Pielke Jr. demolishes IPCC Lead Author Senate EPW testimony

Dr. Roger Pielke jr. writes:

IPCC Lead Author Misleads US Congress

The politicization of climate science is so complete that the lead author of the IPCC’s Working Group II on climate impacts feels comfortable presenting testimony to the US Congress that fundamentally misrepresents what the IPCC has concluded. I am referring to testimony given today by Christopher Field, a professor at Stanford, to the US Senate.

This is not a particularly nuanced or complex issue. What Field says the IPCC says is blantantly wrong, often 180 degrees wrong. It is one thing to disagree about scientific questions, but it is altogether different to fundamentally misrepresent an IPCC report to the US Congress. Below are five instances in which Field’s testimony today completely and unambiguously misrepresented IPCC findings to the Senate. Field’s testimony is here in PDF.

Full story here, well worth a read

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
John Blake

Have the Peoples’ Representatives really so little sense of reality, become so completely divorced from original sources that contradict this testimony in toto, that no-one rises to correct this shill or even flip a page to a relevant IPCC passage? If this is Congress’s idea of “fact finding,” what next– can anyone at this so-called “hearing” prove the world is NOT governed by invisible flying rabbits? Well, then– here they come.

Skiphil

Unreal !! He can give his own opinions about the state of research, but such blatant misrepresentations of what the IPCC actually said are outrageous.
Of course with a committee chaired by the pitiful Babs Boxer this is simply playing to the “majority”…. Still incredible since the claims could be so quickly and clearly refuted.

DaveG

Dr. Roger Pielke jr shows clearly that IPCC Lead Author Field didn’t simply mislead the Senate he outright lied. You have to call a spade a spade and a lie a lie, a suit and tie does not make you a honest man!
Read for yourself:
1. On the economic costs of disasters:
Field: “As the US copes with the aftermath of last year’s record-breaking series of 14 billion-dollar climate-related disasters and this year’s massive wildfires and storms, it is critical to understand that the link between climate change and the kinds of extremes that lead to disasters is clear.”
What the IPCC actually said: “There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change”
2. On US droughts:
Field: “The report identified some areas where droughts have become longer and more intense (including southern Europe and West Africa), but others where droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter.”
What the IPCC actually said: “… in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, central North America …”
3. On NOAA’s billion dollar disasters:
Field: “The US experienced 14 billion-dollar disasters in 2011, a record that far surpasses the previous maximum of 9.”
What NOAA actually says about its series of “billion dollar” disasters: “Caution should be used in interpreting any trends based on this [data] for a variety of reasons”
4. On attributing billion dollar disasters to climate change, case of hurricanes and tornadoes:
Field: “For several of these categories of disasters, the strength of any linkage to climate change, if there is one, is not known. Specifically, the IPCC (IPCC 2012) did not identify a trend or express confidence in projections concerning tornadoes and other small-area events. The evidence on hurricanes is mixed.”
What the IPCC actually said (p. 269 PDF): “The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados”
5. On attributing billion dollar disasters to climate change, case of floods and droughts:
Field: “For other categories of climate and weather extremes, the pattern is increasingly clear. Climate change is shifting the risk of hitting an extreme. The IPCC (IPCC 2012) concludes that climate change increases the risk of heat waves (90% or greater probability), heavy precipitation (66% or greater probability), and droughts (medium confidence) for most land areas.”
What the IPCC actually says (p. 269 PDF): “The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses”
_____________________________________________________________________
Field is certainly entitled to his (wrong) opinion on the science of climate change and disasters However, it utterly irresponsible to fundamentally misrepresent the conclusions of the IPCC before the US Congress. He might have explained why he thought the IPCC was wrong in its conclusions, but it is foolish to pretend that the body said something other than what it actually reported. Just like the inconvenient fact that people are influencing the climate and carbon dioxide is a main culprit, the science says what the science says.
Field can present such nonsense before Congress because the politics of climate change are so poisonous that he will be applauded for his misrepresentations by many, including some scientists. Undoubtedly, I will be attacked for pointing out his obvious misrepresentations. Neither response changes the basic facts here. Such is the sorry state of climate science today.

Knowledge and understanding are not qualities abundantly available in any political forum I have encountered. Most of them will accept any information that suits their ideological agenda and automatically reject or discount anything which counters it.
Sadly, the knowledge/understanding of ‘peoples representatives’ on any given complex subject is inversely proportional to the amount of money available for the lobbyists and their supporters.

This is great stuff.
About three-four months ago (times of failed Scafetta flourish on WUWT) I finally got proof that the real natural variability is easily calculated from already known solar and geophysical variability.
Fiercer the AGW-sceptics warfare the more value in understanding natural variability.
The AGW camp has no clue, the ‘BEST’ is a contradiction of terminology, Scafetta and planetarists have failed to make an impact.
Hey, doing science with obscure correlations is lot of fun especially if you can get what no one else has.

ob

I recommend to read the comments by A on RPJr’s post. Or even better, take the transcript and the SREX and compare them yourself. Field could have done better, but he neither lies (Re: DaveG) nor “unambiguously misrepresent”s.

Solomon Green

Field’s graph appears to show that NOAA has been above the 95% confidence limit (presumably based on Berkeley) fairly consistently since about 1983. Should I have confidence in the confidence limit or in the NOAA records?

rogerknights

Now’s the time for our well-organized, well-funded denial machine to roll out a pre-packaged TV-ready episode consisting of extracts from Field’s testimony interspersed with video’d responses from Pielke. At least Fox should run it, and hopefully some local stations too.
But it won’t happen, because there is no such organization in operation. (See my article, “Notes from Skull Island,” at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/17/climate-debate-rages-in-the-australian/#comment-556455 )

wayne

Now if only the Senate sub-committee members would read Pielke Jr.’s blog. The problem is these misrepresentations were *said* to the Senate subcommittee and no one *there*, at the meeting, stood up and pointed out the these misrepresentations. Nothing is going to change from Roger’s great insight unless there is some other way to loudly point out to each and every member that they just, basically, got lied to, and here is the proof.

Billy Liar

Is it a crime to mislead Congress?
Field has obviously trained at the Gleick School of Ethics.

Luther Wu

John Blake says:
August 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm
Have the Peoples’ Representatives really so little sense of reality, become so completely divorced from original sources that contradict this testimony in toto, that no-one rises to correct this shill or even flip a page to a relevant IPCC passage? If this is Congress’s idea of “fact finding,” what next– can anyone at this so-called “hearing” prove the world is NOT governed by invisible flying rabbits? Well, then– here they come.
________________________________
Pardon me, John- not rabbits, but 12 foot lizards…
You make great points about fact finding at this hearing, but would it make any difference to them? Does the majority not have and support their true agenda of additional taxation and control, regardless of how they get there?
It’s Pielke Jr. taking the testimony (and the state of climate science) to task, which speaks volumes in and of itself.

Ray Hudson

They indicted Roger Clemens on similar charges, but those charges did not stick. Will they at least follow thru and pursue indictment of this clown on the same basis? Probably not.

Climate ‘science’ is rapidly approaching the single digit approval rating of Congress and the propaganda media. The EPW Minority must demand a public retraction of false testimony by Field, then strike all testimony by any discredited witness. Finally, Field must be barred from any future testimony or evidence. Big lies begin with half-truths. Removing one bad apple from the Faux Science barrel will not end the rot….but will be an ominous warning….some Earthlings are serious about Truth.

Ally E.

So, is anyone sending this stuff to the Senators? Anyone slipping the truth in along with their morning coffee? It’s no good all this being said out here. It needs to reach Congress. There must be some Senators willing to listen – and hopefully pull Field in for further (tighter) questioning.
Hasn’t this gone on long enough? Field has been caught lying to Congress, isn’t that a crime in the USA? There must be a procedure to raise this issue and make a formal compliant to Congress and get the authorities looking into it. This is a serious matter.

Ben Wilson

Let me see if I’ve got this right. . . .
The lead author of the IPCC report. . . . .lies about his own report?
Why in the world would they put him on the stand to do something like that. . . . .something that’s so obviously and quickly impeachable?
Wow. . . . . its sort of like this is never never land. . . . . . .

Jon

It’s just another UNFCCC conform social scientist?

WTF

Lies, damn lies and statistics (to be clear I am not accusing anyone of telling lies). Storm or disatster costs are subject to many things even if the frequency of disasters increase or decrease year over year. Population increase, urban planning, storm water management, inflation, etc. Without taking all of these things plus more into account conclusions are just conjecture.

My take on the hearing: Babs ran it like a kangaroo court. She asked “gotcha” questions and didn’t allow time for the scientists (esp. Christy) to explain their answers. And in science, there are no quick yes or no answers to any important question.
Babs and Christy were in effect speaking different languages: Babs asks, “WHO was taking biased measurements?” and Christy thinks she’s talking about bias in the data caused by structural factors surrounding the weather stations. They never did get it together.
I could never stand to sit there in that hearing room and let complete ignoramuses plot together to suppress the truth!

Tom in Indy

The damage is done. The media will run with the quotes. The only thing that might get the media to backtrack is if Fields is charged with Contempt of Congress.

KnR

Field was doing his job , what you need to release is that job is not science .

D. J. Hawkins

ob says:
August 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm
I recommend to read the comments by A on RPJr’s post. Or even better, take the transcript and the SREX and compare them yourself. Field could have done better, but he neither lies (Re: DaveG) nor “unambiguously misrepresent”s.

“A trolling we will go, a trolling we will go…”
Yes, please read the nearly incomprehensible “A” and Dr. Pielke’s replies. “A’s” comment on point 1 is particularly tortured, trying to suggest Field is talking about climate changes and extreme weather, not losses. I wonder what the phrase “14 billion-dollar climate-related disasters” refers to if not economic losses. Dr. Pielke’s response is directly on point. “A” doesn’t fair much better on the subsequent issues.

Brian R Adams

Babs Boxer, during one of the committee witch hunts looking into possible “collusion” after one of the gasoline price spikes a decade or so ago (to the assembled eminent economists who were saying no evidence of collusion was found): “Well, I’m all FOR supply and demand and all, but … ” [your findings don’t fit my anti-Big Oil narrative, so yada yada …] It was comical but also sad to witness the unabashed politicization of science even then.

WTF

ob says:
August 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm
I recommend to read the comments by A on RPJr’s post……….
I agree. Excellent lesson in smackdown without being offensive by RPJr. I do have to give ‘A’ kudos for engaging in a civil debate though.

davidgmills

Outrageous. But we don’t indict banksters so don’t expect anything to happen to him. Now going after a guy like Roger Clemons, now that is important, so he needs to be indicted.

Maus

” I wonder what the phrase “14 billion-dollar climate-related disasters” refers to if not economic losses.”
Reading tea leaves with coffee grounds.

charles nelson

Field looks uncannily like Dr Harold Shipman….shudder!
[REPLY: You may well be right, but how does this advance our understanding of the issue… unless you are a eugenicist or an enthusiast of Cesare Lumbroso… -REP]

AGW was to be the ruse that created a sense of crisis so that ordinary citizens would voluntarily submit to the kind of collectivist schemes that have never worked in the past. Unless you belong to the politically connected class. Except this time the form is to push regulation and to tax away benefits of ownership and award govt largesse to connected companies. Freezing was the preferred theory for a while and Club of Rome books from the 70s make it clear any rationale will work. It’s the political, social and economic transformation and control over personal behaviors that the point.
If the working definition of Corporatist Socialism is a planned economy and intrusions into what a citizen may say, do, or feel , we are there. Yes, I am aware of other names for this political racket from the past. But what’s important first is to capture the essence of the fundamental relationships involved.
Then we can bring in other notorious names for these practices where political power seeks to override reality.

Rud Istvan

All, this thread is what is wrong about the climate change debate. I scanned Field’s testimony and the blogosphere replies, so do not yet have this nailed excpt for the following. Not clear worth further effort, since the trends are clear. How about not ‘yelling’ past each other, and engaging? Weather related economic losses are real. Question is what, if any, AGW contribution. Now Fields asserted everything, without a shred of proof. You all are asserting nothing, also without giving a shred do proof. The laws of physics say carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It must increase warming at least a bit. But there are other important factors. It is the future influence of those factors, not today’s weak climate signals relative to a very (as AW showed via surface station siting) noisy background, that matters.
In the military you are taught not to attack all targets (lest waste all ammunition). Advise you follow this doctrine. As I did on a previous post here about provably wrong corn yield consequences. You want to stop the nonsense, then ‘shoot to kill’. Don’t do what the Taliban does, which is spray and pray. Specifically meaning taking AK47s and just pulling the tigger in some general direction. AW ‘shot to kill’ with his surface station study. Emulate that.

Caleb

I thought it was interesting that the IPCC said there was “no trend,” concerning hurricanes, while Field stated, “The evidence on hurricanes is mixed.”
There is some evidence hurricanes up-the-East-Coast are to some degree influenced by the warm AMO. Of course, this has nothing to do with CO2, which would suggest a reason to downplay the connection. If people were aware the AMO has been warm, and that the “trend” would be more hurricanes up the east coast until it cools, they might expect a repeat of 1893, or of 1954. If you say there is no “trend,” people will not expect another Carol-Edna-Hazel season, and when it happens it will be more possible to point at CO2 as a culpret.
I’m an alarmist, but not about CO2. I’m nervous about a repeat of 1954. We’ve been pretty lucky, so far, this warm AMO. I thought Irene was “The Big One,” but it was slow enough, and in over the cold shelf waters, and the eyewall fell apart. I hope our luck continues.

EternalOptimist

One of the big mistakes we make as skeptics is judging the other side by our own standards.
I have been known, on occasion, to tell known lies, but for the ‘right’ reason. For example, I told my kids that Father Christmas was real, even though I seriously doubted the proposition. But it was done for a good reason and I would do it again.
These folks are doing the same. After all, its not REALLY telling lies. is it ?…

D. J. Hawkins

@ Rud Istvan
If you want to ponder the issue of “yelling past each other” I suggest a long, hard stare in the mirror.
Dr. Pielke Jr.’s comments were not in any way, manner, shape, or form about the reality of AGW.
They were about Field’s misrepresentations lies concerning what the IPCC had to say about the matter. You need to work on your English comprehension skills.

You foolish people. He was brought in to say exactly what he said. The whole point of him being there was to give a scientific imprimatur for that exact view point. It’s over. Done with. It is now part of the congressional record and congressmen can point back to it as the scientific basis of their legislation. If it wasn’t him, it would have been someone else.
Listening to a NPR broadcast today about gay marriage they had a theologian present to refute arguments that homosexualism was religiously proscribed. Not that I’m one way or another on that particular issue, but it points out that those the left brings forth to “testify” are going from a well rehearsed script. They will find someone with sufficient credentials who will say whatever it is they need them to say.
Come’on! You guys have figured that out by now, right?

MonktonofOz

The “graph” on page 3 of the pdf needs addressing as it states, simply and cleverly, that the number of record highs is increasing. If the world is cooling then it is surely inconceivable that we are experiencing more and more record highs. As a confirmed sceptic this is the first piece of information (evidence?) which has caused me to doubt my views.

Mark T

“Is it a crime to mislead Congress?”
If you are under oath and you lie, yes.
Mark

u.k.(us)

The thing that really drives my skepticism, is the lack of locusts.

True Believers of the global warming are looking pretty silly riding their pink donkey to the capitalism-free Utopian dreamland of the Left. But, something is wrong when to get there the Left just can’t stop the lying.

Rud Istvan says:
“Fields asserted everything, without a shred of proof. You all are asserting nothing, also without giving a shred do proof.”
.
The scientific method places the onus entirely on those making the claim. The claim [actually, a conjecture] is that CO2=AGW.
Skeptics do not have to offer ‘a shred of proof’. That is the job of those proposing the AGW [and much more preposterously, the CAGW] conjecture. They have failed. Although radiative physics implies that because CO2 absorbs and emits IR the atmosphere should heat up, empirical observations indicate that more is at play. Because the planet is not warming as endlessly predicted. Quite the opposite.
There is not a shred of testable, verifiable scientific evidence showing that CO2=AGW. None. The alarmist crowd has completely failed to make a scientific case. According to the scientific method, they must now discard their falsified conjecture, and formulate a new one. Scientific probity requires it.

Fred

Stanford eh?
What does he teach, Climate Scientology? Global Warming Justice?

Greg House

Excuse me, did this distinguished person just… well… LIE? How very unusual.
Can anybody give me 1(one) example of a climate scientist who did tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

pat

another farce for MSM & public consumption.
here’s another:
31 July: BBC: Olympic taxis make 130-mile round trip to fill up in Swindon
Hydrogen-fuelled taxis, introduced in London for the Olympic Games, are being transported on a 130-mile round trip to Swindon to refuel.
The fleet of three low-emission cabs was introduced to ferry VIPs and officials during the Games.
But the hydrogen fuelling station, at Lea Interchange near the Olympic Park, has had to close for security reasons…
In the meantime, the taxis are loaded on a transporter to make the trip to the nearest filling station at car manufacturer Honda’s plant in Swindon..
Richard Kemp-Harper, from the government-run Technology Strategy Board, said the situation was “short term”.
“The benefits for those taxis – apart from showing off some great British technology to the rest of the world – is actually that they produce water out of their tail pipes,” he said.
“So the particulates and air quality – it’s a big difference for London even if there’s a small carbon problem with having to ship them up to Swindon to pick up hydrogen at the moment.”…
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-19049209

R.S.Brown

One can see why the IPCC and other U.N. daughter organizations want
immunity from prosecution for their members/employees/consultants
should one/some of them violate a host of national laws… like perjury
or “Contempt of Congress”.
Barb Boxer indicated that there weren’t any U.S. government Department,
Agency, or Office staff employees “invited” to testify at today’s hearing.
None of them want to testify under oath unless they control the questions.

Entropic man

Smokey says:
August 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm
. “There is not a shred of testable, verifiable scientific evidence showing that CO2=AGW. None.”
Try this one.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v484/n7392/full/nature10929.html

Berényi Péter

Did he testify under oath or merely held a presentation for entertainment purposes? There is a difference, at least there used to be one in pre-postnormal times.

Entropic,
BZZ-Z-Z-ZT!! WRONG!
From your own link, the PETM triggered rising CO2:

Corresponding climate–ecosystem–soil simulations accounting for rising concentrations of background greenhouse gases and orbital forcing show that the magnitude and timing of the PETM and subsequent hyperthermals can be explained by the orbitally triggered decomposition of soil organic carbon in circum-Arctic and Antarctic terrestrial permafrost.

Nice try, thanx for playing. And Vanna has some lovely parting gifts for you on your way out…

dp

Whenever I read Joshua I feel the life draining from me. The guy is just numbing, predictable, and dull as a re-run. Which is applicable to just about everything he ever says. He is someone who will never have a light go on and there is no point in taking his bait and debating him. His entire purpose is to blunt the conversation – to drive away audiences. It works.

Sean

Isn’t it a criminal offense to lie in your testimony to congress? When can we expect an arrest? Will Stanford revoke Christopher Field’s tenure? Lets write both the presidents of Stanford and of their alumni association to find out what they think and plan to do. Do they plan to change the code of conduct for students to allow them to cheat as well, or is this a privilege reserved for staff only? This reflects very poorly on Stanford as an academic institution. If they do not act promptly then they rank down there with Penn State in the ethics department.

Maus

Entropic Man: “Try this one.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v484/n7392/full/nature10929.html
Eh? Why that one and not the paper blaming dinosaur flatulence? Both are larded up with ‘cans’ and ‘coulds’. And both are as equally testable and replicable. But only the one that intersects Central American Cuisine with Sauropods gets the hook right for climate catastrophe caused by fauna.

Robert of Ottawa

Pielke and Cristy do a Tag Team Double Slam Down.
One attacks the messanger, the other the message. Blam! Ow! Splat!

Theo Goodwin

D. J. Hawkins says:
August 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm
ob says:
August 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm
I recommend to read the comments by A on RPJr’s post. Or even better, take the transcript and the SREX and compare them yourself. Field could have done better, but he neither lies (Re: DaveG) nor “unambiguously misrepresent”s.
‘“A trolling we will go, a trolling we will go…”
Yes, please read the nearly incomprehensible “A” and Dr. Pielke’s replies. “A’s” comment on point 1 is particularly tortured, trying to suggest Field is talking about climate changes and extreme weather, not losses. I wonder what the phrase “14 billion-dollar climate-related disasters” refers to if not economic losses. Dr. Pielke’s response is directly on point. “A” doesn’t fair much better on the subsequent issues.’
ob, did you just get your head handed to you? You can learn a lesson from this. On WUWT, if you post a false claim then you will find that your claim is quickly and graphically revealed for the falsehood that it is. This environment is toxic for trolls. Of course, some trolls are so far out that they are ignored by all.

Theo Goodwin

Smokey says:
August 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm
Wow! Smokey smokes someone. Hats off to you, Smokey.