Free Markets, Free People
Essentially, that’s the unvarnished version of what an independent commission recommended the UN’s IPCC do from now on – stay out of politics and concentrate on getting the science right.
UN climate change experts have been accused of making ‘imprecise and vague’ statements and over-egging the evidence.
A scathing report into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change called for it to avoid politics and stick instead to predictions based on solid science.
The probe, by representatives of the Royal Society and foreign scientific academies, took a thinly-veiled swipe at Rajendra Pachauri, the panel’s chairman for the past eight years.
As anyone who has been keeping up with the scandal among the IPCC and warmist “science” crowd in general, the report last issued by the UN’s climate commission has been under heavy and increasing fire from many directions. This is the latest in the saga. The investigative panel also make it clear that they’re of the opinion that Pachauri is not the guy they believe should be in charge of the IPCC.
Harold Shapiro, a Princeton University professor and chair of the committee that conducted the review, said that a report by an IPCC working group "contains many statements that were assigned high confidence but for which there is little evidence."
Professor Shapiro said the IPCC’s response to errors when they were subsequently revealed was "slow and inadequate."
Asked about the Himalayan glaciers error, Professor Shapiro said, "At least in our judgment, it came from just not paying close enough attention to what [peer] reviewers said about that example."
He added that there was concern about the U.N. climate panel’s lack of a conflict of interest policy, as is standard in most Government departments and international bodies.
The report called for development of a "rigorous conflict of interest policy" and made detailed suggestions on what should be disclosed.
Among those disclosures recommended are any financial and other ties to groups with an interest in the outcome of such a report (Pachauri has previously acted as an adviser to green energy companies).
The main finding, as noted above, was that despite all the claims to the contrary, many of the findings published with a “high confidence” were not peer reviewed or, if they were, the process was badly flawed. Consequently, many of the findings were found to be erroneous.
That’s not to say that the panel found the overall IPCC report to be fraudulent – on the contrary – it claims to support the basic findings. And I’d be interested to know the panel’s leanings before their investigation. Nevertheless it does find the present report’s errors to have badly “dented the credibility of the process”.
The panel also made a recommendation that the head of the IPCC be professionally qualified to do the necessary job:
‘Because the IPCC chair is both the leader and the face of the organisation, he or she must have strong credentials (including high professional standing in an area covered by IPCC assessments), international stature, a broad vision, strong leadership skills, considerable management experience at a senior level, and experience relevant to the assessment task.’
Pachauri’s background is mechanical engineering and he served with the Indian railway system before entering academia. Few objective observers would his credentials as adequate for the job. However Pachauri has no plans to step down. This is another example of what putting an unqualified individual in high office will get you.
We’ll see how this plays out, but remember that the IPCC report is something by which countries set their environmental policies. If Pachauri stays on, with his credibility tarnished, a very good case exists for questioning the validity of the report (given this episode). My guess is pressure is going to mount to oust him and replace him with a scientist at least associated with the field under investigation.
Frankly I hope he stays on. In my estimation, he perfectly represents why the warmist movement – and that’s what it is – continues to lose its audience and fewer and fewer people believe what they’re trying to sell. And, afterall, he’s at least as qualified as Al Gore.
The fact that a former railroad engineer has been previously touted as the “world’s leading climate scientist” pretty much sums this whole IPCC/AGW scam in a nutshell.
Of course I’m talking about Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the man directly responsible for ensuring the scientific credibility of that report. As we’re learning it has as much scientific credibility as an Al Gore movie.
There are now calls for him to step down as the chair of that panel. The latest has come from John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK , who says Pachauri should have acted to correct the record immediately after learning that the Himalayan glacier claim contained in the IPCC report had been refuted – even if its correction would have caused embarrassment in Copenhagen.
But of course he didn’t – which brings us to the “what did he know and when did he know it” question.
A journalist working for Science had told Dr Pachauri several times late last year that glaciologists had refuted the IPCC claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. Dr Pachauri refused to address the problem, saying: “I don’t have anything to add on glaciers.” He suggested that the error would not be corrected until 2013 or 2014, when the IPCC next reported.
The IPCC issued a correction and apology on January 20, three days after the error had made global headlines. Mr Sauven said: “Mistakes will always be made but it’s how you handle those mistakes which affects the credibility of the institution. Pachauri should have put his hand up and said ‘we made a mistake’. It’s in these situations that your character and judgment is tested. Do you make the right judgment call? He clearly didn’t.”
Sauven’s absolutely correct in as far as his assertion goes. But this wasn’t a mistake as Sauven claims. At the point Pachauri learned this claim was untrue and chose not to reveal that, it became fraud. Additionally, a “mistake” is something altogether different than the deliberate inclusion of data which has no basis in scientific fact. Pachauri and those on the panel who included this report knew it had no accepted research to back it and that it had not been peer reviewed. And, of course, the glaciers aren’t the only such problem that’s been found in the IPCC report. We now know the Amazon rain forest claim in the report has been refuted as well and have learned that it’s basis was a paper by the WWF on logging – not global warming – destroying up to 40% of the area.
Sauven’s real concern here is to attempt to save the scientific credibility of both the report and the panel. It’s not going to happen. It is becoming common knowledge that the base data used by the panel to formulate its conclusions are, at best, questionable (CRU). And now we have two examples of decidedly unscientific work being included with the implicit claim that it was researched, peer reviewed and the findings conclusive. They were not. How much more remains to be found that further make the report a scientific laughing stock
But while Sauven’s attempt may not bear the fruit he’d like, it would be nice, just once, to see some public official held accountable for the mess he or she has made. But then, we’re talking about the UN here – the same organization which recently shut down it’s own internal ethics and corruption organization because it was finding too many problems in both areas. Pachauri is probably safe to continue in his position for as long as he desires.
Dr Pachauri did not return calls yesterday but he told Indian television at the weekend that he believed attacks on him were being orchestrated by companies facing lower profits because of actions against climate change recommended by the IPCC.He added: “My credibility has been established because I was re-elected chairman in 2008 by all the countries of the world. They must have been satisfied with what I did in terms of the fourth assessment report [published in 2007] because they have given me the mandate of completing the fifth assessment report [to be released over 2013 and 2014] which I intend doing.”
Of course, his re-election took place well before the revelations about glaciers and rainforests (and while he can’t be held responsible for the temperature fiasco, before that as well). If he remains in his position and produces the next edition of the report, it’s scientific credibility will immediately be called into question before the first paragraph is read.
If the UN wants to have its next attempt at
cobbling together a narrative useful for demanding the redistribution of global wealth outlining the problems of man-made global warming, it had best can Pachauri.
Of course not – it’s raw politics.
The rationalization begins by those with a vested interest (don’t forget the IPCC was awarded a Nobel prize for this scientific twaddle) in the “scientific consensus”. In defense of the indefensible, the powers to be try to minimize what they can’t dismiss:
There is “virtually no possibility” of a few scientists biasing the advice given to governments by the UN’s top global warming body, its chair said today.
Rajendra Pachauri defended the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the wake of apparent suggestions in emails between climate scientists at the University of East Anglia that they had prevented work they did not agree with from being included in the panel’s fourth assessment report, which was published in 2007.
Of course not mentioned is the fact that the information given to the IPCC by these “few scientists” were the basis for the whole “the temperatures are rising!” portion of the global warming hypothesis. And I want it made clear that it was never more than a hypothesis since their findings were never, ever reproduced (the requirement for a hypothesis to move into the realm of “scientific theory” according to the scientific method).
“The processes in the IPCC are so robust, so inclusive, that even if an author or two has a particular bias it is completely unlikely that bias will find its way into the IPCC report,” he said.
“Every single comment that an expert reviewer provides has to be answered either by acceptance of the comment, or if it is not accepted, the reasons have to be clearly specified. So I think it is a very transparent, a very comprehensive process which insures that even if someone wants to leave out a piece of peer reviewed literature there is virtually no possibility of that happening.”
Except, of course, it is becoming clear that the “peer review” process was also corrupted by these “few scientists”. So why does Pachauri, with blinders apparently firmly in place, continue to contend that there’s nothing wrong with the IPCC’s findings?
Frankly it’s quite easy to discern:
“Today we have reached the point where consumption and people’s desire to consume has grown out of proportion,” said Pachauri. “The reality is that our lifestyles are unsustainable.”
You see, this isn’t about science or about AGW. AGW isn’t a reason for this action, it is an excuse. The reason. Well again, read the statement above. That’s not the reality at all. That’s as much a hypothesis as is AGW. Pachauri has decided that you need to change your lifestyle. Please understand that doesn’t mean he feels he needs to change his. Only yours. And he and the global elite intend to use this opportunity to impose it:
A new value system of “sustainable consumption” was now urgently required, he said.
Got that? This is the aim. This is a role those that are attracted to the potential of the UN have been trying to create since it’s inception. A collection of elites will decide, arbitrarily of course and without it effecting them, what “sustainable consumption” means. Think of USSR as an example – the elite decided what would be produced and available, not that they ever had to live by the same rules. This is a very crude attempt at collectivization on a global scale. It is an attempt to concentrate more power at a higher level than has ever been attempted before. It is a leftist wet-dream on the verge of coming true.
Among the proposals highlighted by Pachauri were the suggestion that hotel guests should be made responsible for their energy use. “I don’t see why you couldn’t have a meter in the room to register your energy consumption from air-conditioning or heating and you should be charged for that,” he said. “By bringing about changes of this kind, you could really ensure that people start becoming accountable for their actions.”
Pachauri also proposed that governments use taxes on aviation to provide heavy subsidies for other forms of transport. “We should make sure there is a huge difference between the cost of flying and taking the train,” he said. Despite the fact that there is often little benefit in time and convenience in short-haul flights, he said people were still making the “irrational” choice to fly. Taxation should be used to discourage them.
Oh so close – Copenhagen is just a week or so away.
And then someone dumps the scientific litter-box in the living room in front of all the guests just as the party is about to begin and the host is left trying to pretend that lumps laying on the rug aren’t cat crap.