U.N. Climate Change Panel Processes Critiqued

|

Intergovernmental Politics of Climate Controversies

In the wake of last year's Climategate scandal, the InterAcademy Council (IAC), an Amsterdam-based organization of the world's science academies, is issuing its critique of the U.N. Intervovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) processes and procedures. In the measured language of science, the critique appears to be fairly damning. Tidbits from the report and accompanying press release below:

…amid an increasingly intense public debate about the science of climate change and costs of curbing it, IPCC has come under closer scrutiny, and controversies have erupted over its perceived impartiality toward climate policy and the accuracy of its reports….

The report recommends that "to enhance its credibility and independence" the IPCC should be overseen by an executive committee that 'should include individuals from outside the IPCC or even outside the climate science community." Depending on how the members of the executive committee are chosen, this might help avoid the kind of group think that has arguably afflicted IPCC assessments.

The IAC also recommends that the IPCC chair, and the heads of the various working groups be limited to participating in just one five year assessment "in order to maintain a variety of perspectives and fresh approach to each assessment." Is this a hint that the current controversial head of the IPCC assessment process, Rajendra Pachauri, should step down now? In addition, the IPCC should develop "a rigorous conflict-of-interest policy to be applied to senior IPCC leadership and all authors, review editors, and staff responsible for report content."

Given the controversies over the meaning and significance of climate data, the IAC report further recommends

…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.

As an example, the IAC highlighted the Himalayan glaciers fiasco in which the IPCC, on the basis of the slenderest of evidence (basically a popular magazine science story), reported that all the glaciers in the Himalayas could melt largely away by 2035. The IAC report notes that the six experts who reviewed the first draft of this section said nothing relevant to this claim and that only two of the 12 reviewers of the second draft flagged it by citing peer-reviewed studies that pointed out that actually some Himalayan glaciers were expanding. The lead authors failed to address these reviewers' critical comments and the alarming assertion was published in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

Later, when outside researchers suggested that the claim was an error, the IPCC assessment leader Rajendra Pachauri magisterially dismissed their criticisms as "school boy science." Transparency and openness indeed.

The IAC report finds that the IPCC characterization of the amount of scientific uncertainty concerning data and projections about future warming and its effects is confusing. The IPCC currently provides a mish-mash of confidence, likelihood and level-of-understanding scales.Confidence and likelihood scales tend to be based on the subjective views of participants. The IAC makes the sensible recommendation that the IPCC chiefly apply a level-of-understanding scale as a way to characterize scientific uncertainties. A qualitative level-of-understanding scale…

…describes the level of scientific understanding on a particular point in terms of the amount of evidence available and the degree of agreement among experts. There can be limited, medium, or much evidence, and agreement can be low, medium, or high. According to the guidance, when the level of confidence in the scientific findings is "high agreement, much evidence," authors may use one of the quantitative scales to calibrate the level of confidence in their conclusions or the likelihood of an outcome.

The IAC report further recommends:

The confidence scale should not be used to assign subjective probabilities to ill-defined
outcomes.

Quantitative probabilities (as in the likelihood scale) should be used to describe the
probability of well-defined outcomes only when there is sufficient evidence.

Authors shouldindicate the basis for assigning a probability to an outcome or event (e.g., based on measurement, expert judgment, and/or model runs).

The IAC concludes:

…that because intense scrutiny from policymakers and the public is likely to continue, IPCC needs to be as transparent as possible in detailing its processes, particularly its criteria for selecting participants and the type of scientific and technical information to be assessed.

Trying to reform the highly politicized and dysfunctional IPCC may be a fool's errand, but implementing the IAC recommendations would be a good first step. 

Go here to get a copy of the IAC report.

Advertisement

NEXT: Last Week's Top 5 Hits at Reason.com

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. the level of scientific understanding on a particular point in terms of the amount of evidence available and the degree of agreement among experts.

    But the experts all agree! We’re doooomed.

    1. Doooooooooooooomed.

      1. no homo

  2. Trying to reform the highly politicized and dysfunctional IPCC may be a fool’s errand…

    The IPCC is trying to get something done here. It started with a goal in mind. The very last thing it needs is a bunch of rogue science academics with their checks getting in the way.

    1. Lol. God fobid scientists use a rigerous process instead of unadulterated willy-nilly number buttfuckery to do their work.

  3. This is what happens when an academic discipline becomes closely relevant to public policy decisions. You get a process that has some of the characteristics of science, but also some of the characteristics of politics. Economics is another such monstrosity.

    1. Very well put.

      1. When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power.

  4. … and the opinions of climate ‘experts” funded by fossil fuel industries are not politicized in the least.

    1. Good thing no climate scientists work at universities, which would make hash of your alleged point.

      1. Are you suggesting that universities are politicized? Nonsense; balderdash; pure poppycock.

        1. Koch paid me to say that.

          1. He’s buying librarians as part of his war against Obama??? We cannot allow this.

          2. I saw him slither one of his eight, slimy arms into your pocket.

      2. Wait, you mean these rich capitalists fund all those fancy research labs?

        1. Exxon funded the research that developed the lithium/ion battery.

    2. I’m still waiting on my check from Exxon. Bastards need to pay up.

      1. They’re a notoriously slow pay. Did you includes multiple copies of every cert they asked for? If you didn’t, tack another 3 months onto that invoice.

        1. And if you’ve traveled overseas, Koch help you if you didn’t provide proof of the exchange rate. This international conspiracy must be kept under budget!

    3. Nor are those of green energy companies and likely recipients of government handouts in the form of free carbon trading credits.

      1. Fuck free carbon trading credits. We only settle for hundreds of millions in Cold. Hard. Stolen Taxpayer. Cash.

    4. How much money has BP spent on “green” tech? Oh wait, they inherited that boondogle fron Enron who spent obscene amounts of money lobbying FOR cap and trade.

      Energy companies have positioned themselves to take advantage of cap and trade as well as the various subsidies being doled out for medeval windmill energy and solar power that on a good day generates energy half the day.

      Im sure GE has no stake whatsoever in passing a climate bill.

  5. The report recommends that “to enhance its credibility and independence” the IPCC should be overseen by an executive committee that ‘should include individuals from outside the IPCC or even outside the climate science community.”

    I’m sure they’ll get right on that.

  6. model runs
    One the most interesting responses to the IPCC’s dependence on computer models and the CRU leaked source code, is there is none. Given that the future predictions of climate change are based on computer models, to me it would seem to be a good idea for the source code to be subject to outside review by actual computer scientists.

    1. Having just participated in a tedious conversation about validation of some modeling, I’d love to see what kind of validation process they use for their models. I’m betting there isn’t any.

      1. If the model shows the end of the world then it is valid.
        How it arrives at the picture is irrelevant.
        What are you, a heretic or something?

        1. Yeah, I work in a technical field where empirical observations are used to validate the modeling. I shouldn’t hold other people to those standards, I guess.

          1. T,
            “I’m betting there isn’t any.”

            Why assume when it is easy enough to check out? Pretty sure you can find some climate scientists to take your bet.

            Yeah, I work in a technical field where empirical observations are used to validate the modeling.

            And, therefore, you should be able to understand the technical papers on model validation. They are available for your review.

            I shouldn’t hold other people to those standards, I guess.

            Yes you should. But maybe you should do the leg work ahead of time before condemning people for not meeting those standards.

            1. Isn’t that the whole issue? That we’re supposed to go on faith that someone else has validated the models? If the models are valid and they’re not profiting from the models, what harm is there in licensing the code with a permissive license so anyone can look at it and verify it’s valid.

              1. I believe most of the code is open access. Why do you assume it is not?

                1. Actually it’s not, nice try though.

                  1. You might talk to “TheZeitgeist” (see below). I think he’s been poking around in the code for a few months now. He has some problems with it that indicate your assertion is, um, based on something you heard rather than trying to access the code yourself and finding it unavailable. I am sure there is some that is and some that is not readily available. But most of it is for those that know what they are doing.

            2. The models don’t line up with reality. Specifically the tree ring modeling doesn’t match up. We have no complete temperature records for most of history. So how do you reconstruct them? Allegedly you can do it with tree ring data. But no one has ever gotten tree ring data from years where the temperatures are known to predict the actual temperatures. That is what a lot of the talk on the climate gate e-mails concerns.

              Bottom line, if you can’t reconstruct past temperatures, there is no way to know if the current temperature rise is beyond the norm. And if you can’t prove that, then you can’t prove that the rise is CO2 is responsible.

              1. But, but, but human activity must be having an effect on the climate.
                It just has to!
                We can’t be burning all these fossil fuels without having some effect.
                We just can’t!
                Besides, Big Oil is evil because they are making obscene profits, so using their product must be evil as well.

                The job of the climate scientists is to prove what we already know: that the obscene profit making fossil fuel industry is destroying the planet, and only through swift government action can we avert disaster.

                Fear, class envy, hatred, jealousy, did I mention envy?

                Forget your mind and trust your emotions on this one!

              2. Bottom line, if you can’t reconstruct past temperatures, there is no way to know if the current temperature rise is beyond the norm. And if you can’t prove that, then you can’t prove that the rise is CO2 is responsible.

                No.

                The principal sources of evidence for the detection of global warming and in particular the attribution of it to anthropogenic factors come from basic science as well as General Circulation Models (GCMs) that have been fit to data accumulated during the instrumental period (IPCC, 2007). These models show that carbon dioxide, when released into the atmosphere in sufficient concentration, can force temperature increases.
                from McShane and Wyner 2010

                1. “These models show that carbon dioxide, when released into the atmosphere in sufficient concentration, can force temperature increases.”

                  But how do we know the models are any good if we can’t match them to actual temperatures? I can make a model that shows anything. CBO can build you a model that shows you the stimulus worked. But so what?

                  You are just question begging.

                2. And that is just completely at odds with reality. CO2 levels have skyrocketed during the instrument period, but the warming has been fairly mild.

                  1. John,

                    Please elaborate.

                    1. I think the most comprehensive discussion of the argument for attribution to anthropogenic forces is here

                      http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/439.htm

                      In your elaboration, you may find it useful to refute the points this chapter makes. You will note that models of past climate (previous to the instrumental period) are only a single source of evidence, and need to be placed in the context of the other sources of evidence. They are neither necessary nor sufficient for the larger argument…even though they would/will be supportive if/when validated.

                    2. Models aren’t evidence, period. A model is a man made program that shows what the programmer wants it to show. It simply demonstrates a hypothesis, it does not validate a theory through experimentation.

                3. These models show that carbon dioxide, when released into the atmosphere in sufficient concentration, can force temperature increases.
                  To translate for you, These models show what we told them to show.

      2. Well, specific complaints I’ve seen are:
        1) if you back cast them from present, they don’t conform with observations.

        2) if you start them in the past (based on proxy data) and run them to current they don’t conform to current observations.

    2. According to the Playstation 3 combat simulator a man can get shot up to thirty five times center mass and still live long enough to get to a saving checkpoint.

      I can drive a car at 350 mph into the side of a cliff and the car will simply bounce back to the track.

      Garbage in = garbage out.

  7. How could anyone even suggest that the science was reverse engineered to come up with a predetermined conclusion?
    That would mean that the political types who have been funding this research would have something to gain by the proclamation that the end of the world is near.
    Like they’ve already drafted legislation that’s just waiting for an excuse to pass it, and that legislation would give them the power to control most every human activity because most every human activity involves consuming energy of some kind.
    Hogwash! Conspiracy theories! Paranoid rants!

    And to these suggestions that the computer models are little more than graphics packages engineered to create a pretty picture, as opposed to actual number crunching programs intended to produce meaningful results.
    Anyone who suggests that knows nothing of scientific consensus, nothing of physics, nothing of climate science, and nothing of computer science.
    And if they do claim to know any of those things, then they don’t really know those things or they would agree with the consensus.

  8. Postmodernism means that the way control what happens is by managing the social dialog that constructs human reality.

    Computer models are perfect instrument is supporting this effort, since they are merely constructed realities themselves and fit right in with the constructed reality of society.

    The postmodernist claim: it’s so because we say it is so.

  9. “The report recommends that “to enhance its credibility and independence” the IPCC should be overseen by an executive committee that ‘should include individuals from outside the IPCC or even outside the climate science community.”

    So they want climate scientists to let professional computer programmers and statisticians to come in and poke holes in the methods and data proving global warming denialists ammunition.

    That is the stupidest thing we have ever heard of. The science in this area is settled. That means that is it settled and that it doesn’t matter if the data has been corrupted or if the models run on bad code or the statistical analysis behind the models is fatally flawed. It is still settled. There shouldn’t even be any debate about this subject anymore. The last thing we need is a bunch of “professionals” from other fields to come in here and give ammunition to the spaghetti monster worshiping loons who think our society is not evil and unsustainable.

    1. John,

      I’m all for anyone consulting the data who wants to, you included. But you can’t even get beyond globalwarmingisasocialistconspiracy.com so who gives a flying fuck what you think?

      1. You may be for that Tony, but many prominent climate scientists are not. I believe it was Mann who said “why should I give you my data just so you can poke holes in it?”

        And that is the problem.

        1. Nah, the problem is people with an agenda seeking out data for the express purpose of cherry picking things they can use as ammunition to undermine it. I think scientists being a little defensive against a massive operation to undermine them is perhaps understandable.

          You don’t care about facts. You care about seeming right. You don’t approach this subject scientifically at all. And that is the problem.

        2. That was Phil Jones to Warwick Hughes:

          Here was the quote:

          “Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”

          Phil Jones was the the head of the CRU and the center of the ClimateGate scandal.

          What is funny about this quote is how anti-science it is. Science is all about finding things wrong with data and the work of other scientists.

          It comes at no surprise that Tony defends this sort of thing.

          1. I agree with you, and this team’s work has been dissected over and over and over in the most public way possible and very little has been found wrong with it. Yet people like John want to pick out any tiny shred of apparent wrongdoing and claim it discredits the entire field of climate science.

    2. Wait, are you saying there is no spagetti monster?

      Lawdy momma yew kin come otta the shed the spigety monister is not real!

      You only think the science is settled because you dont listen to contrary points of view. By its very nature no science is “settled” it is contrary to the scientific method. Only scientific law is settled. Im too tired to explain the process so just borrow a science text book from a 6th grader and find out how the age old process works. Here is a hint, ALL sides of the argument are tested.

      Politicians tell you its settled as do scientists who have their livlihood, reputation and pride on the line.

      If it is settled what exactly have we settled on? How much warming? How much carbon? What time frame?

      AGW skeptics are treated like heretics did you read the emails from cru? I did, i downloaded the whole file dump. There is a shit load of name calling there.

  10. Sometimes stories are obviously bullshit (to an honest person with a functioning bullshit detector that is – people who routinely use deception to get their way are much less likely to pick up on the deception of others) and anthropogenic global warming has had bullshit written all over it since it began.

    The world is going to become uninhabitable if we do not give all this power to the government?
    And even that may not be enough. Last I heard only a single world government that controls everyone’s access to energy can save us. Really?
    We need to tax every human activity in order to discourage certain “carbon emitting” behaviors. That means everything from what temperature you keep your bedroom to how much beef you consume. Really?

    We need to hand all that power to a bunch of bumbling idiots who call themselves government so we can save the world?

    Bullshit.

    1. I like N. Taleb’s take on the issue.

      1) Climate Change. I am hyper-conservative ecologically (meaning super-Green). My position on the climate is to avoid releasing pollutants in the atmosphere, on the basis of ignorance, regardless of current expert opinion (climate experts, like banking risk managers, have failed us in the past in foreseeing long term damages and I cannot accept certainty in a certain class of nonlinear models). This is an extension of my general idea that one does not need rationalization with the use of complicated models (by fallible experts) to the edict: “do not disturb a complex system” since we do not know the consequences of our actions owing to complicated causal webs. (Incidentally, this ideas also makes me anti-war). I explicitly explained the need to “leave the planet the way we got it” .

      People who are talking about marginal costs and optimizing solutions are off the mark. The basic science tells us that dumping large amounts of co2 into the atmosphere will change the system…it just can’t predict the consequences/nature/severity of that change. It is a sucker’s bet to assume that the consequences will be both minimal and manageable. Taleb, of course, does not advocate not acting…just acting in the knowledge that you have no knowledge by building in redundancy and minimizing your exposure to the risk. We know there is a risk dumping huge amounts of c02 into the atmosphere. We don’t (and can’t) know how bad the consequences will be. We should avoid as much as possible exposure to that potentially quite large risk.

      1. I like N. Taleb’s out-take on the environment as well. Its old-school environmentalism to be sure, but that’s the version everyone thinks about when they call themselves an “environmentalist” I think.

        As far as the scientific effort in understanding climate however, it has metastasized into its own, separate issue for me.

        I am intellectually curious in the physical world, and the questions regarding anthropogenic input on the climate are provocative and interesting on their own merits alone. This Global Warming politicization has actually been quite beneficial in some ways; we understand deep time with climate and its forensic signatures in far more detail and precision than we did just fifteen years ago.

        But on the computer side, on the hard-data side, the science is unequivocally miserable. There is no consistent methodology or specification in sensors, aggregation, error-correction, version control, code review, or QA-derived confidence in anything to do with the sim-side of Warmers, Inc. The data that comes out of Warmer Inc’s efforts in that regard remind me of Bernie Madoff’s statements to his clients: Designed to look so busy, “expertized,” and cryptic that no one would actually read them. Which was the whole idea.

        And I am infuriated both at being thought of as some uneducated rube for noticing that, and the fact that a very fascinating question – the earth’s atmosphere and our place in it – is so politically obfuscated as a result.

        1. But on the computer side, on the hard-data side, the science is unequivocally miserable.

          This seems a bit broad. The “hard-data side” is a pretty diverse set of small questions. Sometimes handled with fabulous rigor…sometimes not. So, I am not sure I support the “unequivocally miserable.” Might be more true of the computer modeling, but even then, it seems to depend upon what the specific model is designed for and how it is used.

          1. In the overarching narrative of any vast project like this, pollutants end up polluting the entire system.

            If a scientist – a hypothetical Perfect Scientist – does the fabulous rigor thing to a tee, but has to depend on not-so-fabulous rigor done ten years ago for derivation of his own results, it ruins both efforts.

            Now, there is no way you’re going to get equal effort or ethics for all aspects of such a massive endeavor over time. Not possible. The only solution you’ve got then is to standardize both the methodology and the physical components of your effort, so everyone is at least on the same page. On that count, Warmers, Inc. blows – and all the cobwebs and all the disparate data groups floating around out there – make it impossible to unravel the best from the rest.

            A great example of this is ironically the flap over the CRU being unable to find their own original data, only the “adjusted” data. Many anti-Warmers think that’s some kind of a smoking gun that hints at Glenn Beck-conspiracies of “hiding” data. Not true, I don’t believe that at all. What it DOES tell me is that the schmucks at the CRU don’t know where there data is, or have a backup, or any kind of version control – i.e. they’re a bunch of disorganized clusterfucks. Ditto for the infamous “trick.” No conspiracy there, the quantization of raw data into a usable format that “trick” actually means in that context could actually be quite clever and appropriate. But then that begs the question: Who’s using this “trick?” Just him? Or is his colleague at another campus using his own “trick?” And not telling each other about the respective “tricks” they’re using can add up to huge swings – even using the same data set on the same algorithms in the simulator.

            You see where I’m going with this? Problems for Warmers, Inc. that way all over everything they do digitally.

            1. Sure, sure, but of course, there are others who have done a better job of data archiving than CRU. They are not the whole of climate science. The conflation of these issues into an “unequivocal” statement just seems inappropriately broad to me.

              1. There are others who have done a better job for sure. But again, how do you separate the chaff from the wheat in such a disorganized mess?

                Also – just for the record – there is kind of a “beginning” to every Warmer sim of repute (or ill-repute, depending) out there as best as I can tell. Its mostly core physics stuff – heat transport, atmospheric radiative absorption by spectrum/element, that kind of thing. All the sims use the same foundational code that way. Its like Linux, where you can build a custom distro off of a single distributed kernel.

                Where did those codes come from? Given that the repository where I got my copy is some server at Lawrence Livermore, and its originally written in Fortran, and it was compiled originally to run on double-precision RISC cores, my bet is these guys are all using old nuclear-weapon sim codes leveraged for Warmers, Inc.

                Now keep in mind what I said. Fortran, compiled for RISC. Ancient computer language that no one uses anymore. Written and compiled for a machine architecture that no one uses anymore. All patched and re-compiled at least twice…once for x86 single precision and again for x86 double-precision (there must be many flavors other than that out there as well I assume).

                If you look up “floating-point” operations and what they are, you will learn both how bad computers are at actually counting anything (especially non-integer stuff, its amazing) accurately and the kinds of oopsies and snafus that have resulted from oversight on this detail (I highly recommend the report on why the first Ariane V rocket blew up with a five satellite payload. I assure there was a suicide out there in the insurance industry somewhere that day!).

                Now, with that information, and knowing that I have never even heard of a confidence run on floating point accuracy of the basic physics Frankencode – some of which was originally written by mad nuke-bomb scientists in the 60’s and updated by the like-minded folks in the 80’s – at the heart of virtually all Warmer video games…perhaps why I make such broad disparaging statements about this subject will make more sense to you. No confidence in these numbers so long as huge QA holes such as this remain for all of these simulators.

                1. For the record a good deal of that “nuke modeling” code was written by my dad (really, now retired, although he often quipped about fortran being for wimps who couldn’t program in machine code).

                  Whether they are using the stuff he did or not…I have no idea (most would still be classified top-secret, so he’s not gonna tell me)… but he’s looked at some of the climate modeling stuff recently and given it a “good enough for the questions they are asking” thumbs up after years of giving them a hard time for not using more reasonable modeling techniques.

                  Not my area, so I don’t know if he’s looked at the issues you bring up…but I can’t imagine he’s unaware of them.

                  1. There’s two branches in legacy nuclear-weapons software simulation: high-energy physics (bomb-in-operation) and effects (watch the city burn). There’s some overlap even in those branches, like neutron MFP’s through material (boron, D-U238, etc. for bomb physics, atmosphere and carbon molecules for effects).

                    Back in the day, I developed a fascination with fusion and various fusing gadgets such as the Shiva laser and Farnsworth Fusors. One thing led to another on my internet adventure and before long I was running calculations for secondary compression/detonation physics in thermonuclear weapons because, well, that’s where the fusion was so-to-speak.

                    This was back in the late 90’s, and back then, pre-9/11, you could go down to Los Alamos servers and just download all kinds of cool programs and data. I still have an awesome sim of neutron transport through hydrogen ‘topes on a crazy density scale, written as a VB macro for Excel of all things!

                    After 9/11 and the whole A.Q. Khan/Pakistan Proliferation Emporium a couple years later, they really battened down the hatches at the nuke labs though, but I’ve got troves of that old shit from back in the day before only Top Secret and Chinese spies could get it.

                    One thing worth mentioning though, the Shiva laser was based on serious bomb-code sims (so was Teller’s mad-man exploding h-bomb X-ray laser) and those codes were seriously wrong in underestimating just what it took to get real radiation implosion going for that kind of work. I wonder if those codes for effects – of which the basic physics is still used in Warmer sims – would be accurate in predicting nuclear weapon effects for a controlled yield device with modern instrurments and calibration? Obviously we’ll never find out, but it would be hella cool experiment.

                    I am curious in what your dad worked on back in the day. I bet I have some of his code.

      2. Humanity is also a complex network. It will expand technologically and impact the environment because it is the environment.

        To avoid disturbing the complex System, one must act against another complex system. This is not to say humanity and nature are not compatible, but you cant simply expect to avoid disrupting the environment without disrupting humanity.

        We cant all live on organic food.
        Humanity needs energy to survive.
        Humanity uses energy, resources and the environment to innovate and in so doing becomes less reliant on the biosphere of earth. Disrupt the complex human system and the consequences are war, famime, genocide. What would be acceptable to make sure we are being sufficiently careful not to disrupt the environment?

        Furthermore, one cannot take steps to avoid an adverse reaction if one does not really know the particulars of that interaction. Theres a bomb in the box and it might go off if you open it, or yoy might need to open it to prevent it from going off.

    2. That’s the way I see it. The global warming crowd is asking–no, demanding–for us to agree to government being given vast new powers. And we’re not supposed to question it? Keep dreaming, guys.

  11. The report basically says what I’ve been saying about Warmer Inc. since I really took an interest in this a year ago: They need to get their processes and data-structures under control in a big, big way.

    The way they do (and have done) their modeling development and data aggregation makes the evolution of x86 Windows from 3.11 to 7 look like a coherent roadmap with tight, tight code and no bloat. And that’s really saying something for a task that – compared to Windows anyways – is so much easier frankly.

    Also, about Climategate, why doesn’t anyone amongst the Warmers seem to give a shit figuring out who was behind the email hack/leak? For all the reports, inquiries, investigations, and commissions that have been instigated due to this, there hasn’t been nada on the actual gumshoe side. They don’t even know (from what I can understand) if someone hacked their network from a remote IP or a internal IP relative to the CRU. It’s fucking pathetic.

    When you talk to the Warmers (or listen to them on MSNBC) they almost get Glenn Beck-ian when they (briefly and rarely) touch on the Whodunnit aspect of Climategate: Exxon did it. Sarah Palin did it. Tobacco company did it. Doesn’t anyone care about finding out who actually did it and why?

  12. I’d love to see what kind of validation process they use for their models.

    Ooh, look- a butterfly!

  13. We have a new consensus, and it’s unanimous. Investigations of the IPCC and the Hockey Team will not involve any scientific claims, no matter how false or fraudulent.

    No matter what the new procedures may be, they will not lead to new conclusions, or retraction of old conclusions. With overt permission to commit fraud, they have no motive to change what they’re actually doing.

  14. But I didn’t commit any crime sir.

    Bullshit! Our computer modeling shows you did. Taze him!

    Don’t taze me bro I didn’t do anything!

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technolo…..d=11448231

  15. These IPCC guys are the Jehovah’s Witnesses of scientific inquiry. Doom-de-doom-de-doom! It’s right around the corner! Stay alive til 75! Only the WatchtowerCarbon Credit Exchange Board can save you!

    Oh damn! The Apocalypse didn’t come. Well, it’s sort of, kind of, happening now, but you can’t really see it, plus some of the signs and numbersproxy data and models were really unclear so we may be a little off on our BIG end-of-the-world date.

    1. 2012 anyone?

      Maybe Lord Pacal’s sarcophagus cover from Palenque isn’t an abstract visualization of him in a space-capsule (like Geroge Noory says!) but actually a vision of Pacal falling into a smoky, carbon-derived Venusian hell!?

      Dun-dun-dun!

      1. The sarcophagus lid is clearly a depiction of a typical Saturday night when Pakal got some friends together and got blazed out of their minds.

        The Mayans didn’t disappear. They just all got high and wandered off.

  16. Ronald,

    Not really sure why you referenced “Climategate”, as it is not dealt with in the report. But that’s water over the dam.

    The IAC report states (not that you bothered to include it in your post) that:

    “The Committee concludes that the IPCC assessment process has been successful overall and has served society well. The commitment of many thousands of the world’s leading scientists and other experts to the assessment process and to the communication of the nature of our understanding of the changing climate, its impacts, and possible adaptation and mitigation strategies is a considerable achievement in its own right. Similarly, the sustained commitment of governments to the process and their buy-in to the results is a mark of a successful assessment. Through its unique partnership between scientists and governments, the IPCC has heightened public awareness of climate change, raised the level of scientific debate, and influenced the science agendas of many nations. However, despite these successes, some fundamental changes
    to the process and the management structure are essential…”

    I’m sorry, but this report only strengthens the case for anthropogenic global warming.

    1. trueofvoice: I didn’t reference the quote you cite because, in my judgment, it is a rote face-saving statement aimed at taking the sting of the critique that follows. The rest of the report uses measured, but also quite critical, language in describing how the flawed IPCC processes could be improved.

      1. Ron,
        I don’t read it like that at all. “The committee concludes that XXXX” is a concise statement of the main finding of a committee. These are typically followed by elaboration including areas where things can be improved. If the overall finding was negative, “XXXX” would have had a negative polarity and read something like…

        “The committee finds the IPCC process to be deeply flawed/inadequate/a source of major distortions in the science/ highly politicized…”

        The one thing this report would never have done would have been to say…”everything looks perfect, nothing needs to be changed or improved.” No matter how much the overall conclusion was positive.

        1. Not really sure why you referenced “Climategate”, as it is not dealt with in the report. But that’s water over the dam.

          If there was no climategate there would be no recommendations to reform the IPCC.

          The one thing this report would never have done would have been to say…”everything looks perfect, nothing needs to be changed or improved.”

          Well at least you got that right.

          But on the same token this report never would have read:

          “The committee finds the IPCC process to be deeply flawed/inadequate/a source of major distortions in the science/ highly politicized…”

          Even if it was true.

          If it made that claim then the only recommendation it could make is to disband the IPCC. No UN agency would ever make such a recommendation.

          No matter how bad the IPCC is the justification for it to exist will always be there.

          The question always was will the report recommend reform or will it not.

          That fact that it recommended severe reforms is pretty damning of the last IPCC report.

          Also the fact that almost all of the reform recommendations mirror criticisms of skeptics only makes it all the worse.

          This is a water shed event and will change how climate change policy and science drastically.

          The next 5 year report will be very different then the last two or it will be irrelevant.

  17. Similarly, the sustained commitment of governments to the process and their buy-in to the results is a mark of a successful assessment.

    Indubitability! Because the history of the world proves governments are reluctant to infringe upon liberty.

    1. What does liberty have to do with the IAC report?

      1. Similarly, the sustained commitment of governments to the process and their buy-in to the results is a mark of a successful assessment.

        You take the enthusiasm of governments to the process and their buy-in to results as a stamp-of-approval for something?

        So by that measure you think we’re on the Right Course in Afghanistan? How about bank coddling? All the sovereigns – the ones that matter anyways – love the Bank Coddling Process and judging from fund-raiser schmoozing definitely “buy-in” to the results. What a ringing endorsement.

        1. The problem is your fixation on one sentence. You aren’t seeing the forest because the trees are in your way. Did you not see this?:

          “The Committee concludes that the IPCC assessment process has been successful overall and has served society well. The commitment of many thousands of the world’s leading scientists and other experts to the assessment process and to the communication of the nature of our understanding of the changing climate, its impacts, and possible adaptation and mitigation strategies is a considerable achievement in its own right.”

          Anyway, you’ll have to take it up with Ronald. He seems to have a great deal of confidence in the IAC report, since he selectively quoted it at such length. He therefore also has confidence in the report’s praise of the IPCC’s work.

          Right?

          1. You aren’t seeing the forest because the trees are in your way. Did you not see this?

            Which begs the question: If a tree fell in the forest and no one was around to hear or see it fall. Did Georgia Pacific chop it down?

            Drink?

            1. In my area it’s far more likely the Burroughs & Chapin Company demolished it.

          2. I am frankly not all that interested in the IAC report. Besides, the ringing endorsement such a preface comment suggests reminds me of an employer turning you down in one of those nice emails that begins with telling you how wonderful you are, but maybe just not quite wonderful-enough. Nowhere in that little “good effort” statement does it say anything they did was right per se, just that it was a good effort in its own because the dumb bastards kinda-sorta-tried.

            Sort of like the speech our coach would give to my T-ball league in 1st Grade after we lost a game…”Good effort…we’re all winners here!”

            Also, any questions I have regarding the details of the IAC report I imagine I can address in an email to them. The statement “Similarly, the sustained commitment of governments to the process and their buy-in to the results is a mark of a successful assessment.” is your statement, not the IAC’s and it was the one I was mocking in my last post.

            Maybe you’re right I don’t see the forest because of the trees. But the concept that if politicians love it means it has merit suggested by your statement is easily the goofiest looking tree I have yet to see in my little obfuscated forest.

            1. Hmmm…it seems this statement about government buy-ins as an endorsement is not onetruevoice’s. I retract my previous statement (damn no-edits on Reason boards)

            2. But you’re still missing it. The IAC report, which our intrepid Science Correspondent has presented as delivering a can of whoop-ass to the IPCC, has almost NOTHING to do with actual science. It addresses how the IPCC can better its messaging, public relations and transparency.

              He wrote a very one-sided column, knowing full well very few visitors would actually read the IAC report for themselves. The intent here was to deceive by omission, something Ronald has perfected to an art form.

              Forget the IAC report, you should care about the author’s attempt to make you and every reader of Hit-and-Run into a patsy.

              1. I don’t think Ron Bailey is exactly some Dick Cheney protege who eats coal and shits carbon while laughing at Toyota Prii and their green-emo operators.

                Also, if I may, let me ask you a question about Climategate trueofvoice. Who do you think did the hack and why?

                1. I don’t think Ron has a fossil fuel fetish either, or that he’s bought-and-paid for by Koch Industries. I think the problem is his intellectual laziness, his refusal to look beyond his own biases.

                  We saw the same thing in his post regarding a new report on declining global biodiversity. He ignored the global decline and focused almost exclusively on a few local areas of increasing biodiversity to argue that everything was really ok.

                  As for the Climategate hack, I have no idea who was responsible. My first guess is the Russian government, as it has used climate fear-mongering as a political weapon against the United States for years.

                  1. “As for the Climategate hack, I have no idea who was responsible. My first guess is the Russian government”

                    My first guess is it was an employee who had abundant time to access, collect and organize the huge number of emails and data files, before posting them anonymously to a file sharing server.

                    Having downloaded and skimmed through the documents myself, it smells a lot like an inside job.

                    1. Exactly. I wonder if they know who it is, but can’t go there because to charge him would be to publicize him, give him a soapbox to stand on and tell the world why he did it, and how bad it really is “on the inside” with those jokers. Seems to be an attitude of let the sleeping dog lie less he awakes and bites you.

                    2. I read most of the emails, it exhausting to say the least. The “hacker” put in a lot of effort to x out actual email addresses and other non-relevent private info. Only a familiar would bother to do that.

                  2. I have always wondered who hacked the CRU servers. I’ve always thought it to be an inside job given the detail and chronology of the mails. It wasn’t like someone hacked in, downloaded a ton of stuff and got out. It was someone who knew the topology of the local network well, and had permissions to peruse wherever they liked, reading whatever they wanted. The email server itself I reckon.

                    I suspect that the reticence on the part of the establishment to actually figure out the data breach itself is a subtle admission that from what they know, there is no boogeyman like Russians or Dick Cheney Inc. (a member of the Heartless Corporation) to admonish for this. Especially a Microsoft Exchange hack…who’s running security out there? Embarrassing!

                    1. Supposedly the hack was tracked as far as a Russian server, but that’s about it. We probably won’t ever know.

                    2. Russian servers are always where you post hacks or data-dumps. The hacker originally tried to post it up at Realclimate, but after a null response from them it went up on the Russian file server and then I believe a mail or post was sent to climateaudit.

                      That’s about all the Russian “involvement” in this I have heard so far.

                    3. Commies!

              2. trueofvoice: Deceive? Sigh. As I just responded above:

                I didn’t reference the quote you cite because, in my judgment, it is a rote face-saving statement aimed at taking the sting of the critique that follows. The rest of the report uses measured, but also quite critical, language in describing how the flawed IPCC processes could be improved.

                1. So, the IAC didn’t mean the praise part, but they meant everything else?

                  And rather than present it in your column so that your readers can make an informed decision on their own, well hey, screw ’em.

                  It might be just a mistake if this were an occasional sort of thing with your writing, but there is a consistent pattern: what you don’t like, you don’t write.

    2. They’re doing it for the children.
      http://tinyurl.com/37uo5hg

  18. Did you not see this?:

    “The Committee concludes that the IPCC assessment process has been successful overall and has served society well. The commitment of many thousands of the world’s leading scientists and other experts to the assessment process and to the communication of the nature of our understanding of the changing climate, its impacts, and possible adaptation and mitigation strategies is a considerable achievement in its own right.”

    This reads like the teacher comment on a not-very-bright schoolchild’s report card.

    Trying to, you know, soften the blow of all those C’s and D’s.

    1. That’s kinda what I thought. “Good effort!” + a gold star sticker.

    2. P Brooks: Exactly. Had I seen this, I wouldn’t have felt the need to respond to trueofvoice above.

  19. The IPCC doesn’t need an overhaul, it needs to be put to pasture.

    The very name of the organization presupposes that “climate change” actually exists. It is funded for the sole purpose of studying climate change by an endless buffet of cash. It is run by politicians who would rape cattle if it meant they would gain influence or power or money in a rapidly expanding world government and of course whenever big Al gets questioned, he can say he is just doing it for “future generations”. Not to mention the whole new “green economy” we will all enjoy once they figure out how to make solar panels collect moonlight and windmills turn on butterfly farts. Oh and by the way did you know that there is consensus? So what the hell are we still studying? And exactly how does scientific “consensus” work? Do we just all accept the theory as it stands? That certainly would be cheeper. And does anyone really believe that if the INternational Panel on CLIMATE CHANGE does find there is no evidence to support AGW they will just all go home and reminisce about the good ol days when we thought Canada might actually become a sweet tropical destination??? No of course not, the only reason they even bother to let a sliver of doubt through is to ensure they have a reason to continue the study. Well they better be careful if they pull too hard on the fudge-o-matic lever, they could bend the hockey stick graph on itself and inadvertantly write a scientific article about wormholes and then we will have to pass new federal gravity vortex standards.

    No, i think if scientists want to continue to dick around studying AGW, they have to do it on their own dime. Government is just looking to science for authority and they are going to get it no matter what.

    Sorry, im drunk an so its just all coming out like diamaria.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.