Stavins and Tol on IPCC WG3

by Judith Curry

Many of the more worrying impacts of climate change really are symptoms of mismanagement and underdevelopment. – Richard Tol

Richard Tol

Excerpts from Richard Tol’s essay:

In September 2013, I stepped down from the team that prepared the draft of the Summary for Policy Makers to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This attracted worldwide media attention in April 2014.

As a Convening Lead Author of one of the chapters, I was automatically on the team to draft the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM). AR5 is a literature review of 2,600 pages long. It assesses a large body of scholarly publication. In some places, the chapters are so condensed that there are a few words per article in the learned literature. The SPM then distills the key messages into 44 pages – but everyone knows that policy and media will only pick up a few sentences. This leads to a contest between chapters – my impact is worst, so I will get the headlines.

In the earlier drafts of the SPM, there was a key message that was new, snappy and relevant: Many of the more worrying impacts of climate change really are symptoms of mismanagement and underdevelopment.

This message does not support the political agenda for greenhouse gas emission reduction. Later drafts put more and more emphasis on the reasons for concern about climate change, a concept I had helped to develop for AR3. Raising the alarm about climate change has been tried before, many times in fact, but it has not had an appreciable effect on greenhouse gas emissions.

The international climate negotiations of 2013 in Warsaw concluded that poor countries might be entitled to compensation for the impacts of climate change. It stands to reason that the IPCC would be asked to assess the size of those impacts and hence the compensation package. This led to an undignified bidding war among delegations – my country is more vulnerable than yours – that descended into farce when landlocked countries vigorously protested that they too would suffer from sea level rise.

The SPM omits that better cultivars and improved irrigation increase crop yields. It shows the impact of sea level rise on the most vulnerable country, but does not mention the average. It emphasize the impacts of increased heat stress but downplays reduced cold stress. It warns about poverty traps, violent conflict and mass migration without much support in the literature. The media, of course, exaggerated further.

Alarmism feeds polarization. Climate zealots want to burn heretics of global warming on a stick. Others only see incompetence and conspiracy in climate research, and nepotism in climate policy. A polarized debate is not conducive to enlightened policy in an area as complex as climate change . The IPCC missed an opportunity to restore itself as a sober authority, accepted (perhaps only grudgingly) by most.

The IPCC does not guard itself against selection bias and group think. Academics who worry about climate change are more likely to publish about it, and more likely to get into the IPCC. Groups of like-minded people reinforce their beliefs. The environment agencies that comment on the draft IPCC report will not argue that their department is obsolete. The IPCC should therefore be taken out of the hands of the climate bureaucracy and transferred to the academic authorities.

Robert Stavins

Excerpts from Robert Stavins’ essay:

Over the past 5 years, I have dedicated an immense amount of time and effort to serving as the Co-Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of Chapter 13, “International Cooperation: Agreements and Instruments,” of Working Group III (Mitigation) of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Several of the CLAs present with me in Berlin commented that given the nature and outcome of the week, the resulting document should probably be called the Summary by Policymakers, rather than the Summary for Policymakers.

The process of the government approval sessions was exceptionally frustrating, and the outcome of that process – the final SPM – was in some regards disappointing. Two weeks ago, immediately after returning from Berlin, I sent a letter to the Co-Chairs of Working Group III — Ottmar Edenhofer, Ramon Pichs-Madruga, and Youba Sokona — expressing my disappointment with the government approval process and its outcome in regard to the part of the assessment for which I had primary responsibility, SPM.5.2, International Cooperation. At the time, I did not release my letter publically, because I did not want to get in the way of the important messages that remained in the SPM and were receiving public attention through the Working Group III release.

Excerpts from Stavins’ letter to the IPCC leadership:

In this letter, I will not comment on the government review and revision process that affected other parts of the SPM, other than to note that as the week progressed, I was surprised by the degree to which governments felt free to recommend and sometimes insist on detailed changes to the SPM text on purely political, as opposed to scientific bases.

The general motivations for government revisions – from most (but not all) participating delegations – appeared to be quite clear in the plenary sessions. In these contact groups, government representatives worked to suppress text that might jeopardize their negotiating stances in international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

To ask these experienced UNFCCC negotiators to approve text that critically assessed the scholarly literature on which they themselves are the interested parties, created an irreconcilable conflict of interest. Thus, the country representatives were placed in an awkward and problematic position by the nature of the process.

Over the course of the two hours of the contact group deliberations, it became clear that the only way the assembled government representatives would approve text for SPM.5.2 was essentially to remove all “controversial” text (that is, text that was uncomfortable for any one individual government), which meant deleting almost 75% of the text, including nearly all explications and examples under the bolded headings. In more than one instance, specific examples or sentences were removed at the will of only one or two countries, because under IPCC rules, the dissent of one country is sufficient to grind the entire approval process to a halt unless and until that country can be appeased.

I understand that country representatives were only doing their job, so I do not implicate them personally; however, the process the IPCC followed resulted in a process that built political credibility by sacrificing scientific integrity.

No institution can be all things for all people, and this includes the IPCC. In particular, in the case of the IPCC’s review of research findings on international cooperation, there may be an inescapable conflict between scientific integrity and political credibility. If the IPCC is to continue to survey scholarship on international cooperation in future assessment reports, it should not put country representatives in the uncomfortable and fundamentally untenable position of reviewing text in order to give it their unanimous approval. Likewise, the IPCC should not ask lead authors to volunteer enormous amounts of their time over multi-year periods to carry out work that will inevitably be rejected by governments in the Summary for Policymakers.

More broadly, I urge the IPCC to direct public attention to the documents produced by the lead authors that were subject to government (and expert) comment, but not subject to government approval. I believe that tremendous public good would arise from publicizing the key findings of the Technical Summary and the individual chapter Executive Summaries, instead of the Summary for Policymakers. I know that as the leaders of the IPCC, you see it to be your responsibility to convey to the public (and policy makers) the results of the hard scientific work that the hundreds of lead authors put into the report over the past five years, and not simply the constrained version of the Summary for Policymakers produced over the past week.

JC reflections

Over the past few weeks I’ve been collecting material for a post on WG3; I’ve collected an overwhelming amount and following my original plan for a post seems too daunting.  Tol and Stavins clearly describe what is wrong with the SPM process.

I’ve read about half of the WG3 report.  My comments in two words:  readable and enlightening.  Unlike the WG1 report with its turgid and indecipherable prose, the WG3 report is actually readable and understandable, and well organized.  I particularly liked the first 2 chapters.

Upon reflecting on the 3 IPCC reports,  a picture is emerging of a very complex climate system linked to complex environmental issues and socioeconomic problems.  True to its classic wicked messiness, there is no unambiguous way to separate natural from anthropogenic climate change, or to separate climate change impacts from other confounding factors, or to separate the solutions from the broader issues of population increase, underdevelopment, mismanagement, and corrupt governments.

Of the three WGs, I would say that WG2 and WG3 showed maturity in attempting to deal with these issues, whereas WG1 dropped the ball with its ‘extremely likely’ and ‘don’t mention the pause’.

Apart from the obvious politics that polluted the SPM process, I am even more dismayed by public statements from the IPCC leadership that has spun the AR5 message into the usual alarmist meme.

I am wondering if the IPCC will attempt an integration report?  I believe that they did this for the AR4.  What is now needed is sober assessment and interpretation of the assessments.  Given the complexity, ambiguity and incompleteness of the evidence and understanding, multiple perspectives are not only to be expected but are desired.

 

 

 

238 responses to “Stavins and Tol on IPCC WG3

  1. Judy: The Synthesis Report is due in September. Draft is under review now.

    • @Richard Tol
      Can you can help me understand the need for an IPCC Work Group related to proposed mitigation.

      Doesn’t it ensure failure to have the IPCC responsible for solutions to a problem that has yet to be properly understood?

      Also, solutions to mitigating Industrial byproducts are best handled by Industrial Engineering and Design. Shouldn’t a completely separate group(s) handle mitigation in their respective countries to ensure the solutions are best of breed and culturally appropriate?

    • Newport_Mac,

      Doesn’t it ensure failure to have the IPCC responsible for solutions to a problem that has yet to be properly understood?

      I agree. Furthermore, wouldn’t ‘an IPCC Work Group related to proposed mitigation’ mean that they would focus on mitigation rather than a correct balance between mitigation, adaptation, or now action warranted? Wouldn’t it be setting up a bias just like IPCC’s that it looks only at human induced climate change rather than all climate change. In short, i suggests another silo.

      solutions to mitigating Industrial byproducts are best handled by Industrial Engineering and Design [as well as all the other necessary contributors to successful policy such as ecomomists, lawyers, diplomats, etc.]. Shouldn’t a completely separate group(s) handle mitigation in their respective countries to ensure the solutions are best of breed and culturally appropriate?

      [my additions]

      I agree.

    • Peter Lang,
      Thanks for the comment!

      Though the input from lawyers would be useful, defines must objectives and potential limitations in each country/region, including diplomats and politicians in an Industrial Engineering exercise would ensure failure by design. Their involvement is simply unnecessary in the initial process of Industrial solution development.

      Policies which inhibit definitive and potentially holistic solutions are the problem. One size fits all solutions are an even bigger fail.

      I generally agree with Richard Tol’s comment:
      The IPCC should therefore be taken out of the hands of the climate bureaucracy and transferred to the academic authorities.

      I would go further and prefer to see the IPCC and the UNFCCC dropped from UN efforts but the IPCC role preserved in a new international organization. To be honest, I don’t think the UN Charter even allows this activity; UN Scope Creep.

      A global organization solely devoted to science and engineering would be a wonderful way to resolve the mess the UN has made. The new organization needs to be held to the highest academic standards and must be completely apolitical.

  2. Similarly, the Left should embrace fracking. Energy deprivation kills people.

  3. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    About “the political agenda for greenhouse gas emission reduction”, why don’t any of you contact to any of the responsibles of WGI AR5 and ask them directly: “has climate change been scientificaly proven to be caused by greenhouse gas emission”?. And then, ask them to justify their answer.
    I bet that most of them (Thomas Stocker, Mathew Collins, Reto Knutti etc) will be so embarrased that they could not even replay to you.
    Notice that this is not an hypothetical bet: it is an empirical fact.

  4. JC, THANK YOU so much for making this post. I was looking earlier for a Week In Review/Current Topics thread to post the Stavins letter.

    Especially noteworthy:

    “……the process the IPCC followed resulted in a process that built political credibility by sacrificing scientific integrity.”

    While I’m sure the alarmists who regularly post here celebrate this sort of “politics at the expense of truth” behind closed doors, I’m curious if any of them will come right out and defend this “anti-science” practice.

    • Why don’t you ask some alarmists who regularly post here?

      Here’s a few examples of alarmism to start:

      Wagathon | April 26, 2014 at 11:11 am |
      Energy deprivation kills people.

      ..a picture is emerging of a very complex climate system linked to complex environmental issues and socioeconomic problems. True to its classic wicked messiness, there is no unambiguous way to separate natural from anthropogenic climate change, or to separate climate change impacts from other confounding factors, or to separate the solutions from the broader issues of population increase, underdevelopment, mismanagement, and corrupt governments.
      - Curry

      Climate zealots want to burn heretics of global warming on a stick.- Tol

    • You are confused, barty. Harkin is obviously talking about you. We have your answer. The usual disingenuous BS.

    • Bart,
      You would think that we could treat people that say “Climate zealots want to burn heretics of global warming on a stick” much the same as we treat science and engineering students that can’t keep up with the curriculum.

      We fail them.

      If they come back, we don’t let them back in unless they have a good excuse. Typically we tell them to try another career approach and wish them luck.

      No one ever says that we should burn the failed students on a stick. We fail them and move on. It sounds kind of harsh but that is what happens to thousands of students every year that can’t cut it.

      So what makes these skeptics somehow immune to failing? Well, of course — they have an internet and talk radio bullhorn that doesn’t have any kind of acid test of pass/fail criteria that our academic system has. They just keep on yapping away and nothing we can do to stop them.

    • Of course when Web talks of “failing” skeptics, the test he has in mind is a political one : “unless like me you preach the CAGW faith unquestioningly, you will progress no further”.

    • Bart, isn’t it funny how the skeptics respond?
      We fail the students on objective terms, not on the subjective game-theory-laden terms of the soft sciences.

    • Yep, the science is pretty soft when the IPCC gets done with it.

    • Web wrote:
      much the same as we treat science and engineering students that can’t keep up with the curriculum

      In Climate Science, it is easy to keep up with the curriculum. They have consensus, so nothing changes. Nothing to understand, just memorize and spit it back for exams.

      The problem is that they will fail anyone who is skeptical.
      You cannot be a scientist if you are not skeptical and you cannot be a climate scientist if you are skeptical.

    • Web wrote:
      If they come back, we don’t let them back in unless they have a good excuse. Typically we tell them to try another career approach and wish them luck.

      A skeptic can become a good or excellent scientist or engineer or just about anything else. They don’t try to come back to a field that allows no one to disagree.

    • “You cannot be a scientist if you are not skeptical and you cannot be a climate scientist if you are skeptical.”
      That’s some catch, that Catch 22.

    • Don Monfort | April 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm |

      Confused, obvious and disingenuous would be pretending that talking about personalities instead of contents is going to keep fooling anyone.

      If you want to identify alarmism, you don’t point at someone you don’t like and yell, “That’s an alarmist!”; you point at what someone whether you like them or not has written and show how it conforms to the definition of alarmism.

      Wagathon’s a fine human being, I’m sure, though I neither know nor care to know anything about him/her. But Wagathon’s writing contains alarmism. That’s a matter of fact anyone can judge by looking at what Wagathon’s written.

      Dr. Curry is a fine human being, I’m sure, though we’ve never met and I doubt we ever will. But Dr. Curry’s writing has not yet lost its slight accommodation of alarmism, and the tendency is if anything becoming more pronounced over time. Perhaps it’s from reading so much alarmist literature, that some rubs off on her?

      Richard Tol is a fine human being, I’m sure. We know people in common. But Dr. Tol has a decidedly alarmist content in his writings. He’s an Economist, or rather Political Scientist with exposure to Economics, so alarmism isn’t really all that unexpected. (I kid; Tol’s credentials in Econometrics are quite solid, and no one could question Tol’s Economics knowledge and acumen; he’s also far less political in virtually every sense than almost any Economist who comes to mind.) He still indulges in alarmism in his writing, as you can clearly see by reading it.

      Economic alarmism is a sorry streak running through the writings of Seitz and Gray, Lawson and Monckton, telling tales of ruin for industry, lost competitiveness, collapse of LDCs, and on and on. These horror stories are pure fiction, and their repetition is part of a Big Lie propaganda message, never supported by diligent and balanced analysis. Technology shifts have from the time this alarmism began through to today have only ever moved us toward a world less dependent on CO2E emission by need or expedience, even while the alarmism has amplified and multiplied.

      So, yeah. Talk about the content of what is said, not the people. Because frankly, the people aren’t very interesting.

  5. Jim Cripwell

    Our hostess writes “Of the three WGs, I would say that WG2 and WG3 showed maturity in attempting to deal with these issues, whereas WG1 dropped the ball with its ‘extremely likely’ and ‘don’t mention the pause’.”

    But surely, the reports of WGs 2 and 3 are based on the conclusions of WG1. If WG1 is wrong with it’s statements about being “extremely likely”, which it is, then there is no basis for the conclusions expressed in WGs 2 and 3. The whole exercise is one of complete scientific nonsense.

    • Alexej Buergin

      +1

    • Jim Cripwell

      You hit the nail on the head.

      Max

    • Jim Cripwell

      It’s known as GIGO.

      Max

    • Jim Cripwell

      Max, you write “It’s known as GIGO.”

      I hope you realise that when it comes to CAGW, GIGO means Garbage in, Gospel out.

    • Fernando Leanme

      The exercise is nonsense. Notice I didn’t state “scientific nonsense” because the problem and solutions involve much more than science. What we have is an incredibly complex dynamic system which includes humanity and the environment in which it lives. This is a problem the IPCC wasn’t designed to deal with. And this is why they do such a poor job, and why their reports are endless reams of unreadable baloney.

      Those who think this is only about science can’t visualize the system. And if you find this startling go back to the working group 1 report and the climate model ensembles they compiled. Look at those models and consider the inputs,,,and you will see those aren’t based only on “science”. I repeat this comment once in a while, I’m usually ignored, and off you go with the endless debate…..

    • Fernando, good comment, and I’m less inclined to engage in “endless debate.”

    • Jim Cripwell,

      You said; “But surely, the reports of WGs 2 and 3 are based on the conclusions of WG1. If WG1 is wrong with it’s statements about being “extremely likely”, which it is, then there is no basis for the conclusions expressed in WGs 2 and 3. The whole exercise is one of complete scientific nonsense.”

      The following Working Groups could be expected to add to the scientific findings of the first Working Group. The subsequent WG conclusions could well change. I think that you can’t logically say that the whole exercise is one of complete scientific nonsense.

      Thanks,

  6. pokerguy (aka al neipris)

    “The general motivations for government revisions – from most (but not all) participating delegations – appeared to be quite clear in the plenary sessions. In these contact groups, government representatives worked to suppress text that might jeopardize their negotiating stances in international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

    To ask these experienced UNFCCC negotiators to approve text that critically assessed the scholarly literature on which they themselves are the interested parties, created an irreconcilable conflict of interest. Thus, the country representatives were placed in an awkward and problematic position by the nature of the process.”

    What can a reasonable person do, but shake his head at the blatant inanity of this process. Many thanks to Richard Tol and Robert Stavins for their integrity and courage.

    • pokerguy, before you praise Richard Tol for his integrity, you should read what I wrote just below. It appears Tol did basically what he complains about other people doing, only he did it in the main body of the IPCC report.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      Respect you Brandon. Hard to keep up. For the moment, for my own mental health if nothing else, would rather focus on the positives. Insiders who speak publicly about this corrupt and corrupting process are rare indeed, and sorely needed. I like the statement below of Tol’s, though I’d end the last sentence at “The IPCC should therefore be taken out of the hands of the climate bureaucracy.” Except that since we know that’s not possible, I’d rather hear that the IPCC was a bad idea to begin with and should be disbanded as soon as possible

      “The IPCC does not guard itself against selection bias and group think. Academics who worry about climate change are more likely to publish about it, and more likely to get into the IPCC. Groups of like-minded people reinforce their beliefs. The environment agencies that comment on the draft IPCC report will not argue that their department is obsolete. The IPCC should therefore be taken out of the hands of the climate bureaucracy and transferred to the academic authorities.”

    • pokerguy, the problem with that approach is twofold. First, it’s hypocritical. You’re condemning the IPCC because people used it to subvert the science to promote their own interests. While doing so, you’re praising a person who subverted the science to promote his own interests.

      Second, you’re missing a huge point in favor of your view. Richard Tol’s statement was only about how the SPM gets made. It ignores all the problems with how the report gets made. Why not go after both? You can point to Tol’s statement to support the idea the process for making the SPM process is screwed up, and you can point to the revisions in that section of his chapter to show the process for making the report is screwed up.

      Heck, I’d have great respect for Tol if he came out and said,

      Yeah, I screwed up that section. I did it on purpose. I wanted to show the IPCC process is trash. What better way than deleting an entire section and rewriting it to favor my own work?

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      “the problem with that approach is twofold. First, it’s hypocritical. You’re condemning the IPCC because people used it to subvert the science to promote their own interests. While doing so, you’re praising a person who subverted the science to promote his own interests.”

      Brandon. I’m much more comfortable passing judgment on an entire organization…and movement….than any one individual about whom I know very little. The IPCC is a fundamentally ill-advised agency which has completely predictably, caused great harm to our society… by virtue of its very nature. Anything Richard Tol has done…or not done….perhaps he’ll respond to your charges…is imvho small potatoes in comparison. Human beings are always going to screw up, including me.

    • pokerguy, how will you pass judgment on an entire organization if you can’t cite examples of the organization having done wrong? I’m not asking people to condemn Richard Tol as a person. There’s just no way to avoid discussing an individual when discussing examples of people subverting the IPCC process to promote their own views.

      Look at it this way. If Michael Mann had completely rewritten a section on paleoclimate to promote his hockey stick, would you hold back on discussing it? If not, what’s the difference? Does Tol just get a free pass* because he criticized the IPCC?

      *Pun so not intended.

  7. The IPCC should therefore be taken out of the hands of the climate bureaucracy and transferred to the academic authorities.

    Anybody familiar with academic history would be skeptical of this. All the way back to Hellenistic times such scholarship was dependent on, and sycophantic to, prevailing political power. Right now, “academic authorities” are as badly contaminated relative to actual science as the IPCC itself.

    • Yes. I didn’t think much of that recommendation either. It the academics running it were of the highest integrity like Tol and Lindzen it would be fine, but politics among academies and academics (remember ClimateGate), and directed funding (read coercion) by governments and funding agencies would mean that it would be quickly taken over by the Green ideology. The result can be forseen now – the solution is world government, more tax, big bureaucracy and widepread corruption.

  8. SPMs are always the don’t-frighten-the-horses/don’t-leave-us-out, summary.

  9. First, a minor nit. Richard Tol talked about WGII, not WGIII.

    Second, I find it kind of offensive Tol is being promoted as having resigned from the IPCC when it appears he subverted the IPCC process to rewrite a section of the IPCC report in a way which favored his views and work while failing to discuss the results of work published since the last IPCC report.

    For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Richard Tol was a Coordinating Lead Author of a chapter which had a section added after the Second Order Draft was reviewed and before the Final Version was published. That means the section never underwent the normal review process. When this was pointed out by Bob Ward, Tol falsely claimed the material had merely been moved from another chapter. He has since acknowledged the section moved from another chapter underwent a complete revision.

    I discussed a key aspect of the revision in this post. In it, I showed the revision led to the section giving focus to a conclusion Tol favors despite no evidence from after 2002 being presented for it. A decade of results were simply ignored. Additionally, the revision of the section resulted in an entirely new figure and table being added (previous ones being discarded), both taken directly from Tol’s own work.

    Tol’s responses to my posts have done nothing to defend himself. He’s claimed the section was completely revised in response to reviewer comments, but the evidence seems to show otherwise. And when he’s actually responded to me, his responses have been… priceless.

    • Brandon

      I know little of this subject other than the headline MSM material. As Richard Tol appears to be around, perhaps he will answer your comment

      tonyb

    • climatereason, Richard Tol has responded to me several times. The link at the end of my comment shows a few amusing responses on Twitter. You can see some other responses on the post at Bishop Hill about this.

      Unfortunately, his responses have been largely unresponsive. One can hope that’ll change, but experience suggests it won’t.

    • Brandon

      Your reply here at the BIshops’ seems to be the crux of your concerns.

      ‘I think it’s pretty serious if the IPCC is still allowing authors such latitude they can make substantial changes without review, especially if doing so promotes their own work.’

      I am unable to determine if this is what happened without going through a lengthy series of posts and comments. Perhaps Tol could respond directly to your comment as succinctly referenced here.

      tonyb

    • climatereason, I’m not sure I’d say that’s the crux of the argument because I’m not sure whether or not changes getting reviewed is the key issue. I think a bigger issue is authors can write entire sections to promote their own work while excluding discussion of other, relevant work. I don’t think that would be solved by having the material reviewed. Reviewers might not complain, or they might get ignored.

      If I were focusing on only a single, key issue, I think I’d want to focus on why the section was dramatically rewritten to turn out the way it turned out. I’d be okay with leaving off the issue of who reviewed the changes. That’s an important topic, but I think it’s best to start with a single, simple point.

      Perhaps Richard Tol will address it.

    • Steven Mosher

      I think I would make the same suggestion for Tol as I did for Briffa and his section of Ar4.

      there are errata for a reason. whatever problem there is with the document can and should be fixed via errata.

      beyond that, hounding people, whether it is Briffa or Tol, about process violations, isnt particularly beneficial or rewarding.

      That’s just my experience

    • Brandon agree very strongly with Steve here.
      Richard Toll appears to be asking for the IPCC to be brought to task.
      Any minor problems are just that, minor.
      I realise that there may be a lot of history here but would beg you to be charitable, magnanimous even, kind hearted and forget the past. Run with Richard’s major contribution and leave the nit picking to some future date

      • angech, I find it remarkable so many people are claiming I’m writing about this topic because of a grudge. It’s just a lame way to try to discredit an argument based upon things they want to be true. People on the skeptical “side” ought to know better than make claims they couldn’t possibly have the knowledge to support. Otherwise they’re no better than people who say I write what I write because I’m paid by the oil industry.

        I’m not discussing a nit. I’m discussing a serious problem. Conclusions in an IPCC report should not be rewritten to suit the desires of a single person.

        I’m at a loss how people can say the SPM being changed due to bias can be bad yet say the report being changed due to bias is unimportant.

  10. It’s the Intergovernmental Panel. The panel produces the results the governments want.
    The scientific process and the scientists involved, have been corrupted to this end.

  11. David L. Hagen

    Stewardship in Context
    Bjorn Lomborg puts the IPCC report in clear perspective in Global Warming’s Upside Down Perspective:

    . . .The media, eager for breathless headlines, share the blame with politicians for this state of affairs. Following the release of the Stern Review, one British newspaper reportedly wrote: “Act now or the world we know will be lost forever.” Being accurate is less sexy, but much more informative.
    We live in a world where one in six deaths are caused by easily curable infectious diseases; one in eight deaths stem from air pollution, mostly from cooking indoors with dung and twigs; and billions of people live in abject poverty, with no electricity and little food. We ought never to have entertained the notion that the world’s greatest challenge could be to reduce temperature rises in our generation by a fraction of a degree.
    The solution is to stop applauding politicians who warn of catastrophe and promote poor policies. Instead of subsidizing inefficient solar and wind power with little benefit, we need to invest in long-term green innovation. And we need to give more attention to all of the other problems. This is perhaps less entertaining, but it will do much more good.

    By contrast, Lomborg highlights the major reductions in poverty and improvements in the environment due to economic growth. See A Scorecard for Humanity e.g.:

    Over the 20th century, 260 million died from indoor air pollution in the Third World – about twice the toll in all the century’s wars. This is more than 4 times more than died from outdoor air pollution. As poverty has receded and clean fuels gotten cheaper, the risk has fallen eight-fold and will decline another 70% until 2050.

    By contrast:

    It will come as a big surprise that climate change from 1900 to 2025 has mostly been a net benefit, rising to increase welfare about 1.5% of GDP per year. . . .After year 2070, global warming will become a net cost to the world, justifying cost-effective climate action.

    Let’s focus efforts and resources where they do the most good to humanity, especially addressing the needs of the poor – not pampered politicians, bureaucrats and rent seekers.

  12. Jim Cripwell

    On the previous thread, talking about the IPCC reports, I find in response to what I wrote , the following

    @@@@@
    The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse | April 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm |

    Jim Cripwell:

    The IPCC reports are the citation.

    That would merely be the opinion of one extremely biased individual.

    Denialist cognition never fails to amuse!”

    It would seem that criticism of the IPCC reports is not limited to “one extremely biased individual”, but includes at least two lead authors of the iPCC reports themselves.

  13. Many issues discussed in WGII and WGIII involve direct and explicit conflicts of interest. They affect the positions of individual countries and they affect directly various industries, most directly all energy industries (fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables), but also all energy intensive industries and applications. It’s impossible to find authors that are immune to these conflicts of interest, and, as has been observed, writing a unanimously acceptable summary leads to a very poor result.

    National and industry interests affect also views on WGI, but not nearly as strongly, the conflicts of interest are not as direct and therefore more manageable.

    Now it’s time to think what will be the next step after AR5. My view has been for some time (see my site) that continuing with the same model is far from optimal. Maintaining an up-to-date collection and assessment of the physical science part could be done much better on the internet as some kind of continuous process. WGII and WGIII should be looked at at an deeper level. The division of content between the reports is not optimal, part of the material is so deeply mixed with conflicts of interest that it should perhaps be handled elsewhere. Agreeing on one set of conclusions is so impossible that a set of parallel overviews might be more useful.

    These are just some ideas, the main point is that the whole process should be analyzed anew. Continuation with AR6 without major changes has little to support it.

    • Curious George

      Current IPCC process can be made much more optimal simply: they should only meet in places above 60 degrees latitude. Barrow, Alaska would be a great place to start. Inexpensive, too.

    • Fernando Leanme

      I would say the whole process needs to be suspended or abandoned. Funding should be allocated to have work published in media without paywalls. Peer review needs improvement and more transparency. Data sets should be readily available and updated. Summary reports of data findings and trends should be published on a monthly basis. An international TV channel should be available to provide conference coverage in at least ten languages. Open to everybody. Why I’m i suggesting this? Because they are messing with my life, my taxes, my car, my vacations and my time. And I want to have access to information to judge by myself what the hell is going on.

  14. This is pretty important. Robert Stavins is as insider as an insider can get. So when he makes a statement like: “…however, the process the IPCC followed resulted in a process that built political credibility by sacrificing scientific integrity…”, I can’t see how courts and at least some governments can avoid listening.

    This issue will likely now become a bit more mainstream. Stavins will testify before Congress, if asked to do so, that he certainly believes that CO2 is warming the climate, a position with which Judith also agrees. But the rest of the testimony — that you can believe the IPCC science texts, but not the SPM — will have to make at least some people on the warmist side of the debate, at least some judges, begin to be pretty uncomfortable with the status quo.

    • Jim Cripwell

      John, you write “begin to be pretty uncomfortable with the status quo.”

      I agree, but my guess is that no credit whatsoever will be given to the skeptics who have been saying this for a very long time.

    • to Jim Cripwell:

      Yes, credit will not be given to Judith, or Patrick Michaels, or Steve McIntyre, or so many others. Not unless the pause lasts another decade and most of the world recognizes they were right.

      But if establishment insiders start quietly talking about what Stavins is saying, and if that causes a slowdown of the momentum and the beginning of hard questions of alarmists, I will be quite happy.

    • Jim Cripwell

      John, you write “But if establishment insiders start quietly talking about what Stavins is saying, and if that causes a slowdown of the momentum and the beginning of hard questions of alarmists, I will be quite happy.”

      I am sure we are in agreement. I just don’t trust the warmists. They did a complete whitewash job on Climategate. I suspect something of the same this time around.

    • Jim, I don’t trust the warmists, either, especially their propaganda branch, which includes most PR flaks that do the press releases for scientific studies, and always find something terrible, even in science that shows things aren’t as bad as postulated previously.

      My sense is that establishment insiders (not scientific ones) take their views based upon their overall sense of the correct positions scientifically. They don’t know themselves, it is a matter of not exactly trust, because insiders know all about how PR moves the needles, it is more a matter of where they think things will lie when all the dust is settled.

      So what makes a very clear letter like Stavins’ so important is that he is the ultimate global warming scientific insider, he is very much someone who wants to see things done, but he has exposed the process in a way that outsiders cannot. Outsiders can be denigrated, ad hominem attacks and so on, even if they are right. No warmist can do that to Stavins. So the establishment insiders who must rely on their sense of what is really going on, those are the people that Stavins’ letter can influence.

    • Jim Cripwell

      John, you write ” Outsiders can be denigrated, ad hominem attacks and so on, even if they are right. No warmist can do that to Stavins.”

      Now I understand what you are saying. I am not au fait with this sort of issue. I hope you are right, but I also hope that Stavins wont find his name of desmogblog.

  15. After all the outrage over the Need for proper Standards and Practices, UN policies have essentially turned UNFCCC participation into a Cargo Cult ritual.

    What a mess!

  16. Hundreds of millions of words when you consider all the parties involved and the summary fact remains, AGW is a contrived legacy of the 60’s Green and left-wing movements that predate Earth Day.

    “Like minded”?? Just more imprecise posturing as if we have to be polite about it. Left-wing ideologues who saw and see the opportunity to “regulate and tax” as road to power and wealth. “Common good” power rationalizations being the sanctimoniously portion of the endeavor.

    Green/Left infiltration of everything U.N./AGW/Academic/IPCC is obvious and should be stated directly.

  17. In my view the IPCC WG1 is perhaps the worst way to evaluate the state of science with respect to climate change. It is hopelessly entwined with the more political agendas of the UN member states and various advocate groups and winds up being somewhat of an intellectual slave to it. As a reference it has become only a source of supporting quotations for advocates of various persuasions to point to in argument, not a scientific reference source. Even then, the methods used to express uncertainty within WG1 are almost embarrassing to discuss in a technical context. I believe at least the UNIPCC WG1 should cease activities. Perhaps the other WG’s and the whole process could be revamped or morphed into a strictly consultative group for the UN negotiating process.

    It seems to me the primary literature remains the best source for the scientific background, but in that case it seems (to one outside climate science at least) that quite a few of the climate science journals maintain a significant bias in editorial policies and a review process that is not a robust mechanism for assuring rigor. Too often it seems to me that individual papers become battle flags for various groups for a short, incendiary fame based largely on the title and a sentence or two in the abstract, and then fade from the actual progress of understanding after a bit of rigorous examination.

    What I would like to see is, for example, an Annual Review of Climate Change in which that journal (or one like it) composes an editorial board of (searching for the right word…) scientists recognized in the field but removed from the advocate celebrity fray. It might be hard to do so, but I think it is possible. One could nominate, for example, J. Curry to such a board easily, but there are always issues of time and effort requirements. I find such a venue eminently more amenable for a scientist from outside a field to access the science involved. For example, the current issue of the AR of Environment and Resources (October 2013) has a very readable article by Timothy Lenton discussing environmental tipping points from a mathematical approach but with applications to many examples. I found it particularly interesting in thinking about the demarcation between localized (e.g. continental scale or less) tipping points and global tipping points and his discussion of the difficulties assessing tipping points for large heterogeneous systems with multiple, varying feedbacks involved.

    It may be such a journal exists and I am unaware of it. If not, I suspect that the amount of interest focused on climate science or climate dynamics would support such a journal.

  18. Selection bias at the bottom (WG) coupled with political spin at the top (SPM) does not make for a useful process. Documented some of both for AR4. Despite the audit recommendations in 2010, we find the same things coming now from insiders. Rather then move IPCC, better or remove it totally. The damage being done to scientific and governmental credibility is growing too large.

  19. @Brandon S, others
    Material was moved, at a late stage, from Chapter 19 to Chapter 10, with the approval of all involved. The material was reworked, in response to comments, to remove nonsensical material, to replace derivative with original citations, and to extend the survey from a haphazard selection to the entire population of peer-reviewed estimates. The revised material was reviewed by key experts in the field. The revisions implied that estimates by Tol make up a smaller share of the total.

    • Brandon

      Does Richards reply throw any further light on the matter?

      Tonyb

    • Richard Tol, why would you so blatantly misuse the IPCC for your own self-aggrandizement and then try to kick the slats out of same IPCC? It seems so self-defeating. Did you get mad when your chapter didn’t make headlines? I mean what did you expect; fame and fortune from one obscure chapter of an endless report with a lot of sexed up doom and gloom in it? I am with Brandon on this one. You should be ashamed of yourself, Dr. Tol.

    • I apparently failed to click the Reply button when responding. My comment can be found here.

      Tonyb, no it does not. Richard Tol has merely repeated the same points he’s made before. For example, he claims the section was completely revised at the behest of reviewer comments. I’ve asked him, multiple times, what comments called for such a revision. He’s avoided answering. As far as I can tell, none of the reviews the section went through appear to have called for anything of the sort.

      The section as written in the First Order Draft went through a round of reviews with only minor changes (aside from additional material being added). The result was the Second Order Draft. The reviews for it did not call for any significant changes. Normally, that’d mean the Final Version would not have any significant changes. Instead, it was moved to another section and completely rewritten.

      What comments called for such a radical change? What reviewers signed off on the total rewrite? Where is the documentation for any of this? How does any of it square with the IPCC process?

      We have absolutely no information. All we have are some vague, unverifiable claims from Tol.

    • By the way, I’ve collected nearly all documents related to the reviews of the chapters this section was in (Chapter 19 in the drafts, Chapter 10 in the final version). I discussed them in this post. I also shared the final version of an outline which had undergone multiple revisions while AR5 was being made. It (and the earlier versions I didn’t upload) showed the section belonging in Chapter 19.

      Perhaps there was some sort of agreement to move the section to Chapter 19 to Chapter 10. Perhaps there was some sort of agreement to completely rewrite the section after all rounds of review had already passed. I don’t know. All I know is there is nothing in the available IPCC record which explains any of this, and none of what Richard Tol describes matches the process that’s supposed to be used to make the IPCC reports.

    • Steven Mosher

      Brandon the organization of chapters would not be covered in the reviewer comments. Organizational issues ( as we see in the climategate mails) are taken up at the lead author level and editor level.

    • Brandon, we really need to get to the bottom of this. Just to be clear what the very serious charges are, you say this Tol person: “subverted the science to promote his own interests.”

      You have put a lot of pressure on the dude, but he hasn’t cracked and admitted it yet. What happens next? Grand jury? Special prosecutor? How can you compel this guy to fess up? Or failing in getting Tol to come clean, how can you prove your accusations are true?

    • Steven Mosher, I’m aware of that. I don’t have a problem with that section having been moved from Chapter 19 to Chapter 10 without reviewers calling for it. The only problem I have with the move is the timing of it. It was done only after all reviews had been completed. It happened so late in the game the final outline determined by the IPCC stills says the section should be in Chapter 19. That’s a problem.

      But it’s a relatively small problem. The real problem is the one I’ve tried to focus on: the rewrite. Why was the section completely rewritten only after all rounds of review were finished? Why was it completely rewritten when no reviewers called for such?

      What’s the point of even having reviews if authors can simply rewrite sections after the reviews are done?

    • Ah, the freaking timing is suspicious! Mosher, you know that Brandon has special insight into the inner workings of the IPCC and everything else. He’s got the documents and all that crap. Put that together with suspicious timing and Sherlock Schollenberger has got his man. You been through this before,Steven. When Sherlock is wearing that funny hat and smoking his pipe, he is impervious to any reasonable suggestion that he might be wrong.

    • Don Monfort, that the section was rewritten is not in dispute. Richard Tol originally claimed it had only been moved, but he has since acknowledged it was completely rewritten.

      That the change happened after all rounds of review were finished is also not in dispute. There is no question the section did not undergo any review under the normal IPCC process. The only question is who the “key experts” Tol says reviewed it were and how sending a section to unspecified reviewers meets the IPCC standards.

      Thus far, the effect of the rewrite has not been disputed either. Tol has never denied the new section heavily favors his views and work. He also hasn’t denied the new section fails to discuss work published since the IPCC AR4 or compare the current IPCC conclusions to previous ones. He hasn’t denied the new section depends heavily upon work from a decade ago. I don’t think any of this is disputable. However, he hasn’t acknowledged it so it remains a potential topic for dispute.

      In effect, nothing I’ve said has been disputed. All that’s been said is the issues I raised don’t matter because (unspecified) people made comments calling for a complete revision and (unspecified) experts reviewed the new material. Obviously, Tol or the IPCC should provide more information on this point. They should explain who called for the rewrite and who reviewed it. They should also explain how any of this follows IPCC practices. Alternatively, the IPCC may wish to disagree with Tol and provide information to show he’s wrong.

      I don’t see how to make any of them do anything though. The only way I know people could make them respond is to create enough public pressure for answers.

    • Neither the IPCC nor Richard Tol owes you any more information, Brandon. It is very unlikely that you are going to get what you want. You can’t prove your silly charges. You don’t know what went on behind the IPCC curtain, and you especially don’t know what motivated Dr Tol. You could be charitable, but you choose to defame on your suspicions. The bottom line is, who really cares? End of story.

    • Don Monfort, I can’t help but notice while you refer to the issues I raise as “silly charges,” you haven’t done anything to address them much less show them wrong.

      Dismissing things out of hand does not work.

    • Oh, now you are requiring me to prove your silly charges are wrong. You have got it bass acwards, brandie. You prove that your defamation of Dr. Tol is justified. You and Bob “freaking Ward.

    • Steven Mosher

      Don
      It takes a bit but at the bottom youll find that brandon
      Oversells the outrage.

      Looks like if I believe brandon that toll did a rewrite
      After reviewer comments. Briffa did the same thing.

      Now in the case of briffa we had specific things to complain
      About and specific errata to demand.

      In one case, with jones, our specific complaint lead to an admission in ar5.

      Brandon needs to make a specific complaint about the rewrite. One thing we learned in climategate is that process
      Complaints are not effective.

      Perhaps mashey could help him

    • Steven Mosher, if you’re going to criticize what I’ve said, you should probably try taking up the criticisms with me. I might have answers. For example, you say I should have a specific complaint. I’ve given at least two.

      One specific complaint is the revision removed all discussion of new results from the section. This meant it was impossible to compare the current IPCC conclusions past ones, a key aspect of IPCC report the original section did managed to do. A second specific complaint is a core part of the section:

      Since AR4, four new estimates of the global aggregate impact on human welfare of moderate climate change were published (Bosello et al., 2012; Maddison and Rehdanz, 2011; Roson and van der Mensbrugghe, 2012), including two estimates for warming greater than 3°C. Estimates agree on the size of the impact (small relative to economic growth) but disagree on the sign (Figure 10-1). Climate change may be beneficial for moderate climate change but turn negative for greater warming.

      Depends entirely upon work from a decade ago. All estimates since 2002 agree on the sign, offering no evidence climate change “may be beneficial for moderate climate change.” You can spot this if you carefully parse the section and realize the second sentence does not refer to the estimates mentioned in the first.

      It’s true I haven’t been particularly specific on this page, but my comments have referred to the posts where I was.

    • Steven, this is the state of brandie’s case, out of his own mouth:

      “Perhaps there was some sort of agreement to move the section to Chapter 19 to Chapter 10. Perhaps there was some sort of agreement to completely rewrite the section after all rounds of review had already passed. I don’t know.”

      He doesn’t freaking know.

      Richard Tol states:

      “Material was moved, at a late stage, from Chapter 19 to Chapter 10, with the approval of all involved. The material was reworked, in response to comments, to remove nonsensical material, to replace derivative with original citations, and to extend the survey from a haphazard selection to the entire population of peer-reviewed estimates. The revised material was reviewed by key experts in the field. The revisions implied that estimates by Tol make up a smaller share of the total.”

      Sherlock wants to know what comments. He can’t find them online, so they don’t exist. The timing is suspicious. He can read Dr. Tol’s mind and he knows that Dr. Tol is out to better himself by making use of the IPCC process, just before Dr. Tol goes out of his way to discredit the IPCC process. It all adds up, in brandie’s uncharitable little mind. What a character.

    • This shouldn’t need to be said, but Don Monfort’s depiction of things is grossly misleading:

      Steven, this is the state of brandie’s case, out of his own mouth:

      “Perhaps there was some sort of agreement to move the section to Chapter 19 to Chapter 10. Perhaps there was some sort of agreement to completely rewrite the section after all rounds of review had already passed. I don’t know.”

      He doesn’t freaking know.

      It’s true I don’t know what agreements were made outside the normal IPCC process. That doesn’t say anything about my case though. There is no dispute the section was completely rewritten after the final round of last round of expert review. Richard Tol himself acknowledges such.

      The extent of my knowledge covers the regular IPCC review process. It offers no explanation for what happened. I don’t think anyone can fault me for not knowing what happened outside that process.

      Sherlock wants to know what comments. He can’t find them online, so they don’t exist.

      I’ve offered up every review comment made on any draft of the chapters this section was in specifically so people would have the material necessary to see if I was right or wrong. If there were comments comments calling for a complete revision, they were made outside the normal review process.

      There’s more, but you get the picture.

    • The picture is of someone who needs attention and is willing to be stubbornly silly to get it. Dr. Tol answered you. He did it in collaboration with the other people responsible for that chapter. Do you think they would let him do it all on his own? If you do, then prove it. I would say or else shut up, but I know from observing you that you are not capable of doing that.

    • brandie, brandie

      I will help you, one last time. Tol was able to get away with his self-serving misdeed by using the Jedi mind trick on his collaborators. I think that’s your best shot, brandie. Thank me, if it works out for you.

    • Steven Mosher

      Don

      “It’s true I don’t know what agreements were made outside the normal IPCC process. ”

      See how he assumes that moving a chapter is covered by a process?
      One of the mistakes we made in prosecuting the climategate Ar4 issues
      was focusing too much on the process question ( yes the letter of the process was probably violated) and not enough on fixing the problem.

      As I view this Brandon is playing his wannabe mcintyre game. But he doesn’t have the chops for it.

      First. He needs to make a cogent case and clean up his past mistakes.
      Second he needs to stop presenting snippets of that case in various blogs.
      Third he needs to learn to make proper requests to people for information.

      Example, you would rarely see mcIntyre running around promoting his case at other blogs. He wisely left that to others.

      Now it may be that Brandon has something interesting. Based on past experience I doubt it. Even looking at what he has amassed I’m not seeing anything that rises much above the level of finding a typo. That’s important to note, but also important to put in perspective. Some people are good at finding typos or minor issues. Bless their souls. They tend to be hyper literal minded and usually exists somewhere on the autism scale, like aspergers perhaps.

    • Steven Mosher

      Don

      You will find brandon making the following argument. he doesnt have all the documents ( like the editors comments or summaries of review comments) but he doesnt see how these would help..

      haha.

      More, here are some actual comments which arguably call for a rewrite.
      Note, If I look at all the comments in total my impression is they call for a rewrite. Now they dont use the word ‘rewrite’ thats Brandons clever lever.
      here are just a couple out of 83 pages

      “This chapter should be re-structured, as it contains by far to many repetitions. As a reader you really get the feeling that you are
      confronted with same topics over and over again, only in slightly different contexts. It would be easier to understand and to follow, if
      you bundle all the important aspects with regard to health, agriculture, biodiversity in one respective section. The reader cares much
      more about sectors than about the more academic and conceptual questions if it is a key risk or an emergent risk or an emerging risk or
      a unique system etc…And all these issues are also discussed in other chapters, so you even have more repetitions. ”

      “This chapter is a bit dense and difficult to read, at times, and some sections seem a bit repetitive. The terminology utilized (“emergent”
      and “emerging”) is somewhat confusing and not consistent with the ways these terms are used, for example, in the health sector.”

    • Steven, poor little brandie has just blown his whole case. See latest comments below. He now admits, caving to expert interrogation, that he “assumes” that Tol’s colleagues approved of Tol’s “assumed” lonesome rewriting of the “assumed” notorious science subverting chapter. His next move is to take me up on the Jedi mind trick and reveal that he “assumes” that Tol mesmerized his collaborators to gain their unwitting approval for his dastardly deed. Dude is a trip.

    • Steven Mosher

      More comments that call for a rewrite without using the word “rewrite”

      “It seems like the chapter is trying to cover too much, resulting in interesting and important points being buried within the text. Suggest
      removing some of the sections, to allow more useful discussion on those most relevant/interesting (e.g., emerging risks, key
      vulnerabilities and risks) and make sure the terms used are clearly defined, then used consistently throughout. (CANADA)”

      “I hate to sound territorial or critical, but this entire discussion has a lot of overlap with other chapters and has a lot of loose language
      without confidence statements. It talks about specific numbers from selected studies but there is no sense of how robust they are. most
      importantly, i’m not really sure what this section is trying to say. it meanders from climate impacts to not eating meat to yield gaps to
      biofuels. it seems the first paragraph of this section said all that was needed at least based on the title of the section (i.e. that the
      impacts discussed in chapter 7 will quickly move across boundaries and we have seen examples of that recently).”

      when you actually go through the comments and look at the scope of changes they recommend.. the word “rewrite” comes to mind to describe what they suggest.

    • Naw, brandie read those comments but he “assumed” that they were absolutely not talking about a “rewrite”. Just an overhaul.

    • Steven Mosher criticizes me on various points above. I’m not going to discuss anything but the quotes he offers to suggest my statements have been misguided. I’ll offer excerpts from each quote he provided. First, he provides three highly misleading quotes:

      This chapter should be re-structured, as it contains by far to many repetitions. As a reader you really get the feeling that you are
      confronted with same topics over and over again, only in slightly different contexts.

      This chapter is a bit dense and difficult to read, at times, and some sections seem a bit repetitive.

      It seems like the chapter is trying to cover too much, resulting in interesting and important points being buried within the text. Suggest
      removing some of the sections

      The rewrite I referred to was one where a single section was completely changed to the point it bears no resemblance to the previous versions. Mosher offered several quotes suggesting the chapter be restructured. Moving the contents of a chapter around or condensing it in no way calls for completely rewriting a section in a way which changes its conclusions. It certainly doesn’t call for the generation of an entirely new figure and table.

      Mosher then goes on to offer a… strange example:

      I hate to sound territorial or critical, but this entire discussion has a lot of overlap with other chapters and has a lot of loose language without confidence statements. It talks about specific numbers from selected studies but there is no sense of how robust they are. most importantly, i’m not really sure what this section is trying to say. it meanders from climate impacts to not eating meat to yield gaps to biofuels. it seems the first paragraph of this section said all that was needed at least based on the title of the section (i.e. that the impacts discussed in chapter 7 will quickly move across boundaries and we have seen examples of that recently).

      This might seem like a relevant comment save it is specifically made in reference to section 19.4.1 on pages 20-22. The section I’ve been discussing is 19.6.3.5 on pages 42-45. There is no way one can take this comment on an entirely different section as justifying the complete revision of the section I discussed.

      This isn’t even cherry-picking. Cherry-picking requires selecting relevant examples in a biased way. Selecting irrelevant examples then misrepresenting their scope is something else entirely.

    • Steven Mosher

      Don

      You will find that Brandons penchant for precision doesnt extend to his own work.

      Lets review.

      1. There is no problem with moving the section.
      2. There is no evidence that Tol worked alone to do this
      3. There is no evidence that it wasn’t reviewed by others after the rewrite.
      4. Brandon only has issues with one section

      “But it’s a relatively small problem. The real problem is the one I’ve tried to focus on: the rewrite. Why was the section completely rewritten only after all rounds of review were finished? Why was it completely rewritten when no reviewers called for such?”

      As a literalist he merely looked through the comments and didnt see the word
      “rewrite”.

    • Steven Mosher

      Brandon you are missing the point of my examples.

      What Im showing you is that people can call for a rewrite without using the word.

      You need to go look at all the comments that could be relevant to the section you care about and then demonstrate ( which you cant ) that those comments dont amount to a call to rewrite.

      For example: If I write a paragraph and six people make objections. I may see that as a request to rewrite, while NONE USE THE WORD, I can still infer that to answer all the questions it is better to rewrite than to ammend.

      Its true. nobody used the word rewrite. you need to do more detailed work
      looking at all the comments.

      Its ok to steal Wards work and continue to press the issue, you just need to be more precise about what you know, what the issue is, and what remedy you propose.

    • Steven Mosher, what are you smoking? I’ve never said anything which indicates I only looked for the word “rewrite.” I specifically went through every comment relevant to the section and examined what changes they called for.

      If you want to focus entirely upon the use of the word “rewrite,” a topic nobody but you has ever discussed, you can. I won’t try to interefere. All I’ll do is point out there is absolutely no basis for claiming:

      As a literalist he merely looked through the comments and didnt see the word
      “rewrite”.

      That’s completely untrue, and I cannot imagine how anyone would come to believe it. It doesn’t even make sense as my original remarks referred to a “revision,” not a “rewrite.”

    • OMG! Steven, I told you he would resort to semantic quibbling about what “rewrite” is.

      It would be amusing to see Brandon drag this stuff into a courtroom in defense of a defamation suit:

      What caused you to believe that Dr. Tol wrote the little thing by himself?

      Uh, I assumed it.

      How did that subvert science?

      Uh, I assumed it subverted science.

      Do you have any evidence that Dr. Tol’s alleged rewriting of that little subsection subverted science?

      Uh, I assumed it did subvert science. I think Bob Ward thinks so, too. I got the idea from Bob.

      No further questions.

    • Steven Mosher

      Don

      Unbelieveable

      Brandon now moves away from the word ‘rewrite”

      When up thread he writes

      “There is no dispute the section was completely rewritten after the final round of last round of expert review. Richard Tol himself acknowledges such.”

      on his site

      ” I basically accused him of rewriting the Aggregate Impacts section”

      “The reality is the text Bob Ward referred to bears no resemblance to the text Tol claimed was moved. The text was completely rewritten, a fact Tol has since acknowledged.”

      “It was only at this point, after the section had passed two rounds of review, that the section was completely rewritten. Richard Tol claims the section was rewritten in response to “comments on the Second Order Draft,” yet I can find nothing in the record I’ve provided above to support that claim. There are a couple documents missing from the record, but I can see no way they’d support Tol’s claim either.”

      [ haha funny missing documents support his case as well ]

      “With that, I’ve exhausted all information I have access to without finding any support for Tol’s claim. It appears no comments made as part of the IPCC process called for this section to be completely rewritten”

      A note here. Brandon says here that there are NO COMMENTS CALLING FOR A COMPLETE REWRITE”

      Now he prefers “revisions”.

      BWAHHHH

      and also, as I explained you wont find comments demanding a complete rewrite. and we can tell thats what he looked for. as I claimed

    • Steven Mosher

      Brandon

      “It doesn’t even make sense as my original remarks referred to a “revision,” not a “rewrite.””

      Read your own damn site bro.

    • Steven Mosher

      Revising the rewrite.
      I like this Don.
      “But it’s a relatively small problem. The real problem is the one I’ve tried to focus on: the rewrite. Why was the section completely rewritten only after all rounds of review were finished? Why was it completely rewritten when no reviewers called for such”

      Lets parse that.

      1. after the last review sections are REWRITTEN. why? well because you address the review comments.
      2. No review comment called for a complete rewrite (or revision). agreed
      you wont find a single comment demanding a complete rewrite or revision. Brandon knows because he read the commments and looked for the word. ( but he now denies looking for the word rewrite )

      So what are we left with. substantial changes were made.. substantive issues raised by these changes? zero.

    • Update, Steven.

      Testimony has resumed:

      Plaintiff attorney on re-cross:Mr. Schollenberger, in re-direct questioning you have changed your characterization of Dr. Tol’s alleged action from rewrite to revise. What substantive difference is there between those two words?

      Uh, I assumed there is a difference.

      Judge interrupts:Mr. Schollenberger, if you continue with the silly non-responsive replies to counsel’s questions, I will hold you in contempt of court.

      That’s all I need on that, Your Honor. Just one more question. Mr. Schollenberger, are you sorry now that you parroted that clown Bob Ward’s silly accusation against Dr. Tol?

      Uh, the way this is going I think I am going to be sorry. And I don’t understand why I am here in the hot seat and Bob Ward ain’t.

      Mr. Ward had the good sense to settle out of court. No further questions, Mr. Schollenberger.

  20. Stavins complaints that the SPM is too much influenced by policymakers seems relevant. They wanted to just show which countries were emitting most and had the highest emission growth rates, and they were prevented. This remains in the other parts of the report, but now it seems policymakers don’t have to look at or even consider this information any more, because they have censored it as a part of the reality that they are too uncomfortable to face. If the IPCC was free to summarize for policymakers without policymakers influencing this summary, it would be an improved process. If I remember correctly, similar things happened, less successfully with the WG1 SPM attributions, where oil-rich countries had some reservations, but I think were defeated in committees. Nevertheless WG1’s SPM also turned out too soft for many of the scientists because of the IPCC negotiation process.

    • Jim,
      The information is still available as you write. Thus the most essential difference is that government representatives have not explicitly agreed on the wording. That may be of some significance in later negotiations of the UNFCCC process.

    • I am concerned that the WG3 SPM has information censored out by policymakers. This may therefore not have as much attention when policymakers decide on policies, but it is hard to guess its effect.

    • Jim,

      It’s pretty clear that most of the censorship is made exactly to allow for some governments to resists policy decisions that they oppose or at least consider such that they might oppose them in future.

  21. Richard Tol, you’re previously said:

    As Chapter 19 was running out of time and pages, it was agreed to shift this part to Chapter 10. The comments on the Second Order Draft called for a complete revision, so that’s what was done.

    I’ve asked, multiple times, which comments “called for a complete revision”? Can you answer that question?

    Additionally, can you explain why a central conclusion of that section relies entirely upon work done prior to the IPCC AR4, work you were responsible for? A point which may be worth covering when answering this is a central aspect of IPCC reports is comparing new conclusions to old ones. The original section did this. The new section did not.

    Finally, can you explain how sending the section only to unspecified “key experts in the field” for review meets the IPCC standards for review?

    • Richard Tol

      Brandon has asked several reasonable questions and amplifies these with his 1.51 reply to me above. There does not seem to be a transparent audit trail which, to an outsider, seems strange bearing in mind the international importance of this report.
      tonyb

    • Tony, would you expect to find a transparent audit trail given that you are talking about the IPCC? Is that Dr. Tol’s fault? Do you think that Brandon is spending his time (and wasting out time) wisely harassing Dr Toll about an accusation brought up by Bob “freaking” Ward? Can’t you see that Dr. Toll has summarily dismissed Brandon’s hysterical quest for bureaucratic IPCC justice as an inconsequential nuisance? What a farce.

    • Comments and responses on the WGI report can be found here

      http://www.climatechange2013.org/report/drafts-and-review-materials/

      I don’t know about the availability of similar material on WGII and WGIII. It may take some time before it’s made available.

    • “During the multi-stage review process, expert reviewers and governments are invited to comment on the accuracy and completeness of the scientific and technical content, and the overall balance of the drafts. Therefore, review comments and author responses must be considered within the context of the final published report. The drafts, review comments, and author responses are considered pre-decisional materials; they are not the results of the assessment and may not be cited, quoted, or distributed as such.”

      In other words, the comments don’t necessarily have any impact on what actually results from the hocus pocus process.

    • What’s the alternative?

      That a change must be made?

      All that material will be made available, and so will other material that tells about the process. It’s, however, impossible to find out or document the real motivations of various acts. As impossible with IPCC as with practically any other body.

    • Pekka Pirilä, thanks. Unfortunately, the WGII page doesn’t have drafts and review comments up at the moment. I imagine it will in time. I’ll check back later.

      For what it’s worth, I was alerted to leaked versions of a large number of documents related to the WGII. I’m not sure about WGI or WGIII, but for WGII, all three drafts (and the final version) are now in the public domain. The reviewer comments for all three drafts are also in the public domain. Review Editor summaries for the First-Order Draft are also in the public domain (a number are missing and presumed not to have been completed). You can find links to all these for the chapters in question in this post.

      I look forward to the formal page for the WGII getting updated though. The leaked reviewer comments don’t have responses from the authors. Responses from the authors can provide a lot of useful information. It’d be good to have those.

      I’m going to have to read some for WGI now. I didn’t know they were available.

    • Pekka Pirilä, I see no reason to believe “that material” will ever be made available. I’ve read through every reviewer comment on every draft of the chapters this section was in. There’s nothing in them which calls for this.

      If such a major rewrite was called for by some comments, it was not called for in the reviewer comments that get released. If the new section was reviewed, it was not reviewed by any of the reviewers who signed up to be expert reviewers. Those reviewers didn’t get to see or review the section.

      Taking what Richard Tol says at face value, the complete revision of the section was done outside any IPCC process I’ve ever heard of. If there’s formal documentation of it, I don’t know what form it’d take. Nothing like it has been released for previous reports.

      This section was completely rewritten after the last stage of expert reviews had finished. As far as I know, the IPCC process has no formal policies for such a thing.

    • Brandon,
      I don’t know about the details of the process, but I think that changes like a transfer of significant amount of material from one chapter to another must be decided in a meeting and detailed at some level in a meeting report.

      Independently of that there must a couple of people in the authorship who have an interest to follow what’s done and where it leads.

      Comparison of drafts will tell what has actually changed. Comments on the previous report and responses will add to that.

      I cannot recall accurately, but I think that it took a few months from the acceptance of the SPM to publish the comments on WGI.

    • Pekka, brandie apparently wants us to believe that Tol did all that self-serving re-writing on his own and slipped it in at the last minute, and nobody noticed or objected. That makes a lot of sense.

    • Pekka Pirilä, at least one review editor suggested it’d be necessary to have a plenary meeting just to change the title of a section. I’d assume moving a section would require what you describe. There’s two problems with this. One, the IPCC hasn’t released documentation of such meetings in the past (that I know of). Two, there’s no guarantee people followed procedure.

      Fortunately, we can compare drafts right now. You can find the Zero, First and Second-Order Drafts, as well as the final version, in this post. You can also find the review comments for each draft. I collected them all together so it’s easy for people to check my claims.

      I relied extensively on leaked material, but this has all been in the public domain for a while now. All that’s missing for WGII is author responses to review comments and Review Editor reports on the Zero and Second-Order Drafts.

    • Let’s see if brandie will answer one simple question:

      What makes you think that Tol did it on his own?

      Remember, you have said:

      “Brandon Shollenberger
      April 19, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      Hilary Ostrov, thanks for the correction on terminology. I saw “Contributing Authors” then somehow read “Coordinating Lead Authors” as “Contributing Lead Authors.” It’s a silly mistake. I’ll try to use the correct terminology from now on, but I’m not going to edit my post this long after it went up. I’ll let the mistake stand. People can laugh at me for it.

      On the issue of text vs. graphical changes, you’re right the graphics are where Tol’s work gets heavy promotion (by removing two graphics and replacing it with one of his own). However, the issue here is not merely one of textual citations. There’s also the issue of viewpoints. The most obvious example is the final version of the section says:

      Climate change may be beneficial for moderate climate change but turn negative for greater warming.

      This is a position Richard Tol has repeatedly advanced in his papers and public outreach, and it is one absent from the original section. The closest reference to it directs one to Figure 10-1 (Tol’s figure). That means this claim is new, belongs to him and relies upon his own work. Changes like this mean even without heavily citing his work in the text, the section’s tenor has been changed to match his viewpoints pretty much perfectly.

      Additionally, there’s an odd issue with this figure. The sentence directing the reader to it claims the four estimates on economic impacts made since AR4 “agree on the size of the impact… but disagree on the sign (Figure 10-1).” Figure 10-1 seems to contradict this claim. It shows four diamonds (indicating new estimates), but all four are negative. That means they all agree on the sign, meaning they all agree the impact will be negative.

      For better information, we can look at Table 10.B.1 which Figure 10-1 references for its data. The four new impact estimates listed in it are -11.5, -0.5, -1.8, -4.6. This shows the text is wrong to say the new estimates disagree on sign. It also makes it impossible for me to see how the text can claim the new estimates “agree on the size of the impact.” -4.6 is far larger than two of the values, and -11.5 is the most extreme outlier of all the data points.

      I think I know how at least part of that happened, and if I’m right, it’s tied directly to a mistake Tol made in his papers. If so, that makes it difficult to claim anyone else is responsible for these changes.

      That said, I acknowledge that without access to communication/underlying documentation, I cannot know for certain Tol made these changes. I tried to indicate this by using phrasings like “he’s apparently” responsible. I might have failed to make it clear though.”

      You are still in the same position as your weasely words admitted in the last paragraph, above. Yet you have flatly stated that Dr. Tol is “a person who subverted the science to promote his own interests.” It’s absurd to think that even given the IPCC’s suspect procedures that Dr. Tol did the chapter rewite on his own and slipped it in at the last minute.

      • I have never suggested Richard Tol did this on his own without anyone knowing. All I’ve said is he did the rewrite. I’ve always assumed some people approved the change. I assume the same about the changes Keith Briffa made in AR4.

        As for my “weasely words,” when I first started discussing this issue, I wasn’t comfortable saying Richard Tol was the one who did the rewrite. He was the obvious candidate since the changes all favored his work, but I couldn’t prove it. Then Richard Tol responded. When he didn’t take issue with me attributing the rewrite to him, I stopped using “weasely words” to point out I wasn’t comfortable attributing the rewrite to him.

        I think that’s pretty normal. I gave Richard Tol the chance to tell me he wasn’t responsible before deciding he was..

    • You are really something, brandie. You labeled/defamed Dr Tol as “a person who subverted the science to promote his own interests.” Now you say that you assumed he had the approval of his colleagues, if he did in fact do the rewrite all on his lonesome, which you also assumed. Your string of assumptions don’t add up to Dr Tol subverting science to promote his own interests. That’s nutty.

      First of all, where the freak does the subverting come in? Is your little mind also assuming that Tol bribed his colleagues, making them co-conspirators? I don’t have to go on to your other necessarily nutty assumptions.

      You need some help, brandie. That’s been obvious for a long time from your goofy tilts on many threads. It’s a shame you can’t put your superior native intelligence and tenacity to better use.

      • Don Monfort, there is absolutely nothing in my comments to justify the ludicrous interpretations you’re posting. I’m not going to continue pointing out your misrepresentations.

        Suffice to say I think you’re projecting. Hard.

    • brandie:”I have never suggested Richard Tol did this on his own without anyone knowing. All I’ve said is he did the rewrite. I’ve always assumed some people approved the change.”

      brandie:”All I have said is he did the rewrite”

      That’s a lie. You have flatly stated that Dr. Tol is “a person who subverted the science to promote his own interests.” Everybody can plainly see that you are a liar and a defamer. Your case is closed.

      • Don Monfort, if people wish to think I’m lying based on that, they can. I think few will. I think most people will recognize believing Richard Tol rewrote a section to favor his work to the exclusion of other material in a way which directly contravened his duties can coincide with believing he “subverted the science to promote his interests.” I think they’ll also recognize both of those beliefs can coincide with Tol having gotten some people to sign off on the changes.

    • John Carpenter

      Well to me, a casual observer watching this thread play out, it look like a crash and burn of a half baked idea in search of a sympathetic audience.

      • John Carpenter, I’ll admit I’m trying to get people to pay attention to this issue. I’ll also admit I hoped people discussing criticisms of the IPCC process would be sympathetic to a discussion of an abuse of the IPCC process. I think both are reasonable.

        As for the notion this is “a half baked idea,” I’ll note only two people have tried to show anything I said is wrong. One is Don Monfort, whose comments I believe speak for themselves. The other is Steven Mosher who, amongst other things, claimed a comment on entirely different sections proved I was wrong to say nobody called for the section in question to be rewritten.

        I could accept calling this “a crash and burn” in the sense of not generating much interest, but there has not been any sort of meaningful disputation of anything I’ve said.

    • Yeah brandie, I can tell by the reaction here and what I have seen at the other places that you have tried to peddle this crap that a lot of people agree with you. How many would you say? Assume any number you like, as is your custom.

      (Let’s see if he is smart enough to give me the last word, on this one. It would be very much out of character.)

    • Seriously, Brandon. You are being stubbornly ridiculous and dishonest. Also nasty. You have made a very serious and gratuitous accusation against Dr. Tol, based on your assumptions. Why is it only now that you admit that one of your assumptions has been that Dr. Tol acted with the approval of his colleagues? Guess what Brandon, it was the task and responsibility of Dr, Tol and his colleagues to do exactly what they did.

      You have not remotely proven that they did anything wrong. They changed the chapter. So freaking what. What do you really know about it? Why do you suppose that nobody asked you to oversee or work on that chapter? I will help you, you don’t know squat about it. You are just a blog character, like your twin brother willis.

    • John Carpenter

      Brandon, there is something to be admired in people who show the ability to critically assess situations regardless of their personal ideological bias and calling a spade a spade. I linked to your site and read your posts as well as considered your responses to Tol and this thread. IMO It just appears you have latched on to something that has no real legs to it. Kudos for being even handed, but it appears to me to be a lot of effort for little gain or real enlightenment.

      • John Carpenter, if you think I’ve gotten anything wrong, I’d love to hear what. If you think I’m attaching too much significance to it, we may just have to agree to disagree. I think it’s a pretty big deal with sections of the IPCC report can go to press without having undergone any formal review.

        One of the biggest promotional aspects of the IPCC report is how many people review it. How does that make sense if entire sections can be hidden from reviewers? And if it doesn’t, doesn’t the fact it’s a significant part of the PR for the IPCC mean it’s an issue worth discussing?

    • John, Brandon has not critically assessed the situation. He assumes that Tol rewrote the chapter all by himself. What evidence does he provide to support his assumption? I ain’t seen anything that does it. But let’s just give him that one. He also finally admits, that he also assumes that Tol’s colleagues approved of his rewriting. Case freaking closed, John. They don’t need the Pope’s approval to rewrite the chapter. And they don’t need Brandon’s approval.

      Everybody knows that the IPCC process is BS. That’s trivial. Dr. Tol is not a stooge of the IPCC. Why go after him? Brandon is evenhanded, in the sense that Brandon will argue interminably with anybody about anything. Brandon’s act is usually more amusing than harmful, but in this case he has defamed Richard Tol, on a whim based on silly and irrelevant assumption.

    • Don Monfort: “In other words, the comments don’t necessarily have any impact on what actually results from the hocus pocus process.”

      Any sensible person would realize that of course the comments don’t necessarily have any impact on what actually results.

      But you….

    • You are lost lollie, as usual. Brandie is the one who searched through the comments looking for something to prove that the comments didn’t match the actions of Tol, or whatever. He must have thought (assumed) they had some relevance. Before you make any more silly observations from the perspective of your ignorance, you might try to read and catch up with the plot. My guess is you will choose to remain ignorant.

    • “Seriously, Brandon. You are being stubbornly ridiculous and dishonest. Also nasty. You have made a very serious and gratuitous accusation against Dr. Tol, based on your assumptions.”

      None of his assumptions seem any worse than the kind of assumptions you skeptics make when you are “nasty” and “ridiculous” in attacking climate scientists.

      Indeed if Brandon had targeted a climate scientist rather than Dr Tol I imagine you wouldn’t have a problem with it. I also suspect all the skeptics on here that are staying very quiet would instead be joining in.

      I see you using the word “defamation” a lot. Seems like a passive legal threat to me. Which is funny because I thought we learned from the Steyn case that freedom of speech is so important….

      I see at least 3 tactics being used to try and shut Brandon up. Your one seems to be the angry man approach.

    • Did you just get back from Mars, lollie? Don’t make a complete fool of yourself by jumping in at the middle of a long thread and making silly comments based on knowing nothing. And I don’t know a lot about the laws on Mars, but I can’t threaten brandie with defamation, because he hasn’t defamed me. However, I am free to offer my well-informed opinion that brandie has obviously defamed Dr. Tol. Defamation per se, lollie. Do they have that on Mars?

    • Don Monfort

      My guess is you [lolwot] will choose to remain ignorant.

      Why not?

      Ignorance is bliss.

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      lolwot.

      nobody is trying to shut brandon up. He needs to be more detailed in his claims, more circumspect in his charges. He levelled some hefty charges
      on Tol. Now when people do this about mann my advice is the same ( having learned some lessons ). Dont over charge your case.
      make sure you have everything nailed down.
      Ask your questions through official channels ( dont bomb people on blogs or twitter)

      Then make your case.

      As far as I can see— if Brandon is right–, Tol rewrote a section after the last review. Well this is a problem we’ve pointed out time and time again.
      There is no way to prevent this. all work in the end will end up with a document that isnt reviewed. the last review is followed by a rewrite.

      The question is. what changes were made ( a laundry list is good)
      And were these changes material
      And what would an errata look like,

      When you make this a practical question rather than personalizing it
      you stand a chance of fixing things.

      Having done some personalization in the Ar4 case I speak from experience.

      if the goal is fixing things this is what you do.

    • Steven, what’s plainly bizarre is that Brandon would assume some nefarious and self-serving motive to whatever it is that Tol did. Who really cares about a little section of an obscure chapter in a massive report that is full of some serious BS. Brandon belatedly admits that he assumes that Tol had the approval of his collaborators. I don’t see him charging them with subverting science. They did whatever they did in the context of the IPCC’s lack of coherent policies. It’s a freaking nit, in the grand scheme of things, And I would like to see Brandon explain how Tol would have hoped to benefit from rewriting that little subsection and then slamming the IPCC. I used to have a little bit of respect for Brandon, despite his emotional disorders. Now I have to drop him down to the Bob Ward, Dana Nutticelli level.

    • Brandon, I think that Max is assuming that ignorance is bliss. Isn’t that OK?

    • Steven Mosher

      Don it is pretty simple. Brandon got into a pissing match with Tol over lewandowsky maths. So, now Tol has his own personal troll.

      Look Brandon is good at finding these things but he sucks at framing them and selling them. always overcharges.. tin ear. but as far as collecting stuff and putting a case together he does ok. His stuff on mann was really good.. and then he over reaches.. always goes a bridge too far.. which is really odd since he has a mind for detail.. hmm tone deaf..

      he needs an editor

      • Steven Mosher, if you’re going to accuse me of having a grudge against Richard Tol, at least try to get some idea as to when it began. You aren’t even close to right. Richard Tol and I never had any exchanges about “lewandowsky maths.” Our exchanges were over Cook et al’s consensus paper. And that wasn’t even when our history began. You could go much further back to argue a grudge. Hint: It started on this blog, and it nearly led to me writing a post for this site.

        .

        Seriously guys, you can do better with your criticisms. Wildly making things up about me and what I’ve written is good. Childish name-calling and labeling me a liar? Great!

        But this? You can’t even get basic information right. I almost feel like I should join in in this ridiculousness just to show you how it’s done.

    • Yeah, I have said that Brandon is smart and tenacious. He could use an editor and some therapy for his issues.

      As I was saying, this Tol assumed rewrite issue is a nit. I don’t know if anybody posted this yet. I just saw it:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2614097/Top-climate-experts-sensational-claim-government-meddling-crucial-UN-report.html

      I will be surprised if any of the so-called mainstream media give any play to this story.

    • Steven Mosher

      Don

      Brandon: ‘All I’ve said is he did the rewrite. ”

      I think he meant revision.

    • PS: Yeah, I remember the spat with Tol over the Lewandowsky BS. I agreed more with Brandon in that little tete a tete. I believe I said so on lucia’s blog. Tol’s criticism was basically correct, but parts of it were overwrought.

      • Don Monfort, it’s good to know you “remember the spat with Tol over the Lewandowsky BS” that Steven Mosher made up.

        It’s always nice to know I was overwrought in something that never happened!

    • John Carpenter

      Brandon, not following the rules is always problematic. Your perception here is Tol did not follow the IPCC rules to his advantage. So wrt to pursuing that part, I don’t think you’re wrong. We disagree on the significance of this, if in fact rules were broken. First, you have not provided a clear case the rules were broken in a way that an improprietary has been committed by Tol. Rules are broken for reasons other than nefarious ones. Maybe give Tol the benefit of the doubt and take him for his word… Reviewers agreed to the changes. Of more interest would be what changes were made that changed the significance of the chapters? How are these changes relavent to policy? What changes were made where important information was dismissed, hidden, altered or inserted from the original meant to promote Tol or a specific policy he endorses and how is this important to influencing readers? Developing this angle would be more interesting than rules may not have been followed IMO.

      • John Carpenter:

        First, you have not provided a clear case the rules were broken in a way that an improprietary has been committed by Tol. Rules are broken for reasons other than nefarious ones. Maybe give Tol the benefit of the doubt and take him for his word… Reviewers agreed to the changes.

        I take Richard Tol at his word. The only statement by him I’ve said was wrong was his claim the section was merely moved. He’s since acknowledged it was rewritten so that shows I was right.

        On everything else, I’ve taken him at his word. He says commenters called for a complete revision. He says various people reviewed the changes. I don’t dispute either claim. What I do is call for him to specify which comments called for the revision and which reviewers approved it. Those details should be part of the public record.

        Here’s a point people seem to be overlooking. Richard Tol and I aren’t disagreeing about any facts in this case. As far as I know, he does not say I am wrong about any details. All he does is say there is additional information which justifies what was done. I’m trying to get him to tell us about that information.

        As it stands, I don’t believe anybody is disputing any facts or details I’ve discussed. That means all they have to dismiss these issues is Richard Tol’s unverifiable word that everything’s okay.

        Developing this angle would be more interesting than rules may not have been followed IMO.

        I’d love to discuss the effects of this change and any other changes like it. I started doing that in my first post on this topic. However, as soon as I started discussing this, people started throwing up all sorts of reasons why I was wrong about what had happened. I’ve been stuck just trying to get people to acknowledge the revisions were made when and how I say they were made.

        Maybe I shouldn’t let myself get that diverted, but if people think I’m wrong about what happened, they’re not going to listen to anything I have to say about its significance.

    • Brandon, it makes no substantive difference if your spat with Tol was over Lewandowsky’s crap, or Cookie’s crap. And I said that I agreed with you. I was referring to Tol when I said some of his criticism was overwrought. You are so emotional that you can’t read straight. We want to like and respect you Brandon, but you make it very hard.

    • John, rules that are not enforced are not rules. This story is a nit. It is right up Brandon’s alley. He is a nitpicker. Don’t humor him. He will just keep it up.

    • This is really getting sickening. Brandon, you keep on trying to minimize what you have charged by saying you only said this and you only said that and Tol agrees with you anyway, but he won’t give you whatever it is you are insisting on getting. Well, you are lying. You said that Tol has subverted science for his own benefit. You have a grudge against Tol and you took that clown Ward’s foolishness and used it for your little vendetta against Tol. You have squandered any credibility that you had left after previous tantrums, and shame on you. I won’t bother with you again. Take a hike.

    • Brandon,

      As far as I am concerned Richard Tol has integrity at the highest level. Your petty spat is his problem. And it is not his role to release information about who said what in the IPCC meetings. How ridiculous of you to attack him for not doing so.

      • Peter Lang, it’s interesting you label this a “petty spat” without making any substantial contribution. I find it is usually best not to join in a conversation if my only contribution will be derogatory remarks. This is especially true if I don’t know what I’m talking about.

        I make that comment because you say “it is not his role to release information about who said what in the IPCC meetings.” Nobody has called for Richard Tol to do this. I’ve asked him to provide information about comments submitted on a section and reviews of the section..There is no reason to think either involved “who said what in the IPCC meetings.”

        Additionally, Tol is the one who brought those topics up. It’s hardly inappropriate for somebody to ask for information about the things he said.

      • Brandon,

        I find it is usually best not to join in a conversation if my only contribution will be derogatory remarks.

        No you don’t. You do just that frequently. So don’t bother lecturing me.

        As Don said you are a nit picker, and have a grudge against Tol and you can’t get over it. You bring it up each time Tol gets mentioned on Climate Etc. Just give it up.

      • Peter Lang, if you have anything to contribute other than hand-waved derogatory remarks, please feel free to join the discussion. If not, you should just leave it be. What you’ve said about me is not true, and it would have no bearing on the arguments I’ve made even if it were.

      • Brandon,

        If you have anything to contribute other than snide derogatory remarks and attacking the professionals with the highest level of integrity for what is clearly a misunderstanding on your part, your contributions would be most welcome, informative and educational. If not you should take your vendetta elsewhere, or get over it, or seek professional help.

    • I accidentally deleted words without realising it. The sentence should have said:
      “Your petty spat is your problem, not his problem.”

    • The backstory here is that when little Brandon was in kindygarden, a big schoolyard bully that looked something like Richard Tol (the hair) beat up Brandon and took his lunch money and his Sheriff’s badge. That’s what Brandon was alluding to when he said that Mosher doesn’t know what the grudge is about. Poor kid.

    • Well, I was holding this part back, but since you-know- who continues to tell lies, I will spill it. The schoolyard bully was a girl. And in later years our friend repeatedly begged her for dates but his entreaties were rejected to the last one. That leaves a mark.

  22. Also dutch lead author Reyer Gerlagh was not happy:
    “It left me depressed personally,” economist Reyer Gerlagh, of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, told The Sydney Morning Herald.
    http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2014_04_25/caredit.a1400106

  23. In reading Curry’s post with comments from Tol and Stavins, I was reminded of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey (c.a. 800 BC), in which Odysseus and his men must sail by the island home of the Sirens, who sing a song so irresistible that none can hear it and escape. Unlike ordinary language, it cannot be merely heard; it must also be obeyed. Odysseus plugs his men’s ears with beeswax and has them bind him to the mast of the ship. He alone hears the beckoning song of the sirens coming from the island, promising to reveal the future. The Sirens’ song is so seductive that Odysseus begs to be released from his fetters, but his faithful men only bind him tighter, and they sail on.

    Has climate science become like the forbidding island home, and has the international political system become like the sirens, giving scientists an irresistible lure to do their bidding if the future (and fame and power) are to be revealed? Have some scientists refused to put beeswax in their ears because they think they can resist the siren’s song and retain scientific integrity? Did Tol and Stavins place some wax (but not enough) in their ears, and now that the IPCC ship has sailed on see what really occurred?

    Makes one wonder.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they feign boredom.

      I know it hurts lollywot. Just a few more years to go.

    • But it IS boring no? The last post on sea level was much more interesting.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      It bores you that the IPCC, the agency created to “provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts,” and I might add to make policy recommendations with profound economic and societal implications…is not credible?

      You have an oddly low threshold for boredom, lolly.

    • lolwot

      Gotta agree with you this time that the WG3 and WG2 reports deserve a big “yawn”.

      GIGO at its worst.

      Max

    • The science shows a human caused climate change in progress. That’s a big cause for concern.

      Talking about who wrote what in a document is comparatively very boring.

      The various WG1 sections outlining the alarming changes in progress are far more interesting.

    • Max, you misunderstand.
      People like lowlot think that the IPCC isn’t nearly alarmist enough.
      Like those who, when the speed limit is lowered to 20mph, lower their speed to 10mph.

  24. This thread is about petty academics and their supercilious critic-groupies having a right hissy-fit over a beyond bloated non-sense report that is dead before arrival.

    Gaia will tell us what to do when she is good and ready… and her demands will have nothing to do with a few ticks of mercury or sea level or pH units or ice.

    • Fernando Leanme

      Is Gaia a new age god?

    • Fernando

      Gaia is “big Momma” Nature.

      And she will continue to do exactly what she wants to do when she wants to, regardless of what all the self-proclaimed pundits cited by IPCC predict.

      Max

    • Reminds me of one of those nutter astronomers on Discovery Channel stating that suns and planets have feelings. You’d think a less fantastic way of saying that the laws of physics will prevail would suffice.

      BTW – going on five hours since I asked any of the resident alarmists to defend policy makers re-writing what is ostensibly the scientists’ summary for policy makers…………no takers so far, just a few trying to project the alarmists’ shameful conduct unto others, which really is as clear an answer as possible.

      Although I have to agree that “burning heretics on a stick” [at the stake?] is a bit of hyperbole, I thought the alarmists only wanted to throw the realists in prison.

    • Folks, there are also things that ‘big moma’ has been signaling for a while. I wrote a book about it. Gaia’s Limits. Please do not get too smug too soon.

  25. Many of the more worrying impacts of climate change really are symptoms of mismanagement and underdevelopment.

    Tol’s right.

    – Mismanagement of the IPCC process (i.e. forced consensus).
    – Underdevelopment of a real knowledge of what makes our climate work (i.e. myopic fixation on human GHGs without developing an understanding of natural factors).

    Amen!

    But this starts with WG1 (as our hostess points out) and only gets corroborated and amplified in WG2 and WG3.

    GIGO.

    Max

    • Manacker,

      In case you haven’t seen them, I’ve posted several replies to your last comments on the coal thread. The first of them was held in moderation but is now released. It is here: http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/22/coal-and-the-ipcc/#comment-533019

    • Manacker, @ April 26, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Tol’s right.

      – Mismanagement of the IPCC process (i.e. forced consensus).
      – Underdevelopment of a real knowledge of what makes our climate work (i.e. myopic fixation on human GHGs without developing an understanding of natural factors).

      I agree.

      Also, now that we are looking into the economic modelling a bit, it seems that Nordhaus’s DICE-2013 (simple Excel version) [1]may be using somewhat high side inputs. My understanding is limited and I may well be misunderstanding what I am seeing (I am not an economist), but here are some examples of what I am interpreting for others to peruse, check and critique:

      1. DICE-2013 uses ECS = 3.2 C (see Sheet ‘Parameters’, row 14)

      2. The proportion of man’s GHG emissions (CO2 equivalent) retained in the atmosphere is 45% and decreasing [2] but I calculate DICE-2013 uses a figure of 62% for 2010 and 47% in 2100, 2100-210 weighted average = 54% (Sheet ‘Base’, rows 112 and 87 (in row 87 calculate change in atmospheric concentration over 5 years, convert to 1 year and convert from GtC to GtCO2).

      3. Climate damages are positive every year from 2010 (see sheet ‘Base’, row 106). This doesn’t seem right. There is much evidence to suggest warming and increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere caused increasing productivity (output, GDP) over the past century. Why would the trend suddenly change when DICE-2013 starts projecting. Tol’s Figure 3 [3] passes my reality check. Figure 3 suggest warming will continue to be net beneficial for most of this century (and beyond if we can have cheap energy since the projected future cost of energy is the major negative cost).

      4. There seem to be some very significant changes between DICE-2007 and DICE2013. For example:

      – projected concentration CO2 concentration in 2100 up from 686 ppmv to 797 ppmv

      – World GDP in 2100 up from $136.8 trillion to $510.5 trillion (partly due to change in base year $)

      – World emissions intensity in 2100 down from 0.512 to 0.178 (I need to check whether these figures the same units)

      I feel Nordhaus has become more alarmist from 2007 to 2013. His book “Climate Casino” certainly seems to suggest this too – it seems to be a very strong call to alarmism.

      References:

      [1] DICE-2013, Excel, simple version, http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Web-DICE-2013-April.htm

      [2] GlobalCarbonBudget, ‘Media Summary Highlights’, ‘CO2 removals by natural sinks’
      http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/13/hl-compact.htm

      [3] Richard Tol, 2011, ‘The Economic Impact of Climate
      Change in the 20th and 21st Centuries

      http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf

    • Peter Lang

      Thanks for your “heads up”. I checked the other site as well.

      You wrote here:

      I feel Nordhaus has become more alarmist from 2007 to 2013. His book “Climate Casino” certainly seems to suggest this too – it seems to be a very strong call to alarmism.

      Yes. Maybe he has caught the CAGW virus. Sells books.

      Here’s my comment from the other thread:

      Thanks for your comments and all your efforts to explain all this.

      I did compare the DICE-2007 and DICE-2013R bases. It appears that the 2100 CO2 level has increased from 686 ppmv (DICE-2007) to 797 ppmv (DICE-2013) to 860 ppmv (DICE-2013R), getting pretty close to IPCC RCP8.5 “never-never land” of around 1,000 ppmv.

      This allegedly results in temperatures (above 1900) of 2.7ºC (DICE-2007), 3.7ºC (DICE-2013) and 4.0ºC (DICE-2013R). This would be around 1.9ºC, 2.9ºC and 3.2ºC above today’s temperature, respectively

      With all these continuous changes, all in the same direction, I’m beginning to lose faith in the latest DICE stuff. I suspect GIGO. Possibly influence by IPCC. Who knows?

      Now to past CO2 estimates:

      The CDIAC CO2 from deforestation estimates I cited are supposed to be net values (the table shows both reforestation and deforestation by region).

      The CDIAC CO2 from fossil fuels supposedly also includes cement production.

      I cannot vouch for either long-term data set as there is nothing to check it against.

      On a short term basis, there have been some recent independent estimates of net CO2 from deforestation, which check fairly well with those of CDIAC – currently around 13% of the total (5 GtCO2 out of 37), down from 20% in the late 1980s (6 GtCO2 out of 28).

      And, yes, no matter what estimate one uses for the net deforestation value, the percentage CO2 which “remains” in the atmosphere is decreasing slightly over time (so assuming a constant %-age for the future probably gives an exaggerated estimate of future concentration).

      With all the many changes to DICE estimates and bases over the past 6 years (without any real new input data out there to drive these changes as far as I can see), I think it is fruitless for me to try to understand what has happened.

      So, using the CO2 tied to GDP and population, we’re left with a “business as usual” total annual human CO2 emission of 80 to 125 GtCO2/year by 2100, arriving at a concentration of 650 to 750 ppmv CO2 by 2100 resulting in warming (at “equilibrium”) from today of 2.2 to 2.8ºC.

      This is in the range of the earlier DICE-2007 and DICE-2013 estimates (but lower than DICE-2013R).

      These estimates could possibly be reduced by 80 to 120 ppmv, by implementing “no regrets” initiatives (primarily nuclear replacement of coal), with reduced warming of 0.6 to 0.8ºC.

      That’s how I see it, anyway, for what it’s worth.

      Max

    • Peter Lang

      And, yes, Tol’s study makes far more sense than the Nordhaus stuff (especially the latest estimates, which have moved into the IPCC “never-never land”).

      Max

    • Peter Lang

      The proportion of man’s GHG emissions (CO2 equivalent) retained in the atmosphere is 45% and decreasing [2] but I calculate DICE-2013 uses a figure of 62% for 2010 and 47% in 2100, 2100-210 weighted average = 54% (Sheet ‘Base’, rows 112 and 87 (in row 87 calculate change in atmospheric concentration over 5 years, convert to 1 year and convert from GtC to GtCO2).

      It truly looks like DICE-2013 (Nordhaus) is confused. But I think I found his mistake.

      On a year-by-year basis, the amount of total human-emitted CO2 “remaining” in the atmosphere has varied from 10% to over 80%, but an a long-term average it has been around 43% over the past.

      It looks like Nordhaus has made two basic mistakes in arriving at a 62% retention estimate.

      First, he has apparently considered only the CO2 emissions from fossil fuels (ignoring the added part from deforestation).

      Then he has fallen into the trap of using an annual figure for a single year to arrive at his estimate.

      In the year 2009 to 2010 a total of 35.5 GtCO2 were emitted according to CDIAC (30.3 from fossil fuels and 5.2 from net deforestation). Over that year atmospheric CO2 rose by 2.39 ppmv according to Mauna Loa (from 386.7 to 389.1 ppmv). This equals 3.63 ppm(mass) which equals 18.7 GtCO2 “remaining” in atmosphere = 53% of the 35.5 GtCO2 emitted. If one only considers the CO2 emitted from fossil fuels, this becomes 62%.

      Yet in the year before, 35.1 GtCO2 were emitted (29.9 from fossil fuels and 5.2 from deforestation). Over that year atmospheric CO2 increased by 1.89 ppmv, so only 42% of the CO2 “remained” in the atmosphere (49% if one ignores CO2 from deforestation).

      That’s a “double whammy error” and the only way I can explain his screwy estimate.

      Nordhaus may be an excellent economist who can parse discount rates down to a tenth of a percent, but at appears that he does not understand the concept of CO2 retention in the atmosphere.

      Max

    • Manacker,

      First, he has apparently considered only the CO2 emissions from fossil fuels (ignoring the added part from deforestation).

      In the year 2009 to 2010 a total of 35.5 GtCO2 were emitted according to CDIAC (30.3 from fossil fuels and 5.2 from net deforestation).

      I think Nordhaus has used the total emissions from all sources. But he separates industrial emissions from non-industrial emissions so he can apply different rates of change in his projections. For the starting year (I think he’s used the 2007 figure and applied it to 2010) he has (in GtCO2 per year):
      Industrial emissions = 29.9
      Carbon emissions from land use change = 1.5
      Total carbon emissions = 31.4

      I don’t understand the discrepancy between his and CDIAC’s figure for LULUCF. I wonder if one of these figures is not including all the subcategories.

      Then he has fallen into the trap of using an annual figure for a single year to arrive at his estimate.

      Over that year atmospheric CO2 rose by 2.39 ppmv according to Mauna Loa (from 386.7 to 389.1 ppmv). This equals 3.63 ppm(mass) which equals 18.7 GtCO2 “remaining” in atmosphere = 53% of the 35.5 GtCO2 emitted.

      From DICE-2013, I calculate these figures for comparison with yours:

      Your figures from CDIAC for 2009-2010 (GtCO2):
      Total emissions = 35.5
      Emissions retained in atmosphere = 18.7
      % retained in atmosphere = 53%

      My figures calculated from DICE-2013 for year 2010:
      Total emissions = 31.4 *
      Emissions retained in atmosphere = 19.4
      % retained in atmosphere = 62%
      * this figure is for 2007 and attributed (incorrectly to 2010), see Sheet ‘Base’, cells B60 and B87.

      It truly looks like DICE-2013 (Nordhaus) is confused. But I think I found his mistake.

      On a year-by-year basis, the amount of total human-emitted CO2 “remaining” in the atmosphere has varied from 10% to over 80%, but on a long-term average it has been around 43% over the past.

      Then he [Nordhaus] has fallen into the trap of using an annual figure for a single year to arrive at his estimate.

      Yes. I think you may have a valid point on this.

      I conclude:
      • The calculated concentrations are highly sensitive to the inputs
      • Since the temperature estimates are dependent on the concentrations they too are highly sensitive to these same inputs. The damage estimates are even more sensitive.
      • There is no valid justification for policies that will damage the economy when the estimates are so highly uncertain and so highly sensitive to very uncertain inputs.

    • Isn’t Nordhaus great? He make all his assumptions available for you to check, and his code so that you can see what happens if you want to change something.

    • Richard Tol,

      Yes I agree. It is fantastic. What a pity all climate science isn’t readily available to everyone lie Nordhaus’s work (and yours). And, wouldn’t it be great if the the IPCC reports were set up like the Canadian NWMO web site so that we could all drill down to the lowest level of information of inputs, and so it is ready to support Royal Commissions or other adversarial investigations? http://www.nwmo.ca/home?language=en_CA

      I’ve learnt an enormous amount from Nordhaus’s “A Question of Balance“, and “Climate Casino“, your “Climate Economics” and many papers and presentations by Nordhaus, you and others. Although not an economist I do have a little background and some knowledge because I was peripherally involved in the Australian “Ecologically Sustainable Development” policy development in the early 1990’s – energy policy including peripherally with ABARE’s energy and CO2 projections and the “Tradeable Emissions Permit Scheme” – and in energy policy advice.

  26. Of course, if man-made climate is a complete fabrication then the ideal is to have no UNFCCC or IPCC or any ARs etc etc.

    The problem with lukewarmers and moderates is that they give an acceptable face to the fabrication. They are the mensheviks who are keeping the seats warm for future zealots, and it still costs to keep them in the air and at conferences, and you still get those unwanted and expensive white elephants called “solutions” delivered to your doorstep – because all the fuss had to be for something, right?

    Expect and build for the worst climate can do. It’s never been a secret, just expensive.

  27. These somewhat rebellious reports provide a fascinating insight into the workings of the UN climate bureaucracy. It is now clear that the original dictum of the UNFCCC that the science was settled was completely wrong, witness the fall in global average temperature after 1940 and the present constant average temperature since 1997, lacking explanation by their models on which so much depends. When a project starts with the wrong initial conditions and some participants fight to defend them, it is time to say, is this worth continuing? The taxpayer funds from many countries would be better spent on academic institutions with good track records or contractors like HITRAN..

    The on/off nature of climate change needs to be recognized by climate scientists and modellers for progress to be made in the science.

  28. I have few complaints with the IPCC reports seeing as they present the best scientific knowledge on the subject of climate change.

    But perhaps there should be another body set up alongside the IPCC – an Expert Panel on Climate Change, which is run entirely by scientists with no interference from politicians. This EPPC could produce updates at it’s own pace, and the IPCC reports would effectively be compiled by copy-pasting work from the EPPC.

  29. Brandon: “I think it’s a pretty big deal with sections of the IPCC report can go to press without having undergone any formal review.”

    Whether skeptics wail and cry about a topic is not determined on objective merit but by how much that topic furthers the skeptic cause.

    In this case faulting Tol is more damaging to the skeptic cause than the benefit of faulting the IPCC. So no this won’t become big deal. It won’t be discussed or investigated ad nauseum over countless blogs. It will be ignored. You already see the “forces of ignore” trying to get you to ignore it too.

    • A ship getting stuck in the Antarctic however is a Big Deal worth weeks of blog posts and investigation…

    • lolwot, I’m trying not to assume bias, but it’s very hard. It’s to the point I’ve had a couple e-mails where a person basically said they wouldn’t look into this regardless of whether or not I’m correct.

      The screwy part to me is the decision seems tactically unsound. For the sake of discussion, let’s assume what I’ve said is correct. If so, we have proof sections of the IPCC report could be completely altered without any public review or explanation. The message of any section could be changed without regard for anything the IPCC reviewers said. That’s a big deal.

      Not only is it a big deal as an example, it’d mean every time someone cites the new IPCC report, skeptics could say, “Did you check to see if that was artificially inserted?” Even the legitimate changes between the last draft and final version could be called into question. Skeptics could ask questions about every instance of the message changing. That gives a far stronger argument than merely saying the summary is biased.

      Plus, if Richard Tol did what I accuse him of doing, it’d make for a great media story. Skeptics could paint themselves as truly objective by “condemning one of their own,” and people love catching hypocrisy. You tell them a person they read a story about is guilty of the same things he criticizes, and they’ll eat it up.

      If I’m right, the only cost is losing a “member” who shouldn’t belong in the “group” anyway. That’s a small price to pay for the great PR.

  30. Don Monfort: “Neither the IPCC nor Richard Tol owes you any more information, Brandon. It is very unlikely that you are going to get what you want. You can’t prove your silly charges. You don’t know what went on behind the IPCC curtain, and you especially don’t know what motivated Dr Tol. You could be charitable, but you choose to defame on your suspicions. The bottom line is, who really cares? End of story.”

    Priceless! In case you can’t see the AMAZINGNESS in this let me reword it a little:

    “Neither NASA nor Hansen owes you any more information, …. It is very unlikely that you are going to get what you want. You can’t prove your silly charges. You don’t know what went on behind the NASA curtain, and you especially don’t know what motivated Dr Hansen. You could be charitable, but you choose to defame on your suspicions. The bottom line is, who really cares? End of story.”

    END OF STORY!

  31. The view of skeptics is crystallized by this set of events, and from their attitudes to them. It seems that anything against the IPCC has their support, whichever direction it comes from. The Stavins complaint is by a representative of the WG3 authors against the IPCC for their WG3 SPM process, and Tol is a disgruntled outlier economist against the IPCC WG2 SPM. However, we don’t see the skeptics support WG1 authors who say that their SPM was watered down. What is the difference that leads them to support the WG3 authors who have put forward and costed out possible actions for mitigation, and not support the WG1 authors who just said that there is climate change and it will get larger without action? I thought the skeptics didn’t like the science because they didn’t like the mitigation plans, but no, it seems they don’t like the science, but support the mitigation authors, probably because it is against the IPCC. That’s all I can make of it.

    • I think you have it right.

      Consistently the “Big Stories” skeptics focused on are always chosen from topics that fulfill their political agenda.

    • Jim D:

      However, we don’t see the skeptics support WG1 authors who say that their SPM was watered down.

      Like Ben Santer, for instance?

  32. Surely we need to question the very existence of most climate bodies when so little is known about what is under our feet and flippers – except that it tends to be very hot and move a lot. Then there’s that other place called the universe.

    As a skeptic I don’t care about 20 or 30 years of warming any more than I care about 16 years of pause, if there has been a pause. What happens if temps rise overall soon? They may go no higher than in the Optimum, Minoan, Roman etc…but it’s too much to hope that a reinvigorated climatariat won’t pose new dangers to commonsense and economy (in the less modish sense of thrift).

    The problem is not warming or pausing. The problem is that we have created a global industry which has its activists and moderates who will not want to go back down on the farm after they’ve seen Pa-ree and Broadway. This industry has been supported by that most unscientific of all assumptions, namely, that best available knowledge is adequate knowledge.

    How do we reverse all that? A new IGY, where people calling themselves scientists reflect on the scope of what they don’t know? Not on fiddly uncertainties…but on gaping black enormities. That could be a start.

    • Just say “No!”

    • You’re right, Faustino. I suppose we’d just create an expensive new scientific glasnost movement (with a pompous title like Nullius in Verba or something containing the word “Galileo”). And I dare say an IGY would turn into a major swill, where the jet trails would definitely not lead to venues like Detroit Best Western or Rooty Hill RSL.

      So I’m just saying “No!”.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I am sure I worked the sound system at the Rooty Hill RSL for a couple of weeks in the 80’s. Not an IGY in sight.

  33. “Apart from the obvious politics that polluted the SPM process….”

    Politics didn’t pollute the “SPM process.” The SPM process is political by design.

    I would quote the classic line about finding gambling in Rick’s place in Casablanca, but I find it hard t believe anyone is really shocked by the politicization of the CAGW movement at this point.

    At least this thread is better than the previous post, with its debate about measurement of global sea levels to hundredths of a millimeter.

    Some day, hundreds of years in the future, this climate debate will be seen as the intellectual equivalent of arguing about how many angels fit on the head of a pin.

    • nottawa rafter

      I really hope it won’t take hundreds of years. I know I won’t see it, but I’ve told my kids it is an absurd issue. It would be nice to think that at least once in their lives, they found out their dad was right.

  34. Latimer Alder

    Richard Tol says

    ‘The IPCC should therefore be taken out of the hands of the climate bureaucracy and transferred to the academic authorities.’

    Out of the frying pan and into the fire?

    I’ve no more faith in ‘academic authorities’ who seem a pretty spineless bunch of craven grant seekers and Greenpeace Yesmen as far as climate is concerned than I do in government climatocracies.

    It’s a simple bit of sociology. People do what you pay them to do – whether bureaucrats or academics or door-to-door salesmen.

    The big money is in climate alarmism….so that’s what people provide…whatever their supposed affiliation..they follow the dosh!

    Simples

    • Simples indeed and demonstrated agen and agen and agen ………
      Royal Academies, IPCCs, Yew Ens ‘n BBC – ABC – CBC connsensites,
      ‘C’ stands fer cotery … coteries attracted to the honey pot of power
      and lots of money.

      beth-the-serf.

    • Latimer Alder

      See for example one of Mikey’s exonerations which said:

      ‘Mikey brings in a lot of grants so his work must be OK’

      or McSteve on Turney (Ship of Fools) and his grant application

      http://climateaudit.org/2014/04/23/turney-in-the-climategate-dossier/

      Summary: ‘There’s £3.5 mill up for grabs. Quick, let’s invent some ‘science’ we could do to get it’

      Academics: Dontcha just luv them! And their sanctimonious pretence that they are motivated by higher things than the rest of the common herd……

    • Dontcha jest luv them … not!

    • Oh I quite forgot! Ends justify the means.

  35. The IPCC should therefore be taken out of the hands of the climate bureaucracy and transferred to the academic authorities.

    That won’t help – the academics too are ultimately beholden to political control, via their ultimate political funding and. selection processes. The academic bureaucracy is thus unlikely to be any better than the climate bureaucracy (witness their Climategate coverups). And the two probably overlap anyway.

    It needs to be removed from control by any party with a vested interest in its findings. Which of course completely rules out the UN or other political body, including politically funded academia. If no open-minded home van be found, it should be scrapped.

    • Quite right. Perhaps Tol is unfamiliar with the following quite famous quote: “Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low.” Wrongly attributed to Kissinger apparently, but very pertinent.

  36. What the world needs is someone on the inside to leak the report in its original form – before being politically neutered.

    With so much institutional corruption and bias at the IPCC, leaks are our only hope. I need hardly remind anyone how much it’s helped in the past.

    Perhaps we could start a fund with which to bribe the truth out somehow?

  37. Willis Eschenbach

    Judith, thanks for your as usual interesting posts. I do have a question, though. You say:

    True to its classic wicked messiness, there is no unambiguous way to separate natural from anthropogenic climate change

    Now, we know that natural climate change exists. So … isn’t a corollary of your statement that there is no way to show that anthropogenic climate change actually exists?

    My thanks to you for all your contributions to the climate discussion,

    w.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Willis, you write ” So … isn’t a corollary of your statement that there is no way to show that anthropogenic climate change actually exists?”

      Of course. But don’t expect any warmist to agree and admit to this fact, nor our hostess for that matter.

    • David Wojick

      Very interesting. There would also be no way to show that it did not exist and theory suggests that it might. So people could reasonably believe either way and that is where we are today. Messiness explains the debate.

    • Jim Cripwell

      David, you write “There would also be no way to show that it did not exist and theory suggests that it might.”

      Again, of course. I have always said that CAGW is a very viable hypothesis. But with no measured data to support it, it will remain just a hypothesis. And 95% and 90% certainties have no place in science when all you all have is a hypothesis.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      “True to its classic wicked messiness, there is no unambiguous way to separate natural from anthropogenic climate change”

      Which of course gives the lie to the obviously absurd IPCC claims about virtual certainty. The inability to persuasively demonstrate *any anthro warming at all* is the real travesty, to co-opt Trenberth’s infamous word.

    • You guys are thinking in binary again.

      In reality a hypothesis or proposition can carry any % of certainty below 1 based on all the evidence and data on the subject.

      Anthropogenic global warming happens to have enough evidence that most experts consider it to be >95% likely.

    • David Wojick

      Lolwat, it depends on what the specific AGW hypothesis is. The high percentage you quote is for the benign hypothesis that humans probably have some effect on climate, which few deny. For example the UHI effect is well accepted. But whether the Human influence is (1) large, or (2) dangerous, are two very different hypotheses for which there is no such high acceptance.

    • Jim Cripwell

      lolwot writes “Anthropogenic global warming happens to have enough evidence that most experts consider it to be >95% likely.”

      That is the issue which I would dearly love to debate on a proper scientific basis. Do the warmists, indeed, have enough evidence to show that this is correct?

      Unfortunately, we cannot have this debate on Climate Etc. unless and until the warmists agree that the approach they have used is NOT The Scientific Method. As long as the wamists pretend that their approach is the equivalent of The Scientific Method, and will not agree that it is, in fact, a completely different approach, this debate cannot take place.

    • David Wojick

      Jim, the point about ambiguity is that the data may or may not support AGW, not that there is no supporting data. Thus the issue is epistemic not scientific. The interpretation and strength of evidence is in the eye of the beholder, not an objective fact in itself. At least that is what present day inductive logic says and I agree. The strength of evidence depends on what you believe.

      As for CAGW, that is a predictive hypothesis so special considerations apply, as long term predictions are untestable. Unless you are among those who think CAGW is already here, and there are many such.

    • Jim Cripwell

      David, you write “Jim, the point about ambiguity is that the data may or may not support AGW, not that there is no supporting data.”

      I wholeheartedly disagree. In physics, and The Scientific Method, there is a very clear idea of what is, and what is not, measured, empirical data. I want the debate as to what evidence there is, to be based on The Scientific Method. Then the issue is clear. Is the scientific approach used by the warmists, good enough to show that CAGW is something more than a hypothesis?

    • David Wojick

      Jim, I do not agree with your claims about the scientific method. Climate change falls within the science of environmental impact assessment, where the methods are very different from, say, bench physics or chemistry. EIA is the science of complex phenomena while physics and chemistry are often the science of simple phenomena, studied in isolation. The methods have to be different.

    • “The interpretation and strength of evidence is in the eye of the beholder, not an objective fact in itself”

      Same story with the theory evolution.

      I bet in Darwin’s day if you asked various scientists whether common descent was true they would say it’s very likely to be true based on the evidence they’d seen, they’d even be able to describe that evidence, but they wouldn’t be able to calculate some objective % figure of likelihood from it.

      They might be able to sit round a table and come to a consensus on a figure, perhaps as high as 95% likely, but it would based on their subjective opinion of the evidence. They wouldn’t be able to calculate an objective figure from the evidence.

    • David Wojick

      Lolwat, in Darwin’s day few biologists accepted the theory of evolution. It took decades to catch on. But this is irrelevant because AGW is a very different issue scientifically. AGW is about competing scientific hypotheses.

    • Jim Cripwell

      David, you write “The methods have to be different.”

      Again, I wholeheartedly agree that the methods are different. Just because a method, other than The Scientific Method, has been used, it does not mean that it is wrong. The standard in physics for hundreds of years has been The Scientific Method. The warmists have not used The Scientific Method, though they pretend they have. What I want to discuss is this. Is the scientific approach used by the warmists, which is different from The Scientific Method, good enough to show that CAGW is anything more than a hypothesis?

    • wondering willis doesn’t understand how martingale processes work.

      he comes over to an academic site from a trash site such as wuwt (see his F-grade post “extreme times”) and he should expect a schooling.

    • Only in alarmist “science” is certainty increased as the models diverge further and further from the actual.

      IOW – the more wrong they are, the more certain they are that they are right.

    • Lolwot wrote:
      Anthropogenic global warming happens to have enough evidence that most experts consider it to be >95% likely.

      There is no evidence; there is only climate model output.

      That is not data and that is not evidence.

      Most Consensus experts consider it to be >95% likely.

      This Consensus clique is shrinking fast.

      Even IPCC Leaders bail out over the way any opinion that disagrees is squashed like a bug.

      Mother Earth does not agree with Consensus Theory and Forecasts. Guess who will win. Alarmists with bad Model Output or Mother Earth with Actual Real Data.

  38. Related to a comment above, I wrote a post showing another section (10.6.3) of the IPCC report was added in after the last round of reviews. This section heavily favors Richard Tol’s views and work while running contrary to the text of earlier versions, versions which had been reviewed under the normal IPCC process.

    This new section also came with a new table and figure derived from Richard Tol’s published work. Combined with the table and figure from section 10.6.2, that means two tables and figures were added to the chapter after the last round of reviews. This is in a chapter which has only 11 tables and two figures.

    That means ~20% of the chapter’s tables and 100% of its figures were added in after the normal review process was finished, and they are all derived from the work of one of the two Coordinating Lead Authors for the chapter. I think that should be enough to raise people’s eyebrows.

    You can find the post here.

    • Brandon

      What are the ‘before and after’ graphs? Its difficult to know their significance without viewing them and knowing the overall context to the changes
      tonyb

      • climatereason, there is no “before and after” graphs because there was no “before.” The graphs (and tables) were simply added where nothing had been before.

        Well, one figure did get removed from the chapter, but it had nothing to do with those sections. It was a figure for section 10.2.1.

    • Brandon

      So were the new tables and graphs needed to clarify some existing text? Without seeing the actual tables and graphs you reference it is difficult to know how significant they are
      tonyb

      • climatereason, the new figures/tables were needed only to clarify/support points made in the new sections of the chapter. I don’t know if you’d count that as “existing text” though since the text didn’t exist in the report before the figures did.

        By the way, you can see the tables and figures in the posts I wrote. 10.9.3’s table/figure were discussed and shown in my latest post. 10.9.2’s table/figure were discussed and shown in my earlier post.

        Anyway, while adding tables/figures is more dramatic, I think the textual changes are more important.

    • Brandon
      The structure of 10.6 has not changed much between minus-first and final draft. There are no tables or figures in this section.

      • Richard Tol, thank you for pointing out my typo. I, of course, meant 10.9.3, not 10.6.3. It’s obvious what I meant as I got the section number right in the post I wrote about the section. Even if I hadn’t, that post listed the section title, quoted the section and displayed the figure and table created for the section. Still, it’s good to address typos.

        Now that we have, could you address the more meaningful things I’ve said?

  39. While climate scientists debate how many CO2 molecule dance to the IR photon, real people suffer.
    From the article:
    U.S. electricity prices may be going up for good
    Experts warn of a growing fragility as coal-fired plants are shut down, nuclear power is reduced and consumers switch to renewable energy.

    As temperatures plunged to 16 below zero in Chicago in early January and set record lows across the eastern U.S., electrical system managers implored the public to turn off stoves, dryers and even lights or risk blackouts.

    A fifth of all power-generating capacity in a grid serving 60 million people went suddenly offline, as coal piles froze, sensitive electrical equipment went haywire and utility operators had trouble finding enough natural gas to keep power plants running. The wholesale price of electricity skyrocketed to nearly $2 per kilowatt hour, more than 40 times the normal rate. The price hikes cascaded quickly down to consumers. Robert Thompson, who lives in the suburbs of Allentown, Pa., got a $1,250 bill for January.

    “I thought, how am I going to pay this?” he recalled. “This was going to put us in the poorhouse.”

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-power-prices-20140426,0,6329274.story#axzz305f9xZfK

  40. I’d just like to sympathise with Mr Tol – he will no longer qualify as a “Top” scientist; he’ll just be a scientist now. All the evidence indicates that the only “top” scientists are the ones who do not step down – the ones who continue supporting the fairy tale maximally. Well done Mr Tol.

  41. Many of the more worrying impacts of climate change really are symptoms of mismanagement and underdevelopment. – Richard Tol

    I was surprised by the degree to which governments felt free to recommend and sometimes insist on detailed changes to the SPM text on purely political, as opposed to scientific bases.-
    Robert Stavins

    Maurice Strong: businessman as environmentalist
    The Merchants of UNCED
    “The environment is not going to be saved by environmentalists. Environmentalists do not hold the levers of economic power.”
    -Maurice Strong, UNCED Secretary-General

    “We believe there must be further development in the whole world. We need growth to overcome inefficient behavior. It is an apparent paradox but I think once you understand what it means, you’ll find out that it’s true.”
    -Stephan Schmidheiny, chair of the Business Council for Sustainable Development
    http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/07/big-green-in-denial/#comment-378193

    The Second Colloquium on the Governance of Sustainable Development
    Innovations in Governance for Sustainable Development
    Summary of the second conference
    December 14, 2004
    The Civil Society in the Decision-making Process: the Canadian Example
    Guest speaker: Elizabeth May
    Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada

    As outlined by Elizabeth May, as well as other speakers and writers, it is instructive to read Maurice Strong’s 1972 Stockholm speech and compare it with the issues of Earth Summit 1992. In 1972 and in 1992, Maurice Strong warned urgently about global warming, the devastation of forests, the loss of biodiversity, polluted oceans, the population time bomb. He invited to the conference the environmental NGOs, provided them with money to come, and invited them to become influential in the decision-making process and to continue informing the general public. After Stockholm, environment issues became part of the administrative framework in Canada, the U.S., and Europe.
    Maurice Strong is also behind the Commission on Global Governance(CGG) whose goal is to strengthen “global civil society,” which, it explains, “is best expressed in the global non-governmental movement.” Today, many NGOs have consultative status with the UN’s Economic and Social Council. The CGG proposed that NGOs be brought formally into the UN system, be accredited to the General Assembly as “Civil Society Organizations” and convened in an annual forum ofcivil society.
    http://tinyurl.com/2ojszc

    The Founex Conference
    Engaging the developing countries: the Founex initiative

    In the run up to the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, relations with developing countries became the most contentious issue in the spring of 1971, on top of the other challenges highlighted above. Maurice Strong received alarming signals in March from Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia reported a deep dissatisfaction among developing countries. The developing countries felt that the environmental discussion was too oriented towards the interests of industrialized countries, particularly the disproportionate attention given to in the preparations, and they also perceived that Strong’s travel programme was oriented mainly towards industrialized countries. Yugoslavia also conveyed a thinly veiled threat of a developing country boycott of the Conference.
    For Strong, it was a dilemma.
    Snip
    To highlight the links between environment and development, Strong initiated the holding of a landmark seminar, which brought together top experts in the field of development and environment. We publish extracts about the Founex Initiative from a study, by former Swedish Ambassador Lars-Göran Engfeldt, entitled “From Stockholm to Johannesburg and beyond”. The Founex report laid the foundation for the concept of sustainable development, which is much discussed and debated these days:
    http://www.mauricestrong.net/index.php/founex-conference

    Hunger, Poverty, Population and Environment
    by Maurice F. Strong, Chairman, Earth Council, April 7, 1999 –
    Madras, India

    It is now twenty-seven years ago since representatives of 113 nations assembled in Stockholm in June 1972 for the inauguration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. Stockholm was thebeginning of “a new journey of hope”.
    It was during the preparations for the Stockholm Conference that the link between environment and development was finally made. The most important single event in this process was the informal meeting we convened in a motel in Founex outside of Geneva with some 30 leading experts and policy leaders. The discussions were intense and characterised by a degree of intellectual integrity and rigour that ultimately enabled them to find common ground despite divergencies of opinions and interest. The meeting is inscribed in my memory as one of the best intellectual exchanges in which I have ever participated and it certainly had a profound influence both on the Stockholm Conference and the evolution of the environment-development relationship. The meeting resulted in the production of the Founex Report on Development and Environment, which I regard as a seminal milestone in the history of the environmental movement.
    The Founex Report called for an expansion of the entire concept of environment to link it directly to the economic development process and the priorities of developing countries. The basic thesis was that although in individual instances there were conflicts between environmental and economic priorities, they were intrinsically two sides of the same coin. It is, after all, through the process of economic development that we impact on the environment, both positively and negatively. And it is only through better management of the development process that the basic goals of development to eradicate poverty and to improve the lives and prospects of people in environmental and social as well as economic terms could be achieved.
    It recognised that priorities would vary in each country depending on its stage of development and its own priorities. It also recognized that the needs of developing countries could best be addressed by a renewed commitment to the development process itself and dealing with the environmental dimension as an integral dimension of development rather than a separate impediment to development.
    Essentially, the Founex Report, and the Stockholm Conference for which it was prepared, confirmed that poverty and environment are linked in a vicious spiral in which degradation of the environment increases poverty while poverty increases environmental degradation.
    Mrs. Indira Gandhi made this point cogently when she said: “the environment cannot be improved in conditions of poverty how can we speak to those who live in villages and slums about keeping the oceans, the rivers and the air clean when their own live are contaminated at the source.”
    http://www.grida.no/geo/GEO/Geo-1-021.htm

    UNEP 1972-1992 AND THE RIO CONFERENCE
    Urs P. Thomas
    PhD Thesis (Political Science, University du Quebec Montreal, 1992)

    The Prepcom held four regular meetings between 1970 and 1972, and a special conference in Founex, Switzerland in June 1971. Input was provided by intergovernmental working groups on marine pollution,soils, conservation, monitoring and surveillance, and on a draftDeclaration on the Human Environment.
    Numerous other meetings, seminars and conferences were simultaneously attempting to influence the conference preparations. Several intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations got involved, especially IUCN and the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) (Caldwell, 1984:46).
    Of all the preparatory events the Founex conference was politically the most influential. It consisted of a panel of experts in economics, development planning, banking, social research and ecology. The ‘Founex Report’ has had a lasting impact on international environmental affairs; it “helped to alleviate some of the Third World misgivings concerning their developmental aspirations” (Caldwell, 1990:52)7. It was at this conference that the conflicting views of the industrialized and the developing countries regarding envi-ronmental matters were negotiated into a common agenda although it was loose and overloaded to accomodate all parties.
    The industrialized countries originally wanted to limit discussions to pollution issues, whereas the developing countries tended to consider environmental protection measures as an impediment to their development. They argued that their low degree of industrialization created relatively minor pollution problems, and that the few industries they were building up were desperately needed for their development, especially in view of the very high unemployment in the cities. The main point of the Third World countries was that environmental issues could not be separated from social and economic development issues such as poverty, human settlements, health, education and information. In other words, for the Third World, environmental policies cannot deal with pollution problems in isolation, they can only be considered within the framework of comprehensive development policies The outcome of the Founex conference was a victory for the developing countries. The panel concluded in its report that “the kind of environmental problems that are of importance in developing countries are those that can be overcome by the process of development itself” (Caldwell, 1984:46).
    Big Snip P177
    1.2. Climate Change
    While ozone depletion can be stopped through the replacement of a small number of well-known chemicals, the greenhouse effect is caused primarily by carbon dioxide, which is the unavoidable by-product of every form of combustion of fossil fuel, and by methane, which is generated among other things by garbage dumps, natural gas leaks, and a variety of agricultural sources such as cattle and rice paddies.
    Clearly, the greenhouse effect has far more complex and varied sources than ozone depletion, the scientific uncertainties are greater, and the financial interests involved here are of such a magnitude in virtually every sector of the economy in every country, that they cannot be compared with the relatively confined ozone problem.
    A scientific consensus regarding the seriousness of the greenhouse effect was first established in 1985 at a WMO-ICSU meeting in Villach, Austria. Subsequently UNEP and WMO jointly established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Geneva, of which UNEP staffs the secretariat. It had its first meeting in Geneva in November 1988, during which three working groups were established
    These were responsible for scientific issues (under U.K. leadership), impact studies (USSR leadership), and response strategies (USA leadership)178.
    These three groups provided the scientific and policy input for the Second World Climate Conference (SWCC) organized by the UN in Geneva in November 1990, which was attended by 700 of the world’s leadingscientists. This is the most important climate conference ever held, which concluded, that without action to reduce greenhouse emissions, temperatures will increase by 2 to 5 degrees Celsius over the next century, which will cause a sea level rise of 30 to 100 cm by that time (MacNeill, 1991:76). As MacNeill points out (p. 77), the US is the only Western industrialized country which insisted, that it is “too early” to take actions aimed at a reduction of fossil fuel emissions. In 1988 a Conference on the Changing Atmosphere was held in Toronto, sponsored jointly by the Government of Canada, UNEP and WMO. In its closing statement it concluded:
    Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences may be second only to a global nuclear war (Head, 1991:83).
    http://www.ecolomics-international.org/epal_2004_4_upt_unep_1972_1992_rio_conference_phd.pdf
    Above paper very useful in tracing politics and objectives

    [I am] a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology.” – Maurice Strong as Quoted in Macleans
    “[The Earth Summit will play an important role in] reforming and strengthening the United Nations as the centerpiece of the emerging system of democratic global governance.” – Maurice Strong Quoted in the September 1, 1997 Edition of National Review Magazine
    In the opening session of the Rio Earth Summit, Strong commented: “The concept of national sovereignty has been an immutable, indeed sacred, principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation. It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation states, however powerful. The global community must be assured of environmental security.”
    “Frankly, we may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse.” – Maurice Strong Quoted in the September 1, 1997 Edition of National Review Magazine
    In 1991, Strong wrote the introduction to a book called Beyond Interdependence: The Meshing of the World’s Economy and the Earth’s Ecology, by Jim MacNeil. (David Rockefeller wrote the foreword). Strong said this: “This interlocking…is the new reality of the century, with profound implications for the shape of our institutions of governance, national and international. By the year 2012, these changes must be fully integrated into our economic and political life.”
    http://keywiki.org/index.php/Maurice_Strong

  42. Matthew R Marler

    Very good comments by Tol, Stavins and Curry. Obviously not the last word.

  43. De Bellum Climaticum

    Fabula de bellum contra alterio climatis scripta per politici internationali in tres partes divisa est.

    Unam partem incolunt futuri temperaturi intolerabili et diluvii de mare.

    Alaim impulse horribili per omnibus, tamquam inundationes, aridates, fames et pestilentiae.

    Tertiam mitigationi, paenitentiae et tributi diri per expiare transgressioni et redimere terra omnis.

    Caveat emptor!

    (with apologies to Julius Caesar)

  44. glad to read this from the hostess…
    “..there is no unambiguous way to separate natural from anthropogenic climate change, or to separate climate change impacts from other confounding factors, or to separate the solutions from the broader issues of population increase, underdevelopment, mismanagement, and corrupt governments.”

    I know it’s simply the truth but so few can manage to admit it.

  45. Alarmism has faced two distinct challenges — the Great Recession and the “boy who cried wolf” effect — and failed to meet either one. People who are unemployed or underemployed, sitting on a mountain of debt, aren’t losing sleep over a fraction of a degree Celsius that may never happen. And the long list of predicted catastrophes that also haven’t happened makes folk skeptical of anything alarmists say anymore.

    • Dude — less caffeine,
      “Stavins and Tol on IPCC WG3″

      They are reporting Facts not Fiction!

      Focus on the Facts!

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  47. All of the efforts of the WG3 group are based on the temperature forecasts made by the WG1 climate modelers. It is now abundantly clear that these models are inherently useless for climate forecasting and that the work of the WG3 group as a whole has no empirical scientific basis in addition to the particular problems with the SPM which you have outlined .
    Similar discrepancies exist between the WG1 science and WG1 SPM sections. For example in the AR5 Summary for Policymakers the IPCC glossed over the developing pause and indeed cooling trend in global temperatures suggesting several ad hoc epicycle like reasons for the lack of warming over the last 16 years.
    In spite of this , while forecasting about the same amount of future warming as the 2007 AR4 report , the AR5 SPM report irresponsibly raised the certainty of the IPCC forecasts and attributions from 90 – 95% in order to give the impression of more certainty after another 6 years of new data and work.
    Again – the key factor in making CO2 emission control policy and the basis for the WG2 and 3 sections of AR5 is the climate sensitivity to CO2 . By AR5 – WG1 the IPCC itself is saying: (Section 9.7.3.3)
    “The assessed literature suggests that the range of climate sensitivities and transient responses covered by CMIP3/5 cannot be narrowed significantly by constraining the models with observations of the mean climate and variability, consistent with the difficulty of constraining the cloud feedbacks from observations ”
    In plain English this means that the IPCC contributors have no idea what the climate sensitivity is and that therefore that there is no credible basis for the WG 2 and 3 reports and that the Government policy makers have no empirical scientific basis for the UNFCCC process and for the politicians economically destructive climate and energy policies.
    The entire UNFCCC – IPCC circus is a political exercise with no connection to the real climate.
    Other forecasting methods are required in order to provide a basis for policy discussion. For forecasts of the probable coming cooling based on the natural 60 year and 1000 year quasi-periodicities in the temperature data and the use of the neutron count and 10Be record as the best proxy for solar “activity” see several posts over the last couple 0f years at
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com
    It is really amazing that the WG2 and WG3 authors have been all working earnestly away on the basis of a future warming when it is more likely that the world will cool for the next 20 years and perhaps for hundreds of years beyond that. If we want to worry about extreme events the record of the Dansgaard – Oeschger events in the last glacial period and the 8200 year cooling event ,the Younger Dryas cooling,and the LIA in the Holocene should provide enough concern to keep the doom-lovers

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