thoughts about quality assurance, their questionnaire answers confirmed this. Here are some of their verbatim remarks: As far as I can tell, there is no data quality assurance associated with what the IPCC is doing… (p. 99) Since the IPCC is a review body, it does not do data assurance or quality control in a systematic fashion. (p. 52) Quality assurance and error identification is not existent… (p. 384) Data quality assurance, per se, is beyond the scope of the work of the IPCC… (p. 203) Many of these individuals said the IPCC should not be held responsible for the accuracy of statements that appear in research papers it cites since "that is an issue for the journals concerned." In the words of someone else, "it is expected that a paper published in an important journal" has already received a quality assurance check.
Other IPCC insiders, however, recognize the shortcomings of this approach. There are thousands of journals out there, but no accreditation process to ensure their quality. How smart is it, therefore, to blindly assume that a published paper is an accurate paper? As one person observed, some research merely makes an interesting contribution to the 'intellectual conversation' (p. 332). That standard is surely far too low to justify an IPCC conclusion.
What this all adds up to is that the only time research findings can be considered valid is if someone else, working entirely independently, follows the same procedures as those described in the paper and arrives at the same result. There used to be perfect clarity in the scientific community that unless a piece of research had passed that kind of test, it should be viewed with caution. Based on McIntyre's experience with the two unpublished papers discussed above, it appears the IPCC now regards research as reliable long before it has even appeared in print.
Peer-reviewers don't get within a mile of climate modeling supercomputers and their software. Which means they have no realistic way of evaluating entire categories of research papers that are central to the IPCC's analysis. All a peer-reviewer can do is assess the advertising - the portions of the story the climate modeler chooses to discuss in his or her paper. Phil Jones, one of the world's most prominent climatologists, has published in the most prestigious journals. When he testified before a UK parliamentary committee early in 2010, he was asked how often peer reviewers had sought to examine his raw data and computer codes. "They've never asked," he replied.
While we're on the subject of quality assurance, IPCC insiders who answered the questionnaire identified another weak link. A great deal of climate research involves huge collections of data - such as temperature records from thousands of locations stretching back scores of years. But the accuracy of these numbers has never been verified by independent personnel. As one IPCC insider observed, academic journals may consider unverified data good enough - but quality control mechanisms surely need to be in place before the IPCC relies on such data to make real-world decisions. [footnote 9-3] Let us return to that quote from presidential advisor John Holdren. He says the IPCC's conclusions are the result of the most thorough formal review of a scientific topic ever conducted. How can this be the case when the IPCC hasn't bothered to verify the temperature data on which so much of climate science rests? Would an auditor approve a company's financial statements before confirming the accuracy of the underlying numbers?
In other words, peer review has become both a shield (behind which the IPCC hides) and a sword (with which it skewers dissenting voices). Anyone who attempts to challenge IPCC findings is told to go read the peerreviewed literature. Moreover, unless a criticism has been published in a peer-reviewed journal IPCC-affiliated scientists consider it beneath their notice. In 2003 climatologist Michael Mann was asked to respond to concerns expressed in an article written by a former US Defense and Energy Secretary and published in a major newspaper. Much like Chairman Pachauri - who said that research that hadn't appeared in a journal was fit only for the dustbin - Mann haughtily replied: "I am not familiar with any peer-reviewed work that he has submitted to the scientific literature."
Six days after we released our results, an article authored by Pachauri appeared in a Yale University online publication. It claimed the 2007 edition of the Climate Bible "cited approximately 18,000 peer-reviewed publications." We found less than 13,000. It further said that "a limited amount of gray (or non-peer-reviewed) literature" had been cited "in cases where peer-reviewed literature was unavailable." Actually, this occurred 5,587 times.
- Hoe het IPCC ander onderzoek misbruikt in hun eigen voordeel: the Stern Review:
An excellent example is the way the Stern Review was handled by the IPCC. This 700-page report was written by a team of UK government economists led by Nicholas Stern. In early 2007, just prior to the release of the second installment of what was then the IPCC's brand new Climate Bible, chairman Pachauri was interviewed by a reporter from the Bloomberg news service. When asked whether the Climate Bible had relied on the Stern Review, Pachauri said that although his organization was aware of it, the IPCC's ability to make use of this document was limited because it wasn't peer-reviewed. Imagine my surprise therefore when, during the Citizen Audit, I discovered that the IPCC had, in fact, cited the Stern Review all over the place. Not once or twice. And not in a chapter or two. We're talking at least 26 times across 12 chapters. Since Pachauri had told Bloomberg that relying on this report would be improper why did the IPCC cite it so frequently - sometimes twice and, in one instance, five times on a single page? I mean, how much more heavily could the IPCC have leaned on the Stern Review had it been fully peer-reviewed? When the IPCC declared that three-quarters of a billion people in India and China depend on glaciers for their water supply, is it not strange that its only source for this claim was the Stern Review?
None of those references to the Stern Review were part of any draft the IPCC showed the 2,500 expert reviewers about whom Pachauri frequently boasts. They were quietly inserted into the Climate Bible afterward. This raises some troubling questions: Why bother with expert reviewers if, after they're out of the picture, you going to add new material to 12 different chapters? If IPCC procedures are so airtight, if the people in charge of the IPCC have such integrity, how could this possibly have happened? How do we know that similar insertions of other new material didn't also take place? It would appear that the relationship the IPCC has with its expert reviewers borders on the abusive. First it asks these people to volunteer their time in good faith. Then it gives its authors the right to dismiss their input with nothing more than a single word: rejected.
- Vaak worden papers geciteerd die nog niet eens gepubliceerd zijn:
The story's even worse in Chapter 11. In that instance, 17 papers cited by the IPCC didn't make their public debut until 2007. This means that conclusions in the hard science section of the Climate Bible are based on dozens of papers that were so recent they couldn't even have been described as hot-off-the-press. These papers remained entirely unknown to the larger scientific community at the time the IPCC chose to accept their findings.
- Het IPCC overdrijft bewust, in tegenstelling tot de bewering van de milieuactivisten dat het IPCC te conservatief zou zijn:
Environmental activists frequently complain that the Climate Bible is too conservative because it provides no support for some of the more extreme predictions made by people such as Al Gore. But let us have perfect clarity on this point: An organization that is prepared to base its conclusions on dozens of as-yet-unpublished research papers is not conservative.
- Nog meer onregelmatigheden:
As usual, the more one probes the more irregularities one finds. According to an IPCC insider who answered the online questionnaire, scientists who want to include specific information in the Climate Bible aren't above manufacturing journal articles for that very purpose. In this person's words: Governments want the chapter to cover questions of current relevance for which there [is] often "grey literature" but little peer reviewed literature…An approach that has been used in such cases is that lead authors try to have material published in peer reviewed journals while they are drafting the IPCC chapter so that the published or in press article can be cited in the final draft of the IPCC chapter. [bold added, p. 68] This is called cheating. And apparently it's an open secret that such things go on. Which means a lot of people know that the IPCC is not, in fact, conducting a neutral and objective assessment of already-available scientific literature. Instead, the system is being gamed at multiple levels and from multiple angles. The above revelation sheds light on a curious discovery I made months prior to the questionnaire answers becoming public. It turns out that one particular issue of the journal Climatic Change was relied on to an implausible degree by the 2007 Climate Bible. When the IPCC cites 16 of 21 papers published between the covers of one particular issue of one particular scientific journal, it begins to look as though that issue was tailor-made for the convenience of the IPCC. This, of course, would be a complete inversion of how things are supposed to work. Academic journals are supposed to be independent actors. They're supposed to receive random submissions of research papers that are then dispassionately examined by peer reviewers and published (or not) based on their individual merits. But a problem surely arises when journals are run by IPCC insiders themselves. I've never seen anyone discuss this matter, but the implications here are profound. For example, until his death in 2010, Climatic Change was led by its founding editor, Stephen Schneider. The fact that Schneider, a senior figure at the IPCC, was routinely deciding what would - and would not - make it into the same scientific literature the IPCC would later cite as evidence doesn't appear to have caused anyone concern.
Have I mentioned who took over the management of Climatic Change following Schneider's demise? It is now led by two co-editors. One of them is Michael Oppenheimer, the activist scientist discussed above. He's the gent who spent more than two decades employed by the Environmental Defense Fund. At the same time that he's passing judgment on which research papers deserve to gain the 'peer-reviewed literature' stamp-of-approval Oppenheimer is also serving as an IPCC coordinating lead author. Climatic Change's other editor is Gary Yohe. He, too, is currently an IPCC coordinating lead author. When considering the degree to which Yohe's judgment should be trusted readers may wish to consider the fact that his name appeared first under the web-published OpenLetterFromScientists discussed earlier. That open letter praised the IPCC for its "excellent performance" and characterized criticism of this organization as "invented hyperbole."
- Het UN klimaatcircus:
Calling the UN climate talks a circus sounds unkind, but it's actually an apt description. Thousands of those who attend these multi-day events are professional activists. They're employed by groups such as Greenpeace, the WWF, Friends of the Earth, the David Suzuki Foundation, and so forth. These groups are granted official observer status by the UN. Their goal, it appears, is to create the impression that there's widespread public support for drastic emissions cuts. But activists are not elected by - or accountable to - anyone. They claim to speak for 'civil society' but are in fact advancing a political philosophy decidedly to the left of center. If a large segment of the public supported that philosophy the Green Party would be a serious political force. The fact that it remains a minority player in most affluent countries tells us its vision isn't one the average person finds appealing.
- Een geheime agenda?
The UNFCCC has spent the past 20 years demanding that we all curb our emissions. In 2007 its director, Yvo de Boer, declared that failing to do so would be "nothing less than criminally irresponsible." This is a situation in which political operators (UN bureaucrats) pursuing a political goal (a greenhouse gas treaty) have recruited scientists to help them achieve their objective. There might not be anything wrong with that if everyone was upfront and honest about these facts. Instead, we're constantly told that science says we have to do something about emissions. But that isn't the order in which things actually happened. The first, shortest, and most quickly written edition of the Climate Bible appeared in 1990. Its findings were tentative. Yet by June 1992, aided by environmental activists, the UN had successfully convinced a majority of the world's governments to sign a framework document that declared greenhouse gases to be arch villains. The fourth edition of the Climate Bible, which contains the strongest (yet still speculative and qualified) language, appeared 15 years later. 21 - What's a Nice Scientist Like You Doing in a Place Like This?
The answers to the online questionnaire make one thing apparent: Many participating scientists are fully aware that the IPCC is controlled by politicians and that its reports serve a larger political purpose. Which is why it's doubly distressing that, out here in the real world, people point to IPCC reports and claim that science has spoken. No, a highly politicized body - cloaking itself in the prestige and authority of science - has spoken. In November 2007, Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, addressed an IPCC meeting. The occasion was the public release of the final segment of the 2007 Climate Bible - the summary of all summaries called the Synthesis Report. "Today," he declared, "the world's scientists have spoken, clearly and with one voice."
- Spreken wetenschappers met één stem?
According to a 2008 chart produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science there are 5.8 million science and engineering researchers worldwide. No more than four thousand souls have ever been involved with the IPCC at any given time. In no sense whatsoever can the small minority of people connected to the IPCC be considered the world's scientists. As I've mentioned, the 2007 Climate Bible is 3,000 pages long. In most cases, individuals were involved with only one or two chapters out of a total of 44. Most of them would freely admit they lack the relevant expertise to make judgments about many other sections of the report. Indeed, it would be surprising if even 10% of IPCC-affiliated scientists have even read all 3,000 pages. Every IPCC scientist does not agree with every word on every page of this mammoth report. No single chapter - not even a single statement - has ever been endorsed by all the scientists affiliated with the IPCC. To suggest that these scientists are speaking with one voice is therefore misleading in the extreme.
Now, it all makes sense. The IPCC's chairman, remember, has declared that his organization's "main customer" isn't ordinary people or even the governments of the world. The IPCC's purpose is - ding, ding, ding - to support the UNFCCC climate talks. Since the UNFCCC is an emissions treaty, of course large numbers of people affiliated with the IPCC think emissions reduction is the best response. Duh.
- Een geheime agenda? (vervolg):
Four decades ago, in 1970, the first issue of The Ecologist magazine appeared in the UK. Its two-page editorial argued that when humans began farming, mining, and congregating in cities we stopped being part of the balanced natural world and instead became ecological parasites. Written by the magazine's founder, Edward Goldsmith, the editorial compared humanity to an infection and a disease that "is still spreading." Known as the 'Godfather of Green,' Goldsmith - who died in 2009 - was no easy-going hippie. Rather, his writings suggest a harsh, dogmatic patriarch who thought it was his business to micromanage the lives of other people. In 1970, Goldsmith was convinced that the 'population explosion' threatened us with extinction. He said we risked turning the Earth "into a lifeless waste," and declared that the "planet's stock of minerals and fossil fuels…is already sadly depleted" and would soon be exhausted. Sounding very much like an old fogey, he also denounced technology - warning that it would "collapse like a house of cards." According to Goldsmith, humans no longer "fulfil their correct ecological functions" and our population has grown too rapidly for society to maintain its "correct structure" (the italics here, and below, are mine). Nor can he be accused of being a fan of democracy - a system in which authority flows from ordinary people to their elected representatives and in which those representatives keep their jobs only so long as a majority of people are prepared to tolerate their policies. In the world envisioned by Goldsmith, government shouldn't answer to the people. Instead it should play the role of schoolmaster to "an ever more demanding and self-indulgent electorate." According to Goldsmith, the purpose of education isn't to teach people how to think for themselves but to brainwash them into paying less attention to "their standard of living" so they can "fulfil their correct functions as members of their families, communities and eco-system." People shouldn't live wherever they choose, but in self-contained communities that eliminate the environmental harm associated with commuting to work or traveling abroad. The Godfather of Green, in other words, belonged to a long line of authoritarian thinkers. Such people come from both the left and the right of the political spectrum - as well as from a variety of religious traditions. Goldsmith wasn't comfortable with individuals making their own choices about their own private lives. Rather, he believed a group of selfappointed experts/guardians/priests should be in charge.
But in other respects, his views are identical to Goldsmith's. Both men think humanity's survival depends on living "in harmony with nature." (How does one live in harmony with poison ivy, a drought, a sandstorm, or an earthquake?) Both believe the proper role of government is not to represent the aspirations of the public, but to redesign society, to dramatically alter people's everyday lives. According to Pachauri, a "rapid transformation of the economic system" is required. Government "must redefine cultural patterns" and major lifestyles changes must occur everywhere. Affluent countries, he says, "can't continue to consume at this level."
And then there's this beauty: We have been so drunk with this desire to produce and consume more and more whatever the cost to the environment that we're on a totally unsustainable path. I am not going to rest easy until I have articulated in every possible forum the need to bring about major structural changes in economic growth and development. That's the real issue. Climate change is just a part of it. [bold added] Pardon me? Climate change is part of what? Let's read those sentences again. According to Pachauri the real issue is bringing about major structural changes in economic growth and development. Responding to climate change is merely one aspect of a much larger plan.
Does Overpeck stick to the science, allowing the rest of us to come to our own conclusions? Nope. In 2009 he told a committee of the US Congress that two actions were necessary to avert a water crisis in the Lower Colorado River Basin. One was $200 million in new science funding to study the matter. The other was worldwide emissions cuts: ...global emissions of greenhouse gases, and especially carbon dioxide, must be reduced significantly. Reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to levels 80 percent below 1990 levels is a good target. Reality check time. That combination of dates and numbers has nothing to do with geology. It is a political goal that is promoted by political activists. [footnote 26-1] Secondly, how can this advice be considered remotely sensible? Does anyone seriously believe that browbeating billions of other human beings in other countries into radically altering the way they heat, cook, and get around is the best way to save a US river basin? Does anyone seriously believe the rest of the world will – or should – care about that basin? A more extreme example of American self-absorption is surely difficult to imagine. The extent to which Overpeck and his wife - who are both members of the University of Arizona's geosciences faculty - now talk politics in their geology courses is suggested by a May 2010 class that examined "climate misunderstandings and communication." They invited Max Boykoff, an out-of-town guest speaker, to address the course they were jointly teaching. According to a university-issued press release, Boykoff had told journalism students the previous evening that news outlets should refrain from reporting the views of climate skeptics since this contributes to "illusory, misleading and counterproductive debates" that "poorly serve the collective good."
- Orkanen en klimaatopwarming (hint: ook hier gaat IPCC in de fout):
Landsea sent an e-mail addressed jointly to Trenberth and a second colleague, Linda Mearns (who chose not to participate in the subsequent press conference, perhaps due to Landsea's concerns). Pointedly, Landsea observed that neither they - nor the three other people scheduled to participate in the press conference - had ever published a research paper on the relationship between hurricanes and climate change. The implication was clear: how could these people claim expertise in that field? Speaking as the bona fide expert, Landsea's e-mail provided a brief overview of this topic. It began with this declaration: "There are no known scientific studies that show a conclusive physical link between global warming and hurricane frequency and intensity." Despite Landsea's efforts to discourage him, Trenberth went ahead with the press conference. 2004 had been a busy hurricane season in the US and the media was happy to report that people claiming to be experts saw a global warming connection. The Reuters news story, for example, declared that the "four hurricanes that bashed Florida and the Caribbean within a five-week period over the summer...are only the beginning." The journalist seemed not to notice that the first person quoted in her story - Paul Epstein - is, in fact, a medical doctor - not someone whose professional life has been devoted to the study of hurricanes.
In January 2005 Science reported that not a single hurricane expert saw any link between hurricanes and global warming. (As I write this in mid-2011, considerable research continues to find no connection.) Although it was unlikely the world's hurricane experts would have done a 180-degree turn on this question during the time period in which the 2007 Climate Bible was being written, this did not discourage the IPCC from talking up the hurricane threat.
- En niet enkel over orkanen gaat IPCC in de fout:
His blog post described a pattern of shoddy scholarship on the part of those who argue that a link has been established between human-caused climate change and natural disasters. For example, the 2001 edition of the Climate Bible claimed that climate change was responsible for a portion of the damages caused by recent natural disasters. But it is being charitable to describe the basis of this claim as flimsy. The IPCC's supporting evidence was a non-peer-reviewed report that, says Pielke, provided little hard data, failed to describe its methodology, and came to no solid conclusions. The report was prepared by an insurance company. This is an industry that stands to benefit financially - via higher premiums - if society comes to believe that climate change will cause more disasters. Because the insurance industry is not a disinterested party, by no means should informal speculation in one of its publications be mistaken for sound science. Nevertheless, the IPCC spun straw into gold. In the eyes of its authors, inconclusive findings became persuasive evidence. It is more than a little troubling that one of the authors of the insurance report, Gerhard Berz, was also a lead author for the IPCC chapter where this occurred. Another party to that decision was Laurens Bouwer, whom we met in the early pages of this book. He was a lead author for this chapter even though he was only a trainee who had yet to complete his Masters degree.
So a dubious finding that originated in a document written by an insurance company was included in the Climate Bible in 2001. It then made its way into the peer-reviewed scientific literature in 2005. By 2009 it was being treated as gospel by a US government report. Welcome to the confidence-inspiring world of climate science.
- Malarie en opwarming, once again:
What the IPCC said about malaria in eastern Africa was what McMichael's book had said - with a few extra words inserted. Rather than surveying the large body of work on malaria written by experts who have devotedtheir lives to the careful study of this disease, this IPCC chapter parroted McMichael's polemical views. That was problem number one. Problem number two is that the paragraph that appeared in the Climate Bible contains errors. For example, Nairobi is 1,660 meters above sea level - well short of the IPCC's implied 2,500+ meters. Contrary to the IPCC's suggestion that malaria would be new to Nairobi due to climate change, that city (which began as a swamp) was plagued by this disease from the time of its founding at the turn of the century until the 1950s. [footnote 29-3] Harare, in Zimbabwe, is only 1,500 meters above sea level - a full 1,000 meters lower than what the Climate Bible implies. As Reiter pointed out in his 2005 testimony to the British House of Lords, the IPCC had already decided, back in 1995, that climate change could be blamed for the spread of malaria. But the sole piece of evidence for this assertion was an article written by people who weren't experts that was published in a general interest, popular science magazine. That's right, folks - a single, non-peerreviewed magazine article was all the proof the IPCC needed.
- Klimaatopwarming en het uitsterven van diersoorten. Ja hoor:
In the opinion of these authors, the Thomas paper "may have greatly overestimated the probability of extinction." Declaring that the past sheds important light on the threat climate change may pose in the future, they noted that: …the fossil record indicates that, in most regions, surprisingly few species went extinct during the [last 2.5 million years] - in North America, for example, only one tree species is known to have gone extinct… Serious problems need to be overcome, they said, before "too much weight can be placed" on the methods used in the Thomas paper. In other words, Botkin and his co-authors made it clear this is not top-notch research. So once again, a paper on which the IPCC chose to rest its case is highly problematic. By the time the 2007 Climate Bible was released the Thomas paper had already been thoroughly demolished. In fairness, at the time the IPCC report was being written, its authors may have been genuinely unaware of the Dormann and Botkin responses since they were still in the works. But they would have known about the three critiques published by Nature. And, as I've mentioned, the Lewis piece was accepted for publication in July 2005 - well prior to Pachauri's completed-before-January-2006 cutoff.
- Innige relaties tussen IPCC en WWF:
On this list are 23 coordinating lead authors - those the IPCC placed in charge of an entire chapter. It also includes Osvaldo Canziani. Having served as Working Group 2 co-chair for both the 2001 and 2007 reports, he is one of the IPCC's most senior officials. After a few days of searching, cross-checking, and tabulating here are my findings with respect to the IPCC's 2007 report: 28 out of 44 chapters (two-thirds) included at least one individual affiliated with the WWF 100% of the chapters in Working Group 2 – all 20 of them - included at least 1 WWF-affiliated scientist 15 out of 44 chapters (one-third) were led by WWF-affiliated scientists – their coordinating lead authors belong to the panel in three instances, chapters were led by two WWF-affiliated coordinating lead authors
- Het hocky stick fiasco:
The lead author for the pair of papers that produced the hockey stick graph was an American geophysicist named Michael Mann. He received his PhD in 1998 and in April of that year his first hockey stick paper was published by Nature. The second appeared in a different journal the following March. In what is now a familiar refrain, the fact that Mann had only just acquired his PhD was no barrier to the IPCC recruiting him, in the late 1990s, to be one of its lead authors. In the blink of an eye Mann was transformed into one of the world's top experts. Equally disturbing is that the IPCC assigned him to help write the very chapter of the Climate Bible that subsequently decided his graph was superior to all other temperature reconstructions. In the 2007 version of the Climate Bible the IPCC discreetly backed away from the hockey stick graph. But it hasn't issued a correction. Nor has it explained or defended the underlying calculations on which the graph is based. Is this really how people who think our climate is on the verge of a dangerous tipping point would behave?
- Hoe indrukwekkend zijn de cijfers ook al weer?
The Climate Bible is, indeed, written by hundreds of people. If 30 individuals, say, are connected to each chapter and there are 44 chapters, that adds up to 1,300 authors - give or take since, as we've seen, those who belong to the Insiders' Club frequently participate in more than one chapter. The IPCC says that, additionally, there were 2,500 expert reviewers involved with the 2007 Climate Bible, spread across three Working Groups. That number is impressive but it's also an exaggeration. Since IPCC authors often also serve as expert reviewers many of them were counted twice.
- Nog meer twijfels over het review process:
Without a doubt, the IPCC's more relaxed review process undermines the quality of its reports. We've encountered at least five examples of this: First, we saw how the IPCC discourages its expert reviewers from looking too closely at the underlying data on which research papers rely. By attempting to examine this sort of data Steve McIntyre attracted the ire of a senior IPCC official who threatened to strike him from the reviewers list. Second, despite objections from an expert reviewer, we discovered that the 2007 Climate Bible relied on press releases as a source of information. Third, although the IPCC laudably heeded criticism expressed by expert reviewers about a damages-from-natural-disasters graph, its response was to substitute a new, mystery graph that was arguably even worse. At a journal, after the new graph had been produced, the editor would have shown it to the reviewers. At the IPCC, once the two rounds of review have been completed, that's it. Changes made by IPCC authors after that point receive no oversight. Which brings us to the fourth example - the fact that 26 references to the Stern Review were added to 12 different IPCC chapters after the work of the expert reviewers had already been completed. IPCC expert reviewers were blissfully unaware of the 26 ways the Stern Review was being used to support arguments in the Climate Bible and so could not have objected.
The fifth example is from the This is Called Cheating chapter. It concerns the May 2007 issue of Climatic Change that contains 16 papers cited by the Climate Bible as evidence. Only one of these had been accepted for publication early enough that expert reviewers would have been able to examine it. Since they had no knowledge of the others, it cannot be said that the use of those papers had the blessing of the IPCC's expert reviewers. But there is another spectacular demonstration of the IPCC's lax review process in action. In early 2010 it attracted rather a lot of media attention. On January 17, the Times of London ran a story under the headline World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown. It said the 2007 Climate Bible had claimed that Himalayan glaciers could vanish by 2035 as a result of climate change. The IPCC had cited a single source of evidence for this prediction - a document prepared by the World Wildlife Fund. In turn, the WWF had cited a magazine - the New Scientist. The magazine, for its part, said its information came from an interview with a single glacier expert, Syed Iqbal Hasnain. According to the Times, Hasnain was "a little-known Indian scientist" who had since admitted he'd pulled the number out of the air. It wasn't, he conceded, based on any formal research. Other glacier experts, the newspaper reported, considered the 2035 estimate "inherently ludicrous." The director of a polar research institute was quoted as saying a complete meltdown within 25 years was "unrealistically high." Canadian geography professor, Graham Cogley, who'd "long been unhappy with the IPCC's finding" was credited with helping to bring the mistake to the world's attention.
(Incidentally, a mere six weeks earlier America's Time magazine had built an entire feature article around Hasnain. He was quoted on that occasion in full political-activist mode, declaring: "The debate is over. We know the science. We see the threat. The time for action is now.") The newspaper further reported that one of the leaders of the IPCC chapter that contained the Himalayan glacier error had been contacted. His name wasMurari Lal and it so happens he served in three other capacities for the 2007 Climate Bible. The paragraph about him in the Times is important for what it says about how the IPCC operates: Lal himself admits he knows little about glaciers. "I am not an expert on glaciers and I have not visited the region so I have to rely on credible published research. The comments in the WWF report were made by a respected Indian scientist and it was reasonable to assume he knew what he was talking about," he said. Comments appearing in an activist publication were assumed to be correct. That's all these IPCC authors required.
- Wetenschappelijke gemeenschap is op de hoogte van de "tekortkomingen" van het IPCC:
After the InterAcademy Council's report was released in August 2010, I wrote a blog post in which I described that moment as a turning point. The committee hadn't addressed every concern about the IPCC, but it had accomplished one task admirably: it had knocked the IPCC off its pedestal. At last, science academies were beginning to act like grownups in relation to this delinquent child. The committee's report blows smoking holes through just about everything chairman Rajendra Pachauri has told us about his organization. Transparency, it said, is not one of the IPCC's strengths. Although procedures were in place regarding the flagging of non-peerreviewed literature, in droll understatement the committee said it was "clear that these procedures are not always followed." Observing that the IPCC frequently claims to have high confidence in "statements for which there is little evidence," the committee blamed this partly on the fact that still other IPCC procedures aren't adhered to. It therefore found itself in the awkward position of advocating additional policies while at the same time acknowledging that the ones already in existence aren't being enforced.
As for the chairman himself, the committee suggested ever-so-diplomatically that Pachauri should step down. No one, it said, should serve more than a single term. A "12-year appointment (two terms) is too long for a field as dynamic and contested as climate change." Having assumed the helm of the IPCC in 2002, Pachauri is well into his second term. Overall, the committee found "significant shortcomings in each major step of IPCC's assessment process." Let me repeat that: The first time an independent group of people took a close look at the way the IPCC conducts its affairs, those people concluded that each step in the IPCC assessment process suffers from significant shortcomings.
- Wordt klimaatopwarming werkelijk veroorzaakt door de mens?
Large numbers of people believe human-generated carbon dioxide is interfering with our climate. But the truth of the matter is far from clear. When irregularities occur in a criminal trial we all recognize that it's impossible to declare the accused guilty - or innocent. A new hearing must be convened, and it's vitally important that almost everyone who participated in the previous trial be excluded. The case must be examined anew - with a brand new judge, a brand new jury, and a brand new prosecutor. This fresh, untainted group of people must start from scratch. The IPCC is currently working on its fifth edition of the Climate Bible. Commonly referred to as AR5 (which stands for Assessment Report #5), it is not being written by a fresh set of faces. Quite the opposite. Pachauri, who authors forewords for Greenpeace publications, is still in charge. This fact, in itself, delivers a fatal blow to AR5's credibility. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg - whose ties to Greenpeace extend back 17 years - is now leading a chapter. So is Michael Oppenheimer, who worked for the Environmental Defense Fund for more than two decades. Greenpeace 'legend' Bill Hare is serving as a lead author. Richard Moss, the former World Wildlife Fund vice-president, and Jennifer Morgan, the former WWF chief spokesperson, are both involved. Andreas Fischlin and Guy Midgley, the two WWF-linked individuals who led the species extinction chapter are participating. So are Rik Leemans and Lesley Hughes, two more WWF-linked individuals from that chapter. Sari Kovats, who only earned her PhD last year, is leading a chapter. As is Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen - who cited 10 research papers that hadn't even been accepted by a journal when he led an IPCC chapter the last time. Gabriele Hegerl, who refused outright to allow Steve McIntyre to check her data, is involved. So is Kevin Trenberth - whose hurricane pronouncements sparked Chris Landsea's resignation. Alistair Woodward is now in charge of the health chapter, despite the overtly political treatises he has authored. And let us not forget Thomas Stocker, the climate modeler who heads AR5's 'hard science' working group. Since he thinks gasoline prices should triple and that everyone should participate in the grand goal of de-carbonizing society it's clear his mind is already made up. Do we really suppose that a working group led by him is going to acquit the accused? Given the involvement of the above individuals, the findings of the upcoming Climate Bible are already discredited. The refusal of the IPCC to enforce its new conflict-of-interest policy underscores this fact. If significant concerns did not exist there'd be no reason not to apply it now. AR5 is, therefore, thoroughly compromised.
The global warming debate is a strange one. I can't think of any other topic in which people go around declaring that 'the debate is over.' Where - and when, precisely - did this bona fide debate take place? How was the winner decided? Who made that call - and on what grounds?