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Monday, October 24, 2011

Bad climate science: IPCC exposed as unreliable reporters

There seems to be an increasing number of media people, especially among conservative writers, who question the role human activity plays in climate change, and, more specifically, anthropogenic global warming. For many like me the idea that the science is now “settled” couldn’t be farther from the truth.

“Before they were sucked into the giant vortex of global warm­ing, environmentalists did useful things. They pro­test­ed against massive Third World dams that would ruin both natural and human ha­bitats. They warned about in­vas­ive species and diseases that could tear through our forests and wreck our water systems. They fought for national parks and greenbelts and protected areas. … They believed in conservation… rather than false claims to scientific certainty about the future, unenforceable treaties and radical utopian social reform.”

Terrance Corcoran and Peter Foster of the Financial Post, Lawrence Solomon of the National Post, Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Sun’s Lorrie Goldstein are among those who write critically of the inconsistencies and flaws in the science of climate change.

To this group I am adding Canadian investigative journalist and photographer Donna Laframboise whose new book, The Delinquent Teenager Who was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert has singlehandedly destroyed the credibility of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—or, if it hasn’t, it should.

Donna Laframboise’s book is published by Ivy Avenue Press (ISBN: 978-1-894984-05-8) and is available as a Kindle e-book for $4.99 at Amazon.com or as a downloadable digital PDF edition, complete with embedded Webpage-like hyperlinks to supporting articles and research. I purchased the PDF edition. The book will also be available soon at Amazon.com as a $20 paperback.

Ms. Laframboise’s excellent exposé is reviewed here, with the first of a two-part excerpt here, and there is another review here. So, given the aforementioned reviews, I’ll limit myself to a few points from the book and not duplicate the excellent efforts of others.

Firstly, let me say for the record that it does seem to me that Canada’s climate has become warmer since I arrived here over 50 years ago. Why else is Prime Minister Stephen Harper so excited about the new promise of the Canadian Arctic? I believe, though, the phenomenon is unlikely to have been caused by human activity and that we’re being bulldozed, if not bamboozled, into wasting trillions of dollars to slow, stop or even reverse the warming trend.

This does not mean I’m not an environmentalist—quite the contrary, I’m a paid-up member of a naturalist and conservation group—notwithstanding the fact such organizations can be like the ones the Financial Post’s Peter Foster calls “professional environmental alarmists and eco-activists.” In that group I’d include the global Green parties, the World Wildlife Fund, David Suzuki and his foundation’s campaign to demonize companies producing oil and gas in Canada, and followers of former U.S. vice president Al Gore, who has managed to turn climate-change into a get-rich-quick scheme.

My hope for the environment can be nicely summed up by Lorrie Goldstein’s suggestion in the Toronto Sun that:

“We need a made-in-Canada policy focusing on clean air, safe drinking water, cleaning up toxic waste dumps, safely disposing radioactive waste, tougher vehicle emission standards, boosting research into practical ‘green’ energy sources such as natural gas, putting scrubbers on coal-fired electricity plants and creating more national parks.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a creature of the United Nations. It is recognized as the world’s leading climate change body. Its mandate is to survey the relevant scientific literature, decide what it means, and write reports—reports that Ms. Laframboise refers to as the “Climate Bible.”

The IPCC’s Climate Bible is referred to and cited by governments and NGOs worldwide. More than any other literature, the Climate Bible is the reason carbon taxes and cap-and-trade schemes are being introduced. And governments in jurisdictions like Ontario, Canada have launched expensive searches for alternative sources of energy—so-called green technology. Because of what they have read in Climate Bible, governments seem prepared to see heating bills rise at rates doubling and tripling the rate of inflation. Furthermore, it is in large measure due to the IPCC’s reported evidence that our government is providing costly financial subsidies to everyone whose green energy can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

In such high regard is the IPCC held, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to it for its “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change…”.

Yes, the IPCC is a very big deal. As Ms. Laframboise’s tell us:

“The IPCC has lounged, for more than two decades, in a large comfy chair atop a pedestal. When the IPCC is mentioned in broadcasts, newspapers, and books it is portrayed as a paragon of scientific truth and authority.”

But, thanks to Ms. Laframboise’s The Delinquent Teenager, we now know that, far from objectively weighing and selecting the best available science-based evidence, the IPCC—in reviewer Peter Foster’s words—“cherry-picks egregiously to support its main objective,” i.e., to serve its government masters.

“The real moral of this story is that scientists are merely human. They can be as short-sighted and as political and as dishonorable as the rest of us.”

– Donna Laframboise,
The Delinquent Teenager

And contrary to its claims, the IPCC’s lead authors are not always the world’s leading scientists. All too frequently, in fact, they are more recent graduates and/or eco-activists from environmental NGOs. Many of whom are described as owing their selection to their gender and country of origin, i.e., diversity, than to their expertise.

Moreover, The Delinquent Teenager shows this famous boast attributed to Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC, to be baseless: “IPCC studies only peer-review science. Let someone publish the data in a decent credible publication. I am sure IPCC would then accept it, otherwise we can just throw it into the dustbin.

Ms. Laframboise tells us that she oversaw a Citizen Audit of the 2007 IPCC’s report (Climate Bible) and that auditors examined the 18,531 references cited in the report. Of these, an astonishing 5,587 (30%) were determined not to have been peer-reviewed.

I remember that day I first discovered Santa Claus did not exist. I was a heart- broken little boy. My family had fibbed to me, leaving me with a mild sense of betrayal and loss. They’d white-lied for my own sake, it must be said, and keeping me in the dark about my beloved St. Nick’s real identity, or his lack of one, did me no long-term harm, at least as far as I can tell.

Has Ms. Laframboise discovered that, like Santa, man-made global warming is a myth and that governments, Green parties, environmental NGOs and a certain ex-politician have deliberately lied to us? If so, it is not—as in the case of the Santa Claus deception—for our own sakes, but because the truth does not fit their own self-interests. And, for their transgressions, the developed countries of the world will be billions of dollars and millions of jobs poorer. Whether global warming is a myth or not, Ms. Laframboise has called into question the merits of further government reliance on the IPCC for anything.

I’ll close with this quotation from The Delinquent Teenager:

“For years we’ve been told the IPCC is a reputable and professional organization—a grownup in a pinstripe suit. In reality, it’s a rule-breaking, not-to-be-trusted, delinquent teenager.

“Surely climate activists and climate skeptics can agree on this one thing: the future of the planet is too important to be left in hands such as these. Governments should suspend funding immediately. The IPCC must be disbanded.”

And to this I add, amen.

 

 

© Russell G. Campbell, 2011.
All rights reserved.
 
The views I express on this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or posi­tions of political parties, institutions or organi­zations with which I am associated.

2 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. I'll give you another bid AMEN on that and I'll immediately download the PDF version.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This repeated claim that the IPCC is apparently merely tailoring its methodology and the kinds of data it accepts to the prejudices of governments leaves me wondering.

    It implies two things:

    1. That the governments underwriting the IPCC share a covert goal of forcing through a particular set of policies worldwide to reduce the place of hydrocarbons and automobiles in our economy and to favour alternative energy industries and transportation modes at their expense.

    2. That they have stacked the deck so that the IPCC uses a deliberately ad hoc or even post hocstrategy of cherry picking evidence to favour the covert goal assumed in premise 1.

    This is completely inconsistent with the actions of the most financially powerful players in the field, the largest contributors to the UN budget.

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