Friday, March 09, 2007

"Greatest denial" - excessive alarmism?

Fred Pearce (in New Scientist) quotes Peter Wadhams as saying "the public needs to know that the policy-makers' summary [AR4], presented as the united words of the IPCC, has actually been watered down in subtle but vital ways by governmental agents before the public was allowed to see it" (see Climate report 'was watered down').

David Wadsell is quite extreme in his recent papers Feedback dynamics and the accelertion of climate change and Political Corruption of the IPCC Report?. In the latter he concludes:
The denial of anthropogenic climate change has been the most damaging deception ever perpetrated in the history of human civilisation. The decade and a half of resultant impotence and inactivity has lost us the window of opportunity to avoid dangerous climate change, made it virtually impossible to avoid catastrophic climate change, and brought us face to face with the looming possibility of a major global extinction event of cataclysmic proportions.
Wadsell points a finger of blame at NOAA in particular. Even if this is credible, it is unlikely to be a sufficient explanation. There have been rumours, for example, that both the Chinese and Saudi delegations played key roles in the editing the final version of the text. Of course, as the whole process is closed we may never know.

Calls for "a little more transparency" in the IPCC process are well and good, but bear in mind that (as Steve Rayner , who is based inside an institution that was part funded by a powerful Saudi, pointed out yesterday on Radio 4) the evidence supporting the case for serious action on climate change was clear and compelling fifteen years ago.

[P.S. 22 March: Piers Forster and 20 co-ordinating lead authors publish a letter in 24 March issue of New Scientist saying that the magazine's article and editorial regarding Working Group 1 to the Fourth Assessment (and cited in this post) contain "several wrong statements and false claims". The full text of the letter is available here]

No comments: