And the hits just keep on coming: 'The Book the IPCC Plagiarized'

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From: A Teacher's Education - click

I have a bit of time free and a connection available so I just had to get this story up that I’ve been reading on my cellphone. I have to hand it to Donna Laframboise of nofrakkingconsensus, she’s a tireless detail ferret. She’s already found a boatload of errors in the various IPCC reports, now she finds word for word copying from a book to write the health effects section of the IPPC WG2 report.

Donna writes in “The Book the IPCC Plagiarized”:

It appears unlikely that a good faith, bona fide review of the scientific literature took place prior to the writing of significant sections of the IPCC’s first health chapter. Instead, the climate bible surreptitiously incorporated numerous opinions expressed a few years earlier by the activist-oriented person in charge of writing this chapter.

Then the media told the world that the IPCC’s proclamations regarding global warming and diseases such as malaria were the considered, consensus view of thousands of experts.

Of course we’ve been saying for some time that the “malaria link” to global warming is unsupported, one might even call it hyped, seeing how bad the correlations (or lack thereof) are. Now we find the IPPC didn’t really bother to check research. They just copied it from a doomsday book by an activist. See below.

Donna points out this word for word similarity between the book and the 1995 WG2 report:

McMichael’s 1993 book, page 154:

In eastern Africa, a relatively small increase in winter temperature would enable the malarial zone to extend ‘upwards’ to engulf the large urban highland populations that are currently off-limits to the mosquito because of the cooler temperatures at higher altitudes – e.g. Nairobi (Kenya) and Harare (Zimbabwe). Indeed, such populations around the world, currently just outside the margins of endemic malaria, would provide early evidence of climate-related shifts in the distribution of this disease.

Climate Bible’s 1995 Working Group 2 report, page 574:

Hence, it is a reasonable prediction that, in eastern Africa, a relatively small increase in winter temperature could extend the mosquito habitat and thus enable faciparum malaria to reach beyond the usual altitude limit of around 2,500 m to the large, malaria-free, urban highland populations, e.g. Nairobi in Kenya and Harare in Zimbabwe. Indeed, the monitoring of such populations around the world, currently just beyond the boundaries of stable endemic malaria, could provide early evidence of climate-related shifts in malaria distribution.

another example:

McMichael’s 1993 book, page 150:

Sandstorms in Kansas (USA) and in the Sudan have been accompanied by increased illness and death from bronchitis and asthma.

Climate Bible’s 1995 Working Group 2 report, page 578:

Sandstorms in Kansas (USA) and the Sudan have been accompanied by increases in bronchitis and asthma.

Sheesh.

Read the whole IPCC train wreck here. It’s not just a couple of sentences, there’s plenty more where this sample came from.

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137 thoughts on “And the hits just keep on coming: 'The Book the IPCC Plagiarized'

  1. Something you might expect from a 5th grader, but from the top scientists at the IPCC, the ones that know the science is settled? Sounds like someone forgot to do their homework, fooled around, and then did it quickly at the last minute?

  2. I don’t think we should be unduly critical of a summation report quoting source material verbatim (or almost verbatim). Assuming the source material to be an authoritative statement, it would be unwise to paraphrase it because the meaning could change.
    The real issue is whether the source material is sound.

  3. FatBigot says:
    September 3, 2010 at 9:41 pm
    I don’t think we should be unduly critical of a summation report quoting source material verbatim (or almost verbatim). Assuming the source material to be an authoritative statement, it would be unwise to paraphrase it because the meaning could change.
    The real issue is whether the source material is sound.
    ——————
    Well clearly, FatBigot, you don’t think they were fit to be the judge of that, so what are they doing writing the report?

  4. FatBigot says:
    The real issue is whether the source material is sound.
    ________________
    Also, if the source is referenced properly and if where quoted verbatim is that clearly indicated. We have quotation marks for a reason you know. Adding a few phrases in the fore and aft of a paragraph is a pretty low standard of behavior. Especially if the source is … unsound.

  5. Mostly they added more wiggle words, would = could and loosened up the text.
    “”Hence, it is a reasonable prediction that”” What a qualifier that is!
    In 1965 I was told in school;”stealing from another is plagiarism, but stealing from many, [if you use references] is research.”

  6. I don’t think that we have heard or seen the last of IPCC’s or Al Gore’s (et al) propaganda, but well spotted Donna. There is far too much political clout at stake, and of course a bigger trough for all those porcine snouts, not to mention keeping the hoi polloi in a state of angst, for them to back off just yet.

  7. The issue here is not so much stealing from the book (his own, by the way) but the simple fact that it is accepted as gospel, without any analysis. The (carefully chosen) lead writer of the health chapter simply expressed his own opinion, without reviewing the scientific literature. And as night follows day –
    “Then the media told the world that the IPCC’s proclamations regarding global warming and diseases such as malaria were the considered, consensus view of thousands of experts. “

  8. Ironically, when you follow the link above to the Amazon page, you can look at a sample. (A softcover will run you 37 beans.)
    And every page is prominently marked “copyrighted material”.

  9. And now I have a perfect example of plagiarism to show my class — along with a surreptitious excuse to introduce the whole Climategate thing. How handy. (Of course, this may mean I never get to teach again.)

  10. Proud Canadian that I am, I cannot help but note Donna is another one of ours!
    Must be something about the relentlessly cold winters up here which makes for a bit of skepticism on the whole AGW thing.

  11. It’s 17 years since 1993. It was 12 years since 1993 in 2005. They (or he) could have reported whether Nairobi is getting malaria or not, or if malaria has approached closer or not.

  12. It is not clear to me this is plagiarism. If McMichaels was closely involved in the group that put together the health chapter of the IPCC report, then obviously he gave his consent, either implicit or explicit, for them to lift concepts and even direct language from his earlier book. I suppose the failure to cite his book is one aspect of plagiarism, but the consent is probably there.
    Further, if an individual writes a book and then uses his own ideas later to contribute to another document, that is not plagiarism.
    Plagiarism? Possibly not. Shoddy processes? You bet. Lack of proper peer review of significant portions of the text? Almost certainly. Yet another example of the incestuous nature of the so-called independent process that led to the IPCC consensus? Definitely. More reason to doubt the objectivity and conclusions of the IPCC. Absolutely.

  13. Well, this book has been thoroughly reviewed, on Amazon, by three people….
    …one of whom (Barmak Kusha – in 2000) gave it two stars. Barmak seems to be rather astute: “This volume is interesting but it tries to cover too much. The author also makes too many unsupported claims and over-generalizations.” (That was a quote for those unfamiliar with the use of quotation marks).
    At least it wasn’t “Return to Almora” (unquote).

  14. Another story from the “So what else is new?” department, but a good one. Thanks for the link, Anthony.

  15. I’m no fan of the IPCC at all as my previous posts will testify, but is it at all possible to plagiarise oneself?
    If you are made responsible for writing a chapter about a particular topic and discover that you have already done this work, and are pretty pleased with the way you have expressed it, I don’t see that it can be plagiarism to repeat it elsewhere..it is after all, your own intellectual property. So plagiarism = no.
    There are many other stronger criticisms that can justifiably be made…the most important of which is whether the actual ‘science’ is right or not. But plagiarism of oneself won’t wash.

  16. Glenn is right. McMichael was a (convening?) lead author on this chapter. He cut and pasted his own writing. They actually rephrased it a good bit.
    REPLY: I think perhaps people are assigning the title to me, and just to be clear, that was Donna’s title which is why I have it in quotes. See the link “Donna writes…” I’m going to make that a little clearer. – Anthony

  17. Glenn says:
    September 3, 2010 at 9:50 pm
    Anthony J. McMichael may be an activist, but he is credentialed and was a member of the IPCC working group. The charge of plagiary may be unjustified.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index.php?idp=688

    Really? There are tons of internet websites (turnitin.com for one) dedicated to catching these sorts of things. You are supposed to cite these things in a very specific way. The charge of plagiarism you are finding unworthy is the very charge that many undergrad students may be getting some very bad grades for. And if undergrads can’t do it, why can the IPCC? Aren’t they a ‘leading scientific body’? Why are they exempt from the standards applied to students? Aside from the fact that the student’s work may actually be relevant…

  18. Richard Tol says:
    September 3, 2010 at 11:10 pm
    Glenn is right. McMichael was a (convening?) lead author on this chapter. He cut and pasted his own writing. They actually rephrased it a good bit.
    I have bolded because you switched the usage of pronouns. It is the fact that the IPCC is, supposedly, neutral that is the underlying assurance behind their reports. Yet, if they cannot catch errors in the citations, then how do we even know the report is soundly based? Does IPCC cite other authors, quoted verbatim or not?

  19. Was it me or did I hear the word, reeducation, about the health care bill.?
    Perhaps the will try to reeducate us?
    EJ

  20. Apart from the obvious pilfering, what strikes me about both texts is the way something that may, might, or could happen is reinforced by a lot lot of fussy factoids (eg. altitudes of Harare and Nairobi) so that the reader quickly forgets that one is talking about loose speculation and gets a reassuring sense of scientific precision at work. If the writers are particularly confident they might treat you to a “would”…but with a “perhaps” or an “arguably” appended to allow a tactical retreat if needed.
    Nobody does this as well as Judith Curry, but most warmists do it. Where would they be without their conditional auxiliary verbs? If you try to nail them down on their claims, they can simply argue that they were only presenting “interesting” hypotheses…and maybe offer you a link to further “interesting” studies.
    On the other hand, if you buy into their malaria panic, they’ll consider it a good day’s work. How can they lose?

  21. Dave F says:
    September 3, 2010 at 11:29 pm
    Glenn says:
    September 3, 2010 at 9:50 pm
    Anthony J. McMichael may be an activist, but he is credentialed and was a member of the IPCC working group. The charge of plagiary may be unjustified.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index.php?idp=688
    “Really? There are tons of internet websites (turnitin.com for one) dedicated to catching these sorts of things. You are supposed to cite these things in a very specific way. The charge of plagiarism you are finding unworthy is the very charge that many undergrad students may be getting some very bad grades for. And if undergrads can’t do it, why can the IPCC? Aren’t they a ‘leading scientific body’? Why are they exempt from the standards applied to students? Aside from the fact that the student’s work may actually be relevant…”
    Not sure what you are talking about. I didn’t find the charge unworthy, but that it may be. This is based on the information Donna provides, I have not read or verified the book’s or the IPCC’s contents or references. But one can not plagiarize himself.

  22. You know, she might have had something there if it wasn’t for the fact that both passages have a citation to a source. Epic. Fail.

  23. As McMichael is both the author of the book and a contributor to the relevant section of the IPCC report the charge of plagiarism is a bit of a stretch. Neither is the book a a source of original science (not something that normally bothers the IPCC I know) so is citation appropriate?
    The real issue here is that given McMichael went into the IPCC process with a strongly held, fringe, POV… “It appears unlikely that a good faith, bona fide review of the scientific literature took place prior to the writing of significant sections of the IPCC’s first health chapter.” (Source: Donna Laframboise)
    The whole point of the “plagiarism” is that it clearly demonstrates a before and after, evidence of a strong, pre-existing bias leading one to seriously question why McMichael was chosen as an editor and whether of not there was a good-faith review of all available evidence before writing the IPCC report.

  24. Another pathetic slur. Apparently unable to critique the science in the IPCC, are the skeptics now relying on inventing rules?
    Self-plagiarism is no sin. The graphic makes that clear – how can “the act of presenting another’s work or ideas as your own” refer to re-presenting ones own work. The passages in question were then peer reviewed in the IPCC process.
    (Self-plagiarism is only a problem when used in an attempt to publish similar material in two journals in an attempt to boost publication numbers)

  25. I’m not so sure this couldn’t be deemed plagiarism, one aspect of which is not attributing direct quotes or passages closely based on them to an identified source.
    Donna L indicates that McM’s book doesn’t appear in the reference list for the health chapter. Hence, he’s being alleged to have lifted stuff from an unattributed source (albeit himself), and the casual reader could come to the mistaken conclusion that it came from somewhere else – maybe something else in the reference list.
    If so, why do such a thing? The cynic might wonder whether McM thought it might seem more authoritative that way, and also, less suspicious than if he had been perceived to be quoting his own stuff, i.e. pushing his own agenda despite not really being – according to Donna – a health expert.
    And if that were to prove to be the case, then there could be, one might argue, a similar underlying attempt to deceive the reader as one finds in more “straightforward” cases of plagiarism. Moreover, it would then appear to be more than mere sloppiness.
    At the end of the day, McM was hardly likely to have been unaware of a source that he himself wrote. It is very difficult to imagine that the decision to omit it from the reference list was other than a conscious one.
    I’m an educator who has on quite a number of occasions picked up plagiarism and challenged students with it; and, having studied the definitions of plagiarism, I’ve found that the more stringent ones do not accept ignorance as a defence; that is, it is deemed plagiarism whether or not there is intent to deceive. But if there is, the case is all the more strong.
    Intent to deceive by omission of sources, ladies and gentlemen. That is perhaps the key to plagiarism. I leave it to you to judge whether this might apply in this case.

  26. Jay Currie says:
    September 3, 2010 at 10:49 pm
    Proud Canadian that I am, I cannot help but note Donna is another one of ours!
    Must be something about the relentlessly cold winters up here which makes for a bit of skepticism on the whole AGW thing.
    That… and the enormous reserves of fossil fuels Canada now boasts about?
    http://www.rense.com/general37/petrol.htm

  27. Wow, this is amazing. Here we were all along comparing the IPCC writings to high school level research documents and wondering how it could fail so badly, and here we have fifth grade level failure.
    Even if it somehow turns out that the author is the guy who wrote this, the fact that it was not referenced correctly would still get you an F in fifth grade. You just don’t take word for word basically work from one paper you wrote to another without properly describing how you did it. I don’t think it matters if its plagiarism or not, the fact that a fifth grader would flunk in the US with this chapter of the IPCC should all be telling us something.
    That something is that the people who wrote this piece of firewood that somehow won a nobel peace prize should not even be allowed to be janitors until they can pass grade school.

  28. The MSM is getting better, some of it. The Australian newpaper today has a piece from Matt Ridley repeated from the Times which is scathing of the IPCC. It is next to another piece about “a British architect…waging war against the ‘carbonista’ doomsayers”.
    (…and Mr Ridley’s piece quotes Richard Tol /awe)

  29. Why should it be a surprise?
    Mann is a particularly good example of post normal scientific thinking and its expression, any link he can make whether it is true or false – it does not matter, is used to further the AGW meme/pack of lies.
    Joe Bastardi is an alumnus of Penn State, he is appalled by the tactics of the climatology dept (at Penn State Uni), he is absolutely correct in his observations.
    Academic rigour has been defenestrated: plagiarism is rife, hypocrisy, dubious statistical methodology, selective data sets, data goes missing, bias is the norm and blather are the requirements now, enter Michael Mann and his buddies at CRU – because it all rings true for the UEA too.

  30. I have read Donna’s blog about this and I quote her.
    “McMichael’s Planetary Overload arguments rely on a Greenpeace report about global warming. His book frequently cites articles in non-peer-reviewed publications such as New Scientist and Scientific American. McMichael is, in other words, an environmentalist whose day job happens to involve the study of public health. He has no expertise in most of the topics his book discusses.”
    Greenpeace propaganda recycled yet again!


  31. I have to put in with those who have questioned calling this “plagiarism.”
    Dr. McMichael having been the author of Planetary Overload and having been charged with drafting the section of the 1995 IPCC report under discussion, I find it altogether unremarkable that he should have recycled statements from his earlier work.
    I think it falls more in the line of cribbing than plagiarism, much as Thomas Jefferson derived a great deal of what he put into the Declaration of Independence from works already extant, including his own. In a letter to Henry Lee dated 8 May 1825, Jefferson wrote:

    “”This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.”

    Naturally, I do not attribute to Dr. McMichael the insight or eloquence of a Jefferson, who did not need to copy “from any particular or previous writing” to express ideas which he had already articulated in other works. Like most men, Dr. McMichael might not have all that much creativity in his make-up, and not as much ingenuity.
    So he did a bit of cut-and-paste to pull together his part of the 1995 report from his own book. Sloppy and inelegant, sure.
    But not much of a sin, if even we can call it that.

  32. The accuracy of citations and the reliability of the original source material were the issues which gained public and media traction in the Himalayagate incident.
    The objective issue is not whether anybody thinks McMicael is an “activist” (I don’t think the public will respond favourably to that approac to the issue). The issue is whether IPCC citations were sufficiently open and accurate to support their claims.
    Was the IPCC clear that the source material was this book?
    If so, does the book accurately cite credible source material to support the claims?
    If not, did the IPCC acccurately cite credible original source material to the effect that it did not need to mention the book?

  33. I am what’s known as a “primary source” for some historical US Army aircraft, and whenever I cite (or paraphrase) one of my previous articles in a new article for a primary author, I use quotation marks and a footnote — if I don’t, the primary author will ask me if I screwed up my proofreading, because not using quotes or footnoting will make him look unprofessional to *his* editor.
    Harry Eagar: September 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm
    It’s 17 years since 1993. It was 12 years since 1993 in 2005. They (or he) could have reported whether Nairobi is getting malaria or not, or if malaria has approached closer or not.
    Nairobi has had malarial outbreaks since it was founded in 1899. It was originally built as a railway depot — it was a suitable midway point between Kampala and Mombassa because there was a ready source of water for the steam engines’ boilers, the higher altitude provided relief from the coastal heat, and it was swampy, thereby reducing the chance that the railway workers would be killed by lions.
    http://www.kenya-information-guide.com/history-of-nairobi.html
    In 1911, Kenya’s primary medical officer wrote:
    “It is difficult to say that any but spasmodic efforts toward the prevention of the breeding of mosquitos have been carried out. The litigious temper of the inhabitants renders even ameliorative measures well nigh impossible …. [malaria] exists in places in which it should never have been allowed to get a hold, and yearly is a cause of a heavy mortality amongst Africans and Asiatics. The reason for this is two-fold; in the townships insufficient drains, not only public ones, but the almost total absence of domestic drains connecting houses with the roadside channels; and, everywhere, owing to the race for development, a tendency to disregard the unrenumerative expense that sanitary reform entails, and the unproductive waste of time involved in keeping compounds in order.” (Colony & Protectorate of Kenya, 1911).
    The Brits instigated serious eradication efforts in 1912 to control recurring malarial outbreaks in the three major towns of Mombassa, Kisumu, and Nairobi.
    http://malaria.who.int/docs/ek_report3.htm

  34. How many more sections are simply the expression of the lead writer’s opinion rather than a synthesis of the best science at the time ?
    If in doubt, throw it out.

  35. As any PR writer will tell you: Change the grammar a little and it sounds like an original document. No need for those pesky “quote marks”.

  36. Harry Eagar says:
    September 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm
    It’s 17 years since 1993. It was 12 years since 1993 in 2005. They (or he) could have reported whether Nairobi is getting malaria or not, or if malaria has approached closer or not.
    I do not know about Nairobi but Harare is not getting malaria (altitude 1450m)

  37. There seems to be some misapprehension here. It is perfectly possible to plagiarize oneself. The book was published by CUP. While I haven’t published anything there, I have done so for several other scientific publishers, and they invariably require you to sign over all rights to them. There is a widespread idea among scientists that this somehow “does not count”, but this is not so.
    In this case IPCC has as far as I can see almost certainly committed an actionable copyright infringement unless they have specific permission from CUP to use the material. (Brief) citations are permitted, but that is not the case here.

  38. AJ McMichael, Global Environmental Change and Human Population Health: A Conceptual and Scientific Challenge for Epidemiology, International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 1-8 (1993)
    Page 4, left column, paragraph 2 reads

    In eastern Africa a small increase in winter temperature would extend the malarial zone ‘upwards’, to include the large urban populations that are currently malaria-free because of the cooler temperature at highland altitudes, e.g. Nairobi (Kenya) and Harare (Zimbabwe).

    A search for “Sandstorms Kansas sudan bronchitis asthma” in scholar.google.com turns up A Haines and Chris Fuchs, Potential impacts on health of atmospheric change, Journal of Public Health Medicine, Vol. 13(2), pp. 69-80 (1991). Can’t verify the exact passage, the article is pay-walled.
    Both these peer-reviewed articles are cited in the IPCC chapter in question. Do you consider this “the act of presenting another’s work or ideas as your own”? If anything, this is self-plagiarism.
    Oh, BTW, Donna Laframboise chose to chop off the reference from the IPCC passage: evidence of climate-related shifts in malaria distribution (Haines et al., 1993).

  39. Its starting to be clear, the IPPC WG 2 report should have the over tittle “Planetary Overload” and be sold with “Science fiction books”

  40. I’m not convinced this is plagiarism either. Let’s see what’s happening. We know that there has been a concern, rightly or wrongly, that warming will lead to an increase in malaria distribution. Assume for arguments sake that two areas of study have been around Nairobi and Kenya. It therefore seems reasonable that this would be cited in the report. The material states that 1) an increase in winter temperature would extend the mosquito habitat, 2) they would extend their altitude range to where high populations exist and 3) monitoring these populations would provide a yardstick for general malarial progressions.
    It may be that one of the authors of the report is familiar with the book. If so, this would have brought to mind this particular scenario. It would have been quite possible for an author who is competent in this field to regurgitate from memory something very similar to the book so long as he wished to convey the sequence of thoughts that I’ve listed above.
    Do we really want to go down the road, as legitimate sceptics, where we are seen to be blowing smoke over non issues? While I applaud Donna for the great work done so far, I think this should be placed in the category of ‘interesting, but not particularly important.’

  41. @Dave F
    I guess that McMichael (he) wrote the first draft, which was a identical to the passage in his book, and that his co-authors (they) edited for language.
    This happens all the time. The IPCC is a literature review. If one of the IPCC authors just published a peer-review, it will be recycled for the IPCC. And vice versa, IPCC authors recycle material from IPCC reports for their own papers.

  42. Latimer Alder: September 3, 2010 at 11:00 pm
    I’m no fan of the IPCC at all as my previous posts will testify, but is it at all possible to plagiarise oneself?
    If you are made responsible for writing a chapter about a particular topic and discover that you have already done this work, and are pretty pleased with the way you have expressed it, I don’t see that it can be plagiarism to repeat it elsewhere..it is after all, your own intellectual property. So plagiarism = no.

    If I quibble hard enough, I could make the case that it is.
    Broadly speaking, whenever you are stating a fact or advocating a conclusion in a professional publication, and that fact does not fit the definition of “common knowledge,” you must cite your source if it is not original thought. If you do it by directly citing or closely paraphrasing a previously-published work, and do not use either quotation marks or a footnote crediting the source, it fits the definition of plagiarism.
    Here’s where the quibbling comes in.
    In this instance, regardless of authorship, the Working Group Report based a purportedly *scientific* (i.e., unbiased) presumption (Working Group Report, page 574) on a statement from a previously-published, for-profit publication (McMichael’s, page 154) with a decidedly Malthusian bias, and did it without attribution. Therefore, the Working Group statement does not fit either the definition of common knowledge (because it is a false assumption) or original thought, because it was previously-published.

  43. I’d really only be seriously worried if they were plagiarizing from a work intended to be fictional, not just incidentally so.

  44. BTW: If the Overlord book’s copyright is owned by the publisher and not the author, then McMichael could get into serious legal trouble committing copyright theft against his own work.

  45. Rattus “Epic Fail” Norvegicus and Richard “pathetic slur” Telford seem not to have read Donna carefully. In fact I didn’t get the gist of Donna’s issue myself until I read her directly.
    Donna’s writing about the second IPCC report (1995), where she says epidemiologist McMichael was chosen as Lead Author for the 2001 health chapter, and her concern was not plagiarism directly, but the strong likelihood that IPCC was “stacking the deck”: the reasonable inference that McMichael was chosen because of his 1993 book “Planetary Overload” whose chapter on global warming relies on IPCC 1990 projections and GHG assessments we now know are faulty, and on Greenpeace material we know is not peer-reviewed.
    And as many here will know, the real malaria expert Paul Reiter condemned IPCC on the strength of its mishandling of the issue of malaria. Which it now appears (no time to check exhaustively), goes back to McMichael.
    In the light of all this, it certainly looks like unacceptable practice not to reference “Planetary Overload” as source material. Was this done to avoid the impression of an insiders’ clique?

  46. “The whole point of the “plagiarism” is that it clearly demonstrates a before and after, evidence of a strong, pre-existing bias leading one to seriously question why McMichael was chosen as an editor and whether of not there was a good-faith review of all available evidence before writing the IPCC report.”
    If all he did was quote himself, with or without attribution, then it would be safe to assume that there wasn’t a genuine review.
    “How many more sections are simply the expression of the lead writer’s opinion rather than a synthesis of the best science at the time ?”
    It seems that the most rigorous part of the whole exercise was choosing the “proper” lead editors.

  47. All these comments that it is not plagiarism. If you are the author of the original work miss the major point (possibly deliberately).
    If large sections of major impact in the AR4 report are extracts from a lead author’s book printed some years before the IPCC report, but are not marked as such, then the impression is that these are the carefully crafted sentences based on the inputs of a large group of scientists. However, if the text is correctly marked as a quote and referenced to a source, it then is being honest that much of the text is from previous work by a member of the working group whose views/biases are known. By NOT marking it as quotes ‘from work he was proud of’ the fact that much of the report is extracts from his work is hidden – yet he is proud of it? Surely if the author is proud of his research and his turn of phrase that should be acknowledged.
    To correctly attribute quotes in the report would perhaps show that the report was a patchwork quilt drawn from pre-existing activist documents. This would have reduced the ‘authority’ of the AR4 report and that is why the quotes were not marked and attributed as they should have been.
    This also shows that the IPCC reports were almost certainly driven by a small committed group who wanted to stamp their AGW opinions into the report effectively raising the status of their views expressed in their ‘plagiarized’ books to that of an international report supposedly based on the peer reviewed research of thousands of scientists.

  48. @Lucy Skywalker
    Thanks for setting us straight.
    Prior to 1994, A J McMichael had one peer-reviewed paper on the subject: “Global environmental change and human population health: A conceptual and scientific challenge for epidemiology”, International Journal of Epidemiology 22 (1), pp. 1-8
    Abstract:
    A large and rapidly growing human population, resource intensive industrial practices, and land exhausting agriculture has overloaded the carrying capacity of the planet’s natural systems. Evidence of overloading include global warming, soil degradation and topsoil loss, decreasing stratospheric ozone, depletion of groundwater, reduced genetic and ecosystem diversity, and acidification of water and soils. These global environmental changes threaten human health in qualitatively different way than the way conventional environmental pollutants do. The risks arising from these changes stem from impairment of productivity (soils, forests, oceans, biodiversity) or stability (climate, sea level, ultraviolet, filtration). Epidemiologist must adopt an ecological model to identify, study, and to quantify the health effects of ecological disturbances. The health effects from these disturbances include those caused by atmospheric changes, by reduced agricultural yield, and by uncontrolled growth of urban populations. The UN recognizes that scientific disciplines and human capabilities to evaluate and provide sound guidance cannot keep pace with the fast rate of ecological change. Thus, rather than empirical evidence, interdisciplinary research, using modeling and forecasting to assess health effects, is needed to provide decision makers with the best available estimates.

  49. The problem is not plagiarism, but the chain of sourced material breaking scientific rules to falsely claim consensus.
    This IPCC Chapter may use snippets from a book of one of the contributing authors, and it may cite it claiming that the book also takes cited snippets from peer reviewed published articles. However the problem is, the book (even if it uses peer reviewed texts) is NOT a peer-reviewed scientific text. It is a book which contains the author’s own bias. Therefore we do not know if the book is an accurate and honest representation of the original peer-reviewed science, or a twisted misrepresentation, or a close attempt, but contaminated by conformation bias.
    The book’s author should have solely used the original peer-reviewed scientific articles only AND to remove any suggestion of bias, should have shown any peer-reviewed articles which contradict this theory and show why these contradictory articles are wrong.
    This means that this part of the IPCC chapter on health, pertaining to malaria spread is unsupported by unbiased, sound scientific study.

  50. richard telford says:
    September 4, 2010 at 12:47 am
    Another pathetic slur. Apparently unable to critique the science in the IPCC, are the skeptics now relying on inventing rules?
    Self-plagiarism is no sin.

    Lawyers may disagree. If I pay for a new, independent report on something, I expect it to be a new, independent report. I do not expect the authors to merely regurgitate what they wrote a decade before without re-investigating the matter.
    There have been several successful suits where someone has paid for original material and objected to having the author merely recycle old material.
    The attack on the IPCC’s flaws is not a distraction from the science. It is necessary because the IPCC insists that its methods are perfect, represent the near totality of scientific opinion and give a reliable result. If these claims are not challenged, then they will be believed. To show the science of the IPCC is wrong, it is necessary to show the flaws in their process.
    BTW, I think many people actively “critique the science” of the IPCC. I imagine you disagree with them, but it is ridiculous to assert that the sceptics only line of argument is the increasing number of flaws in the IPCC’s methods.

  51. I concur with Aric Anderson (9/3 @ 10:51AM) and Latimer Adler (9/3@11:00AM) that the problem here is not plagiarism per se, since you can’t plagiarize yourself.
    It does, however, well illustrate how IPCC authors often lift congenial viewpoints from the gray literature (in this case McMichael’s own viewpoint), rather than sticking to the peer reviewed literature for facts, as they are supposed to.
    So there’s a big problem here, but not a plagiarism problem. More like sock puppets, multiple webnames for a single person in order to create the false impression of consensus.

  52. plagiarism, self-plagiarism, so what? The point here is McMichaels is plain wrong, and referencing or not referencing your earlier wrong work doesn’t make your wrong analysis right. It was this issue that caused A grade malaria expert Paul Reiter to resign from the IPCC, and cause a fuss demanding his name be removed. His point was malaria’s incidence or spread was not significantly temperature related, pointing to 19th century Russia, 20th century Italy, and to simply arguemore warmth = more malaria was in his truly expert view a simplification tothe point of falsification of a complex process

  53. Perhaps having a definition at the top of the page according to which plagiarism involves the use of “another’s” work or ideas was unwise, given that the charge being made is that the author of a chapter borrowed from his own earlier work. As far as whether the fact that he borrows is intended to show that no open review of the literature was performed, that depends on whether he did such a review in his original book. Trying to suggest that he didn’t by calling him an “activist” is feeble; that tactic could probably be used by both sides in the debate.

  54. I don’t know why rattus uses the teenager expression of ‘epic fail’ whenever he thinks there is a opportunity.
    If you are an IPCC author, cant you write some new text up, for the holy task that supposedly is? Instead you have regurgitate your old copy-paste nonsense o’er again?
    It was specifically with the malaria claims about Nairobi that Paul Richter had issues with.
    If the same type of digging up about plagiarism and such, were to have been carried out by the hoarse-whispering Deepclimate, rattus will be there cheerleading for sure. ;). ‘Warmist’ or skeptic bloggers may examine each others’ claims and attack each other, that is fine and healthy, but warmist bloggers standing up for every item of junk that spills out down from the mouth of the IPCC – that is beyond understandable. In the last 6 months, there are warmists to defend each and every error and mistake made by the IPCC, which have all been exposed by skeptics alone.
    Surely, ‘IPCC science’ can require defense, but IPCC ‘scholarship’? Why does that need defense?
    Only the copy-pasting from WWF, and novels and magazines, needs defense, because the belief in the bad state of the world and its climate, depends on the alarmist claims that climbed into the IPCC due to its bad scholarship.
    What a funny position to be in. 🙂

  55. It seems to me that at least someone(s) involved in the IPCC side of the equation knew what they were doing and were concerned enough about it to change the wording here and there.
    If they weren’t worried about either a) plagarism, or b) copyright issues, then why bother changing anything? Why try and hide it?
    And above and beyond all that, there’s that pesky, little “peer-reviewed” issue again…
    THAT is the “Epic. Fail.” (Hope I got all those quotation marks right!)
    JimB

  56. Lucy Skywalker
    So you are blaming Watts rather than the serially inept Laframboise for this groundless plagiarism allegation?
    McMichael was presumably chosen because he had relevant expertise. Only in the topsy-turvy world of climate skeptics would you want someone with no expertise to write a review of the literature.

  57. Richard:
    “Only in the topsy-turvy world of climate skeptics would you want someone with no expertise to write a review of the literature.”
    And only in the completely upsidedown world of climate alarmism would the fact that someone wrote a book automatically make him expert in anything, or signify any level of “expertise”…and there lies the rub with IPCC reports in general.
    JimB
    JimB

  58. u.k.(us) says:
    September 3, 2010 at 10:02 pm
    “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
    Sir Isaac Newton
    Well Newton seems to have lifted that from Bernard of Chartres (11th Century) – and where did he get it from?

  59. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
    September 3, 2010 at 9:38 pm
    “Something you might expect from a 5th grader, but from the top scientists at the IPCC, the ones that know the science is settled? Sounds like someone forgot to do their homework, fooled around, and then did it quickly at the last minute?”
    Awww, c’mon! Cut ’em some slack. With all that jetting around to conferences in exaotic locales it doesn’t leave a lot of time to work on the ARs. I mean, really; don’t you know how hard it is to work when you’re suffering jet lag and a hangover? ;o)
    And we’re surprised this comes from a political body with virtually no oversight and with a political agenda to reach a predetermined conclusion because…?

  60. I love this passage:
    McMichael’s 1993 book, page 166:
    With respect to adverse effects on livestock, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified several infectious diseases – such as the horn fly in beef and dairy cattle and insect-borne anaplasmosis infection in sheep and cattle – which might well increase in response to climate changes.
    Climate Bible’s 1995 Working Group 2 report, page 577:
    For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified several infectious diseases – such as the horn fly in beef and dairy cattle and insect-borne anaplasmosis infection in sheep and cattle – that could increase in prevalence in response to climate changes.”

    No mention of the 1995 WTO Agreement on Agriculture that promoted open borders with NO Disease Quarantine! (aka unjustified trade barriers) Talk about stacking the deck so that increase in disease happens. See New York Times article “The Safety Gap”
    The USDA has cut back on cattle disease testing by up to 90% and has shifted what testing is done to dead animals at slaughter instead of testing live animals at the farm. This allows a disease years to be passed from one farm to another before the animal is finally sent to slaughter.
    The USDA is also closing down testing labs. “USDA is moving toward supporting fewer labs nationwide, with the remaining labs serving as regional labs and supporting larger geographic areas..” http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/agency/TAHC_Strategic_Plan_2009-2013.pdf
    “Cattle crossing facilities on the U.S. side of the border are operated primarily by private firms… at Santa Teresa, NM, Chihuahuan [Mexican] cattle producers operate both sides of the cattle port-of-entry” http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/Agoutlook/june2001/AO282d.pdf
    “Free trade makes it easier for Mexico to sell us cattle,” Mr. Suppan said. “Mexico does not have in place the infrastructure to eradicate tuberculosis.”…Bovine tuberculosis is fast becoming an important reason that carcasses are being condemned as unsafe in American beef packing plants. The number of carcasses found infected is 15 times higher than in 1986. Dr. Billy Johnson, said about 80 percent of the condemned carcasses were traced back to animals raised in Mexico.” http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE5D91431F935A25752C1A965958260&sec=health&spon=&pagewanted=all
    “..new disease challenges are emerging. Some are domestic diseases that are increasing in significance. Others are foreign diseases that may be imported as result of the exponential increases in international importations of animals and animal products. Our industries and our economy are threatened by diseases and pests that heretofore we only read about in disease text books…” http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/agency/TAHC_Strategic_Plan_2009-2013.pdf
    Quicky Background: http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/12254
    This is the UN and WTO connections:
    From International Organization OIE (Office International des Épizooties) we have:
    “It is urgent that scientists come forward with alternative methods of disease control that will not only avoid wastage of valuable animal proteins but that will also promote the international trade of animals and animal products by removing technically unjustified trade barriers caused by animal diseases” http://www.oie.int/eng/press/en_040422.htm
    “Furthermore, it can help to eliminate unjustified trade barriers, since a sound traceability system provides trading partners with assurances on the safety of the products they import. Traceability techniques can provide additional guarantees as to the origin, type or organoleptic quality of food products.” http://www.oie.int/eng/edito/en_edito_apr08.htm
    Note these quotes are a few years old and I have found changes were made to the originals without date changes. The USDA has been trying to prove livestock farmers are Mis-Informed and in some cases our right lie
    Isn’t it interesting how controling Energy (climate) Food and Money (economic crisis) are all connected to the UN?

  61. JimB says:
    September 4, 2010 at 6:12 am
    And only in the completely upsidedown world of climate alarmism would the fact that someone wrote a book automatically make him expert in anything, or signify any level of “expertise”
    ————-
    The rest of his CV might indicate a degree of expertise though. Google scholar will give you a list of his papers (abet probably incomplete) – this man is no one-book expert.
    Arguments that the IPPC author’s expertise are little more than ad hominems from those, totally unworthy of the title skeptic, who are unable to find any faults in McMichaels contributions to the IPCC.

  62. Well, other that the fact that you cannot plagiarize a title and that McMichael was using some of his own previous writing, has anyone noticed that the book itself was not peer reviewed, while the WG2 report was. Therefore, by the IPCC rules it should NOT have been cited and, indeed, it was not. Eli does appears to recall some objection in these quarters to citing grey lit.
    However, what McMichael did, in science land is the equivalent of taking stuff from a non peer reviewed conference paper and putting it into a peer reviewed journal article where it is evaluated and suggestions made for changes, which does appear to be the case. Where the line is, is using material from one peer reviewed paper in another.

  63. The claim of plagiarism holds for me, note the claim is that the IPCC plagiarized the book.
    The IPCC passed off previously published, copyrighted work as it’s own without attribution.
    If IPCC chapters are just meant to be the previously published opinions of the lead author then fine it isn’t plagiarism.

  64. richard telford: September 4, 2010 at 5:20 am
    McMichael was presumably chosen because he had relevant expertise.
    The problem with that is that an unbiased reading of his book reveals McMichael did *not* have relevant expertise, merely a relevant agenda.

  65. Plagiarism is the wrong word. It is, after all, his own work and assuming he owns the rights to it he can do whatever he wants.
    It is, however, more inadequately or improperly reviewed, unattributed, improperly sourced material slipped into an IPCC document for scare-value.

  66. Early explorers in the PAC NW documented malaria among the local Native population,
    not being stupid they chewed willow bark for the quinine. I had a old biology prof who
    studied malaria in the Western US and central America, his take- it was present from the Arctic circle to Terra del Fuego. The Anopheles Mosquito is here,in the NW.
    always was. The way malaria is spread is due to unclean, wet conditions. Not warm.
    Of course if the greens had their way those unclean conditions,due to economic collapse, would help with the surplus population..

  67. I think this shows the pitfalls of not being forthright, as a writer. Self plagiarism is a serious ethical issue. In this case it would also seem to indicate that resources used to explore the health effects somehow wound up going to essentially a thumb-ups to McMicheal’s previous publication, not unlike Glaciergate.
    Self-plagiarism is seen as forbidden or frowned upon in many areas of publication. I found some informative reading on it by a Miguel Roig Ph. D. at this address.
    http://facpub.stjohns.edu/~roigm/plagiarism/
    The author makes some good points about ethical writing such as follows.
    “In writing, self-plagiarism occurs when authors reuse their own previously written work or data in a ‘new’ written product without letting the reader know that this material has appeared elsewhere. According to Hexam, “… the essence of self-plagiarism is [that] the author attempts to deceive the reader”. ”
    and
    “The concept of ethical writing, about which this instructional resource revolves, entails an implicit contract between reader and writer whereby the reader assumes, unless otherwise noted, that the material was written by the author, is new, is original and is accurate to the best of the author’s abilities.”
    I think many other points on the topic seem reasonable enough too. I have to say I’m with Ms. Laframboise on this one. The ‘deception’ aspect seems faily well demonstrated here, and is in keeping with many other aspects of IPCC’s ethical problems of process and publication. We thought we were getting the work of the UN and were being told about the amazing consensus behind it and the real dangers for which we must basically ‘Buy Now’ to ‘Save our souls’. Remember, we get branded ‘denier’ for disagreeing with almost any aspect of the doctrine.
    It’s audacious how he starts with reordering our social values and then tries to unethically convince us recycled snippets of his book are the product of large-scale scientific consensus. This looks worse than Glaciergate to me, which was another example of ‘thousands of scientists’ rubber stamping material that had no proper background. It also seems both much larger and much higher up the the IPCC’s thesis outline structure. To borrow an example from Essay Writing 101, this isn’t merely a contaminated example (Secondary Support or lower), but a contaminated Primary Support statement. In these cases, involving so many writers and areas, wouldn’t the Health effects section be meant to be able stand alone as a Thesis Statement on the specific area?
    I know there are grey areas that are open to interpretation, but this is a serious ethics story that, for all I can see, may go beyond the self-plagiarism. So far we’ve learned that thousands of scientists have determined anecdotes by hikers and a previously published book by someone in the IPCC hierarchy amount to solid evidence of the dangers of climate change to environment and health and to question that is Voodoo. Meanwhile back at home Jim Hansen cites this stuff to compare the labours of insecure and hardworking miners to ‘death trains’ and David Suzuki compares job-worried families to slave owners fighting against the abolition of slavery.
    Thank you Donna.

  68. It is plagiarism. If he is copying large chunks of text from another source, even if he is making some small edits, he is still infringing the copyright of the other source. Even as author, he is highly unlikely to be the copyright holder which is usually vested in the publisher. Acknowledgement as to source with the approval of the copyright holder should be given at the least.
    He is making use of material which does not belong to him without due acknowledgement, that’s plagiarism.

  69. Hu McCulloch says:
    September 4, 2010 at 4:54 am
    I concur with Aric Anderson (9/3 @ 10:51AM) and Latimer Adler (9/3@11:00AM) that the problem here is not plagiarism per se, since you can’t plagiarize yourself.
    I disagree. We usually describe plagiarism as “taking the work of another” but the failure to cite and credit previously published work is the essential element. It does not matter if the work is your own. If you quote from it or paraphrase it or use the outline of the argument, you must cite it. Anything else is plagiarism. You can plagiarise yourself.

  70. has anyone noticed that the book itself was not peer reviewed, while the WG2 report was. Therefore, by the IPCC rules it should NOT have been cited and, indeed, it was not

    Well, Eli, this is after I went looking for my eyeballs, you know, after they popped out and all that…
    The IPCC rule, and the underlying spirit of the rule, is that you do not cite non peer-reviewed material, because you do use such material as sources, to begin with.
    NOT (since you like using caps) employing such material but not citing them.
    What McMichael did is, take material from non peer-reviewed material, not acknowledge the source – and this is in effect, a trick for which, enough observers have the IPCC sussed.
    The trick is to take, non peer-reviewed material and claims and smuggle them into the IPCC, which elevates the status of the claims, and use that status, to prop up the scientific veracity of those claims.

  71. Yes, this is O/T and a shameless Ad Homin. Just back at you, you rat. I’m tired of the constant squealing from the midden and lest I be accused of plagiarism this quote for Rattus Norvegicus is from the University of Michigan web site.(http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Rattus_norvegicus.html)
    “Some consider Norway rats to be the greatest mammal pest of all time. They have caused more deaths than all the wars in history. Rat-borne diseases are thought to have killed more people in the last 1000 years than all of the wars and revolutions ever fought. They harbor lice and fleas that carry bubonic plague, typhus, trichinosus, tularemia, infectious jaundice, and many other serious diseases. These rats also cause considerable damage to property including crops, destroying and pollution of human food storage, and damage to insides and outsides of buildings. It is estimated that rats cause almost 1 billion dollars in damage in the United States each year. Rats kill poultry, domestic livestock, and game birds and are responsible for the endangerment or extinction of many species of wildlife, especially those found on islands. (Nowak and Paradiso, 1983; Silver, 1927) ”
    I’m fotunate to live in one of the few parts of the world that is actually completely free of Rats. Not many Rabbits or Rabets or Wabbits around here either due to the predatory habits of the Eagles, Kestrels and Owls.
    I could go on, with my tongue pushed even further into my cheek, about “rats leaving sinking ships” etc. I would however be guilty of “guilding the lily” much like the IPCC. since Ihave no direct factual evidence that rats have the common sense to leave sinking ships.

  72. I thought Eli was claiming that the IPCC reports were the right place to get original research peer reviewed!
    (and apologies for getting “it’s” wrong in my previous post)

  73. McMichael is the guy that Dr. Paul Rieter complained so bitterly about. Rieter is probably the world’s leading expert on parasitic diseases and tropical diseases in particular. His complaint was that the IPCC selected an activist public health physician with particular expertise as the lead author of the health section. McMichael then turned around and ignored all comments and recommendations from true experts in the field. Rieter quit the IPCC in disgust and threatened to sue if they didn’t remove his none from the list of contributors.
    The thing is, the IPCC selected “their guy” not based on demonstrated expertise but on the basis of his advocacy of the AGW meme.

  74. McMichael was not representing him self as lead author for the IPCC. He was reprenting the IPCC, which supposedly is an unbiased rsearch group which at one point claimed to only use peer review sources. McMichael’s, writing as a representive for the IPCC, was under obligation to show IPCC sources of ideas presented as coming from the IPCC, by failing to do so the IPCC was plagerizing, not McMichaels.

  75. IMHO the issue here is not plagirism but instead referencing. If the IPCC is verbatim quoting as the above examples indicate I want to know the source be it Indur M. Goklany or A J McMichael. Speaking of which I wonder what Indur’s thoughts are on what Donna has uncovered. Perhaps a guest post.

  76. Mooloo says:
    September 4, 2010 at 4:50 am
    Lawyers may disagree. If I pay for a new, independent report on something,
    ————–
    Who paid the authors for their work on the IPCC?
    .
    [REPLY: The taxpaying public.]

  77. Have you guys investigated the alleged plagiarism by the Wegman report? Seems a much more compelling case than a noted expert’s self-plagiarism.

  78. To the moderator, nobody pays the scientists for their work on the IPCC. They are volunteers.
    You might also want to take a look at how the science has developed in the 12 years intervening between the SAR and 4AR.
    http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/did-the-ipcc-fourth-assessment-report-oversell-the-climate-malaria-connection/
    Here is the link to 4AR WG2 Chapter 8. The malaria section is on page 404:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg2/ar4-wg2-chapter8.pdf

  79. Rattus Norvegicus says:
    “…nobody pays the scientists for their work on the IPCC. They are volunteers.”
    Rattus, you are so naive it’s cute. Who do you think pays for those endless jaunts to Cancun, Mexico City, Bali, etc? The Tooth Fairy?
    They may be volunteers, but skeptical scientists almost never get picked, do they? And whether the IPCC’s carbon-scheme salesmen are paid directly by the UN, or paid by their current tax-sucking institution, the public ends up paying the freight. The only exceptions are NGOs like the WWF, which sends its lobbyists in droves to advance its alarmist agenda.
    And your links contain the most blatant propaganda:
    Emerging evidence of climate change effects on human health shows that climate change has… [& blah, blah, etc.]
    If you’re going to post a link, post something credible. The UN’s entire agenda is predicated on feathering its own nest, as anyone reading its self-serving bilge can plainly see.

  80. Some commenters have observed that one cannot plagiarize one’s own work. While there may be some merit to this observation, surely McMichael was obliged to provide a citation to the source. It seems to me that other lead authors (Mann, Jones, & Briffa for example) of other sections of IPCC reports have never been reticent when it comes to citations of their own work.
    Notwithstanding the above, there’s another wrinkle to consider – particularly in light of one of Jones’s assertions in Muir-Russell [9.3.4, p.74:]

    “Jones commented that the decision about which papers to include and which to exclude was a collective one of the author team of Chapter 3 of AR4. Jones stated that he did not write the relevant text in the final report as has been assumed: the lead on the relevant section (3.2) was another member of the writing team. The suggestion to make a response did not come from Jones, as he was not the responsible person for the section. He did, however, agree with its inclusion in the final draft as a part of the overall writing team and a CLA for Chapter 3.” [emphasis added -hro]

    If it is common practice in the writing of IPCC reports that lead authors do not necessarily bear responsibility for the writing (and/or inclusion) of ‘relevant text’, then the inclusion of McMichael’s unsourced material is, well, even worse than we thought!

  81. Eli, the ol’ pea-shifter, sez: ‘where it is evaluated and suggestions made for changes’
    I suggested, above, that bringing a 1993 statement up to date in 2005 would be a minimal effort, which the lead author did not bother to make.

  82. Harry Eagar: September 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm
    I suggested, above, that bringing a 1993 statement up to date in 2005 would be a minimal effort, which the lead author did not bother to make.
    An excellent point. They were doubly-remiss, because in 2002, there was an outbreak of malaria in Nairobi which killed 300 people. WG could easily have added that to reinforce their statement — although they’d have had to bury the medical reports which blamed the outbreak on people visiting the lowlands and returning after having contracted it.

  83. Curious Canuck says:
    September 4, 2010 at 8:06 am
    Without doubt your concise and reasoned argument carries the day. The logic and ethics are irrefutable, bolstered as they are by the scrupulous use of quotation marks and appropriate attribution.

  84. When you reference your claim, by providing the proper citation, you are in effect taking care of several things
    a) revealing to all, the source of your claim
    b) acknowledging the copyright of the original – provided you do not lift large chunks of text without prior permission from the publisher
    c) letting others know, about the nature of your source – bet it peer-reviewed or otherwise, so they can evaluate confidence that can be placed on it.
    Even if you are ‘reusing’ your ‘own material’, no matter – you still obtain permission from the publisher, unless your work is self-published. Since McMichael does not even cite his own work as being the source for those lifted passages, he ‘fails’.
    And dear rattus,
    People have been paid, under not so transparent procedures to say the least, to write stuff for the IPCC. Use your curiosity now and then. 🙂

  85. Robert E. Phelan says:
    September 4, 2010 at 8:45 am
    Hu McCulloch says:
    September 4, 2010 at 4:54 am
    I concur with Aric Anderson (9/3 @ 10:51AM) and Latimer Adler (9/3@11:00AM) that the problem here is not plagiarism per se, since you can’t plagiarize yourself.
    “I disagree. We usually describe plagiarism as “taking the work of another” but the failure to cite and credit previously published work is the essential element. It does not matter if the work is your own. If you quote from it or paraphrase it or use the outline of the argument, you must cite it. Anything else is plagiarism. You can plagiarise yourself.”
    A slippery slope. What is a “work”? Most all authors who write on a particular subject would likely be hard pressed not to re-use some version of a belief. And further, what is your cite for “you can plagiarize yourself”?

  86. Job Description –
    Review all relevant scientific material and summarize.
    Job performance –
    Applicant skillfully cut and pasted from a book he had previously written. Whether applicant actually reviewed any other available science is unknown.
    Recommendation –
    Applicant should be reassigned duties in the typing pool or possibly find alternative employment as a talking head.

  87. Smokey says:
    September 4, 2010 at 11:47 am
    “…Rattus, you are so naive it’s cute. Who do you think pays for those endless jaunts to Cancun, Mexico City, Bali, etc? The Tooth Fairy?
    They may be volunteers, but skeptical scientists almost never get picked, do they? And whether the IPCC’s carbon-scheme salesmen are paid directly by the UN, or paid by their current tax-sucking institution, the public ends up paying the freight. The only exceptions are NGOs like the WWF, which sends its lobbyists in droves to advance its alarmist agenda….”
    _________________________________________
    Sorry Smokey, you are wrong.
    WWF also gets our taxpayer dollars.
    http://www.undueinfluence.com/wwf.htm
    “Profile: The U.S. WWF is a superpower in the international non-profit arena, with 20% of its revenue from government tax money, 10% from industry, and half from prescriptive foundations.”
    Pleas note the use of quotation marks AND italics (snicker)

  88. Glenn says:
    September 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm
    Other forms of academic dishonesty include falsifying or misusing data from experiments, submitting the same paper for two classes without permission…
    The failure, whether intentional or not, to cite one’s sources properly is referred to as plagiarism.
    http://www.yale.edu/graduateschool/academics/ethics.html
    Whether a student copies verbatim or simply rephrases the ideas of another without properly acknowledging the source, the theft is the same.
    Students are expected to submit work that is done solely for each course in which they enroll. Prior written permission of all instructors is required if students wish to submit the same or similar work in more than 1 course.
    http://www.extension.harvard.edu/policies/responsible.jsp#integrity
    Proper citation allows others to trace the origin and development of ideas, theories, and research outcomes and helps support the integrity of the academic enterprise and needed mutual trust between those seeking and those disseminating knowledge.
    http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/1961/Ethics-HIGHER-EDUCATION.html
    When sociologists publish data or findings that they have previously published
    elsewhere, they accompany these publications by proper acknowledgment.
    http://www.asanet.org/images/asa/docs/pdf/Ethics%20Code.pdf
    Accounts of Chemical Research considers for publication only original work that has not been previously published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. When submitting a manuscript, an author should inform the editor of any prior dissemination of the content in print or electronic format. This includes electronic posting of conference presentations, posters, and preprints on institutional repositories and other Web sites. Any content that has been made publicly available, either in print or electronic format, and that contains a significant amount of new information, if made part of a submitted manuscript, may jeopardize the originality of the submission and may preclude consideration for publication.
    http://pubs.acs.org/page/achre4/submission/prior.html
    Environmental Science & Technology considers for publication only original work that has not been previously published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. When submitting a manuscript, an author should inform the editor of any prior dissemination of the content in print or electronic format. This includes electronic posting of conference presentations, posters, and preprints on institutional repositories and other Web sites. Any content that has been made publicly available, either in print or electronic format, and that contains a significant amount of new information, if made part of a submitted manuscript, may jeopardize the originality of the submission and may preclude consideration for publication. Duplication of already published data eliminates the paper from consideration in most circumstances.
    http://pubs.acs.org/page/esthag/submission/prior.html
    An author should identify the source of all information quoted or offered, except that which is common knowledge.
    http://pubs.acs.org/userimages/ContentEditor/1218054468605/ethics.pdf
    Proper and complete referencing is an essential part of any physics research publication. Deliberate omission of a pertinent author or reference is unethical and unacceptable.
    http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/02_2.cfm

  89. Rattus Norvegicus says something silly @ September 4, 2010 at 11:19 am
    To the moderator, nobody pays the scientists for their work on the IPCC. They are volunteers.
    How do you think they earn their livelihood? They work, mostly, for government bucks, in politicised organizations. They produce what their paymasters require.
    They are the inhabitants of Gulliver’s Travels floating island of Laputa – metaphorically, literally and in fact.

  90. richard telford says:
    September 4, 2010 at 10:25 am
    Mooloo says:
    September 4, 2010 at 4:50 am
    Lawyers may disagree. If I pay for a new, independent report on something,

    ————–
    Who paid the authors for their work on the IPCC?

    Are you serious? You mean that the IPCC report can have any old s**t in it, so long as no-one is paid directly to write it?
    The IPCC promise that the material is 1) the best there is, 2) all peer-reviewed, 3) current, 4) the consensus, 5) thoroughly reviewed and [gag] 6) unpoliticised.
    Every time one more egregious violation of these promises turns up we find apologists. But while any big report will have errors, the number and variety of these little finds shows the lies.
    Instead of worrying about whether this is “plagiarism” or “self-plagiarism”, wonder about whether it is consistent with best-practice climate research.

  91. Ref – Ecotretas says:
    September 3, 2010 at 11:49 pm
    “If this was a PhD thesis, and got caught, everyone knows what would happen next!”
    ____________________
    I’ve been out of the academic loop a real long time, could you fill me (and maybe some others) in on what they’d do today? Be gentle, even though I wear a diaper I can’t take things nearly as well as I used to.

  92. As so much of this has been about whether or not this is plagiarism or not, consider…
    The IPCC is a legal entity and it is the IPCC that has plagiarised, not the individual lead author.
    DaveE

  93. It should be noted that it is thought that John Adams contracted malaria during his trip to the Netherlands to try and obtain aid during the revolution. Benjamin Rush, the physician who signed the Declaration Of Independence, noted in his book on Yellow Fever (aka Bilious Remitting Fever) epidemic of 1794 that it was found as far north as Boston. He was practicing in Philadelphia at the time.

  94. Again, Donna has done some outstanding detective work. However I have a problem with her charge of plagiarism. My online dictionary defines plagiarism as follows:
    “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.”
    This is the most common usage of the word. However there’s a broader technical definition that’s used in Academia. Interestingly, under Definition 2, it is possible to plagiarize oneself! Donna is using this second definition, without being explicit about it. And that may cause some confusion.
    A note from Critical Thinking 101. Sometimes there are two or more partially-overlapping definitions for a word. Readers can sometimes discern which definition an author had in mind when he/she used the word. Sometimes, it’s not very productive to quibble about the ‘true’ meaning of a word. It’s much better to get down to the essence of what the author was trying to say, and to analyze it, than to play the Aha-Gotcha game.
    Nitpick Larry’s take on the article. Mr McMichael wrote a Scare-of-the-Month-Club book (SOTMCB) back in the early 1990s. Coincidentally, McMichael was given the responsibility of writing a health-related chapter to the IPCC’s 1995 report. In doing so, he lifted some material–almost verbatim–from his SOTMCB. He did not mention that SOTMCB as a reference. Consequently, that particular chapter was less than honest.
    All of the IPCC’s claims are supposed to be backed up by peer-reviewed publications in the scientific literature. At least part of McMichael’s chapter was speculation masquerading as science. This is one example among many of ‘gray literature’ that has found its way into IPCC reports.

  95. Glenn says:
    September 4, 2010 at 12:20 am
    [–snip irrelevant remarks–]
    But one can not plagiarize himself.

    The hell, you say!
    If I write a book and receive proceeds from that tome, then I am OBLIGED to REVEAL in ALL subsequent publications by myself the source of that information.
    In the case you didn’t understand that matter, it’s referred to as ‘JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY.’
    To NOT reference one’s priorly PUBLISHED remarks in such a way as to mislead the reader into believing that the current tome is original, is the essence of both MISLEADING and DECEIVING the reader of the current remarks.
    Ergo, repeating one’s own words —of substance— in another medium without attribution and reference to the one’s prior work, is absolutely the essence of plagiarizing, for it not only misleads the reader into thinking that the current work is original, but it also gives the impression that the thought has not been priorly expressed by the author.

  96. Larry Fields says:
    September 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm
    “All of the IPCC’s claims are supposed to be backed up by peer-reviewed publications in the scientific literature. At least part of McMichael’s chapter was speculation masquerading as science.”
    I assume you refer to the part of the chapter that includes the alleged plagiarized bit.
    Donna’s quote from the IPCC report as seen above:
    “Hence, it is a reasonable prediction that, in eastern Africa, a relatively small increase in winter temperature could extend the mosquito habitat and thus enable falciparum malaria to reach beyond the usual altitude limit of around 2,500 m to the large, malaria-free, urban highland populations, e.g. Nairobi in Kenya and Harare in Zimbabwe. Indeed, the monitoring of such populations around the world, currently just beyond the boundaries of stable endemic malaria, could provide early evidence of climate-related shifts in malaria distribution.”
    However, what came before “Hence,” in the same paragraph was:
    “Recent evidence of the responsiveness of malaria incidence to local climate change comes from observatios of marked increases in malaria incidence in Rwanda in 1987, when atypically hot and wet weather occurred (Loevensohn, 1994), and annual fluctuations in falciparum malaria intensity in northeast Pakistan that correlated with annual temperature variations during the 1980s (Bourma et al., 1994). ”
    and what came after Donna’s quote was:
    “(Haines et al., 1993)”
    Perhaps McMichael should have referenced the part that was paraphrased with something like “I also expressed this opinion in a book I wrote a couple years ago”.
    Not sure what that would have benefited, or why it was unethical not to have.

  97. Robert E. Phelan says:
    September 4, 2010 at 3:44 pm
    Perhaps you didn’t understand, but you didn’t answer the question “what is “works”.
    Suppose the quote in the book was not supported by any research, but the author said essentially the same thing in the IPCC report and did support it with research. Or if the support was from entirely different sources, yet the opinion or conclusion reached was the same.
    Are unsupported opinions regarded as “works”, such that each book and publication written including the same opinion should include reference to all other material where the opinion was formulated? Seems a little odd to throw a blanket over everything and call it plagiarism. And scary.

  98. This seems to be typical of climate research. You start off with a point of view based on supposition and ignorance, you ignore and suppress any data or science which contradicts your point of view, then you get your point of view published by the IPCC as a scientific consensus!
    ________________
    Many comments are about the use of the word ‘plagiarism’, but this is not the point. He wrote the book in 1993 speculating on the effects of global warming. The IPCC report is supposed to be based on SCIENCE. That is : PROOF that global warming is causing this trend NOW. […and not that : There is no evidence at the moment but we are sure it will happen in the future! – That is BELIEF and not SCIENCE]
    This has consequences :
    From the [UK] Daily Telegraph 12 Feb 2008 : Malaria warning as UK becomes warmer
    “Hospitals have been warned to prepare for outbreaks of malaria and tick-born viruses.
    The UK is to be hit by regular malaria outbreaks, fatal heatwaves and contaminated drinking water within five years because of global warming, the Government has warned the NHS.
    Following a major consultation with climate change scientists, the Government is issuing official advice to hospitals, care homes and institutions for dealing with rising temperatures, increased flooding, gales and other major weather events.
    It warns that there is a high likelihood of a major heatwave, leading to as many as 10,000 deaths, hitting the UK by 2012.
    All institutions have been told they must come up with a comprehensive plan on how to deal with the issues resulting from climate change.”
    Think of the money and resources that are wasted on preparing for non-existent threats!
    original link :
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3325067/Malaria-warning-as-UK-becomes-warmer.html

  99. anticlimactic says:
    September 4, 2010 at 6:56 pm
    “Many comments are about the use of the word ‘plagiarism’, but this is not the point. He wrote the book in 1993 speculating on the effects of global warming. The IPCC report is supposed to be based on SCIENCE. That is : PROOF that global warming is causing this trend NOW. […and not that : There is no evidence at the moment but we are sure it will happen in the future! – That is BELIEF and not SCIENCE]”
    Sorry, but what you just wrote is belief, not science. Science isn’t about proof, or being “sure” about the future. However I agree that the report is supposed to be about and based on science. But instead there was an emphasis placed on plagiarism, and because of that, plagiarism IS the point: “The Book the IPCC Plagiarized”

  100. Glenn says: September 4, 2010 at 6:38 pm
    Glenn, I’m sorry you don’t like the rules, but that is just the way it is. In academic writing you cite everything. If you use the words from another publication, they must be enclosed in quotation marks and cited. If you paraphrase without citing, use the structure and outline of another publication without citing, you are guilty of academic misconduct. When you quote from your own publication and don’t cite it you are guilty of academic misconduct.
    Donna Laframboise seems to have demonstrated that McMichaels cut and pasted from his own work into the IPCC report and didn’t cite it. If true, that is a case of academic misconduct and another example of the corruption of the IPCC process.

  101. roger says of my comment, “Without doubt your concise and reasoned argument carries the day. The logic and ethics are irrefutable, bolstered as they are by the scrupulous use of quotation marks and appropriate attribution.”
    You’re too generous, roger. My betters here have a much stronger grasp at ‘appropriately’ attributing on a technical level. I’m also clearly missing out on knowledge of all the text commands available in my little text box here.
    I am happy that I did manage to delineate the content I was referring to from my own words well enough for you to appreciate the message I was conveying. That understanding is one of many aspects of the WUWT readers’ community I appreciate, even when it is accompanied by light-hearted ribbing. This is a heartening environment for those, like myself, who came in from the heat more recently than some of the long-timers that we’re learning so much from (and with) on a daily basis.
    Another intellectual property question, though, while we are on the topic. Are reader’s permitted to make their own hats or t-shirts with the WUWT web address on them for personal use? Seems like it could be a great conversation opener. Maybe a quoted headline? I’m thinking yes after reading the slurs and linkings the site’s detractors publish on different blogs, but it felt right to ask.
    p.s. Best hopes and wishes to Anthony and family in these difficult times you are going through.

  102. Robert E. Phelan says:
    September 4, 2010 at 7:42 pm
    Robert, I’m sorry that you think I don’t like the rules, but you will forgive me if I do not place any value on unsupported claims, especially when they come into conflict. You said for example that that everything is to be cited, yet a reference you provided earlier excluded at least, common knowledge. You have not made the slightest effort to address my questions and considerations. I don’t think plagiary in this instance is clear cut and I’m left wondering whether you are intentionally refusing to support your claims with reason and address my questions. And I seriously doubt that reproducing any string of a few words without attribution in academic writing is always considered plagiary.

  103. Can anyone comment on the particular altitude refered to? 2500 metres? Should it be feet? Is this just another IPCC mistake that has been missed? At around 1500m asl, Harare has a fair way to go despite recent hyperinflation to exceed 2500m asl and a quick Wiki of Nairobi suggests that it is both 1661m asl and 1795m asl!
    As a former resident of Harare and other parts of Zimbabwe, I would suggest that the prevalence of malaria has more to do with eradication campaigns than climate change. Oh and don’t rule out interstate trucking as a vector in transporting both the parasites and the mosquitoes (and other unpleasant social diseases).
    Just give them back the DDT and let them do internal residential spraying and treated nets and you can stop worrying about malaria killing a significant proportion of the populace. Surely saving 300 million people from infection and a million people from dying EVERY year NOW from malaria should rate more highly in the “We need urgent action NOW before it is too late” scheme of things?? No? Ah well, a little carbon tax then? pffft
    /rant off

  104. Glenn: September 4, 2010 at 8:37 pm
    And I seriously doubt that reproducing any string of a few words without attribution in academic writing is always considered plagiary.
    If that particular string of a few words had appeared in a previous publication in the order in which they were reproduced, and they were reproduced without attribution, and they did not fit the definition of common knowledge, then that is — by definition — plagiarism.

  105. Robert you hit all the nails so many of us point to individually right on the head in rapid succession. Integrity.
    How can it be tenable that if someone were to plagiarize these passages that they could clearly dispute who they were actually plagiarizing from? These passages either belong to the IPCC, or they belong McMicheal.
    You could have McMichael, the IPCC and a plagiarist all claiming the work as their own with these practices. I have no doubt McMicheal would prevail having verifiably published his book first, but it would paint the IPCC with the same brush as our hypothetical, and mischievous, plagiarist stuntman (who, incidentally never read McMicheal’s book because it appeared to be decades-old, refried social formula).
    It would appear that McMicheal has led the IPCC to claim his previously published work as their own and original.

  106. It’s worse than we thought?
    Each new revelation of shonky, deceitful practices just illuminates how appalling this whole charade is.

  107. Glenn says: September 4, 2010 at 8:37 pm
    Glenn, go back to Climate Camp or Troll Trade School and take a refresher course. You’re not very good at this. I gave you the links to Yale, Harvard, the American Sociological Association and The American Chemical Society and their statements on academic integrity, but you do not place any value on unsupported claims. You noted that I stated that everything must be cited and then noted the exception for “common knowledge” in the links I gave… a real “gotcha” moment, no doubt.
    “You have not made the slightest effort to address my questions and considerations” really?
    “I seriously doubt that reproducing any string of a few words without attribution in academic writing is always considered plagiary” By all means. put it to the test.

  108. Bill Tuttle says:
    September 4, 2010 at 9:37 pm
    Glenn: September 4, 2010 at 8:37 pm
    And I seriously doubt that reproducing any string of a few words without attribution in academic writing is always considered plagiary.
    “If that particular string of a few words had appeared in a previous publication in the order in which they were reproduced, and they were reproduced without attribution, and they did not fit the definition of common knowledge, then that is — by definition — plagiarism.”
    Plagiary is in this respect is stealing another persons words, whether what is said is common knowledge or not.

  109. @bill tuttle
    ‘If I quibble hard enough, I could make the case that it is’.
    Hi Bill
    I suggest that you don’t bother. This is really a very small point and if you have to quibble so hard, it is not self-evidently obvious that you are right.
    There are many powerful reasons to attack and discredit the IPCC. Let us focus on those rather than the minutiae.
    Those ‘sceptical of scepticism’ would only use a concentration on a minor and obscure point as a general stick to beat the whole sceptical mindset with. Compared with Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035, whether an author chose to reuse some of his own phraseology without attrbution is trivial and needs exploring no further

  110. @rattus norvegicus
    ‘To the moderator, nobody pays the scientists for their work on the IPCC. They are volunteers.’
    Hmm…and of course it does their career no harm (currently) by having been associated with writing ‘The Bible’ of climate science. That presumably is why there is such a shortage of volunteers that many have to be turned away.
    Rattus may live so deep in the hold of a ship that he has never come above to wake up and smell the coffee. But out here in the real world, the lack of direct folding money payments does not absolve one from exercising one’s professional judgement and discretion….volunteer or not.

  111. Hey, the UK government managed to cobble together a justification for war, by using a high school essay posted on the internet. So why not use an unknown alarmist book for an IPCC report?
    This is what the brave new 21st century has brought us – B.S and propaganda by the tonne.
    .

  112. Robert Phelan says:
    “I disagree[with Anderson and McCulloch]. We usually describe plagiarism as “taking the work of another” but the failure to cite and credit previously published work is the essential element. It does not matter if the work is your own. If you quote from it or paraphrase it or use the outline of the argument, you must cite it. Anything else is plagiarism. You can plagiarise yourself.”
    That is simply not true. I can write or contribute to a dozen books using my own ideas over and over. I have no obligation to cite myself, ultimately resulting in a long chain of self-references back to the original time I put the idea down on paper.
    Again, I think what has been exposed here is significant: incestuous working group, lack of decent peer review, sloppy processes, (likely) lack of good scientific basis for the substantive statements underlying his book in the first place, and so on. I just don’t think plagiarism is the strongest stone to be casting here.

  113. bluegrue says:
    September 4, 2010 at 2:23 am
    Oh, BTW, Donna Laframboise chose to chop off the reference from the IPCC passage: “evidence of climate-related shifts in malaria distribution (Haines et al., 1993).”

    She sure did. The full citation is: Haines, A., P.R. Epstein, and A.J. McMichael, 1993: Global Health Watch: monitoring the impacts of environmental change. The Lancet, 342, 1464-1469. It can be purchased for $31.50 here: http://www.thelancet.com/advancedsearch. Simply do a search on “Haines” and “1993” and it will pop right up. I’ll bet that’s where McMichael’s reference to 2500 m comes from.

  114. Craigo says:
    September 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Can anyone comment on the particular altitude refered to? 2500 metres? Should it be feet? Is this just another IPCC mistake that has been missed? At around 1500m asl, Harare has a fair way to go despite recent hyperinflation to exceed 2500m asl and a quick Wiki of Nairobi suggests that it is both 1661m asl and 1795m asl!

    Quoting from the IPCC’s “bible” on C(lie)mate Research quoting from his own book some ten year’s before:
    Climate Bible’s 1995 Working Group 2 report, page 574:
    Hence, it is a reasonable prediction that, in eastern Africa, a relatively small increase in winter temperature could extend the mosquito habitat and thus enable faciparum malaria to reach beyond the usual altitude limit of around 2,500 m to the large, malaria-free, urban highland populations, e.g. Nairobi in Kenya and Harare in Zimbabwe. Indeed, the monitoring of such populations around the world, currently just beyond the boundaries of stable endemic malaria, could provide early evidence of climate-related shifts in malaria distribution.

    —…—…—
    Look at the “science” that is dead wrong in McMicheal’s propaganda pushed by advocates of Mann-made CAGW via the inept and corrupt IPCC as they seek power and money:
    Wrong elevation for either Harare (1490 meters, 4880 ft) AND Nairobi (1661 meters, 5450 ft),
    Wrong assumption that malaria was not previously found in either city in Africa (until CAGW casts its disastrous footprint sometime in the near future),
    Wrong assumption that malaria has a limit with temperature – it is found from the arctic and Siberian mountains areas down to the sub-Pacific tropics,
    Wrong assumption that malaria is spreading as CAGW continues to warm up the planet – it is not, malaria has contracted throughout the 20th century. Until enviro’s deliberating began killing people.
    wrong assumptions for malaria spreading as a function of temperature in any means,
    Wrong “science” in directly quoting a non-peer-reviewed, non-scientific, self-serving book unknowingly (but deliberately hidden) with the author as the IPCC’s editor, already badly outdated when the latest IPCC review as a direct primary source in any account.
    Bad qualifications for the IPCC’s editor.
    But we are to condemn billions to an early death, suffering in the dark as they starve to death festering from disease and filth due to such “experts” and the elite “scientists” that the warmista’s favor.

  115. Oh. Oh. I so agree with the IPCC being a perfect example of plagiarism in writing class lectures, and as a prime example of literature review faux pas. Not to mention the issue of grey papers as “factual” source material. The entire effort has been a boondoggle that can easily be smeared by any well trained 8th grader’s final project.

  116. As far as this having any impact on the current US Administration, I doubt it. After all, who is the “Plagarizer-in-chief” of the US? The Veep himself.

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