'Lukewarmist' Scientist Curry Calls for End of IPCC

'Lukewarmist' Scientist Curry Calls for End of IPCC
October 4, 2013

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

Climate scientist Judith Curry, who has gained a reputation as a “lukewarmer” for agreeing with many climate assertions by global warming activists but calling for more scientific scrutiny of alarmist claims, has called for an end to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Curry, a climate science professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, called IPCC an ends-driven process that impedes scientific progress.

Curry explained IPCC suffers from paradigm paralysis, which she defined as “caused by motivated reasoning, oversimplification, and consensus seeking; worsened and made permanent by a vicious positive feedback effect at the climate science-policy interface.”

Among the problems facing IPCC, Curry noted:

•    “as temperatures have declined and climate models have failed to predict this decline, the IPCC has [very curiously] gained confidence in catastrophic warming and dismisses the pause as unpredictable climate variability

•     “Growing realization that you can’t control climate by emissions reductions

•     “increasing levels of shrillness on both sides of the political debate, with the ‘warm side’ steeped in moral panic and hyperbole

•    “after several decades and expenditures in the bazillions, the IPCC still has not provided a convincing argument for how much warming in the 20th century has been caused by humans

•    “the politically charged rhetoric has contaminated academic climate research and the institutions that support climate research, so that individuals and institutions have become advocates; scientists with a perspective that is not consistent with the consensus are at best marginalized (difficult to obtain funding and get papers published by ‘gatekeeping’ journal editors) or at worst ostracized by labels of ‘denier’ or ‘heretic.’

•    “decision makers needing regionally specific climate change  information are being provided by the climate community with either nothing or potentially misleading predictions from climate models.”

“The diagnosis of paradigm paralysis seems fatal in the case of the IPCC, given the widespread nature of the infection and intrinsic motivated reasoning,” Curry observed. “We need to put down the IPCC as soon as possible – not to protect the patient who seems to be thriving in its own little cocoon, but for the sake of the rest of us whom it is trying to infect with its disease.  Fortunately much of the population seems to be immune, but some governments seem highly susceptible to the disease. However, the precautionary principle demands that we not take any risks here, and hence the IPCC should be put down.”

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)