10.25.2012 1

United Nation’s Summary of Policymakers Elevates Political Activism Over Scientific Findings

By Kevin Mooney — In 2014, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its “fifth assessment” report on the influence human activity has on the environment. A “multi-stage review” of early draft versions is already underway, according to a U.N. news site. In the first stage, “scientific experts” review the draft, then “government experts get their shot. This all culminates with a “final round  of government” comments in the “Summary for Policymakers.” This is important because the Summary will be released to the news media in September of next year before anyone actually sees the final full version of the fifth assessment.

Richard Lindzen, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been sharply critical of this approach because it essentially means the U.N. is issuing a conclusion before producing the actual evidence for this conclusion. Lindzen specialized in the study of clouds and water vapor for the IPCC’s third assessment report released in 2001.

The Summary, which is typically about 20 pages long, is mostly the work of political operatives, not scientists, Lindzen has said. Moreover, the rules are such that changes and modifications can be made to the body of the report to bring in line with what government officials want in the Summary, Lindzen has explained.

“If you were doing this with a business report, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be down your throat,” he has said.

Harvard University physicist Lubos Motl is just as blunt.

“These people are openly declaring that they are going to commit scientific misconduct that will be paid for by the United Nations,” Motl has written on his blog. “If they find an error in the Summary, they won’t fix it, instead they will adjust the technical report so it looks consistent.”

Another key player here exposing the perfidy behind the U.N.’s IPCC is Donna Lafamboise, an investigative journalist based in Ontario, Canada. She has just written a book entitled: “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert.” After probing into the IPCC over a two year period, she found that many of the lead authors were not well-credentialed  scientists and that some were closely linked with environmental pressure groups.

During a recent forum hosted by the Friends of Science in Calgary, Canada, she presented photos on screen of lead authors, who were under 30, and lacking in scientific and academic credentials.

There is Richard Klein, for example, a Greenpeace activist, who was 23 when he finished his MA in geography. Two years later, he was tapped to be a lead author for the IPCC. There is also Sari Kovats, who in 1994, was selected to work on the first IPCC chapter. But she didn’t earn her Ph.D. until 16 years after she was selected a named as one of top environmental experts by the U.N.

As part of her investigation, Laframbois also performed an audit to see if the IPCC actually relies on peer-reviewed research as its top officials have claimed. She concluded that 21 out of 44 chapters in the 2007 report drew from less than 60 percent of material that was peer reviewed.

In her book, LaFrambois also makes note of conflicts that comprise the objectivity of the IPCC. For example, Jennifer Morgan, a lead spokesperson for the World Wildlife Fund, helped craft a portion of the IPCC reports back in 2010. In fact, two-thirds of the of the fourth assessment includes at least one scientist connected with the WWF, according to the book.

Meanwhile, the run-up to the fifth assessment, actual scientific findings continue to debunk the idea the human activity is responsible for catastrophic man-made global warming. A new scientific study published in the journal “Climate of the Past” concludes that the Earth was much warmer 1,000 years ago, and that warming cycle fo the late 20th Century was not unprecedented.

Kevin Mooney is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinMooneyDC.

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