A few weeks ago, we covered the latest scandal with the IPCC, the climate arm of the UN. It seems they were sourcing the imminent melting of glaciers to an off handed comment in a phone conversation, NOT peer reviewed science.
At the time, the head of the IPCC Rajendra K. Pachauri said “I became aware of this when it was reported in the media about ten days ago.” Unfortunately for him, it’s now been revealed he was actually told about it months earlier, reportedly in November.
This was before Copenhagen, and in the midst of the breaking Climategate scandal, and the IPCC couldn’t afford yet another mark on their record at such a crucial time. Is this why they didn’t talk about the problems with their glacier sourcing back then? The IPCC denies this, of course, but were they subtly tipping their hand?
The discrepancy goes back to November 26th, 2009. In their attempt to blow off Climategate, IPCC head Pachauri released this statement, printed on the New York Times website. It’s basically what you’d expect—for example:
It is unfortunate that an illegal act of accessing private email communications between scientists who have been involved as authors in I.P.C.C. assessments in the past has led to several questions and concerns. It is important for me to clarify that the I.P.C.C. as a body follows impartial, open and objective assessment of every aspect of climate change carried out with complete transparency.
But the next line was key:
IPCC relies entirely on peer reviewed literature in carrying out its assessment…
However, go to the IPCC website today, and you’ll find a link to the exact same 418 word statement, but with one difference.
IPCC relies mainly on peer reviewed literature in carrying out its assessment…
Strangely enough, the new document with the change from “entirely” to “mainly” was uploaded 8 days after the original. What happened here? Is this some sort of mistake? Did the Times just screw it up? Or was it an intentional change to hide the reports lack of peer review? Those who follow how much the IPCC, its supporters, and people like Al Gore know how often they tout their peer review purity.
On 11-26-2009 NY Times: "IPCC relies entirely on peer reviewed literature…"
On 12-4-2009 IPCC website: "IPCC relies mainly on peer reviewed literature…"
So, did they change this knowing what was coming with Glaciergate?
Or perhaps they knew about even more. Today we learn the UK Telegraph has found two additional newly discovered sourcing debacles. The IPCC claims about melting ice in the Alps, the Andes, and in Africa come not from peer reviewed scientific literature—but from Climbing Magazine.
It’s sort of like “Runners World” for mountain climbing. Amazingly, that’s the better of the two sources. The other source was –I kid you not—a student dissertation –written by a climate change activist —-while he was studying for a degree…in GEOGRAPHY.
And…now…another: “A STARTLING report by the United Nations climate watchdog that global warming might wipe out 40% of the Amazon rainforest was based on an unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise.”
While all of this is going on, the head of the IPCC isn’t resigning—he’s releasing an explicit romance novel. Not kidding.
What is going on here? And why are papers in the UK the only ones reporting on it?