Saturday, February 03, 2007


Well, the new Summary for Policymakers (SPM4) released Friday Feb 2nd takes dishonesty to a new more brazen level. On page 4 I'm told is a phrase that says that the actual Assesment Report, which won't be out until May, will be "adjusted" to reflect what is now in the Summary. My point is---what's the point?

When I was in high-school I was taught that a summary of a report was supposed to reflect the same conclusions as the report being summarized. I guess that is not the case anymore. I'm willing to bet that if someone asked the IPCC why they are reversing cause and effect, they will answer something like "Oh, that's been standard procedure for a long time."

Steven Milloy at Junk Science has a special Saturday post on the SPM4. In it he correctly points out:

"But it is the science summary that always gives rise to the jamboree -- with journalists, politicians and eager environmentalists desperate to claim that this particular report is the last word on climate change, that it represents a true consensus, that the world is doomed, and that we must recant our fossil-fuel ways. Moreover, as in 2001 with the Third Assessment Report, Friday's release was preceded by speculative leaks, the political shenanigans and spinning beginning even before the final text had been haggled over and agreed upon."

Yes. On Monday Jan. 29th, the Detroit News carried an article by Associated Press writer Seth Borenstein titled "Experts: Climate report omits crucial data." Evidently, some non-IPCC scientists are angry that this new SPM4 is slightly toning down its gloom and doom posture. But notice the slant the reporter, Seth Borenstein puts on it:

"WASHINGTON -- Later this week in Paris, climate scientists will issue a dire forecast for the planet that warns of slowly rising sea levels and higher temperatures.

But that may be the sugarcoated version.

Early and changeable drafts of their authoritative report on climate change foresee smaller sea level rises than were projected in 2001 in the last report. Many top U.S. scientists reject these rosier numbers. Those calculations don't include the recent, and dramatic, melt-off of big ice sheets in two crucial locations."

Obviously, Mr. Borenstein wants his readers to dismiss the part about "slowly rising sea levels" as a "sugarcoated version." If true, what would this mean? Would it mean that IPCC scientists aren't telling the truth? Why would the IPCC scientists sugarcoat anything? The reporter gives no answer.

Now look at the adjectives used by the reporter. The report, by IPCC scientists, is said to be "authoritative" while those who disagree are said to be "top" scientists.
So does that mean that "authoritative" scientists are not "top" scientists? Or vice-versa? What does it mean to be an "authoritative" scientist? Does it mean he has superior reasoning abilities? Or has the power of government behind him? (This has all the makings--and credibility--of Godzilla vs Rhodan) If "top" scientists dispute the findings of IPCC scientists, why should American citizens trust the IPCC findings? The article concludes:

"The prediction being considered this week is "obviously not the full story because ice sheet decay is something we cannot model right now, but we know it's happening," said Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate panel lead author from Germany who made the larger prediction of up to 55 inches of sea level rise. "A document like that tends to underestimate the risk.""

"...we cannot model right now..." is to me another reason for skepticism on this report.
It is my opinion that when reporters use adjectives like "authoritative, top, reputable, leading" etc., it's because the reporter has bought into whatever the scientists are advocating.

On Friday Feb 2nd, the same AP reporter Seth Borenstein had another article carried by the Detroit News. It starts with:

"PARIS -- The world's leading climate scientists said global warming has begun, is "very likely" caused by man, and will be unstoppable for centuries, according to a report obtained today by the Associated Press." And:

"The 20-page report, which was due to be officially released later today, represents the most authoritative science on global warming."

Here we go with the "Leading scientists" and "authoritative science" adjectives again. It is my contention that the constant use of such adjectives is intended to be recieved by the reader as an epistomological security blanket which is in turn intended to convey the idea or feeling "You don't have to concern yourself with questions of truth or credibility because these scientists are "leading" and have "authority" so you can easily trust what they say." Of course, implied is the notion that scientists who happen to dissent are not "authoritative or "leading."

I was pleased to see one thing though. Mr. Borenstein referred to the IPCC as "...a group of hundreds of scientists and representatives of 113 governments." I have heard their numbers were in the thousands. "Hundreds" is more in line with what MIT scientist Richard Lindzen has observed when he was on the IPCC.

Putting out a summary of a report before the factual report is finished, then adjusting the reported facts to fit the preconcieved conclusions of the summary is blatent dishonesty. But what can one expect when our universities teach students that when using your mind, reality is a fluid flux, that there are no absolutes, that certainty is impossible, that what is true today may not be true tommorrow, but when using your feelings, mans' evil is absolute, that computer predictions of today are gospel 100 years hence, and that the science behind GW catastrophe is certain.

Well, politically, disaster in the long term is just about assured at the hands of the Dems. But in the near term I see the Democrats doing a lot of posturing and saber rattling. They'll make sure a lot of corporations can make big money off buying and selling government permissions (carbon credits). Those corporations of course will then make big contributions to Dem coffers. The posturing will be all about money.

But you may ask "Why do you think disaster in the long term is almost assured?" One reason is a Detroit News cyber poll in today's News that asked the question "Would you object to a school science class being shown the Al Gore documentary 'An Inconvient Truth' on global warming?" Yes-38% No-62%

It seems then that parents don't mind having their kids indoctrinated, probably because they too have been indoctrinated. Gore's movie has lots of anecdotes in it and how many of today's kids have been taught that anecdotes are not evidence? I'll bet their teachers don't even know that. I do think that when the Dems start taking things away from the people the people will protest and the Dems will then back off a little. They care about getting re-elected more than GW. I don't know how much time that will leave but despite the gloom, I'm still somewhat optimistic.


Myrhaf said...

The Democrats will look for ways to take things away from people but blame it on the corporations.

Mike N said...

I agree. I just hope there are enough people who can see the folly of that notion.

Myrhaf said...

I was thinking along the same lines when I read Galileo's latest post about nuclear power. I think the key is when people learn that the goal of the environmentalists is not cleanliness, but the destruction of capitalism.

softwareNerd said...

Mike, just in case you haven't already read them, this 10-part series from a Canadian paper is worth a read.

Paul Ashton said...

Mike, a well thought out and accurate assessment of what the IPCC and its political supporters are all about. Too bad that the mainstream media cannot work these things out for themselves and then provide the necessary rebuttals across a much broader circulation than individual blogs.

Mike N said...

I read all ten of those articles. I see a chance to blog on some of the points made therin. Thanks.

Sometimes I just want to run off a couple hundred copies of a post and go hand deliver them myself door to door. But alas, it wouldn't be enough. Besides, I can't afford that. Sigh.