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.”