IPCC ≠ SCIENCE ↔ IPCC = GOVERNMENT

Guest essay by Wim Rost

IPCC logo

Sometimes you know that something “stinks” somewhere. But you don’t know what and you don’t know where. You can search everywhere and don’t find it. Till you finally find out.

Until recently I thought about the IPCC as an organisation “filled up with science”. That thought was both right and wrong. Sure, you can find a lot of scientists and scientific results there, but, IPCC does not (necessarily) work as science. No, it is not science, IPCC is government.

I discovered the importance of that difference by reading a title of an IPCC report twice: “Summary for Policymakers” and “Summary for Policymakers”. That title was giving me the suggestion that scientists had been writing a scientific paper for Policymakers. But, looking further I discovered it was different. That summary was not a scientific paper. It was an opinion and it does not need to be the opinion of all scientists involved*. Let me explain.

Scientists have to respect the scientific method. The scientific method has rules. The most important of all rules is to work in a way to obtain maximum objectivity. “Science or Fiction” wrote about objective science in a post with reference to Karl Popper: https://dhf66.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/ippc-does-exactly-what-should-be-avoided-in-objective-science/ . In the words of Karl Popper:

“We may now return to a point made in the previous section: to my thesis that a subjective experience, or a feeling of conviction, can never justify a scientific statement, and that within science it can play no part (…). No matter how intense a feeling of conviction it may be, it can never justify a statement. Thus I may be utterly convinced of the truth of a statement; certain of the evidence of my perceptions; overwhelmed by the intensity of my experience: every doubt may seem to me absurd. But does this afford the slightest reason for science to accept my statement? Can any statement be justified by the fact that Karl R. Popper is utterly convinced of its truth? The answer is, ‘No’; and any other answer would be incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.”

Is a conviction the slightest reason for science to accept a statement? Popper: “The answer is, ‘No’; and any other answer would be incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.”

In the IPCC Climate Discussion at this point all went wrong: conviction. But how? As said, it has been a struggle for me to discover. But now I know how we all are tricked. We are tricked in sentences like “Summary for Policymakers”. And also by way of “organising a result” in a manner which is perhaps formally correct – within the IPCC context – but as a result gives a wrong suggestion to the big public. Namely, the suggestion of “scientific evidence”, supported by nearly all scientists.

“The Summary for Policymakers 2014” of group II has a subtitle: “WORKING GROUP II CONTRIBUTION TO THE FIFTH ASSESSMENT REPORT OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE”. From the scientific point of view “Working group II contribution” to the summary is not correct as far as I can see.

To be scientific, the statement that something – for example an opinion or a conclusion – is a“working group II contribution” has to be tested and verified. So there must have been an enquiry among the scientists that were working in the group involved, in any case of a statement with expressions as “likely” or “very likely” or in any other statement or conclusion which is not straight from scientific research itself. That enquiry must make clear which of the scientists involved did judge the presented statement to be “a certitude” from the scientific point of view. This enquiry and the results have to be publicly available in order to make it verifiable. It must be possible to make the enquiry again and then we must get the same results. By doing so [parts of] the enquiry can be verified by researchers and journalists.

I have never heard about such an enquiry by the IPCC in regard to summaries or conclusions.

When the hypothesis (e.g. “X = very unlikely”) is not tested in such a way, you can only refer to such a statement as to the opinion of the writers of that specific part. But, opinion is not the same as “science” and every suggestion that the summary or conclusion is representing the science or even the scientists of “working group II” has to be avoided. Unless it is proven.

The IPCC is stating elsewhere:

The assessment process

This Working Group III contribution to the AR5 represents the combined efforts of hundreds of leading experts in the field of climate change mitigation and has been prepared in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the IPCC.

(WR: italic is mine)

Source: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_full.pdf

That was an eye opener. Does this statement mean that rules and procedures of science and of experts are used to produce summary’s and conclusions? No, not at all. It means, that what you are reading in the summaries and the conclusions is IPCC. And IPCC, although a lot of important work is done by scientists, IPCC is not equal with science. The IPCC is an intergovernmental panel on Climate Change. To be even more clear: IPCC is government and not science. And the workers of the IPCC prepare the work in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the IPCC.

In order to be scientific the scientific method has to be adhered. The use of many scientists to fill important parts of IPCC reports does not mean that everything is science. A report is just a report. In this case, a report from the IPCC. And the IPCC is (inter-) government. Scientists involved can produce their own scientific papers about their own specialised part of science, but a small group of writers writes the summaries and the conclusions – for the IPCC. And IPCC is government.

When you are reading well, formally the IPCC knows. But, the problem is that in public use the fact that a lot of scientists are working for the IPCC is mentioned so often, that it seems that everything produced by the IPCC is “scientific”. But, the summaries and conclusions are not scientific. They are just representing the intergovernmental opinion.

 

Of course, government may have an opinion. And government may also find support for that opinion in scientific research. But by making choices for certain lines and by drawing certain conclusions – even when made with the help of scientists – this doesn’t mean the government is representing “Science” and that her conclusions are “Science” or even “scientific”. It could very well be, that another choice for the IPCC‘s stated mission**, another choice of writers, another choice for “process organisers” and another selection of scientists would have delivered other summaries and other conclusions. As is usual when it is about an opinion.

The ‘big lie’ about the scientific nature of all of the IPCC statements and especially her conclusions has to end up by strictly avoiding the overwhelming suggestion that everything is science. Unless there are enquiries which prove the opposite. Therefore, to start with the next report the IPCC should give reports titles and subtitles like:

 

Summary by Policymakers

Approved by governments, not science

As a beginning. And to continue, they have to make everywhere a strict division between “science” and “opinion”. And tell with every statement who’s opinion it exactly is.

Wim Röst ***

* Of course there always remains the possibility that at a certain moment one specific researcher is more right than the other 99.9% of researchers which “are not that far”. Think about Albert Einstein’s E=mc2 or Alfred Wegener’s Continental Drift. So, majority doesn’t count in science. “Reigning by majority” is a democratic principle which is bound to government and not to science. The IPCC is government and so uses “majorities”. But, from the scientific point of view, “majority” is without any meaning and doesn’t belong to Science.

** “The IPCC’s stated mission is not to discover what accounts for climate change, but to assess “the risk of human-induced climate change.” Consequently, there is almost no discussion in its lengthy reports of other theories of climate change. Policymakers and journalists took this to mean the AGW theory was the only credible theory of climate change, and the IPCC’s sponsors and spokespersons had no incentive to correct the mistake.”

Source: https://www.heartland.org/sites/default/files/7theories-web.pdf

*** The article above has to be read as my personal opinion.

With regards to commenting: please adhere to the rules known for this site: quote and react, not personal

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92 thoughts on “IPCC ≠ SCIENCE ↔ IPCC = GOVERNMENT

  1. Maurice Strong the initial author of the whole scam is dead on the eve of the summit. As he has been advising the Chinese on this matter, will this lead to a change in the chinese stance on limiting CO2 emissions which will prevent the chinese public from benefitting as the west hase done?

      • “the Duke is dead?
        of old age too and in his bed?

        This world he ‘cumbered enough
        he burned his candle to the snuff.
        That’s the reason some folks think
        He left behind so great a stink!
        With apologies to Jonathon Swift for my failing memory

      • Maurice Strong: Canadian businessman specialising in oil and mineral resources. Always beware of the Big Oil.
        [Very influential in banking, energy, and through the Club of Rome, international government programs. Now dead at age 96. .mod]

      • Don’t forget he was in China fleeing the law. I think he did a pretty good job at Ontario Hydro. The IPCC thing, not so much.
        So long, Maurice. The energy poverty of billions is your epitaph. The positive effects of promoting the concept of global citizenship may one day out-weigh it. I hope so.

      • It’s an artificial stimulus, the innovations are numerous and ongoing. Fracking, hydrogen, coal to hydrogen, salt reactors which use depleted waste as a fuel, etc….

  2. This article should be read and understood by Governments and their employees.
    We all understand it, but do they?

    • The problem with this article – it doesn’t dig deep enough.
      “That title was giving me the suggestion that scientists had been writing a scientific paper for Policymakers. But, looking further I discovered it was different. That summary was not a scientific paper.”
      To the IPCC’s credit, they did improve many of the policies and processes for AR5. To the discredit of the IPCC and all related workgroups, the UNFCCC allowed member state delegates to change AR5 conclusions in the “summary for policymakers” report.
      The report is therefore suspect at best and fraud at worst. This UNFCCC policy is like playing musical chairs as chairs are added at the whims of the players until they stop the music.

      • Footnote: all future AR workgroup efforts need to be structured content using xml or SGML. The DTD needs to be in compliance. The AR thus becomes structured content and ANY summary can be easily confirmed valid or invalid based on the content with simple search analysis.
        If they are going to cheat, they need to be much smarter! Fences make for great neighbors.

      • John McClure:
        You say

        To the IPCC’s credit, they did improve many of the policies and processes for AR5. To the discredit of the IPCC and all related workgroups, the UNFCCC allowed member state delegates to change AR5 conclusions in the “summary for policymakers” report.

        No changes of consequence were made to the policies and processes for AR5.
        I state the significant facts of the matters you mention in my post below.
        Richard

      • Hi Richard,
        I just read your “post below”. I see your points but I was under the impression that the AR5 report was valid and the political changes occur in the summary report.

    • Everyone in government understands that the most powerful person in the room is the one writing the minutes.
      Which is exactly what the IPCC is doing.

  3. Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
    Thomas Jefferson

  4. Yup and the man who orchestrated this morass, passed away yesterday.
    Kleptocracy is driven to gain total control of all resources, consume all is the mission.
    The UN has become(always was) a bunch of rent seekers, their attempt to use the social credibility of science,as an institution, was very well played.
    The creation of a world wide bureaucracy taxing air, too juicy a bait for the Kleptos to forgo.
    This scheme to stampede the citizens into surrender to central authority, using fear of the weather, could only play out in an urbanized community.
    CAGW is pure politics, thinly wrapped in a cloak of science illusion.
    Old politics, Hans Christian Anderson described it well.
    Nothing has changed in our nature, parasites will run true to form.

    • It seems like United Nations continues to produce megalomaniacal bureaucrats:
      “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for the, at least, 150 years, since the industrial revolution,”
      – Christiana Figueres, who heads up the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change
      I can think of a few others who had personal ideas about bringing about huge changes to our society. It didn´t always turn out well.
      Who voted for Christina Figueres by the way? None!
      And that is quite peculiar – as the United Nations is also concerned about human rights, which states:
      Article 21. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
      United Nations is far out of line with it´s charter.
      “The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell.”
      — Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General from 1953 to 1961
      War is hell, United Nations climate theory is at best an immature theory.

  5. When considering the pressure to achieve a consensus, even if that consensus is WRONG, I am always reminded of this account of a meeting of engineers which occurred before the fateful Challenger launch:
    “The problem escalated during the meeting. NASA could not go against a contractor’s ‘no launch’ recommendation. However, such a recommendation of a minimum launch temperature would destroy the ambitious launch schedule of the Shuttle.
    ‘I turned to my fellow managers and said if these guys persist in this decision not to launch, then we can’t launch, and they agreed with me, we were at their mercy,’ added Lovingood.
    ‘As soon as the button was pressed to mute NASA from our meeting, the managers said ‘we have to make a management decision,’ said Boisjoly. ‘It was obvious they were going to change their decision to launch decision to accommodate their major customer.
    ‘But surely the photographs I had showed that the more black that you see between the seals, the lower the temperature, the closer you are to a disaster. I was told I was literally screaming at the managers to look at the photos, but they wouldn’t look at them.
    The general manager of Thiokol turned to his three senior managers and asked what they wanted to do. Two agreed to go to a launch decision, one refused.
    ‘So he (the general manager) turns to him and said ‘take off your engineering hat and put on your management hat’ – and that’s exactly what happened,’ said Boisjoly. ‘He changed his hat and changed his vote, just 30 minutes after he was the one to give the recommendation not to launch. I didn’t agree with one single statement made on the recommendations given by the managers.’
    The teleconference resumed and NASA heard that Thiokol had changed their mind and gave a recommendation to launch. NASA did not ask why.
    ‘That was stupid on our part, that was dumb,’ said Lovingood. ‘We should have said ‘give us your rational for changing your mind’ but a guy sits in a meeting, that is a good for launch meeting and he doesn’t stand up in front of the train to stop it, he’s go. No one stood up, so everyone was go for launch.
    ‘But I remember going home and telling my wife that I sure hoped we made the right decision, as I had misgivings about it.’
    ‘I went home, opened the door and didn’t say a word to my wife, ‘ added Boisjoly. ‘She asked me what was wrong and I told her ‘oh nothing hunny, it was a great day, we just had a meeting to go launch tomorrow and kill the astronauts, but outside of that it was a great day.”
    It seems that with regard to IPCC summaries many scientists are effectively being asked to take off their scientist’s hat and putting on their political actor’s hat.
    As shown by the consequent destruction of Challenger, reality has no obligation to comply with the “consensus agreement” of scientists or engineers who choose to abandon the principles of science and engineering.

    • I should have commented for any coming by here who haven’t read about post-normal “science”.
      from classic examples and exponents of post-normal science the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and Mike Hulme, the founding director of this Tyndall Centre, and Professor of Climate Change at the University of East Anglia (UEA) –
      “The danger of a “normal” reading of science is that it assumes science can first find truth, then speak truth to power, and that truth-based policy will then follow…exchanges often reduce to ones about scientific truth rather than about values, perspectives and political preferences.
      …‘self-evidently’ dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth-seeking…scientists – and politicians – must trade truth for influence. What matters about climate change is not whether we can predict the future with some desired level of certainty and accuracy.
      Climate change is telling the story of an idea and how that idea is changing the way in which our societies think, feel, interpret and act. And therefore climate change is extending itself well beyond simply the description of change in physical properties in our world…
      The function of climate change I suggest, is not as a lower-case environmental phenomenon to be solved…It really is not about stopping climate chaos. Instead, we need to see how we can use the idea of climate change – the matrix of ecological functions, power relationships, cultural discourses and materials flows that climate change reveals – to rethink how we take forward our political, social, economic and personal projects over the decades to come”.

      • Haven’t heard much of Mike Hulme of late, is he still away in PoMo La-La land composing ‘narratives’?

  6. “They must always have a Great Evil to crusade against, because only crusading against a Great Evil can excuse their own actions.
    — Glenn Reynolds on the Left”

  7. Of course there always remains the possibility that at a certain moment one specific researcher is more right than the other 99.9% of researchers which “are not that far”. Think about Albert Einstein’s E=mc2 or Alfred Wegener’s Continental Drift.
    Or Anthony’s microsite.

  8. No, it is not science, IPCC is government.

    Yes. have you checked what the acronym IPCC stand for? 8 years ago it took me a couple of months to realise there was no science being discussed, it was all government politics. 8 years later you tell us IPCC is government.

  9. Climate science has its own scientific method which can easily be described as “Trust me, I’m a climate scientist”.

    • Climate science has more than its own scientific method, it also has a righteous tone not found elsewhere, e.g., “Back off, man. I’m a scientist. ” – Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters.

    • In philosophical terms, “Trust me, I’m a climate scientist” is an equivocation wherein the polysemic term “scientist” changes meaning. To draw a conclusion from an equivocation is the “equivocation fallacy.” Global warming climatology is a pseudoscience that is dressed up to look like a science through applications of this fallacy ( http://wmbriggs.com/post/7923/ ).

  10. IPCC – the result is decided before trolling for data. Then data is found to fit the desired result. Not the way I did science as a chemist……….

  11. The author wrote –
    “Scientists have to respect the scientific method. The scientific method has rules”
    The ‘scientific method’ didn’t begin as a set of rules but as a single rule –
    “Rule III. The qualities of bodies, which admit neither [intensification] nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.” Newton
    I wouldn’t expect you fine gentlemen to comprehend that the scientific method came in under the radar as the ‘theory of gravity’ where the experimental science (fall of an apple) could be scaled up to the motions of the moon and planets (universal qualities).
    Begin with a notion of a greenhouse (experimental science) and extend it on to planetary climate (Universal qualities) and hey presto, you can fill in the gap with droughts and floods, cold snaps and heatwaves.

    • “Begin with a notion of a greenhouse …”
      But a greenhouse does not warm by restricting radiation but by cutting off conduction. I don’t even like the term as a metaphor for the effect of the atmosphere as a whole but anyone paying attention knows that the atmosphere does not work like the plant grower’s hothouse. For god’s sake!

    • I fail to see how you are claiming your superiority here. You have a tendency to use a lot of fine words to express very basic concepts. My six year old could tell you as much. It doesn’t make you sound intelligent, just pretensious.
      Also, while Newton did apply what was later known as the scientific method, it is widely accepted that Popper was the first to actually codify the rules as we know them.

  12. Check out http://www.ipcc.ch/activities/activities.shtml . While there’s a more formal process document, this will do.
    There are two classes of people mentioned. Experts, who are typically scientists, often closely tied to the warmist view of things, and governments, people representing the interests of the countries involved.

    Step 1: First Review (by Experts)
    The reviews of the First Order Drafts (FODs) for the three Working Group (WG) …
    Step 2: Second Review (by Governments and Experts)
    The reviews of the Second Order Drafts (SODs) and drafts of the Summary for Policymakers (SPMs) for the three Working Group …
    Step 3: Government Review of Final Draft SPM
    The government review of final draft SPMs …
    Step 4: Approval/Acceptance of SPMs and Working Group Reports
    For each Working Group report, the full reports were accepted at the Working Group Session and their SPMs approved by IPCC member governments at the Working Group Session and then accepted at a Session of the Panel.
    Synthesis Report
    The Synthesis Report comprises an SPM and a longer report. The draft of the longer report and its SPM undergo a simultaneous government and expert review. The longer report and the SPM are then revised by the authors with the help of Review Editors. The revised drafts of the longer report and SPM are submitted to governments and observer organizations and are both tabled for discussion in a Session of the Panel.

    So while the large WG reports are pretty much controlled by the Experts, the SPMs are controlled by the Governments.
    The WG reports are huge, the SPMs are more widely read, and most readers think they are a fair summary of what the scientists had to say.
    In AR5, I think it was WG II that had to incorporate changes made at the final review of the SPM into the synthesis report or the large report. I wasn’t able to hunt that down readily, I may try again. Others are welcome to find it themselves!

  13. Even among the experts, there can be serious dissent. In the AR4, Chris Landsea, one of the leading tropical storm experts who has done some very good work, was asked to participate:

    For the upcoming AR4, I was asked several weeks ago by the Observations chapter Lead Author – Dr. Kevin Trenberth – to provide the writeup for Atlantic hurricanes. As I had in the past, I agreed to assist the IPCC in what I thought was to be an important, and politically-neutral determination of what is happening with our climate.

    At a press conference at Harvard, Trenberth stated a position that was far from what Landsea and other tropical storm experts share. Treberth said that the active 2004 Atlantic season was due to anthropogenic greenhouse warming. (Perversely, the US has not been hit by a major hurricane in the last ten years.)
    Landsea protested:

    Because of Dr. Trenberth’s pronouncements, the IPCC process on our assessment of these crucial extreme events in our climate system has been subverted and compromised, its neutrality lost. While no one can “tell” scientists what to say or not say (nor am I suggesting that), the IPCC did select Dr. Trenberth as a Lead Author and entrusted to him to carry out this duty in a non-biased, neutral point of view. When scientists hold press conferences and speak with the media, much care is needed not to reflect poorly upon the IPCC.

    And closed with his resignation:

    I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound. As the IPCC leadership has seen no wrong in Dr. Trenberth’s actions and have retained him as a Lead Author for the AR4, I have decided to no longer participate in the IPCC AR4.

    The full letter is at http://cstpr.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/science_policy_general/000318chris_landsea_leaves.html and is well worth reading.
    While I think the IPCC has improved a little since then, I think credit for that goes to pressure from the ever-widening skeptic community, events like Climategate, and especially people like Donna Laframboise, see her retrospective look at http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/07/05/landsea-the-ipcc-the-union-of-concerned-scientists/

    • Thank you Ric Werme. Clear. The thought that comes up is the following:
      Where Science has to play the lead role, shouldn’t Science have to take the lead?

    • ISTM that a long time ago, it was decided that any and every occurrence and type of weather — no matter what, where, when, or how — would thenceforth be attributed to AGW by mere assertion. This having been done over and over an over again for many years, without effective rebuttal, it has become the default way of looking at weather. Prior generations, all of which experienced all the same occurrences and types of weather, would likely consider this, I think, to be ignorant superstition, if not a kind of collective madness.

    • In a PBS interview Christopher Landsea said “We certainly see substantial warming in the ocean and atmosphere over the last several decades on the order of a degree Fahrenheit, and I have no doubt a portion of that, at least, is due to greenhouse warming.”
      He is in the AGW camp.
      Landsea’s concern was that he “would like assurance that what will be included in the IPCC report will reflect the best available information and the consensus within the scientific community most expert on the specific topic.”
      And what was in AR5 report?
      “Globally, there is low confidence in attribution of changes in tropical cyclone activity to human influence. This is due to insufficient observational evidence, lack of physical understanding of the links between anthropogenic drivers of climate and tropical cyclone activity, and the low level of agreement between studies as to the relative importance of internal variability, and anthropogenic and natural forcings. Projections for the 21st century indicate that it is likely that the global frequency of tropical cyclones will either decrease or remain essentially unchanged, concurrent with a likely increase in both global mean tropical cyclone maximum wind speed and rain rates.”
      Does that sound like the IPCC had decided the result was to be more hurricanes, and made sure the data fitted?
      Absolutely not. The report followed the evidence – including that from Prof. Landsea.
      If you look at the evidence, you can see that the IPCC has not decided the results in advance according to a political agenda and refused to hear the dissenters. It followed the evidence, just like it should.

      • seaice1:
        You assert

        If you look at the evidence, you can see that the IPCC has not decided the results in advance according to a political agenda and refused to hear the dissenters. It followed the evidence, just like it should.

        Well, if the IPCC ever has done as you assert then it disobeyed its stated purposes and practices which are defined by its own procedural documents as being purely for political – n.b. not scientific – purposes.
        The facts are stated and explained in my post below.
        Richard

      • Richardscourtney. You are wrong.
        “The IPCC is only permitted to say AGW is a significant problem because they are tasked to accept that there is a “risk of human-induced climate change” which requires “options for adaptation and mitigation…
        Hence, its “Role” demands that the IPCC accepts as a given that there is a “risk of human-induced climate change” which requires “options for adaptation and mitigation” which pertain to “the application of particular policies”. Any ‘science’ which fails to support that political purpose is ‘amended’ in furtherance of the IPCC’s Role.
        The IPCC achieves its “Role” by
        1
        amendment of its so-called ‘scientific’ Reports to fulfil the IPCC’s political purpose

        Risks may be low or zero, (as demonstrated by hurricane findings). Mitigation could include none required (as demonstrated by mitigation required for hurricane frequency). Scientific results are not amended to filfil the political purpose, as demonstrated by the finding that number of hurricanes is not expected to rise.
        If the science were adapted to fit policy, the results that showed no increased would have been ignored and only those predicting increase in frequency would have been used.
        This is an example of the IPCC doing the opposite of what you accuse them of.

      • Either you’re trying a deliberate misdirection technique or you’re willfully “misunderstanding” the post. No one is arguing that the AR’s do not reflect the science, nor does anyone contest that the many of the AR section summaries accurately reflect the state of the science.
        What this post points out is the fact that the Summary for Policy Makers is written from a completely political perspective and not only does not accurately summarize the AR but is often even in direct contradiction of the AR. But you knew that, didn’t you.

      • seaice is emitting nonsense as usual. I am also in the ‘AGW camp’: I think that AGW exists.
        But it is so insignificant that it can be completely disregarded. AGW is nothing compared with natural variability.
        Sorry to bust your bubble, seaice, but you need to post a verifiable measurement quantifying AGW to prove me wrong. That would be a first for you.

      • db stealey: “And I find your “science” to be equivalent to a parrot’s understanding.”
        That is because you make no effort to understand it.
        Tom B. You rasie a valid point, but also a bit far-fetched.
        First, you say that “No one is arguing that the AR’s do not reflect the science, nor does anyone contest that the many of the AR section summaries accurately reflect the state of the science.”
        It is absurd to claim that a large number of posters and articles here do contest the AR section summaries accurately reflect the state of the science. The tone here generally is not one of acceptance of the scientific position in the reports, but a rejection of that position.
        I know there is widespread disagreement here with the following statements from the technical report of WGI. (NOT the summary for policymakers).
        1) “there is very high confidence that the Arctic sea ice extent (annual, multi-year and perennial) decreased over the period 1979–2012.” I have had extended discussions with someone who claimed it has increased since 2005. True, they would not stand by their claims, but given the very high confidence in the decline that is not surprising.
        2) “With high confidence, these regional warm periods [MWP] were not as synchronous across regions as the warming since the mid-20th century.” I have seen many instances of regional temperatures used to make claims about global temperatures and claims that that MWP shows there is nothing unusual about recent changes.
        3) “It is virtually certain that the upper ocean (above 700 m) has warmed from 1971 to 2010.”
        4) “There is very high confidence that glaciers world-wide are persistently shrinking”
        5) “The Earth has been in radiative imbalance, with more energy from the Sun entering than exiting the top of the atmosphere, since at least about 1970. It is virtually certain that the Earth has gained substantial energy from 1971 to 2010.”
        6) “It is very likely that the mean rate of sea level rise was 1.7 [1.5 to 1.9] mm yr–1 between 1901 and 2010. Between 1993 and 2010, the rate was very likely higher at 3.2 [2.8 to 3.6] mm yr–1;”
        7) “The distribution of observed atmospheric CO2 increases with latitude clearly shows that the increases are driven by anthropogenic emissions that occur primarily in the industrialized countries north of the equator.”
        Just looking at the above, I think it is very clear that there is widespread disagreement with the findings of the technical working groups of the IPCC, not just with the summary for policymakers.
        Second – the claim is made that the summary does not reflect the AR’s and often contradicts the AR. No evidence is actually given for this claim in the article. Much of the article seems to be expressing the author’s surprise that the IPCC is an intergovernmental panel, and the summary is not a scientific paper. Well, the IPCC cannot be blamed for the author’s mis-understandings. It is patently silly to criticise the report for not being the opinion ofevery scientist involved.
        Nevertheless, I am not about to claim that a large intergovernmental organisation will operate perfectly, and I accept there are great possibilities for mistakes and mis-management. The premise could be correct even though no evidence is given. Therefore I remain open to persuasion on that point. Maybe the summary-f-p badly misrepresents the AR sections. Can anyone provide examples from the latest report?

  14. Thank you Wim Rost. You have summarized quite well what I have been trying to say rather clumsily to my alarmist friends for a long time. I’ll refer them to your article and hopefully they will understand the subtleties in your argument.

  15. How did we allow an organization like this to become the arbiter of what is and what is not climate science by what they publish in their reports? Why can’t otherwise rational people see this conflict of interest?

  16. I thought it was obvious the IPCC was using data from scientists to produce a political summary:
    Scientist A: “Air temperatures have risen since LIA.”
    Scientist B: “Atmospheric CO2 has risen during industrial revolution.”
    IPCC: “Scientists say air temperature rise due to CO2 emissions by industry.”
    Scientist A and B: “I never said THAT!”
    SR

  17. Even when scientists talk about science, they are very often wrong if they are predicting by extrapolation. In fact they are no more accurate than a dart-throwing monkey. Tetlock (Interpolation, on the other hand, is usually safe.)

    “most current published research findings are false.” link

    Peer review isn’t particularly reliable. Research is not particularly reproducible. Modern science is in a very bad place. Economist

  18. Unfortunately, the quest described above could have been much shorter and easier if he had known that the Summary for Policymakers was written by upper-level IPCC (politician) bureaucrats BEFORE the main body of the report was compiled and written. Simply knowing that the upper-level bureaucrats are politicians sale-dunks the conclusion that the IPCC and it Summary has nothing to do with science but an agenda that must be fed. It is also worth mentioning that there is a good bit of science, particularly the temperature data that has been falsified by massive, unfounded, dishonest adjustments or blatant fabrication of data for regions with no temperature measurements.

  19. I had thought it was common knowledge in the skeptic community that the IPCC was not a scientific body, but a bureaucratic one, whose terms of reference do not allow it to question the fundamental assumption on which its very existence depends, namely that man made climate change is a fact, and a real and present danger, and that the purpose of the IPCC is to investigate how bad it will be, and what impact this will all have, and produce recommendations accordingly.
    It is one huge ‘assumptive close’. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closing_%28sales%29 )
    This morning on UK TV a man said ‘I mean, look, all these world leaders are there in Paris: why would they be there if they didn’t think Climate Change wasn’t a really serious issue?’
    Why, indeed…?

    • I am stuck in a Beijing hotel with only the Beeb for English entertainment. The climate catastrophe is wall to wall. The bias, the bull crap, the misrepresentation, the denigration, the blatant lies, the misquotes, the cherry picking – it is truly a set of propaganda broadcasts that must be unparalleled since the end of WW2.
      They are attacking the construction of Chinese nuclear power stations saying bluntly the Chinese can’t build anything reliable (they already operate more than twenty atomic power stations). They are showing the smog in Beijing saying is it caused by CO2 emissions (no kidding, they really said that!) and they said that we are going to see five degrees of warming caused by human-sourced CO2 emissions. They blamed the big emitters, the US, China, India and I guess Indonesia now, for causing warming and then said it is up to the developed countries to pay for doing something about it.
      I am wondering who the audience is. Even a child can see through this inundation of climate crap that dribbles and pools on the bottom of the moral barrel.

      • The audience is comprised of True Believers, like our friend Leland. Belief is a powerful thing, enabling one to believe the most ridiculous, outlandish things as long as they fit the narrative, while rejecting facts

      • “I can’t believe that!” said Alice.
        “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”
        Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
        “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
        – Alice in Wonderland

  20. Our societies are prosperous because of our science and technology. Nothing else. For that, scientific research had to be independent in its long search for “the truth”.
    There is nothing so complicated as the truth behind the very complex system of earth’s climates. Physics, biology, chemistry, geography, paleoclimatology, astronomy, economy, sociology and more sciences are involved. Full freedom of research is needed and respect for all “other thinking”. As was usual in science.
    Science needs to retake her independence in research and has to take the lead in publishing the real knowledge about “science and the climate”. Then I mean, the complete scientific knowledge. Science requires that every scientist is heard and his / hers ideas are seriously commented.

  21. Note the year of Lindzen’s article in the WSJ – 2001.
    Note also that none of the scary predictions of the IPCC have materialized.
    The IPCC has a negative predictive track record; so no one should believe them.
    Regards, Allan
    Wall Street Journal
    June 11, 2001
    http://eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/OpEds/LindzenWSJ.pdf
    Scientists’ Report Doesn’t Support the Kyoto Treaty
    By Richard S. Lindzen
    Excerpt:
    The full IPCC report is an admirable description of research activities in climate science, but it is not specifically directed at policy. The Summary for Policymakers is, but it is also a very different document. It represents a consensus of government representatives (many of whom are also their nations’ Kyoto representatives), rather than of scientists. The resulting document has a strong tendency to disguise uncertainty, and conjures up some scary scenarios for which there is no evidence.
    Science, in the public arena, is commonly used as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens. This is what has been done with both the reports of the IPCC and the NAS. It is a reprehensible practice that corrodes our ability to make rational decisions. A fairer view of the science will show that there is still a vast amount of uncertainty — far more than advocates of Kyoto would like to acknowledge — and that the NAS report has hardly ended the debate. Nor was it meant to.
    *******************************

  22. I am awaiting sound research showing the optimum climate for our present biosphere. But most “research” is really an attempt to secure the optimum level of government research funding.
    It is no surprise that almost every demand made by advocates of Anthropogenic Global Warming (er, now “climate chage”) converges on bigger government, higher taxes, less freedom and more restrictions. That tells me all I need to know about this massive fraud.

    • Hi Buck,
      This is excerpted from some of my recent work.
      Contrary to popular belief, Earth is colder-than-optimum for human survival. A warmer world, such as was experienced during the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period, is expected to lower winter deaths and a colder world like the Little Ice Age will increase winter mortality, absent adaptive measures. These conclusions have been known for many decades, based on national Excess Winter Mortality statistics.
      Excess Winter Mortality in the USA typically totals about 100,000 per year – that is, 100,000 Excess Winter Deaths every year during the cold months of December through March.
      In Canada, Excess Winter Deaths range from about 5000 to 10,000 every year.
      Regards, Allan
      Post Script: The above is true even in warm countries such as Brazil, Thailand and Australia..
      PPS: Also contrary to popular belief, atmospheric CO2 concentrations are not dangerously high, they are dangerously low.

  23. Wim Rost:
    You say

    This Working Group III contribution to the AR5 represents the combined efforts of hundreds of leading experts in the field of climate change mitigation and has been prepared in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the IPCC .

    I am surprised that you did not cite, quote or reference the pertinent IPCC document because that would have strengthened your case substantially.
    The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only exists to produce documents intended to provide information selected, adapted and presented to justify political actions. The facts are as follows.
    It is the custom and practice of the IPCC for all of its Reports to be amended to agree with its political summaries. And this is proper because all IPCC Reports are political documents although some are presented as so-called ‘Scientific Reports’.
    Each IPCC Summary for Policymakers (SPM) is agreed “line by line” by politicians and/or representatives of politicians, and it is then published. After that the so-called ‘scientific’ Reports are amended to agree with the SPM. This became IPCC custom and practice when prior to the IPCC‘s Second Report the then IPCC Chairman, John Houghton, decreed,

    We can rely on the Authors to ensure the Report agrees with the Summary.

    This was done and has been the normal IPCC procedure since then.
    This custom and practice enabled the infamous ‘Chapter 8′ scandal so perhaps it should – at long last – be changed. However, it has been adopted as official IPCC procedure for all subsequent IPCC Reports.
    Appendix A of the most recent IPCC Report (the AR5) states this where it says.

    4.6 Reports Approved and Adopted by the Panel
    Reports approved and adopted by the Panel will be the Synthesis Report of the Assessment Reports and other Reports as decided by the Panel whereby Section 4.4 applies mutatis mutandis .

    This is completely in accord with the official purpose of the IPCC.
    The IPCC does NOT exist to summarise climate science and it does not.
    The IPCC is only permitted to say AGW is a significant problem because they are tasked to accept that there is a “risk of human-induced climate change” which requires “options for adaptation and mitigation” that can be selected as political polices and the IPCC is tasked to provide those “options”.
    This is clearly stated in the “Principles” which govern the work of the IPCC.

    These are stated at
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles.pdf
    Near its beginning that document says

    ROLE
    2. The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.

    This says the IPCC exists to provide
    (a) “information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change”
    and
    (b) “options for adaptation and mitigation” which pertain to “the application of particular policies”.
    Hence, its “Role” demands that the IPCC accepts as a given that there is a “risk of human-induced climate change” which requires “options for adaptation and mitigation” which pertain to “the application of particular policies”. Any ‘science’ which fails to support that political purpose is ‘amended’ in furtherance of the IPCC’s Role.
    The IPCC achieves its “Role” by
    1
    amendment of its so-called ‘scientific’ Reports to fulfil the IPCC’s political purpose
    2
    by politicians approving the SPM
    3
    then the IPCC lead Authors amending the so-called ‘scientific’ Reports to agree with the SPM.
    All IPCC Reports are pure pseudoscience intended to provide information to justify political actions; i.e.Lysenkoism.

    Richard

    • Richard,
      “You say
      This Working Group III contribution to the AR5 represents the combined efforts of hundreds of leading experts in the field of climate change mitigation and has been prepared in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the IPCC .
      I am surprised that you did not cite, quote or reference the pertinent IPCC document because that would have strengthened your case substantially.”
      WR: In the original document I used tabs to say which words were not mine. Unfortunately the tab stops disappeared in the online version. Sorry. By using quotation marks instead of the tab stops in the above document there would have been written in the online version:
      The IPCC is stating elsewhere:
      “The assessment process
      This Working Group III contribution to the AR5 represents the combined efforts of hundreds of leading experts in the field of climate change mitigation and has been prepared in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the IPCC.”
      (WR: italic is mine)
      Source: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_full.pdf
      Wim

    • Thank you for that lucid account of the confirmation bias built into the IPCC reports by its very charter. Such bias is the very antithesis of the scientific method and its essential objectivity.
      /Mr Lynn

    • Thanks for pointing that out. I was going to do if no one else did. The game is rigged. This is why it is accurate to say “the debate is over”. Any science contrary to AGW is unwelcome and probably very irritating for the Panel. The average citizen assumes the IPCC was constituted to evaluate the science to determine 1) if there is global warming, 2) if there is, what is causing it and 3) what should be done. A reasonable assumption, but greatly mistaken.
      Not to worry. People much wiser than we have determined that Nation-states have outlived their usefulness and must be phased out in the interest of peace, fairness and the Earth. The transition is already well under way. Fear of AGW is to be the justification for the full implementation of the NWO. Facts, truth, science? I hope you are joking. In twenty years my generation of fossils which was taught to venerate the Constitution and the nation it was the foundation for will be gone. Perhaps it is all for the best.

  24. Climate change is totally bogus This is all an attempt by govt to increase one regulation over their lives
    The science does not support the BS being propagated by govt

  25. Thank you Wim – for drawing attention to this important perspective on IPCC. I regard the failure to pay utmost respect to the integrity of the scientific method, as a fundamental, harmful and potentially dangerous failure by United Nations.
    From my point of view, scientific objectivity, and the quest for truth, should be put first in an organization claiming to be scientific. More than that, a scientific organization should protect the integrity of the scientific process. The scientific process is precious, but also very vulnerable. It is a great disappointment to register that United Nations created a body (IPCC) governed by unscientific principles.
    In my view there are two very central documents, governing the work by IPCC, in which there are principal failures:
    1. Principles governing IPCC work
    By which United Nations allowed IPCC to be governed by:
    – the unscientific principle of a mission (§1)
    – the unscientific principle of consensus (§10)
    – an approval process and organization principle which must, by it´s nature, diminish dissenting views. (§11)
    2. Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties
    In this document, made up in a hasty way, IPCC made two very fundamental errors:
    a) On qualitative statements:
    IPCC endorsed subjective statements called «level of confidence» and enforced the use of such statements upon the lead authors:
    b) On quantitative statements:
    IPCC failed to recognize an international guideline for expression of uncertainty and adopted an unsatisfactory way of expressing uncertainty – by “likelihood”
    And anyone believing that IPCC can be trusted to provide unbiased science should have a look at this post: IPCC was heavily biased from the very beginning
    A body governed by the kind of principles governing IPCC, cannot be trusted on scientific matters.
    (To avoid to many links in this comment. I just published an similar post to this comment, which contains links to the IPCC documents and the argument behind each of my claims:
    Summary – On the governance of IPCC by unscientific principles! )

  26. Most people understand that building on a lie is like building your castle on a sand foundation.
    Tis my belief of late, that the COP21, the UN hysteria over CAGW is evidence for just how dangerous a corrupt civil service is to any nation.
    CAGW highlights how low we fat and lazy citizens can sink.
    Government is full of fools and bandits,
    “The civil service exists to provide evidence based policy to politicians” One of Canada’s prominent leaches.
    Yet everything about the UN IPCC wreaks of government, the output of preconceived ideas, supported by appeal to authority.
    The IPCC is staffed by our bureaucrats, seconded to the UN,the policy based evidence manufacturing has taken place in country, by our civil servants.
    The money has come straight from our tax dollars.
    We do not need any more evidence of how systemically corrupt our governments have become.
    Those towering national debts tell it all.
    Now we are given proof that these “helpers” will collude at an international level to keep the stolen wealth rolling in, Taxing Air, priceless.
    Welcome to international Kleptocracy.

  27. Wim Röst,
    You addressed . . . . science, subjectivity, objectivity, certainty, conviction, inference, politics, trust, Popper . . . .
    One example of your focus,

    {Wim Röst wrote}
    Until recently I thought about the IPCC as an organisation “filled up with science”. That thought was both right and wrong. Sure, you can find a lot of scientists and scientific results there, but, IPCC does not (necessarily) work as science. No, it is not science, IPCC is government.
    I discovered the importance of that difference by reading a title of an IPCC report twice: “Summary for Policymakers” and “Summary for Policymakers”. That title was giving me the suggestion that scientists had been writing a scientific paper for Policymakers. But, looking further I discovered it was different. That summary was not a scientific paper. It was an opinion and it does not need to be the opinion of all scientists involved*. Let me explain.
    Scientists have to respect the scientific method. The scientific method has rules. The most important of all rules is to work in a way to obtain maximum objectivity. “Science or Fiction” wrote about objective science in a post with reference to Karl Popper: https://dhf66.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/ippc-does-exactly-what-should-be-avoided-in-objective-science/ . In the words of Karl Popper:
    “We may now return to a point made in the previous section: to my thesis that a subjective experience, or a feeling of conviction, can never justify a scientific statement, and that within science it can play no part (…). No matter how intense a feeling of conviction it may be, it can never justify a statement. Thus I may be utterly convinced of the truth of a statement; certain of the evidence of my perceptions; overwhelmed by the intensity of my experience: every doubt may seem to me absurd. But does this afford the slightest reason for science to accept my statement? Can any statement be justified by the fact that Karl R. Popper is utterly convinced of its truth? The answer is, ‘No’; and any other answer would be incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.”
    Is a conviction the slightest reason for science to accept a statement? Popper: “The answer is, ‘No’; and any other answer would be incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.”
    In the IPCC Climate Discussion at this point all went wrong: conviction. But how?

    Wim Röst , your lead post is a thought provoking one. It invokes important thoughts regarding the opposition between two climate focused science communities:
    (1) Those who adhere to the subjective school of a particular philosophy of science that comes from a certain kind of philosophical perspective; they hold science as being a subjective servant to pre-science premises not sourced from science. Examples of the adherents are: a certain kind of politician; the IPCC Bureau’s intellectual leadership; the scientists supporting the creations of the IPCC’s ARs; and of course academics within some science and philosophy departments at universities.
    versus
    (2) Those who adhere to the objective school of a particular philosophy of science that comes from a certain kind of philosophical perspective; the hold science as being above and not dependent on only multiply independent verifications by unambiguous corroborated observations of reality.
    The IPCC was predicated on the view of science in (1) above. It knew it could use the view of science in (2) above.
    The critical fundamental question that must be answered is why does the view of science in (1) above exist at all much less why is it so widely accepted in the modern world of the 21st century. It is pre-renaissance and anti-enlightenment. The IPCC/ UN/ governments/ NGO’s/ environmentalists did not create it or cause it to be created, but utilized it. The only solution to stop it is persistently intellectually voiding the philosophies that justify the subjective school of the philosophy of science.
    Regarding Popper as a proponent of the objective school, he actually is not very consistently so, unfortunately. He has roots in both philosophical pragmatism and analysis school of subjectivism. Better to go with Feynman. We can discuss this further on an appropriate thread.
    John

    • This paragraph in my above comment needs correction – “(2) Those who adhere to the objective school of a particular philosophy of science that comes from a certain kind of philosophical perspective; the hold science as being above and not dependent on only multiply independent verifications by unambiguous corroborated observations of reality.”
      The corrected paragraph should be,

      (2) Those who adhere to the objective school of a particular philosophy of science that comes from a certain kind of philosophical perspective; they hold science as being not above but dependent on only multiply independent verifications by unambiguous corroborated observations of reality.

      John

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