The IPCC as a Scientific Organisation?

We hear it endlessly. The IPCC uses the best scientists in the world for the compilation of the IPCC reports. The problem is that it is simply not true.

There are undoubtedly some very good scientists working for the IPCC. The problem is that many of them are not. I have been following work of Donna Laframboise in investigating the IPCC on her blog No Frakking Consensus for some time, and picked up that she has now published a book length critique of the IPCC. Donna has, for a long time, been picking through both the CVs of the IPCC contributors, as well as their processes. The result is a rather ugly picture of an institution that was supposed (and purports) to be the gold standard of science.

I wrote about one of Donna’s findings a long while ago, in which Donna wrote a piece about Dr. Sari Kovats. Kovats was awarded her PhD in 2010, but had been working as a scientist for the IPCC since 1994, and was given the role of a lead author three years before being awarded her PhD. This is but one of the astonishing examples that Donna uncovers. An equal concern is the number of key people in the IPCC that are affiliated with activist groups such as WWF, or Greenpeace. Then there is the process of peer review, or lack of it. The many tales of the conflicts of interest in the peer review process, and the lack of independent oversight make a dismal picture.

I would like to tell you that I have read the book already, but am waiting for the availability of the paper version (I hate reading on the screen, and it seems harder to concentrate on the content when I do so). However, the sample of the book on Amazon looks encouraging, and of course there has been the excellent work and investigations on Donna’s blog. As such, I suspect it will be a very good  read. Apparently the book is very well referenced and I suspect that the book will have some impact. For example,   the very fair minded Judith Currie, over at Climate etc., says the following (after a few minor critiques):

But overall, Donna Laframboise is to be congratulated for writing an important book.  Read it, it costs only $4.99 on Kindle.
So, how will this book be received by the climate establishment?  First, I suspect that they will attempt to smear Laframboise as a denier.  This is not the case.  Her prime motivation seems to be a concern about free speech; she has a long standing involvement in free speech issues in Canada.  Second, people will pick apart some of the minor points that are arguably suboptimal interpretations.
In terms of the broader audience, I have to say that I hope that this book leads to the discontinuation of the IPCC after the AR5 report (which is already well underway, and is arguably sufficiently tarnished that it is likely to have much less influence than previous reports.)

The following is a long quote lifted from a section of the book in the National Post, about some of the (ahem)….interesting CVs of IPCC ‘scientists’:

For example, Laurens Bouwer is currently employed by an environmental studies institute at the VU University Amsterdam. In 1999-2000, he served as an IPCC lead author before earning his master’s degree in 2001.

How can a young man without even a master’s degree become an IPCC lead author? Bouwer’s expertise is in climate change and water resources. Yet the chapter for which he first served as a lead author was titled Insurance and Other Financial Services.

It turns out that, during part of 2000, Bouwer was a trainee at Munich Reinsurance Company. This means the IPCC chose as a lead author someone who was a trainee, who lacked a master’s degree, and was still a full decade away from receiving his 2010 PhD.

My suspicion is that the book will just be the start. One of the key points used to promote the credibility of the global warming scare is the credibility of the IPCC as a rigorous scientific institution. Whilst there may be many good scientists working for the IPCC, I suspect this book will  lead more people to call in to question the credibility of the institution. In one sense I feel rather sorry for the scientists who have contributed in good faith, as some of the tarnish on the IPCC may eventually rub off on them. If I have time, once I get my copy, I will try to remember to do a full review. For those keen to find out for themselves, the pdf version can be purchased here, and a Kindle version on Amazon here. Please feel free to post your reviews in the comments section.

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