Saturday, January 2, 2010

It Didn't Start With Climategate

As those of us in the earth sciences have been saying for years:

Power Line - It Didn't Start With Climategate
The whistleblower at the University of East Anglia who leaked emails and other documents that reveal the fraud that is being perpetrated by the world's leading global warming alarmists did us all a great service. But it is important to realize that the deception didn't just begin: rather, the global warming hysteria movement has been shot through with fraud from the start.

The most important document in the history of the anthropogenic global warming movement was the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Second Assessment Report, which was published under the auspices of the United Nations in 1996. This report was the principal basis for the Kyoto Accord which was signed in 1997, and for the nonsense that has been inflicted on the world's elementary school students ever since.

But the Second Assessment Report was hijacked by an AGW activist who re-wrote key conclusions and injected a level of alarmism that had not been present in the consensus document. You can get the whole story here, along with a great deal more information about the global warming controversy. The Science and Environmental Project summarized what happened as follows:

     IPCC assessment reports, and particularly their Summaries for Policymakers (SPM), are noted for their selective use of information and their bias to support the political goal of control of fossil fuels in order to fight an alleged anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

    Perhaps the most blatant example is IPCC's Second Assessment Report (SAR), completed in 1995 and published in 1996. Its SPM contains the memorable phrase "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." You may recall that this 1996 IPCC report played a key role in the political deliberations that led to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

    This ambiguous phrase suggests a group of climate scientists, examining both human and natural influences on climate change, looking at published scientific research, and carefully weighing their decision. Nothing of the sort has ever happened. The IPCC has consistently ignored the major natural influences on climate change and has focused almost entirely on human causes, especially on GH gases and more especially on carbon dioxide, which is linked to industrial activities and therefore 'bad' almost by definition.
This is from Professor Seitz's 1996 Wall Street Journal article:

    This IPCC report, like all others, is held in such high regard largely because it has been peer-reviewed. That is, it has been read, discussed, modified and approved by an international body of experts. These scientists have laid their reputations on the line. But this report is not what it appears to be--it is not the version that was approved by the contributing scientists listed on the title page. In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.

    A comparison between the report approved by the contributing scientists and the published version reveals that key changes were made after the scientists had met and accepted what they thought was the final peer-reviewed version. The scientists were assuming that the IPCC would obey the IPCC Rules--a body of regulations that is supposed to govern the panel's actions. Nothing in the IPCC Rules permits anyone to change a scientific report after it has been accepted by the panel of scientific contributors and the full IPCC.

Hat-tip to DMV

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