Hang on, surely the IPCC is the ‘gold standard’ of climate science, impartially reviewing all the available peer-reviewed (and peer-reviewed only) papers and presenting a balanced and apolitical position? Why else would governments around the world base their entire climate policies on its pronouncements?
Hardly. Not only is it an organisation that was established specifically to find evidence to prop up a conclusion already reached (namely that CO2 emissions will cause dangerous climate change), but it is riddled with environmental activism posing as science. Grey literature? Just fine – as long as it supports the Cause, of course.
It also regularly fails to correct errors, as Roger Pielke Jr reports:
Alleged errors in the treatment of disaster trends in Chapter 1, WGII, AR4
CLA response from Cynthia Rosenzweig and Gino Casassa
August 23, 2012
Alleged Error #1
Text from Roger Pielke, Jr.
Error #1: IPCC p. 110: “These previous national U.S. assessments, as well as those for normalised Cuban hurricane losses (Pielke et al., 2003), did not show any significant upward trend in losses over time, but this was before the remarkable hurricane losses of 2004 and 2005.”
FACTUALLY INCORRECT: Figure 5 in the following paper, in press prior to the IPCC AR4 WGII publication deadline, clearly shows that the addition of 2004 and 2005 losses do not alter the long-term trend in hurricane losses:
Pielke, Jr., R. A. (2006), Disasters, Death, and Destruction: Making Sense of Recent
Calamities. Oceanography 19 138-147. (link - PDF)
This same information was also in the report of the 2006 Hohenkammer Workshop on Climate Change and Disaster Losses, which was cited by the AR4 WGII: (link – PDF)
RECOMMENDED CORRECTION: “These previous national U.S. assessments, as well as those for normalised Cuban hurricane losses (Pielke et al., 2003), did not show any significant upward trend in losses over time, and this remains the case following the remarkable hurricane losses of 2004 and 2005.”
There is no error in the statement. No correction is needed and the text can stand as is.
The clause about the published analyses being before the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons is a statement of fact about the time line, and it is not a statement that the results were different after including 2004 and 2005. The statement does not infer that the overall pattern of losses would be different; instead it suggests that 2004 and 2005 were remarkable years in terms of hurricane losses, which they were.
PIELKE RESPONSE SEPTEMBER 13: This boggles the mind. The time line was such that published analyses (I provided 2!) that were available to the IPCC when drafting the AR4 included 2004 and 2005. The IPCC is say that up is down, and with a straight face. Did they not even read what I wrote? (source)
Why should the IPCC dilute its political message, just because it’s factually incorrect? As Pielke tweets, the IPCC is an embarrassment to science.