A few weeks ago, I (amongst others) had highlighted the words of the very respected Swedish meteorologist and climate scientist, Professor Lennart Bengtsson who had chosen to join the U.K.’s Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF):
I think the climate community shall be more critical and spend more time to understand what they are doing instead of presenting endless and often superficial results and to do this with a critical mind. I do not believe that the IPCC machinery is what is best for science in the long term. We are still in a situation where our knowledge is insufficient and climate models are not good enough. What we need is more basic research freely organized and driven by leading scientists without time pressure to deliver and only deliver when they believe the result is good and solid enough. It is not for scientists to determine what society should do. In order for society to make sensible decisions in complex issues it is essential to have input from different areas and from different individuals. The whole concept behind IPCC is basically wrong. [additional emphasis and red-lettering now added by me -hro
As I had subsequently remarked when Judith Curry had posted about Bengtsson’s decision to resign from the GWPF:
When one considers the 5th (and/or lower) rate “alliances” such as that revealed by Mann and Lewandowski last November – and the unfathomable silence of “the community” in the face thereof – compared to the totally out of proportion pressures that were obviously exerted on Bengtsson whose own views (since at least 1990) have not really changed in the intervening years is (IMHO) indicative of a huge credibility chasm (i.e. well beyond a mere gap!) in the “community”.
It also strongly suggests to me that, with sincere apologies to Shakespeare, to coin a phrase, “Something is rotten in the state of climate science”.**
But one can never really know how the pressures that have been brought to bear on an individual can affect him or her and the choices s/he might make. However, he is of a different generation and culture; so I do not fault him for the choice he has made.
** As an aside, I give myself two-stars for this coinage, a sentiment which was echoed by historian, Rupert Darwall, author of The Age of Global Warming: A History, in concluding his take via the National Review:
Another scientist gets blackballed for his skepticism about global warming.
Science regresses if it becomes intolerant of criticism. At the beginning of her reign, Queen Elizabeth I of England spoke words of tolerance in an age of religious strife, declaring that she had no intention of making windows into men’s souls. Unlike religion, science is not a matter of the heart or of belief. It exists only in what can be demonstrated. In their persecution of an aged colleague who stepped out of line and their call for scientists to be subject to a faith test, 21st-century climate scientists have shown less tolerance than a 16th-century monarch.
There is something rotten in the state of climate science.
But I digress …
Curry also concluded her subsequent thoughtful and wise reflections on the fallout from Bengtsson’s choice as follows:
There is a high degree of hypocrisy here, whereby employees of green advocacy groups can participate as authors of the IPCC reports (without apparent criticism), but a non-advocate scientist cannot participate in a (non-green) think tank without censure from scientist colleagues. Scientists should be judged for the arguments and the integrity of their behavior, and should not be censured over who they choose to talk to. Wider participation of climate scientists in substantive debates regarding climate policy is a good thing. Honest brokers are to be preferred over advocates; but the real problem arises when advocates seek to stifle scientific and policy debates. [emphasis added -hro]
With all of the above in mind, let’s step back and review – just for a moment – the “Yuck” factor. This was first articulated by none other than Peter Gleick – and subsequently wholeheartedly endorsed by none other than CRU’s “intuition” driven “Poor Phil” Jones.
Readers will no doubt recall that Gleick’s subsequent sins were greeted with (for the most part) applause from the second and third tiers and the silence of acquiescence from the “first” tier. The latter of which, one might reasonably surmise, includes the Institute of Physics (IOP) flagship publication Environmental Research Letters (ERL).
The powers that be behind this noble publication evidently have no problem with Gleick being a member of the “Executive Board” of their Editorial Board.
Yet, for some strange reason, this Editorial Board (and/or its Executive Board) chose to elevate Cook et al‘s riddled with mediocrity “97%” paper to the status of “ERL’s ‘Best article of 2013’, voted for by members of the ERL Editorial Board”. [See pdf here]
For more details on the actual sequence of events – before and after Bengtsson’s resignation from the GWPF – pls see Paul Matthews excellent summary/timeline.
But, the view from here, so to speak is …
Can you even begin to imagine what might happen to the IPCC/UNFCCC edifice (not to mention the profits of publishers such as ERL), if Bengtsson’s “red letter” claims – noted at the top of this post – were to gain further hold in the higher profile discussions in the blogosphere and elsewhere? To save you scrolling up, here they are again:
I do not believe that the IPCC machinery is what is best for science in the long term.
The whole concept behind IPCC is basically wrong.
Think about it, folks :-)