IPCC agrees to “major” reforms

From the “I’ll believe it when I see it” department comes this story in Nature News:

I thought this was interesting:

A new conflict-of-interest policy will require all IPCC officials and authors to disclose financial and other interests relevant to their work (Pachauri had been harshly criticized in 2009 for alleged conflicts of interest.) The meeting also adopted a detailed protocol for addressing errors in existing and future IPCC reports, along with guidelines to ensure that descriptions of scientific uncertainties remain consistent across reports. “This is a heartening and encouraging outcome of the review we started one year ago,” Pachauri told Nature. “It will strengthen the IPCC and help restore public trust in the climate sciences.”

Which is a far cry from “voodoo science”:

Told ya so…IPCC to retract claim on Himalayan Glacier Melt – Pachauri’s “arrogance” claim backfires

Next on the forefront of “voodoo” science we have this:

The first major test of these changes will be towards the end of this year, with the release of a report assessing whether climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events. Despite much speculation, there is scant scientific evidence for such a link — particularly between climate warming, storm frequency and economic losses — and the report is expected to spark renewed controversy. “It’ll be interesting to see how the IPCC will handle this hot potato where stakes are high but solid peer-reviewed results are few,” says Silke Beck, a policy expert at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany.

I predict they will botch this too.

Full article here h/t to Dr. Leif Svalgaard

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104 thoughts on “IPCC agrees to “major” reforms

  1. Interesting that Nature refers to the UEA e-mails as having been “leaked” rather than the usual warmist claim that they were “hacked”.

  2. I get this funny feeling that this is more of a marketing thing to push the same old junk. “See, we’ve changed, you can trust us…”

    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.

  3. Nature says that the claim about the glaciers ‘slipped into the last IPCC report’

    No it didn’t. An actual person wrote it and wanted it to be there. Many levels of review (supposedly :-( ) failed to spot it and after five years of (supposed) very careful work it was formally published. When this ‘mistake’ was pointed out, the head of IPCC castigated those doing the pointing as ‘voodoo scientists’.

    It is possible that several mispronts have ‘slipped’ into my remarks here. I however have written it off the top of my head in less than ten minutes, and do not claim that my work is the gold standard with which future economic policies for the nations of the world should be crafted. If it was I’d proofread it at least once more and think about the conclusions a bit more too.

    Shame that Pachauri and his gang of second raters didn’t take such elementary precautions. But they only had 1500+ days to work on it, poor dears…………..

  4. “The first major test of these changes will be towards the end of this year, with the release of a report assessing whether climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events.”

    Here’s my prediction – they will wait until the hurricane season is over. If it is an active one, with lots of land-falling hurricanes and significant coastal damage, I’ll give you three guesses as to what their report will say (and the first two don’t count…).

  5. The IPCC was established to prove global warming and promote ways of dealing with it. Any answer that doesn’t fall into it’s pre determined bias cannot possibly be considered. So don’t look for any significant change.

    The realistic answer, which is that warming is not a problem, is not an answer they are allowed to consider much less conclude.

  6. Chris D. says:
    May 18, 2011 at 11:29 am
    Well it seems they’ve failed on another count:

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/05/17/ipcc-screw-the-rules/

    btw, I don’t see a link to the Laframboise blog on WUWT. She does cracking good work and deserves a link on the blogroll, imho.

    I second that position. Ms. Laframboise has been wearing away at the political agenda aspect of voodoo with some very revealing stories. Her blog is how I ended up here among other places.

  7. Let’s get serious. It’s time for the IPCC to show proof of the “signature” warming at 10km in the tropics or fold their tent forever. Without this proof, AGW is moot.

  8. “Intergovernmental panel aims to become more responsive.”

    Yeah.

    And in another news item, Cosa Nostra are proposing to adopt a strengthened Elf & Safety Policy.

  9. Omg – laughable ! “After months of soul-searching”! What a joke! Perhaps should read “…determined hand-to-hand battle against critics” ?

    And THIS gem – “Some e-mails SEEMED to show that leading climate scientists, who had contributed key findings to previous IPCC reports, had TRIED (?!?) to stifle critics”? OMG – what a gross and brazen misrepresentation! It was – and IS (still) – a massive enterprise undertaken because these zealots know that they have been caught out by the likes of Holland, McKittrick, McIntyre and Watts et al.

    If these guys hadn’t dug into this – what do you think the IPCC would be doing? Searching their soul? Gimme a break!

    Kept after them folks …. Trust but Verify.

  10. Like all other UN based scams, the IPCC doesn’t actually have to release any reports at all to receive money for salaries or research or lunches. They merely have to exist.

  11. Thanks for the cynical laugh, Anthony. I needed to read the rest of the sentence where the opening quote ends: “Some e-mails seemed to show that leading …

    Here’s how it continues… “climate scientists, who had contributed key findings to previous IPCC reports, had tried to stifle critics.

    This is a wonderful double weasel from Nature (London): “… seemed to show…” and “… tried to stifle…”

    In fact, the emails did show that leading climate scientists did in fact stifle critics. And it wasn’t just critics they stifled. They stifled honest scientists whose results threatened to falsify their work.

    Still, given Nature (London)’s shabby record in the matter of climate science, that they’d even begin to allow a hint of the possibility of maybe more than mere skeptical distortion, in the criticisms of the trans-Atlantic suppressionist cabal, is an advance of sorts.

  12. On the subject of species loss, I often wonder why environmentalists are such glass half-empty types. Well, OK, that’s not so hard to explain.

    Nevertheless, if one looks at the theory of evolution (which I’ll assume climate scientists can accept as ‘robust’), species adapt, evolve or become extinct. Why do we always hear about species going extinct as opposed to the new ones being found? Given that the factors which lead to evolution and new species coming about seem to pretty much require the extinction of other species, is this constant harping on extinction really in effect an assault on evolution, in order to try and stop it from occurring?

    Or do these folks believe that there is a perfect species level, just like they appear to believe that the planet has one optimum otimum temperature that they’re trying to set using their CO2 thermostat?

  13. I didn’t think weather was climate? Or is that climate isn’t weather? Can’t remember.

    assessing whether climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events.

  14. Ray @ 11:44am:
    I like this quote from the article you linked:

    “It is kind of shocking” that no one spotted the error earlier, said Hubbell. “What this shows is that many scientists can be led away from the right answer by thinking about the problem in the wrong way.”

    Quote of the week?

  15. “…….worked with thousands of scientists……..”
    How many?
    I thought that the final number who actually agreed to the wording of the reports was about 50.

    OK, I suppose you can work with thousands but only agree with 50 or so.

    But I’ll believe the change of heart when I see it and I ain’t holding my breath.

  16. Interesting, especially in the light of No Frakking Consensus’s post about the IPCC decising not to identify stuff which is not peer-reviewed! Guess we can believe them.

    Yeah, right! (In case it is not obvious, that phrase is the NZ colloquial equivalent of /sarc).

    Thanks for the new link!

  17. Does this mean they are going to lie less and stop falsifying the data because it doesn’t prove their models? Won’t hold my breath.

  18. Ray @ 11:44am:
    I like this quote from the article you linked:

    “It is kind of shocking” that no one spotted the error earlier, said Hubbell. “What this shows is that many scientists can be led away from the right answer by thinking about the problem in the wrong way.”

    Does everyone see the hardcore communism in this? It is the assumption that one’s ideas cause one’s perceptions, one’s analytical approach, and one’s conclusions. As all good communists will tell you, you have to get right thinking scientists.

  19. Latimer Alder says:
    May 18, 2011 at 11:36 am

    “Shame that Pachauri and his gang of second raters didn’t take such elementary precautions. But they only had 1500+ days to work on it, poor dears…………..”

    Pachauri was distracted by his research on the pornographic novel that he was writing. You know, the one about the sixtyish climate scientist and his many conquests around the world. It has been number one on the UN best-seller list since publication. My guess is that the research took about 1400 days. /do I really have to put sarc here?

    Pachauri proves how reckless the seekers of world domination are. No sane person or committee would choose Pachauri as front man for a scam, no matter how innocuous the scam.

  20. The ipcc won’t have shown any “responsiveness” until it changes its name to something new and more deceptive, just like even the less dysfunctional agencies often have to do in order to continue being dysfunctional. But, sadly, “Children’s Services” and “Intergovernmental Ministry of Social Justice” have already been relieved of all positive connotations.

  21. Paul says:
    May 18, 2011 at 12:02 pm
    On the subject of species loss, I often wonder why environmentalists are such glass half-empty types.

    As Maria, my wife, said recently:

    Weird: half of the people refuse to accept evolution, the other half would like to stop it.

  22. Liars are always concerned about “image”. Don’t these jokers understand that once a liar is caught, his trust can not be restored? The only solution is to disband the IPCC and demote the entire team to dishwasher, and even then I will be looking closely at my glass before taking a drink!

  23. I would think that a financial conflict of interest should completely disqualify one for an IPCC position of any kind …

  24. John Johnston says: …
    Yeah, right! (In case it is not obvious, that phrase is the NZ colloquial equivalent of /sarc).

    If a double negative is a positive, then a double positive should surely be a negative. Seems only fair.

  25. R. Shearer says:
    May 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    IMF’s Strauss-Kahn could be put in charge of their professional behavior program.

    A perfect fit! But once Strauss-Kahn flees back to France, he’s bound to easily win its next Presidential election. So the ipcc’s bidding will probably have to start immediately, and at about 1000 Chamber Maids more than it would have otherwise!

  26. Despite much speculation, there is scant scientific evidence for such a link — particularly between climate warming, storm frequency and economic losses — and the report is expected to spark renewed controversy.

    What is going on at Nature? How could this have got through? I always thought the science was settled.

  27. IMF’s Strauss-Kahn could be put in charge of their professional behavior program.

    n.b. to the above subject – It’s doubtful that DKS’s services can be bought by the ipcc’s own Warming Models alone.

  28. @Chris D. says:
    May 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I’ve been to nofrakkingconsensus, and I agree that’s a good blog there.

    I followed her link to the story: http://hro001.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/when-task-group-says-lets-disappear-a-rule-ipcc-agrees/

    ..and my jaw fell. It’s very clear that the bureaucrats at the IPCC never had any intention of cleaning up their act. Their entire purpose seems to be to appear sorry and repentant in public, and then continue doing whatever they want while claiming to be “peer reviewed”.

    IPCC = The authority of scientific method twisted to serve political ends.

  29. This sounds a lot like Pappa John’s Pizza commercials. Originally he claimed “better ingredients, better pizza” then went on to a new formula but still says “better ingredients, better pizza”. We all ask the same question: If your original ingredients and pizza were better why did you have to make a change? And why should we believe you now when you were apparently wrong about your first claim?

  30. Activists have effectively infiltrated the IPCC and my gut feeling is that they skew their reports. Below is some excellent detective work with a few examples of why the IPCC was veering towards activism.

    “Greenpeace and the Nobel-Winning Climate Report”

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2010/01/28/greenpeace-and-the-nobel-winning-climate-report/

    “WWF’s Chief Spokesperson Joins IPCC”

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/04/25/wwfs-chief-spokesperson-joins-ipcc/

    “Peer into the Heart of the IPCC, Find Greenpeace”

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/03/14/peer-into-the-heart-of-the-ipcc-find-greenpeace/

    “The IPCC’s Activist Chairman”

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/04/05/the-ipccs-activist-chairman/

  31. Chris D. says:
    May 18, 2011 at 11:29 am
    …………………..
    btw, I don’t see a link to the Laframboise blog on WUWT. She does cracking good work and deserves a link on the blogroll, imho.

    Anthony, here website is THE place to visit for a sceptical insight into the IPCC. I am truly impressed by her dogged style.

  32. Ian H says:
    May 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm
    John Johnston says: …
    Yeah, right! (In case it is not obvious, that phrase is the NZ colloquial equivalent of /sarc).

    “If a double negative is a positive, then a double positive should surely be a negative. Seems only fair.”

    Yeah, yeah.

  33. “A new conflict-of-interest policy will require all IPCC officials and authors to disclose financial and other interests relevant to their work (Pachauri had been harshly criticized in 2009 for alleged conflicts of interest.) The meeting also adopted a detailed protocol for addressing errors in existing and future IPCC reports, along with guidelines to ensure that descriptions of scientific uncertainties remain consistent across reports. ”

    Pachauri set up, and still manages, TERI, a multimillion dollar charity, which applied for funds from the EU to study the melting Himalayan glaciers. TERI even employed the scientist who set in train the error of confusing the dates 2350 and 2035 which led to the incorrect assertion in the IPCC AR4 report the Himalayan Glaciers would be completely melted by 2035.

    There has never, to my knowledge, been any acknowledgment that this conflict of interest at the heart of the IPCC was wrong. In fact the likes of Monbiot have gone out on a limb to castigate anyone that suggested this was a corrupting situation, and accused sceptics of smearing the good name of an honourable man.

    Without an acknowledgement of the truth it will be impossible to begin to trust anything they say, however fine their words may look on paper.

  34. Wondering Aloud says: “The IPCC was established to prove global warming and promote ways of dealing with it. Any answer that doesn’t fall into [its] pre determined bias cannot possibly be considered. So don’t look for any significant change. The realistic answer, which is that warming is not a problem, is not an answer they are allowed to consider[,] much less conclude.”

    This summarizes it nicely. In other news, the putative extinction of the species Lupus inovisvestitus is greatly in error.

  35. I was ‘wrongly’ led to believe that science was about curiosity and asking questions. Today, I am told to shut up and and get with the program. I won’t shut up.

    Neo says:
    May 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Let’s get serious. It’s time for the IPCC to show proof of the “signature” warming at 10km in the tropics or fold their tent forever. Without this proof, AGW is moot.

    This is indeed a problem as we are still waiting for the signature.

  36. Alexander Feht says:
    May 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    “Weird: half of the people refuse to accept evolution, the other half would like to stop it.”

    Now, that is clever! The Enlightened will never understand it, of course. Along the same lines, I would the other half are deluded that they have the power to stop it.

  37. It’s good that they are contemplating an update to their processes. It’s a hallmark of science that the way it is done is itself improved over time.

    However, the things listed in the summary don’t address the biggest problems. They mention conflict of interest, but conflict of interest is largely unavoidable. They also mention continuity about uncertainty between one year and the next; I’m unclear why this is a direct goal at all. Surely the real goal is to find the truth, not to be consistent with last year’s speculations?

    The one good part listed is the revived interest in a process on following up on error. That indeed has been a weak point. There’s not much point in a public review period if the problems that are found are going to be summarily dismissed. There’s a real failure of process when the kinds of things Steve McIntyre found make it all the way out to the final publication.

    Not mentioned, though, are several other important issues. One is the drafting of the executive summary, by far the most read part of an IPCC report. It should be written after, not before, the individual chapters. Furthermore, the authors of each chapter should have substantial opportunity to weigh in on whether the executive summary is accurate.

    Additionally, the standards for citation and evidence deserve some attention. There have been some allegations of IPCC reports citing papers that aren’t yet published, but are merely in the pipeline. Additionally, there have been many instances found where the only citation for information included is highly disreputable, e.g. advocacy pamphlets.

    Finally, as with the executive summary, it would be good for the authors of each individual chapter to have some sort of process where they can object to what’s in there and then a moderator can update the wording to satisfy everyone. It should be achievable that the contributing scientists all feel like their points of view are at least represented in the summary. If Wikipedia authors can do it, then surely our esteemed climate scientists can do it as well.

    In short, it’s good that they are making a gesture, but it looks like they aren’t really addressing the biggest problems.

  38. The IPCC stop being about the science some time ago , its now a political organization involved in advocacy and should be treated with the sort of ‘respect’ that implies .

  39. For those new to WUWT please see what Pachauri gets up to in his spare time.

    Dr. R.K. Pachauri
    Founder and Science Advisor [to Glorioil]

    http://www.glorioil.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7&Itemid=10

    Glori Oil is servicing the upstream oil industry as a global center of excellence for biotechnology Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) and Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR) solutions. Conventional secondary waterflood technology will typically extract only one-third of all discovered oil, leaving significant crude underground.

    http://www.glorioil.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1&Itemid=4

    The hypocracy alone should make many wince with horror. Anyway, let’s eat less meat and drive green cars for the sake of the planet. Even Pachauri sometimes drives a ‘green’ car. ;O)

  40. Agree with the general gist of some of the comments that this is unusually balanced for Nature.

    But they make up for it with this cheerleading piece in the same issue about the US’s “top climate cop”.

    Since I know she’s one near and dear to your heart Anthony, I hope this doesn’t spoil your dinner.

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110518/full/473268a.html

  41. Didn’t Hansen say that AGW would increase crime rates? Perhaps he could be called in as expert witness for the defense in DSK’s trial.

  42. Theo Goodwin says:
    May 18, 2011 at 1:03 pm Pachauri proves how reckless the seekers of world domination are. No sane person or committee would choose Pachauri as front man for a scam, no matter how innocuous the scam.

    IIRC it was George Bush Junior who ensured the appointment of Pachauri to the IPCC. That said I think I agree with both your statements. I am not sure of what the Bush administration’s motives were – could have been a clever neo-con master-stroke (in which case unlikely to have been the President’s idea) i.e. appoint a slightly weird and dodgy railroad engineer who can be easily discredited in the future. Sounds more like Cheney’s work to me.

  43. Next time someone tells you that the IPCC only relies on peer reviewed papers think again.

    “The Great Peer-Review Fairy Tale”

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/grey-literature-ipcc-insiders-speak-candidly/

    Pachauri
    “We only develop our assessments on the basis of peer-reviewed literature. ”

    http://in.rediff.com/news/2007/jun/05inter.htm

    See comments referring to “gray” or “grey” from insiders themselves.

    http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/Comments.pdf

  44. VOA chooses pic of what is considered a man-made brisbane flood due to untimely release of dam water to illustrate their story:

    17 May: Voice of America: Phil Mercer: UN Climate Experts in Australia to Finalize Landmark Report
    Photo Caption: Local residents clear away the mud from their flooded home in Brisbane, Australia. Parts of Brisbane reopened as deadly floodwaters that had swamped entire neighborhoods recede, revealing streets and thousands of homes covered in a thick layer of putrid sludge, January 14, 2011

    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/environment/UN-Climate-Experts-in-Australia-to-Finalize-Landmark-Report-121988694.html

  45. A new conflict-of-interest policy
    a detailed protocol for addressing errors in existing and future IPCC reports
    guidelines to ensure that descriptions of scientific uncertainties remain consistent

    Nothing that addresses the underlying science.

    How about:
    “include in the process more solar physicists”
    “include in the process, or invite review from, scientists critical of past IPCC reports”
    “publish the technical part of the report for review and revision, before publishing the summary for policymakers”
    and, of course,
    “replace Pachauri”

  46. John Johnston says: May 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Interesting, especially in the light of No Frakking Consensus’s post about the IPCC decising not to identify stuff which is not peer-reviewed! Guess we can believe them.

    Actually, it’s even worse than this! Not only has the IPCC decided to not identify non-peer-reviewed material, but they’ve also (very cleverly!) “disappeared” the fact that they decided to “disappear” the rule (which they very rarely observed, anyway).

    For details and links pls. see: Breaking news: IPCC posts text of decisions taken

  47. Why just “disclose”? It should be either “banned” or the violating party to liquidate all confict of interest holdings even before submission.

    This playing and manipulating the markets MUST STOP!

  48. Roy Jones says:
    May 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Interesting that Nature refers to the UEA e-mails as having been “leaked” rather than the usual warmist claim that they were “hacked”.

    Second time I have come across this term today. At the Bishops blog, the same reference is made by John Beddington (JB), UK chief Scientist. The blog itself is worth a read as it reveals plans for shaping AR5…

    “JB updated CF about the enquiries following the leaking of emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, that is the enquiry led by Sir Muir Russell and a review of the science being led by Lord Oxburgh.”

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/5/17/sir-john-b-and-the-ipcc.html

  49. Ahhhhhhh….. The Reformation of the Holy Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming has arrived!

    My ‘confidence in its integrity is restored’. /sarchasm off

  50. Reform isn’t possible. In addition to being corrupt, they have an agenda, and it isn’t about either climate or science. It is highly unlikely that any but the most naive or already hopelessly drunk on the koolaid are going to buy this PR stunt of theirs.

  51. Ray says:
    May 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

    And now you can add this story from Nature…

    “Species loss far less severe than feared: study”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iljGwwMN6HAUBo6w8uSfyEGvAX_Q?docId=CNG.e1e3011dfa5c9e06530678b2c4c69dcc.161

    que sera sera

    Very interesting. I particularly liked:

    Dire forecasts in the early 1980s said that as many as half of species on Earth would disappear by 2000. “Obviously that didn’t happen,” Hubbell said.

    But rather than question the methods, scientists developed a concept called “extinction debt” to explain the gap.

    Species in decline, according to this logic, are doomed to disappear even if it takes decades or longer for the last individuals to die out.

    But extinction debt, it turns out, almost certainly does not exist.

    “It is kind of shocking” that no one spotted the error earlier, said Hubbell. “What this shows is that many scientists can be led away from the right answer by thinking about the problem in the wrong way.”

    Does that ring any bells? Remind you of any other branch of environmental ‘science’?

    What I do love is the way they effectively say: “the predictions of disaster were wrong because we had the science wrong, according to new science. This new science gives us new predictions of disaster, a bit slower, but this science is right. We know it is. They knew it was right before, but they were thinking about it in the wrong way. We are right, obviously, because we are thinking about it in the right way.

    Why can’t they ever just say that they don’t know? The only time they ever say that is when they state “more studies (read ‘funds’) are required”!

  52. Its worse than we thought:

    When a committee investigated the IPCC last year, they weren’t nearly as impressed as its chairman. The committee therefore made a specific recommendation, which it expressed in rather clear language:

    The IPCC should strengthen and enforce its procedure for the use of unpublished and non-peer-reviewed literature…ensuring that unpublished and non-peer-reviewed literature is appropriately flagged in the report.

    But as Hilary Ostrov tells us today, IPCC bureaucrats had other ideas – and these bureaucrats have now prevailed.

    At an IPCC meeting earlier this week, this recommendation appears to have been approved. According to page 4 of this publication, the IPCC:

    …agreed not to flag information derived from grey literature in the reports and focus instead on ensuring the high quality of all information, placing priority on peer-reviewed literature.

    In other words, screw the rules. And screw the committee that investigated the IPCC last year which insisted the rules should be followed.

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/05/17/ipcc-screw-the-rules/

  53. So, when you read:

    IPCC agrees to “major” reforms

    What it really means is:

    Business as usual.

  54. Theo..
    “Pachauri was distracted by his research on the pornographic novel that he was writing. You know, the one about the sixtyish climate scientist and his many conquests around the world. It has been number one on the UN best-seller list since publication. My guess is that the research took about 1400 days. /do I really have to put sarc here?”

    I wonder how many are currently on the IPCC pay schedule ;-)

  55. Interestingly, what they have done is admit that their previous releases cannot be trusted. This is a hail Mary.

    Mark

  56. You can wash a dog with room temperature Evian, cover it in Chanel no. 5 and put a gold chain around it’s neck. But….it’s still a dog. It will still beg, still interbreed, and will always leave a turd somewhere and claim it wasn’t them. It’s the nature of the beast.

  57. OldMountainNews

    Anthony,

    Thanks for the link above to the previous WUWT item. I’d
    forgotten the web address I gave in my comment on your
    Jan 17, 2010, “Told ya so…” report about the India MoD
    “Discussion Paper” which Mr. Pachauri claimed was not only
    “voodoo science” but “arrogant” as well.

    The paper is:

    “Himalayan Glaciers – A State-of-Art Review of Glacial Studies, Glacial Retreat and Climate Change”, by V.K.Raina, et al.

    Mr. Raina is the former Deputy Director of the Geological Survey of India:

    The paper is at:

    http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/MoEF%20Discussion%20Paper%20_him.pdf

    It’s a 60 page PDF, wait as it loads…

  58. What problems have either the IPCC or the UN solved? Seriously, what have they done? What has the US taxpayer gotten for his/her money? If they can’t show results or be accountable, then why do we continue to finance them? More people need to start asking these questions of their representatives.

  59. Paul says:
    May 18, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    “On the subject of species loss, I often wonder why environmentalists are such glass
    half-empty types. Well, OK, that’s not so hard to explain.

    Nevertheless, if one looks at the theory of evolution (which I’ll assume climate scientists can accept as ‘robust’), species adapt, evolve or become extinct. Why do we always hear about species going extinct as opposed to the new ones being found?”

    Do you know of any new species that have come about due to developing advantageous traits in response to humans’ effect on the environment?

    Humans can wipe out every species on the planet, including ourselves. Doing so would not be an example of Darwinian natural selection of species.

  60. with the release of a report assessing whether climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events.

    Tell us which way the climate is changing, warmer or cooler.

  61. Is Patchy still there? If yes, nothing has changed. That means they are still in a state of true denial, and the rest of the organization will just follow that example.

  62. Al Gored @ May 18, 2011 at 9:39 pm says

    “Is Patchy still there? If yes, nothing has changed.”

    Indeed so, AlGored. Climate catastrophes have bedevilled eastern Australia lately. Pachauri’s appearance in Queensland this week was the most recent. His rant promises no change in alarmist hooey from the IPCC, only the delivery of “detail”.

    “… the general observation that climate change was bringing about an increase in extreme weather events was valid but scientists needed to provide much finer detail… What we can say very clearly is the aggregate impact of climate change on all these events, which are taking place at much higher frequency and intensity all over the world.

    On that there is very little doubt; the scientific evidence is very, very strong.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/summer-of-disaster-not-climate-change-rajendra-pachauri/story-fn59niix-1226057100026

  63. Jerzy says:
    May 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm
    Do you know of any new species that have come about due to developing advantageous traits in response to humans’ effect on the environment?

    Sure, there are multiple cases of insects, plants, and higher animals (such as urban pigeons, wild dingo, urban racoons and foxes) that developed new and advantageous (for them) traits in response to humans’ effect on the environment — not to mention virus and bacteria mutations, too numerous to count and largely escaping attention.

    In particular, every domesticated breed that becomes feral is a candidate for new species, as is every feral species continually influenced by man’s activities.

    The first textbook example would be the white English butterfly that became black in the vicinity of coal-powered factories, back in the 18th century.

    The other example dictated by my personal experience:

    Russian northern capital, St. Petersburg, is beset by mosquitoes that “learned” to live and breed in urban sewerage and water supply systems. In old 19th-century houses, even if you install screens on all windows and doors, these mosquitoes get to you, flying out in hundreds from the spaces behind the walls, where pipes are installed. They are somewhat smaller and much whiter than their forest brethren, perfectly blending with ceilings and whitewashed surfaces, and it is so much more difficult to catch them that they certainly exhibit new, “advantageous” software developed and installed, giving them an amazing escape maneuverability.

    On the other hand, the infamous spotted owl serves as the textbook example of environmentalists’ blind ignorance: they ascribed to human influence an extinction process driven by the natural evolutionary expansion of a habitat by another species of owl (capable of interbreeding with the spotted variety).

    People who instigated and supported this “spotted owl hysteria” must stand trial and recompense enormous financial and other losses caused by their irresponsible activism.

    Alas, we live in times of utter irresponsibility: just look at Pachauri’s face! This schmuck is heading an international organization that claims respectability? Reminds me of a joke about the original Star Trek characters: “These guys… run a spaceship???”

    P.S. Regarding Al Gore and IPCC standing in a lineup with Yasser Arafat: AFAIK, peace prizes are given by the pacifist (formerly pro-Soviet, and now anti-American and rabidly anti-Semitic) committee of self-appointed nobodies in Oslo; their relation to actual Nobel Prizes is tenuous, to say the least. Even if anybody still pays any respect to Nobel Prizes in literature and economics, which is difficult, taking into account such blistering blunders as Steven Pinker and Paul Krugman.

  64. When it happens belief will raise its head.

    I believe their charter stated that they were to formulate the mechanism whereby CO2 drove climate. Until you remove that nothing changes.

  65. Theo Goodwin http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/18/ipcc-agrees-to-major-reforms/#comment-663248
    Perceptive comment about all good communists. However scientists that followed also received wages and grants without it seems questioning the integrity of the work.

    ‘Pachauri proves how reckless the seekers of world domination are. No sane person or committee would choose Pachauri as front man for a scam, no matter how innocuous the scam.’

    This is an understatement. It is one of the most fraudulent episodes in history that we are aware of. And as such Pachuri may well have been chosen to lead that purpose.

    Alexander Feht

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/18/ipcc-agrees-to-major-reforms/#comment-663585

    Much appreciated comments, thank you.
    What is the butterfly study, as I had thought it the ‘Peppered Moths’ on birch trees?

    Good news on No Frakking Consensus being added to blog roll. This was also how I came to find WUWT.

  66. Sorry. That link above doesn’t seem to work.
    Instead, Google InterAcademy Council Report 2010.
    Climate Change Assessment. Review of the Processes and Procedures of the IPCC.

    It starts off reading like a bit of a whitewash, but go through to the Conclusions and recommendations where they really lay out the shonky previous procedures.

  67. “the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has agreed on reforms intended to restore confidence in its integrity and its assessments of climate science.”

    That’s sort of like a tame tiger who ate someone. That tiger will be a maneater for the rest of its life even if it never does it again. The IPCC will be a corrupt organization for the rest of its existence.

  68. Now will be a good time for the IPCC to tighten up on their procedures.

    Their next Report is likely to become a scientific best-seller, and unlike dear old Stephen Hawking’s ‘A Brief History of Time’ which many bought and few apparently actually read, it is unlikely to just sit on coffee tables worldwide.

    The only snag is its likely cost: I considered buying a copy of AR4 last year, but found that in paperback form it cost approx. £50 per section, ie. c.£200, errors and all.

    If enough sceptics were to read the next one, or at least a part of it, it should be possible to ‘smoke out’ dud references in short order, whether or not they are flagged by the authors.

  69. Jay Curtis says:
    May 18, 2011 at 8:55 pm “More people need to start asking these questions of their representatives.”

    Really, we have FOIA, even with some recent improvements it essentially has been circumvented . . .

    I have never gotten an answer from my representative, I wonder if their office even gets my communications . . . It’s like asking the IRS a question and expecting any other answer than . . . . “this is what we say you owe” . . . . “but, I’m not bitter!”

  70. mikemUK says:
    May 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

    “If enough sceptics were to read the next one, or at least a part of it, it should be possible to ‘smoke out’ dud references in short order, whether or not they are flagged by the authors.”

    Actually, this has been done for AR 4; see:

    IPCC Report Card

    and

    AccessIPCC

    The IPCC Report Card is the result of 3 sets of eyeballs reviewing all 44 sets of chapter references and AccessIPCC (while still a work in progress) is the result from a computer generated assessment of the references and citations – which also flags a number of other potential concerns.

    So, I think we’ll be ready to deal with AR5 :-)

  71. Alexander Feht says:
    May 19, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Jerzy says:
    May 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm
    Do you know of any new species that have come about due to developing advantageous traits in response to humans’ effect on the environment?

    “Sure, there are multiple cases of insects, plants, and higher animals (such as urban pigeons, wild dingo, urban racoons and foxes) that developed new and advantageous (for them) traits in response to humans’ effect on the environment — not to mention virus and bacteria mutations, too numerous to count and largely escaping attention.

    In particular, every domesticated breed that becomes feral is a candidate for new species, as is every feral species continually influenced by man’s activities.

    The first textbook example would be the white English butterfly that became black in the vicinity of coal-powered factories, back in the 18th century.”

    Alexander, thanks for responding to my question.

    By “the white English butterfly that became black in the vicinity of coal-powered factories, back in the 18th century,” I assume you are referring to the 19th century example of the peppered moth in England, when the light-colored typica morph mostly died off due to predation by birds, and the dark-colored carbonaria morph flourished, when industrial soot darkened the trees on which the typica morph rested during the day. To the best of my knowledge, no new species of peppered moth developed at this time. “[T]here is only one peppered moth species.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth#Morphs)

    As for pigeons, dingoes, raccoons and foxes, what are the new species that developed as a result of humans’ effects on the environment? Please identify them.

    It did occur to me that there are possibly new species of bacteria that have evolved due to humans’ injudicious use of antibiotics–although, offhand I cannot name any. In any case, if true, this hardly seems worthy of celebration.

    As a sort of general comment: the post I responded to (by Paul) seemed to suggest that humans’ effect on other species is basically innocuous, that all we really need to do is look at the “half-full” side of the equation in order to see that human activities have resulted in new species. This seems to me a rather dangerous and irresponsible attitude. Humans can and do wreck habitats and cause species to go extinct. It is only mature and honest to acknowledge this, and we should maintain an utmost awareness of our detrimental effects on other species. And, as of now, I know of no species that has developed due to our effect on the environment.

  72. hro001 says:

    Understood.
    I was thinking of the speed and scale of the attention which could be applied to exposing dubious material.
    The Himalayan glacier “error” seemingly sat unchallenged as a highly emotive piece of propaganda for 3 years; the climategate emails notwithstanding, if this had not come to light until 2 or 3 months later, the outcome of Copenhagen might have been a lot different.

  73. mikemUK says:
    May 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I was thinking of the speed and scale of the attention which could be applied to exposing dubious material.

    You seem to be suggesting that such external review (and flagging) be done before an assessment report is finalized. It’s certainly a great idea that an organization committed to “transparency” would want to support; but, alas, one which the IPCC continues to head off at the pass:

    At its 33rd Session, the Panel decided that the drafts of IPCC Reports and Technical Papers which have been submitted for formal expert and/or government review, the expert and government review comments, and the author responses to those comments will be made available on the IPCC website as soon as possible after the acceptance by the Panel and the finalization of the report.

    IPCC considers its draft reports, prior to acceptance, to be pre-decisional, provided in confidence to reviewers, and not for public distribution, quotation or citation. [emphasis added -hro]

    Source: p. 6 of http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session33/ipcc_p33_decisions_taken_procedures.pdf

    OTOH, I somehow doubt that the IPCC will be given a 3 year “grace” period on any dubious aspect of AR 5 once it reaches the public domain ;-)

  74. Jerzy,

    Dingo is a recognized separate species.

    Anyway, definition and recognition of “species,” as opposed to “subspecies,” “races,” “varieties” and “breeds,” is always debatable and decided by committees.

    And we all know, what kind of an animal committee is.

  75. Jerzy says: May 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm
    Apologies, I had not read that Alexander Feht’ was responding to your quip.
    Jerzy says:
    May 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm
    Do you know of any new species that have come about due to developing advantageous traits in response to humans’ effect on the environment?

    The clip below might be some light entertainment on evolution (besides the Guinness Evolution ad) which I discovered recently. Not quite species but….

  76. Ok Jerzy and Alexander

    Having briefly also read Willis E extinction blog (and also his previous excellent expose Where are the Corpses) I was wanting an answer to the following please.
    The reason for this question is because our very own Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) which does the five yearly census that informs most policies and operations [and expenditure] had recently proposed a census methodology based on an ecological model premised on rare species count [animal]:

    As such, what does this really mean?

    “Although concepts in this Acausal Interaction category are acausal, in the
    Sense that they process strictly according to constraining relations among their components and not because some external agent or internal intention is driving them, certainly causality, external to the concept, may be involved in defining the onset of the process. For example, in electrical current, an external causal agent might be the flipping of a switch to connect a battery to the circuit; similarly, English peppered moths’ evolution from a relatively dark colour can be seen as causally related to the smoke from nearby factories. Smoke itself, however, did not change the colour of the moths; smoke was the external agent that caused a change in the moths environment, after which the acausal process of evolution proceeded to change the colour of the moths. Thus, these concepts become defined only after such initial internal external cause, but the concepts exist from then on in the absence of any cause.”

    Chi MTH & Sloota JD (1993) The Ontological Coherence of Intiutive Physics Cognition and Instruction 10(2/3) p249-60

  77. ‘Whatever may threaten the continuity of life itself is expendable and subject to modification by evolution, whether gills or social rituals. To evolution and to comedy, nothing is sacred but life itself.’

    The old Italian whoremaster in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 teaches a similar lesson:
    I was a fascist when Mussolini was on top, I am an anti-fascist now that he has been deposed. I was fanatically pro-German when the Germans were here to protect us against the Americans, and now that that the Americans are here to protect us against the Germans I am fanatically pro-American.

    Meeker JW (1972) The Comedy of Survival North American Review 257(2) p11-7

  78. For Alexander and Jerzy,
    Nothing like post-modernism or is that post-normal science?

    ….’Whatever may threaten the continuity of life itself is expendable and subject to modification by evolution, whether gills or social rituals. To evolution and to comedy, nothing is sacred but life itself.

    The old Italian whoremaster in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 teaches a similar lesson:
    I was a fascist when Mussolini was on top, I am an anti-fascist now that he has been deposed. I was fanatically pro-German when the Germans were here to protect us against the Americans, and now that that the Americans are here to protect us against the Germans I am fanatically pro-American.
    ….’

    Meeker JW (1972) The Comedy of Survival North American Review 257(2) p11-7

  79. Alexander Feht says:
    May 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    “Jerzy,

    Dingo is a recognized separate species.”

    Alexander, what does that have to do with the price of rice? Are you suggesting that because someone claimed the dingo is its own species, one should therefore conclude that there are species that have come about due to humans’ effects on the environment?

    Should we conclude that those awful glass-half-empty “environmentalists” are just blind to all the species that humans have brought into existence as a result of the marvelous things we do to the planet?

    You haven’t yet identified a new species that has developed due to humans’ effects on the environment, have you?

  80. Jessie says:
    May 20, 2011 at 3:36 am

    “Ok Jerzy and Alexander

    Having briefly also read Willis E extinction blog (and also his previous excellent expose Where are the Corpses) I was wanting an answer to the following please.
    The reason for this question is because our very own Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) which does the five yearly census that informs most policies and operations [and expenditure] had recently proposed a census methodology based on an ecological model premised on rare species count [animal]:

    As such, what does this really mean?

    “Although concepts in this Acausal Interaction category are acausal, in the
    Sense that they process strictly according to constraining relations among their components and not because some external agent or internal intention is driving them, certainly causality, external to the concept, may be involved in defining the onset of the process. For example, in electrical current, an external causal agent might be the flipping of a switch to connect a battery to the circuit; similarly, English peppered moths’ evolution from a relatively dark colour can be seen as causally related to the smoke from nearby factories. Smoke itself, however, did not change the colour of the moths; smoke was the external agent that caused a change in the moths environment, after which the acausal process of evolution proceeded to change the colour of the moths. Thus, these concepts become defined only after such initial internal external cause, but the concepts exist from then on in the absence of any cause.””

    Jessie, you are asking me what the paragraph you quoted “really means”?

    Frankly, I couldn’t make much sense of it, but the title sounds interesting. I enjoy any occasion when “ontological” and “physics” are used in the same sentence.

    What do you think the paragraph “really means”?

    I certainly do agree that “[s]moke itself, however, did not change the colour of the moths”.

  81. Jerzy says: May 20, 2011 at 11:42 am “You haven’t yet identified a new species that has developed “due to humans’ effects on the environment”, have you?”

    Without getting into nit picking about “humans’ effects on the environment” . . . How about the Modern Jersey, Gernzie, or Holstein Cow . . . The wooley Sheep we raise . . . Poodles, Great Danes, and all those other fancy dogs, cats, chicken, and rabbits . . All a result of creating civil communities . . . that do change the “wild” environment. . .

    Or maybe you are proposing a secret gene splicing competition . . . It can be done . . . . “wouldn’t be prudent” . . . .

  82. Laurie Bowen says:
    May 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Jerzy says: May 20, 2011 at 11:42 am “You haven’t yet identified a new species that has developed “due to humans’ effects on the environment”, have you?”

    “Without getting into nit picking about “humans’ effects on the environment” . . . How about the Modern Jersey, Gernzie, or Holstein Cow . . . The wooley Sheep we raise . . . Poodles, Great Danes, and all those other fancy dogs, cats, chicken, and rabbits . . “

    Laurie, all the animals (or breeds) that you noted are examples of artificial selection.

    My question was initially in response to the post by Paul (May 18, 2011 at 12:02 pm), in which he commented that “environmentalists are such glass half-empty types” because they are concerned about the extinction of species rather than “new ones,” and he noted that according to the theory of evolution “species adapt, evolve or become extinct.”

    I noted that it is quite easy for humans to cause species to go extinct due to our effects on the environment; but I do not know of any new species that has come about as a result of an anthropogenic effect on environment. And as of now, I still do not know of any such species or subspecies.

    I think it is important to at least be aware of our detrimental effects on other species. There is no law or theory of nature that suggests that humans will bring species into existence through natural selection just because we cause species to go extinct due to our own stupidity.

    Who are “environmentalists”? Am I an environmentalist? I confess that I am concerned and would wish to try ameliorate and avoid catastrophic anthropogenic effects on species–examples of which we can all name plenty.

  83. Jerzy says: May 20, 2011 at 11:44 am
    Jessie, you are asking me what the paragraph you quoted “really means”?

    Frankly, I couldn’t make much sense of it, but the title sounds interesting. I enjoy any occasion when “ontological” and “physics” are used in the same sentence.
    What do you think the paragraph “really means”?
    I certainly do agree that “[s]moke itself, however, did not change the colour of the moths”.

    Yes I am asking Jerzy.
    I know what it says. But what it says is of little sense to me. Lumping together ‘causality’ in this manner is difficult. The entire articel discussed intuitive processes.
    For eg a person switching a switch in an electrical circuit has a long history in human science and technology and then manufacturing.
    Moths in a forest and changes which resulted ?genetically to colour patterns (?mimesis) or purely by selection because of industry output and predators is a different scenario.

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