Thursday, October 08, 2009

IPCC lies (1)

An email from David Holland [] below:

How confident should we be of the IPCC’s assessment of climate change, when the people they put in charge of it cannot explain correctly the procedures it uses and appear totally ignorant of the working groups’ failure to follow them?

Towards the end of his interview on 29 September with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, IPCC Chaiman, Dr Pachauri, said: “Whatever comments we get from the peer review process are posted on the website of the IPCC, and the reasons why we accept or reject those comments are clearly specified. Where we accept a comment we say, "Yes. Accepted." Where we don't, we have to adduce very clear reasons why the authors don't agree with the comment. So it's a very transparent process.”

The statement is entirely untrue and very misleading. No “comments” or “reasons” are posted at the IPCC website or ever have been so far as I know, and to my certain knowledge not all of them on the Fourth Assessment were ever published.

It is demonstrably untrue because no AR4 WGIII Lead Authors’ responses, or “reasons” as Dr Pachauri calls them, have ever made public and nor have the WGIII Review Editors’ Reports. Dr Pachauri should have been aware of this if the IPCC had any quality control system, and in any case since the new head of AR5 WGIII TSU, Dr Matschoss emailed me to state that he would raise the matter at the IPCC Bureau meeting of 16/17 September 2009.

It is also untrue, because the WGI TSU never published any of the comments it received from its unofficial and unpublished extension to the AR4 WGI second round of Expert and Government Review, which according to the timetable ended on 2 June 2006. Immediately after the Bergen Lead Authors’ meeting at the end of June 2006, the AR4 WGI TSU emailed all Review Editors, Authors, and Expert Reviewers - but not the British ‘focal point’ according to Defra. The TSU attached an undated, unsigned document which was also not on TSU letterhead, but included the following:

“Reviewers are invited to submit copies of additional papers that are either in-press or published in 2006, along with the chapter and section number to which this material could pertain, via email to, not later than July 24, 2006. In the case of in-press papers a copy of the final acceptance letter from the journal is requested for our records.”

The month’s extension to the review had allowed the Lead Authors to respond to those, including the Reviewer for the Govt of the USA, who had commented that the Wahl and Ammann, 2007 paper did not meet the TSU deadlines requirement to be genuinely “in press” by the “end February 2006”. The Lead Authors’ “reason” for ignoring the comments was[sic]:

Rejected, guidlines used for preparing the draft have been followed and new guidlines do not pose problems.

I have a copy of one critically important comment in accordance with this instruction and the acknowledgement of it by the TSU. This comment suggested two relevant critically important papers on the ‘hockey stick’ of Dr Mann and other studies alleged to support it. No “reason” or response has ever been published by the IPCC and nor has the comment itself.

Having been told more than once by Defra to complain to the IPCC, I wrote to the IPCC Secretary, Renate Christ on 28 May 2008. I raised the matter of the missing WGIII Lead Authors’ responses and asked to see the publisher’s letter confirming that the Wahl and Ammann paper was genuinely “in press”. I also asked for comments and responses for the extraordinary extension period in the WGI second review, and for all the Review Editors’ Reports. I have received no reply, despite emailing a reminder, but I would find it surprising if Dr Christ did not mention my letter to Dr Pachauri.

Dr Pachauri’s statement is very misleading because “posted on the website” implies an established IPCC policy with the sort of immediacy and interactivity we all expect in our 21st century electronic age. No comments and “reasons” were automatically put online or ever available to the public anywhere until long after the AR4 Summary for Policymakers and the Working Group reports were published online, and then only after Freedom of Information requests in the USA and UK.

Some Expert Reviewers (including WGIII’s who have not seen theirs) will not agree that “very clear reasons” were always given for rejecting their comments.

The working documents for the Third Assessment WGI are in 8 unindexed boxes in a Harvard library and, in emails to two AR4 Expert Reviewers who asked for comments on the more important second draft, the WGI TSU made it very clear that it was their original intention to do the same on AR4.

This is not the first time Dr Pachauri and his colleagues have demonstrated that they have no idea of how the IPCC should or actually does work, or that they are careless with their facts. Along with Sir John Houghton, Professors Parry and Watson, Dr Pachauri is reported to have “co-authorised” the complaint reported in Ofcom Bulletin 114 against the “Great Global Warming Swindle”.

The complaint stated that the film had been false and misleading, but if the Ofcom report is correct, the description of the IPCC Review Process which they “co-authorised” is also false and misleading. The complaint said it was Review Editors “who will make the final decision” on whether comments are accepted or rejected. This is untrue. Appendix A to the principles makes it clear that the Lead Authors have the final say. The rest of the description of the assessment process in the complaint suggests a far more interactive open and transparent process than had ever existed.

Defra, the British ‘focal point’ was neither consulted nor even given a copy of what Ofcom insist was an official IPCC complaint. Accordingly Dr Pachauri and his colleagues must have acted in breach of the Principles Governing IPCC Work agreed by the British and all other Panel members. Principle 4 states,

“Major decisions of the IPCC will be taken by the Panel in plenary meetings.”

If obliging the British Communications Regulator to undertake one of the largest and most expensive investigations ever into a TV programme is not a major IPCC decision I am not sure what would be. However, Principle 12 states,

“Conclusions drawn by IPCC Working Groups and any Task Forces are not official IPCC views until they have been accepted by the Panel in a plenary meeting.”

Accordingly, unless there is a session report of the Panel authorising the complaint – and of course there is not – the complaint is not an official IPCC view. The reality is that the IPCC process of peer-review is a sham and unlike even the poorest of journal peer-review procedures. Far worse is that Dr Pachauri demonstrates that there is no system of governance at the IPCC. Perhaps the management of Climate Change assessment is just too important to be left entirely to the same scientists who promote its conclusions.

IPCC lies (2)

An email from Ross McKitrick [] below:

Dr. Pachauri insinuates that reviewer comments are posted right away, or at least automatically if not right away, to the IPCC web site. I was a WG I reviewer, and like all the others our comments were submitted confidentially. We were instructed not to divulge the review materials publicly. The only reason WG I comments eventually got posted on the internet (months after the report was released) was that Steve McIntyre and David Holland pursued the IPCC with FOI requests. Having fought so long to keep the review comments from being released, it is rather rich for Pachauri now to invoke the fact that they (grudgingly) conceded the requests as a reason to boast about a process that apparently never had that outcome in view.

Furthermore, Pachauri does not mention that the review of the Second Order Draft was complete in June 2006, but the report went through 3 further revisions behind closed doors without the scientific review panel having any opportunity to comment. Where is the transparency in that? One of the revision rounds didn't take place until after the Summary for Policymakers was published in February 2007, which is why the report didn't appear until May 2007! There were important changes at each stage that were made with no opportunity for review. The text as it stood in June 2006, i.e. the Second Order Draft, did have many fine sections with balanced and reasonable discussions. But the notorious and controversial parts, such as the paleoclimate chapter, the section dealing with surface temperature contamination, "fingerprint" detection, etc., were very one-sided. The record shows that critical comments were not dealt with on the basis of "very clear" reasons for rejection. I spelled out some examples in my AIER chapter

The Green Depression

Wouldn't it be cool if the economy shrank even more? John Kerry seems to think so. John Kerry, the former junior senator from Massachusetts who by the way served in Vietnam, is leading the effort in the Senate to pass Cap'n Trade, a measure to combat so-called global warming by imposing massive taxes on energy. Blogger Dan Calabrese notes a revealing Kerry quote from last week: "Let me emphasize something very strongly as we begin this discussion. The United States has already this year alone achieved a 6% reduction in emissions simply because of the downturn in the economy, so we are effectively saying we need to go another 14%".

Wow. To accomplish Kerry's environmental goals, all we need to do is shrink the economy even more and keep it shrunken--in other words, for the recession to turn into a permanent depression. If you think that's a good idea, call your senator and urge him to vote "yes" on Cap'n Trade!

We Blame Global Warming:

* "Calif. Wildfire Stalled by Record Low Temperatures"--headline, Associated Press, Oct. 7

* "Some Idaho School Kids Enjoy an Early Snow Day"--headline, KTVB-TV Web site (Boise), Oct. 7


Fools Rush In

Last week, the EPA declared carbon dioxide a pollutant to be severely regulated under the Clean Air Act, even though CO2 is a naturally occurring substance in the atmosphere essential for the survival of life on the planet. Animals, including humans, breathe CO2 out, and plants must take in CO2 to grow. While CO2 in the atmosphere has increased during the industrial revolution, it is still at a very low level on an historical scale of thousands and millions of years.

The EPA and the ideologically rigid Barack Obama insist that CO2 emissions cause global warming. But the best science has now proven this doctrine false. Again, the definitive explanation of the falsity, indeed, even foolishness, of the theory of man-caused global warming is the 880 page treatise Climate Change Reconsidered published by the Heartland Institute. The scientists associated with Heartland and the Science and Environmental Policy Project ( are as first rate as any on the planet (look it up), including those at the U.N., which seeks to use the issue to create global governing powers for itself.

There is no actual evidence of significant man-caused global warming. Global atmospheric temperatures are down over the last 11 years, and the decline is accelerating and likely to continue for another 10-20 years, at least. The temperature patterns for the entire 20th century did not follow CO2 emissions up, but fluctuated up and down consistent with ocean current temperature trends, and solar activity. In other words, natural causes. The case for global warming is entirely based on computer models made up by biased UN scientists, which have failed to predict temperature trends accurately.

But President Obama's EPA is rushing ahead with regulatory burdens not needing legislative approval that will raise energy costs on the U.S. economy by $2 trillion. It will mean higher costs for electricity, gasoline, coal, natural gas, home heating oil, and everything that is made and transported using energy. This will hit the U.S. economy while temperatures continue to decline.

A huge political problem for Democrats is that their rhetoric has been so contrary to the reality they are now imposing. President Obama keeps saying that his brave new world powered by windmills and floating on sunbeams will create a booming economy spawned by high paying green jobs. But high cost energy is not a foundation for job creation or an economic boom. Obama's fantasy was already tried by the socialists in Spain, and they lost many more jobs on net than the "green jobs" created, which turned out to be mostly temporary construction jobs building mostly useless, massive, concrete windmills, good primarily for killing birds.



After Michael Mann's hockey stick chart was discredited by analyses done by the Ad Hoc Committee Report on the 'Hockey Stick' Global Climate Reconstruction led by Edward Wegman, and the somewhat less damning (but still critical) report by the National Academy of Sciences, more emphasis has been placed by supporters of a strong policy to counter AGW on the work of Keith Briffa and the co-authors of a series of papers, the central thrust of which is to insist that recent rises in temperature are unprecedented and presage continued warming in tandem with our release of CO2. Now that Briffa has released data that has been withheld for 10 years, it appears that this thesis will suffer the same fate as Mann's work.

If that happens (and it certainly has not happened yet), those looking at global warming may well return in the direction of my point of view. I believe that global warming due to human release of CO2 does happen (and has happened, most notably between 1975 and 1998), that it is a potential problem (despite its recent recovery, the average of Arctic sea ice extent and volume is quite low, historically speaking--just as climate science predicted), but that it is not the only factor, nor the only human factor affecting climate, which is why climate scientists can tell us that global warming may disappear for up to 30 years. Because other factors may well matter just as much or more than CO2. Such as, if I may paraphrase Roger Pielke Sr., deforestation, agriculture, other land-use changes, aquifer depletion, etc.

We may have to accept that global warming is just one of many issues that require attention. We may get to celebrate the fact that global warming will not destroy civilization--that there will be no massive flooding, extinctions, environmental migrations, mass evacuations of coastal and island areas. Sadly, our celebrations should be tempered by the knowledge that each of these events can and will occur without global warming.

It will be an ongoing problem, and it should hasten our conversion to green energy sources and smarter distribution. Even if there is no hockey stick, there is still global warming. Remember that what Steve McIntyre did with his analysis of Briffa's work is to call into question the shaft of the hockey stick, not the upturned blade. By which I mean, McIntyre's work leads to the strong suggestion that the warming experienced since 1880 and more emphatically between 1975 and 1998 is real, but not unprecedented. These global mean surface temperatures have been seen, during the Medieval Warming Period and the Roman Warming Period. As those periods of warming occurred without the benefit of human contributions of CO2, it removes some (not all) of the urgency from the arguments about global warming.

This, if true, is an unmitigated blessing, as it will allow us to plan for a future that has hope for the developing world and does not require us to throw the circuit breaker on energy consumption in the developed world. It does not mean we can ignore the issue--we do need to 'decarbonize' our way of life, and the sooner the better. But we can, if McIntyre is right, do it at a pace that allows time for adjustment, and continue to fund solutions to other problems as well.

I'm past caring about motives--if Briffa is wrong, let's find out fast. Let's find out even faster if he's right. Whatever political or economic imperatives have been pushing this line of thinking, they need to be either verified or falsified now. If global warming will raise the temperature of this planet by 2 degrees Celsius over the course of this century, it will be a problem. But it's a vastly different problem than the global warming of 7 to 9 degrees suggested by those who have been most alarmed.


Reduce carbon emissions? I'd rather keep flying, thanks

Airline passengers in Britain are refusing to fly less to reduce their carbon footprint, a study has found. Loughborough University research led by Tim Ryley shows fewer than one in five people in Britain are trying to cut the number of flights they take for environmental reasons. "While some people are willing to fly less and others are willing to pay more to fly to offset emissions, they remain the minority," Dr Ryley told The Guardian newspaper. "It is cost and not environmental consequences that deter people from flying more often."

Asked what increase in air fares would deter them from flying short-haul, 79 per cent of respondents said a STG50 ($A92) rise would make them fly less often. With just a STG10 ($A18) increase in short-haul fares to destinations such as Paris and Rome, only 21 per cent would probably take fewer flights.

The Propensity to Fly study also found the majority of the British public would rather cut energy use at home than go without flying for a year.

While most people said they were unwilling to pay more for their flights to offset the environmental cost, an increasing number - 32 per cent in 2009 compared with 19 per cent in 2007 - agreed passengers should pay more to account for aviation's environmental impact. The study included four surveys between 2007 and 2009, with sample sizes of between 300 and 615 people.

Air passenger duty, the UK government's tax on air fares, is changing to take account of distance later this year. The duty on short-haul flights will rise from STG10 ($A18) to STG11 ($20) in November and STG12 ($22) in 2010. Increases on long-haul trips will be higher, with tax on flights such as London to Sydney jumping from STG55 ($A100) to STG85 ($A156) next year.



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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently learned how the Hockey Sticks of old and new are made and it is truly junk science. Here is how the fraud works to guarantee such a graph: a proxy is selected that is quite noisy over centuries and decades...SO noisy in fact that they amount to random data compared to temperature. In this case it is pine tree rings. Specific trees are then selected and rejected according to how they match the thermometer measured temperature records that only go back a century or two. Since recent temperature has been going up, this LOCKS IN PLACE the thermometer measurements while allowing much older time periods to have no such entrainment. Since the data is SO noisy, it averages out to a straight line! So you get, as ordered, a straight line followed by a sharp upturn at exactly the time that thermometer records begin.

This technique, utterly unknown outside of climatology/paleontology since it is not honest science at all, was NOT what was debunked in various Hockey Sticks. That was *further* cherry picking. This method is STILL accepted in their field!