IPCC summary report culled and it's the deniers who claim censorship?

Tue, 2007-04-10 17:05Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

IPCC summary report culled and it's the deniers who claim censorship?

It's clear that the United States, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia flexed their collective United Nations muscle in negotiating the final version of the IPCC's summary for policymakers released in Brussels on Friday. But don't let the global warming deniers tell you that the report was somehow played up by the “alarmist” UN and “their socialist group of scientists bent on new world order.” The exact opposite occurred.

As UK columnist George Monbiot writes in his column today : “Global warming scientists are under intense pressure to water down findings' and are then accused of silencing their critics.”

To be sure, the final report does still paint a very grim future with heat waves, droughts and melting ice-caps, but a side-by-side comparison of the proposed draft and final public version shows how watered down the final document is.

Statements like “there are very likely to be major changes,” become “there are projected to be major changes,” and “likely to be at high risk of irreversible extinction,” becomes “there are projected to be major changes in ecosystem structure and species' ecological reactions.”

Check out the attached summary of edits we have compiled. We took the released version here (pdf.) and compared it to a leaked copy of the proposed draft we found here.

Previous Comments

Nice piece, Kevin.
…don’t let the global warming deniers tell you that the report was somehow played up by the “alarmist” UN and “their socialist group of scientists bent on new world order.” The exact opposite occurred.
No kidding. I continue to see skeptical arguments about how the process is too politicized, but they’re not realizing that the politics is watering down the reports, not making them more alarmist.
Thanks, it is so perplexing to see the deniers arguments so opposite to reality. Shows they are really starting to grasp at straws.  
One “edit” is very clear to me: that corals risk increased frequency of bleaching with warming of 1-3 C. It should be 1-2 C. It was obviously changed, i’ve been doing this work for a while, and you won’t find anything in the scientific literature that argues 3C. I don’t know the reason for a change, though it may not be a coincidence that 2 C is often seen by many in the policy and science community as the acceptable limit. That being said, the general message is the same. Unmitigated global warming is likely to be a disaster for the world’s coral reefs. Bickering over a number won’t change that.
Care to source the leaked document?
“We took the released version here (pdf.) and compared it to a leaked copy of the proposed draft we found here.” Rick Piltz had it up on his website.

Richard Lindzen worked on Chapter 7 of IPCC Working Group 1, which considers the physical processes that are active in real world climate. He has described the full IPCC report as an admirable description of research activities in climate science although he has criticised the Summary for policymakers.

Lindzen further criticized the IPCC for alterations to the Policymakers Summary of its 2001 global warming report, saying: The draft of the Policymakers Summary was significantly modified at Shanghai. The IPCC, in response to the fact that the Policymakers Summary was not prepared by participating scientists, claimed that the draft of the Summary was prepared by a (selected) subset of the 14 coordinating lead authors.

However, the final version of the summary differed significantly from the draft. For example the draft concluded the following concerning attribution: “From the body of evidence since IPCC (1996), we conclude that there has been a discernible human influence on global climate. Studies are beginning to separate the contributions to observed climate change attributable to individual external influences, both anthropogenic and natural.

This work suggests that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are a substantial contributor to the observed warming, especially over the past 30 years. However, the accuracy of these estimates continues to be limited by uncertainties in estimates of internal variability, natural and anthropogenic forcing, and the climate response to external forcing.”

The version that emerged from Shanghai concludes instead: “In the light of new evidence and taking into account the remaining uncertainties, most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”

It works both ways.

Nice to be able to make statements without any back up. Just because you read somewhere that Lindzen made these comments does not make them true.

Lindzen is quite a bit smarter (note I say smarter, not better informed or more honest) than your usual class of denier. He is very subtle in making his denier statements, more of a bending of the truth than outright lies.

For some expert commentary on some of Lindzen’s bending of the truth you can check out this article by Gavin Schmidt on Lindzen’s testimony to the British House of Lords:

“Prof. Richard Lindzen (MIT) is often described as the most respectable of the climate ‘sceptics’ and is frequently cited in discussions here and elsewhere. Lindzen clearly has many fundamentally important papers under his belt (work on the QBO and basic atmospheric dynamics), and a number of papers that have been much less well received by the community (the ‘Iris’ effect etc.). Last year, he gave evidence to and answered questions from, a UK House of Lords Committee investigating the economics of climate change, in which he discoursed freely on the science. I’ll try here to sort out what he said.

Firstly, it is clear that Lindzen only signs up to the first point of the basic ‘consensus’ as outlined here previously, that the planet has indeed warmed significantly over the 20th century. While he accepts that CO2 and other greenhouse gases have increased due to human activities, and that this should warm the planet, he does not accept that it is necessarily an important component in the 20th century rise. His preferred option (by process of elimination) appears to be intrinsic variability, but he provides no support for this contention”.

The full article can be found at:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/02/richard-lindzens-hol-testimony/

Lindzen may have been a reputable scientist at one time but he has crossed the line and is no longer to be trusted.

Ian Forrester

…wikipedia. But, mercifully for me, it is cited there.

Forgive me. I am doing my best to look for data amid lots and lots and lots of mudslinging, labeling, red herrings and so forth. I have learned much from this site, although it has more than its fair share of silly emotional invective.

Oh wait, Lindzen has crossed the line and is no longer to be trusted? He has thus been labeled accordingly, and we should no longer listen to him, because… he’s crossed that line where he disagrees with you and a lot of people. Oh no, not that!

HA. Sorry to disappoint you, but that almost makes me want to trust him more, maybe try to find out more about whatever alternate theories he prefers. That is because… that’s how science works, chief! Your label-and-dismiss move actually backs up what we saw in The Great GW Swindle documentary. Shall we burn him too?

You have given me something to think about & research, and for that I thank you. I am doing my best to keep an open mind on this, because there seem to be shady dealings on both sides. That said, you should ease up on your emotions if you want to be taken seriously by those who might not agree with you. You essentially accuse him of willful dishonesty… perhaps he just disagrees? Can you find a way to hold out a little hope that honest scientists have come to different conclusions, and maybe we have more yet to learn on AGW?

OK, now let me have it. (What do you think, everyone? Will he yell at me & ridicule me? haha)

You missed what Ian said. “…He is very subtle in making his denier statements, more of a bending of the truth than outright lies…” Scientists disagree all the time, and can still respect each other and learn from each other.

But a scientist who lies or distorts the facts cannot be trusted. Lindzen is not trustworthy. The Great Global Warming Swindle is also not trustworthy, since it distorted the facts.

John E, you wrote “…that almost makes me want to trust him more, maybe try to find out more about whatever alternate theories he prefers. That is because… that’s how science works, chief!…” No, it’s not. Scientists present theories and evidence, and other scientists test the theories to see if other evidence backs them up. That is, they have to be persuaded by the evidence to accept the theory. Thousands of climate scientists have become convinced that AGW is happening, because the evidence confirms it. The few scientists who say AGW is not happening have not produced adequate evidence to support their theory. They spend more time pushing their views in the media than doing any actual science.

You don’t know enough about the science to discern which scientists have the correct theory; you are not trained to understand how their models work. What you can do is learn which scientists present their work honestly, and which ones twist the facts.

Gore’s use of the Uppsala Glacier in his movie was a horrid twisting of facts. Is that OK to do, because he’s not funded by an oil company?

You just parrot Ian’s “untrustworthy” claim. Can you prove Lindzen is being intentionally deceitful? His opinions are in the minority… so you say he’s dishonest? What the heck is that? It’s propaganda, that’s what.

Oh I can’t possibly understand this complicated stuff? GIVE ME A BREAK. Kevin Grandia has a degree in Psychology, but he knows? Richard Littlemore is a layman, but he can figure it out? Don’t patronize me! I am making an honest effort to learn about this stuff, not just blindly accepting “untrustworthy” labels from folks like Ian and you.

And again I ask… why is Lindzen branded as a fact-twister? You just say it, and you don’t provide any evidence. He just disagrees with the majority. How do I learn about who twists the facts? I get as close tho the facts themselves. Just being told on a freakin blog that someone is a ‘bad guy’ is not enough for me. Sorry.

Seriously… you make the opposition look better with your behavior.

Ian Forrester provided a link. Go read it. He made a statement and he provided a link to back it up. There’s your evidence.

Here’s proof of Lindzen’s deceit: http://www.logicalscience.com/skeptics/Lindzen.htm

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A Better Byte Computer Consulting, Inc. http://www.oldsaintmarys.org/

A few years ago he was part of a panel set up by NAS to look into climate change (not he one this past summer but an earlier one). The members of the group (11) studied the scientific evidence (that is what scientists do) and came to the conclusion that there was a major contribution from anthropogenic causes. All 11 signed off and agreed with the findings, including Lindzen.

No sooner was the report made public but Linzden was writing in the WSJ and elsewhere that the findings were not as stated and that there was very little anthropogenic component. This went down great with all the AGW deniers but only showed how two faced and dishonest he is.

If he did not agree with the findings he could have refused to sign or made a statement in the report outlining his contrarian views on the conclusions, that is how an honest scientist who disagreed with a report would act.

There are many more instance where he has been shown to have crossed the line. However, since I can assume you are not a scientist you would not realize this. If you are as honest as you would like us to think then do some background checking on your facts and the “experts” you chose to believe.

Ian Forrester

John, I think it is very interesting, subject matter aside, that you claim that the behaviour of Ian is too emotional to take seriously. At least that’s what that’s what I gather from your statement, “That said, you should ease up on your emotions if you want to be taken seriously by those who might not agree with you.”

However, after reading both comments made by you and Ian, you are clearly not only the more emotional one, but you are more offensive in your language as well. You contradict yourself. You claim that one cannot be taken seriously if they are too emotional, yet you use statements such as
- ” HA. Sorry to disappoint you, but that almost makes me want to trust him more”
-“That is because… that’s how science works, chief! ”
-” OK, now let me have it. (What do you think, everyone? Will he yell at me & ridicule me? haha)”
-“Just being told on a freakin blog that someone is a ‘bad guy’ is not enough for me. Sorry.”

Your language is riddled with emotion and sarcasm. Although I agree that it is wise to have an open mind when it comes to the issue of global warming, as there is obviously lying and spinning taking place on both sides, I have found in every case and with every subject matter, replying to someone using snide comments and sarcasm will gurantee a lack of intelligent communication and will most likely result in the comment being purposefully denied/ignored/attacked/opposed.
So if you are interested in people considering your opinions then you might want to ease off on the sarcasm. As for Ian’s replies, other than his opening remark of “Nice to be able to make statements without any back up.”, there is not only a definite lack of sarcasm, but he proceeds to explain why he disagrees with you and offers some sources for his opinion. Your replies degenerate to nothing more than restating your opinion and name calling loaded with sarcasm. Currently, from what you have posted, it seems that you are satisfied with holding an opinion as long as it opposes the apparent ‘emotional’ one of Ian. It is that alone that makes you appear as if you’re letting your emotions dominate over logic.

Why am I bringing this up? Because in almost every case where I have seen an online argument take place on the issue of global warming (and just about every other issue for that matter), there is a quick break down in communication and within a few posts it is nothing more than name calling and nasty sarcasm, which results in a loss of interest in the actual subject at hand and a greater interest in the individual proving they are ‘right’. This is important because if this is allowed to happen, then no one is interested in actually discovering the truth about the issue. As you have clearly stated ” HA. Sorry to disappoint you, but that almost makes me want to trust him more, maybe try to find out more about whatever alternate theories he prefers.” This indicates that you have no desire to look into the possible truth of the matter, but will stick to your guns because you don’t want to be told you are wrong, or because you think Ian was being too emotional. That is not a good enough reason to hold an opinion or ignore information.

I hope that at some point everyone can be willing to explore both sides of any issue and argument and that we can rise above using sarcasm as a method to support our arguments. I’m not singling you out, John, as I see it everywhere and I can clearly see it never works. Hopefully you can reread Ian’s posts, ignoring his first sarcastic opening statement and bother to look into the possible truth of Lindzen.

Amen, Matthew!

Thanks for the post. You can add paragraph breaks by hitting the “disable rich text” and then put <p> wherever you want a graph break. The lengthier post become quite unreadable otherwise.

- Kevin  

Or click on “Input format” beneath the Comment box and select the “Filtered HTML” option instead of “TinyMCE”. Then the paragraph breaks appear.

sorry… thanks… I am a noob. :-)

Great blog! I appreciate the hard work every body is putting in to maintain the website and all the visitors to it, the webmasters are doing great job, thanks again to all the good people. Thanks

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Scientists had well understood for many decades that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere could raise global temperatures and cause climate change. But when politicians finally took notice, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed, industry began a war with science itself. 

Bert Bolin, the founder of the Intergovernmental...

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