Imagining a post-IPCC world

by Judith Curry

Max Anacker writes:

Several posters have stated that it would be good to have a separate thread on “How should a post-IPCC world look?”

From Max’s post:

Several posters have stated that it would be good to have a separate thread on “How should a post-IPCC world look?”

It appears that a majority of the posters here are of the opinion that the IPCC has made serious errors and (in some instances) that it should be disbanded and replaced.

A more modest proposal than complete disbanding of the IPCC was made several months ago and reported on WUWT – this involved publishing both the current “majority” report as well as a “minority” report, which presented conflicting scientific studies and conclusions that had been ignored or omitted by IPCC in its “majority” report.

Either way, it would be interesting to read specific proposals on how a post-IPCC world should look.

Obviously, there will be a few posters who feel that everything is “just fine” as it is today, and no changes at all are needed.

It would also be interesting to read these comments and their justification.

Your thoughts?

366 responses to “Imagining a post-IPCC world

  1. A minority report, properly executed, would be a big step forward. But the present IPCC establishment is well entrenched within the UN framework, so I see little prospect for such reforms. Even a skeptical US President probably could not pull it off. Note by the way that the UN is in the process of cloning the IPCC for several other environmental issues. The UN is firmly committed to CAGW, so it has no interest in weakening the IPCC voice with moderation.

    • You already have that kinda thing in the International Conference on Climate Change.

      “The scientists who spoke at this conference, and the hundreds more who are expected to attend, are committed to restoring the scientific method. This means abandoning the failed hypothesis of man-made climate change, and using real science and sound economics to improve our understanding of the planet’s ever-changing climate.”

      The scientists affiliated with the conference are committed to using “real science.” I don’t think you could ask for anything better than that.

      • Yes, but the IPCC has to produce it as a minority report. Not likely.

      • The International Conference on Climate Change and minority reports within IPCC itself would be helpful, if . . . . .

        IPCC and corrupt climate science were the problem, rather than a symptom of tyrannical manipulation of scientific information for government propaganda purposes.

        The empirical fact is that Earth’s climate is changing and has always changed, because Earth itself has evolved and is evolving because Earth’s heat source – the Sun – has evolved and is evolving, . . .

        From a pulsar into an ordinary looking cloud of waste products (91% H and 9% He) emitting the visible light that chlorophyll uses for photosynthesis.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel

      • Please see following paper and references therein:

        “Origin and Evolution of Life Constraints on the Solar Model”,
        Journal of Modern Physics 2, 587-594 (2011)

    • It is nice to see my proposal is being discussed here. I hope people will read the link to get a full understanding of what I am proposing, including a competitive report since the IPCC is obviously not looking at a Minority Report on their own.

      • Ron,
        I think the reception of the BEST results shows a problem for your suggestion. It was minority, but a lot of the minority weren’t happy.

        Should the minority be the sky dragons? Or Mosh? Or BEST?

      • Steven Mosher

        hehe. Couldn’t be me, I was pretty happy with what Trenberth and Jones wrote(chap 3), with the exception of that one paragraph, and there I’d only change one word.

        I used to be enamored of the idea of a minority report but two things killed it for me.

        1. Lisbon. it was clear that the minority could not agree on anything
        and the take away was for me that they need to assemble their best arguments if they expect people to take them seriously
        2. Reading through easterbrooks stuff. same take away.

        another way to look at it. If you need a minority report ( say chapter 6 of Ar4 ) thats good evidence for killing the whole chapter

      • another way to look at it. If you need a minority report ( say chapter 6 of Ar4 ) thats good evidence for killing the whole chapter

        Understood, but that’s not an argument against having a minority report in general, is it?

      • No its not an argument AGAINST a minority report. Its Instead.

        The issue is the minority position is plural

      • steven mosher

        The issue is the minority position is plural

        Ron Cram has addressed this issue in his post below.

        It is a non-issue, steven.

        The notion that a “consensus” position is required was an essential root cause for the introduction of bias into the IPCC process (as our host has pointed out elsewhere), which in turn made it fail.

        This error should not be repeated.


      • Nick, if you read my proposal closely you would know that I am not looking for a unified minority opinion. We already have that with the NIPCC report. I am looking for an honest and objective assessment of climate science – something we don’t have with the IPCC assessment reports. The minority report would welcome scientists from all persuasions and viewpoints. The only litmus test is they cannot have defended the indefensible – the Hockey Stick and “hide the decline.” That means warmists like Hans von Storch, Eduardo Zorita and Richard Muller would be welcomed with open arms. Of course there are many others who have not criticized Mann and Jones as strongly as these have who would be welcome. But people who have defended the Hockey Stick and truncating data would be barred from the minority report.

      • Ron Cram

        I think your “modest” recommendation is spot on.

        It is highly unlikely that the IPCC, under its current leadership, will do anything to change its “consensus” process, which IMO has been the root cause for all its past failings. Even if IPCC changes out Pachauri, it would not change things.

        Therefore, I do not believe that IPCC will agree to publishing an equally weighted report reflecting non-consensus data and conclusions.

        IOW this report will have to be independently published.

        The NIPPC report is an “alternate” report, but the fact that it is published by a political think tank makes it appear less that fully “independent”. It is also a bit “reactive” rather than “proactive”..

        But something like this is needed and your challenge to the various scientists to take up the lead on this may get a reaction.

        I’d also like to see some applied scientists and engineers (plus maybe an auditor or two) involved along with the theoretical heavyweights you’ve already mentioned (including our host here).

        Extensive “pro bono” work when one is already very busy doing the day-to-day stuff may be a lot to ask from these scientists, so there needs to be funding for this report.

        I do not know to what extent the USA is (or was) funding IPCC, but these funds could possibly be diverted to support an independent alternate report (if the concept could be sold to the US Congress). I do not see the UK or other European contributors to IPCC considering shifting their funding support to an alternate group today, but who knows?

        Lots of open questions in “HOW” to make it happen.

        Any ideas?


    • There are two important aspects of my proposal which people are missing:

      1. If the minority report (a working title only) is not published by the IPCC (and it won’t happen), then one should be published by another body. I now propose that it should be the InterAcademy Council (IAC) – the international body of National Academy of Sciences for different countries. I believe they may see the wisdom of publishing a competitive assessment to the IPCC, one which would exclude from participation those scientists who have defended the Hockey Stick and “hide the decline.” See

      2. After the report is completed, it can compete directly with AR5. It may be the Minority Report will become the Majority Report because more scientists will see as more objective than AR5. Remember, one of the main criticisms of the IPCC reports is contributors do not get any way to approve or disapprove of the final report. We know many contributors do not approve.

    • I probably should explain my reasoning for proposing the IAC as the agency to produce the alternative assessment report.

      First, IAC is in the business of advising governments and producing reports on scientific and health issues.

      Second, the IAC produced an evaluation of IPCC assessment procedures which the IPCC promptly ignored. See

      Third, I believe the IAC would understand the call to bar participants who were a part of or who have defended the Hockey Stick and the truncating data to “hide the decline.” This would bar not only Michael Mann and Phil Jones (as Eduardo Zorita suggested) but also everyone associated with RealClimate as they have defended Mann for years. An objective assessment of the science has no place for such deceptiveness and I believe the IAC would understand that point.

  2. Joachim Seifert

    Disbanding? The question is rather: When will they give up AGW and come to their senses? In other words, I would like to ask is: Lets assume the
    GM-Temps stay flat 3 more decades and will go down thereafter.
    Let’s assume it…..! Question: By which year will you/they admit, AGW is the wrong/false/erroneous way of science?
    I would like to fix this year of reckoning…..
    According to Lubos Motl (, the CO2-footprint will be lost in 10 more years…

    • Do you have a link to Lubos’ claim?

    • Did you look at the BEST 10 year moving average temperature plot?

      If that goes flat for even a first 10 year period I could consider giving up the AGW ghost.

      What do you need to admit that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere causes the temperature of the earth surface to rise?

      It is way more than sound science at this point.

      • The question is by how much? Does a doubling of CO2 lead to a 0.8 K increase or a 4.8 K increase?

      • bob droege

        If you want to see a trend of 10 years, forget 10-year trailing average presentations.

        Use the monthly or anually averaged data.

        You will see that the past decade has shown sight cooling.

        Otherwise you are simply sticking your head in the sand.


  3. Just drop one C, it becomes the International Panel on Climate and they’ll provide something more meaningful, ie not self-obsessed on “change”. Painless and a winner for all.

    • + 17 (I like to repeat myself :))

    • It’s called the INTERGOVERNMENTAL panel.
      For a reason.

    • This post demonstrates a misunderstanding which seems to underly many other misconceptions about the IPCC. IPCC Assessment Reports are not, and have never been intended as, climate science textbooks. The IPCC is not an overseeing body dedicated to archiving all climate science knowledge. The IPCC is an organisation created to provide scientific information to aid the decision-making capabilities of policymakers in dealing with climate changes over the next century or so.

      • “This post demonstrates a misunderstanding which seems to underly many other misconceptions about the IPCC. IPCC Assessment Reports are not, and have never been intended as, climate science textbooks. The IPCC is not an overseeing body dedicated to archiving all climate science knowledge. The IPCC is an organisation created to provide scientific information to aid the decision-making capabilities of policymakers in dealing with climate changes over the next century or so.”

        So I say leave the IPCC do it’s thing.
        And do what IPCC is not doing.
        E,g, “The IPCC is not an overseeing body dedicated to archiving all climate science knowledge.”
        Do that.
        “IPCC Assessment Reports are not, and have never been intended as, climate science textbooks.”
        Do that.
        Does anything think this is already being done?

        I would say the problem with Climate science is it’s academic.
        So to attract engineers you need to do something.
        One thing you could do is build a habitable atmosphere on
        Or a large greenhouse on the Moon or Mars.
        No one is going to build a starship anytime soon, but that doesn’t
        mean you can’t attempt to design one:
        100-Year Starship Study Strategic Planning Workshop Held

      • Here’s a book about climate science you might be able to understand:

      • “His account of the science is straightforward. He explains the natural volcanic sources of carbon dioxide and points out that human activities are emitting between 100 and 200 times the amount released by volcanoes and at a very rapid rate. Tens of millions of years of storage of carbon dioxide in coal, oil and natural gas is being returned to the atmosphere in a few decades.”
        This indicates to me the author is clueless.

      • gbaikie what exactly do you think is incorrect in that quotation you chose?

      • “gbaikie what exactly do you think is incorrect in that quotation you chose?”
        Why does he bring up the strawman argument about volcanos?
        Does he not know the there far more higher emissions of CO2
        than what human create?
        Does he even know how much CO2 is emitted from volcanos?
        Because all I have seen are rough approximations.
        Does he know how much CO2 human exhale. Does he realize that in terms of biomass of animals and organism that consume oxygen, that humans are utterly insignificant?

      • gbaikie: “Volcanoes emit around 0.3 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. This is about 1% of human CO2 emissions which is around 29 billion tonnes per year.”

      • You need to ask real scientists about these things, not denial blogs.

      • “Of the three places where carbon is stored—atmosphere, oceans, and land biosphere—approximately 93 percent of the CO 2 is found in the oceans. The atmosphere, at about 750 petagrams of carbon (a petagram [Pg] is 10 15 grams), has the smallest amount of carbon.

        Approximately 90 to 100 Pg of carbon moves back and forth between the atmosphere and the oceans, and between the atmosphere and the land biosphere.”

        Is this denialist?
        The numbers aren’t correct btw- there about twice as high.
        And petagrams same as gigatonne or billion tonnes
        Humans emission is a bit more than 30 petagrams [or 30 gigatonnes]

        You said
        “Volcanoes emit around 0.3 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. This is about 1% of human CO2 emissions which is around 29 billion tonnes per year”

        So he and you talking something 3 orders lower in amount- .3 compared
        to 100.
        Now also the ocean emits CO2, how much? Who knows, but much more than .3 billion tonnes.

        Now I will do a search of volcanic CO2 emission. I am wondering how many differents numbers I get- or whether they all the same [from one source]. Here goes…

        “The fact of the matter is, the sum total of all CO2 out-gassed by active volcanoes amounts to about 1/150th of anthropogenic emissions.”

        “Measurements of CO2 levels over the past 50 years do not show any significant rises after eruptions. Total emissions from volcanoes on land are estimated to average just 0.3 Gt of CO2 each year – about a hundredth of human emissions”

        You should note that it says “on land”. One might be aware that about 70% of surface area of the planet is water. And the most massive amount volcanic activity on this planet is in the Atlantic-
        Mid-Atlantic Ridge:
        “The most productive volcanic systems on Earth are hidden under an average of 8,500 feet (2,600 m) of water”

        Also same location is this:
        The consumption of terrestrial vegetation by animals and by microbes (rotting, in other words) emits about 220 gigatonnes of CO2 every year, while respiration by vegetation emits another 220 Gt. These huge amounts are balanced by the 440 Gt of carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere each year as land plants photosynthesis.

        Another source:
        “According to the paper, five recent studies suggest that volcanoes worldwide (such as Alaska’s Shishaldin, shown) emit, on average, between 130 million and 440 million metric tons of CO2 each year.”

        My point isn’t that volcanos emit a lot CO2, my point is it’s unknown and irrelevant.
        You might as talk about coal fires:
        “For China, the world’s largest coal producer, it is estimated that anywhere between 10 million and 200 million metric tons (Mt) of coal reserves (about 0.5 to 10 percent of production) is consumed annually by coal fires or made inaccessible owing to fires that hinder mining operations (Rosema and others, 1999; Voigt and others, 2004).”
        A map:
        Why Does One Ton Of Coal Make 2.86 Tons Of Carbon Dioxide?
        So how much CO2 is made from “wildfires” of coal. I don’t know.
        In China it’s 10 million and 200 million metric tons and times that by 2.86 I get .0286 to .576 billion tonnes. From China [and China has lot of it happening- how much exactly not known- no one apparently cares very much to find out exactly.

      • gbaikie,

        So I say leave the IPCC do it’s thing.
        And do what IPCC is not doing.
        E,g, “The IPCC is not an overseeing body dedicated to archiving all climate science knowledge.”
        Do that.

        This is essentially the role of peer-reviewed scientific journals. This work is already been done elsewhere.

        “IPCC Assessment Reports are not, and have never been intended as, climate science textbooks.”
        Do that.
        Does anything think this is already being done?

        Yes, there are many climate science textbooks available already. A small sample of the more general reference tomes:

        An Introduction to Atmospheric Physics

        Principles of Planetary Climate

        Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics

      • Is that same Pierrehumbert that said earth get to higher temperature of the sun if it couldn’t radiate energy or some such sillyness?
        The other two look interest, I think I like An Introduction to Atmospheric Physics best.
        I like books which lots reference stuff. Does any of them give equilibrium temperatures for various material in the space environment [vacuum]?

      • Is that same Pierrehumbert that said earth get to higher temperature of the sun if it couldn’t radiate energy or some such sillyness?

        That isn’t silliness. It’s an illustration of a basic physical principle. If any body is receiving radiation but is unable to emit, it will continue to heat up forever so will reach a temperature hotter than the Sun at some point.

        Does any of them give equilibrium temperatures for various material in the space environment [vacuum]?

        I haven’t read the books. Equilibrium temperature in a vacuum would depend on the amount of radiation energy an object is receiving.

      • Latimer Alder

        How (hypothetically) would I construct a body that could absorb radiation but never emit any? I guess a black hole is one. Can you suggest some other examples?

      • Latimer,

        As I said, it’s an illustration used to aid basic understanding of a physical phenomenon. There is no requirement for the particular scenario to exist in order to understand his point.

        Black holes came to my mind as well, though I think it’s been shown that they are not necessarily ‘infinitely’ hot. Can’t recall the details, but I think there was some discussion in A Brief History of Time.

      • “That isn’t silliness. It’s an illustration of a basic physical principle. If any body is receiving radiation but is unable to emit, it will continue to heat up forever so will reach a temperature hotter than the Sun at some point.”
        Well there isn’t such know thing, unless it’s a black hole.
        And he calculated a result which because such thing could exist no one could know how it could possible be calculated.

        “I haven’t read the books. Equilibrium temperature in a vacuum would depend on the amount of radiation energy an object is receiving.”

        Yes, Earth distance.
        And depends upon the type of material. An obvious example is white enamel, others such gold foil- as can seen on commonly on spacecraft.
        And Quartz over Silver [QSR] is the coolest material and apparently used a lot.
        But I have limited list and generally I would like to know more about it.
        My ref is Space Mission and Design 3rd edition- it has 25 different materials- various types steels, aluminum, etc.
        I also want to know about thermal environment in earth orbit- the radiate heat from earth and if possible how materials response thermally to this heat from earth.
        But it doesn’t matter, I was simply thinking about that- I like any kind reference type stuff which is easy to look up.

      • gbaikie,

        It’s an application of well-known physics to an entirely hypothetical scenario. This is very common when discussing and explaining physical principles.

        Black holes themselves were originally only a hypothetical idea derived from calculations using Einstein’s new relativity mathematics. I think Einstein himself believed such things probably couldn’t exist in reality.

      • paul S,
        that is very post 2009 of you.
        Prior to 2009, the IPCC was the gold standard, the bible, the last word on climate science.
        I am pleased you have moved past that.

      • In 2007 there was strong criticism of the IPCC in the comments section of RC concerning sea level rise, and that is just one example.

  4. I think this question only has validity if you think there is a snowball’s hope in hell of the IPCC being disbanded, or even changed in any meaningful way at all. I think if you asked a few dozen of the people involved (including 190 governments) they would be baffled as to why you might suggest such an idea. Almost none of them would have heard of this blog either.
    Just being pragmatic.
    I think Richard Tol might give you a general idea of how the relevant wider world thinks of the IPCC.
    My own view is that it isn’t such a flawed organisation……except that it is constitutionally incapable of not exaggerating the negative potential of AGW. That is more to do with general human failings regarding fearful imaginings of the future.

  5. UN lackeys in Big Apple sales slump. John Q., just keeps walking on bye. Now in the spirit of Charlie Goodyear un-scientists vow to prove the value of their work in the near future using their own dime for a change. Peoples around the globe are once again productive and full of joy. Primitive-modern-man (PMM) only needs to work three hours a day to meet his needs. It seems that we have wasted a bunch of time on history. Let get busy now we need to paint more gold rocks. Damn the paradigm…

  6. While IPCC sees its purpose as the influencing of policy , no changes to it will make any real difference. Advocacy and science are at best a poor combination , for the latter calls for the evidenced to speak for itself and the former gives the evidenced a ‘chosen’ voice .

    The only chance of saving it is to clear out the its fully compromised leadership and take it outside of the UN so it can actual carry out the job is supposed to. But frankly the political will is simply not there anymore , for instances its little holiday junkets are getting increasingly irreverently to world leaders . Its hard to see any chance of an AR6 although the IPCC may live on even if its just one person sitting in UN office somewhere who nobody knows nor cares what they do.

    Those familiar with the UN in other areas will not be surprised to find the problems seen in the IPCC, as virtual all UN organizations suffer from them.

  7. I don’t imagine the change would be very dramatic; the science is going to be the same. There are still going to be hundreds of national and international science organizations warning the public about global warming. The lack of a central summary of the state of the science would likely make it slightly easier for deniers to promote dishonest spin and peddle conspiracy theories.

    A minority report might be nice, but those promoting the idea should prepare themselves for the possibility that such a report would be BEST all over again: the most strongly held minority view may be that the IPCC is understating the risks of climate change. If so, the minority report would reflect that. Doubtless some would feel cheated if that were to be the case, but I think it’s more likely than not.

    • I think your guesses about what is ‘more likely than not’ bear about as much relation to reality as James ‘5 metres of sea level rise by 2100’ Hansen…

      • Anteros


        Oh. You mean perhaps?

        The argument by Hansen supported by scholarship that scientists advocate too mildly due cultural differences between science and politics?

        The associated data and projections which include at their greatest extreme a change within an order of magnitude of already observed changes?

        (And which accounts by mere chance for the differences between the decades old projection and the observed figures in the chart you link to, easily debunking the argument on that page.. if only Mr. Goddard were better read on the topic by a couple decades, he’d know his reasoning was baseless.)

        It’s easy to dismiss projections by ignoring facts.. Pointless, a waste of time, misleading, dodging the question, but ‘easy’ is a virtue too. Everyone wants more easy in their global issues.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Bart R says:

        The argument by Hansen supported by scholarship that scientists advocate too mildly due cultural differences between science and politics?

        Yeah, that’s the problem. Mr. Hansen says that the problem isn’t shabby science and hiding the decline and slanted claims. The problem really is, scientists are not alarmist enough …

        I assume you are aware how ridiculous that sounds, Bard. James Hansen is chiding scientists for not being more alarmist about sea levels … when for the first time in a while, the sea level rise has leveled off?

        The underlying problem is, there is absolutely no sign of Hansen’s long forecast acceleration in the rate of sea level rise. He’s been saying for a quarter of a century that sea levels would start accelerating due to CO2 any day now … any day now … any day now …

        I’ve waited a quarter century for Hansen’s sea level claim to come true, and there is absolutely no sign of it happening at all. Now Bart, what would a true scientist do in such a case?

        Rather than deal with that by becoming less alarmist, as any real scientist would do, Hansen’s response is to say other scientists should be more alarmist. Riiiiight …

        And folks wonder why people don’t trust the IPCC and climate scientists in general, and Hansen in particular? Disband them both, I say.


      • “when for the first time in a while, the sea level rise has leveled off?”

        WUWT and others were claiming it had leveled off in 2008 and it didn’t. So I disagree this is the “first time”.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        “.. what would a true scientist do in such a case? “

        No clue. Couldn’t say, not having the least claim on being a scientist at first hand.

        However, I did linger overlong in universities, and must admit, red-facedly, to knowing what a scholar might do.

        That is, the scholar might go to original sources, read for oneself skeptically and using critical reasoning, and .. oh my. What is this?

        When I go to original sources, I find your claims of what Dr. Hansen is supposed to have said remarkably skewed, so as to in almost no way resemble the original, but rather strawmanishly to inflate, exaggerate, take out of context, overlook conditions, and concentrate only on the most extreme portions of projections if there is a pronounced step function or tipping point, which there is plentiful evidence may exist. Not ‘does exist’, not ‘must exist’, not ‘absolutely will happen’, just ‘wise to prepare for, as it may have happened before’.

        But at least you were telling the truth about sea lev.. Oh. No, no. When I go to actual records of sea levels, I find them rising measureably in independent report after report, with only some minor natural variation easily accounted for by well-understood ocean phenomena, and in most ways in line with Dr. Hansen’s projections pre-albedo flip.

        So, I have to ask, what would a reactionary do in such a case, Willis Eschenbach?

        It seems you must be familiar at least with that at first hand.

      • If you look at Hansen’s graph, there basically isn’t much sign of accelerated SLR in 2011.

    • A minority report might be nice, but those promoting the idea should prepare themselves for the possibility that such a report would be BEST all over again:

      I don’t think so. It seems that by definition, a “minority report” would be a collection of science, primarily organized by the criterion of being in disagreement with the “majority” opinion.

      This necessitates and after-the-findings selection – not a before-the-findings selection based on methodological approach. For example, we see that BEST was embraced as “minority” science before the findings were complete (based on using methodology endorsed by “skeptics”), and now largely rejected as “minority” science after-the-findings.

      In the end, it is, as a result of findings that are in agreement with previous “pro-AGW” analysis of land surface temperature records – now rejected by the “minority” as being qualified to appear in a proposed “minority report.”

      Of course, it isn’t lost on me that a similar dynamic – somewhat like a mirror image – occurred with BEST’s efforts from the other side. Initially rejected as “minority” science and after the fact accepted as “majority.” science. Except that reversal was related to the rhetoric of some of the scientists involved in BEST – not the methodology they employed. As far as I know, none of the “majority” criticized the BEST initiative on the basis of the science (except in the sense of saying that it as redundant, and thus unnecessary) only to later embrace that very same methodology.

      • I don’t think so. It seems that by definition, a “minority report” would be a collection of science, primarily organized by the criterion of being in disagreement with the “majority” opinion.

        I think you are missing my point, which is that a minority report would like as not reflect the conclusions of many scientists that the IPCC’s conclusions are watered-down and do not reflect the extreme reality.

        The analogy to BEST is a loose one, to wit: something “skeptics” expect to bolster their views might end up discrediting those views further.

      • Robert –

        Ok. Sorry for the misinterpretation.

      • My own fault for using a rough analogy. I should have been clearer.

      • Seriously Joshua? That was clearer to you? Maybe you can translated if for us.

      • Dave –

        As I interpreted it, Robert was saying that a “minority report” could contain information that would be rejected by “skeptics” if it contained science consistent with the theory that AGW is a reality to any significant degree. My point was that if any science contained such findings – even if the methodology used was consistent with a “skeptical” outlook – it would necessarily not be included in a “minority report.” In other words, the status of being “minority” would be based on the implications of the findings, not the science in and of itself. The BEST effort is instructive in that regard.

        It seems that Robert’s point was that a “minority report” would be judged by some in the “climate community” as similar to the “majority report” of the IPCC – in the sense that even the “majority report” underestimates AGW.

        I’m not sure if that clarifies the reasoning in Robert’s point – but that it clarifies how I misinterpreted it.

      • ie uncertainty works both ways. Skeptics are assuming a Not The IPCC minority as reporting lower estimates of warming, impacts etc.

        They are completely ignoring the other side of the coin. Ie a minority report that finds things “worse” than what the IPCC report.

  8. Ihe IPCC is an international political organization and therefore it is not rational to expect a reform process to work. The IPCC should be eliminated and not replaced with anything with “international” in its title. Let’s let each sovereign government to do their own climate change reports, then through a non profit organization plan a public debate every year covering the science alone. No public policy would be on the adgenda.
    At the same time here in the USA we should make our process completely transparent, reforming our funding agencies and scientific journals toward that end , We have plenty of work to do here at home.

    • Kazzaam! You have your wish. The IPCC no longer has “international” in it’s title! Because it’s always been the “INTERGOVERNMENTAL” Panel.

      For a reason.

  9. Minority rights?

  10. There is little recognition of what an enormous and complex undertaking the IPPC reports are. They are essentially a systematic review, buy across multiple specilities. No easy undertaking.

    The not-IPPC dreamers need to confront the liklihood that any other arrangement will by necessity have many of the same features and will very likely come to the same conclusion. And in this complex undertaking it too will make errors, just different ones.

    It will just be a repeat of the Watts-BEST fiasco; claims of malfeasnce and demands for a new approach, but then rejection of that new approach when its results confirm the previous one.

    But that will be no surprise as most here simply don’t like the message and all the IPCC hostility is just a case of shooting the messanger.

    • Its not so complex that they can’t meet the standards you expect of science undergraduate in an essay. And yet they can’t do that and remember their self declare they showing the best ‘scientific knowledgeable’ in the area , a boast they do nothing to support .

    • It’s much easier to make sense of the world if you employ binary thinking.: The IPCC is flawed, therefore it should be thrown out.

      The fact that any such endeavor would be flawed doesn’t have to register.

      • Yes, that can’t be emphasized enough – any formulation will include errors. People of bad faith can always use these to reject the overall findings.

        The idea that this is just at an undergrad essay writing level displays a high level of ignorance on the complexities of conducting systematic reviews.

    • From what I have seen to date from IPCC and the pro CAGW crowd, they have not the slightest inkling of how to conduct a proper systematic review of the literature. Full documentation and justification of the literature search strategy is a pivotal requirement so that the results are comprehensive, unbiased, robust and repeatable. This needs to be done for each topic addressed. Without such documentation any literature review is very likely to be incomplete, biased and misleading.
      Which databases were searched?
      What time periods were covered?
      What search terms were used?
      What boolean logic was applied?
      What was the justification for the search strategy employed?
      How many citations were retrieved at each stage of the search?
      What selection criteria were applied for inclusion/exclusion of papers to further analyse?
      What date was the search performed?
      DOCUMENT IT please. Anything else is too amateurish.

      • Have you actually read any of the IPCC reports to see which of your questions are answered there? Do you not understand that the climate scientists would already be familiar with much of the literature in their area of study?

        Can you explain how you would apply boolean logic to a review of the literature?

      • What selection criteria were applied for inclusion/exclusion of papers to further analyse?

        This was a key issue in climategate especially in the McKittrick paper
        where it took reviewers two reviews to have two key papers finally addressed. When they were addressed the authors discussing them made things up.

      • Unfortunately the fact that you need to ask this question demonstrates complete unfamiliarity with “systematic literature review”

        example (of bias)

        Mann (au)

        AND NOT McKitrick (au)

        Get the idea?

      • Means nothing to me. To me, reviewing the literature means sitting down and reading it and understanding what the authors are saying and thinking about how it fits in with the rest of the literature.

        I see there is a phrase “systematic review” which is used in biomedicine, but it is not clear to me that it would apply to climate science.

      • A systematic review is different from lit r/v, even a systematic lit r/v.

        Holly I think it does have some merit in clarifying methodological issues, though i’ve had just the same thought as you regarding it’s use in the physical sciences. I’m very familiar with it in the medical feild, but I’m not sure if the same kind of guidelines and quality assessment tools are available in this feild. Would appreciate it anyone with more knowledge could shed some light here.

      • Yes, and that is just the tip of the iceberg for a quality SR.
        And this is more of what the not-IPCC crowd ignore, or are unaware of – the massive workload involved from what is essentially a volunteer effort.

        Appropriate resourcing of the effort needs to be considered , unless shoot-the-messanger is the only real interest in the question.

  11. It’s a good idea – because it would help to add some coherency to a “skeptical” perspective as a whole to the degree that’s possible (which is limited, as truly “skeptical” opinions are diverse, and “denial” could never be coherently organized except as “denial”).

    But I do doubt the degree to which it will change anything. The majority of the science is likely to agree with a “pro-AGW” analysis, and so in the end a “minority report” wouldn’t likely change much.

    And being a “minority report” – both in name an by virtue of the scientific findings – ideologically-driven and partisan “skeptics” will still whine endlessly about being a victimized, persecuted, stifled minority.

    Whining about victimization runs through their veins. It’s in their bones. A leopard won’t change its spots simply because a minority report is issued.

    But yes, to the extent that it would contribute to the science by formally recognizing “skepticism,” and helping to cohere “skeptical” views on AGW – I think it would be a good move.

  12. Why do we need an IPCC at all?
    Was Sir Isaac Newton, or Alfred Einstein memeber of some IPCC? Did they need such a body to confirm their theories?
    The IPCC is a political propaganda body. Any associacion of the IPCC and science debases and corrupts science.
    I, personally, dream of a world where such corrupt bodies are not tolerated. The most corrupt and useless among these bodies is the UN itself.

    Since we cannot wish away these monstrosities, the least we can wish is for all decent, honest scientists to distance themselves from the IPCC and condemn it. Let it linger and die in political univers.

    • Jacob,

      You ask ” Why do we need an IPCC at all?”

      I’d argue that you don’t. Instead, if you like, just obtain your scientific information from the UK’s Royal Society, the US’s NAS, or any well known university climate science department.

      You won’t be told any different though! You’ll need to get on to the rejectionist websites if want a different story.

      • Latimer Alder


        At last we agree on something. I see no need for the IPCC at all. If it is no more than a literature review, than a few graduate students could do just as well – and might be better at checking references.

        If it is more than that, it has gone beyond its stated mission and needs serious structural reform or abolition.

        Either way it is not fit for purpose as it is.

      • An interesting riposte, in that it doesn’t mention tempterrain‘s statement that there’s no difference between what’s in IPCC reports and what one will hear from national institutes or universities.

        If this is so, then it would seem that it’s not the IPCC that needs “serious structural reform or abolition,” but the entire discipline of modern science. And in that case… there is really no time to be wasted in tearing down every institution at every level, and replacing them all with organizations that can be relied upon to deliver the conclusions we prefer.

        It seems that should have the courage of one’s convictions in such a circumstance.

  13. Why do we need an IPCC at all?

    To summarize the consensus on climate science and examine the impacts of global warming on people and the policy implications of that.

    The IPCC is a political propaganda body.

    So there’s your claim. Now all you need to do is support that claim with evidence. I suggest you start by clearly defining “political propaganda body,” then follow with your case that that’s what the IPCC is.

  14. The world is a place full of ironies. While my daughter was at Oxford university, I made regular monthly contribution to her college. One day a colleague showed her the IPCC report publication which had inscription that it was purchased by some of my donations.
    Yes I know: poetic justice – the allocation of an ideal form of justice, where virtue is rewarded and infamy punished.

  15. Norm Kalmanovitch

    If you add an “N” to IPCC you get the accronym for the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change which produced the 2009 Report “Climate Change Reconsidered. This has been updated with the interim report for 2011
    Could one imagine a post IPCC era replaced by a NIPCC era in which science is portrayed as science and political action is based on science instead of political action driving science as is the case for the current IPCC era

    • Norm Kalmanovitch

      “Could one imagine a post IPCC era replaced by a NIPCC era..?”

      It was for just such a circumstance the phrase, “Out of the frying pan, into the fire,” was coined.

      Three repeatedly debunked lead authors, and contributors from only two countries including an anthropology expert on dog breeding, a family member of one of the leads, and a rather small amount of PhDs.

      On its face, the stature of the NIPCC report does not add up to a serious international effort to meet the science of the IPCC report, either in rigor or in effort to address conflict of interest of participants, nor also in standing or qualification, nor either in proportion of gray literature to peer-reviewed science, in short in all measures that have been applied to the IPCC by its detractors, NIPCC demonstrates it’s no IPCC, in all the worst ways.

      A post-IPCC world where the IPCC is replaced by slant, skew, industry-influenced, short-sighted, inadequate, unambitous, ill-defined fifth-raters would reflect very poorly on our decision-making abil.. Oh, wait. It’s what the US Congress wants? Pretty much makes my point about credibility.

      You want to get away with things in secret, first you get rid of the watchdog.

  16. No IPCC ? Dream on libertarians, anti-government ideologues, and UN haters. It isn’t likely to go away. Of course the IPCC could evolve. The organization could improve and strengthen itself in response to your criticisms.

    • Latimer Alder

      It’ll go away soon enough if politicians lose faith in it and withdraw its funding. Like could happen with climatology as a whole. The track record of ‘achievement’ of both of them over the last twenty years is so ludicrously weak as to be a joke.

      And many indications are that as economic times get harder in the West, the interest in the subject among both the public and the politicos is waning. As interest wanes, the money goes elsewhere.

      • The US House voted to defund it, but the problem is that the funding is all rolled up in UN accounts. So the US would have to entirely or substantially de-fund the UN to have an effect.


      • Latimer Alder

        That’s just a n accounting problem that could be fixed given sufficient politcal will. History is full of the corpses of institutions that wrongly thought themseleves indispensable.

  17. I don’t understand the concept of a minority report. What is that minority? It’s likely be as diverse and undefinable as the the present skeptical community. Who is scientific enough to warrant inclusion in the minority report, but unable to make the IPCC report. It’s impossible to determine its representatives.

    For science we have nothing better available than the existing scientific process, but the changes brought to the process by the net must be developed further.

    I have written on my own ideas on modifying the IPCC in several earlier messages on this site and also on my site. I repeat a short summary of a model that might be possible:

    1) Limiting the coverage to areas that have been covered by scientific research well enough to base essentially all conclusions on several papers so that the papers provide not only original results, but also confirmation and corrections by later work. (That removes much of WG2 and WG3,but only little of WG1.)

    2) Using the net efficiently to maintain a wider database of papers that excludes only papers that don’t satisfy reasonable technical requirements, are obviously outside of the field covered, or demonstrably wrong.

    3) Replacing the writing of books every 5 years or so by a continuous assessment process. Only part of papers in the full database would be covered by the assessment, but the reasons for excluding the others should be recorded in the database and be contestable.

    4) Creating a significantly different and organizationally independent model to offer support that is deemed necessary in areas, which are excluded according to point 1).

    Significant changes are needed for the assessment process (point 3) to reduce essentially problems that the present model has created. Those changes may allow, e.g., parallel assessment groups, which don’t have a veto right on the others work. That could widen the process a bit to the direction of “a minority report”, but I don’t think one can go very far along those lines and keep the whole operational.

    • Pekka –

      I asked you a couple of questions before but you chose not to answer. I’ll try again.

      What process would you suggest for examining the global reach of questions related to renewable energy and policy development related to the aspects of climate change that are global in nature?

      • Both are difficult questions, and I have only preliminary thoughts. As the issues are so difficult, it’s much easier to shoot down any proposal that to present a more workable one.

        For policy the issue is really that of decision-making under uncertainty that extends to almost full ignorance of some important issues. There’s a lot of uncertainty on the severity of the climate change itself, but much more on it’s effects, and possibly even more on the value of any proposed policy. To handle such complex situation, we need “wise men”, who understand well basic issues in managing uncertainties, but can also form informed views on all relevant information. The real issue is balancing all these disparate inputs and communicating the outcome to decision makers in the spirit of honest brokers. As no single group may be accepted or even act as a honest broker, there may be a need for two or more parallel groups.

        How and to what extent promote renewable energy, is part of the policy choices, but it has it’s own issues. The renewable energy industry is economically important enough to involve strong conflicts of interest. Misdirected support may consume huge amounts of money, but produce little results. I do believe that the German solar power support is a prime example of that. More than 50 billion euros have been given or bound in the support, but the results are worth perhaps 10% of that. All the rest is wasted support to private industries that have played their part well being helped by many in the environmental movement. Idealism doesn’t help, when it’s based on wrong facts.

        I do think that renewable energy development needs support, but more to the research and limited scale demonstration than to premature deployment.

      • I do think that renewable energy development needs support, but more to the research and limited scale demonstration than to premature deployment.

        Tax carbon, and you can leave all those problems to the market: research, testing, and deployment.

        The government can do more to mitigate climate change by upgrading our national infrastructure then by trying to pick winners in renewable energy.

      • My message was rather about the procedures of supporting and making decisions than on the content of those decisions.

        Personally I consider a modest (but not negligible) carbon tax as one of the best alternatives. The big problem is choosing the right level for the tax. It would be important that the level is fairly well known for at least five years to the future to direct investments optimally, but there should also be a predefined procedure for changing the level after an appropriate delay, when need arises. The delay would be part of the predictability.

      • Carbon is taxed, Robert. Look at the gas pump, if you drive a real car. Look at your utility bill. You need to get more familiar with your new planet, before shooting off your mouth. Do some research on the effectiveness of that Kyoto thing.

      • The Australian government is introducing a tax on carbon dioxide emissions while maintaining a plethora of inefficient “alternative energy” subsidies and in addition providing (as a sop to the Greens to get the legislation through) $A10 bn to research/support low emissions energy sources other than nuclear and coal carbon capture and storage, both of which are sin-binned by the Greens. State schemes are not being unwound in light of the carbon dioxide emissions tax. The worst of all worlds, with negligible if any impact on global temperatures.

      • Thanks, Pekka –

        I tend to agree with what you said there – but important questions remain: If we think that the IPCC needs to : (1) be disbanded and/or, (2) separate examining policy implications from the science itself, and as a subset of that aspect and/or, (3) examine the relative costs/benefits of renewable sources of energy — we need to have an alternative vision of how those issues should be addressed.

        If we don’t, then all those steps, in effect, require a conclusion that climate change, and the global reach of the impact of climate change do not merit analysis. Some in these pages are convinced in that regard. IMO, to hold such a viewpoint more than likelyis based on overconfidence about certainty.

        As such, it seems to me that before ANYONE prescribes the medicine of eliminating the IPCC, they need to first propose an alternative protocol. Of course, that doesn’t make dealing with the IPCC’s problems any less important, and it doesn’t help to reduce the complexities of recommending an alternative protocol. Unfortunately, there is no way out that doesn’t require a lot of hard work and compromise. As long as people allow ideology/partisanship to drive their analysis, that difficult task will never be accomplished.

      • I think that the idea that some larger changes for IPCC are due after AR5 has gained some support. Many people close to IPCC were disappointed, when they learned that so little happens soon. Many hoped in particular that Pachauri would step down following new rules, although they don’t apply to him, thinking that such a change would remove some problems and perhaps make other changes easier.

        Unfortunately changes are always difficult, when decisions are made by an international body like the panel of IPCC. There are always differing views leading to the results that most new ideas are blocked.

        The usefulness of new IPCC reports seems, however, be going down so fast that there might be willingness to change the process essentially. WG1 doesn’t produce dramatically different results based on five more years of research. Thus a full new report every five years starts to be superfluous. Only a small part of the content of WG2 and WG3 reports has been influential as far as I can judge. Those parts include some generic conclusions on the impacts, which are not directly supported very well by the main text from WG2 and some scenarios from WG3 although those scenarios are also difficult to justify based on science. The difficulties in taking advantage of the content of WG2 and WG3 might help in getting support for a change in the mandate of IPCC and finding some quite different replacement for that.

      • “As such, it seems to me that before ANYONE prescribes the medicine of eliminating the IPCC, they need to first propose an alternative protocol.”

        Is there a UN world protocol to dictate best medical practices (in medicine)? Is there a protocol to establish the best health insurance mechanism, the best currency management mechanism ?
        In a lot of areas, actually in all areas we manage pretty well without an IPCC. We need no alternative.
        Science is done through the scientific process – publication of papers and books, not through political super-national-monsters.

      • Jacob –

        Is there a UN world protocol to dictate best medical practices (in medicine)? Is there a protocol to establish the best health insurance mechanism, the best currency management mechanism ?

        There are international bodies to help deal with issues that affect public heath and economies on a global scale. As for insurance mechanisms – the cross-national impact there is limited – but even there, there are certainly international bodies to help deal with questions of insurance that national jurisdictions.

      • No, it’s perfectly reasonable to say that the IPCC process is flawed and has not produced nor will not produce “good” outcomes, and should be scrapped, full stop, prior to alternative ways of understanding climate better being presented. Although, of course, most of the climate research being undertaken may not be directly related to the IPCC and could continue without it, I doubt if there is any need for such an over-arching body. Let ideas and their proponents compete; may the best science win.

    • “Who is scientific enough to warrant inclusion in the minority report, but unable to make the IPCC report.”

      Good point. One criticism of the IPCC is some good scientists aren’t invited to the party. Given the examples in Laframboise’s book, I’m not sure I agree. However, perhaps the IPCC could try to be more inclusive.

      • A Minority Report is prepared by those within the Panel who don’t support the consensus. To date, they have always just rapidly found themselves ex-members of the panel.

    • Stephen Singer

      ‘Who is scientific enough to warrant inclusion in the minority report, but unable to make the IPCC report.’

      For starters:

      Dr. Lindzen MIT
      Dr. Curry Georgia Tech
      Dr. Pielke Sr. Univ. Colorado
      Dr. Spencer Univ. Alabama Huntsville(UAH)
      Dr. Braswell UAH
      Dr. Christy UAH
      Dr. Dyson Retired?

      would do for starters.

      • I think you’re all missing the point that the IPCC isn’t a scientific body. It isn’t tasked with doing any science at all. It’s job is to SUMMARISE and peoples ability to do that doesn’t necessarily correlate with being a brilliant scientist.

      • I would also include scientists who are worried about climate change but have been willing to speak out against the more blatant and intentional fudging of data. These would include:

        Dr. Hans von Storch
        Dr. Eduardo Zorita
        Dr. Richard Muller
        Dr. William Cotton
        Steve McIntyre

        Other qualified skeptics include:
        Dr. Nicola Scafetta
        Dr. Nir Shaviv
        Dr. David Douglass
        Dr. Henrik Svensmark
        Dr. Petr Chylek
        Dr. Fred Singer
        Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu
        Dr. Ivar Giaever
        Dr. William Happer
        Dr. Khabibullo Abdusamatov

        Of course, there are many more, but these are some of the more prominent names.

      • Here’s a larger lists:

      • There are a number of qualified scientists on that list which were not named earlier, including Willis Eschenbach, Craig Loehle, Anthony Watts, Garth Paltridge and Chris de Freitas, but there are a great many names of politicians, journalists and others who would not be qualified.

        I have to believe there are many, many academics who would like to be a part of an alternative assessment of climate science if one was available for them to contribute to. As long as they were convinced it was an honest assessment and not just the opposite of AR5.

      • Willie Soon, Sallie Balliunus and the Idsos were ruined by
        AGWers’ calumny and slander, as aided and abetted by the main stream media. Look to those who sold their souls to the UN IPCC and what it stands for. Those people deserve the same treatment, that is banishment.

    • Pekka, if you read the link you will see the answer to your questions. Authors are not limited to skeptics. The only excluded scientists are those who have defended the indefensible (such as the Hockey Stick and “hide the decline.”) Scientists who are concerned about climate change but have proven themselves to be honest (von Storch, Zorita, etc) would be welcome to participate.

      • I cannot understand, how some people do believe that they can correctly list honest and dishonest scientists. Your list is based mainly on, whose views you like than on anything better.

        An similar list written honestly by somebody else would be totally different. You know very well that some on your list of qualified, would not make the similar list of those others, but might be at the extreme other end.

        Mob lynching is not my idea.

      • Pekka,
        It is very simple. If a scientist has attempted to defend the Hockey Stick or “hide the decline,” they are attempting to defend the indefensible. They are not honest. Von Storch and Zorita were outspoken regarding the failures of the Hockey Stick and confirmed McIntyre’s observation that Mannian methods would produce a hockey stick chart from trendless red noise. MBH98 had many, many problems including the failed R2 verification statistic which went unreported and the “CENSORED” folder. Muller has also criticized Mannian methods publicly and said he refuses to read his papers.

        After ClimateGate, Zorita saw the evidence of truncated data to “hide the decline” and called on the IPCC to block many of the CRU scientists from future contributions to reports. The IPCC refused. Zorita’s call for greater integrity in science is welcome. And there are other scientists who are warmists but not alarmists who would be welcome in an alternative assessment of climate science.

        Any scientist who has publicly defended the Hockey Stick or “hide the decline” is attempting to perpetuate the lie. They would necessarily be precluded from contributing because they have failed the honesty test.

        This has nothing to do with mob lynching. It has to do with the ability to assess science without bias. If one cannot look at the methods behind the Hockey Stick and “hide the decline” and see they are unethical, they do not pass the test. It is just that simple.

      • People are liars because you say they are liars?

        If I said you are a liar does that prove you are a liar?

      • M. carey,
        The facts surrounding the unethical behavior of Michael Mann are well-known. No honest person will defend the fact Mann ran an R2 verification statistic and refused to report that it failed. No honest person will defend Mann’s Artificial Hockey Stick (the fact his method creates a hockey stick from trendless red noise). No honest person would defend Mann’s shenanigans regarding the CENSORED folder.

        If you are unfamiliar with the facts, I suggest you read

        Regarding hide the decline, you can also watch

        You can read about Zorita’s proposal here:

        My conclusions are not mine alone. They are based on scientists who replicated (or attempted to) or looked closely at their work. If you can look closely at the work of Michael Mann and Phil Jones etc and still defend them, then you are able of being unbiased.

      • The facts surrounding the unethical behavior of Michael Mann are well-known.

        And despite that, deniers persist in repeating the same discredited lies.

        He won, you lost. All the complaining and tired repetition of failed allegations is not going to make the hockey stick go away.

      • M carey,
        I hate my typos. Of course, I intended to write:

        If you can look closely at the work of Michael Mann and Phil Jones etc and still defend them, then you are unable to be unbiased.

      • I get it now, Ron.

        Facts + Opinions = More Facts

    • Steven Mosher

      yes to all, especially 3

  18. In the world were China builds a coal fired power plant at a rate of 1 every 10 days, IPCC is an abortion of logic. It is like NOW promoting Islam as the official national religion.

  19. I suggest a renewed attempt make a point of elevating to equal status solar and earth sciences other than atmospheric physics, meaning with roles less as supplementary fields modelers can choose to consider or not.

    Modelers should be expected to prescribe sufficiently the empirical just poorly understood solar-climate coupling.

    Also in that detailed deglaciation data don’t seem to lend themselves to being models of those positive CO2-H2O feedback dynamics.

  20. First of all, since the IPCC is prohibited by charter from performing research, they by definition aren’t a scientific body. They do no science. By charter.

    So the IPCC is a pure policy organization. Keeping that in mind will frame the question. Since they, by definition, can’t do any science, their only function is to drive policy. So if we remove an organization whose only mission is to drive policy, and we effectively don’t have any policy after 20 some years, what is their point?

    This is sort of like the tree falling in the forest, and nobody hearing it. All you have to show for it is a dead tree.

  21. We already know what a “minority report” completed under the aegis of the IPCC, or other CAGW/consensus true believers, would look like.

    Straw men, ad hominems, hyperbole and caricatures of skeptical (minority) positions.

    Want to see genuine reports of minority views on the science and policy? Check out the blog roll here or on WUWT or Bishop Hill or…. The last thing we need is another bureaucratic structure to try to create a competing skeptical consensus.

    The lesson to be learned from the disaster that is the IPCC is – keep the government away from the science, except as a customer.

    • The lesson to be learned from the disaster that is the IPCC is – keep the government away from the science, except as a customer.

      See my comment ^^^. The fact is, they are doing exactly that. They publish no original science; they’re prohibited from doing so. But they’re great at picking cherries. The customer does get to determine the outcome in some cases. It’s like an expert witness in court: I’ll testify for your side for $200/hr. What do you want me to say?

      • The Intergovernmental leaders of the IPCC tell the lower ranks what science and conclusions to produce. This is thoroughly documented. The PURPOSE of the IPCC was to create pseudo-scientific cover for predetermined policies.

      • These reports suffer from a small number of authors and not getting the buy-in of the larger climate community. These reports are like an anti-AR4, which has some value but does not achieve an unbiased assessment of the science.

      • Better some authors than none. They complement the AR4, showing science ignored by the IPCC by its anthropogenic/alarmism bias.

        What do you mean by “getting the buy-in of the larger climate community”? Is not falsifiability foundational to science rather than political correctness? Albert Einstein observed:

        “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

        The Ultimate Quotable Einstein, Albert Einstein, Alice Calaprice, Freeman Dyson (2010) Princeton University Press p 476 (paraphrasing a translation of) A. Einstein “Induction and Deduction”. Collected Papers of Albert Einstein 7 Document 28. Volume 7 is The Berlin Years: Writings, 1918-1921. A. Einstein; M. Janssen, R. Schulmann, et al., eds.

        The NIPCC reports provide numerous examples of scientific evidence directly contrary to the IPCC’s conclusions.

        One of the greatest challenges of today’s politically correct “climate change” is that it is NOT falsifiable, and thus not scientific.

    • “The fact is, they are doing exactly that. They publish no original science….”

      The fact is that the only reason we are talking about the IPCC is that it is NOT doing exactly that. There was a previous post here about the “knowledge monopoly” of the IPCC. Now I disagree, the IPCC does not have such a monopoly in my opinion, but not for lack of trying.

      This is the consensus policy model, in which the IPCC is a central player:

      1. Governments and NGOs funded by governments choose which science research to fund.
      2. Those researchers rely on that government funding for career advancement and enhancement of income.
      3. The government funded scientists demand that only peer reviewed papers should be considered in making policy decisions.
      4. The peer reviewed journals rely on the government funded consensus scientists for access to the most influential papers, and allow undue influence by them in not just the review process, but in permitting pressure to be put on editors.
      5. The government actors who started the whole process create the government funded IPCC to act as a supposedly “independent” assessor of the science government has funded.
      6. The IPCC claims to adhere to the consensus demand that only peer reviewed (government funded) science be used in the assessment, with rare exception, to be noted in the text of the ARs.
      7. The government funded IPCC allows its government funded scientist/lead authors to include non-peer reviewed articles by government funded NGOs and consensus advocates to be included in the “independent” assessment to the tune of 30 percent of the citations in the latest AR.
      8. The government actors who started the whole process trumpet the government funded assessment of the government funded science to justify virtually total government control of the energy economy, using the IPCC’s “independent,” government funded assessment of the work of the government funded scientists as their justification.

      And it’s nothing like an expert witness in a trial. In a trial, both sides have their own competing experts, and everyone in the courtroom (including the jury) recognizes that the experts are testifying for the side that is paying them. In the court of public opinion, the government actors, and their scientific surrogates, insist that there is only one expert to be listened to, the IPCC, because it is an independent assessment of the best science. That is why the CAGW activists are constantly screaming “it’s only about the science,” to try to hide the facts that the IPCC is their paid. partisan expert.

      • 5. The government actors who started the whole process create the government funded IPCC to act as a supposedly “independent” assessor of the science government has funded.

        That was the wrong turn in Albuquerque. The IPCC was nominally created to “synthesize” the science by others. Aside from them being captive to certain interests, they’re also at the mercy of the funders of the science. If somebody else doesn’t fund the research, it can’t even in principle end up in the AR.

        Of course, that’s not how it really works; if the message is right, sportswear ads will do for “science”.

  22. D.W. wrote: “A minority report, properly executed, would be a big step forward. But the present IPCC establishment is well entrenched within the UN framework, so I see little prospect for such reforms. Even a skeptical US President probably could not pull it off. Note by the way that the UN is in the process of cloning the IPCC for several other environmental issues. The UN is firmly committed to CAGW, so it has no interest in weakening the IPCC voice with moderation.”

    I agree with this completely. As to a skeptical U.S. President, even that won’t happen as it’s either going to be Obama or MItt…who as I understand it has pronounced himself CAGW friendly. How depressing is the thought of a bunch of IPCC clones? In fact scary would be a better adjective. .

  23. Great question.

    Robert, and also Michael, make good sense.

    I would add that environmental concerns are not the first or last problem associated with our power and it is necessary to talk about ethical values when we examine any issues of power. The kind of utopian libertarianism that is often expressed in the moral views of Judith Curry and many denizens mixes up concepts like responsibility-taking with fears or resentment of servitude.

    Here’s the thing: the modern U.N. is increasingly engaged in an ethics of responsibility, whether you like it or not. The U.N./IPCC did not create that value framework, it merely reflects the evolution of such a framework as part of a modern world that recognizes the reality and complexity of ethical issues related to the irreversibility of some types of processes triggered by our past technological choices. That there are consequences of choices is not exactly a complex ethical concept.

    The reality of consequences and choices shouls suggest that any replacement organization will continue to adopt a ‘principle of precaution’, for lack of a better description, because that is what will continue to make sense for an international organization informed not just by modern science, but modern ethics, in 2011. Sorry, folks, but we’re not going to be turning back the moral clock to the days when it was every ‘man’ for himself. We live in a world that increasingly recognizes shared needs and shared responsibilities, as well as unique needs and differences.

    A principle of precaution is part of this more complex, modern world that seeks to balance internationalism with nationalism; and if someone personally doesn’t likek it, that’s fair enough but it’s important to recognize that this is about an historical process that will not be changed by jettisoning the U.N./IPCC. Any replacement frameworks will continue to decide emerging issues related to the environment based on modern values and understandings, as well as the most current science.


    • Martha,
      The only effort the UN makes to ethics is how to abuse them for its insider’s benefits.
      You really are a blind true believer, I guess.
      How sad for someone who might be in a position to influence the innocent.

    • “Here’s the thing: the modern U.N. is increasingly engaged in an ethics of responsibility, whether you like it or not.”

      Yes, and the UN is trying to do for ethics what it has done for science.

      Uganda, Russia, China, Cuba and Benin all either are, or soon will be members of the UN Human Rights Council.

      Getting rid of the IPCC is just the first step.

    • Martha: Here’s the thing: the modern U.N. is increasingly engaged in corruption and dysfunction, as well as dogmatic anti-Israel and anti-US politicking, whether you like it or not.

      Clearly the world grows smaller and more interconnected every day. We need some forum for working out international and planetary issues. But that does not justify the UN in its current form nor the IPCC.

      People can judge the UN and the IPCC for themselves. It’s not a simple assessment. The corruption we see of the IPCC is part and parcel of UN corruption. Personally I consider the UN to be the League of Nations 2.0 and expect it to end badly.

    • I feel sorry for the people who live in a world where they think people will only act responsibly if a government makes them do so.

    • Martha | October 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Reply

      Robert, and also Michael, make good sense.

      That would have been a first, if true.

    • Martha:

      ‘Here’s the thing: the modern U.N. is increasingly engaged in an ethics of responsibility, whether you like it or not.”

      I have no issue with the UN trying to engage in an “ethics”of responsibility. From experience we should be aware that power, un accountable power, in the hands of people charged with any responsibility , even an “ethics of responsibility” is unresponsible. If the UN wants engage in the “ethics of responsibility” it must first establish an accountable system, a system that is subject to checks and balances and outside audit. In short, it has to be at least as accountable as, say, a company. we can discuss disclosure, preservation of records, open access, external audits, conflict of interest, finanacial disclosure.. a whole host of proceedures that we impose on other powers for very good reason.

      • Which company should it be as accountable as? Goldman Sachs?

      • Steven Mosher

        Don’t conflate the mechanisms for enforcing accountability with the political willingness to impose them.
        The system to hold a corporation accountable exists. That politicians fail and that DAs fail to use the tools we gave them is NOT an argument against having those same tools for the IPCC. In fact, its an argument for something stronger! thank you for making my argument stronger. What you showed was this. Even when we have the power of audit, even when we have the power of law, even when we have elected officials charged with overseeing the powerful, even when we have all that, the powerful are able to corrupt the system. That should be a lesson for anyone trying to create checks and balances for the IPCC. They cannot be left unregulated. Enforcement cannot be left to politicians and the existing legal system.

      • Latimer Alder

        Excellent post.

        If AGW is really ‘the biggest problem facing humanity’, we need to investigate it with the best tools at our disposal and in the best way we know.

        A love-fest among climatologists with all the deficiencies that Donna LaF has documented does not qualify on either count. It stinks.

        And I really cannot understand why a few self-declared supposedly intelligent people are queuing up to defend it to the hilt. Perhaps they have no real concept of the outside world and so must hug their blanket for fear of leaving their comfort zone?

      • Yes; to date, no one has come up with a satisfactory answer to Plato’s question, “Quis custodiet ipsos custodiens?” Roughly, who will hold the guardians to account?

        For an explicit program of infiltration and corruption of the supervisory bodies as part of a long-term takeover, examine the goals, procedures, activities, and membership of Common Cause. Administration of regulatory and supervisory bodies are the first positions they work to occupy. Gatekeeping with big teeth.

      • Thank you Latimer. Note how I accepted marthas position and followed it to its logical conclusion, which turns it on its head. Same with Holly, who ends up making my argument stronger.

      • Who will audit the auditors? Why does anyone think Laframboise is even capable of understanding what the IPCC is and how it works? Comparing the IPCC to a delinquent teenager is superficial, facile and silly.

      • @holly stick

        Comparing the IPCC to a Delinquent Teenager is a splendid and graphic image that conveys so much in such an easy way. For we all recognise exactly the temptations of thise difficult years. Freedom without responsibility…but very little judgement either.

        Most of us grow out of it and acquire a little wisdom..often the hard way.

        But isn’t this also a superb description of the Head of the IPCC himself??

      • @Holly Stick | October 24, 2011 at 11:51 am |

        Comparing the IPCC to a delinquent teenager is superficial, facile and silly

        Well, you are perfectly entitled to your opinion (as narrow and ill-informed as it usually is). But, tell me, Holly – since you seem to have appointed yourself the supreme arbiter in such matters …

        How would you characterize the depiction of climate change as “a barrage of intergalactic ballistic missiles” ?

        [Source for this and other “scientific” pronouncements by the same individual can be found at Weaver’s wobbly “conservative” claims]

        As for the topic of this thread … I’d vote for scrapping AR5 in favour of a 5-year moratorium on all IPCC related activities and pronouncements – particularly on the part of its heavy duty-contributors. To be on the safe side, this should probably apply to the UNEP, as well!

        This would give the IPCC a second chance to clean up its act in accordance with the recommendations of the IAC – at a bare minimum. Although, if they were really serious about regaining public trust, they’d opt for a far more thorough review by a truly independent organization with a proven track-record in the evaluation of agency procedures.

        Climate scientists would have a chance to get back to doing (pre-post-normal) science – and such a moratorium would give the “science journalists” an opportunity to kick the habit they’ve acquired of failing to question dubious and/or hyperbolic claims before taking press releases and publishing them as gospel truth.

        But most importantly, it would provide a window of opportunity for responsible governments to re-evaluate their current positions and policies – so as to step back gracefully from the brink to which they’ve permitted themselves to be pushed by Big Green and its affiliated activist-scientists.

        This should give the IAC enough time to finish the compilation of the balance of the responses to their questionnaire. And who knows, five years might even be enough time for the Norfolk Constabulary to complete its “investigations”.- and report on its findings!

        Not gonna happen, I know … But if I ruled the world, it would ;-)

      • Actually is very accountable…to its shareholders who have done okay, but I fully appreciate the implication. A better example would have been AIG or Enron.

      • Enron!

  24. Imagine there’s no bias
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell before us
    Above us only sky.

    Imagine all the factors
    It isn’t hard to do
    All that affect the climate
    Much more than CO2.

    Imagine no speculation
    About an inundation
    Exponential increase
    Is poor extrapolation.

    Imagine understanding
    GCMs aren’t skillful
    To make local forecasts
    And remove them in full.

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one…

    [With abject apologies to the estate of John Lennon.]

  25. The demise of the IPCC would have the same impact as the demise of the Academy Awards, a lot of big ego’s would lose an opportunity to preen.


  26. Martha, your understanding of ethics appears self serving. You remind me of Woody Allen’s topic in Philosphy I:

    “Ethics: The categorical imperative, and six ways to make it work for you”

  27. Imagine the you in apologizing for the anti-American activities of the IPCC…

    • What exactly have they done that is “anti-American”?

      • If Wagathon is an American, Anyone who disagree with him is anti-American. That’s logic for you.

      • de Tocqueville would say that not repairing its faults is not American.

        “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”
        Alexis de Tocqueville

      • IPCC is synonymous wiht the all of the eager facilitators of the global warming hoax and the spending millions and millions of dollars to pay for endless filing cabinets full of junk research—e.g., thankless, hostile and hypocritical dead and dying Old Europe and all of typical anti-America, tyrannical regimes, tin pot dictators and commie states comprising the UN, and liberal fascists of the Big government bureaucracy and academia, all united in a consensus against Bush/ U.S./ Judeo/Christian/ business/ and free enterprise capitalism, morals and ethics in an attempt to crush principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility and freedom of secular, socialist authoritarianism.

  28. On breaking up the IPCC, a quote from MASH:

    Captain Hildebrand: “I can give you your report. In my short stay here I have seen textbook examples of neuroses, psychosis. I have seen voyeurism, fetishism, and a few ism’s I’ve never even heard of. And let me tell you this General, these impossible people are in an impossible place doing totally impossible work. They’re mad, quite mad, all of them. And the only act I can think of that would be madder still would be breaking them up.”

    • The MASH team was saving people. The IPCC, not so much. It provides rationales for mass-murderous pro-starvation policies like biofuel cultivation, which have already had uncounted victims, possibly in the millions.

      Their “isms” are deadly dangerous.

      • What nonsense. Shame on you for writing that bilge.

      • A senior official in the FAO went on record calling biofuel and ethanol cultivation a Crime Against Humanity, for that very reason. He was squelched and set aside not too long later, of course.

      • It provides rationales for mass-murderous pro-starvation policies like biofuel cultivation, which have already had uncounted victims, possibly in the millions.

        Their “isms” are deadly dangerous.

        Biofuels are more a result from fossil fuel scarcity than climate change fears.

      • Horse pucky. It is promoted as being a carbon sink because it uses crops, waste plant material, etc. But it has been demonstrated that more fossil fuel energy is consumed in the generation of biofuel than it returns.

        Aside from the US farmland redirected to growing feedstock because of mandates and subsidies, rain forest clearance in Indonesia etc. for plam plantations to take advantage of the misdirected funds has taken off.

        Even the Goreacle admitted ethanol promotion was a mistake, a truly unique and telling occurance.

      • Aside from the US farmland redirected to growing feedstock because of mandates and subsidies, rain forest clearance in Indonesia etc. for plam plantations to take advantage of the misdirected funds has taken off.

        Indonesia is an oil producing nation. Yet, its crude oil production dropped from around 1.5 million barrels per day in the 1990s to below 1 million and dropping because it is a finite resource, duh.

        Indonesia was until recently Southeast Asia’s only member of OPEC, and the oil price rises following the 1973 OPEC boycott provided an export revenue windfall that contributed to sustained high economic growth rates, averaging more than 7 percent from 1968 through 1981.

        Indonesia left OPEC three years ago, half a decade after it became a net oil importer.

        Changing to a net importer of oil is a huge transition point for an economy and they have to do something for an energy plan. They still have natural gas and that is used to produce fertilizer for the palm, but the whole approach I agree is misguided, because the EROEI is probably not high enough above unity to be worthwhile.

        This is a deeper muddled mess than you can imagine, and climate change concerns are just making things more murky.

      • Brian H

        I agree.

        I’ve always agreed.

        I agreed when ADM lobbyists first started touting ethanol from corn in the USA as a way to get government subsidies for corn production.

        I agreed when I did the math and followed the money.

        I was saddened to see so many well-meaning victims fall for this biofuel confidence trick.

        WHT points out a far more profound issue in the Haber–Bosch food-fuel tradeoff capital-intensive modern agriculture has been making for about a century: it takes a lot of energy from fossil fuels, mainly natural gas, to produce fertilizer, and generally more fertilizer is needed every season.

        The biofuel thing inevitably uses more natural gas to produce less ethanol.. but that’s a small fraction of the issue of more petrochemicals used to produce marginally less additional food.

        In years following flooding or droughts, fertilizer demand soars. And we’ve — coincidentally or not — been having a lot of those lately.

        Sure, biofuels is a small scam. There are bigger issues.

      • If you look at the legislation that mandates levels of bio-fuel usage, you will see the reasons for the mandates explained. Climate change is not one of reasons explained. Energy independence is. Check the dates of the legislation relative to the dates of widespread concern about climate change. Check out the sponsors and signatories on the legislation and their records WRT concerns over climate change.

        Regardless, to ignore the role of agri-business and other, decidedly non-climate change focused stakeholders displays a clear ideological agenda – as would be ignoring the (lesser) role that environmental activists played in biofuel mandates.

  29. The IPCC is an entranced bureaucracy. It won’t go away.
    Climate policy will not go away either. Climate policy requires expert input. If there were no IPCC, each country would set up their own National Panel on Climate Change. They would soon discover that the national panels duplicate work, and that some of the real experts live abroad. National panels would therefore be merged to a new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

  30. Even if the IPCC had a minority report, abuses that stem from this organization being intergovernmental wouldn’t go away. Donna Laframboise put her finger on one of these abuses. I will quote what she said.

    “Notice that the word intergovernmental is part of it’s name. This means that every country that chooses to send delegates to infrequent meetings is a godparent of the IPCC. Any child with over 100 godparents is bound to be spoiled. Even when he torments small animals there will always be those who think he can do no wrong.”

    If the authors of the majority report, many of whom are affiliated with the World Wildlife Fund, are abusing animals, I hate to think what authors of the minority report might do to these poor creatures.

    • Is that an example of Laframboise’s reasoning? Wow, how lame.

      • Some libertarians have been critical of laws against animal cruelty. I don’t think Donna Laframboise is among those libertarians who believe animals are property and the government has no business telling citizens what they can do with their property. But I imagine there is a large overlap between libertarians who oppose the UN and those who oppose laws against animal cruelty. Libertarians are for minimal government and minimal laws and regulations.

      • This is typical Donna rhetoric:

        Along with graduate students, those appointed due to their gender or their county, and activists, yet another group is prominent among IPCC authors – climate modelers. Although these people are often called scientists, their work has little in common with traditional science.


        In other words, climate modelers spend their professional lives in a virtual world rather than in the real one. If an engineer’s bridge is faulty, it doesn’t matter how highly his fellow engineers praise its design, harsh reality will make its shortcomings evident to everyone. Since climate modelers are insulated from real world checks-and-balances (there’s no way to verify their long term predictions in the short term), the only thing that seems to matter are the opinions of other modelers. This is a recipe for tunnel-vision. It is groupthink waiting to happen.

        Spare me, this is high-school debate squad material.

      • That actual is a real UN problem , time and again appointments are made for political reason that becasue of ability . For example its Africa’s turn so it has be an African even if there is no suitable Africans. Some countries president is looking for a job for his brother so lets give him a UN position to keep that country sweet, that very real instance is one that cost 12 million in ‘lost ‘ aid funding .

        As I said before the some of the IPCC problems are common to the UN. So there quite right to point these out .

      • Latimer Alder

        Ok where the super-educated elite would argue that she’s wrong. You can use all sorts of long words if you like.. I have a dictionary. And I can read slowly even if you write fast.

      • Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski, got a j-o-b. Can you read good too?

      • Ok where the super-educated elite would argue that she’s wrong.

        And there’s the anti-intellectualism that informs so much of the anti-science mob. Motto: “Ignorant and proud of it!”

        You should make T-shirts.

      • Latimer Alder


        So that’s a ‘no’ then.

        You have no reasons to crticise the work other than you don’t think she used enough long words to satisfy psuedo-intellectual snobs like yourselves, but was perfectly understandable to high school audiences. And you’d just like to remind us all just how clever you think you are.

        I don’t see your approach as a successful long-term strategy. Arrogance and hubris are inevitably followed by nemesis.

      • M. carey, As our English word roots, are methodically massaged by the state media. Look at results and you will see the designed construct of our planned for global model. A brave new world, where animals have the same rights as humans & most humans are treated like animals. It is to be our future. Get used, too it.

    • M. Carey,
      I hope you deliberately tried to misconstrue the metaphor to simply attempt to hijack the thread. If you are not bright enough to recognize what Donna was getting at, then no wonder you buy into the AGW community so strongly.

      • Hunter, please tell me what you think she was trying to get at. Perhaps you can do it without comparing IPCC contributors to spoiled children who torture small animals.

      • M.,

        Try a Language Arts blog if you don’t know what a metaphor is.

      • Calling the IPCC a child with a bunch of godparents is a metaphor. It’s also a really, really stupid metaphor.

      • M.,

        Try a Language Arts blog if you don’t know what a metaphor is.

        That’s the problem, prima Donna thinks she is trying out for the high school debate team.

      • HS,

        Most metaphors are stupid.

      • Yes, often metaphors are stupid. Calling an organization with many varied people in it a delinquent teenager is also stupid and self-indulgent, especially when it is the title and cover of one’s book. How can anyone take that kind of writing seriously?

      • Holly,
        You may not like the metaphor, but that does not make it stupid.

      • You may not like the fact of AGW, but it is still happening.

      • Holly,
        AGW, like eugenics is very much happening.
        That does not mean AGW is any more correct than eugneics was.

      • Anthropogenic Global Warming is a description of what we humans are doing to our climate. By burning fossil fuels and otherwise adding CO2 and other GHGs to the atmosphere, we are causing the globe to warm.

      • Well, Hunter, will you give me in plain English your interpretation of what Donna Laframboise’s following reference to the IPCC means?

        “Notice that the word intergovernmental is part of it’s name. This means that every country that chooses to send delegates to infrequent meetings is a godparent of the IPCC. Any child with over 100 godparents is bound to be spoiled. Even when he torments small animals there will always be those who think he can do no wrong.”

      • My interpretation is that the small animals are the fossil fuel companies that could also be considered vermin, but maybe I am guilty of stretching an already overstretched analogy.

      • All I need to do is read the first sentence:

        “Notice that the word intergovernmental is part of it’s name.

        Once you use the word “world,” and even more than that when you add the word “intergovernmental,” you immediately justify any metaphor you might choose: delinquent children, Stailinist, eugenicist, eco-Nazi, socialist, communist, fraud — all equally applicable.

      • 1 of the 100 will always give the child what ever it pleases while 99 shake their heads.

        Its a horrible metaphor. but that is the meaning

      • That still doesn’t make any sense.

        What is the IPCC meant be asking for?

  31. Some foundational issues are:

    1) IPCC’s biased mandate:

    The WMO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the IPCC in 1988 with the assigned role of assessing the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for understanding the risk of human-induced climate change.

    1.6 The IPCC Assessments of Climate Change and Uncertainties

    This mandate resulted in a severe bias highlighting perceived “human-induced” impacts while ignoring or minimizing natural climate variations. The IPCC shows a systemic lack of accountability to objective science and truth, being dominated and swayed by climate alarmists.

    2) Centralizing power and control over funds

    “All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority.”

    Sir John Dalberg-Acton, 8th Bt

    “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories”

    Thomas Jefferson 1782

    “In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

    Thomas Jefferson 1798/99

    Samuel Rutherford, Lex Rex e.g. Question XXI. “What power the people and states of parliament have over the king, and in the state.”

    By its centralized power, the IPCC has the foundational problem of being almost completely unaccountable to both hvoters/taxpayers and to scientists. This is amplified by over one billion dollars in green advocacy funds. There appears almost no way to correct or redress its numerous problems.

    The experience to date with Carbon credits is commonly associated with fraud. e.g.,
    Carbon trading fraud in Belgium – “up to 90% of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities”

    Out of control environmentalism similarly causes a systemic loss or theft of property: e.g., Wholesale theft in the name of carbon

    3. Transport fuel transitions
    Though nominally focused on the consequences of anthropogenic CO2, the IPCC appears oblivious to the geological constraints of fossil fuel depletion and rate of recovery. The IPCC has ignored the consequences of extreme inelasticity of transport fuels and the severe impact of fuel constraints, shortages and transitions on economies. It has taken no account of financial impacts of the OPEC cartel’s throttling the global economy by its tripling the price of crude oil.

    Jeffrey Brown shows that available net oil exports (after China & India consumption) peaked in 2005 and has already dropped 12%. Some books highlighting the problems and solutions are:
    Turning Oil Into Salt, Gal Luft and Anne Korin
    The Impending World Energy Mess, Robert L. Hirsch
    The Plan: How to Rescue Society the Day the Oil Stops–or the Day Before, Edwin Black
    Energy Victory, Robert Zubrin
    America: the Oil Hostage, Paul Bures
    Prelude, Kurt Cobb

    A critical issue is the need to shift from centralized to decentralized actions to constrain the current severe corrupting influence of centralized power and money.

    There must be objective accountability over the reports, the selection of the authors, and especially to give weight to minority positions. There needs to be a mechanism for electing authors based on objectivity and expertise, with accountability. One way would be to give all credentialed scientists an equal vote, rather than appointment by countries, or selection by highly funded green advocacy groups.

    Objective balanced mandate
    To redress these severe problems, whatever decentralized organizational structure to replace the IPCC must have a objective balanced mandate such as:

    To understand the risks of all natural and human-influenced climate changes, and of development and depletion of renewable and fossil fuels and natural resources and their transitions.

  32. You don’t want a minority report: you want a tiger team to take a long hard no-holds barred look at the main one.

    • Jonathan – see a full red team evaluation examining verification, validation, and bias, especially evaluating what is missing:
      Red team, blue team: How to run an effective simulation By Robin Mejia, CSO April 27, 2008 12:03 AM ET

      The military does it. The Government Accountability Office does it. So does the NSA. And the concept is making its way into the corporate world, too: war gaming the security infrastructure.

      Red team-blue team exercises take their name from their military antecedents. The idea is simple: One group of security pros–a red team–attacks something, and an opposing group–the blue team–defends it. Originally, the exercises were used by the military to test force-readiness.

      Red team wiki.

      A scientific theory is only as sound as the strongest tests given it.
      Einstein’s theories are accepted because they have withstood frequent and increasingly rigorous tests.

      Global climate models are currently notorious for their failure to accurately predict natural decadal trends, let alone annual trends, and their failure to model regional trends. e.g., see:
      Tsaknias, D., D. Bouziotas, A. Christofides, A. Efstratiadis, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Statistical comparison of observed temperature and rainfall extremes with climate model outputs, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 13, Vienna, EGU2011-3454, European Geosciences Union, 2011.

  33. Jonathan is right as to the correct approach (tiger teams) should the IPCC continue to exist. However, there is every chance that its internal contradictions and the general unwillingness of various governments to continue funding will mean that the IPCC will be done within the decade.

    What then?

    A few ideas: first, an international data consortium. Something along the lines of BEST but without the spin. Second, a scientific panel charged with examining climate from first principles without the CO2 thermostat as the preferred conclusion. Third, a policy body which is entirely independent from either the data consortium or the climate panel and is charged with costing both the likely effects of “climate change” and proposed measures to deal with such change. (Critically, this policy body should examine the entire range of human activity implicated in “climate change” – land use, CO2, urbanization and so on.)

    Each of these bodies should be entirely transparent with all email, memoranda, internal documents, data published to the net on creation. Conferences and committee meetings should be public. NGOs and parti pris should be excluded from these bodies save where the body holds public hearings. Evidence at such public hearings should be on oath with significant fines for false or misleading statements. (And there should be a challenge system whereby anyone can call out any piece of evidence and, in the event they can raise reasonable doubt, be rewarded with a significant portion of the fine levied.)

    Such a successor system to the IPCC would not end the pal review and the political corruption/agenda inherent in the IPCC’s current system; rather it would impose significant costs on players intent on gaming the system. it would be a start.

  34. IPCC & Ethics?

  35. Compared to the hadcrut3vgl data, genuinely investigate why in the gistemp data the oscillations in the global mean temperature before mid-20th century appears to be smaller than those after mid-20th century as shown in the following graph.

  36. To improve the IPCC, learn from the United States Constitution of checks & balances to avoid tyranny.

    • Interesting plan: to make science more like government.

      Sorry, Girma, science is not a democracy. It’s a tyranny of fact. Those who can’t accept the rule of reality are welcome to immigrate to Fantasyland.

      • Latimer Alder

        But sadly the tyrrany of fact is interpreted and presented by all too fallible human beings. And especially so in claimatology where facts are thin on the ground and interpretations are all there is.

        Which is why the complete absence of any effective checks and balances is so troubling to anybody who isn’t so deeply immersed in academia as to be unable to find the real world any more.

        Human institutions – even scientists – need checks and balances to help them keep on the straight and narrow.

      • Steven Mosher

        yes Martha makes the case without out knowing it. An organization that is increasingly more engaged in the “ethics of responsibility” can hardly be less transparent than the people and organizations its seeks to influence.

      • Robert

        Sorry, Girma, science is not a democracy. It’s a tyranny of fact. Those who can’t accept the rule of reality are welcome to immigrate to Fantasyland.

        Robert, is the following “a tyranny of fact”?

        I would not give them *anything*. I would not respond or even acknowledge receipt of their emails. There is no reason to give them any data, in my opinion, and I think we do so at our own peril!

        It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”.

        Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise.

        Be awkward if we went through a early 1940s type swing!

        …the fact is that in doing so the rules of IPCC have been softened to the point that in this way the IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science (which is its proclaimed goal) but production of results

      • No good without context: “…the surroundings, circumstances, environment, background or settings which determine, specify, or clarify the meaning of an event…”

        Without context it is too easy for dishonest people to misquote and mislead. That happens a lot on the internet.

      • Holly Stick

        No context is required to understand the following sentence:

        There is no reason to give them any data, in my opinion, and I think we do so at our own peril!

      • So I will have a copy of all your e-mail and and personal documents right away then, Girma. Bank statements and credit cards too.

        Otherwise you’re obviously corrupt and have something to hide.

        Because we know, without any context, that I have a right to that information, regardless of who you are or who I am or what information it is.

        Don’t be a hypocrite. Release all your data today!

      • Latimer Alder


        Do the work on the public dime and you are liable. That’s what Freedom of Information says. You may not like it. But that’s the way it is.

        And its nothing to do with personal bank statements and all that crap as you well know..or ought to if you are as clever as you’d have us believe.

      • Robert

        How do you avoid the above from ever happening ever again?

        Of course with checks and balances of the IPCC!

      • Richard Saumarez

        I suggest you take one look at Robert’s personal blog.
        It should give you an insught into his sad little mind and show why he should be ignored

      • Latimer Alder


        Yes – he tried to have a pop at IT as a whole becasue he didn’t like his tech support guy. His mental vision was incapable of seeing beyond his laptop and his problem.

        When I gave a short history of the acheivements of IT over the last 25 years and compared it unfavourably with the lack of acheivement of climatology, he went strangely silent.

        So either he was completely won over by my stunning expose, or his Mum reminded him that it was time for pyjamas and his bedtime story. Or both.

      • Ya’ just gotta love the logic of someone who reads Robert’s posts — and then writes comments in response that others should ignore Robert’s posts.

        Oh, and addition to reading and responding to Robert’s comments (that Richard says others should ignore), Richard also says that after reading Robert’s blog, others also should read Roberts blog as they ignore Robert.


      • Latimer Alder


        Even better to have somebody who writes a lengthy commentary on those actions he so much condemns. Self-awareness = 0.

      • Josh,

        I see you still don’t understand what’s going on with Dung Beetle One’s blog posts and comments. You see, none of us actually read any of that crapola.

        Rather, what we do when we visit the idiot’s “Idiot Tracker” or encounter one or another of his comments on this blog is to immediately close both our eyes and cover them with both hands. Then we allow ourselves to be rocked by the mentally disburbed, profoundly unwholesome, creep-out vibes emanating from Dung Beetle One’s blog posts and comments.

        Then, after a period of recovery, we respond to Dung Beetle One, on that basis. See, no contradictions. And that’s also why the claim that no one reads Dung Beetle One’s loser blog remains valid despite a few recent page views.

      • Mike –

        What I’m pointing out is the hypocrisy. Your creative insults do not change the simple reality that Richard’s comment, and many similar comments, are overtly self-contradictory in nature.

        Creative insults are what they are – but one would expect that rational people who are interested in sophisticated analysis of data wouldn’t make such blatantly illogical comments in their zeal to engage a jr. high school cafeteria food fight.

      • Josh,

        A thoughtful, thought-provoking, and measured comment, as usual. For my taste and for what it’s worth, Josh, I very much value your comments, generally, and I value you, personally, as a denizen of this blog (incidentally, I got a good laugh out of your “former Tea Party” comment on the “Changing Minds” post–I almost added the comment “I’ve learned to enjoy Josh’s off-beat humor!”).

        But (I know you knew that was coming), may I respectfully suggest that the “contradiction” you teased out of Richard’s comments does not rank with your ingenious best and is certainly not worthy of heavy-duty, “Oh-yeah!” words like “hypocrisy”. Yes, advocating that Robert should be ignored while, at the same time, drawing attention to Robert’s blog as the justification for the advocacy presents something of a “contradiction.” But a “contradiction” I think we can all live with. Sorta like those publications that’ll have a page or two marked “This page deliberately left blank”. You know, that sort of thing.

        And then there’s the issue of Dung Beetle One. Josh, why don’t you and your comrades on the other side of the net explicitly disassociate yourselves from that idiot who tracks himself? Not only is Dung Beetle One a tedious, leg-humping pest, but the guy’s an unwholesome, disturbed creep.

      • Mike –

        It’s nice to know that at least one “denizen” gets my jokes.

        I’ve told Robert that I don’t get his general manner of debate – writ large (almost all of us dip into over-the-top rhetoric at times). I’ve made similar comments to Martha. On the other hand, Robert (and Martha) do make valuable contributions that are not completely negated by his rhetorical style.

        Not as a form of excuse, however, I would point out to you that similar rhetoric is easily found coming from the other side of the debate, and while comments denouncing Robert’s rhetoric are numerous, as far as I recall David W. might be the only “skeptic” who makes a habit of calling out hunter, or stan, or gary, or wagawhatever (even as David W. himself has called me dishonest and insulted my knowledge/intelligence). It is the double-standard that I object to.

        Yes, advocating that Robert should be ignored while, at the same time, drawing attention to Robert’s blog as the justification for the advocacy presents something of a “contradiction.

        But it was more than that, Mike. It was advocating that Robert should be ignored on the basis of making it obvious that he reads Robert’s posts and while encouraging others to read Robert’s blog. That heightens the level of self-contradiction, illogic, and hypocrisy.

        But a “contradiction” I think we can all live with.

        No doubt. But here’s my larger point – what I find counterproductive are comments such as: “Oh, another typical stereotyping from ‘warmists.’ Such stereotyping is so characteristic of ‘warmists.'” If there’s one thing we know, it’s that “warmists” are always stereotyping those they disagree with.” I can live with them. I still manage to keep breathing after I read that type of comment every time (no matter that some here might wish otherwise), but I find them counterproductive.

        I put Richard’s comment in the same category. He has a lot to offer in the scientific debate – but unfortunately he’s blind to the obvious biases in his own perspective. As with tribalism on the other side of the debate, when someone like Richard is blind to his own biases at such a level, it detracts from the value of his/her contributions to the debate.

      • Josh,

        Another engaging comment. Your points are well-noted and marked for further reflection. Thanks for the time you took preparing the comment.

      • Robert, is the following “a tyranny of fact”?

        Obviously not. You’ve put fictional titles bearing no relationship to the stolen e-mails you quote.

        Return address for your desperate and discredited misrepresentation of cherry-picked quotes: Denierville, Fantasyland

      • Latimer Alder

        I have rarely seen a more persuasive argument from an intellectual…….full of incisive analysis, witty rhetoric and razor sharp deductions.

        I’m sure any real scientists reading this will be silently applauding that they have such a great thinker as their self-appointed cheerleader……you make their case so well.

      • The IPCC does no science. It reports on the state of the science.
        That report and its generation needs to be as open and transparent as possible.

    • Science needs checks and balances. Otherwise, it can come up with things people don’t like or don’t want to know.

      • Latimer Alder

        I think you have spectacularly missed the point of checks and balances.

        But if you’re happy that society should not have them at all, or if you can make a convincing case that ‘Science’ is a very very special case and doesn’t need them, go ahead. But be very careful what you ask for……

  37. Judith,

    My view of a ‘Post-IPCC World’ is outlined below in a series of comments very recently at Lucia’s BB. I have expressed those ideas several times here at ‘Climate Etc’ over the past year.

    John Whitman (Comment #84245) at Lucia’s BB
    October 21st, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I support the idea to replace the IPCC with a more objectively nonpolitical assessment vehicle. I suggest the replacement should be centered in the private university venue; with public universities in a supportive role because, after all, they are public (gov’t) influenced institutions. The new assessment vehicle should report directly to the university community and simultaneously to the public; government would be informed via public because keeping arm’s length between the assessment vehicle and government is prudent.

    Your [ George Tobin’s] point suggesting there should be a lessons learned about the IPCC has merit. That is why instead of disbanding the IPCC immediately, I suggest first postponing the AR5 activities and keeping everybody at the IPCC in place for an extremely comprehensive and critical lessons learned/audit. When those are done then disband the IPCC prior to AR5. The lessons learned/audit results can be used as a precautionary tale for the new assessment vehicle. Also, I would think that there would need to be some restriction on transfer of current IPCC staff to any new assessment vehicle.

    Injecting such ideas into the internet may have interesting implications. : )

    George Tobin (Comment #84251)
    October 21st, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    So I don’t know how you could ever create a replacement IPCC, free of the fundamental flaw in the existing entity. Who would you trust to assemble it? If it isn’t pre-wired to deliver the desired outcome would it still get the political support and cover the IPCC gets now?

    John Whitman (Comment #84261)
    October 21st, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    George Tobin,

    Interesting question. Thanks.

    I see an assessment vehicle/process centered on private academia initiated as a spontaneous ‘grassroots’ movement precipitated in parallel with the IPCC’s continuous decline and dissolution. Basically, it would just be a voluntary association of existing universities. A consortium?

    I think universities already do that kind of thing all the time. So, this isn’t reinventing the wheel.

    This new assessment vehicle/process, in essence, is just a minor adaption of the ongoing voluntary academic association process . . . . the key adaptation is ensuring arm’s length from politically associated (government) bodies; without responsibility for reporting to the government. The national laboratories would also need arm’s length treatment for incorporating their research into the new assessment vehicle.

    Now, because what I am suggesting is not creating much of anything outside of what exists in the general current experience & capability of university associations in many fields, it could be viewed that I am suggesting there be no actual replacement for the IPCC. I would agree whole heartedly with that view. : )

    Limiting IPCC personnel would probably be a common voluntary suggestion due to concerns over IPCC legacy perceptions.

    I do not wish to downplay the many fine public universities . . . key roles for them, but I suggest the guiding hand is more prudently the private institutions. I am trying here to be consistent with the arm’s length principle between science and politics (gov’t).

    Interesting things can happen and probably will happen . . . .



    • I suggest the replacement should be centered in the private university venue; with public universities in a supportive role because, after all, they are public (gov’t) influenced institutions.

      This is the long-term plan for everything as far as the fringe right is concerned: to replace democratic institutions like public universities with the direct control of the wealthy. If private ownership did not produce the desired results, doubtless the next proposal would be to turn the inquiry over to Exxon.

      • Robert,

        Great comment, thanks.

        The issue is not whether individuals are political left or political right or political middle or political fringe or . . . . . anything wrt politics. Everyone has politics individually. It is any kind of government (political) bodies that I suggest we need to keep at arms lengths from the science .. . . whether during an Obama administration or during a conservative republican administration.

        That is why I am suggesting arm’s length from government institutions. That means private overview, and I don’t care if the private institutions have leaders who have political views; if they do they are private political views and not a government (political) institution’s political views.

        I do not have a problem with, for instance, with very liberal Ivy League private schools being in the leadership . . . . . or with conservative private universities either . . . . it would be a consortium of all those. And they are not government mechanisms. : )

        Again, public universities and national labs would have roles, but not be in the guiding position but strongly supportive at arm’s length.


      • It is any kind of government (political) bodies that I suggest we need to keep at arms lengths from the science .

        Public universities are not political bodies.

        Public universities are owned by the public. Private universities are owned by the wealthy. Your proposal is simple: replace the oversight of the public with the oversight of the wealthy.

        Why do you feel the wealthy ought to exercise greater control over climate science? What benefits do you think that would bring?

        Your premise — that public institutions are the enemy and need to be marginalized and replaced by monied interests — is not at all self-evident.

        Perhaps you would like to provide a list of specific instances in which the government pressured the university to pressure a scientist to change something in an IPCC report?

      • Latimer Alder

        How exactly does the mechanism of a public university being owned by the public work? If I wnat out of my ownership, can I sell my one brick? If I have a dispute with the university can I sue it as a body o must I sue eanch and every owner individually? Does the university have its own legal peronality? If so, how is that personality administered..and who appoints the administrators?
        Is it a democratic election of all the owners? Or something more ‘political’.

      • Robert,

        Great questions. Thanks.

        My suggestion is a new climate assessment vehicle/process should be arm’s length from government organizations and institutions. Public universities are in that subset. They participate strongly but with prudent guidelines wrt them.

        I see your unstated premises now, thanks for clarifying those with your additional comment.

        You believe private university means something like wealthy people’s domains of influence and public university means something like poor people’s domains of influence.

        May I ask where you got that idea from? Seriously, please give me your basis for that idea. It seems like a falsely dichotomous political view of the American university system or a leftover from the old late-19th century European class warfare socio-economic view which failed in the 20th century.

        NOTE #1: I do believe that some of the most prestigious American private universities are at least if not more liberal (left of middle Democratic Party oriented) than the most liberal of the public universities. Would you think that means wealthy people being democratically focused on the not-wealthy, because it seems so to me.


      • My suggestion is a new climate assessment vehicle/process should be arm’s length from government organizations and institutions.

        There are many such processes; at MIT for example. Any private institution is welcome to compete with the IPCC to produce a better assessment.

        What is new in your proposal is to substitute a public institution for one owned and controlled by the wealthy. I would like you to explain why accountability to a small number of wealthy owners is supposed to improve science.

        You believe private university means something like wealthy people’s domains of influence and public university means something like poor people’s domains of influence.

        Can you respond to what I said, rather than constructing a straw man?

        You’ve proposed bringing climate science under private universities, accountable to their owners.

        You have yet to say how you think control by wealthy owners is superior to accountability to the public.

        You have also not clarified the following, which I think would be very illuminating: Can you provide a list of specific instances in which the government pressured the university to pressure a scientist to change something in an IPCC report?

      • Dave, I know what a metaphor is. I’m just no sure what Donna Laframboise’s one mentioning animal torture means. I just can’t make anything sensible out of it.

        Hunter in his 3:32 PM post suggested I may not be bright enough to know what her metaphor means. So I figured he must know, and I asked him to tell me. I asked twice. He hasn’t replied. It could be he’s not bright enough either.
        Perhaps you are bright enough to know what it means, and will tell me.

      • Latimer Alder

        She was using the metaphor to show that bad behaviour gets indulged. If you aren’t bright enough to understand that. you need to broaden your horizon.

        Perhaps a little reading outside of climatology…the works of Shakespeare or Dickens will give you the wider perspective that seems to be so sharply lacking. Or you could watch television a little. You might even explore the ideas of parables (the bible is a good place to start) and the various ideas about rhetoric in general that have been evolving from the time of the Ancient Greeks.

        But if you genuinely do have an entirely literal mind..and there are a few who do…then I fear that this blog will forever remain a place of mystery to you. People do not always express themselves in literal terms -especially in public discourse – and it is part of a well-rounded education to become familiar with the various ways that ideas can be expressed. The truly intelligent see beyond the words to the underlying idea while the merely flashly superficial fall at this simple hurdle.

    • John,

      I’m struggling to understand what your proposal would actually mean. Your description sounds eerily similar to how scientific papers on individual issues are produced and published into the scientific literature right now. It doesn’t to address in any way how this literature can be assessed and presented to policymakers to aid decision making.

      ‘without responsibility for reporting to the government.’

      Now I’m really confused. Who does report the research to the government? How do they do that?

      • Paul S,

        Nice receive you comment.

        I am suggesting that universities voluntarily start a grassroots initiative to structure a climate assessment at the international academic level. They would make their own rules about who to report their findings to, but my preference would be that the target is not to advise government but to just for the sake of the science and for the human knowledge contained in an evaluation/assessment. When assessments are published for the benefit of science and the public then of course the government can choose to ask for it. No problema. The government, in my suggestion, is not the customer, just a disinterested indirect user.

        I prefer nongovernment academic institutions at the guiding level of such an association, but heck, if it is their voluntary grassroots association then they can do whatever they want with it. They could even buy, in total, the former IPCC bureau and employees to be the core of the new assessment vehicle . . . . but I expect they would keep hands off of former scientific associates, employees, and leadership of the IPCC.

        I am confidence that it would just take a few beers in the local pub by some university leader to make it all work. : )

        I am signing off for the night because it is cocktail hour (like driving and drinking, no commenting and drinking). Maybe catch you all tomorrow.


  38. H.S. wrote: “Calling the IPCC a child with a bunch of godparents is a metaphor. It’s also a really, really stupid metaphor.”

    While I understand perfectly what the author is getting at, and I’m in complete sympathy with her view of the IPCC, I don’t like the metaphor either. Comparing a corrupt political entity to a delinquent teenager just is not apt in a literary sense.

  39. As many are aware, he who controls the process also controls the outcome. The framework for the process, the people selected to review the literature, write the reports, chapters, and summary have been named. Every one is and has been hard at work. The process is defined and the outcome is fore ordained. A minority report would have to be written by someone who was included into the process at its origination. Someone who already has shown his/her “colors.” Of course, that doesn’t lead to consensus but it is a whole lot more transparent than the current process. The only benefit of a minority report and conflict of interest enumeration at this stage (AR5 due in 2013) would add the trappings of legitimacy without a substantive vetting.
    There are many examples of the process being controlled and the outcome known ahead of time: the BEST process readily comes to mind. Anthony Watts shared his station data and argued for a 30 time frame for analysis. Instead, there was a 60 year time frame. One way to illustrate a point is to compare side by side 30 with 60 year. Unless the peer reviewers demand such a comparison, particularly with the current skeptical environment, we are left to wonder as we can not see for ourselves.
    For the IPCC to “reform” and make believable attribution, confidence in the data and analysis, the IPCC members and participants would want that reform. It can’t be reformed externally, it has to want to reform. Alcohol Anonymous is predicated upon the individual willing to acknowledge their drinking problem and then want to become sober.
    Currently there is no need for the IPCC. There is no need for another venue to “blame” anyone. Courts of law are constructed for that very purpose.
    The “best” solution is to refocus research dollars to understanding our earth, sun and their interface such that an engineering fit for purpose model can be formulated that can predict weather at increasing time intervals. When in the short run these models can predict, then ever lengthening verification and validation are possible and world economics are not reliant upon what is plausible.
    Ditch the sucker.

  40. Intergovernment Panel to Cripple Countries
    It is very simple any organisation which is part of the UN is corrupt. Of course the IPCC shows this to be oh so true.

  41. I for one look forward to the next IPCC report. I am particularly looking forward to the image that compares the updated tree ring proxies, calibrated using BEST, all of 200 years and the way from 1980 to 2000.
    The impact BEST is going to have on Mann’s work is going to be lovely.
    Did you give him a heads up Judy? That flat looking bit of the hockeystick now will have to project down, some 500 years ago the global temperature must have been about zero.

    • I meant all the way from 1800-2010, 210 years.

    • Apples and oranges. Best used real temperatures. Mann works with proxy temperatures. They’re different kinds of temperatures. They’re both right. :-?

  42. Robert | October 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm |


    I continued our dialog here because we ran out of thread above.

    You said, “You’ve proposed bringing climate science under private universities, accountable to their owners.”

    My response – Exactly, that is my point of strength. We would finally have accountability of citizen level science instead of government political bodies. Economics has shown much more efficient and adaptive and most importantly supporting the open market of ideas.

    You said, “You have also not clarified the following, which I think would be very illuminating: Can you provide a list of specific instances in which the government pressured the university to pressure a scientist to change something in an IPCC report?”

    My response is as follows. – Your request is not relevant to my alternate assessment vehicle suggestion. I am suggesting that through a government’s processes of directly funding the public university’s very existence (I am not talking about measly funding for science research project grants) then there are always strings, I know this because it is inherent in politics. Do you doubt that intrinsic way of politics Robert? So, my suggestion still stands that government institutions should be at arm’s length but are not eliminated from participation . . . just a prudent measure to be controlled through a formal process.

    We learned our lessons for the political entity called the IPCC. But before we disband it we need to dissect it, ad nauseam, to ensure we know enough to put fail safes measures explicitly in place; even in my suggested private centered assessment vehicle.


  43. Latimer Alder | October 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |

    How exactly does the mechanism of a public university being owned by the public work? If I wnat out of my ownership, can I sell my one brick? If I have a dispute with the university can I sue it as a body o must I sue eanch and every owner individually? Does the university have its own legal peronality? If so, how is that personality administered..and who appoints the administrators?

    Is it a democratic election of all the owners? Or something more ‘political’.


    Latimer Alder,

    Sorry I did not get back to you sooner. Robert is discussing with me the relative untrustworthiness of the wealthy, the citizen level of activities and the private wrt science leadership.

    Response to your questions => : ) I, darkly in the mirror, see that there are political strings in the answers to them.


    • Sorry I did not get back to you sooner. Robert is discussing with me the relative untrustworthiness of the wealthy

      It won’t be much of a discussion is you continue to hide behind straw men. Your proposal — to replace the oversight of the public with the oversight of a small number of wealthy individuals — is simply the replacement of democratic oversight with control by the wealthy. Is this your tortured way of saying you believe the wealthy are naturally trustworthy and we should surrender decisions to them on that basis? If so, that’s your proposal, so I’d like you to explain it.

      Are you planning to answer my very simple questions?

      You’ve proposed bringing climate science under private universities, accountable to their owners.You have yet to say how you think control by wealthy owners is superior to accountability to the public.

      You have also not clarified the following, which I think would be very illuminating: Can you provide a list of specific instances in which the government pressured the university to pressure a scientist to change something in an IPCC report?

      We would finally have accountability of citizen level science instead of government political bodies.

      “Citizen-level” sounds like a public university. But you’re suggesting privately owned universities need to be in sole control. How is that “citizen-level science”? Are you suggesting those that don’t own part of a private university aren’t real citizens? Why not?

      government political bodies

      You seem to be fond of this misstatement, to keep repeating it. Of course a public university is not a “government political body,” and the fact that you have to lie about that repeatedly suggests that you don’t feel your real agenda can stand up to scrutiny.

      • Robert,

        Thank you for your extensive reply.

        Given that my essential prediction is that, in parallel with the IPCC’s trajectory of decline (of credulity) and dissolution, a voluntary grassroots movement of international universities will create a consortium-like climate assessment vehicle to provide info to the broad scientific community and general citizenry. My suggestion for that body is (based on an ongoing formal, exhaustive and 100% open lessons-learned study/audit of the existing IPCC) to institute a prudency policy of arm’s length relationship with public (governmental) institutions, including government sponsored universities; arm’s length based on the potential for political arm twisting of science. So if you ask me to provide lists of government interference with science, it is unnecessary to do so. My suggestion is rooted simply in the idea that scientific impartiality has some fundamental conflicts with the idea of political authority (government/public bodies). It is a simple concept that would be found in the philosophy of science and the history of science. Do you really think that is not the case?


  44. If the IPCC were to magically vanish right now, would we be worse off?

    If the answer is “not at all”, why is anybody wasting time proposing that we contribute one iota to its continued existence?

    • Is that the answer?

      Prove it. Show your work.

      • Dear Robert,

        I asked two questions. What is it that I need to prove?

        If English is not your mother tongue, I apologise, as you may not realise that a question mark at the end of a sentence generally indicates a question.

        This is why it is called a question mark. If you need any further help, I would be happy to help, time permitting.

        Thank you for your response.

      • Steven Mosher

        1. we would not be worse off. The IPCC does no research. It creates no science. It merely objectively compiles documents written by others into a a readable format. The authoring job is so easy a graduate student or two have been known to do it.

        However, that is hard to prove, so I suggest we test the hypothesis,by getting rid of it for the next 2 -3 years.

      • “objectively compiles”??
        What planet have you been visiting the last 20 years?

      • I suggest we test the hypothesis,by getting rid of it for the next 2 -3 years.

        Yes, the IPCC should be prevented from releasing assessment reports until 2013 at the earliest. ;)

    • o.o.

      Your second question is moot.

      In evidence, replacing the IPCC with some 180 national bodies to perform the same role for each country independently would pretty much necessitate either an APCC or ANZPCC.. and I’m sure you’d admit, that’d be a horrible thing.

    • Latimer Alder

      Perhaps it would help if somebody could list the specific scientific achievements of climatology and its offshoot – the IPCC – over the last twenty years.

      What useful stuff do we know about the climate now that we didn’t know in 1990? What breakthroughs in our understanding have their been? And was it worth the over 100 billion dollars spent?

      • Latimer Alder

        “What useful stuff do we know about the climate now that we didn’t know in 1990? What breakthroughs in our understanding have their been?”

        Worthy questions.

        We know BEST, we have 21 years of additional temperature and CO2 records, we know the global warming that could be doubted in 1990 we can be confident of at 0.911 C in half a century; that UHI is relatively small and may have a negative sign; that cloud feedback is likely very small and we can’t be very sure of its sign, that water vapor is large and positive as a feedback, that there are multiple lines of evidence for sensitivity we had not explored then about at the same levels as we believed in 1990, that the Arctic is melting to the lowest sea ice volume and extent in millennia, that climate scientists have really poor social skills as a group and deal badly with multidecadal assaults on their reputations, that the USA has spineless leadership on climate.

        But all that only cost a few million to learn.

        For answers about the other $99.999,95 billion, could you provide a detailed accounting of where it went?

      • Latimer Alder

        I can’t provide a deatiled accounting, But the latest figure I have seen says that the US government has spent in total $74 billion on climate stuff. Add in a bit for the rest of the world – including UK, and you can see $100 billion heaving into view quite easily.

        And 74 bill seems to match up with current US spending of abt $2.5 bn per annum…over 30 year since 1980 that’ll be pretty much spot on.

        &deity. knows what they spend it on…climatologists I suppose… but spend it they do.

        Re spineless leadership..another way of looking at it is that the politicians have decided that its not a problem big enoughor serious enough to be worth spending much time and effort on. And that the twenty odd years propaganda push to scare the bejasus out of the populace with compulsory polar bear movies and daily horrific predictions of the flooding of NYC by two weeks come next Tuesday Michaelmas have flopped like a Lead Zeppelin (no disrespect boys).

      • Latimer Alder

        The $74b figure is a new one to me.

        But then, the last detailed accounting by the US government I’ve seen even remotely related is Lamar Alexander’s report on subsidies to alternative fuels.. the one that shows US government subsidies to non-carbon alternatives isn’t even a rounding error compared to direct subsidies to carbon burning from fossil and biomass.

        Do books count as biomass?

        Since long before reading that report, I’d been extremely skeptical of any broad brush statements about US government spending, as it’s almost always doublespeak.

        So it’s not that I disbelieve you; it’s that I disbelieve the generalizability of accounting.

  45. Abdusamatov, a doctor of mathematics and physics, is one of a small number of scientists around the world who continue to contest the view of the IPCC, the national science academies of the G8 nations, and other prominent scientific bodies.

    He said an examination of ice cores from wells over three kilometers (1.5 miles) deep in Greenland and the Antarctic indicates that the Earth experienced periods of global warming even before the industrial age (which began two hundred years ago).

    Climate scientists have used information in ice cores, which contain air samples trapped by snow falling hundreds of thousands of years ago, providing an ancient record of the atmosphere’s makeup, to establish that throughout the numerous glacial and interglacial periods on record, temperatures have closely tracked global CO2 concentrations.

    The fact that background atmospheric CO2 levels, shown for example by the famous Keeling curve, displaying precise measurements going back to 1958, are now known to be well above concentrations experienced in hundreds of millennia, as displayed by the ice cores, is considered by most of the scientific community as incontrovertible proof of mankind’s influence on greenhouse gas concentrations.

    However, Abdusamatov even disputed the greenhouse effect, claiming it fails to take into account the effective transmission of heat to the outer layers of atmosphere.

    Scientists have known about the greenhouse effect since the 19th century. The phenomenon by which gases such as methane and CO2 warm the troposphere by absorbing some of the infra-red heat reflected by the earth’s surface has the effect of a global thermostat, sustaining global temperatures within ranges that allow life on the planet to thrive.

    But Abdusamatov insisted: “Ascribing ‘greenhouse’ effect properties to the Earth’s atmosphere is not scientifically substantiated. Heated greenhouse gases, which become lighter as a result of expansion, ascend to the atmosphere only to give the absorbed heat away.”

    Abdusamatov claimed that the upper layers of the world’s oceans are – much to climatologists’ surprise – becoming cooler, which is a clear indication that the Earth has hit its temperature ceiling already, and that solar radiation levels are falling and will eventually lead to a worldwide cold spell.

    “Instead of professed global warming, the Earth will be facing a slow decrease in temperatures in 2012-2015. The gradually falling amounts of solar energy, expected to reach their bottom level by 2040, will inevitably lead to a deep freeze around 2055-2060,” he said, adding that this period of global freeze will last some 50 years, after which the temperatures will go up again.

    • Is this way off topic, or is a cautionary tale about the kind of hysterical incompetent quacks that would be emboldened in a world without the IPCC?

      A chilling vision, indeed.

    • There is one word to describe this. Hint: it’s the sound a duck makes.

    • Girma,
      If you can’t tell at first glance that this guy is one of those cranks and crackpots who makes unfounded pronouncements without understanding anything about what he is talking about, then it doesn’t bode well for you ever understanding much about global climate.

      Abdusamatov (whatever else his credentials) is not even listed as being a contributor or reviewer of the infamous NIPCC report. Perhaps he does not even measure up to their standards.

      • There are dozens of top scientists who disagree with the IPCC who are not a contributor or reviewer of the NIPCC reports. Abdusamatov seems to be discussing the red iris hypothesis by Lindzen which Spencer found evidence for in the tropics.

      • A Lacis

        How come you have not replied to my repeated questions?

        1) As shown above, why does a single line pass through all the global mean temperature (GMT) peaks since 1850?

        2) Why does a single line pass through all the GMT valleys since 1850?

        3) Why are these two upper and lower GMT boundary lines parallel with a slope of 0.06 deg C per decade?

        4) Why is the global warming trend for the period from 1880 to 2010 is equal to the slopes of the two boundary lines?

        5) Is it possible that the GMT oscillation between the two boundary lines is due to ocean cycles as described in the following paper:

  46. Robert,
    The IPCC has emboldened enough quacks and profiteers already.
    Why would the absence of the biggest enabler of the largest social mania in 100 years be a bad thing?

  47. It would be really good if every denizen here went back and read Richard Tol’s post here:

    Read it over and over again until you understand what he is saying. (Yes. he should have written “entrenched” instead of “entranced”. That’s not important.)

    • Holly Stick: Is the Tol comment deep and I’m missing something? I’m sure he’s right. The IPCC won’t go away — for good and bad reasons.

      • He also explained briefly why it is needed. Governments need good information from experts to help them decide what policies to choose.. The climate scientists, whose many publications are summarised in the IPCC reports, are the experts. You folks can lie and smear and slander them till the cows come home, and you do, but you are wrong and they are right. Suck it up, kids!

      • Holly Stick: Strangely enough I can read and understand what he said.

        The US is going further to the right and away from the pronouncements of the UN and IPCC. Suck it up, Holly!

        So now where does the discussion go?

      • You should not connect a refusal to accept climate change science with being politically to the right. That just makes the rightwingers look really, really stupid.

      • huxley

        This “further to the right” you speak of, you submit into evidence the Obama presidency? The ballooning of government spending since the turn of the millennium? The Republican candidates for their party’s nomination falling over themselves to create jobs by tax-and-spendism? The rampant corporate communism in America? Or is this some sort of non-Euclidean Right that is so far over the edge it’s come around as Left?

        The USA has always had a strong anti-UN sentiment; so strong, it practically buries the needle and cannot be properly measured. Arguing it’s going further is impossible to measure or prove.

      • huxley,

        He’s saying that there is a genuine need for an IPCC like body.

  48. You should also read and reread this one from one of the most intelligent commenters here:

  49. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there is a UN body dealing for example with aircraft safety. I believe its up to manufacturers to convince each National body to certify their products. That system works pretty well. Similarly with drugs, the US and Europe have different agencies and they make different decisions.

    I for one believe that all these issues must be solved by technology or they will not be solved. Carbon abatement is not going to work because it is based on a doctrine of scarcity. New technology will be accepted based on its merits and we don’t need an international body to make that happen. We need a lot of common sense on things like nuclear power. I note that even Hansen is now advocating it.

    My main worry about the UN is just the centralization of power. You know, diversity of culture and ways of doing things is a tremendous strength.

    • The International Air Transport Association and the World Health Organization help standardize the knowledge on aircraft safety and on drugs, respectively.
      National agencies set the actual standards, but multinationals and consumer bodies lobby hard for international homogenization. Multinationals do that because the costs of differential regulation are rather high. Consumer bodies cherry-pick foreign regulations to argue for domestic change.

      • Latimer Alder


        IATA is a trade association of airlines and exists to ‘represent, lead and serve the airline industry’ according to its own stated mission

        But your use of it as a favourable example shows how successful and influential organisations do not necessarily need the baggage that comes with the political body of the UN. The case for a UN-led IPCC is weakened yet further.

      • I have no opinion on IATA. I do not know whether it does a good job or not.
        It is an example, though, where a clear need for international knowledge exchange was met.
        I would have better to had the IPCC and the UNFCCC been part of the OECD. However, the Europeans do not like the power of the USA in that organization, and the US do not like that the OECD get things done.
        The UN is the perfect body for making noise about doing something without actually doing it.

      • Sure, but the existence of National Organizations could result into them to (a) perform assessments differently from the Global Organization, (b) ignore/change/challenge advice from the Global Organizations or (c) change their advice if they see that something is working within a certain country, even though the Global Organization does not agree with it (nice example: legalisation of certain drugs). Such processes could act as much needed checks-and-balances of in reporting from such organizations? At the moment something like that is completely absent for IPCC: there are no National Organizations re-evaluating what IPCC reports.

  50. “My main worry about the UN is just the centralization of power. You know, diversity of culture and ways of doing things is a tremendous strength.”

    I would the UN has a bit less power than Occupy Wall Street.

  51. What has the IPCC really got done? Has any government, or a collection of governments, taken any action that has actually made a significant dent in C02 emissions? Will they ever?

    The IPCC had it’s way with our EPA lady here in the US, but those carbon rules she is threatening will be swept away in the inexorably advancing political tsunami that started with the Republican’s rollicking takeover of the House last year. Next year they will clean out the Senate, and the White House. EPA will have a new titular head and a new boss, the Congress of the United States, as it should be. The IPCC, and maybe the UN too, will not be getting those fat checks from the good ole USA, any more.

    And, oh boy, the EEU got their troubles too. Greece will default soon, and the last thing they will be thinking about over there, in the Big Collapsing Welfare State, will be the freaking nuisance IPCC. China, India, Brasil, et al never had any intention of dancing to the IPCC tune. They will all go merrily on their way, burning all the coal they can get their sooty little hands on.

    The IPCC is on a slippery slope to total irrelevance. Before too much water passes under the bridge, only the Maldives will pretend to take it seriously.

    • Latimer Alder

      I have been only slightly surprised by the number of posters who start with the idea that an IPCC or IPCC-like body is ‘essential’. And/or those who argue that we must retain it because the alternatives (like many national bodies) are worse. They fall into a common trap of believing their own propaganda that they are indispensable.

      Seems to me that they’d better watch their backs. Climate change and all the associated hoo-hah is rapidly ceasing to be a topic that any serious politician is worrying about. With the exception of Gillard’s career suicide mission in Australia, it has fallen like a stone off people’s radar in public discourse. In Europe, in UK, in US it is no longer a live issue…other things have overtaken it. People care about their heating bills not their emissions.

      As an exampe in UK, there is much debate over ‘fuel poverty’ and the oncoming winter. Part of the fix to this is to reduce the enormous subsidies paid to onshore windmills. The ‘green lobby’s infleunce is waning in our polity.

      And in times of (relative) austerity, when the politcos have to withdraw fumding they go for the least pain option. Cutting money for something nobody gives a tinkers cuss about is easy and pretty painless.

      And history tells us that institutions are at their most vulnerable exactly when they forget that they have to justify their existence every day and every penny, but start to think that they exist by their own divine right. The IPCC stopped doing this a while back…its deliberate snub of the IAC recommendations marked the high point of its own self-regard and will come back to haunt it. Laframboise’s book will only increase the pressure.

      IPCC folks – wake up and smell the coffee. Homework assignment: Read the poem ‘Ozymandias’..PB Shelley.

      He has something to tell you.

      • Ian Blanchard

        A few years ago I heard a comment along the lines of ‘buying organic food is God’s way of telling you that you’ve too much money’.
        It appears that spending on climate change initiatives is the same thing at a Government level – something that can be done by the politicians when times are good to make them appear soft and fluffy, but something that gets shuffled to a (very far) back burner during times of financial difficulty.

        As for the ‘what to do about the IPCC question, I think living inthe real world, it isn’t going to just disappear, although its focus and influence may wane a bit in the near future.
        What would I advocate, given this situation?
        1 – That the IAC recommendations regarding conflict of interest are acted on immediately.
        2 – Change to the leadership. Pachauri has said too many crass things over the last few years to be considered credible by the agnostics as well as the skeptics.
        3 – Narrowing of the scope, so that the focus is on an evaluation of the science, as mainly included in WG1. Much of the scope of WG2 and WG3 is so far beyond speculative as to be of little value, and is most widely open to political interference.
        4 – Probably most importantly, the creation of an independent multidisciplinary group (described elsewhere as ‘Tiger Team’) to undertake a review of the final draft document including an assessment of the external reviewers’ comments and how these have (or haven’t) been dealt with by the CLAs. This team should both have an input to the final document (either by forcing modifications or by highlighting those areas where the Report is controversial or one-sided) and in the production of a detailed commentary highlighting (from first principles) those areas where questionable or untenable assumptions are made, where there is controversy, where there is an over-reliance on ‘data torturing’ and where further research should be focussed.

        My anticipation is that this ‘Tiger Team’ could be made up of mainly talented post docs from variously physics, earth science, oceanography, meteorology, modelling, statistics and palaeo-climatology, under the leadership of a somewhat non-consensus climatologist (Dr Pielke Snr or Dr Curry would fit the bill nicely) – imagine how good it would look on your CV if your first year or 2 after completion of a PhD was being employed by the IPCC as a critical reviewer of the IPCC report?

    • Stirling English

      Just wondered if I had missed the announcement where The Maldives had finally disappeared into the briny?

      It appears not to have happened yet, nor be imminent. Operators still taking flight and holiday bookings six months out. So maybe the seapocalypse has been postponed yet again?.

    • The IPCC is an advisory body. Taking action is not part of its remit so questioning whether or not they have got anything done is nonsensical.

      • Latimer Alder

        Not a lot of point in having an advosry body whose advice is never heeded. I’d call that a fail.

        Or in other words, if it had never existed, nothing would be different. We could have saved all that time, effort and money and used them on soemthing useful instead.

        Memo to publicly-funded people:

        You are not given our money to play in the sandpit with. We entrust you with it because we think youare going to do something that we find useful. No use to us === no money to you. Simples!

      • Whether or not the situation is a fail is a judgement call, but either way it wouldn’t be a fail for the IPCC since they are not making the decisions. The point is that using ‘action taken to combat climate change’ as criteria for judging the effectiveness of the IPCC is nonsensical since they aren’t involved in actual decision-making or action-taking.

      • Latimer Alder

        So no useful purpose to its existence then. Immediate abolition is the only sensible choice. Noody ever does anything about climate change so we don’t need an advisory body. Simples!

        And think of all the carbon saved by not flying the participants to Bali. Win win.

        But maybe you still think the IPCC does somethng useful. Do tell us what you think it is….in practical terms. Not just in wishy washy mission statement terms which I can write in my sleep.

        Complete the following statement so that I can explain it to my mates down the Pub and my old Mum at home.

        ‘The world is a better place because the IPCC exists and it ……’

      • Certainly if all or most potentially interested parties (policymakers, other decision-makers) avowedly refuse to consider information presented by the IPCC then there would be no point in it existing. That doesn’t seem to be happening though. Climate change is not the only problem populaces, or governments, are facing so it will never be the sole consideration in any decision-making process.

      • Latimer Alder

        But no finish to my sentence?

        I cannot explain the raison d’etre for the IPCC to Joe Public if even its supporters can’t come up with a good reason for it.

        OK Try another

        ‘We need the IPCC because ……………’

      • Latimer,

        Depends on who the ‘we’ is.

        If ‘we’ refers to decision-makers then: ‘We need the IPCC because it provides valuable guidance on issues concerning climate change, a major potential consideration when planning for the future.

        If ‘we’ refers to denizens of climate blogs then: ‘We need the IPCC because it provides a common focal point for moaning about things we don’t really understand.’

      • How ’bout this Latimer?

        We need the IPCC because without it’s annual, obscenely carbon-intensive, blow-out, fun-in-the-sun party-conferences we might never see the sequel to Pachauri’s celebrated, break-through, peer-reviewed. first smut-novel.

        In that regard, I think the IPCC is best judged by the literature it inspires.

      • Latimer Alder

        I thought I had made it clear exacty who I had in mind as ‘we’. My mates down the pub and my old Mum. The people who – at the end of it all – pay for it. Joe and Jenny Sixpack, if you will. The public.

      • Paul S,

        Although you didn’t ask me, I’d also like to define the “we” in similar, but slightly different terms than Latimer (not that there’s the slightest deficiency in Latimer’s definition).

        “We”, as I see it, are those of us whose taxes pay for all those good times enjoyed by the IPCC party-animals. And “we” are also the ones who don’t ever seem to get an invite to those parasites-gone-wild, IPCC bashes.

      • I’m not even slightly surprised to see people making arguments about the IPCC that demonstrate they don’t understandeven the basics about it.

        Naturally this never stops them making strident claims about it…….. In fact it’s a prerequisite!

      • Michael,

        You’ve raised an interesting and challenging point. Here’s the IPCC “basics” as I understand them. The IPCC’s “basic” organizational structure is thoroughly rotten with corruption, but is held together, nevertheless, by the intertwined hair-sensors, antennae, and tentacles of its affixed, party-animal parasites, who subsist on the taxpayer dime.

        Take away the IPCC’s taxpayer-derived party fund and the panic-stricken parasites will immediately disengage and depart in a headlong rush for a new host. At that point, the IPCC will collapse of its own weight.

        That’s my best shot, Michael. Did I miss any of the basics?

      • Latimer Alder


        Seems to me that even its supporters aren’t exactly sure why it exists. But if it is truly a worthwhile body, a torrent of good reasons shoud trip off the tongue. Instead there is a pretty deafening silence.

        Seems self-evident to me that any public body that cannot easily complete the extremely simple sentence:

        ‘The world is a better place because xxxxx exists and it ……’

        (where xxxxx is the name of the body) is an institution that is ripe for savage cutting. When even its own adherents can’t come up with anything better than ‘you just don’t understand it’, the big blue pencil won’t take long to go through its budget. ‘Because it exists today is not a sufficiently good reason to conclude ‘and therefore it should exist tomorrow’

        Lets try another one – restricted to those who have worked for the IPCC

        ‘I volunteered to work for the IPCC because………..’

      • Latimer (and Mike)

        I thought I had made it clear exacty who I had in mind as ‘we’. My mates down the pub and my old Mum.

        Fair enough. The second statement in my post is most relevant in that case. More seriously, it depends on who your mates are and where you live. For some people information on changing climate will be more directly useful than for others – those living around the Arctic circle for example. Indirectly, I would think most citizens would prefer the people making decisions on their behalf receive adequate information about potential problems.

        Mike, I’m not sure who you’re referring to regarding the IPCC parties. As far as I’m aware scientists are not paid for their work (not even expenses to my knowledge) in producing the reports.

      • Live in UK. Mates are mostly reasonably educated types with kids and mortgages and businesses to run. Lots of bills, vast rises in energy prices and trade turning down. ‘Middle England in just about every sense…the guys who pay the bills.

        Please explain to them why they need the IPCC.

      • Latimer,

        Directly they probably don’t ‘need’ the IPCC, but note my indirect point above.

        Would your mates have direct ‘need’ for any scientific advisory panel? Does a negative answer mean that providing any scientific advice to policymakers is pointless?

      • @pauls

        The disussion is not about any old common or garden advisry panel. It is about the IPCC – whose structure and processes are (afaik) unique.

        So – is it a good idea for a government to have scientific advice?..Clearly yes, and in the UK some are employed especially to do so. We have a Chief Medical Officer for Health Issues and so on.

        But that the general idea of ‘scientific advice’ is a good one does not give a free pass to any old thing that can be lumped into that category. You need to provide specific reasoms why the IPCC – as currently constituted and organised – is a good thing and could not be improved.

        But I sense that history will resolve this argument anyway. There is little new to say in the next report. Other preoccupations will overshadow it in publication. Few will read it, even fewer will do anything apart form to use it as a doorstop. Whether there will even be an AR6 is moot… it creatinly wouldn’t be an attractive career choice for a young guy wanting to make their way in academe.
        So we’ll probably end up in the post-IPCC world within five years whatevr we say here.

        But I must remark that the sheer poverty of pro-IPCC arguments that have been produced suggests that the adherents are sitting fat, dumb and happy, content in their own certainty that they are sitting pretty and always will be. As I;ve written elsewhere, that is the tiem when any institution is at its most vulnerable to sudden catastrophic failure.

        Few love the IPCC. Anybody who examines it reasonably objectively and by comparison with familiar institutions in the outside world conclude that it is riddled with malpractice. And yet, and yet, the participants arrogantly turn their face against any meaningful reform.

        I foresee that when the collapse starts, it will have few powerful friends willing to labour to save it. Which is just as well, becasue nobody has come up with a good reason why it would be missed

      • The disussion is not about any old common or garden advisry panel. It is about the IPCC – whose structure and processes are (afaik) unique.

        The end product is still scientific advice. What aspect of the structure and processes makes the IPCC’s advice inherently less useful than you get from your common or garden advisory panel?

        and could not be improved.

        As far as I know, nobody has stated that the IPCC is perfect.

      • The IAC stated that it was very far from perfect and made recommendations for improvements that the IPCC refused to implement.

        That really tells us all that we need to know about it. IPCC has become a law unto itself. A body that cannot and will not implement a Conflict of Interest policy for its own members is instutionally incapable of providing objective advice. It is tantamount to expecting Joe and Jenny Public to accept the line that

        ‘we aren’t going to do any work to even pretend that we don’t have conflict of interest problems, but we assure you that our advice is perfectly objective and unbiased. You’ll juts have to believe us’

        Yeah right – that’ll go down well with my mates who deal with chancers every day.

        The IPCC is unique. It’s failings are unique and its intransigent resistance to change casts grave doubt upon its inegrity and all its conclusions IMO. It will not be missed.

      • Well Latimer,

        some might consider that the dissemination of knowlegde is a great good, but I understand that those who take pride in ignorance might not get this.

        The hand-waving over not understanding the ipcc while making pronouncements on it’s fate are interesting, though again, not surprising.

      • @PaulS

        Well somehow the poor dears get invited to bashes in Bali and Cancun. I doubt they pay for it out of their own pockets. Nor take annual leave from their ‘proper jobs’ to attend.

      • Paul S,

        You are stuttering. You did not answer the question. I will help you. The IPCC was created to influence policy. Specifically to stampede governments into reducing carbon emissions to save the world from burning up. Carbon emissions have not been reduced, but substantially increased. The IPCC has been a failure. Do you have any reason to believe that it will do any better, in the future? Please don’t stutter.

      • You are performing cartwheels while watching reruns of The Munsters. Your premise of what the IPCC was created for is completely wrong, which means your metric for judging performance is also deeply flawed. Your comment has been a failure. Can you do better in the future? Please don’t perform cartwheels while watching reruns of The Munsters.

      • Paul S,

        You are very naive. Don’t trust politicians when they tell you their motivation and what they are going to do with your money. Watch what they do. The IPCC is a political organization. Fortunately, they have failed miserably at accomplishing their goal. Now tell us again how the IPCC is a neutral policy advisory service.

  52. Has anyone else noticed the sudden increase in non-responsive, obfuscating hand-waving troll-bots on certain forums in the last couple days? That content-free format of short, ad hom-centric, hit-and-run attacks is so familiar. No time wasted developing a train of thought, unique perspective or factual counter-argument with actual data.

    It’s almost like the premature BEST media blitz was the starting gun to restart the coordinated PR campaign attempting to slow the growing momentum of the skeptical viewpoint. The blog astro-turf squad is back at full strength and on the job (sigh).

    • They’re more on-topic on this thread than the last one. Anyway, they wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful without bait-biters.

    • I have noticed this too. I am learning that to respond to a troll is a mistake. I would say Robert is the troll in chief.

      • Latimer Alder

        If he’s the best they can manage, they are really down at the bottom of their barrel.

        It almost makes me remember fondly the days when we had real trolls around here……..but only almost.

      • Define “real troll”. In the broad internet sense, these are pretty generic trolls.

      • Latimer Alder

        My remark was rhetorical in nature, not to be taken absolutely literally.

        But the Robert troll isn’t even a good troll. The Joshua troll occasionally shows signs of promise when distracted from his tedious obsessions. The Martha troll is just barking IMO.

    • In politics this is called a bump. Headlines are proclaiming skepticism dead. I doubt it will last long.

  53. The art of projection and framing exemplified. Take a look in the mirror, buddy.

  54. Sahara Desert: The sun sets over the flat, flat desert :

    So say take 100 km by 100 km area of this flat desert.
    So that is 10,000 sq km. Or 10 billion sq meters.

    We assume it’s 12:30 pm and there is 1000 watts per sq meter
    of energy from the sun. So whole area 10 trillion watts of energy
    from the sun every second.
    The sky is clear. there a loss of 300 watts per square from top of the atmosphere to the sandy surface.
    The question is where does that 10 trillion watts per second of energy go?
    A certain percentage is reflected. If the surface was a mirror [instead sand] close to 100% would reflected.
    As SWAG maybe the sand reflects say 20 %. Maybe it’s 40%. Any guess or actual measured number would nice.
    As reflected energy and since it’s sand it obviously will be different color of light. But it will basically the some kind of light, and therefore will similarly loses “somewhere” around a similar amount energy as the light lost reaching the surface before departs the earth’s atmosphere.
    Another large percentage of the energy will transformed into infrared light- the sand will absorb the energy and re-emit it as at wavelength of sand which at whatever temperature it is [say 50 to 60 C].
    You see the planck curve here:
    the atmospheric window or “Atmospheric electromagnetic opacity”
    is here:
    from here:

    So anyhow 10 trillion watts hits the sand, very little of energy will warm up the sand [it’s already warmed up] most of the energy will immediate leave earth. The question is how much immediately leaves earth?

    Does the reflected sunlight have similar lost leaving earth as it does entering?
    At around 9 am the sun will around 45 degrees and have to sunlight go thru twice the atmosphere it needs to be 8 am or 4 pm. With solar panel one starts get a lot power at these times- getting only 25% o the power as compared to noon. Therefore it seems to me that sunlight or reflected
    sunlight loses more 30% entering and probably somewhere around 30% leaving.
    It also seems the infrared light created loses around 30% of it energy.

    So my answer to my question is that with 10 trillion watts hitting the sand
    about 7 trillion watts immediately goes back into space.

    • If there wasn’t an atmosphere, the sand would get hotter.
      Instead receiving 1000 watts at noon it would receive more than 1300 watts.
      It would receive about 13 trillion watts and radiate about 13 trillion watts to space.

      Without removing the atmosphere is there any way to make the sand hotter?
      One pour gasoline on it and light it on fire or sprinkle it with radioactive material or redirect more solar solar on it’s surface, yes but I mean more a passive way to get it hotter.
      Using black sand or using other material than sand could make slighter hotter.
      But a greenhouse of any size shouldn’t make the sand much hotter- it could make the air much hotter. A covering or greenhouse could reduce convect of heat and thereby increase it’s temperature. But such increase in temperature could not get the sand temperature hotter than if the was no atmosphere- a vacuum stops all convection plus it gets more solar energy from the sun.
      So same type sand of the moon should get hotter say, by 10 C or more than any kind greenhouse with whatever kind of quantity or type of greenhouse gas could increase the sand’s temperature.

    • Would the sand temperature increase if instead having 1 atm there was 1/2 atm.
      At 8 am and 4 pm there would 1000 watts per square and at noon there would around 1150 watts per square meter- so sand would get hotter- by a bit.
      It also means the temperate zone and polar zones would receive more solar energy during daylight.
      And solar panels could generate far more energy- at least doubling the energy one would get in the temperate zone during winter.
      It seems you would have higher winds- though wind mills would require higher wind speed to generate same amount of energy.

      I would guess it have less “greenhouse affect” but global temperature would be higher.

      • gbaikie,

        You might even go a little further, and work out that the CO2 “greenhouse effect” does not exist at all.

        This might explain why there is no experiment to show that placing any GHG between a surface and a source of heat will magically cause the surface to get warmer than in the absence of the GHG.

        It might also explain Trenberth’s “missing heat”. It isn’t missing because it never existed.

        And just for fun, if you are in the mood for a bit of calculation, you might like to check the “black body” temperature of the Earth that is often used to justify the supposed “greenhouse effect”. You might find that using slightly different values for emissivity and albedo, you arrive at the current measured global temperature. No need for any “greenhouse effect” whatsoever.

        It looks like you think for yourself, and are prepared to change your mind after thinking about facts. Have fun!

      • I don’t think greenhouse gases can warm something hotter than greenhouse gas.
        And Energy isn’t blocked by anything, Energy can be bounced [reflected], it can travel thru a medium [transparent] and it can be absorbed. If energy can be blocked- we have Star Trek shields.
        If greenhouse gases absorb the infrared, then they will emit energy, assuming there someplace for it to go. If a CO2 molecule is heated to higher temperature than air below it, it can go in that direction. But it CO2 molecule is above the troposphere, it has much more sky than earth. And there is the problem is only .03 % of atmosphere being CO2.
        Greenhouse may warm, but it might be academic- or a fart in a hurricane.

        What I believe is important in terms of “greenhouse effect” is masses which absorb heat. And most significant mass that absorbs heat on earth is well known- it’s the earth’s oceans. The atmosphere also has a significant mass- far less significant mass than the top 100 meters of the ocean and not warm as the ocean. Roughly around 1/50th or 100th of thermal energy, but the atmosphere covers all the surface of the planet.
        And has enough energy to last 12 hours without getting too cold. If our days were much longer it would get significantly colder [the sky wouldn’t have enough thermal energy] whereas ocean would stay almost as warm with days 5 or 10 times longer. So in terms of “greenhouse affect” the ocean is overkill and keeps a near constant temperature regardless of nite or day.

      • What do you think about ships causing sort of an urban heat effect at sea?

      • “What do you think about ships causing sort of an urban heat effect at sea?”

        Relatively small parking lot could create local warming- generally UHI are referring large areas creating large areas of affect. Though of course tiny relative to global scale. In addition UHI is regarding air temperature.
        As example, the surface temperature of small section of pavement isn’t increased if a larger area of pavement.
        Ships will create heat trails behind them- as in a smaller degree a human would lead trail of heat if walking thru still cool air.
        Ships are massive powerful machines but all are small relative a village or town.

    • Let’s turn the sand into water.
      So dig a 100km by 100 Km swimming pool which 100 meters deep.
      Since with ocean water in the deep ocean which is very clear and transparent sunlight only reaches to 200 meters in depth. If the pool water is pure and distilled water, the sunlight should reach the bottom of the pool, but the reflected light should not be able to reach the surface-if we put a mirror on bottom of pool, the light should not reach the surface once it is reflected.

      With sand at 12:30 pm, 10 trllion watts hits the sand and is reflected or radiated. With water if water is still, very little or none will be reflected, how much energy will be radiated. What will be amount energy radiate rather adsorbed and/or evaporated?
      The amount radiated will depend upon the temperate of the water at very top of the water. Temperature of the water should be around 85 F or 30 C.
      Sand would around 50 C 120F or hotter and so water will radiate less heat.

      So when most solar energy reaches the surface- between 10 am and 2 pm, the water reflects less radiation and radiates less radiation as compared to sand.
      And each day of sunlight the pool will get warmer- it will lose less energy during nite and gain more than it lost during the day. Until it reaches some point in which it’s average temperate does no increase.

      There should little difference in average temperature if you start with cool water or if start with boiling water. The cool water will warm and the boiling water should cool until it reaches this temperature.

      This average water temperature will vary depending on latitude and season- both being the angle of the sun during the day- if it’s a clear sky.
      So clear sky and angle of sun equals X, And the quantity of X should known by anyone who studies climate. Like anyone knows a times table.
      And such quantity is known roughly by simply looking at ocean temperature and latitude.
      If you knew this quantity of X, one knows the arctic ocean could not warm significantly if it was ice free. Because even though one has constant sunlight during the daytime during the summer the sun is at a low angle.
      At arctic circle when sun at it’s highest [June 21] it’s 47 degree above the horizon- which equals little past 9 am at equator- so during the warmest month it about 9 am sun or less. Little solar energy even if pointed at sun, far less if horizontal to ground [25%] and water reflects sunlight around this angle.

      • Oh, one more thing.
        If you put a greenhouse over the water [stops evaporation loss of heat]
        Or if put greenhouse over sand.
        Is there a difference in air temperature- give both 100 humidly. Or have one with 100% and sand one with little H2O in the air.
        And/or put any greenhouse gas in it, what highest air temperature you could get?

      • Ok, more than one.
        Mentions that in space, concrete’s equilibrium temperature is
        about 250 F (121 C). And on Earth it is around 150 F (52 C).
        [Concrete and sand are similar in terms of equilibrium temperature- though of course there are different concrete and different sand- and because concrete is chemically bonded sand [and rock] heat generally travels faster thru concrete- or absorbs energy better.]
        As I have been saying one can’t make any greenhouse cause the temperature of sand [or any other material] to increase it’s temperature- by much.
        If you hemisphere shape greenhouse, you have twice the surface area and therefore it will cool the surface temperature. A more flat roof will give a higher temperature [far less surface area to radiate heat]. So a double pane glass put an inch or so above sand- will reduce convection losses and allow sand to get it’s highest temperature. And this can not be as high as in space, because space has 1300 watts per square meter
        and earth’s atmosphere has 300 watts sq meter less.

        There is a way that this large greenhouse [100 km] over the swimming pool could get pretty hot. Possible hotter than same size greenhouse over sand. The water will remain the same temperature and this heat will eventually leak out. It will heat the surface below it. And there heat from the earth interior which must escape. This large swimming pool will stop heat from escaping from the earth- in order from heat to escape it must go around the very large swimming pool or reach a temperature higher than the temperature of the swimming pool.
        Perhaps such an effect would eventually only add a degree or two- though it possible if one insulates the greenhouse by some extreme amount that it could more than a degree or two.

  55. The skeptical viewpoint was gaining momentum like a rolling ball of BS pushed by a speedy dung beetle before a sadistic teenage punk stomped on it.

    • M. carey,

      I fear Climate etc. can’t do full justice to your choice morsel of a comment, above. Rather, your confection requires the perfect place setting to complement its own consummate perfection.

      So, M. carey, you might want to shop your little masterpiece where it’ll best shine. You know, someplace worthy of your genius like Robert’s loser blog, “The Idiot Tracker”. The fit is perfect–you and Robert, the dream-team.

      And I think I’ve got just the name for your little act: “The Dung Beetles”. Robert likes to give people cutsey names and he’s inspired me to try my hand at it. Henceforth, all my references to Robert will be in the form of “Dung Beetle One” and to you, “Dung Beetle Two.”

      Work “mathturbate” into your comment and Robert might even let you put your comment up as a guest post. Thank about it, Dung Beetle Two!

      • It is so hard to break old habits. In the last paragraph, the first sentence should read:

        “Work “mathturbate” into your comment and “Dung Beetle One” may even let you put your comment up as a guest post.”

        There, that sounds much better now. Right, Dung Beetle One? Right, Dung Beetle Two?

      • Gimme a break, Mike. I’m not an experienced metaphor artist like Donna Laframboise. Perhaps with practice my creations can be as mystifying as her’s.

      • Latimer Alder

        If you are still mystified, see my post above re. getting out more and wider reading horizons.

      • Latimer, I guess you mean where you say:

        “She was using the metaphor to show that bad behaviour gets indulged.”

        Good heavens, I know that was what she was trying to do. But I am puzzled to why she thinks she did what she was trying to do. Apparently, she thinks a child’s bad behavior is more likely to be indulged if he has 100 godparents than if he has only 1. Sure, the more godparents he has, the more likely some will indulge him, but more godparents also means there will be more who likely will not indulge him too.

        Well, bad behavior is no more likely to be indulged by

      • WOOPS Strike the sentence fragment appearing at the end of my last post.

      • And since the IPCC is made up of many people, she should really have postulated a large room full of children, each of them having one or more godparents all of whom are in another room too busy socializing to notice that the kids are busy torturing mega-oil corporations and their shills (was that it? some kind of vermin anyway).

        The moral of the story is: don’t have kids, or maybe, sue the godparents for not watching your kids, even though that is the parent’s job in the first place.

        I hope that clears everything up.

      • M carey,

        I’ve had time to reconsider the “Dung Beetle” name-calling in my prior comment. I was out of line on that score. You have my apologies and my assurances it won’t happen again.

      • Well thank you Mike, but I wasn’t offended. I thought you were just trying to make fun, and I was amused.

  56. The IPCC should be treated like thought criminals in 1984. Killing it would simply make it a martyr. Leave it out in the sun instead, toothless and playing children’s games, so that all can gaze at it and see what happens when science allows policy to corrupt it.

  57. A post IPCC world? It would be no different to the present one. Every university department and every research body in the world will be saying pretty much the same thing. We don’t need an IPCC type body to inform us what the consensus position is. It doesn’t happen in any other branch of science.

    If we have a restructured IPCC either under the same or a different name, what will happen then? I’d suggest that it will be exactly the same as we’ve seen with BEST. Initial enthusiasm, in some quarters, which will vanish in an instant, when the contents of their reports are read.

    • Yes, there will be very little difference in rich industrial nations with strong scientific research foundations. The difference will come in poorer countries who don’t have this infrastructure and will find it more difficult to obtain relevant information when making policy decisions.

  58. IPCC doesn’t make policy decisions. It doesn’t even propose directly, what the decisions should be. Decisions are made or agreed upon by governments, EU and also on the worldwide level by UNFCCC. IPCC is not the same as UNFCCC. There’s some overlap between people, who participate in the work of UNFCCC and in IPCC, but even the people are largely different.

    IPCC has exactly as much influence on the decision as the decision makers give it taking into account it’s indirect influence through public opinion and media. IPCC exists, because governments want it to exist. As Richard Tol also emphasized governments have judged that they need advice in interpreting the significance of, what science tells about climate change and its impacts. I have written also earlier that the US government is less dependent on such international activities as IPCC, because US can produce most of the same independently, but it should be in US interest to participate in the international activities to assure that the US based knowledge is fully included.

    • As an analyst, I don’t agree that the IPCC exists because “…governments have judged that they need advice…” The IPCC is part of a political movement. It exists because a powerful constituency wanted support for certain government decisions which that movement advocated. (The IPCC was modeled on the successful Montreal protocol strategy.)

      And the first set of these decisions were quickly made in the form of the adoption of the UNFCCC. After that the movement continued to grow in power, leading to Kyoto and a host of national programs. The IPCC’s message followed suit.

      The issue today is that this movement seems to be losing momentum, so changes will be made. Adding a minority report would render the IPCC politically useless, so I don’t see it happening. The big question is where political AGW is going? The present wave of skepticism may be temporary, or AGW may be collapsing, or it may become a permanent second tier issue. There is no way to tell at this point.

      So much for analysis; as an activist I am working to try to bring about the demise of political AGW. So I favor US defunding of their share of the IPCC, including the WG1 technical support group.

    • WG3 exists to recommend policy. The fact that governments don’t follow their recommendations isn’t for lack of want on their part.

  59. Shut down the IPCC because its projections are wrong.

    Read IPCC boasting about the accuracy of its projections just 5 years ago

    Since IPCC’s first report in 1990, assessed projections have suggested global average temperature increases between about 0.15°C and 0.3°C per decade for 1990 to 2005. This can now be compared with observed values of about 0.2°C per decade, strengthening confidence in near-term projections.

    Look now, 5 years latter, what the observation shows compared to the IPCC projections.

    Regarding AGW, the emperor has no clothes.

    • Why the emperor has no clothes regarding AGW?

      Because, instead of IPCC’s projected global warming rate of 0.2 deg C per decade, it is cooling at 0.1 deg C per decade.

    • Girma, good projections are more right than wrong. If you claim the IPCC projections are more wrong than right, support your claim with numbers.

      • M. carey

        You challenge Girma:

        If you claim the IPCC projections are more wrong than right, support your claim with numbers.

        IPCC projected (AR4 WG1 SPM, p.12):

        For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios.

        CO2 continued to increase as projected but…

        the HadCRUT3 record shows slight cooling over the first decade of the new century rather than 0.2°C warming.

        This IPCC projection was definitely “more wrong than right”.

        Most of the other projections were for longer time periods, so not possible to check against reality YET.


      • Max, the following quote from the AR4 Synthesis Report seems to indicate the base year for the 0.2 C per decade warming projection is 2005 (see second paragraph), which is reasonable since AR4 was released in 2007. I wouldn’t judge a 20 year projection on the basis of it’s first 6 years(2005-2011) regardless of whether its tracking over or under observed values. I suggest you begin your evaluation with projections from FAR, which start farther back in time, and therefore give you projection periods that are closer to matching observed periods.

        “For the next two decades a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emissions scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all GHGs and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected. Afterwards, temperature projections increasingly depend on specific emissions scenarios (Figure 3.2). {WGI 10.3, 10.7; WGIII 3.2}

        Since the IPCC’s first report in 1990, assessed projections have suggested global averaged temperature increases between about 0.15 and 0.3°C per decade from 1990 to 2005. This can now be compared with observed values of about 0.2°C per decade, strengthening confidence in near-term projections. {WGI 1.2, 3.2}”

      • M. carey

        How well did IPCC do on temperature projections?

        It has been pointed out several times that the IPCC projection of “0.2°C per decade warming over the next two decades” failed.

        But occasionally one sees the counterargument (as you just made) that IPCC only made this projection in early 2007, based on 2005 data, so “the jury is still out on the actual warming over the entire decade”.

        This is a bogus argument for the following reason:

        IPCC had also made warming projections in its previous TAR report (2001). These ranged from around 0.15°C to 0.3°C per decade (average = 0.225°C per decade).

        From 2001 to today the actual linear trend was –0.08°C per decade cooling instead of +0.2°C (or +0.225°C) per decade warming.

        So IPCC not only missed the magnitude, it even missed the sign of the temperature change in its projections.

        All other IPCC projections have been longer-term, so are more difficult to check against actual data, but on this one they failed miserably – it was a lousy projection.


  60. I seem to have entered my post for this subject in the wrong thread. I’m not going to cross-post, it’s here.

    • AK

      I would agree with much of what you have written, especially the general philosophical parts..

      Where I would disagree is with your three specific conclusions (see my post on the other thread).

      Generalities are nice, but the problem comes when one attempts to start quantifying things.


  61. The IPCC is required by its own rules and procedures to present minority opinions. Its failure to do so is an indictment of the IPCC as an institution that does not heed its own rules.

  62. There appears to have been some bouncing around here on ancillary topics from volcanic contribution to atmospheric CO2 concentration to acceleration of the rate of sea level rise.

    The main topic here is: should the IPCC process as it now stands be reformed, replaced or left as it is and, if it is replaced or reformed, how should this be done?

    The “reformers” seem to like the incorporation of a “minority report” (Ron Cram’s “modest proposal” cited above), while some others agree with Donna Laframboise that the IPCC itself has outlived its usefulness and should be disbanded (and either replaced or not). A few posters seem to think that the IPCC process is OK, as is.

    To me it is clear that the IPCC has suffered a loss of public trust and its process has been shown not to be “OK, as is”, so a dramatic change is needed. If no changes are made, the AR5 report will be a waste of time, as few people will take it seriously.

    So we are left with reform or disband and replace (or do not replace).

    “Do not replace” does not seem realistic – something will fill the vacuum left by a disbanded IPCC, and this should not be left up to chance.

    It cannot be simply “turned over” to the institutions, such as NAS or RS, whose political leaderships have already bought into the politically correct “mainstream IPCC position” (apparently without doing much independent “due diligence). This approach would result in a tacit continuation of the present IPCC process.

    So a new body needs to be formed whose results are completely transparent and subject to external audit. This group should contain scientists, engineers, economists and others representing all views, investigating all causes of climate change (rather than myopically fixating on the anthropogenic causes alone) and having no ties to any lobby groups from any side. The group should refrain from issuing any policy recommendations, but should concentrate on the science, instead.

    As far as the “reform” option is concerned, Ron Cram asks the question “What if the IPCC refuses?” (to publish an alternative, equally weighted, assessment report by the scientists who do not accept the validity of the “mainstream IPCC consensus”). His answer appears to be to publish it anyway, with or without IPCC support.

    Cram concludes:

    It is hard to imagine that Pielke, Christy, Akasofu and others would not like to see an alternative assessment report to the IPCC – an effort dedicated to correcting the poor methods of the IPCC – a report which actually considers comments from reviewers. It is difficult to imagine they would not like to be a part of such an effort. And it is just as difficult to imagine that would not like to see their report put to the vote against AR5. This will be a time-consuming and unpaid effort. But it will be a grand effort and one that future generations will be very grateful for.

    The question now is: Is this a project Pielke, Curry, Lindzen and others are willing to take on?

    Ron Cram’s proposal is a compelling one, but it would be interesting to see some alternate views on these options.

    I would submit that the time for change is now and that what enough people write here and on other blogs such as this will eventually be taken seriously by those that can “make it happen”.


    • Max,
      Based on some email exchanges I had with certain climate scientists after my proposal, I would say the best chance of success is if a major scientific body decided to offer an assessment report alternative to the IPCC. It seems to me the best scientific body to do this would be the InterAcademy Council because they were asked to do an assessment of IPCC methods and to make recommendations. The IPCC ignored the IAC recommendations so the next logical step would be for them to offer their own assessment following best practices.

      The IAC is an international body and I think contributions from different countries are necessary to be a viable alternative to the IPCC. Another option might be combined international effort of the Royal Society and U.S. National Academy of Sciences and similar bodies. A third alternative might be interdisciplinary effort between international scientific societies like American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, AGU etc.

      This alternative effort needs to be led by people who have been critical of the IPCC, bar those who have defended unethical methods like used in the Hockey Stick and hide the decline and include scientists of all viewpoints.

      • Ron, at the political level I don’t think we are anywhere near what you propose. All of the groups you list have endorsed AGW, most quite strongly. Nor has the IPCC ignored the IAC recommendations. I think on paper they have acted on most of them, although I have not studied this.

    • Max,
      By the way, I don’t believe a major effort like the one I am proposing (hundreds of scientists from around the world) will require a huge budget for travel, lodging and meals. With today’s technology, GoToMeeting, cloud computing, Google Docs, etc., there is no requirement to meet face to face. And there is no need for administrative oversight (a la Pachauri) either. Once the scientific body names the IPCC critics who will head the alternative assessment, just leave them alone to do their work. I cannot think of a good reason why this cannot be done.

  63. Max

    I think there are far more serious problems to concern themselves with other than a minor temperature increase we can track back to 1607.

    I am sure the developing world has theior own priorities-water, food, medicine etc-but from the viewpoint of the West, my concerns would be the potential of either a natural event or a cyber attack disabling our computer systems, which would quickly spin the world into chaos. Another concern would be procuring cheap reliable energy, which may be renewable at some point, but is likely to be fossil based for the next few decades.

    CAGW doesn’t figure on my list, therefore I would be inclined to leave the IPCC alone and unreformed, as they are their own worst enemy and if we can learn to ignore them as a side show we can start worrying about genuinely serious matters.


  64. Ron

    I get your point. My concern on either the NAS or RS is that the political leadership of both “venerable” societies were quick to embrace the politically correct “mainstream” IPCC standpoint, apparently without first having done any independent “due diligence” studies.

    I do not know if the IAC is truly that “independent”. How many IPCC “skeptics” are in this group?

    I would prefer to see a totally new group composed of a handful of scientists and engineers, who may not all agree on every single point, but who do agree that the iPCC process, as it is today, has been corrupted by the need for “consensus” and the bias that this has introduced.

    There will very likely be difference of opinion and this should even be encouraged, as long as the differences are based on sound science. Unlike the old IPCC process, there should be no need to march in lockstep with one consensus view.

    There should be no activists or lobbyists in this group, either for groups such as WWF or for the fossil fuel industry.

    The names you mentioned sound perfectly OK.

    This would be your more “modest” proposal of two separate but equal climate reports.

    The alternate proposal would be more drastic: to scrap the IPCC and start from scratch, as Donna Laframboise .has suggested.

    Do you think this alternate would have any chance?


    • Max, skeptics are still in the minority but there are skeptics in the National Academy of Sciences (John Christy for one) and the Royal Society (Anthony Kelly among others). These two would make terrific co-editors of an international assessment report.

      I think the IAC is the place to start because their recommendations were not given any consideration by the IPCC and I think they can be convinced that an assessment that begins with a more skeptical approach is both more scientific and has a better chance of being objective.

      The IAC recommendations were all very reasonable and would hold the IPCC to higher standard. The fact the IPCC rejected them should be enough to convince many scientists the IPCC needs competition. Of course, there are always those who will think any criticism of the IPCC is funded by Big Oil or Big Coal but those people will not be convinced no matter what any scientific body says.

      Skeptics are in the minority because, in large part, no one has ever seen a properly objective and balanced assessment of climate science.

    • Max, I don’t believe the UN will scrap the IPCC until the UN itself has given up hope of achieving the desired goals. No amount of political pressure will make it happen because UN leadership is very insulated.

      Also, I should point out the Royal Society produced a less alarmist assessment of climate change last year. It was very brief but they toned down the alarmism because 43 members complained about it. See

      • Ron Cram

        Thanks for your two posts.

        You are most likely right that the UN will dig in its heels to keep IPCC alive without any substantive reforms of the corrupted “consensus process”.

        So your suggestion of a “separate but equal” “non-consensus” report sounds like the best way to get all sides of the climate debate out there to the general public and to “policymakers”.

        You made some specific suggestions on how to “make this happen”.

        What should be the next steps and who needs to do what by when to get this rolling?

        How can one ensure that the process does not get hijacked by the “consensus” crowd?

        Somebody needs to take the leadership to make this happen in time to give a counterbalance to the AR5 report. Is that somebody you?


  65. TonyB

    Your point makes lots of sense.

    As it stands today, the IPCC is its own worst enemy.

    Allowing it to continue its shenanigans will only cause it to lose even more credibility and public trust. It is already on the fast track to self-destruction.

    But I would submit that the second victim of this approach would be climate science itself (and, indirectly, the reputation of all scientists).

    Defenders of the “consensus” at all price will not see it that way, but serious climate scientists, such as our host here, should be happy to see an end to what is going on today, whichever way the problem gets resolved.