UEA Climate Scientist: "possible that…I.P.C.C. has run its course"

This is a surprise. Professor Mike Hulme of the University of East Anglia suggests that the “I.P.C.C. has run its course”. I agree with him. We really need to remove a wholly political organization, the United Nations, from science.

Republished from New York Times Reporter Andrew Revkin’s Dot Earth:

Dot Earth: Insights from Mike Hulme at the University of East Anglia, which was the source of the disclosed files. Hulme, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia and author of “ Why We Disagree About Climate Change,” has weighed in with these thoughts about the significance of the leaked files and emails. In November 2009, Hulme was listed as “the 10th most cited author in the world in the field of climate change, between 1999 and 2009. (ScienceWatch, Nov/Dec 2009, see Table 2).

Hulme Key Excerpt:

[Upcoming UN climate conference in Copenhagen] “is about raw politics, not about the politics of science. […] It is possible that climate science has become too partisan, too centralized. The tribalism that some of the leaked emails display is something more usually associated with social organization within primitive cultures; it is not attractive when we find it at work inside science. It is also possible that the institutional innovation that has been the I.P.C.C. has run its course. Yes, there will be an AR5 but for what purpose? The I.P.C.C. itself, through its structural tendency to politicize climate change science, has perhaps helped to foster a more authoritarian and exclusive form of knowledge production – just at a time when a globalizing and wired cosmopolitan culture is demanding of science something much more open and inclusive.

Full Hulme Statement:

The key lesson to be learned is that not only must scientific knowledge about climate change be publicly owned — the I.P.C.C. does a fairly good job of this according to its own terms — but the very practices of scientific enquiry must also be publicly owned, in the sense of being open and trusted. From outside, and even to the neutral, the attitudes revealed in the emails do not look good. To those with bigger axes to grind it is just what they wanted to find.

This will blow its course soon in the conventional media without making too much difference to Copenhagen — after all, COP15 is about raw politics, not about the politics of science. But in the Internet worlds of deliberation and in the ‘mood’ of public debate about the trustworthiness of climate science, the reverberations of this episode will live on long beyond COP15. Climate scientists will have to work harder to earn the warranted trust of the public – and maybe that is no bad thing.

But this episode might signify something more in the unfolding story of climate change. This event might signal a crack that allows for processes of re-structuring scientific knowledge about climate change. It is possible that some areas of climate science has become sclerotic. It is possible that climate science has become too partisan, too centralized. The tribalism that some of the leaked emails display is something more usually associated with social organization within primitive cultures; it is not attractive when we find it at work inside science.

It is also possible that the institutional innovation that has been the I.P.C.C. has run its course. Yes, there will be an AR5 but for what purpose? The I.P.C.C. itself, through its structural tendency to politicize climate change science, has perhaps helped to foster a more authoritarian and exclusive form of knowledge production – just at a time when a globalizing and wired cosmopolitan culture is demanding of science something much more open and inclusive.

h/t to Marc Morano


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Eric

Climate analysis will regain confidence, perhaps, if everyone involved moves to openness and transparency – and more climate analysts speak out against CRU and friends’ culture of tribalism.
(Climate analysts is a better term than climate scientists. The field of “climate analysis” is a more accurate term than “climate science”.)

I believe it was just a cycle. We warm and cool within many cycles caused by the sun and ocean currents.

Karl Maki

Science, in this instance, has already consummated its relationship with the political process; Science might find that Politics is not eager to give up the affair so quickly.

Jim

Are we going to trust Hume to lead the charge for change???
From Luboš Motl’s Blog:
“Hulme tells us that if the scientists are going to be listened to in the future, they must “recognize the social limits of their truth seeking” – WOW. 😉 They must thus “trade truth for influence” – WOW. He also says that the “climate change is too important to be left to scientists” – WOW – “least of all the normal ones” – WOW. Hulme promotes the idea that the climate science should become a “post-normal science” – WOW. He says that the “danger” of the “normal science” is that it assumes that the truth is found before the policies are created – WOW.
In the post-normal science that he recommends, science is ready to change “as it rubs against society” – WOW – and the disputes should focus on sociological issues such as funding, personal evaluations, and the format of presentations – WOW. In order to make progress with the climate change, we must “take science off center stage” – WOW. Hulme correctly says that an honest scientist can’t answer questions like “what level of CO2 is too much” because the answer depends on a value judgment which is not a part of science but the only reason why he says so is that he wants to urge scientists to become “post-normal scientists” who claim to be able to answer such questions – WOW.
If I summarize it, he wants to destroy the difference between science and politics completely. I just find it rather breathtaking. This is not a generic crank from Real Climate or Not Even Wrong. This is officially a director of an institute that pretends to be a scientific institute whom we have praised for certain things.”
http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/03/mike-hulme-and-post-normal-science.html

Seems like they are starting to come out of the bunker with their hands up!
I hope they have enough white flags to go round.

PaulH

The statement is reasonable, but rather bland. On the other hand, could you imagine an AGW insider making such a statement to the public even 2 weeks ago? Daylight is a wonderful disinfectant, isn’t it? 🙂

debreuil

This just in, scientist are now 91.800% sure there is a problem and we created it. Here is the proof:
certainty = 90.00;
certainty *= 1.0200;

Patrik

Wow, first Monbiot, and now this? 😀

hunter

Sour grapes by Hulme.
He knows the jig is up, and now he is looking for the exit signs.
Hulme and his ‘post normal science needs to be tossed out hard onto the ash heap.
He and his pals rigged the IPCC into a puppet echo chamber for their apocalyptic clap trap. They made millions and millions of grant dollars fabricating and selling junk data. They were suppressing counter data. And now he whines about the IPCC running its course and how it is all about raw politics. He just knows the money train is not coming to his station again for awhile.
This sleazy sun of a gun and his pals alomost succeededin conning the world out of trillions.
Of course Revkin has yet to interview one hig profile skpetic who was predicting that at its heart AGW was about deception.
It is passing strange taht the media, allegedly wanting its members, readers, or viewers to get the whole story has yet to do any specials analyzing the letters and data and code, or allowing skeptics who suspected they would be as they prove to be, speak freely.
What low end cowards these AGW promoters are, when push comes to shove.

D. King

OT, but not really.
Sea ice? I guess they’re keeping their heads down over there.
Smart.

JonesII

Matthew (13:37:14) :
“I believe it was just a cycle. We warm and cool within many cycles caused by the sun and ocean currents”
If we are to believe in astrology all this is being caused by Uranus and Saturn opposition ☺

Arnold

I think this is very shocking. I have looked a bit at his book he wrote “Why we diagree on global warming”. That is a pro post-normal science book. He should be gratefull about the connection between science-politics. What he is saying here in my book is: We have done our job, its up to the politics now. IPCC has done its job :S

Tor Hansson

Mike Hulme speaking out at this time is no coincidence.
He has probably experienced the scientific climate at CRU for a long time, had misgivings with it, but felt uneasy about rocking the boat until now. His good name is on the line along with the reputation of the entire university. Without decisive action from the UEA it is badly tarnished.
Suggesting the demise of the IPCC comes as a bit of a surprise, but is entirely logical.
This is already doing some good.

“This will blow its course soon in the conventional media without making too much difference to Copenhagen — after all, COP15 is about raw politics…”
“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” –Winston Churchill
Make no mistake; we are at war this very minute. If your elected representative won’t listen to you, print up 100 flyers with the facts about Climategate and pass them out door-to-door, if you have to. Yes, the will never print the truth. Never.

Alvin

Karl Maki (13:39:46) :
Science, in this instance, has already consummated its relationship with the political process; Science might find that Politics is not eager to give up the affair so quickly.

NOM!
It’s late, the prom is over, and Politics expects some “consessions” before Science can get out of the car and get home. Who will be our “George McFly”?

I have a friend, George P. (www.freebuck.com) who has a lecture on “Dogma” which he gives to civic groups, critical thinking clubs, etc.
In it he warns of the dangers of “tribalism” and “tribal mentality”, which he has found in all sorts of groups, from the churches, to government bodies, to national entities. (For example both Japan and Germany’s WWII escapades in WWII can be attributed to a “tribal” attitude amoung the populations.)
When he first went over the Emails this weekend he wrote me that “Extremely good example of ‘tribalism’…”
I think that Mike Hulme is NOT ALONE in this assesment.
One of the videos of a programmer commenting on WUWT suggests that the PAPERS WRITTEN USING THE WORTHLESS CODES should be withdrawn.
Propose that and wait for the CRU to come out with WARPAINT and bones through their noses. (Bunga, bunga, bunga…)
Sorry, couldn’t resist!

jef

How sad that we’ve had to wait this long for some to start being honest.
The political machine in the US will continue to use AGW as a mechanism to transfer wealth within the US and from the US to other countries. This edifice has taken 20 years to build. It will not be dismantled anytime soon. The opportunities for vote buying and graft are just too huge.

Mike

The rats desert the sinking ship.

Feedback

Maybe it sounds completely idiotic, but I am tasting the word “free”. I felt more free after the emails, and now I feel even more, yes, free. Professor Hulme has opened a large window to let some air into the room, and it feels great, and I am really greatful for his truly bold act. It’s a wonderful night!

Agreed and so has a lot of the MSM
BBC quote;
“The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus.”
http://burningourmoney.blogspot.com/2007/06/bbc-bias.html

Mike

Picture looks like your typical smug third-rate scientist to me.

vg

In Australia no effect whatsoever. The Australian has been bought out by the warmistas or more likely M Turnbull see The Australian today Saturday

We also need to pressure our politicians for transparency of science. Every research that is paid for by the public purse should be available immediately only for review and reading by the public.

Not-so-good news from down under. This [snip] line is from an editorial in The Australian:
“whatever the science ultimately shows, Australians of all political persuasions believe humanity is responsible for global warming and the government has to act to reduce its impact.”
We don’t care if the science says it’s drivel, we must act because people BELIEVE it’s not. How can any responsible person possibly write that?

tallbloke

I doubt Mike Hulme and Phil Jones meet for coffee often inthe UEA senior staffroom.

Robinson

This is the first non-patronising, intelligent and well thought out response I’ve read so far from a scientist. I think we should all applaud him for it. I hope he doesn’t get black-balled!

Skeptic Tank

If it wasn’t clear 168 hours ago, it is clear now that these leaked data cannot be dismissed or made to go away. Some are trying to “salvage” or regain whatever integrity they may have had. Others are indeed circling the wagons and pointing guns outward.
I’ll give some credit to anyone who repents. Anyone who has done wrong and decides …
I cannot undo what I have done. I can only do the right thing now. And now is the time.

Arnold

And another thing. I just searched the emails, in almost every mail he is mentioned the topic is politics.
I think this is a story of stab and run. He just stabbed his colleges and now is running to try and dodge the bullet.

Fred

……these East Anglia academics just have to come together & brainstorm a way to hide the decline of the IPCC.

JonW

“The tribalism that some of the leaked emails display is something more usually associated with social organization within primitive cultures; it is not attractive when we find it at work inside science.”
Religious zealots of secular humanism, post modernism’s religion of the political elite will describe premeditated lying and falsification of scientific data for financial gain and power by linking it to culture that might by “primitive and tribal”. The cave man knew what a lie was and understood the consequences of lying to his neighbor. What made the cave man primitive was his failure to give “due process of law” when he executed his neighbor for a lie that jeopardized his family and wealth. A civilized culture would simply provide due process and hang the bastard, if guilty as charged.

Phil M

I think that’s an interesting article to come at this time
– it is interesting for someone at the heart of the AGW debate to suggest the abolition of the IPCC
– but of course, he may be right – Climate Change may now be sufficiently part of the political agenda, and sufficiently fixed in the public’s mind, that it will run it’s course.
– I think it is a little premature to say that the IPCC’s work is done.
I also think he is right that the AGM scientific community need to get better at communicating their message, and being less arrogant, and less proscriptive.

Eric: You wrote, “Climate analysts is a better term than climate scientists. The field of ‘climate analysis’ is a more accurate term than ‘climate science’.”
The assumption there is that the climate researchers are capable of analysing data independent of their assumed relationship between anthropogenic greenhouse gases and global temperatures. I, as you may be aware, find little evidence of this, especially when they assume there is a linear relationship between ENSO and global temperatures. My latest post discusses the two instances when the emails from Jones referred to one of my guest posts here at WUWT:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/11/im-honored-i-think.html
Regards

Bill P

It is also possible that the institutional innovation that has been the I.P.C.C. has run its course. Yes, there will be an AR5 but for what purpose?
Well, to set up a bran’ new credit default swap and derivatives carbon trading infrastructure, that’s what! I been savin’ an savin’ all this time, so’s we could be livin off the fat-a-the lan’, and now your not gonna lemme!
Can I go pet the rabbits, George?

Tor Hansson

Mike:
“Picture looks like your typical smug third-rate scientist to me.”
His credentials don’t seem very third rate. It’s very positive that he speaks out.

supercritical

Is this Hulme of the Tyndall Centre .. “Professor of Climate Change” ? The post-normalist hoping that things will now go back to normal? To the time before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, perhaps?
This is not an an-hominem post; check out the world of Post-Normal Science (PNS)

Griv

Will there be ever a change??
THE INDEPENDENT on 23 Sept. 1989 reported about a speech by James Lovelock „Environment expert launches attack on ‚corrupt scientists’“
>>He said that everyone, including the Greens, needed science, but not the kind of science we had now. Science has grown fat, lazy and corrupt, “and like an obese atherosclerotic, man imagines that more rich food will cure his conditions” >>
19 years IPCC has made it worst!!!

chillybean

Jorgekafkazar
If your elected representative won’t listen to you, print up 100 flyers with the facts about Climategate and pass them out door-to-door
Now I was thinking along exactly those lines. Someone has to do it if the media is in lock down.

Pops

Pachauri won’t mind if the IPCC is disbanded; he’ll run it again in his next life… and his next… and his next…

Two points.
The IPCC was of poor construct to begin with. It is a political organization, nothing more. Attempting to mix politics with science can only, as illustrated by the reign of the IPCC, corrupt the science.
I agree with the comments about the current public perception of science. Many aspects of the AGW issue has damaged it all along. The ‘proof’ the emails provided of what many of us have been saying for years have even further tarnished science (at least in regards to climate). That damage has been wrought by a few unethical scientists. Ironically, they were the same ones oft hailed as the ‘leaders’ of climate science. They should be ashamed, they should publicly apologize, they should be banned from receipt of further funding.

JimB

“We really need to remove a wholly political organization, the United Nations, from science.”
That’s going to be like trying to take an unlimited debit-card away from a drug-addicted teenager.
Their version of science is their cash cow, period.
JimB

Ray

Matthew (13:37:14) :
I believe it was just a cycle. We warm and cool within many cycles caused by the sun and ocean currents.
——-
What’s most important about all those cycles (climate change, meteor smashing the earth, earthquakes, … whatever) is for the human race to develop technologies to adapt. Advanced technologies development are our only survival tools, our Salvation. We are so nothing in the universe that one space rock could obliterate us… unless we have the tools to protect us and survive it. Forcing humanity to give up technologies is an assured death sentence on humanity.

Fred2

Between the lines:
It’s run its course it’s a lame duck attracting attention from predators. We need to replace it with a “new” organization that can continue it’s work without the baggage that it has accumulated.

Heidi Deklein

“Climate analysts is a better term than climate scientists. The field of “climate analysis” is a more accurate term than “climate science”.”
Well, given the hardcore fanatics see AGW as a religion and that they have in some cases apparently created global warming out of the firmament, I wonder if “climate creationists” wouldn’t be appropriate for those who aren’t prepared to repent and start doing science instead.

hunter

Those who think what Hulme is saying is a good thing should perhaps re-read him.
he is saying terrible things.
He thinks that he has carried this so far that science based on actually getting to truth no longer matters.
IOW, if his group of ‘scientists’ had been this successful inselling the idea that, say, people with left hands and gray eyes are the a claer and present danger to the world, and a genocide against them was under review for early implementation, he would not really care if the facts his group came up with our accurate or not. He jsut does not wish to beothered wiht the tedious political details. He is a post normal scientist, afterall.
Hulme is what people who believe in right and wrong call a ‘bad man’.
Lee,
The IPCC has been perfectly designed: It blended wackjob pseudo sicence with a strong politisal skill and a veneer of credibility, to sell the clap trap of AGW to the world. It is as brilliant as any political propaganda machine that has ever existed. That a railroad engineer was the figure head, according to the e-mails, in front of the likes of Hulme, Jones, Mann, Hansen, etc. etc. only shows how clever it has been.
It has been strong enough to withstand direct evidence that its work is compromised by corrupt data. It has been strong enough to be a perfect instrument of post-nromal science – blatantly political, but able to appeal to authority anytime it is critiqued.

Gary from Chicagoland

This is a powerful statement coming from a respected climate scientist, and I fully agree with it. I am surprised how quickly this request of ending the reign of IPCC can about. As I recall the UN – IPCC gained its political position by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher back in the 1980’s. Her mission statement of the IPCC was to push alternative energy sources, such as nuclear, and halt the burning of fossil fuels due to their CO2 emissions. She did not trust the Middle East governments as a dependable source of petroleum, and within England the coal miners were striking and making coal energy difficult. Therefore, she hung her hat on the IPCC to persuade the world that fossil fuels are bad for the environment due to the CO2 emissions that could lead to Global Warming. Additional money, power and additional politics made the IPCC a very powerful world government. Independent of the IPCC, global temperatures indeed warmed more in the 1990’s since the 1930’s. Al Gore and James Hanson preached the gloom and doom of CO2 emissions and during the 1990’s the computer projections and valid data were better in sync with each other. The MET, NASA and CRU scientists gained power of the press, money and politics as they hand feed their data to guide the IPCC reports. However the last decade or so, as the CO2 levels continued to rise, global temperatures in the atmosphere and oceans cooled as land temperatures remained flat. No computer climate model used by the IPCC predicted this extended global cooling. Valid data and IPCC predictions were in conflict with other. The global warming theory even tried to change the name only of their theory to climate change. Additional research showed that the urban heat island of land temperature showed a larger biased towards warming than was understood before (thanks to Anthony Watts and others). A dozen or so scientists who controlled what was viewed by the IPCC, started to hide the decline of global cooling. Then in Nov. 2009, climate-gate exposed the under the table dealings. These e-mails, climate data and computer code made public for the first time, showed that the basic scientific method was derailed: a) conflicting valid data did not change the theory using the self correction clause, b) peer review was done by people biased against dissenting theories, c) editors who allowed dissenting theories were ostracized and d) the Freedom of Information law was purposely broken by these few eminent scientists who desired no independent verification of the climate data. I will predict that these scientists have yet to see the worst as more is learned and lawsuits are filed. In retrospect, the IPCC was an organization that had it’s conclusion written before the valid data came rolling in. That is not the way science works best, so no wonder it imploded. I wonder if the leaked e-mails came from someone inside the CRU who saw the bad science evolving within this climate science temple. Scientific theory evolves not by opinion, but by valid data. Perhaps a new chapter in climatology has begun with the demise of the IPCC influence.

Ben G

Sorry Off-Topic – but if anyone would like to ask David Cameron to wake up and smell the coffee regarding ClimateGate – you can visit his blog here.
http://blog.conservatives.com/index.php/2009/11/27/the-copenhagen-summit-is-of-historic-importance/#writecomment
For those of you who don’t know – he’s the opposition leader in the UK and may well soon be the new Prime Minister (from May 2010).
I’ve sent him a fairly detailed email about 5 days ago on the matter, but today I see he’s carrying on as though it’s gone over his head. At least the leader of the UK Independence party has had the decency to reply to my email.

Paul Vaughan

“The tribalism that some of the leaked emails display is something more usually associated with social organization within primitive cultures; it is not attractive when we find it at work inside science.”
Naive & misleading.
Academia is tribal by structural design. Departments mutually assure each other autonomy.
Overextension of the news cycle is music to the ears of parasitic administrators who are latched on to the climate industry.
Controversy & scandal consolidates their power, further ensuring that there will be 5 (or more) administrators milking the public purse at union wages for every 1 person doing credible climate science (during the 1/3 of the time when these academic scientists are not teaching & tending to administrative duties).
My take on the frenzy of the past week:
Plays right into the hands of corrupt, unionized, tribal academic administration.
My advice:
Put down the pipe.
Stop puffing these parasites up.
Administrative politics is a big yawn.

The Mass media machine is trying to censure ClimateGate. People don’t want to be scammed by lies anymore!
It won’t succeed. People are making sure of that!

Zeke

It is a very patronizing statement. He is attempting to tell everyone else what “the key lesson to be learned” is. It involves some cosmetic changes to make science look a little more publicly owned.
Another patronizing statement is that the CRU leaked email story will run its course in the media without much effect.
He is not very concerned about fast tracking FOI requests, or making full inquiry into peer review processes, or single person editorial boards, or even about legal action against Phil Jones, et al, so that future scientific fraud is not emboldened. He is only talking about appearances and it would be infuriating if it weren’t so pathetic.

Even if the global temps stay stable for another ten years governments, especially the UK’s, cannot give up on warming hype now because they account for 7% of all taxes. That’s too large a chunk to find from other sources in a small time-frame. We’re stuck with it. All we can do is keep shooting.