Propping up very tarnished “gold standard” of IPCC’s “plastic” climate change
January 30, 2010 2 Comments
The rapidly declining credibility of the IPCC seems to be snowballing. With few notable exceptions, until the advent of “Glaciergate“, the MSM had been remarkably hushed (perhaps hoping to hide the decline?!), while the high priests of the Church of Settled Science brazenly continue preaching greenwashed orthodoxy.
Including Canada’s Andrew Weaver (according to some sources, one of the godfathers of BC’s abominable carbon tax), whose recent epiphany regarding the high advocacy quotient of the IPCC – and rather self-serving and hypocritical defection therefrom – has not diminished his faith in the “science”.
Dr. Tim Ball observed (Jan. 29/10):
The entire BC government policy including the Carbon Tax is based on the IPCC Reports and is set out in the Climate Action Plan.
It underscores how pervasive in the economy these actions become. Weaver is quoted in the document, “What [the B.C. government has] done here is they recognize this is the right thing to do, it’s the only thing to do to address this problem and we’re not going to wait for the feds or someone to do it. We’re going to show leadership in North America and you watch, it’s going to start to have a ripple down effect and others are going to start to join up as the years go by.”
The problem is there is no problem. It only exists because of the machinations exposed in the leaked emails of the CRU and their control of the IPCC and Weaver’s computer models.
IOW, Weaver has pulled a variant of Mike Hulme’s ‘maybe we should throw the IPCC under the bus’ trick. Hulme, you may recall, was instrumental in circulating the chain E-mail which offered recipients an “invitation to influence Kyoto”. Here’s his statement (circa Nov. 28/09) on the heels of Climategate:
The key lesson to be learned is that not only must scientific knowledge about climate change be publicly owned — the I.P.C.C. does a fairly good job of this according to its own terms — but the very practices of scientific enquiry must also be publicly owned, in the sense of being open and trusted. From outside, and even to the neutral, the attitudes revealed in the emails do not look good. To those with bigger axes to grind it is just what they wanted to find.
This will blow its course soon in the conventional media without making too much difference to Copenhagen — after all, COP15 is about raw politics, not about the politics of science. But in the Internet worlds of deliberation and in the ‘mood’ of public debate about the trustworthiness of climate science, the reverberations of this episode will live on long beyond COP15. Climate scientists will have to work harder to earn the warranted trust of the public – and maybe that is no bad thing.
But this episode might signify something more in the unfolding story of climate change. This event might signal a crack that allows for processes of re-structuring scientific knowledge about climate change. It is possible that some areas of climate science has become sclerotic. It is possible that climate science has become too partisan, too centralized. The tribalism that some of the leaked emails display is something more usually associated with social organization within primitive cultures; it is not attractive when we find it at work inside science.
It is also possible that the institutional innovation that has been the I.P.C.C. has run its course. Yes, there will be an AR5 but for what purpose? The I.P.C.C. itself, through its structural tendency to politicize climate change science, has perhaps helped to foster a more authoritarian and exclusive form of knowledge production – just at a time when a globalizing and wired cosmopolitan culture is demanding of science something much more open and inclusive. [emphasis added -hro]
Hulme, it turns out is also an “evangelical Christian and member of the Church of England, [whose] theology is broadly aligned with that espoused by Fulcrum, a movement seeking to act as a point of balance within the Anglican Church”. He certainly practices what he preaches, as can be seen in this slide from Dr. Richard Lindzen’s eye-opening presentation:
There can be little doubt that, as IPCC “Lead Authors”, both Weaver and Hulme were well aware of the rules by which the climate change game has been played. Considering the timing of the book (reviews suggest that it was released circa October 2009) from which the quotes in the above slide were taken, one might almost conclude that Hulme was remarkably prescient about the aftermath of Climategate – notwithstanding the rather cosy, albeit possibly coincidental, financial ties he had with Pachauri.
It’s been interesting watching various media outlets whose “science mavens” so readily lapped up the “Copenhagen Diagnosis” [a document in which one finds that Weaver was one of the Lead Authors] press releases (even though the participating governments did not!) Take CBC’s Bob McDonald, for example. Due diligence must be a foreign concept to him, as it most definitely is to the IPCC.
There were two press releases on this Nov. 2009 “Diagnosis”. The first (Nov. 14):
“Climate change accelerating beyond expectations, urgent emissions reductions required, say leading scientists”
Followed on Dec. 15 by:
“Emissions cut of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 needed for industrial countries for 2 degree C limit”
On December 18, McDonald dutifully pumped out a post following the Pachauri party-line:
Copenhagen summit: Eyes wide shut
And that’s the crux of the problem. It’s not the amount of warming the planet is going through, it’s how quickly things are happening that is setting off alarm bells in the scientific minds.
That’s why, two years (sic) before the Copenhagen talks began, an international group of climate scientists put together the “Copenhagen Diagnosis.” The report is a warning that the changes are happening even faster than previously estimated, so action is more urgent than ever.
Too bad that the people with their eyes wide open on the planet are being shouted out by stalling tactics, conspiracy theorists and political resistance.
Then again, perhaps McDonald’s idea of due diligence included viewing the scary pictures and reading the Executive Summary which contained the following paragraph:
“Acceleration of melting of ice-sheets, glaciers and ice-caps: A wide array of satellite and ice measurements now demonstrate beyond doubt that both the Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets are losing mass at an increasing rate. Melting of glaciers and ice-caps in other parts of the world has also accelerated since 1990.”
I haven’t checked the CBC archives to see whether or not McDonald ever rooted for the notorious “hockey-stick” team (who worked so very hard to hide the decline … not to mention their data and methodology). As far as I can tell, even though the article he had used as the hook for the above rant had absolutely nothing to do with “climate change” or “global warming”, McDonald has kept his “eyes wide shut” to the developments that have unfolded ever since. He certainly seems to have missed:
From all appearances (or more to the point, I suppose, non-appearances!) he and the CBC are keeping “eyes wide shut” to the following:
U.K. Times report that John Beddington, the U.K.’s chief scientific advisor has stated:
There is fundamental uncertainty in climate change, science tsar says
The impact of global warming has been exaggerated by some scientists and there is an urgent need for more honest disclosure of the uncertainty of predictions about the rate of climate change, according to the Government’s chief scientific adviser. John Beddington was speaking to The Times in the wake of an admission by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that it grossly overstated the rate at which Himalayan glaciers were receding.
Professor Beddington said that climate scientists should be less hostile to sceptics who questioned man-made global warming. He condemned scientists who refused to publish the data underpinning their reports.
He said that public confidence in climate science would be improved if there were more openness about its uncertainties, even if that meant admitting that sceptics had been right on some hotly-disputed issues.
Here’s one that even the BBC has reported on:
China has ‘open mind’ on cause of climate change
China’s lead climate change negotiator has said he was keeping an “open attitude” as to whether global warming was man-made or due to natural cycles.
Xie Zhenhua said climate warming was a “solid fact” and that mainstream scientific opinion held it was due to emissions of gases such as CO2.
“There is one starkly different view, that the climate change or climate warming issue is caused by the cyclical element of nature itself.
“I think we need to adopt an open attitude to the scientific research.”
He said that it was important to include as many views as possible “to be more scientific and to be more consistent”.
No doubt McDonald and the CBC have also kept their “eyes wide shut” to the documented evidence of considerable number of “grey” [i.e. not peer reviewed] contributions of both the World WildLife Federation and Greenpeace that have found their way into the IPCC reports.
As for the “gold standard” …. Fox News reported (Jan. 28):
“If it is true that IPCC has indeed faked numbers regarding the Amazon, or used unsubstantiated facts, then it is the third nail in the IPCC coffin in less than three months,” Andrew Wheeler, former staff director for the U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, told FoxNews.com. “For years, we have been told that the IPCC peer review process is the gold standard in scientific review. It now appears it is more of a fool’s gold process.”
Obviously, we cannot count on the CBC – or Bob McDonald, for that matter. Thank goodness for Rex Murphy and the National Post, where he concluded an excellent article today, by noting:
The picture presented was one of pre-commitment to a point of view, of a gloomy, angry and ruthless determination to keep “outsiders” off their turf. Peer review, the very gold standard of science, was shown to be a closed circle. Journals that thought the approved way were fine: Others were to be derogated, taken off the mailing list. Science as a closed shop of the right-minded, science in alliance with activism, was the real revelation of Climategate.
More followed Climategate, as all now know, not least the monstrous claims about the Himalyan glaciers (purported to be ready to melt away in 2035!). This is why the Copenhagen Conference for all its extravagant hype and buildup simply disappeared from the press and the public mind on the instant of its conclusion. Because, via Climategate, the world caught the first real glimpse of how politicized and manipulated this “greatest issue of our time” had been allowed to become. Saw as well how the sacred impartiality of science, and the great authority of peer review, had been suborned for something as political in its way as the average day’s outing in Question Period.
No one’s really talking about the failure of Copenhagen now because the ostensible threat to humanity was shown to be shrouded in hype. Al Gore and his crew simply don’t have now what we used to call “the face” to deliver another grand and imperiously moralizing lecture to the world and its carbon-consuming innocents after the travesty revealed in Climategate and the clutter of revelations that followed it.