Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Jan/10

31

The Church of Climate Change: Some Embarrassments

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It’s important to remember that there is a decent scientific basis to the AGW hypothesis, but then there are moments like this (from The Sunday Telegraph):

The United Nations’ expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing from the world’s mountain tops on a student’s dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine. The revelation will cause fresh embarrassment for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which had to issue a humiliating apology earlier this month over inaccurate statements about global warming. The IPCC’s remit is to provide an authoritative assessment of scientific evidence on climate change.

In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.

However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them. The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.

The revelations, uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph, have raised fresh questions about the quality of the information contained in the report, which was published in 2007. It comes after officials for the panel were forced earlier this month to retract inaccurate claims in the IPCC’s report about the melting of Himalayan glaciers.

Sceptics have seized upon the mistakes to cast doubt over the validity of the IPCC and have called for the panel to be disbanded. This week scientists from around the world leapt to the defence of the IPCC, insisting that despite the errors, which they describe as minor, the majority of the science presented in the IPCC report is sound and its conclusions are unaffected.

Well, maybe, but what those errors (and the uncritical way in which they were allowed to enter the climate change “narrative”) have to say about the way that the climate change machine operates (and is operated) is very telling indeed.

As is this from the London Times:

The chairman of the leading climate change watchdog was informed that claims about melting Himalayan glaciers were false before the Copenhagen summit, The Times has learnt.

Rajendra Pachauri was told that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment that the glaciers would disappear by 2035 was wrong, but he waited two months to correct it. He failed to act despite learning that the claim had been refuted by several leading glaciologists.

The IPCC’s report underpinned the proposals at Copenhagen for drastic cuts in global emissions.

Whole thing here.

3 comments

  • Bob Smith · January 31, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    The use of bogus data is not an error, it’s fraud. The use of the word “error” in this context is whitewashing propaganda.

  • Le Mur · February 1, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Bob Smith :
    The use of bogus data is not an error, it’s fraud. The use of the word “error” in this context is whitewashing propaganda.

    Calling Rajendra Pachauri the “watchdog” is more of the same, since he’s untrustworthy and needs to be watched.

    I live about 2 miles from a glacier and AFAIK it’s been melting for about 18,000 years and I hope it continues to do so.

  • gene berman · February 5, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    He’s in good company, though. Another Indian, rather more well-known and celebrated, Mahatma Ghandi, was extremely critical of “western” medicine, consistently comparing it unfavorably to their traditional Indian anyurvedic brand. But, when struck with appendicitis, he had himself (secretly) transported and admitted to a modern British hospital. There’s a word for that which fits so many on that side of the “culture wars.”

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