McKitrick’s new paper: “What is Wrong With the IPCC? Proposals for Radical Reform.”

Dr. Ross McKitrick writes in an email tonight:

I am pleased to announce the release of my new report for the UK-based Global Warming Policy Foundation entitled “What is Wrong With the IPCC? Proposals for Radical Reform.”

The Hon. John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia, kindly supplied a foreword. He writes, in part

Professor McKitrick’s report focuses on the reporting procedures of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The intellectual bullying, which has been a feature of the behaviour of some global warming zealots,  makes this report necessary reading if there is to be an objective assessment of all of the arguments. The attempt of many to close down the debate is
disgraceful, and must be resisted.

Ross McKitrick has written a well-researched and articulate critique of the IPCC’s methods.  It deserves careful study, especially by those who remain in an agnostic state on this issue.

A copy can be downloaded here: http://www.rossmckitrick.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/mckitrick-ipcc_reforms.pdf

An op-ed describing the report is published in today’s National Post here: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/11/22/fix-it-or-fold-it/

The coincidental release of a new tranche of climategate emails this week adds additional evidence to what I believe is a strong case that the IPCC is in need of serious and far-reaching reform. The disappointing results of the process that was initiated by the IAC report last year only serve to indicate how much more needs to be done.

Please feel free to pass this along to anyone you think might be interested.

Ross

–Dr. Ross McKitrick
- Professor of Economics
- Department of Economics
- University of Guelph
- Guelph ON
- Canada N1G 2W1

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35 Responses to McKitrick’s new paper: “What is Wrong With the IPCC? Proposals for Radical Reform.”

  1. RayG says:

    I respectfully disagree with Professor McKittrick. I submit that the IPCC and its parent, the UNFCCC, should be disbanded. Their charters task them to find man-made global warming. That they have done so through the expenditure of vast sums and a cabal of rent-seekers should come as no surprise. It is past time that they go to the ignominious end that they so richly deserve.

  2. Climate Nonconformist says:

    Interesting to see John Howard provide the forward. We’ve never quite heard where he stands on global warming. On one hand he resisted the Kyoto Protocol, and on the other he proposed an ETS in 2007, although he has now gone back on that.

  3. fredb says:

    Re RayG’s comment that “Their charters task them to find man-made global warming.”

    Lets be truthful here. From ipcc.ch, the IPCC is “to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.”

    And from the full text of the UNFCCC: “The ultimate objective of this Convention … is to achieve … stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

    Hardly being tasked to find man made global warming.

  4. eyesonu says:

    fredb says:
    November 22, 2011 at 11:18 pm
    Re RayG’s comment that “Their charters task them to find man-made global warming.”

    Lets be truthful here. From ipcc.ch, the IPCC is “to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.”

    And from the full text of the UNFCCC: “The ultimate objective of this Convention … is to achieve … stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

    Hardly being tasked to find man made global warming

    ===================

    fredb, I think you should read what you wrote summing up with “Hardly being tasked to find man made global warming.”

    I agree with RayG.

  5. RayG says:

    Fredb, your quote from the UNFCCC charter “…to achieve…stabilization of dangerous greenhouse gas concentrations…prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference…” supports my assertion in that the UNFCCC assumes that this is, in fact, the case. There appears to be a wide variety of opinion and a paucity of falsifiable studies demonstrating whether or not cAGW is real.

  6. Alec Rawls says:

    fredb quotes the UN-bots ASSUMING man made global warming: “The ultimate objective of this Convention … is to achieve … stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system,” and somehow deduces that they are: “Hardly being tasked to find man made global warming.”

    RayG is right. The IPCC’s official mission is to study man made warming: “The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential and options for adaptation and mitigation.”

    The IPCC proposed changing this to something less biased at the May 2011 meeting in Abu Dhabi, but it was tabled for later. (Page 17 here.)

  7. King of Cool says:

    Climate Nonconformist says:
    November 22, 2011 at 11:14 pm
    Interesting to see John Howard provide the forward. We’ve never quite heard where he stands on global warming. On one hand he resisted the Kyoto Protocol, and on the other he proposed an ETS in 2007, although he has now gone back on that.

    I think you could confidently call John Howard a sceptic (or agnostic) on AGW.

    He is on record criticising the ABC for their one sided view.

    In a presentation in 2009 on politics to a section of Melbourne University he said that the ABC was completely unwilling to accept “that there could be some doubt or some scepticism about climate change”. And following this statement he gave an example to illustrate the criticism. The ABC completely ignored this comment but did report on more salacious parts of the presentation.

    In a separate issue today The Australian Communications and Media Authority found that Alan Jones of 2GB radio did not present nor take steps to present more than one significant viewpoint about the operation and administration of native vegetation laws in NSW.

    The Authority also said that this could have further ramifications on other issues such as climate change that Jones regularly comments on.

    Can you believe that? This was reported on the ABC and was welcomed by the ABC’s own media watch dog Jonathan Holmes and he said it with a straight face!

    All I can say is that hypocrisy rules at the ABC.

  8. Patrick Davis says:

    Interesting reference to John Howard as the Liberals are certainly pro-AGW. Tony Abbott, the current Liberal leader, is pro-AGW and pro-”direct action” as apposed to a “price on carbon” and ETS, even though he is on record for saying “climate change is crap”. What he really means is climate change induced by emissions of CO2 from human activities. The real worry IMO is Malcolm Turnbull. He is a serious pro-AGW supporter, a possible new Liberal party leader and a supporter of any form of “carbon tax” and/or ETS. I guess with Turnbull being an ex-banker, he knows where he can make even more money by leaving politics, returning to the “banking sector” and trade carbon. My wife was involved in the 2009 election and the AEC has just requested her to update her details on their website some ~18 months earlier than the current expected election date in 2013. I suspect that, since KRudd747 was rubber ducked by The Gillard and THE ALP, The Gillard will be sacrificed after “driving” the hard decisions and will be replaced by KRudd747 as the new, more popular ALP leader for an early snap election by mid-2012.

  9. John Marshall says:

    RayG says that the IPCC charter tasks them to find man-made global warming which has been found.

    WRONG on both counts. The IPCC charter tasks them to find that CO2 causes global warming and that this CO2 is anthropogenic. They have done neither. They have not proved, neither has anyone else, that COs drives temperature or climate. Neither have they found any global warming caused by human input. As Dr Richard Lindzen states, ‘humans may cause global warming but in 40 years of searching I have not isolated that signal from the noise.’

    Sorry RayG but you should have less faith in the IPCC. They are obviously coming up with so called proof of AGW because this keeps the money rolling in but all their proofs turn out to be smoke and wind or some claim from WWF based on the same foundations.

  10. neill says:

    Baked in the cake –

    The author of the below statement is entirely correct. No one is tasked by the charter to ‘find’ AGW. It’s already been found. The charter below states that its goal is to find and reach the ‘level of gg concentrations that won’t disrupt the climate system’. That certain levels of gg can and do disrupt the climate system is clearly a foregone conclusion.

    Devilishly ingenious political rhetoric:

    “And from the full text of the UNFCCC: “The ultimate objective of this Convention … is to achieve … stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

    Hardly being tasked to find man made global warming.”

  11. Bigred (Victoria, Australia) says:

    The IPCC is actually clear about having AGW aims – if you have a hard look. In its detailed mission statement, AGW is a given – the IPCC has a preconceived agenda.

    I went digging in the IPCC website in April and found this under Organisation:

    “The IPCC is a scientific body. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change.” http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization.shtml

    Seemed even-handed and straightforward. But when I dug deeper I found this under Organisation/Procedures – Principles Governing IPCC Work (English).

    “The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.”

    Not quite the same, is it?

    Since then, the IPCC has restructured its website and buried the mission statement even deeper. But it’s still there under Organisation/Principles and Procedures/Procedural Documents in the UN Languages/Principles Governing IPCC Work:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles.pdf

    The same aims are spelled out under Organisation/History:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization_history.shtml

    Like so much else about the IPCC, nobody’s actually lying. But you need to be wary about whether you’re being told the whole truth…and nothing but the truth.

  12. neill says:

    The ultimate objective of this Convention … is to achieve … stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent you from beating your wife.

  13. KnR says:

    NO AGW No IPCC , its really that simply . Its hardly s surprise therefore, that they ‘find it ‘ all the time and never mind what the facts say.

  14. neill says:

    …or stealing the crown jewels.

    …or shagging the dog.

    …or bringing liberal hordes into the streets around the globe.

  15. oldseadog says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if someone in the BBC actually read Dr. McKitrick’s paper and then was allowed to report on it accurately………. .

    Or ditto someone in Westminster or Holyrood…… . Or even Brussels….. .

    Well, I can always dream…… .

  16. Noelene says:

    Climate nonconformist
    Not quite right about Howard
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_howard_rejects_what_gillard_says_hed_back
    Yes, says Howard, he did promise to bring in an ETS by 2012, but that was always conditional on the rest of the world moving to something similar.
    “I indicated at the time we would act in concert with the rest of the world, and not ahead of it,” he says.
    Otherwise, big Australian emitters would simply lose business to other countries without an ETS or carbon dioxide tax, costing us money and jobs, without cutting global emissions.
    Howard concedes he did not always make this as clear as he should have, but points to his speech to the Liberal Party federal council in June 2007, in which he spelled out his caveat:

  17. Alan the Brit says:

    fredb says:
    November 22, 2011 at 11:18 pm
    Re RayG’s comment that “Their charters task them to find man-made global warming.”

    The fact that the UNIPCC lays down a charter & ground rules is neither here nor there! The UN has one definition of Climate Change, the IPCC has another, they are not the same. It may be that there was good intention in the begining, but that is not to say that the good intention is still there. The UN refer to CC as manmade, the IPCC refer to CC as natural & manmade, although they were always tasked with demonstrating manmade CC as dominant, after all you can’t tax nature, but you can tax man (it’s always man when things go pear-shaped, especially the one in the suit!). If the one cannot agree with the other it suggests the ground rules were merely perfunctory to draw in the mark ready for the con! I was talking to friends last night about Rio 1992 Agenda 21, & they googled & wikipedia’d it – & the window dressing is as all these things are, most impressive at first sight, but of course the devil is in the details, which were written well after everyone had signed on the dotted line! Of course to these friends (apparently Wiki if self-peer reviewed as anyone can cite on it, although they didn’t believe that those in charge of it could or would remove something they didn’t like), agreed at the same time that certain things couldn’t be trusted on it – go figure!). As many others have said before me, there is no conspiracy, it’s going on right under our noses in plain sight!

  18. RayG, welcome to the insane climate debate. Repeat, insane. Seriously. And it will be insane until everyone wakes up from the long IPCC-induced nightmare and realizes there is no greenhouse effect at all, of increased temperature with increased carbon dioxide. Everyone who even accepts the term “greenhouse gases” is infected, and requires treatment to save their sanity. And this all could have (should have) been stopped 20 years ago.

  19. Pascvaks says:

    In a broader view –
    The IPCC is but a very small piece of the puzzle-problem. The “Great Experiment” to come out of WWII, as with the “Great Experiment” that came out of WWI, has failed to realize anything of lasting value. It is a collection of mish-mash treaties, conventions, graft, and sleeze, run by incompetent people bent on preserving and, whenever possible, increasing their income (from multiple sources), prestige, and ‘power’. Today we call the relic of the 1940′s the United Nations. The League of Nations failed to prevent WWII, the United Nations will soon fail to prevent WWIII. Whatever it is called, it is a pipe dream. For the next several generations we will follow the age old practice of ‘growth’ in the size of nations that will culminiate, eventually, with them being the size the continents. Then we will move on to hemispheric scale before finally getting to the Global Nation. Idealism is fine. It gives us something to aim for. But between where we are now and where we ‘hope’ to be one day, there is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to shed. The IPCC (along with the ‘World Court’ and many other Utopian Pipe-Dreams) is a miserable failure. It cannot be saved; it’s time to blow out the candle and close the door.

    The World is at a crossroads, just as it always is after any major upheavel. It will not move forward on the dreams of long dead politicians from the 1940′s who dreamed for an end to war and the end of evil things. Europe, as always, is a drunken basket case. The US and the UK have squandered the fortunes of future generations and created a Giant in the East that will ravage their fading power centers. Brazil is a little giant on codine who just can’t seem to wake up. India is a nation of poor beggars and a few rich men who have no vision whatsoever. And Africa, poor, poor Africa is, as it has always been, a huge continent of tribes, tribes, tribes; all too weak to protect themselves or their property. The Middle East is a pile of sand on top of some oil; it’s the detonator.

    Where do we go from here? It has nothing to do with the IPCC. Or the UN. Or pipe dreams of any sort. It’s time to pay the piper. As always! It’s time to put aside the daydreams and get back to work. Time’s money! Money talks! Nobody walks!

  20. ferd berple says:

    fredb says:
    November 22, 2011 at 11:18 pm
    And from the full text of the UNFCCC: “The ultimate objective of this Convention … is to achieve … stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

    UNFCCC therefore proposes to stabilize the level of water vapor in the atmosphere – which is by far the the most significant greenhouse gas.

    How are they doing on that? Are they changing the level of aerosols in the atmosphere, which affect clouds? Or are they changing the level of irrigation which affects evaporation? Or are they changing the levels of land use which affect water retention, run-off, and desert formation?

    Or are the focusing on CO2 because it affect industrialization? By their actions you shall know the truth.

  21. paul says:

    Climategate 2 | FOIA 2011 Searchable Database http://foia2011.org/index.php?id=89

  22. Thanks Dr. McKitrick!
    Is there any chance this has something to do with:

    IPCC SREX Summary for Policymakers
    Approved Text – Subject to Copy Edit
    18 November 2011

    D. Future Climate Extremes, Impacts, and Disaster Losses

    “Projected changes in climate extremes under different emissions scenarios generally do not strongly diverge in the coming two to three decades, but these signals are relatively small compared to natural climate variability over this time frame. Even the sign of projected changes in some climate extremes over this time frame is uncertain.”
    (http://ipcc-wg2.gov/SREX/)

    Why is a white flag being shown at the UN?

  23. The IPCC is not, nor was it ever, a scientific organization. It is a political organization, the arm of a political entity. Any organization that is set up to further anything is a political organization. Science as a philosophical discipline is not equipped or designed to deal with religion, ideology, politics or bureaucracy. The idea of “objective information and data” to inform debate is powerful, useful and often necessary. So to the idea or ideal of democracy. Like all powerful ideas they mean different things to different people. Bureaucracies, the place of detail and that ever present devil, are necessary to run things but they are almost always corrupted by power. The demigod syndrome infects them as any pathogen infects the host. This is the fate of all.

  24. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Dennis Nikols, P. Geo. says:

    Robert Michels, a protege of Max Weber, described his Iron Law of Oligarchy back in 1911
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy . Not much has changed.

  25. paddylol says:

    The problem with attempting to reform any UN organization or the UN itself is that failure is assured. The UN has evolved into an inherently corrupt group of largely dysfunctional connected group of bureaucracies. Who truly runs the UN is not obvious. I suspect it is a global cabal of statists that includes George Soros and Maurice Strong. Their sole motivation is self-interest.

    The most promising scenario will come from the initiatives of our next president, who may well end all US contributions to the UN. Rick Perry has promised to do so. Perry for president sound like a winner to me.

  26. David, UK says:

    fred db said: ” ‘And from the full text of the UNFCCC: “The ultimate objective of this Convention … is to achieve … stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.’

    Hardly being tasked to find man made global warming”

    You’re right Fred. That statement actually PRESUMES man made global warming. Thanks for making the case even stronger.

  27. kim2ooo says:

    Euthanize IPCC – the one gift you can give your grandkids

  28. Gail Combs says:

    Just get rid of the IPCC and the UN and World Bank while you are at it. You best toss in the IMF and world Trade Organization too.

  29. Willis Eschenbach says:

    As much as I like and respect Ross McKitrick, I must disagree with his prescription for the problem. Reform will not suffice for the IPCC, because its corporate mission is what is screwed up. They have set out, as instructed, to find and exaggerate the human effect on the climate. They will continue to do so until they are dead.

    My question for Ross is, what has the IPCC ever done for us? They have spent billions of dollars, and labored and brought forth a mouse. The next report is dead on arrival, nobody will pay a scrap of attention to it. It will be used as a blunt instrument for bludgeoning the media and other useful idiots into submission, and that’s about it. Anyone with half a brain will ignore it.

    So truly, Ross … even if it is reformed to your specifications, what do you expect to get out of it? It does no science at all, what are its products that make it worth our while to keep it alive?

    Me. I think it should be killed dead, as fast as possible, and then given the vampire treatment as I described in “I Have A Stake In the Outcome.”

    Sorry, Ross, but that’s my analysis. If anyone could point to even one gain that has come from having the IPCC around, that might indicate that somehow the IPCC might someday be valuable, that would be interesting.

    But I know of nothing the IPCC has ever done. It has ever been a force for disagreement and propaganda. It is a mystery to me what Ross and other people see in it that makes them want to put it on life support. For me, it’s on a DNR order, and I’m not questioning it. Defund it tomorrow is my advice, we’ve blown enough money on these charlatans already.

    w.

    PS—Ross, you suggest inter alia:

    recommendation 1: An objective and transparent Lead Author selection procedure.

    Don’t do that again, Ross, my sides still hurt from laughing at the naiveté of that idea.

    Please, please tell me you don’t think that will make the slightest difference. No matter how “objective and transparent” the selection process may be, since the same people are still in charge of the insane asylum, do you truly believe that this will keep out the rent-seekers, the newly-minted PhDs with an agenda, or the “respected” scientists who were up to their fundamental orifices in the Climategate swamp? These are the same folks who were unable, through five separate Assessment Reports, to institute a bozo-simple requirement for a conflict-of-interest statement, and you think calling for (or implementing) “objective and transparent” procedures will change that?

    Really?

    You truly believe that changing the deck chairs on the Titanic like that will make a difference? Ross, you propose changing the rules, but the problem is not the rules. The problem is that we have liars, crooks, and thieves in charge of the IPCC. Your idea that we can sweep the Augean Stables clean of Noble Cause Corruption by changing a few rules is … well, let say that your hypothesis is a great candidate for inclusion in the AR5, because like most of their hypotheses, it is very poorly correlated with observations.

  30. A lot of commenerts concentrate on what The IPCC was ”set up for”, manyof you seem to think that they were – “Hardly being tasked to find man made global warming.”-

    Well, man made global warming cannot be found by anyone, so why should the IPCC be previledged to do so. — Oh darn my socks! -I almost forgot – even the “skeptics” are accepting that proof for warming by Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) must exist somewhere as they all seem to agree that CO2 is capable of raising our planet’s temperature by “close to the minimum of what the IPCC predict”

    So come on “you skeptics who think that CO2 can raise the Earth’s temperature” (even by just 1/2 a deg. Celsius) — Show me the proof!!– If you cannot, then look at the big log in your own eye before you look at the splinter in your opponents’

  31. dalyplanet says:

    A thoughtful and interesting proposal Professor McKittrick. Perhaps the basis for a new organization. I do not see a way to implement your proposals into the existing IPCC as the organization will not allow such significant alteration from their existing practices.

  32. Mark Smith says:

    How about more fundamentally the IPCC was never set up to do science. Review of other papers doesn’t count. Who writes a study that just consists of reviewing other papers. That’s just step of science to give you guidance on the next steps. Next is scope, hypothesis formation, data gathering, data processing…..
    To do it properly would make it the biggest project of all time.

  33. old construction worker says:

    “Gail Combs says:
    November 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm
    Just get rid of the IPCC and the UN and World Bank while you are at it. You best toss in the IMF and world Trade Organization too.”

    Gail, I’m with you. The IPCC, UN and World Bank have run out of OPM. China “ain’t gona” bailout anybody.

  34. Tim Clark says:

    bold construction worker says:
    November 24, 2011 at 9:14 am
    “Gail Combs says:
    November 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm
    Just get rid of the IPCC and the UN and World Bank while you are at it. You best toss in the IMF and world Trade Organization too.”
    Gail, I’m with you. The IPCC, UN and World Bank have run out of OPM. China “ain’t gona” bailout anybody.

    Ditto

  35. Brian H says:

    How likely is it that the waste will be stopped by the recipients and beneficiaries of said waste?

    The question answers itself.
    _________
    The IPCC mandate looks really funny in view of the recent revelation by IBUKI that the West is a CO2 sink, and the undeveloped nations a major source. Follow the logic, and one of the consequences is that industrialization must be imposed everywhere. ASAP, PDQ.

    On the other hand, if CO2 is beneficial, industrialization must be prevented, to preserve all those lovely undeveloped national pumps churning it out.

    The gods are howling with laughter!

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