Friday, March 23, 2007

The IPCC’s famous ‘2500 top scientists’

Activists, quacks, flakes and flaks

ell, maybe not all of them fit this description, but Lawrence Solomon’s The Deniers - Part XVI provides some excellent insights into who does.

Given that previous IPCC reports placed such emphasis on the heightened danger, due to global warming, of mosquito-borne malaria one would think the IPCC might consider appointing someone from that field to oversee writing of future report(s). Prof. Paul Reiter, head of the Insects and Infectious Diseases Unit at the Pasteur Institute, was nominated for the job of lead author of the next health chapter. But he was passed over and he’s quoted explaining why:

"I know of no major scientist with any long record in this field who agrees with the pronouncements of the alarmists at the IPCC."

"On the contrary, all of us who work in the field are repeatedly stunned by the IPCC pronouncements. We protest, but are rarely quoted, and if so, usually as a codicil to the scary stuff."

In the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report it was claimed, for example, that global warming could lead to 80 million additional deaths per year world-wide. Prof. Reiter and his colleagues were "dumbfounded" by the "glaring ignorance" of the IPCC scientists. So who were they?

Not one of the lead authors had ever written a research paper on the subject! Moreover, two of the authors, both physicians, had spent their entire career as environmental activists.

"Among the contributing authors there was one .... whose principal interest was the effectiveness of motorcycle crash helmets (plus one paper on the health effects of cellphones)."

And Prof. Reiter raises another very serious complaint against the IPCC - the corruption of the peer-review process. Peer-review is intended to ensure scientific rigor and integrity. Ordinarily peer-reviewers’ names are kept confidential while the deliberations of authors being critiqued are made public. The IPCC reverses this:

"The peer reviewers have to give their names to the authors, but the deliberations of the authors are strictly confidential." In effect, the science is spun, disagreements purged, and results predetermined.

So, the IPCC’s "top scientists" are anything but and they’ve corrupted the process to boot! But I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised - this is the U.N. after all.

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