Last Monday I wrote about how a key claim in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report resembled a game of telephone rather than on carefully scrutinized research . Now another apocalyptic statement in the report turns out to be based on a report that was not even published, much less peer-reviewed :
The United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.
It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report’s own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.
And there is an interesting update to last week’s story too. In a shockingly candid admission ,
The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.
Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the reports chapter on Asia, said: It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.
It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.
Sadly, this in an effective technique. More people will have heard (and believed) the original claims than will ever hear about the updated, corrected truth. The actions of these scientists may be unethical, but they’re also regrettably effective.
See also: Wesley Smith notes that these actions violate the IPCC’s own mandate to be neutral with respect to policy.