The entire world will soon depend on renewable energy so governments ought to start subsidizing these industries immediately. So said the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a report released Tuesday. The study’s conclusion was such a blockbuster that the panel issued a press release last month previewing the finding. “Close to 80 percent of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies a new report shows,” it proclaimed.
Since this statement was supposedly based on actual scientific research, Steve McIntyre, editor of the Climate Audit blog, did what the IPCC must have assumed nobody would bother doing. He checked the sources cited in the report. He discovered the IPCC’s banner claim was not the work of prestigious and disinterested scientists toiling away in a laboratory, but of hacks with a political agenda and direct financial stake in the issue.
The 80 percent claim was lifted directly from a paper entitled, “Energy evolution 2010 - a Sustainable World Energy Outlook,” whose primary authors included Sven Teske from Greenpeace and Christine Lins from the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC). According to the latter group’s website, it is “the united voice of the European renewable energy industry.” EREC speaks on behalf of the companies that make windmills, solar panels and other uneconomic forms of energy that rely upon heavy government subsidies to turn a profit. Not surprisingly, the IPCC’s primary goal has been to browbeat governments around the world into pouring taxpayer cash into this rent-seeking industry.
In addition to being the source of the 80 percent claim, the Greenpeace activist also happened to be a primary author of the relevant chapter of the new IPCC report, “Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation” (SRREN). The incestuous relationship is not limited to Mr. Teske. Greenpeace and the renewable-energy lobby jointly released a version of the “Energy evolution” report that contained a forward by Rajendra K. Pachauri, the IPCC’s director general.
The IPCC sees nothing wrong with this arrangement. “The IPCC relies on a wide range of expertise including authors from the business sector as well as from NGOs and academia,” IPCC spokesman Rockaya Aidara told The Washington Times. “Sven Teske is one of nine lead authors of Chapter 10 of the SRREN. Two coordinating lead authors have overseen the process of writing this chapter. It was a balanced team work with different views and expertises represented.”
Claims of balance are hardly credible when the process is infiltrated by ideologues and industry insiders looking to apply the veneer of science to their craven grab for other people’s cash. Fortunately, the days when leftists could get away with passing off their global-warming scare stories unchallenged are over. Skeptics smell blood and closely examine every document, frequently identifying gaping holes in logic and credibility.
That’s why the Environmental Protection Agency needs to pull the plug on the job-crushing cap-and-trade style regulations it seeks to impose. The agency based the whole of its “endangerment finding” on the work of IPCC, as if it were scientific. It would be more honest for the EPA to say its rules are based on the desire of Greenpeace and the renewable-energy industry to raise taxes on competing sources of electricity. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this fraud.