'First, the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide are dominant over the climatic effects and are overwhelmingly beneficial. Second, the climatic effects observed in the real world are much less damaging than the effects predicted by the climate models, and have also been frequently beneficial.'

Freeman Dyson,

in Foreword to http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2015/10/benefits1.pdf

Monday, 6 December 2010

10-minute trainer: IPCC spin exposed very clearly. Again.

The remarkable success of the IPCC is due in some part to the simple, emphatic messages it imparts to the media, and seeks to incoporate in 'summaries for policy makers'.  These gloss over, ignore, or even contradict the reservations expressed even by those scientists who participate in the various working groups.  Thus, the scientists hang on to some integrity, where their papers recognise uncertainties, or distinguish between observational data, and the output of speculative computer models. Meanwhile, the political activists get what they want - dramatic headlines, and a headlong rush to push policy-making at breakneck speeds.

Donna Lamframboise has reported on one recent instance of this, captured by a writer from the New York Times, a famously leftwing paper not at all hostile to the IPCC, exposing the blatant error in this UN press release:

'UN press release makes the same mistake Revkin talks about
Andrew Revkin, who blogs about climate change for the New York Times, is doing what an experienced beat reporter is supposed to: he’s paying close attention. In a post filed from the Cancun climate summit, Revkin notes that a draft document currently being circulated by the United Nations contains a mistake.
The document lists some basic, agreed-upon climate change facts on page four. The third point, Revkin reports, currently says that the document
3. Recognizes that warming of the climate system, as a consequence of human activity, is unequivocal, as assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change [IPCC] in its Fourth Assessment Report;
Revkin correctly points out that this statement is false. In his words:
The only major conclusion of the climate panel that is described as “unequivocal” is that the climate has warmed.'

A nice illustration for any class discussion on the nature and intentions of the IPCC.  This is by no means the only instance of this sort of thing.  It supports the contention that the de facto role of the IPCC is to generate severe alarm about human influence on climate, largely via the implausible hypothesis that CO2 is a major driver of climate.  Yet many might have reasonably have assumed that the role was to critically review and summarise what is known about the causes and consequences of climate variation.  No such luck!