Part: 2 of 2
IPCC Admits Its Past Reports Were Junk
Really? Too political? We were told by everyone — environmentalists, reporters, politicians, even celebrities — that the IPCC reports were science, not politics. Now we are told that even the scientists involved in writing the reports — remember, they are all true believers in man-made global warming themselves — felt the summaries were “too political.”
Here is how the IAC described how the IPCC arrives at the “consensus of scientists”:
Plenary sessions to approve a Summary for Policy Makers last for several days and commonly end with an all-night meeting. Thus, the individuals with the most endurance or the countries that have large delegations can end up having the most influence on the report (p. 25).
How can such a process possibly be said to capture or represent the “true consensus of scientists”?
Another problem documented by the IAC is the use of phony “confidence intervals” and estimates of “certainty” in the Summary for Policy Makers (pp. 27-34). Those of us who study the IPCC reports knew this was make-believe when we first saw it in 2007. Work by J. Scott Armstrong on the science of forecasting makes it clear that scientists cannot simply gather around a table and vote on how confident they are about some prediction, and then affix a number to it such as “80% confident.” Yet that is how the IPCC proceeds.
The IAC authors say it is “not an appropriate way to characterize uncertainty” (p. 34), a huge understatement. Unfortunately, the IAC authors recommend an equally fraudulent substitute, called “level of understanding scale,” which is more mush-mouth for “consensus.”
The IAC authors warn, also on page 34, that “conclusions will likely be stated so vaguely as to make them impossible to refute, and therefore statements of ‘very high confidence’ will have little substantive value.” Yes, but that doesn’t keep the media and environmental activists from citing them over and over again as “proof” that global warming is man-made and a crisis…even if that’s not really what the reports’ authors are saying.
Finally, the IAC noted, “the lack of a conflict of interest and disclosure policy for IPCC leaders and Lead Authors was a concern raised by a number of individuals who were interviewed by the Committee or provided written input” as well as “ the practice of scientists responsible for writing IPCC assessments reviewing their own work. The Committee did not investigate the basis of these claims, which is beyond the mandate of this review” (p. 46).
Too bad, because these are both big issues in light of recent revelations that a majority of the authors and contributors to some chapters of the IPCC reports are environmental activists, not scientists at all. That’s a structural problem with the IPCC that could dwarf the big problems already reported.
So on June 27, nearly two years after these bombshells fell (without so much as a raised eyebrow by the mainstream media in the U.S. — go ahead and try Googling it), the IPCC admits that it was all true and promises to do better for its next report. Nothing to see here…keep on moving.
Well I say, hold on, there! The news release means that the IAC report was right. That, in turn, means that the first four IPCC reports were, in fact, unreliable. Not just “possibly flawed” or “could have been improved,” but likely to be wrong and even fraudulent.
It means that all of the “endorsements” of the climate consensus made by the world’s national academies of science — which invariably refer to the reports of the IPCC as their scientific basis — were based on false or unreliable data and therefore should be disregarded or revised. It means that the EPA’s “endangerment finding” — its claim that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and threat to human health — was wrong and should be overturned.
And what of the next IPCC report, due out in 2013 and 2014? The near-final drafts of that report have been circulating for months already. They were written by scientists chosen by politicians rather than on the basis of merit; many of them were reviewing their own work and were free to ignore the questions and comments of people with whom they disagree. Instead of “confidence,” we will get “level of understanding scales” that are just as meaningless.
And on this basis we should transform the world’s economy to run on breezes and sunbeams?
In 2010, we learned that much of what we thought we knew about global warming was compromised and probably false. On June 27, the culprits confessed and promised to do better. But where do we go to get our money back?