October 12th 2013

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Articles from this issue:

ENVIRONMENT: IPCC report ignites new row over global warming

MARRIAGE: Same-sex marriage: is it harmless?

TASMANIA: Labor premier and Greens to legalise medicalised killing

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Tony Abbott's first major test: stopping the boats

EDITORIAL: The Abbott government gets down to work...

OPINION: Why Australia should acquire US-built nuclear submarines

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Challenges loom after Angela Merckel's election win

POPULATION: China may be too late to avert demographic disaster

POLITICAL IDEAS: Replacing agribusinesses with family farms

LIFE ISSUES: Culture of death and our missing moral compass

HISTORY: How King Alfred's reputation fell victim to political correctness

OPINION: David Marr and the white whale

CULTURE: How television can stupefy or stimulate our minds

BOOK REVIEW A rogues' gallery

BOOK REVIEW Intellectual rivals

Books promotion page

IPCC report ignites new row over global warming

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, October 12, 2013

In a carefully-orchestrated media event in Stockholm, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its fifth Assessment Report (AR5), which repeats and expands the dire warnings of earlier reports that the world faces catastrophic global warming, caused principally by rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere.

Hundreds of press, radio and television journalists descended on the Münchenbryggeriet (Munich Brewery) conference centre, Stockholm for the release, which was also webcast.

The report does include caveats that contradict the IPCC’s headline claims that the world is enduring unsustainable global warming … but these appear only in the fine print.

These concessions follow widespread reporting of the fact that the climate models, on which the IPCC predictions are based, have failed to account for the fact that global temperatures have not risen for the past 15 years, even though the IPCC’s earlier reports had confidently predicted that rising CO2 levels would push up temperatures inexorably.

The concessions first appeared in the draft summary for policy-makers, dated June 7, 2013.

At the bottom of each page of this 31-page draft document appear the words, “Do not cite, quote or distribute”.

Nevertheless, copies of the 31-page document were leaked to pro-warming journalists.

Anthony Watts, who runs a leading web site on environmental issues, commented, “For weeks, this document has been put in the hands of most every journalist that writes about climate issues, and many articles have been written about its contents” (WattsUpWithThat.com).

A leading American climatologist, Dr Judith Curry, said, “People have been asking me to comment on the leaked IPCC final draft summary for policy-makers.

“Apparently, someone in the IPCC made the report available to ‘friendly’ journalists, as part of a strategy to brief them before the formal release of the report.”

Dr Curry is professor and chair of the school of earth and atmospheric sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and has held this position since 2002.

Dr Curry highlighted the IPCC’s “inconvenient truth” — the pause in surface warming for the past 15 years.

She continued: “Publication of the [last report of the] IPCC AR4 in 2007 was received with international acclaim.

“The vaunted IPCC process — multitudes of experts from over a hundred countries over a period of four years, examining thousands of refereed journal publications, with hundreds of expert reviewers — elevated the authority of the IPCC AR4 to near biblical heights.

“Journalists jumped on board, and even the oil and energy companies neared capitulation.

“The veneration culminated with the Nobel Peace Prize, which the IPCC was awarded jointly with Al Gore.

“At the time, I joined the consensus in supporting this document as authoritative: I bought into the meme of ‘don’t trust what one scientist says; rather trust the consensus-building process of the IPCC experts’.”

Now, she says: “Six and a half years later and a week before the release of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5), substantial criticisms are being made of leaked versions of the report as well as of the IPCC process itself.

“IPCC insiders are bemoaning their loss of their scientific and political influence. What happened?

“The IPCC was seriously tarnished by the unauthorised release of emails from the University of East Anglia in November 2009, known as Climategate.

“These emails revealed the ‘sausage-making’ involved in the IPCC’s consensus-building process, including denial of data access to individuals who wanted to audit their data-processing and scientific results, interference in the peer-review process to minimise the influence of sceptical criticisms, and manipulation of the media.

“Climategate was quickly followed by the identification of an egregious error involving the melting of Himalayan glaciers.

“These revelations were made much worse by the actual response of the IPCC to these issues. Then came the concerns about the behaviour of the IPCC’s director, Rachendra Pachauri, and investigations of the infiltration of green advocacy groups into the IPCC.

“All of this was occurring against a background of explicit advocacy and activism by IPCC leaders related to CO2 mitigation policies.

“The IPCC does not seem to understand the cumulative impact of these events on the loss of trust in climate scientists and the IPCC process itself.

“The IPCC’s consensus-building process relies heavily on expert judgment; if the public and the policy-makers no longer trust these particular experts, then we can expect a very different dynamic to be in play with regards to the reception of the AR5 relative to the AR4.

“Based upon early drafts of the AR5, the IPCC seemed prepared to dismiss the pause in warming as irrelevant ‘noise’ associated with natural variability.

“Under pressure, the IPCC now acknowledges the pause and admits that climate models failed to predict it.

“The IPCC has failed to convincingly explain the pause in terms of external radiative forcing from greenhouse gases, aerosols, solar or volcanic forcing; this leaves natural internal variability as the predominant candidate to explain the pause.

“If the IPCC attributes the pause to natural internal variability, then this begs the question as to what extent the warming between 1975 and 2000 can also be explained by natural internal variability. Not to mention raising questions about the confidence that we should place in the IPCC’s projections of future climate change.”

Dr Curry’s criticisms were repeated by others, including the respected American climate scientist, Dr Roy Spencer, who publishes the authoritative global temperature averages determined by satellite data.

He wrote recently: “Nothing stands in the way of a popular theory (e.g., global warming) better than failed forecasts.

“We are now at the point in the age of global warming hysteria where the IPCC global warming theory has crashed into the hard reality of observations. A few of us are not that surprised, as we always distrusted the level of faith that climate modellers had in their understanding of the causes of climate change.

“I continue to suspect that, in the coming years, scientists will increasingly realise that more CO2 in the atmosphere is, on the whole, good for life on Earth.

“Given that CO2 is necessary for life, and that nature continues to gobble up 50% of the CO2 we produce as fast as we can produce it, I won’t be that surprised when that paradigm shift occurs, either.”

Dr Spencer said that the IPCC report had attributed the failure of the models to the influence of the naturally-occurring El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events.

He said: “The fact that it has taken so long for the mainstream climate research community to ‘discover’ the importance of ENSO to multi-decadal climate is very troubling to me.

“There is no other explanation for them not seeing what was staring them in the face, except the political influence the IPCC and its supporters in government have had on the climate research community, in effect paying them to downplay the role of natural climate variations until nature could no longer be ignored.”

These revelations validate the earlier action of the Abbott Coalition government in disbanding the Climate Change Commission, which was an Australian mouthpiece for the IPCC.

The Climate Change Commission, headed by Dr Tim Flannery, has re-formed itself as the Climate Change Council and will continue to propagate the IPCC line, but it will do so without government funding.

Peter Westmore is national president of the National Civic Council.


Dodgy dossier on global warming

From the geniuses who gave us vanishing Himalayan glaciers and similar jeux d’esprit comes another million-word exercise in Nostradamus-style science to be hung on a very robust nail in the smallest room in the house.

The dystopian predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are now awaited by the saner elements of the population with the same keen anticipation as the special edition of a favourite television comedy show on Christmas Day.

So far, we have the Summary for Policymakers, the travesty document in which the claims of the scientists are massaged by politicians to meet their fiscal requirements; dossiers do not come any dodgier than this.

We are constantly assured the IPCC is an impartial scientific body. Yet its findings are redrafted at meetings with “political delegates” which run far into the night, as political hoods bully its authors, by means of sleep deprivation, into altering the text to suit the agendas of 195 cash-strapped governments.

Hapless IPCC officials then emerge, panda-eyed, to announce they are a trillion times more certain than before that temperatures are going to soar far higher than previously imagined.

Extract from Gerald Warner, “Dodgy dossier on global warming”, Scotland on Sunday, September 29, 2013.
URL: www.scotsman.com/news/gerald-warner-dodgy-dossier-on-global-warming-1-3117208

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