Skeptics in the Pub Hong Kong Message Board › The IPCC - scratch the surface...
|A former member||
Part 7 - A Final Word
The IPCC states clearly that it undertakes no research of its own but merely relies on published papers for its information. A team of editors assesses those papers and writes the drafts of the various report chapters. While minor corrections are welcomed the overall assessment is strongly defended against challenges.
On the surface this looks not unreasonable but scratch a little deeper and the self-sustaining nature of the claim of a human influence on warming becomes visible. Unlike other high-profile scientific fields, these reports by the IPCC are almost entirely responsible for determining the direction of climatology and how the research funding will be spent.
The IPCC's Third Assessment Report (TAR) of 2001 showed that 9 of 11 climate factors were poorly understood but despite this it claimed that humans were responsible for rising temperatures.
As a consequence of the TAR the majority of funding for climatology research went to projects that assumed a human influence on climate. Not surprisingly this caused the papers taking this position to significantly out-number the papers that rejected this hypothesis. But as the responses to reviewers' comments show, the number of papers supporting a certain argument is a critical factor in determining the content of the IPCC
It is not merely the weight of numbers that tilts the balance but also the leanings of the editors. The content of the reports rests with the teams of editors but if those editors are actively engaged in research then it is likely to be on projects which assume a human influence on climate and this will make those editors susceptible to being predisposed to view climate in that light.
There is not the evidence to claim deliberate bias but logically the "anthropogenic warming" argument will be very familiar to many editors and the tendency will be that papers following that line will receive less intense scrutiny than papers that don't only challenge that argument but also challenge the editors' own beliefs. If an editor took the position that the human influence on climate is negligible or non-existent on anything but a small and localised scale then that person's research opportunities are likely to be few.
The same potential conflict of interest arises with the reviewers, many of whom are authors of papers related to climatology and are quite possibly still involved in research projects. The reviewers have the added problem that the IPCC practice is to make all reviewers' comments available to other reviewers. Reviewers cannot hide behind some kind of editorial team "group think" but are exposed to individual scrutiny and that can put reputations and research
opportunities at even greater risk.
The problems continue into the authorship of these reports. According to IPCC documents, scientists are nominated by governments or explicitly invited by scientists who were already associated with the IPCC. What a wonderful way to position scientists who support a government agenda on climate and then fill out the IPCC with like-minded individuals.
The bigger picture is that research funding indirectly determines the content of the IPCC assessment reports, and those assessment reports play a very significant role in determining the direction and funding of the research.
Who would be a reviewer when many chapter authors will be likely to defend the beliefs and reputations they have established via research projects funded by government money on the supposition that anthropogenic global warming is a fact? Few researchers who are funded by the anthropogenic warming gravy-train are likely to review IPCC chapters with the intent of identifying flaws only those sceptical of the claims, and have little to lose in the way of reputation or funding, will make the effort. Several recognised sceptics of man-made warming failed to take
part in the review but who can blame them when the exercise is so evidently futile.
In the long term this perpetual and increasing marginalising of contrary viewpoints is extremely detrimental to the science because it will produce a supposed scientific "truth" based on little more than the emphasis of the funding and the domination of certain opinions.
Source: Page 16; http://files.meetup.c...