IPCC Report on Hold While Politicians Revise Content

IPCC Report on Hold While Politicians Revise Content
September 27, 2013

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is in full spin-control mode today after analysts pointed out politicians rather than scientists are driving IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers.

Earlier today, IPCC released the Summary for Policymakers for its Fifth Assessment Report. However, IPCC failed to release the Fifth Assessment Report itself, explaining it had to make revisions to the Report to comport with the Summary for Policymakers. The content and wording of the Summary for Policymakers is formulated by political representatives of UN member nations rather scientists.

The revelation that politicians and political representatives are dictating what appears in the Summary for Policymakers and the Fifth Assessment Report itself further damages IPCC’s poor credibility regarding objectivity and scholarly merit. Scientific watchdogs previously noted IPCC’s top staffers who direct the Report’s content and conclusions include dozens of staffers affiliated with environmental activist groups. Additionally, IPCC reports are notorious for citing environmental activist memos and other unreliable sources to support alarmist climate assertions.

The just-released Summary for Policymakers bears the undeniable fingerprints of political mischief. For example, a draft Summary for Policymakers that IPCC leaked to friendly journalists several weeks ago reported global temperatures have remained flat since last century and IPCC computer models cannot explain why. The draft Summary also acknowledged temperatures are rising more slowly than asserted in prior IPCC reports. Political representatives openly complained these acknowledgements provided evidentiary support for skeptics of an asserted global warming crisis. The political representatives expressed special concern regarding IPCC’s acknowledgement that it could not explain the ongoing flat temperatures, and they urged IPCC to change its findings. Today’s revised Summary reflects the political objections to the earlier scientific findings, with the revised Summary claiming IPCC computer models can explain the ongoing flat temperatures, and claiming the lack of recent warming has no bearing on long-term temperature trends. IPCC authors are presumably re-writing applicable sections of the Fifth Assessment Report this weekend to change the Reports’ scientific conclusions and reconfigure them to meet the demands of politicians.

IPCC chair Raj Pachauri, meanwhile, is in personal damage control mode after claiming earlier this week that there has been no slowdown in global temperature rise. As reported here earlier this week, reporters documented Pachauri acknowledged earlier this year that global temperatures have indeed been flat for the past 17 years. The draft Summary for Policymakers, before it was scrubbed by politicians and political representatives, also acknowledged the lack of recent warming despite Pachauri’s claims to the contrary.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)