When a scientist’s work is revealed as wrong, the reason is rarely an issue. The error is identified and corrected by the author Unfortunately, that is not always the case with climate science errors. Often the question is whether it is a matter of incompetence or malfeasance? Either way there is a problem for an accurate advance of science. Normally, a simple determination is that a single mistake is probably incompetence, but a series of mistakes is more likely to be malfeasance. However, again in climate science, that doesn’t always apply because a single major error to establish a false premise to predetermine the result can occur. Usually, this is exposed when the perpetrator refuses to acknowledge the error.
All these issues were inevitable when a political agenda coopted climate science. Two words, “skeptic” and consensus”, illustrate the difference between politics and science in climate research. All scientists are and must be skeptics, but they are troublemakers for the general public. Science is not about consensus, but it is very important in politics. As a result of these and other differences, the climate debate occurs in two different universes.
A major challenge for those fighting the manipulations of the IPCC and politicians using climate change for political platforms is that the public cannot believe that scientists would be anything less than completely open and truthful. They cannot believe that scientists would even remain silent even when science is misused. The politicians exploit this trust in science and scientists, which places science in jeopardy. It also allowed the scientific malfeasance of climate science to be carried out in the open.
A particularly egregious exploitation was carried out through science societies and professional scientific groups. They were given the climate science of the IPCC and urged to support it on behalf of their members. Certainly a few were part of the exploitation, but a majority, including most of the members simply assumed that the rigorous methods of research and publication in their science were used. Lord May of the UK Royal Society was influential in the manipulation of public perception through national scientific societies. They persuaded other national societies to become involved by making public statements. The Russian Academy of Science, under its President Yuri Israel, refused to participate. At a United Kingdom Meteorological Office (UKMO) 2005 climate meeting he was put in his place.
“The Russian scientist was immediately and disrespectfully admonished by the chair and former IPCC chief Sir John Houghton for being far too optimistic. Such a moderate proposal was ridiculous since it was “incompatible with IPCC policy”.
Israel, a Vice-chair of the IPCC, knew what he was talking about from the scientific and political perspective.
Politics and science of human-caused climate change became parallel through the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The political framework evolved as Agenda 21, and the science framework evolved through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (Figure 1).
The challenge was to control the science by bending it to the political agenda, which had the effect of guaranteeing scientific conflict; these created inevitable points of conflict that forced reaction.
The first was in the definition of climate change given to the IPCC in Article 1 of the UNFCCC. It limited them to considering only human causes of change.
Climate change means a change of climate, which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable periods of time.
Because of the political agenda people were allowed to believe the IPCC were studying climate change in total. The reality is you cannot determine human causes of change if you do not know or understand natural causes. The forcing diagrams used in early IPCC science Reports illustrate the narrowness (Figure 1) and its limitations.
FIGURE 1: Source, AR4
They identify nine forcings and claim a “high” level of scientific understanding (LOSU – last column) for only two of eleven. Of course, this is their assessment.
Most people, including most of the media don’t know that the science reports exist. This is because the Summary for Policymakers Report is released with great fanfare months ahead of the science report. As David Wojick, IPCC expert reviewer explained:
Glaring omissions are only glaring to experts, so the “policymakers”—including the press and the public—who read the SPM will not realize they are being told only one side of a story. But the scientists who drafted the SPM know the truth, as revealed by the sometimes artful way they conceal it.
What is systematically omitted from the SPM are precisely the uncertainties and positive counter evidence that might negate the human interference theory. Instead of assessing these objections, the Summary confidently asserts just those findings that support its case. In short, this is advocacy, not assessment.
Actions speak louder than words. Some of us started pointing to the limitations and predetermination of the results created by the original definition of climate change. As Voltaire said, “If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.” Typically, the IPCC people listened, but only to offset not deal with the problem. Quietly, as a Footnote in the Summary for Working Group I AR4 Report they changed the definition of climate change.
“Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity.”
It is a convenient comment to counter those who challenge the original definition, but little else. If it was true AR5 should be very different. For example, it should refer to the Milankovitch and Svensmark Effects and include them in their computer models. It is not possible to make it true because the original structure of the IPCC and its Reports was cumulative. Each Report simply updated the original material that was restricted by the original definition. The only way they could make the new definition correct is to scrap all previous work and start over.
When science operates properly this wouldn’t happen. Predictions of the first IPCC Report (1990) were wrong. Normally that forces a reexamination of the science. Instead, in the 1995 Report they changed predictions to projections and continued with the same seriously limiting definition. The entire IPCC exercise was a deliberate deception to achieve a predetermined, required, science result for the political agenda. It is not science at all.
If an honest man is wrong, after demonstrating that he is wrong, he either stops being wrong or he stops being honest. Anonymous