Amazongate – the final word?

Source of the Amazon(gate)

I have been avoiding posting on this until there seemed to be a conclusion to the yo-yo-ing back and forth. Firstly, Christopher Booker and Richard North alleged the claim that a large proportion of the Amazon was sensitive to changes in rainfall was based on non-peer-reviewed documents from the advocacy group WWF. The claim was repeated in The Sunday Times (no link). Then, a week or so ago, George Monbiot, in his Guardian column, crowed that North was wrong and the IPCC was justified in making the claim, and The Sunday Times retracted its article. Various “handbags at ten paces” ensued.

Now it appears that the IPCC claim was based on non-peer-reviewed material, as Christopher Booker reports:

Last week, after six months of evasions, obfuscation, denials and retractions, a story which has preoccupied this column on and off since January came to a startling conclusion. It turns out that one of the most widely publicised statements in the 2007 report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – a claim on which tens of billions of dollars could hang – was not based on peer-reviewed science, as repeatedly claimed, but originated solely from anonymous propaganda published on the website of a small Brazilian environmental advocacy group.

Second, it raises hefty question marks over the credibility of the world’s richest and most powerful environmental pressure group, the WWF, credited by the IPCC as the source of its unsupported claim.

And third, it focuses attention once more on a bizarre scheme, backed by the UN and promoted by the World Bank, whereby the WWF has been hoping to share in profits estimated at $60 billion, paid for by firms all over the developed world.

We await the retraction of the retraction from The Sunday Times, and the apology from Monbiot [some hope].

Read it here.

Today's "Gate" – Amazongate

Still there?

Another day, another spurious paper from IPCC AR4, as reported by James Delingpole in the UK Telegraph:

AGW theory is toast. So’s Dr Rajendra Pachauri. So’s the Stern Review. So’s the credibility of the IPCC. But if you think I’m cheered by this you’re very much mistaken. I’m trying to write a Climategate book but the way things are going by the time I’m finished there won’t be anything left to say: the battle will already have been won and the only people left who still believe in Man Made Global Warming will be the eco-loon equivalents of those wartime Japanese soldiers left abandoned and forgotten on remote Pacific atolls.

Here’s the latest development, courtesy of Dr Richard North – and it’s a cracker. It seems that, not content with having lied to us about shrinking glaciers, increasing hurricanes, and rising sea levels, the IPCC’s latest assessment report also told us a complete load of porkies [Cockney rhyming slang, “pork pie” = lie – Ed] about the danger posed by climate change to the Amazon rainforest.

This is to be found in Chapter 13 of the Working Group II report, the same part of the IPCC fourth assessment report in which the “Glaciergate” claims are made. There, is the startling claim that:

At first sight, the reference looks kosher enough but, following it through, one sees:

This, then appears to be another WWF report, carried out in conjunction with the IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The link given is no longer active, but the report is on the IUCN website here. Furthermore, the IUCN along with WWF is another advocacy group and the report is not peer-reviewed. According to IPCC rules, it should not have been used as a primary source.

There’s much more. Read it here. There is also a list of other WWF papers cited in IPCC AR4 at No Frakking Consensus.

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