Lewandowsky on IPCC leak

At it again…

At it again…

UPDATE: A commenter jokingly suggests below that Lew should “see a shrink”, but the strange thing is that he ticks several of the boxes for the psychological characteristic of narcissism, including:

  • Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.
  • Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
  • Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person’s ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
  • Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an “awkward” or “difficult” person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.

I will leave it to readers to decide…

Stephan Lewandowsky weighs in with his usual tact and diplomacy on the IPCC leak, spraying the D-word around like confetti:

“Science is one of the most transparent endeavours humans have ever developed. However, for the transparency to be effective, preliminary documents ought to remain confidential until they have been improved and checked through peer review,” he said in an emailed comment.

“The leak of a draft report by a reviewer who has signed a statement of confidentiality is therefore regrettable and dishonourable.”

“However, what is worse than the leak itself is the distortion of the content of the draft chapter by some deniers,” he said.

Prof Lewandowsky said that the report’s statement that humans have caused global warming was a “virtual certainty” meant it’s [sic] authors had 99% confidence in that view.

“That’s up from ‘very high confidence’ (90% certain) in the last report published in 2007,” he said.  [Hey Stephan:  How, specifically, were those 90% and 99% numbers calculated?  What, specifically, changed between 2007 and now that accounts for the alleged 90% reduction in uncertainty?]

“In other words, the scientific case has become even stronger and has now reached a level of confidence that is parallelled only by our confidence in some very basic laws of physics, such as gravity or thermodynamics.”

To claim otherwise by cherry-picking part of a sentence out of context is absurd, he said.

“Although it illustrates the standard approach by which climate deniers seek to confuse the public. Climate denial lost intellectual respectability decades ago, and all that deniers have left now is to misrepresent, distort, or malign the science and the scientific process.” (h/t Tom Nelson via WUWT)

Nowhere in Lewandowsky’s world is there ever any hint of doubt, uncertainty, contrition or scepticism about his own beliefs. He’s right on everything – always.

This is evident from the UWA FOI emails (on which more will follow in due course) where the many emails of complaint to the University about his recent work are dismissed in the same cavalier manner as any legitimate questioning of the alarmists’ position on climate.

Commenting on one particular blog article critical of the Moon Landing Denier paper, the Deputy VC at UWA, Robyn Owens, emails Lewandowsky:

“The sooner we get Critical Thinking 101 back to being a compulsory unit for all university students (and the rest of the population) the better!”

To which Lewandowsky responds:

“These folks are beyond educable.”

Funny thing is that the more Lewandowsky, John Cook and others like them insult, demean and belittle their ideological opponents, the more those opponents will dig in and fight back.

Quote of the Day: IPCC AR5 leak

Quote of the Day

UPDATE: The headbangers have all made up their minds too. Un-skeptical Pseudo-Science, the ABC, who wheel in a tame alarmist to hose the story down (see comment below).

From the It’s the Sun, stupid Department, a startling acknowledgement that the IPCC doesn’t know everything about the Sun’s effect on our climate (or the magnitude of such effects):

Many empirical relationships have been reported between GCR or cosmogenic isotope archives and some aspects of the climate system (e.g., Bond et al., 2001; Dengel et al., 2009; Ram and Stolz, 1999). The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link. We focus here on observed relationships between GCR and aerosol and cloud properties.

Delingpole writes on it here.

Download everything from AR5 if you so choose at WUWT.

IPCC: 'an embarrassment to science'


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.”

CLA Finding

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.

Donna Laframboise in Sydney

ACM author with Donna Laframboise

Last night I attended the Sydney talk of Canadian author and blogger Donna Laframboise, whose book, “The Delinquent Teenager who was mistaken for the world’s top Climate Expert” has recently been published here in Australia.

A large crowd had gathered at the Sheraton on the Park to hear Donna speak about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In her talk, she explained how despite protestations that the IPCC was a collection of the world’s best climate scientists, much of the IPCC’s reports were written by students and environmental activists, and that many appointments to the panel were politically motivated.

She also showed that the IPCC’s claim only to rely on peer-reviewed science was false, with over 30% of the references cited in the recent AR4 coming from newspaper clippings, WWF and Greenpeace reports, press releases and other grey literature. I wonder how much of that grey literature supported “the consensus”? I’m guessing roughly 100%.

I have corresponded with Donna in the past and it was great to meet her finally! Donna, I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in “Fantasy Island”.*

John Roskam of the IPA


Donna Laframboise


Signing books

Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog: Welcome to Fantasy Island!

Greenhouse gases 'largely to blame' for ocean warming

Alarmist Broadcasting Corporation

Instead of reporting the problems with its last alarmist story, namely the fact that bloggers have once again found holes in a supposedly “peer-reviewed” paper propping up the consensus, the ABC just moves on and runs another:

A new US-led study, featuring research by Tasmanian scientists, has concluded that warming ocean temperatures over the past 50 years are largely a man-made phenomenon.

Researchers from America, India, Japan and Australia say the study is the most comprehensive look at how the oceans have warmed.

The study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, examined a dozen different models used to project climate change, and compared them with observations of ocean warming over the past 50 years.

It found natural variations accounted for about 10 per cent of rising temperatures, but man-made greenhouse gases were the major cause. (source)

Authors supporting “the Cause” include Aussie John Church and Ben Santer. Need I say more?

Judith Curry gets technical about it here, and ocean temperature records in general were pretty rough before the ARGO era, but concludes that the latest paper will no doubt win out in AR5. Why? Because it’s the “right answer”, according to the consensus. Politics and activism win out over impartial science every time.

IPCC "ignores an entire field of science"

Rotten to the core

Why should that surprise anyone? The IPCC isn’t a scientific organisation, impartially sifting through and collating the current state of climate research to seek the truth, it is a political one, established for the sole purpose of finding evidence to support a pre-determined conclusion reached back in the 1980s, namely that man-made CO2 was causing dangerous climate change.

Why else would the IPCC include acres of grey literature, the majority of it from environmental advocacy groups, and the majority of it tending to make the case against CO2 stronger, yet exclude much peer-reviewed (for what that’s worth) research which questions the influence of CO2 relative to other factors? Why else would virtually every error discovered in the IPCC reports tend to exaggerate the seriousness of the crisis? Why else would many lead authors be permitted to be closely involved with environmental organisations like WWF and Friends of the Earth whilst carrying out their duties for the IPCC? Why else would Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the IPCC, be seen regularly advocating particular policy outcomes, such as reduction of emissions, which assume a particular scientific conclusion?

When one stops deluding oneself that the IPCC is a scientific organisation and appreciates that it is a political organisation, rotten to the core, all the above make perfect sense.

In Germany, where the sceptic movement has received considerable publicity over the past week or so, thanks to Fritz Vahrenholt’s new book, The Cold Sun, newspaper Die Welt publishes a damning indictment of the IPCC, in an editorial entitled Climate science is the new replacement religion:

Very few people have recognised that in the research that Vahrenholt und Lüning are referring to has nothing to do with the irradiative heating of the sun, which indeed does not fluctuate much, but with the solar winds which are increasingly shown to have an indirect impact on cloud formation, and thus influence the climate.

The IPCC has looked at this on the fringes and have determined that this research – which the renwoned CERN institute and others are carrying out -– is not far enough to allow conclusions to be drawn.

That may or may not be the case. But the fact remains that the IPCC, which is responsible for bringing the scientists together, still has not gotten the idea to invite these scientists for its large climate reports. Why not? After all it’s the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and not the Intergovernmental Panel on CO2.”

As No Tricks Zone goes on to say:

The positive feedbacks ASSUMED for CO2 with respect to water vapour are also very poorly understood. Yet the IPCC has no problems inflating those and including them in their climate reports.

Source link from No Tricks Zone.

Google Translate version of Die Welt editorial is here.

IPCC "too sullied to be credible"


Professor Stewart Franks speaks some highly inconvenient truths about the IPCC (reported, amazingly, by the ABC):

Stewart Franks says there is no evidence that carbon dioxide drives global warming and he blames the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for scaring people about a future climate catastrophe.

For the past decade Professor Franks has focussed his research on natural variability in climate as being the driver of extreme droughts and rain events, rather that CO2 emissions.

He says the emails from Kevin Trenberth from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, show fundamental flaws in their methodology, but the public is being kept in the dark.

Professor Franks says he believes the emails support his own argument that natural variability is responsible for warming.

“Now I’ve been criticised for talking about these modes that we’ve barely beginning to understand as somehow being some kind of a denier of climate change or a pure contrarian,” he said.a

“But it is really heartening to see that these scientists actually acknowledge and in fact one scientist went as far as to say ‘What if all the warming we actually see is just natural multi-decadal variability?’

“He then said, ‘They’ll probably kill us’.

“I think we do need an independent and judicial review of the evidence both for and against the likelihood of climate change beyond naturally catastrophic climate variability.

“I must say the IPCC is far too sullied by the leaks and some of the shenanigans that the emails show have be going on.

“It is now too sullied to be credible.” (source)

He’s absolutely right of course. The IPCC has lost the little trust it may once have had, thanks in part to the Climategate emails which reveal an organisation driven by political agenda, happy to silence dissent, disappear inconvenient data, destroy emails and smear critics. This issue was giving me pause for thought only a day or so ago, as I pondered how climate science can be rehabilitated. I actually believe an organisation akin to the IPCC can serve a useful purpose in the climate debate, if and only if it were to be constituted properly. However, this isn’t going to be easy.

For a start, the IPCC has to go, once and for all. Clear the slate and start again. Secondly, any successor organisation should have nothing whatsoever to do with the UN. I’m not entirely sure which global organisation should take its place, but that’s a decision for later. Thirdly, funding should be made a level playing field – sceptics and consensus scientists should compete on equal terms for research grants. Fourthly, either vested interests should be allowed to participate across the board, or they should be excluded completely. Cosying up to WWF whilst slamming “Big Oil” is rank hypocrisy. Finally, the successor organisation must have transparent procedures and processes in place. The IPCC is opaque in its appointment of key personnel and the review procedure for its reports, and this is completely unacceptable.

As I have said many times, I am agnostic on the causes of the 20th century warming. However, I am damn sure that I want to see apolitical, impartial and unbiased science, untainted by environmental agendas, before I am prepared to accept it as gospel. And the IPCC will never, ever be able to meet that requirement.

IPCC admits uncertainty in extreme weather link

Yasi - no link to climate change

[I know I’m on a break, but this story was too important not to comment – Ed]. The risk of more frequent extreme weather is one of the most potent scare tactics used by climate alarmists and politicians alike. The Greens are the experts at this kind of moral posturing, with the following being a classic example:

GREENS leader Bob Brown is facing mounting condemnation after calling on coal companies to foot the bill for the Queensland flood recovery.

Senator Brown said coal companies, as major climate change contributors, should pay a 40 per cent resources super profits tax to pay for the clean-up. (source)

Or this:

The Australian Greens say Tropical Cyclone Yasi is a “tragedy of climate change”.

The party was heavily criticised after it linked the Queensland floods to climate change and blamed coal miners.

Greens deputy leader Christine Milne says the cyclone is another example of why it is important to cut carbon pollution.

“This is a tragedy, but it is a tragedy of climate change,” she said. (source)

But the Greens don’t care about the facts. They are more interested in pushing their extreme-Left agenda of social change via the Trojan horse of environmentalism, and they will use any tools and tactics they can find to achieve that aim.

The UN is very similar in its response, blaming global warming for increased extreme weather events (naturally to justify its position of advocating urgent action on climate). The Russian heatwave and Pakistani floods were a prime example (see here).

But today we read that a leaked report, astonishingly from the IPCC itself, analysing the link between climate change and extreme weather, has admitted to considerable uncertainties:

WIDELY-HELD assumptions that climate change is responsible for an upsurge in extreme drought, flood and storm events are not supported by a landmark review of the science.

And a clear climate change signal would not be evident for decades because of natural weather variability.

Despite the uncertainties, politicians – including US President Barack Obama in his address to federal parliament yesterday – continue to link major weather events directly to climate change.

Greens leader Bob Brown yesterday highlighted Mr Obama’s climate change comments and said the extreme weather impacts were “not just coming, they are happening”.

But rather than bolster claims of a climate change link, the scientific review prepared by the world’s leading climate scientists for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlights the level of uncertainty. After a week of debate, the IPCC will tonight release a summary of the report in Kampala, Uganda, as a prelude to the year’s biggest climate change conference, being held in Durban, South Africa.

The full report will not be released for several months but a leaked copy of the draft summary, details of which have been published by the BBC and a French news agency, have provided a good indication of what it found.

While the human and financial toll of extreme weather events has certainly risen, the cause has been mostly due to increased human settlement rather than worse weather.

There is only “low confidence” that tropical cyclones have become more frequent, “limited to medium evidence available” to assess whether climatic factors have changed the frequency of floods, and “low confidence” on a global scale even on whether the frequency has risen or fallen. (source – behind paywall)

They can’t even determine the sign of the effect! You can’t get much more uncertain than that!

Overconfidence in its own results by the IPCC is one of the greatest challenges that must be overcome to sweep away the political spin that clouds the IPCC’s reports. Suppression of uncertainty is one of the main criticisms of later reports (especially 2003 and 2007), so an acknowledgement that uncertainty exists is a positive step. It’s very surprising to see the IPCC apparently reporting the science in a more impartial way than has been seen before. Previously such off-message results would have been twisted and spun to keep the agenda going. But here we have the IPCC publishing material which challenges the agenda.

This story is important for two reasons: firstly, that politicians can no longer continue to parade extreme weather events as evidence of climate change to justify their policies, and secondly, it shows (I hope) a change in the attitude of the IPCC, which appears to be more willing to accept the level of uncertainty in the science of climate change in general.

However, I wouldn’t hold out too much hope – the next main report will no doubt be back to business as usual…

WWF squeals at IPCC links


Donna Laframboise’s book The Delinquent Teenager who was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert (see review here) has clearly touched a number of raw nerves. The WWF huffs and puffs in a press release:

“It is ludicrous to suggest that in seeking ensure that the observations of climate witnesses are consistent with the best scientific knowledge WWF is seeking to influence the IPCC,” said WWF’s International Climate and Energy initiative leader Samantha Smith.

“It is also ludicrous to suggest that IPCC reports are or could be influenced by the fact that some scientists have generously contributed some input to WWF’s climate witness scheme.” (source – h/t Bishop Hill)

But unfortunately, it is far from ludicrous. It is scandalous.

The IPCC is portrayed as this impartial, aloof body which calmly considers the state of climate science and issues pronouncements every five years or so. Governments then make policy decisions, costing billions (possibly trillions) of dollars, based on the recommendations in those reports. But, as Donna’s book reveals, the IPCC is nothing of the sort. Its sole purpose is to find evidence of human-caused climate change, as required by the UNFCCC – and it makes sure that it finds it with a broad range of tactics that undermine the integrity of climate science.

It is utterly scandalous and disgraceful that scientists involved in the IPCC process have anything whatsoever to do with an extreme environmental activist group like WWF. The WWF has a clear agenda on climate change – it is a blatant conflict of interest for lead authors of IPCC reports to be involved in any WWF project, such as the climate witness scheme. And the wilful blindness of the mainstream media and national governments around the world to this hypocrisy is staggering.

Can you even begin to imagine the hysteria that would result from an IPCC lead author being associated with Big Oil? It would be screamed and shouted from the rooftops 24/7. “How dare an IPCC author have such a clear conflict of interest?” they would shriek. “This is just more evidence of the influence of Big Oil and their band of well-organised climate deniers, spreading misinformation in order to derail the proper work of an impartial body like the IPCC.”

Or how about this as an alternative, if we turn it around?

“This is just more evidence of the influence of Big Green and their band of well-organised climate alarmists, spreading misinformation in order to derail the proper work of an impartial body like the IPCC.”

But we never hear that, ever. EVER. And Big Green has far deeper pockets than Big Oil when it comes to climate propaganda. The reason? Because it’s perfectly fine for the head of the IPCC to endorse Greenpeace documents, or for IPCC lead authors to cosy up to environmental advocacy groups – they have the politically correct high ground. They’re “saving the planet” after all!

The more one thinks about this, the more outrageous it seems.

The reality is the IPCC is utterly compromised, corrupted and politicised. Nobody should take the slightest notice of ANYTHING it says.

IPCC: the warmists' club

Frakking good stuff

Kevin Rudd used to prattle on about the “4000 guys in white coats who run around and don’t have a sense of humour” who kept telling him that man-made emissions were to blame for dangerous global warming. You’d be lucky to get to 4000 even if you included all the rent-seeking hangers-on – and there were plenty of those.

John McLean analysed chapter 9 of Working Group 1 (Understanding and Attributing Climate Change) and concluded:

“More than two-thirds of all authors of chapter 9 of the IPCC’s 2007 climate-science assessment are part of a clique whose members have co-authored papers with each other and, we can surmise, very possibly at times acted as peer-reviewers for each other’s work. Of the 44 contributing authors, more than half have co-authored papers with the lead authors or coordinating lead authors of chapter 9.

The IPCC appointed as review editor for chapter 9 a person who was not only a coordinating lead author for the corresponding chapter of the previous assessment report but had also authored 13 of the papers cited in chapter 9 and had co-authored papers with 10 authors of chapter 9 including both coordinating lead authors and three of the seven lead authors.” (source, PDF at p18)

I have called the IPCC a “coterie of warmists” on several occasions in the past, dismissively excluding criticisms from highly respected scientists that don’t fit the pre-conceived agenda, whilst welcoming with open arms sheaves of suspect grey literature from environmental advocacy groups – because they do fit the agenda. Now the redoubtable Donna Laframboise of No Frakking Consensus exposes more of the seedy mutual backscratching that passes for normal scientific practice down at IPCC Mansions, and the name of an ACM favourite pops up:

Cynthia Rosenzweig is a research scientist who works at James Hansen’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. Once I might have described her as a senior Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) author. But she’s actually more than that.

It turns out Rosenzweig is a member of a small clique of people who wore multiple hats during the writing of the 2007 climate bible. When I hear that thousands of the world’s best scientists participate in the IPCC I envision each of them making a focused contribution in the narrow field in which they possess exceptional research expertise. But that’s not how it works.

Rosenzweig, for example, served in six distinct capacities. She was:

  • one of the two most senior authors for a chapter titled Assessment of Observed Changes and Responses in Natural and Managed Systems
  • contributing author for a chapter titled Assessment of Adaptation Practices, Options, Constraints and Capacity
  • lead author of the Working Group 2 Technical Summary document
  • drafting author of the Working Group 2 Summary for Policymakers document
  • a member of the core writing team for the Synthesis report
  • and an expert reviewer for Working Group 2

In other words, certain names pop up again and again in IPCC reports. If shadowy interests were trying to “control the message” in these documents, entrusting key tasks to a small group of people might be an effective strategy.

Like Rosenzweig, Australian meteorologist David Karoly filled six separate IPCC roles. He served as a lead author and as a review editor. Along with Rosenzweig he was a lead author of a Technical Summary, a drafting author of a Summary for Policymakers, a member of the core writing team for the Synthesis Report, and was also an expert reviewer.

How anyone can take this politicised and integrity-challenged organisation seriously any more is beyond comprehension… And we can expect more of the same (only worse) with AR5 in 2013/14.

There’s much more. Read it all.

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