Democracy Has Prevailed.

September 3, 2010

The Trib And Climate Change - What They Say And Don't Say

It's always a pleasure to tussle with the Scaife's braintrust over climate change. It's always quick work and they always end up looking more or less sillier for the effort. 

Today is no different. You should note that the Braintrust has yet to address the report from NOAA establishing that the science of climate change is "undeniable."

Keep that in mind as you read an editorial that begins with:
An independent group's recommendations might improve the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process. But the real test is whether the next IPCC report's conclusions reflect genuine science, not blame-mankind extremism.

The 12-member group was chosen by the Amsterdam-based InterAcademy Council. The recommendations seek to bolster IPCC's credibility, justifiability diminished by errors in its 2007 report and the Climategate e-mails showing data irregularities.
And ends with:
Yet when it comes to substance, the group is brimful of alarmist Kool-Aid, saying humanity "very likely" is to blame for climate change. Until the IPCC takes that as a hypothesis to be evaluated objectively via the uncorrupted scientific method -- not as the foregone conclusion its "science" must support -- real reform won't occur. [italics in original]
So what's the subtext of the Trib's message here?  First that the IPCC report does NOT reflect "genuine science" (or else there'd be no need for a change).  Second, the IPCC's credibility was diminished by "errors" such as the Climategate e-mails (even though those emails did not show data irregularities) and third that the science of the 2007 IPCC report is the product of a corrupted scientific process.

Now, what does the IAC report say?  Let's check their own press release.  It begins with this:
The process used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to produce its periodic assessment reports has been successful overall, but IPCC needs to fundamentally reform its management structure and strengthen its procedures to handle ever larger and increasingly complex climate assessments as well as the more intense public scrutiny coming from a world grappling with how best to respond to climate change, says a new report from the InterAcademy Council (IAC), an Amsterdam-based organization of the world’s science academies.
And on those errors:
Given that the IAC report was prompted in part by the revelation of errors in the last assessment, the committee examined IPCC’s review process as well. It concluded that the process is thorough, but stronger enforcement of existing IPCC review procedures could minimize the number of errors. To that end, IPCC should encourage review editors to fully exercise their authority to ensure that all review comments are adequately considered. Review editors should also ensure that genuine controversies are reflected in the report and be satisfied that due consideration was given to properly documented alternative views. Lead authors should explicitly document that the full range of thoughtful scientific views has been considered.

The use of so-called gray literature from unpublished or non-peer-reviewed sources has been controversial, although often such sources of information and data are relevant and appropriate for inclusion in the assessment reports. Problems occur because authors do not follow IPCC’s guidelines for evaluating such sources and because the guidelines themselves are too vague, the committee said. It recommended that these guidelines be made more specific — including adding guidelines on what types of literature are unacceptable — and strictly enforced to ensure that unpublished and non-peer-reviewed literature is appropriately flagged.
But it's the last rhetorical gesture of the braintrust that most fully shows their hand.

They still insist that climate change is a "hypothesis" that has yet to be evaluated in spite of all the real science showing otherwise. Did I mention NOAA saying it was "undeniable"? Has the Trib even mentioned that yet?

See? Sillier and sillier, they get.

Happy Friday.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

Good post, good research on the IAC.

But I will point out that the Trib actually says that the hypothesis part is that *humanity has caused/is causing climate change*. Apparently the Trib *has* tacitly conceded that climate change exists, but disagrees with IPCC about its cause. It is the old (largely but not exclusively Republican) trick of admitting a problem exists, but saying further study is needed to find the cause of the problem, and still further study is needed to find the solution.

Disagreeing about the cause is important, because the cause affects the solution. It is the difference between levying a prohibitive tax on gasoline, coal and natural gas that largely forces us to move into apartments within walking distance of work and shopping, use CFL's, laptops and laundry lines, or shrugging our shoulders and saying "that darn nature" or "those darn sunspots","nothing we can do".

The painful part is as more and more people admit they were wrong about climate change, we come to see how our delay in taking action means the solutions will be more and more painful. Kind of like the realization we will have in a year or two about how the stimulus should have been bigger. Of course, in both cases no one really important (ie wealthy) will be more than mildly inconvenienced.