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U.N. climate author withdraws because the report has become ‘too alarmist’

- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2014

One of the authors of a U.N. draft report on climate change pulled out of the writing team, saying his colleagues were pulling too far to the left and issuing unfounded "alarmist" claims at the expense of real solutions.

"The drafts became too alarmist," said Richard Tol, a Dutch professor of economics at Sussex University in England, to Reuters.

Mr. Tol was part of a team of 70 authors working on revisions to a U.N. report on climate change, to be issued in Japan on March 31. The final draft, which is the copy that Mr. Tol found objectionable, included findings that a warming global temperature will lead to disruption in food supplies and stagnating economies — and that coral reefs and lands in the Arctic may already have suffered irreversible damages, Reuters said.

"The report is a product of the scientific community and not of any individual author," the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, said in a statement. "The report does not comprehensively represent the views of any individual."

The U.N. agency also said Mr. Tol advised months ago of his reluctance to participate in the summary writing of the report. He had still been invited to Japan to help with its drafting, however, Reuters reported.

Mr. Tol said many of the other authors "strongly disagree with me," but that he found the IPCC's emphasis on climate change alarmism — and focus on risk — came at the expense of providing solutions for the world's governments to adapt and overcome.

He said, for instance, farmers could grow new and different crops to offset any negative impacts from climate change that impacted food supplies.

"They will adapt," Mr. Tol said, Reuters reported. "Farmers are not stupid."

He also decried the fact the U.N. report downplayed possible economic benefits of warming. For example, he said: Warmer winters could mean fewer deaths among the elderly and possibly better crop growths in some areas.

"It is pretty damn obvious there are positive impacts of climate change, even though we are not always allowed to talk about them," Mr. Tol said in the Reuters report.

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