Another Softball Climate Change Investigation

It’s not news that “Global warming” has been morphed into “Climate change” as global temperatures have failed to rise as predicted by climate alarmists of the 1990s. But the quoted reaction by the head of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to the most recent investigation into the IPCC’s methodology is positively Orwellian:

Science has confirmed that climate change is real.

Has any scientist, on any part of the climate change debate’s spectrum, ever claimed that climate does not change over time?

IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri also stressed that neither this recently-concluded investigation by the InterAcademy Council, nor the multiple recent “Climategate” investigations, has questioned the IPCC’s conclusion of climate change’s “likely human cause.” (None of the investigations, in fact, even included the question within the purview of their investigations.)

Back when I took science—admittedly a long time ago—something characterized as “likely” was called a hypothesis, with conclusions reserved for facts that had been proven through the scientific method.

Today, apparently, post-normal science provides for conclusions to be based on “tricks” ranging from mixing data series to omitting dissent.

The IPCC itself commissioned the InterAcademy’s investigation, whose scope was limited to looking into errors and omissions of the IPCC’s 2007 report. Among the investigation’s gentle rebukes:

A particular problem in the 2007 report was that it didn’t consistently reflect uncertainty in some aspects of climate change, the investigation found.

The writers of the IPCC report instead chose to include unfounded claims such as that the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035 and that the output of rain-fed agriculture in Africa will be halved by 2020.

An earlier investigation also revealed that the IPCC report’s authors changed the report’s conclusions regarding the disputed hockey stick graph from one that had been sent to the report’s external reviewers to one that favored the graph’s creators.

And so, yet another “independent” investigation leaves science out of its consideration and leaves those foisting their propaganda in place of hard facts unscathed and free to carry on: Phil Jones remains at the Climate Research Unit; Michael Mann at Penn State; and Rajendra Pachauri at the IPCC. Annual U.N. climate conferences—the next slated for December in Cancun, Mexico—will no doubt continue to play off climate alarmists’ pet theories, and the next IPCC report—slated for 2014—will most likely be brought to us by the very same authors as 2007’s. No change here.

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
Full Biography
Beacon Posts by Mary Theroux
  • Catalyst