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Climategate part 2? A worrying conflict of interest

Oliver Wright

greenpeace 300x265 Climategate part 2? A worrying conflict of interest Yesterday I wrote a story in the paper about how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the UN’s authority on climate change) had used a Greenpeace campaigner to help write a key part of its report on renewable energy.

Many who follow the subject – and not just the usual climate change deniers – expressed concern that the IPCC, a body set up by the UN to provide scientific evidence for government decisions, had allowed itself to appear compromised by association.

This was then was compounded by a press release for the report which suggested that renewable sources alone, without nuclear power, could provide 77 per cent of the world’s energy supply by 2050.

The supporting documents, which weren’t released until over a month later, reveal that this claim was based on a large real-terms decline in worldwide energy consumption over the next 40 years (highly unrealistic as India and China grow their economies).

Greenpeace, of course, is passionately anti-nuclear.

Now it appears that there are more apparent conflicts of interest in the IPCC’s energy report.

Peter Bosshard, Policy Director of the campaign group International Rivers, contacted me to point out that the scenario for 77 per cent renewables included (against standard practice) large hydropower projects among the technologies to be promoted.

Most environmentalists believe that more large scale dams are not the right approach to generating electricity in a sustainable way.

While water is a renewable resource, the ecosystems that are destroyed by hydropower projects are not. Not least due to dam building, rivers, lakes and wetlands suffer from a higher rate of species extinction than any other major ecosystem.

Not only this but because of the decomposing organic matter found in reservoirs, dams emit greenhouse gases such as methane and CO2. In some cases, it is claimed, these emissions can be higher than those of thermal power projects with the same electricity output.

Ivan Lima of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research  estimate that the total methane emissions from large dams at 104 million tons per year.

Methane is a particularly potent greenhouse gas, and Lima’s figure amounts to more than 4 per cent of the total warming impact of human activities – roughly equal to the climate impact of the global aviation sector.

So why is the IPCC contravening international standard practice to promote hydropower?

Well this may be total coincidence but in addition to several independent scientists, the IPCC selected a number of authors to write the section of hydropower who have a vested interest in growing the sector.

Of the nine lead authors there are representatives of two of the world’s largest hydropower developers, a hydropower consultancy, and three agencies promoting hydropower at the national level.

As Peter Bosshard says: “The authors’ conflict of interest is reflected throughout the hydropower section of the report, which at times reads like a marketing brochure of the dam industry.”

So does all this matter? Well yes. Whether it likes it on not after Climategate the IPCC needs to be seen to be transparent or you just give succour to those who believe that global warming is one great conspiracy of the green movement.

Where possible those writing key sections of IPCC reports should have no real or perceived conflicts of interest even if that means reducing the vast numbers of people who currently contribute to such tomes.

Where it is not possible such conflicts need to be flagged up – and that means in the press release as well as in the footnotes.

It must never be dragged kicking and screaming out of the small print as has happened this time.

For more on this read the blog by environmental writer Mark Lynas (who, to avoid a conflict of interest, I should say I know) here.

Picture:EPA


  • sceptic64

    I replied to you, by the way, and would like to continue our discussion.

  • ecofeco

    I replied as well, but you have to scroll up one post as the system wouldn’t let me directly reply to your last post. We hit the end of the message nesting, so I posted as close as I could.

  • ecofeco

    All thermodynamic exchanges have time variables. These variables change with temperature, volume and pressure.

    As for the atmosphere being one great “radiator” that’s true to some extent, but there are also huge boundary layers and thermoclines that vary as well as trap gases. And the above conditions as well.

    This is basic high school science, people.

  • Guest

    Ecofeco is a cut and paster…he/she/it does not have much in the way of
    technical or scientific knowledge.
    In fact I find that the most ardent Believers have the no or low levels of
    scientific understanding…hence the
    success of the hoax.

  • Guest

    THERE HAS NEVER BEEN  PRESUMPTUOUS  SCIENTIFIC “EVIDENCE”  THROWN AT THE WORLD CITIZENS AS SCIENTIFICALLY  ABSURD  AS THOSE  ARRIVING FROM  GLOBAL WARMING (GW) RESEARCH DURING THE LAST12 YEARS OR SO YEARS.

    BUT IS THE RESEARCH  SIMPLY A HOAX?  NO, DEFINITELY NOT, AS A WHOLE , BUT  MUCH IS BEST DESCRIBED AS  “QUASI-SCIENTIFIC” RESEARCH.  THE ROTC IS A QUASI-MILITARY ORGANIZATION WHOSE ACTIVITIES  “APPEAR AS IF” THEY WERE MILITARY UNITS . THE ORGANIZATION IS A  NOT FALSE REPRESENTATION, RATHER THAT WHICH APPEARS “AS IF” IT WERE A FULL MILITARY SYSTEM– RATHER THAN A “PSEUDO-MILITARY” SYSTEM WHICH DESCRIBES VERY INTENTIONAL FALSE-MILITARY STATUS.  PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC ACTIONS AND STATEMENTS ARE LESS FREQUENT BUT HAS BEEN AN ABSOLUTE, OCCASIONAL OCCURRENCE NEAR THE VERY TOP ECHELONS OF GW RESEARCHERS.

    A PRIMARY  EXAMPLE OF THE QUASI-SCIENTIFIC APPROACH IS IN THE STRUCTURE OF GW  “PEER REVIEWS.”   PURE  SCIENCE REQUIRES THAT A GROUP OF “PEERS” APPROVE THE  RESEARCHER CLAIMS, BEFORE THESE CLAIMS CAN BE PUBLISHED IN ACCREDITED SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS.  IN ORDINARY SCIENTIFIC REVIEWS, THE REVIEWING EXPERTS MUST BE SCIENTIFICALLY QUALIFIED–AND UNBIASED– AND  NO CLOSE PERSONAL ASSOCIATION WITH THE AUTHORS.  

    THE IPCC IS THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE  IN CHARGE  OF “WATCH DOG” RESPONSIBILITIES  WITH THE GW RESEARCHERS. THE PROBLEM IS,  THAT THE IPCC  REVIEWERS  HAVE BEEN SHOWN MANY TIMES TO BE VERY BIASED IN TERMS OF APPROVING VERY QUESTIONABLE  WORK OF THE RESEARCHERS.  

    WHEN YOU CONSIDER THAT THE ICCP COMMITTEE IS FINANCIALLY INTEGRAL WITH THE RESEARCHERS, IN TERMS OF MAINTAINING THEIR HIGH PAYING GOVERNMENT JOBS–  ALONG WITH THE ENTIRE  NUMBER OF  WORLD-WIDE GW  PROPAGANDISTS, CLERICAL AND OTHER EMPLOYEES– AND  ALL ARE  TOTALLY DEPENDENT UPON  PANIC AMONG THE WORLD CITIZENS  TO REMAIN EMPLOYED– YOU BEGIN TO SEE WHY THE BIAS IS NOT SIMPLY POSSIBLE, BUT HAS BECOME VERY PROBABLE .

    A  CLIMATOLOGIST FRIEND OF MY FAMILY’S   SUGGESTED, “THE ICCP IS SIMPLY A PIT VIPER  STANDING ON OUR PATH WAITING FOR ANOTHER VICTIM.”  MY HUSBAND, A   RETIRED MULTIDISCIPLINARY  RESEARCHER REPLIED:   “WELL, THE ANALOGY IS  FAIRLY APT IF YOU REMEMBER THE SNAKE IS NOT AN EVIL, CONNIVING  BEAST, BUT ONLY ANOTHER CREATURES TRYING TO SURVIVE.”     

    IF THE WORLD  TAX PAYING CITIZEN,   WHO PAYS VIRTUALLY ALL  OF THE TABS,  DECIDED THE CLAIMS  OF GLOBAL WARMING RESEARCH SIMPLY WERE NOT BEING VALIDATED BY IMPARTIAL SCIENCE AND STOPPED PAYING FOR NON-SCIENTIFIC ALLEGATIONS — THE NUMBER OF  UNEMPLOYED CLIMATOLOGISTS AND ASSISTANTS WOULD BE ENORMOUS. THE NUMBERS OF CLIMATOLOGISTS WORKING WORLD WIDE WAS VASTLY AND ARTIFICIALLY INCREASED BY GW PROJECTS. WITHOUT THIS PANIC, THE NUMBER OF JOBS  NEEDED IS MINISCULE.

    ANSWER  HONESTLY: IF YOU NEW FOR SURE YOUR JOB WOULD BE GONE AND YOU WOULD BE THROWN INTO A STAGNANT CATEGORY WHERE THE NEED FOR YOUR SPECIALTY EXPERTISE WAS A ONE IN 80  RATIO–  MEANING 80 APPLICANTS FOR EACH JOB AVAILABLE– WOULD YOU NOT FUDGE ON FIGURES, REMOVING MANY LOW TEMPS TO ***INCREASE THE AVERAGE FIGURES GOING INTO THE RECORD BOOKS***; WOULD YOU NOT DO SO FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR FAMILY’S VERY GOOD INCOME?

    BUT IT IS AT THIS  POINT THE COVERT METHODOLOGY IS NO LONGER QUASI-SCIENTIFIC, IT HAS BECOME  PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC–EVEN THOUGH THE ACTS WERE PRO-FAMILY– BUT COMPLETELY ANTITHETICAL AND DECEITFUL TO A TRUSTING  SOCIETY.  

    THE FOLLOWING QUOTATION WAS PUBLISHED IN ‘DISCOVER’ MAGAZINE IN LATE 1989. IT WAS MADE BY A CLIMATE RESEARCHER,  STEPHEN  SCHNEIDER, A MAN WHO EARLIER  HAD BEEN TRYING TO GET FEDERAL SUBSIDY TO STUDY “THE SOON ARRIVING  ICE AGE”. THIS QUOTE IS KNOWN BY SKEPTICAL SCIENTISTS AS “THE PREAMBLE TO THE GLOBAL WARMING CONSTITUTION:”  

    ” {GW RESEARCH}  SCIENTISTS SHOULD CONSIDER  STRETCHING

    THE TRUTH TO GET SOME BROAD-BASED SUPPORT, TO CAPTURE

    THE PUBLIC’S IMAGINATION.  THAT, OF COURSE, ENTAILS

    GETTING LOADS OF MEDIA COVERAGE.  SO WE HAVE TO OFFER

    UP SCARY SCENARIOS.  MAKE SIMPLIFIED, DRAMATIC

    STATEMENTS, AND MAKE LITTLE MENTION ABOUT ANY DOUBTS WE

    MIGHT HAVE . . . EACH OF US {TAX SUPPORTED

    GW RESEARCHERS}  HAS TO DECIDE WHAT THE RIGHT BALANCE IS

    BETWEEN BEING EFFECTIVE AND BEING HONEST.”

    DOES ANY OF THE ABOVE SOUND VAGUELY  LIKE SCIENCE TO YOU?  LET ME OFFER A HINT:  THIS DESERVES THE NAME “SCIENCE” IN THE VERY SAME  SENSE THAT VOODOO, ASTROLOGY AND BANK ROBBERY  DESERVE THE NAME “SCIENCE.”  THE WORD “SCIENCE” DERIVES FROM THE LATIN “SCRIE,” MEANING “TO KNOW”.THE DICTIONARY SHOWS NO ALTERNATE MEANING OF “TO LIE”.

    STEPHEN SCHNEIDER IS A CAREER PUBLIC TROUGH DINER, CLIMATE RESEARCHER  AND THE PRIME CHOREOGRAPHER OF THE GLOBAL WARMING BALLET.  SCHNEIDER HAS YET TO SEE THAT VERIFIABLE FACTS NEED NO SUPPORT FROM BUREAUCRATIC LIES OR CORRUPT AND SYCOPHANTIC MEDIA FRAUD.

    THIS COVERT DISHONESTY IS  NO LONGER QUASI-SCIENTIFIC IT HAS BECOME  PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC– WHERE THE TASK OF GW RESEARCHERS  IS TO PRESENT ONLY  BAD NEWS, AND HIDE THE GOOD NEWS. THEY SERVE ONLY THE GW ENTHUSIASTS. THINK ABOUT IT: HAVE YOU HEARD OF  ONE SUBATOMIC PARTICLE OF POSITIVE  NEWS FROM THEM?  

    JUST ONE EXAMPLE: MICHAEL MANN’S ATTEMPT AT RIDDING  THE HERETOFORE UNQUESTIONED  EVIDENCE OF THE MEDIEVAL WARM PERIOD (MWP)  FROM THE CLIMATOLOGICAL AND GENERAL HISTORIC RECORDS– HE, OF COURSE FAILED MISERABLY– IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NO MORE DIFFICULT THAN, SAY, PROVING THAT ROME DID NOT EXIST DURING THE MEDIEVAL GEOLOGICAL PERIOD. 

    MANN’S  SILLY ATTEMPT TO AIR BRUSH THE MWP RESULTED IN THE WORLD-WIDE LOSS  OF CONFIDENCE IN GW CLAIMS.  AMONG FRIENDLY, BUT NOT COMPLETELY  CONVINCED SCIENTISTS LOSSES WERE HUGE–SINCE MANN BASED THE WHOLE GW CONCEPT ON THE ABSENCE  OF ANY  WARMER-THAN-TODAY PERIOD. MOREOVER,  AND DEADLY TO GW FANS–  DURING THE MWP THERE WAS ZERO INCREASE IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2.   

    IF THIS GROUP WANTS RESPECT, THIS IS WHERE THEY NEED TO START.


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