The Incestuous Nature of the IPCC Reports

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

In a thought-provoking and reasoned commentary that asks the question, “Is climate change controversy good for science? Craig Idso examines a comparison between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Non-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) Reports. (Disclosure: I contributed material to the NIPCC Report). Idso’s article is a review and analysis of an article with the same title in Scientometrics, Jankó et al. (2017). Idso wrote,

Another interesting finding is seen in their examination of who each organization was citing. In-text analysis of the IPCC’s AR5 report revealed that 19 out of the 20 most frequently cited authors in that report were directly involved in the compilation of it. And though the remaining person, J. Hansen, was not officially involved in producing AR5, he participated in the production of at least one prior IPCC report (Third Assessment) as a Contributing Author. Similar analysis of the AR4 report revealed that 14 out of the 16 most frequently cited IPCC authors were involved with the writing of that report. Yet, here again, the remaining two individuals were directly involved in the production of the IPCC’s preceding Third Assessment Report. Such findings indicate the IPCC report authors are most intent on citing their own work, thereby promoting their own interests and findings above the work of others.

Just as Idso did with revealing Janko et al’s conclusion, I am going to save the denouement to the end.

This type of incest is no surprise to many involved in academia. One of the few intelligent things Prince Philip is reported to have said is that universities are the only truly incestuous organizations in our society. Almost everybody teaching in a university is a product of one. For the most part, they run the university by controlling the Senates, so you have the prisoners effectively running the prisons. Most university Presidents and Deans are promoted prisoners. There are many examples of non-academic presidents and department chairs who were pushed out by the academics in a pattern reminiscent of the politicians of the swamp rejecting the non-politician Trump. It is almost inevitable that any group will reject any person they consider not qualified to do the job. The qualifications used for this decision are the ones they created and protect. If you hire somebody who is ‘unqualified’ and it turns out they can do as good or even a better job, then your qualifications and control are undermined. You can add the IPCC to the list.

Everybody on the IPCC Report production, that is the actual research and written documents is selected and appointed by their home nations weather offices. This was the procedure set up by Maurice Strong through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) using the UN agency the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which is comprised of the bureaucrats and scientists at every national weather office. As Richard Lindzen, atmospheric physicist and Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said,

IPCC’s emphasis, however, isn’t on getting qualified scientists, but on getting representatives from over 100 countries, said Lindzen. The truth is only a handful of countries do quality climate research. Most of the so-called experts served merely to pad the numbers.

It is no small matter that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as ‘the world’s leading climate scientists.’ It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process.

Another problem with politically driven research and the incestuous nature of academia and the IPCC is that they ignore any rules or information, especially criticism that doesn’t fit the agenda. Again, Lindzen identified the problem,

The IPCC claims its report is peer-reviewed, which simply isn’t true, Lindzen said. Under true peer-review, he explained, a panel of reviewers must accept a study before it can be published in a scientific journal. If the reviewers have objections, the author must answer them or change the article to take reviewers’ objections into account.

Under the IPCC review process, by contrast, the authors are at liberty to ignore criticisms. After having his review comments ignored by the IPCC in 1990 and 1995, Lindzen asked to have his name removed from the list of reviewers. The group refused.

Some argue that after early criticisms by Lindzen, Vincent Gray and others, the IPCC instituted a system of review by outsiders. The Janko et al study illustrates that it is a farce introduced purely to claim they are responding. It is the nature of incestuous groups that resolutions of problems are internal and rarely effectively implemented.

The Denouement.

Idso’s analysis provides a perfect example of Lindzen’s critique. In the conflict between Michael Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ research and the analysis of its inadequacies by McIntyre and McKitrick, two congressional committees combined to investigate. This became known as the Barton Committee and was a joint effort between the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Letters were sent to IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri, National Science Foundation Director Arden Bement, Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes. It directed the three scientists to provide data and methods and computer codes used to achieve their results.

The politicians knew they would be flummoxed by the science and statistics, so they empaneled an independent group of specialists to investigate and provide a report to assist their conclusions. This group became identified as the Wegman Report after its chairperson Edward Wegman of George Mason University.

In its Recommendations to the Barton Committee and thereby presumably to any future IPCC Report Wegman wrote,

Recommendation 1. Especially when massive amounts of public monies and human lives are at stake, academic work should have a more intense level of scrutiny and review. It is especially the case that authors of policy-related documents like the IPCC report, Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis, should not be the same people as those that constructed the academic papers.

The IPCC paid no attention as Janko et al., identified, and Idso underlined. They are another incestuous group following the academic tradition.


72 thoughts on “The Incestuous Nature of the IPCC Reports

  1. Presumably the Barton Committee reported Wegman’s recommendation back to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. What “teeth” do they have to effect any change?

      • From the post… “In-text analysis of the IPCC’s AR5 report revealed that 19 out of the 20 most frequently cited authors in that report were directly involved in the compilation of it”

        and it would be fair to add that the recited papers are also often reviewed by the same people!

    • Legislative bodies, including the US Congress, have lots of “teeth” but only if they chose to use them. They can loudly rally the electorate, programs can be eliminated, budgets cut, positions denied, laws changed, etc. Yet that requires intellectual honesty and political will to do what is best for the state and country. It also requires a majority in both houses. For the past 75+ years Democrats have controlled the US Congress either by holding the majority in both houses or have such a large minority that nothing could get done, especially in the Senate, without some Democrats being will to compromise or the Democrats even in the minority leading the pack. Once upon a time enough Democrats would step forward when the Republicans held the majority. Yet starting after the 2006 mid-term elections the leaders ruling the Democratic Party cut anyone that dare even suggesting compromise out of the herd.

    • The US could threaten to defund its share of IPCC’s budget or even leave the UN. That’s about all the leverage Congress could have.

  2. What I think is relevant to the operation of the IPCC is the work of Robert Michel and Jerry Pournelle (separately) on the internal dynamics of bureaucratic organizations.Those who are skilled at the internal politics of the group tend to end up running it, and do so to maximize their own position, with no regard for the purported purpose of the organization.
    About the only real contraint is external pressure, which leads private companies to change or go bankrupt, or political pressure with public organizations.

    • The United Nations, parent of the IPCC, is dedicated to making sure things don’t happen. link It doesn’t stop genocide (eg. Rwanda) and it doesn’t fight AIDS. Any efforts in that direction are gently smothered by fat cat bureaucrats.

      • And try and remember the last time a UN Peace Keeper intervention actually stopped a conflict.
        Do they keep the peace? IMO, No!

        The Peace Keepers, in reality, are no more than food and medical aid distributors accompanied by bureaucratic actuaries and quantity surveyors assessing the collateral damage , and counters of the dead body tally.

      • commieBob: That is how politics seems to work. You first identify groups of people who you claim are disadvantaged in some way. Examples include, gays, blacks, native Americans, the poor etc. Then you assert that it is your wish to help these groups and that becomes your reason for existence.

        The problem is that if you do successfully help these people then you no longer have the moral high ground or even a job. So the aim is not to help them at all – just to claim that you are – and use it as an excuse to further your personal agenda.

        I believe that is why some dislike people like Milo Yiannopoulos so much. They think he should be silent, oppressed and grateful for their support whereas he has opposing views and articulates them whenever he can. He has to be silenced otherwise their plot is exposed.

      • The only thing that bureaucratic institutions like the IPCC are best at is preserving their existence by ANY means. It’s a detriment to humanity that in order to to this, they needed to subvert science.

      • Paddy. You’re not alone in that respect.

        Years ago I used to be a big proponent of UN organizations, but today if an organization has a UN affiliation I will disregard it entirely. It’s a conversation ender.

      • The largest international organization, acting as a voting block within the 193 member General Assembly, is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation with 57 members plus Palestinian Authority. The OIC is controlled by Saudi Arabia and other oil producing states. IPCC is creation of the General assembly.

        The policies advocated by the IPCC have the effect of supporting or driving up the price of oil. Specifically competing energy sources are being sidelined ie nuclear and coal. Thus the global surplus of natural gas is being directed to electricity generation rather than the oil monopoly in transportation. Solar and wind is just crony capitalism to dole out money to the faithful while natural gas does the heavy lifting of replacing coal.

        The Green campaign against nuclear, that does not emit any CO2, has been very successful. Nuclear will eventually replace fossil fuels when regulatory constraints, justified by junk science Linear No Threshold Hypothesis, are removed and costs reduced significantly. Fourth generation reactors are “walk away” safe.
        Sodium fast reactors, based upon the IFR (Integral Fast Reactor) design have been ready for deployment for 20 years. Liquid fuel, thorium, LFTR reactors are still research projects, and hence much favored by Greens.

        If coal use and export is banned in the USA, 25% of the global coal reserves are taken out of competition. It is US oil and natural gas production that gets banned, thus supporting OPEC.

        Western (US, EU, Japan) transportation is already seriously dependent upon OPEC output. If natural gas displaces coal for Western electricity production, within 30 years, Western electricity generation will be significantly dependent upon Qatar, Iran, and Russia.

        If the IPCC/Green nonsense is blown away, cheap, non polluting nuclear will generate electricity, electricity will provide heating, and natural gas, converted to methanol, will compete with oil in the transportation sector to drive gasoline prices down.

      • co2isnotevil,

        Just to clarify, do you mean ideocracy or idiocracy? Of course, the distinction may be a moot point since both apply.

  3. Hey hey, don’t slag off Prince Philip! My brother sits on a Hong Kong committee chaired by PP and a friend was Deputy Master of Trinity House. Both say you must get your ducks in a row before meeting – he will have read his briefs and how.

    • My own small insight was during time as a VSO on Grand Turk. DoE stopped off in his plane (on the way back from an official tour) to present DoE awards to local youngsters on the Tarmac. A day to remember for young people on an isolated (some changes in 40+ years) relic of empire.

    • Agreed. If you had said “Prince Charles” rather than “Prince Philip” you might have been nearer the mark. Philip may not be the sharpest tool in the box — which of us is? — but he makes up for it by making damn sure he understands his brief!

  4. Dr Tim,
    you are being most unkind to Prince Philip, and probably influenced by his bad press and his sense of less than PC humor.
    I quote Christopher Booker:
    “In 2009 I published The Real Global Warming Disaster, a history of the the great panic over climate change, which soon ranked with one by Al Gore as one of the three top-selling books on the subject published in this century.
    This prompted notably contrasting responses from two members of the Royal family. The Prince of Wales protested that he was quite “bemused”’ by my views on global warming, struck me off his Christmas card list, where I had been ever since was one of his advisers on environmental matters back in the Eighties.
    I was, however, startled and delighted to have a long, thoughtful and sympathetic letter from his father, who also wanted to correct a mistake in my book. I had said he was still a supporter of the World Wildlife Fund, which he co-founded in 1961. In fact, he said, he had withdrawn from the WWF after it switched from its original focus on saving endangered species to relentless campaigning against global warming.”

    Also, “The Duke of Edinburgh is understood to take a more sceptical view and previously caused controversy by describing wind turbines as ‘absolutely useless’.”

    I might mention that he was a serving naval officer in WW2 and far from the buffoon and a man lacking intelligence you seem to imply.

    Finally, I find him amusing and an amazing Dad to put up with his loopy son, Prince Charles. A couple of quotes I love from PP are:

    “The man who invented the red carpet needed his head examined.”

    “British women can’t cook.”

    “If it has four legs and is not a chair, has wings and is not an aeroplane, or swims and is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.”

    “Have you run over anybody?” (Said to the Mayor of Waltham Forest who uses a mobility scooter).

    Peering at a fuse box in a Scottish factory, he said: “It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.” He later backtracked: “I meant to say cowboys.”

    “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay then she isn’t interested” – speaking about his daughter, Princess Anne.

    If he wasn’t a Prince, he would have been a good comedian and, I bet, with a few jokes about Al Gore and Global Warming.

  5. This incestuous approach to effectively ‘self-peer-reviewing’ one’s work is not limited to the UN. Some time ago, when assessing the ‘cultural heritage’ value of a project site, I came across an archaeological report relating to the topic where the author of that report quoted himself as an authority on the basis of having previously published a paper on the topic. This practice seems to be now prevalent in academia, in addition to the UN.

    • The same problem exists in every “scientific” association in the world.
      They’ve been taken over by the politicians and are now ;being run for the benefit of the politicians, not science.

      • Mark. Not just scientific organizations. My job consisted of assisting aircraft maintainers. Some of my coworkers opposed efforts to teach the maintainers and to correct or improve the maintenance manuals for fear of loosing their cushy jobs.

  6. It is simple really No AGW = NO IPCC, its an organization with no need to exist without this fixated view on climate. No surprise then that it takes actions, and good science be dammed, to support it . And if that means reliable ‘pal review’ so be it.

    • In essence, Strong and the Club of Rome “invented” climate change as a political construct with the objective of engineering the collapse of western civilisation. (At one point Strong is on record as saying, “isn’t it our duty to bring it (collapse) about?”)

      The process was enabled by an abuse of the laws of physics which deliberately linked CO2 levels causatively to increased temperature. No such linkage exists outside the laboratory and to the extent that it does, even the theory predicts only a 1°C rise for each doubling of concentration. Anything beyond that is pure invention as the temperature record compared with the models shows.

      CO2 was “chosen” as the demon because the quickest way tp undermine modern civilisation is to cut off its main drivers — cheap and reliable energy, ditto transport, and synthetic raw materials — all of which depend in whole or in part on oil and/or coal, the one inescapable by-product of the use of which is carbon dioxide. Kill off coal and oil, you kill of civilisation as we know it! Simple.

      Why so many people have fallen for this Jedi mind trick is one mystery and how we undo the vice-like grip that academia and pseudo-environmentalism have us in is another.

      • “Why so many people have fallen for this Jedi mind trick is one mystery”

        No mystery at all, except that the reason is not politically correct, thus goes unacknowledged. That reason is that about half the population puts emotional arguments ahead of logical arguments when it comes to conflict resolution. These right brained people tend to migrate to the left of the political spectrum which latched on to the broken science for ideological reasons and the lemmings just follow.

        Undoing this will be very difficult as it requires changing the way people think. The only real hope is if a high profile warmist publicly and emphatically changes their mind, due to ‘new information’ (not really new, but new to them), that tells them the effect of CO2 on the climate MUST be much less than feared.

  7. There is probably more incest there than meets the eye. I suspect that the whole of climate science is just one big incestuous blob. That would ecplain for example why dissenters are vilified.

    • Well yes. As the Wigman report shows, they review each others papers as well, before the quote from them and write the IPCC reports from their pal reviewed papers, all the while ignoring contrary papers and threatening skeptics” to change the very nature of peer review” if contrary papers get published.

    • Has all the signs of a misguided paradigm. Fields suffering from the same problem that aren’t politicized are actually experiencing renaissances because of inclusion of new concepts and research. Cli science implicating greenhouse gasses for everything probably sets the field back half a century.

  8. Thanks for a good article.Back in the nineties the claim was that 2500 scientists said that global warming real and dangerous and 2500 scientists could not be wrong .You have highlighted that the peer review is a sham which any thinking person could work out . Vincent Gray from New Zealand has been a reviewer and he is skeptical of the global warming scam .John Maunder of New Zealand was a member of the WMO and attended the first WMO conference in Villach in Austria and the second conference in Brazil . He was skeptical of the claims being made and he had taught climatology in universities over seas .He stayed with me and was a very knowledgeable man .We now have two ratbags Jim Salinger and James Fenwick both ex NIWA pushing the climate alarmist barrow and adjusting historical temperatures to fit their narrative.They have stated that the medieval warm period is an inconvenient blip and try to make a case that it only happened in Europe .

    • I think you mean James Renwick (ex NIWA, now Professor J. Renwick, School of Geography, Environment & Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington).

    • IIRC, there were only 800 scientists involved in AR5, only 200 of whom were members of WG1 (on attribution, the key to it all), and (from the head post’s claim that few countries supply real experts) only a quarter of whom had a clue about that subject.

  9. When I was doing research for a recent essay posted on WUWT, I was struck by how much of the material in AR5, Chapter 2, was cut-and-paste from previous papers written by the authors involved. ‘Lazy’ is the kindest adjective I can find.

  10. UN an international public civil service, lead by Secretary-General. The national governments adopt the mandates for UN and the various initiatives, such as IPCC.

    The UN provides the secretariat for the corresponding work by national public civil service administrations, who also nominate their experts as they see fit. If the national administration nominates a janitor as UN Panel Expert, that’s what the Panel will have to cope with.

    The national experts elaborate UN recommendations within the mandate. If the mandate declares the world has an increasing number of uphills compered to downhills and assigns the Panel to calculate the rate and recommendations to correct it, that’s also the outcome no matter what. The Panel adopts the final text accordingly based on one country one voice principle. Interest groups can observe the meetings and may contribute. Some countries may perhaps involve academia, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    For these reasons in my opinion the process is political. It’s not an academia any more than the first Council of Nicaea was.

  11. The United Nations Secretary General in the BBC news interview claimed hurricanes are getting more frequent and are due to global warming as acknowledged by science, followed by the CO2 tirade etc.

    • Hmm, I saw that. After saying “climate change” about 5 times he then described those (fictitious) increases as “dramatic”. Then he said “the scientific proof is there”. At this point I turned the telly off.

    • Prof. Pielke,
      The US government should completely ignore the IPCC assessment reports. It should just convene a Red Team to produce its own reports. It should pull out of IPCC, stop funding, stop sending delegates.

      • I would go one step further,get the government OUT of the climate change controversy by funding,completely.

  12. UN IPCC: The very definition of a “Self Licking Lollipop”…
    It’d be funny if it all weren’t such a complete waste of money.

  13. Tim, name institutions outside academia and IPCC that ARE NOT such a swamp! Perhaps the NIPCC is exceedingly rare. I was a mineral economist at the Canadian federal EMR (mines) responsible for keeping track of a number of mineral and metal commodities, domestic and foreign for policy (strategic, anti-dumping, etc.). I wrote chapters in the Canadian Minerals Yearbook on each of these commodities with forecasts in the 1970s.

    In a few years, they expanded, tripling staff to basically take duties away from commodity people who had come from industry. Forecast now had to jibe with the new “Economics Division” figures and ultimately minerals and metals budgets shrank and the yearbook was published every second year with about a quarter of the coverage and religated to a few StatCan tables . I left before this sad development got too far. An annual record of the industry stretching back to the 1880s, and copied around the world was no more, and the place was awash with theoretical economists largely from the same Alma mater totally disconnected from the industry.

  14. The K-12 public education system is equally, if not more, incestuous. The “education associations”, i.e. teachers’ unions, negotiate with school boards for pay scales, curricula, etc., while the school boards are padded with union-picked candidates. The unions, being the only vested interest in the outcome of school board elections, easily purchase the election results by financing campaigns and buying recall elections should independent candidates win a seat. Meanwhile, the unions are part of the great liberal/Democrat coalition (along with the enviros, big fem, abortionists, etc.), so we end up with a school system completely run by the unions and their allies, and whose purpose is to raise a generation of good Democrats.
    As Lenin said, “Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”
    (there’s other versions of this).
    They control the curriculum, hire agreeable teachers, and suppress school choice.
    My personal experience in “Lower Ed”:
    I taught at a charter middle school, which received 10% less funding per student, a real disincentive, yet was the best school in the district.
    As for higher ed,
    I taught Atmospheric Science at the U of Colorado, doing both weather and climate courses. I was pulled from the climate class when an investigation into “my thoughts on the science of global warming” revealed I was presenting data and observations that weren’t particularly favorable to AGW. So, just as in Lower Ed, the great leftie coalition has a Ministry of Truth that controls the curriculum in Higher Ed.
    I consider the left-wing grip on our education system’s nougats the biggest political problem in the U.S.A.

  15. You need to understand how the UN , for start if the position offers access to easy money or power then the game is ‘whose turn is it now ‘. That its a question of which region , say Africa , gets its turn. This is followed the countries in that region nominating people , often related to ‘leading politicians’ , in reality most stand no chance as the countries with the biggest army/bank balance , push the little ones out of the way . This is followed by a series of back starching events where from looking at either past favors or promised new ones, one person get chosen and get the job.
    At no stage does ability or experience play any role at all, and once in office it is often straight into the tough and time for others to call on those ‘promised favors ‘
    And the best part is , even if total useless and corrupt , they cannot sacked , or even worry about having to pay any money back . Once they have filled their pockets and finished their term , the whole process starts again.

  16. Thank you Tim for another great article.

    The Wegman Report fully supported McIntyre’s work and declared that the much-touted (by-the-IPCC) Mann hockey stick was broken.

    Excerpts – Wegman Report

    The debate over Dr. Mann’s principal components methodology has been going on for nearly three years. When we got involved, there was no evidence that a single issue was resolved or even nearing resolution. Dr. Mann’s website said that all of the Mr. McIntyre and Dr. McKitrick claims had been ‘discredited’. UCAR had issued a news release saying that all their claims were ‘unfounded’. Mr. McIntyre replied on the website. The climate science community seemed unable to either refute McIntyre’s claims or accept them. The situation was ripe for a third-party review of the types that we and Dr. North’s NRC panel have done.

    While the work of Michael Mann and colleagues presents what appears to be compelling evidence of global temperature change, the criticisms of McIntyre and McKitrick, as well as those of other authors mentioned are indeed valid.

    “Where we have commonality, I believe our report and the [NAS] panel essentially agree. We believe that our discussion together with the discussion from the NRC report should take the ‘centering’ issue off the table. [Mann’s] decentred methodology is simply incorrect mathematics …. I am baffled by the claim that the incorrect method doesn’t matter because the answer is correct anyway.

    Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science.

    The papers of Mann et al. in themselves are written in a confusing manner, making it difficult for the reader to discern the actual methodology and what uncertainty is actually associated with these reconstructions.
    It is not clear that Dr. Mann and his associates even realized that their methodology was faulty at the time of writing the [Mann] paper.

    We found MBH98 and MBH99 to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and the criticisms of MM03/05a/05b to be valid and compelling.

    Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.

    [The] fact that their paper fit some policy agendas has greatly enhanced their paper’s visibility… The ‘hockey stick’ reconstruction of temperature graphic dramatically illustrated the global warming issue and was adopted by the IPCC and many governments as the poster graphic. The graphics’ prominence together with the fact that it is based on incorrect use of [principal components analysis] puts Dr. Mann and his co-authors in a difficult face-saving position.

    We have been to Michael Mann’s University of Virginia website and downloaded the materials there. Unfortunately, we did not find adequate material to reproduce the MBH98 materials. We have been able to reproduce the results of McIntyre and McKitrick.

    Generally speaking, the paleoclimatology community has not recognized the validity of the [McIntyre and McKitrick] papers and has tended dismiss their results as being developed by biased amateurs. The paleoclimatology community seems to be tightly coupled as indicated by our social network analysis, has rallied around the [Mann] position, and has issued an extensive series of alternative assessments most of which appear to support the conclusions of MBH98/99… Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface.

    It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent.
    Based on the literature we have reviewed, there is no overarching consensus on [Mann’s work]. As analyzed in our social network, there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis. However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.

    It is clear that many of the proxies are re-used in most of the papers. It is not surprising that the papers would obtain similar results and so cannot really claim to be independent verifications.”

    Especially when massive amounts of public monies and human lives are at stake, academic work should have a more intense level of scrutiny and review. It is especially the case that authors of policy-related documents like the IPCC report, Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis, should not be the same people as those that constructed the academic papers.”

  17. By 1995, reliance on completed scientific studies to support environmental policies had largely been abandoned by the EPA. Bureaucrats and politicians sidetracked science as a guide for policies in favor of Principle 15 of the 1992 Rio Declaration of the United Nations, which states in part: “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation,” the one-percent solution.

    In any organization, workers listen to the message of management and act accordingly. The incestuous behavior in the IPCC will not change until Principle 15 is administratively and publicly recanted.

    • Actually, 2 points 1) Principle 15, as written, could still be a workable, acceptable approach if they didn’t routinely ignore “…cost-effective…” 2) Principle 15 has turned into, “Science? Science? We don’ need no steenkeeng SCIENCE! Principle 15 says so!”

  18. The way forward is relatively simple: to create an alternative nucleus of research based around those interested in the climate (or other non-lab based science) outside academia.

    Given the number of people who contribute here, I’m sure a nucleus of people could be found who would be interested in working toward a “doctorate” (although another similar name might be needed) in Atmospheric Physics.

    My hope would be that enough supervisors could be found to contribute their time and effort for free and long enough to get an initial tranche of people through – who would then be in a position to act as supervisors to further candidates, and relatively quickly the “Sceptic University” could become self sustaining and create a real non-academic research focus.

    • In principle I like this. In practice you may come up against legislation or other rules which prohibit or restrict activities like this. It’s a matter I have been giving quite a lot of thought to. There is a possible solution which is to set up the organization as a RELIGION. There is general freedom to believe whatever you like in a religion. Suggestions for a name for our new religion invited. (Shame Scientology was already taken!).

      Rough draft / ideas…


      Welcome to our New Religion..

      We believe in these things:

      1) Integrity
      2) Truthfulness
      3) Exposing lies and dishonesty..

      get the idea, run off about 10-12 of these basics first, then

      13) The Scientific Method
      14) Furthering knowledge by conducting experiments, blah,blah..

      + a few more, then..

      20) We believe that the scientific evidence shows that the Earth’s atmosphere is NOT ……

      Carefully craft this and I think it will be bullet proof. OK, they might TRY and hang us for it but taking a religion into court for having “odd” BELIEFS is not going to get traction.

      Galatians 6:9

      Anyone who wants to borrow my very very very very very very dark blue socks is most welcome.

  19. There are some special historical circumstances of the the IPCC that explain its current character that are often missed if one does not fully understand its evolution.

    1. The IPCC was originally just another advisory panel, but, between when it was instituted in 1987 and when the first report drafts were produced, the global warming issue was propelled to preeminent global status by such things as: Canadian government promotion (Hydro, Nuclear); the Brundtland commission designating it as the next (after ozone) flag ship cause; its competitive use by Dukakis (Hansen’s performance) and Bush (the ‘white house effect’) in the US presidential election to show their environment credentials; its use by Thatcher to save her PM-ship; its promotion by the German government (Nuclear); and the decline of the global No Nukes movement with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    2. The IPCC was given political prominence by world leaders: Bush and Thatcher were important in championing the cause but yet allaying the concerns of their hard nosed economic advisors by delaying emissions control action until after the IPCC report was in, after which we were then to follow the WMO/UNEP plan for policy action. Their strategy effectively gave the IPCC a central role in what was fast becoming the preeminent global environment issue.

    2. The original plan for the IPCC report writing process was transformed. The original (vague) plan was for the IPCC delegates to write the (short) report, but then the British chair of Working Group I had the idea of getting the experts to write the report. Houghton not only transformed the way the report would be writing but also greatly increased the complexity of the process. The IPCC chairman, Bolin, approved the Houghton design, which was gradually instituted across the other two working groups.

    3. Disinterested report writing protocols were abandoned in the Houghton transformation. Prior to the IPCC, the convention for such panels (especially where there addressed controversial and policy relevant topics) was that they should not include scientists directly involved in the science and so the controversy. The IPCC, as originally designed, conformed to this convention. However, Houghton’s transformation meant the report became an expert-written report similar in design to scientific report writing under GARP and WCRP (on much less controversial topics) where those involved in the science wrote the report.

    4. Houghton (and later other WG chairs) did not sufficiently discourage the use of the report writers own unpublished work. This problem got so bad by the second assessment that the various controversy over that report all involved views derived from the chapter authors own unpublished and unchallenged work. Before these problems even emerged, Pat Michaels’ survey of citations came up with alarming results. (scroll for graph here ) The problem was identified not only by a reviewer (Michaels) but also by delegates during the first and second assessment. However, little was done about it (and we may speculate why). The problem continued into the third assessment — contributing to the Hockey Stick controversy — and beyond.

    (Eventually, deadlines were introduced to limit the embarrassment of the report at the point of publication–but not at the time of review–citing unpublished work. However, little effort has been made with protocols to ensure disinterest — the sorts of protocols that remain strict elsewhere such as at National Academies and at WHO.)

    5. Houghton’s transformation reversed the original efforts to encourage broad country-representation in the writing group. Houghton’s expert-written report meant a bias towards experts from countries doing research. (There was as a bias towards anglophone countries mostly defensible on the same grounds.) The shift from a delegate-written report meant that poor countries (and Arab oil producing countries) had a perceived lost of influence. The IPCC tried to compensated for this by introducing positions that could only be filled by delegates from poor country, including WG co-chairs, chapter co-lead-authors, and Tech Support Unit positions (while vocal Arab oil producers could be dismissed as the politically-driven enemies of science). These concessions were insufficient to head off a third world revolt in the first assessment, nor did the prevent further troubles with poor countries in the second. And these concession were the origins of the tendency in later reports to present a more representative writing force.

  20. From Dr. Idso’s review:

    In-text analysis of the IPCC’s AR5 report revealed that 19 out of the 20 most frequently cited authors in that report were directly involved in the compilation of it.

    Considering the recommendation** of the (IMHO) only credible report on the heels of Climategate, i.e. that of the InterAcademy Council (IAC) – along with known considerably less than exemplary practices of the IPCC – one can only conclude that the powers that be of the IPCC must be very slow learners.

    ** As I had noted, back in 2010, the IAC report included the following:

    […]Questions about potential conflicts of interest, for example, have been raised […] about the practice of scientists responsible for writing IPCC assessments reviewing their own work.

    The Committee did not investigate the basis of these claims, which is beyond the mandate of this review. However, the Committee believes that the nature of the IPCC’s task (i.e., in presenting a series of expert judgments on issues of great societal relevance) demands that the IPCC pay special attention to issues of independence and bias to maintain the integrity of, and public confidence in, its results.

    The IPCC Secretariat informed the Committee that the Panel will be discussing options for conflict-of-interest and disclosure policies for the various actors in the IPCC process (e.g., members of the Bureau, non-UN staff, non-WMO staff, and authors) at its next Plenary session. [emphasis added -hro]

    I doubt that readers will be surprised to learn that the IPCC’s so-called “conflict of interest” policy is one through which one could drive a virtual truck. IOW – as is so often the case with the IPCC (and its many siblings in the UN stable) – the word “transparency has been given a whole new meaning!

  21. The IPCC is a spent political propaganda tool used by governments and global warming hucksters to sell their shit .
    We will never hear from the IPCC in any meaningful way as the over exaggerated global warming con game is in full retreat allowing real scientists can now re-enter the room without the playground bullies to push them around or bribe them .
    Politicians that want to hitch themselves to a political titanic are in for short careers while
    the climate hustlers need an immediate rebrand as the original con – men are already floating down river on their bags of cash . Good riddance . Too bad they haven’t gone to jail yet .
    When the main street media fully collapses they can add their roll in the overblown global warming con-game to the list of WTF happened .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s