A group of international scientific organizations yesterday found fault with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning panel responsible for the influential report that claimed man’s carbon-dioxide emissions were destroying the planet. In March, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tasked the InterAcademy Council to conduct an independent review of the inner workings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in light of a number of recent scandals.
Confidence in the IPCC was first shaken when the Climategate e-mails revealed U.N. scientists using various tricks to “hide the decline” in global temperature and to exclude dissenting views from the famous report in order to advance a political agenda. Credibility was further undermined when the 2007 report’s claim that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by the year 2035 was traced to a World Wildlife Fund advocacy document quoting assertions made in a magazine interview. At least two outside reviewers had pointed out flaws in the claim, including peer-reviewed evidence that the western Himalayan glaciers were actually expanding, not contracting.
Such dissenting evidence was not welcome at the IPCC. The InterAcademy review found a distinct lack of transparency in the process of anointing the lead scientists responsible for choosing what facts to exclude from the final report. As the Climategate e-mails proved, IPCC scientists like Phil Jones were willing to redefine the peer-review literature to create the appearance of consensus. The same scientists presented grandiose doomsday predictions as if they were certainties, no matter how flimsy the evidence. The InterAcademy review chastised the IPCC for stating conclusions “so vaguely as to make them impossible to refute, and therefore statements of ‘very high confidence’ will have little substantive value.”
The public already has taken notice of this lack of substance, but don’t expect the IPCC to return its Nobel Peace Prize any time soon. According to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Saturday, more Americans believe natural forces were responsible for “global warming” than buy the story that humans are at fault. This lack of trust is what upsets U.N. bureaucrats most. The effort to cook the books has been too obvious. It’s hard to call for new austerity measures, taxes and regulations if nobody believes the headline-grabbing scare stories about melting ice, rising seas and looming disasters.
It’s not surprising that the InterAcademy Council and the U.N. still stand behind the IPCC’s global warming pseudo science, without which billions in funding for climate research and other items on the big-government agenda would dry up. It may be enough that global attention to the errors in the last IPCC report will force open a seat at the table for more fair-minded scientists to provide balance in the next assessment report.