by Drieu Godefridi
Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you on your appointment as the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). If I may, please allow me to take this opportunity to submit to you five questions on the nature of your organisation, which terms itself a “scientific body” (ipcc.ch):
1. The last word, in the IPCC reports, belongs to the General Assembly (“Principles Governing IPCC Work”, article 11).
Is it true that the vast majority of the people in this assembly are not scientists, but civil servants and representatives of the governments, NGOs, etc. without any scientific credentials required?
2. The IPCC has three aims: to summarise climate science, to evaluate the negative impact, for mankind, of climate change, and to set standards to curb said negative impact.
Is it correct that two of these objectives require value judgments, which are the province of politics, not science?
3. The third part of the last IPCC report (“AR5”), published in 2014 and 2015, urges Western countries to opt for “de-growth”, i.e. negative growth.
Could it be argued that such recommendations have no connection at all with science?
4. The IPPC attempts to deduce, in its reports, the nature of climatic impact from its own summary of climatic science and set standards based on such.
Would you agree that such a claim exemplifies a naturalistic fallacy, as defined by Hume’s law (do not infer how the world ought to be from the way it is)?
5. If, as suggested by its composition, objectives and methods, the IPCC is not in fact a scientific body at all, as it appears to be, but in fact a political body, is it not moot that the very essence of its reports is political as well?
If the answer to these five questions is yes, Mr. Chairman, is it not time to reform the IPCC?
PhD (Sorbonne), author of “The IPCC : a Scientific Body?”, Texquis, 2012.
Update: The web link was corrected from ippc.org to ipcc.ch on October 22nd.