An 'Uh Oh' moment in Nature – IPCC Climate panel is ripe for examination

ipcc logoIt is fitting this is published near Halloween time in Nature, because the IPCC is full of scare stories.

IPCC: Climate panel is ripe for examination

Mike Hulme & Martin Mahony Nature 502, 624  (31 October 2013) doi:10.1038/502624c

Published online  30 October 2013

Sociologists of science wish to study the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the same reason that they want to examine other loci at which scientific knowledge is made — whether in a laboratory, the field, a museum or at a conference. We too approached the IPCC in autumn 2010 with a request to study it from the inside; we too were told ‘no’ (see Nature 502, 281; 2013).

We therefore had to rely on self-reported accounts. Using document analysis and interviews with lead authors, we analysed how authors navigate the distinction between scientific description and value judgements, for example when offering information pertaining to the definition of ‘dangerous climate change’.

The IPCC has become a dominant institution in climate science — in the assessment of knowledge for policy-making, and in how assessment practices alter empirical and computer-simulated climate science. Global knowledge assessments such as those undertaken by the IPCC call for carefully documented systematic studies by trained ethnographers.

Let us hope that the IPCC will recognize itself as a legitimate object for scholarly investigation this time around.

Mike Hulme, Martin Mahony

King’s College London, UK.

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

Josh previously provided some levity:

Josh_IPCC_AR5

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Gareth Phillips

It’s something that I have banged on about for years with little success. people on all sides of the debate underestimate how subjectivity in any team member can skew the results of studies. All of us will view any findings with the jaundiced eye of the individual and see what we wish to prove. It’s having the insight to know we do it that is the critical issue.

JohnWho

Hmm..
“Let us hope that the IPCC will recognize itself as a legitimate object for scholarly investigation this time around.”
If the IPCC doesn’t recognize itself as a legitimate object for scholarly investigation, then why should we accept it as legitimate?
Just wondering.

I am absolutely tickled to see that anybody still recognizes the Fallacies of Informal Logic and their important to the classical art of Rhetoric (the art of persuading someone to believe something that ain’t necessarily so.)

JohnWho

Got to read “Scientivist” carefully.
Good job Josh.
LOL

JohnWho

Gareth Phillips says:
October 31, 2013 at 8:10 am
It’s something that I have banged on about for years with little success. people on all sides of the debate underestimate how subjectivity in any team member can skew the results of studies.

Seriously Gareth, wouldn’t that be one reason why one should allow others to view their data and methods?

Admad

“Sociologists of science wish to study the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”.
Why? There’s no “science” to speak of going on in the IPCC.

MarkW

JohnWho says:
October 31, 2013 at 8:11 am
—–
They have long since abandoned any pretext towards being scholarly.

Patrick B

So let me get this straight – socioligists, purveyors of a very squishy “science”, want to study the IPCC, purveyors of another squishy “science” – oh yeah, I’m sure that will provide useful, scientifically reliable results.

jorgekafkazar

Is my eyesight going or is that UNEP logo mooning us?

lemon

Why doesnt someone offer a Michael Mann Bobblehead Doll made… There has never been a better subject

Latitude

“for the same reason that they want to examine other loci at which scientific knowledge is made”
…reading challenged
“relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change”
“The IPCC …. does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters.”

We too approached the IPCC in autumn 2010 with a request to study it from the inside; we too were told ‘no’ only if IPCC can adjust the data after it is collected.

vigilantfish

@ Patrick B. Although I am a historian and hence see sociologists as disciplinary parasites who have appropriated history’s domain to create a ‘science’ of society, there have been valuable contributions by sociologists to our understanding of the history of science, notably in the work of Robert Merton. The best among the sociologists (ie the most historically inclined) have asked different kinds of questions and hence enriched historians’ approaches in turn. That being said the IPCC Climate Panel is kidding itself if it thinks it will escape the scrutiny of sociologists and historians. Both fields are interested in understanding the kinds of self-deception and historical contingencies that lead to scientific errors, politicized science, and temporarily successful fraudulent science. In the end we will find all three of these encompassed in the history of this organization, based on the existing revelations of Climategate and shoddy science.

Jimmy Haigh.

JohnWho says:
October 31, 2013 at 8:13 am
Got to read “Scientivist” carefully.
Good job Josh.
Absolutely. What a most excellent word: “Scientivist”!

JohnWho 8:13 am
Got to read “Scientivist” carefully.
#Scitivist – nomination for a hashtag.

cynical_scientist

These sociologists probably think that in studying the IPCC they are studying science.
Sociologists like to think everything is political. They tend to portray science as a process by which alternative “ways of knowing” struggle for supremacy via an essentially political and social process. In focusing on the social elements they tend to downplay the importance of things like evidence, truth, fact and proof. The result to me appears to be a distorted charicature of science.
I suspect the sociologists will love the IPCC because it embodies exactly the kind of politicised “science” they like to portray.

Jim Cripwell

This is slightly off topic, but I am so annoyed with it, that I hope it will be permitted. From today’s GWPF, I find http://www.thegwpf.org/uk-government-no-global-cooling-centuries/
I quote “The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): The UK government has made substantial investment in research that concerns the likelihood and timing of future changes in global and regional climate.
All of the climate models and policy-relevant pathways of future greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions considered in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent Fifth Assessment Report show a long-term global increase in temperature during the 21st century is expected. In all cases, the warming from increasing greenhouse gases significantly exceeds any cooling from atmospheric aerosols. Other effects such as solar changes and volcanic activity are likely to have only a minor impact over this timescale”
So, presumably the UK Met. Office used the IPCC models to prepare this reply. It is given in the House of Lords, by a Peer of the Realm, so by the rules of the British Parliament, it OUGHT to be accurate. Since the climate models are completely incapable of producing accurate predictions, the answer gvien by Baroness Verma is little more than a pack of lies.
It was this sort of statement by the Met. Office a few years ago that persuaded Heathrow Airport not to invest in snow clearing equipment, so the a mere 5 inches of snow closed one of the busiest airports in the world for several days. 5 inches of snow here is Ottawa, Canada, would barely cause any delays in service.
Surely it is about time that someone with both authority and courage to stand up and say this nonsense of CAGW must stop before even more damage is done.

Gareth Phillips

JohnWho says:
October 31, 2013 at 8:14 am
Gareth Phillips says:
October 31, 2013 at 8:10 am
It’s something that I have banged on about for years with little success. people on all sides of the debate underestimate how subjectivity in any team member can skew the results of studies.
Seriously Gareth, wouldn’t that be one reason why one should allow others to view their data and methods?
Thanks John,
Absolutely, having someone else confirm your outcomes and conclusions from an independent or devils advocate perspective is critical in excluding bias. A study like this could be really interesting and inform the debate no end.

Curious George

Employing ethnographers is absolutely essential for climate science. Also psychologists. This is a good Halloween post.

john robertson

Examination of the UN IPCC under the RICO statutes would be a far more useful act.

rogerknights

Jimmy Haigh. says:
October 31, 2013 at 9:12 am

JohnWho says:
October 31, 2013 at 8:13 am
Got to read “Scientivist” carefully.
Good job Josh.

Absolutely. What a most excellent word: “Scientivist”!

I like “Scientwist” better.

Policy Guy

Wonderful idea to study the IPCC. Some on this string think sociologists and historians would do a respectable job while others think not.
Does anyone know of any entity that could undertake this inquiry?

Beemer

“Scientivist” is a great word… ranks up there with one I use on occasion: “meteorologer” 🙂

The IPCC does not conduct independent research but is, instead, a government and UN-supported international clearinghouse http://climal.com/climate-change-facts.php

Theo Goodwin

vigilantfish says:
October 31, 2013 at 9:04 am
Very well said. Today, very few of our best have a serious understanding of the discipline of history or the importance of its uses.

Jquip

@Latitude: “…reading challenged”
Yep, wrong AGW. There’s the global one. And the graph one.
@vigilantfish: “Although I am a historian and hence see sociologists as disciplinary parasites who have appropriated history’s domain …”
I’ve always considered a Historian to be a Sociologist that can’t be sued for libel.

Richard Howes

lemon says:
October 31, 2013 at 8:48 am
Why doesnt someone offer a Michael Mann Bobblehead Doll made… There has never been a better subject
Hey Lemon, I second that!

JPeden

If the Authors “want to examine… loci at which scientific knowledge is made,”
Why not just say what we already know as ‘virtually certain’: the ipcc’s method is almost exclusively “computer-simulated climate science” = gigo; ‘Expertly’ guided by demonizing CO2 and disasterizing Global Warming and spurred onward always by the ethical maxim that “We ‘mainstream’ Climate Scientists
are all gonna die from Green Back Starvation Syndrome if we don’t gin up some more demonizing and disasterizing ‘Climate Science’ before it’s too late!”?
It sounds like the Authors didn’t get enough inside info from Mr.Foia and want to directly ~”record from the inside”, and the Nature article says :
“The proposal, part of a larger ‘assessment of assessments’ funded by the US National Science Foundation, could offer insight into the ways that social dynamics, unconscious biases and seemingly mundane rules affect the final product — and what might be done to improve the process….
“[Climate Scientist ] Oppen­heimer and his colleagues argued that the IPCC tends towards caution and errs “on the side of least drama.”
Ah-ha, the Ipcc its too cautious, needs to deemphasize uncertainty on SLR, for example, such that an anything’s -possible giant SLR means that “We all might-could die if we don’t do something really stupid, before it’s too late!”
It sounds like the Authors should just study themselves, to find that their brains operate the same way as those of “mainstream” Climate Scientists’ and their Warming Models do: motivated garbage in, money out.
tags Methods: It’s Models Modelling their own Modelling Models; Hulm: the main goal of Climate Science is really to ~”eliminate the obscene wealth inequality between the rich and poor nations”; Nut Cases: our cup runneth over…….

Gary Pearse

Sociologists of science!! S’truth, here we have one of the worst of the corrupted ‘humanities’ going to study the IPCC. I believe the IPCC needs to be investigated but not by a bunch of social(og)ists anti-scientists. Perhaps a real scientific panel and the police would do best.

Bryan A

Perhaps referring to the “Climate Models” as Climate Science would be more accurately referred to as “Virtual Science” since they seem to have as much in common as Virtual Reality does with Actual Reality

R. de Haan

The IPCC should be closed down immediately for abuse of power, data manipulation and plain fraud. And exactly that should be the scope of any investigation. Period.

Mac the Knife

“Let us hope that the IPCC will recognize itself as a legitimate object for scholarly investigation this time around.”
Why would they? When your intent and actions are to commit fraud in pursuit of a political agenda, ‘scholarly investigations’ of your biased activities are the last thing you will consider or allow!
MtK

Mac the Knife

jorgekafkazar says:
October 31, 2013 at 8:47 am
Is my eyesight going or is that UNEP logo mooning us?
HA! How perfectly apropos!
MtK

Willis Eschenbach

Thanks as always, Josh, great stuff.
w.

R. de Haan

As I said, do the math, count the cash and close down the IPCC: http://iceagenow.info/2013/10/math-count-cash/

Louis Hooffstetter

Mikey Mann, Lewandowsky, and other members of the Team constantly complain about ‘deniers’ being conspiracy theorists. Just read Mikey’s tweets, Lewandowsky’s publications, and the climategate emails. If those two and the rest of the Team aren’t conspiracy theorists, no one is.

Louis Hooffstetter

lemon says:
“Why doesnt someone offer a Michael Mann Bobblehead Doll made… There has never been a better subject.”
But think about how big the head would have to be…

klem

“Is my eyesight going or is that UNEP logo mooning us?”
Jeeze, it DOES look like its mooning us.

Mike Bromley the Kurd

What the hell is a sociologist of science? Kari Norgaard stewing in formaldehyde?

Of course, my favorite method for finding out the system of meanings in the lives of a cultural group is to simply say, “Fossil fuels are beneficial because they provide abundant and inexpensive energy for the most people. They use it for travel, information storage and retrieval, recreation, refrigeration, and many other necessities and conveniences of life.”
The ensuing “response” should provide plenty of material for your qualitative ethnological research. (: Go try it on Youtube right now. It’s fun. See how fast you can get snipped, moderated, banned and cussed at.

Bloke down the pub

‘Let us hope that the IPCC will recognize itself as a legitimate object for scholarly investigation of derision this time around.’ There, sorted.

DirkH

Hulme? Oreskes?
So that means they’re disappointed with the lack of progress in cultural marxism and need to see what goes wrong at the UN’s pseudoscientists.

Jens Bagh

Will we ever see a list of the delegates who in Stockholm concocted the latest issue by IPCC on what the public and politicians should think about Climate Change?

Janice Moore

Hey, Tom J and Everyone on WUWT,
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
(how could one NOT be on-topic on a sociology thread, lol)
A little Vince Guaraldi and the Peanuts gang to brighten your day:
— Intro. to “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

— “The Great Pumpkin Waltz”

— And, in the end, the greatest of these is, love.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIWh_YIRQuM
#(:))
*****************
btw: I’m with John Robertson and others above:
a criminal investigation is what is called for, here.

darrylb

I read Nature 502, 281: 2013 and saw the names Micheal Oppenheimer and Naomi Oreskes and a brief elation quickly disappeared.
However, I did see from Oppenheimer “recognizes his own biases”
and from Oreskes “will promote transparency”
I have to ask: Can there be some kernel of objectivity in the subjective sea?

Robert Austin

Donna Laframboise scooped these snoozing sociologists by a mile. But then she is only a journalist and not a peer reviewed sociologist.

F. Ross

“… IPCC Climate panel is ripe for examination…”
Possible spelling error: for ripe read tripe?

IPCC: Climate panel is ripe for examination

– – – – – – – –
Study it but as a preventative strategy only.
Certainly, the IPCC should remain temporarily intact but in suspended animation while an independent of the UN audit in performed in full view of the public. Let’s audit it for a year but in the year no new assessment activity or policy activism should be allowed. Then, after we fully understand its essential and comprehensive corruption and scientific dishonesty from the audit, we should dissolve the IPCC by Dec 31 2014.
No future reinvention of an IPCC-like undertaking is the the purpose of my proposed audit of the IPCC. Preventative measures.
John

Janice Moore

Re: The very generous Mr. John Whitman at 2:36pm: “… after we now fully understand its essential and comprehensive corruption and scientific dishonesty … (therefore,) we should dissolve the IPCC by Dec. 31, 2013.” (edits mine)
As to your fine idea of preventive measures…. only a permanent, powerful, spotlight, shining on the truth will do that. We truthtellers must remain, even though we have won the debate, forever vigilant. The rats will always be lurking. We can, at least, keep them in the corners.
And we shall. They scuttle out and do some nastiness for awhile, but, inevitably a Jim Cripwell (with A-th-y Watts’ stalwart aid) breaks out his trusty flashlight and shouts out: “I’m so annoyed with this… !” And the before long, the rats slink away… .

Speaking of the “IPCC: Climate panel is ripe for examination,” that reminds me.
Q: What does a maniac do when he is lost in the woods?
A: He finds a psychopath.
Anyways, so think of the almost unlimited knowledge to be gained in the study of obsessions, disorders, syndromes, manias, psychosis, narcissistic conditions, and halucinations.