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« HSI review at Zone 5 | Main | New consensus: IPCC is dumb »

Lynas on the IPCC

Mark Lynas has posted an article on the IPCC/Greenpeace shambles:

The IPCC must urgently review its policies for hiring lead authors – and I would have thought that not only should biased ‘grey literature’ be rejected, but campaigners from NGOs should not be allowed to join the lead author group and thereby review their own work. There is even a commercial conflict of interest here given that the renewables industry stands to be the main beneficiary of any change in government policies based on the IPCC report’s conclusions. Had it been an oil industry intervention which led the IPCC to a particular conclusion, Greenpeace et al would have course have been screaming blue murder.


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Reader Comments (62)

Comments welcomed at Mark Lynas' blog.

Jun 15, 2011 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

This is again a disgrace again. But will the MSM report upon the enormity of the issue that eco-propoganda is masquerading as scientific literature to determine policy (that is what's happening here isn't it)?

Jun 15, 2011 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

The IPCC whose 'evidence' Mark Lynas used for his best-selling alarmist book '6 Degrees'?

Jun 15, 2011 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

The IPCC must urgently review its policies for firing lead authors too.

Jun 15, 2011 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

C'mon, be fair. Many of us have had conversions from believer or luke warmer to sceptic after learning more. Lynas now seems to be undergoing the same conversion based on new evidence he's found. This is the correct scientific way and should be encouraged.

Jun 15, 2011 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Welcome to the Dark Side, Mr Lynas. Can we expect some retractions now..?


Jun 15, 2011 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Mark Lynas apparently wants a bob each way on this particular horse - he is still a believer in the renewables myth but is upset that the IPCC has behaved badly apropos Greenpeace in formulating this report,
He also beieves that Pachauri has credibility and damns Steve McIntyre with faint praise - 'he got it right THIS TIME'. I suspect Lynas is still in denial that Mann's hockey stick has been very thoroughly debunked.
Lynas obviously does not realise that corruption is like pregnancy, an all-or-nothing proposition - no-one can be just a little bit corrupt.

Jun 15, 2011 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K


But we can claim ignorance!

Jun 15, 2011 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

We'll be having a situation where a graduate in English can help write and draft, Climate Change act legislation in Britain.

Well, knock me down wiv a feather, who'd a thunk it?

Jun 15, 2011 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

"We'll be having a situation where a graduate in English can help write and draft, Climate Change act legislation in Britain."

And given a Life Peerage for her "services" to Eddie Milipede! (Baroness Worthington)

Jun 15, 2011 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

At this juncture, I hereby quote Delingpole:

First Al Gore admitted it. Now it’s Monbiot’s turn. Tomorrow, in a ceremony on Luneberg Heath an ashen-faced Oberstgruppenfuhrer Monbiot will be handing over his baton, his pearl handled Luger and his death’s head fruit-paring knife to General Delingpole in token of his abject, total, humiliating surrender in the great Climate Wars.

“Tell you what, old man. Why don’t you put this to good use? We’ll all look the other way,” General Delingpole will reply, sliding the Luger back across the table towards Monbiot, together with a couple of rounds (just in case he misses first time) (hollow tipped, just to be absolutely sure of the right results).

“Nein, danke. I hef some hemlock. Organically grown on my estates in Mid Wales. It vill be a shame I never live to see ze vind farms blossom all over ze hills near my Heimat in Machynlleth. Ach, such pleasure it vould hef given me to see ze birds, mashed to a pulp by ze spinning blades, und ze sorrow of all ze people nearby whose properties hef been devalued and whose nights made sleepless, und ze taxpayers’ money sluicing into ze wind farm owners’ pockets and ze thin smile playing on ze sinister lips of Reichsfuhrer Huhne…”

“Are you done, Monbiot old boy? Only some of us really do have better things to do than listening to you rambling incoherently a minute longer. God knows your Comment Macht Frei drivel has been a sore enough trial this last decade or more.”



“Who did that? Was it you, Morano? North? Booker? McIntyre? McKitrick? Bolt? LaFramboise? Id? Watts? Montford? Breitbart? Warner? Nova? Horner?…….”

“I think it might have been all of us, sir.”

“Jolly good. Carry on.”

Jun 15, 2011 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Mark Lynas has made a comfortable living out of alarmism.

Carbon Counter: Calculate Your Carbon Foot Print

High Tide: How Climate Crisis is Engulfing Our Planet: News from a Warming World

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet

The God Species: How the Planet Can Survive the Age of Humans: How Humanity Can Change the Earth

All available from good bookshops.

Jun 15, 2011 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Just remember everybody: climate policy is energy policy.

This little slip by WG3 is what it's all about now. The Great Renewables Lie vs Nuclear.

Jun 15, 2011 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

You can't blame intelligent people for planning their exit strategy from the impending CAGW train wreck -- Monbiot jumped after Fukushima, now Lynas has prepared his parachute.

Let's not forget what they said in the past, though.

Jun 15, 2011 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Bob Ward has appeared in PollyAnna mode, but Mark is sticking to his guns.

Bring beer and popcorn.

Jun 15, 2011 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterDead Dog Bounce

Sorry - this 'impending CAGW train wreck' meme is beyond bizarre. It really isn't like that out there. Belief has never been stronger.

And Monbiot hasn't stopped believing in the consensus - he has simply woken up to the fact that the anti-nuclear greens are flat-out liars. And about bloody time too.

Jun 15, 2011 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Mark Lynas - Maldives Climate Change Advisor,
Board of Campaign Against Climate Change, with aDENIERS hall of Shame, and sends out sceptic alerts about Bishop Hill

Jun 15, 2011 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Thanks Barry. I mentioned tears in an earlier post about greens needing to take responsibility. I wasn't joking.

Jun 15, 2011 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Re Dead Dog Bounce

My money's on Lynas, but watching the Bob defend the indefensible is always amusing. Lemme think, the Bob is a PR person for an institute funded by Grantham who had been writing about renewables being the next big bubble. The Bob is hardly unconflicted.

In other news, neither the BBC nor the Grauniad appear to have noticed the Solar story. Or they're still in a crisis meeting trying to figure out what it means, how to spin it or what it may mean for the Black/Jones story. Think we may need more beer and popcorn!

Jun 15, 2011 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

You are right, Mac. Alarmists are no doubt sincere in their advocacy in their first phase; this eventually grows to a (adult) phase where the value of the evidence that lends support to their alarm is realized, and appreciated. This then leads to the third phase (of horror) where it is realized that the evidence is worthless as it was based on advocacy material, in the first place.

The very strength of belief in the soundness of his own case makes Lynas open his eyes only to see that what's visible weakens it.

There are extreme examples of this phenomenon within the IPCC. Case in point: Consider the Himalayan glaciers example that happened to Fred Pearce, a while back. Another prolific writer of alarmist environmental tracts, Pearce, interviewed Syed Hasnain in the late 90s about the supposed imminent and catastrophic melting of the Himalayan glaciers and put it down in a New Scientist article. Hasnain's claims eventually made its way right up to the IPCC report, and horror of horrors, Pearce found the text referenced back to his own interview via the cited WWF report.

Indeed, there are systemic reasons for why this type of thing should repeat itself over and over again. As Richard North observed (in a slightly different context but very much true of the IPCC in general), the IPCC is precisely a mechanism for a vast body of grey literature (and the contained claims) for queue-jumping. That is, if a body of work is still young and evolving, and the members working in that area are but few (as in, it is not financially or administratively renumerate, or otherwise simply impossible to have a comity of peers to review their own work in their own published journals), how would its members hope to influence society and reach out from credible platforms?

And since, this is broadly the area of environmental science and climate science, it must be remembered: what their activists and supporters make the most noise about almost always turns out to be their own worst weakness.

Look at what Realclimate had to say about the use of advocacy material in the IPCC:

Reports by non-governmental organizations like the WWF can be used (as in the Himalaya glacier and Amazon forest cases) but any information from them needs to be carefully checked (this guideline was not followed in the former case).

Reports from WWF can be used, if their information is 'checked'? Checked against what? Why not quote directly from the source then?

What is unsaid here is this: WWF, and Greenpeace have mastered the ability of turning plausible environmental scenarios into terrifying visions of collapse and destruction. That is why, Realclimate, and the IPCC will not give up on them.

Jun 15, 2011 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

I tried to get an answer to this over at CA but my comment was deleted, after watching the Sri-Lanken killing fields last night on channel 4 and realising that the UN simply walked away from all those innocent civilians I have a question, can anyone tell me what is the point of the UN? really I have no idea.

Jun 15, 2011 at 3:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva


Sorry - this 'impending CAGW train wreck' meme is beyond bizarre.

Sorry - this rudeness from someone using a pseudonym to someone calling themselves 'Rick Bradford' is the thing that is beyond bizarre. Wash your mouth out, whoever you are.

Jun 15, 2011 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Mark Lynas has said he'll read the HSI if someone sends him a free copy.

I've offered to post him mine if he emails me an address, but an approach from the author rather than a possibly-random-maniac poster might be more successful.

Jun 15, 2011 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

"Mark Lynas has said he'll read the HSI if someone sends him a free copy"

I'd have thought as an author publishing in this area he'd fall over himself to buy a copy to inform his work and support a fellow writer....

Jun 15, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

I've agreed to get Mark a copy of HSI and deliver it to him at OUCE, so that is taken care of.

Jun 15, 2011 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Jones

He's got one on it's way. Points for considering it, and more points if he reads it.

Jun 15, 2011 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

Ah - I think ML has just been deluged with offers of copies of HSI! I offered one too.

Jun 15, 2011 at 4:38 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The conspiracy theorists would say it's all a secret plot by the Bishop to increase royalties :)

Jun 15, 2011 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I wouldn't hand him my dog-eared copy. I'm hoping to get it signed one day.

Jun 15, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Richard Drake

You are not making sense, which is unusual.

Jun 15, 2011 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

He's gonna make a fortune flogging those HSI's on eBay.

Jun 15, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterFergalR

@Jun 15, 2011 at 3:36 PM | Shevva


At least the UN are consistent.

Sri- Lanka? Cambodia? Rwanda? Bosnia? Darfur?

Got to keep the tyrants and despots happy, you know!

Jun 15, 2011 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

But, isn't the HSI next to 'Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems' on the list of forbidden books? What will happen next? Will Paul Nurse cast doubt on the scientific consensus about phlogiston?

Jun 15, 2011 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT


Agreed, but meanwhile the IPCC deliberately sets out to influence global energy policy in the wrong direction as dictated by a Greenpeace employee and the vested interests of the European renewables industry.

This is just too much. There must be immediate consequences: the first of which is that the report be withdrawn.

But as ever, the worst damage is done. The MSM has trumpeted the totally misleading and nonsensical statement that 80% of global energy demand can be met by renewables by 2050.

The lie is loose.

Jun 15, 2011 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


And it doesn't matter. CAGW is too big to fail.

Greenpeace activists could be photographed clubbing puppies to death, or being rude to Dame Judi Dench, or snorting cocaine off hookers' crotches through a rolled-up copy of MBH98 while Pachauri takes the photos and Bob Ward stands there and lies about it. It will not make one single iota of difference - current energy policy will continue.

Jun 15, 2011 at 7:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Ah, J4R... 'oft thought, but ne'er so well express'd'.

Jun 15, 2011 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Phillip and I have something in common:

I wouldn't hand him my dog-eared copy. I'm hoping to get it signed one day.
Jun 15, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Peter Walsh

Jun 15, 2011 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW


CAGW is too big to fail.

Do we know the future with that level of certainty? I don't. I fight to win. And I appreciate those who increase morale wherever possible, within the bounds of reality.

I currently am on a track of a putative list of things the pseudonymous should not do. This is another one. I'll find a name for it later.

But I don't think any of us, pseudonymous or fully known, should predict a negative future on this of all days. Steve McIntyre has done something quite wonderful. The impact is being felt very widely. We can only hope that 'CAGW' will now decline to a movement of neglible world influence, a bit like the Soviet bloc before it.

Jun 15, 2011 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Drake

I currently am on a track of a putative list of things the pseudonymous should not do. This is another one. I'll find a name for it later.

1. Everyone here has a right to say what they want so long as it is not offensive to BH

2. Everyone here has the right to anonymity

3. You are straying into very dangerous territory

Jun 15, 2011 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Chill, chaps. I thnk CAGW has already failed. I know there are buckets of vested money stashed away somewhere, but I can hearing the fat lady warming up.

This is an amazing story, and really very heartening. Nice one, Mark, and happy reading.

Jun 15, 2011 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

I can hear the fat lady. Not hearing. Can't type for toffee.

Jun 15, 2011 at 10:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh


The impact is being felt very widely.

No it's not. It's exciting sceptic bloggers, but that's all. The MSM, the IPCC, the UN, the BBC, the Royal Society, UEA, and Uncle Tom Cobley couldn't give a stuff. It's a non-story.

I'm reminded of stories of Russians in the Gulag, who said to each other in outrage, "If only we could get word to Stalin of what's going on in this place!"

Same thing. It's not in any way news that an IPCC report is full of lies and bu11shit. The above all know that, and they don't care because they don't have to. They've brazened out worse than this. The scientific consensus still agrees with them. The Society of American Pediatricians is still on board. The science is still settled.

This is one of those cases where you can know the future by looking at the present. And in my considered judgment CAGW, and the taxes and surveillance it not only excuses but actually morally requires, is so desirable to governments that it is too big to fail. Not a government in the world says its ba11s. Not a political party aspiring to govern in the world says it's ba11s. Not even the GOP taken as a whole. Nowhere on earth is there a government that can be voted out and replaced with a sceptic one. It's like those Soviet "elections" where all the candidates are Communists.

Galileo was right, but Galileo didn't end the Church. There are more Catholics alive now than there were then. He was right, they arranged to forget they ever disagreed, and so they still get to tell people they're going to hell. Galileo didn't win. The Church won.

Jun 15, 2011 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

I have a new post at Climate Etc. on the subject of this thread

Jun 15, 2011 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJudith Curry

I'm afraid the details are somewhat irrelevant at this point because the damage is done. The press release cherry picked the least sound scientific claim because it clearly had the greatest soundbite appeal; the MSM grazed and moved on to to pastures greener, and they won't be back this way again.

Meanwhile the AGW crowd will contend that the press release was inconsequential and will fight you on the point that just one of many lead authors works for Greenpeace. This will be seen as just another dud shot across the bows by the deniers and the world at large will be none the wiser.

The AGW crowd would be wrong, though - if this has planted the seed of doubt in just one person's mind then it's been a worthwhile exercise. And it clearly has.

Jun 15, 2011 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterNick Milner

Unfortunately, I have to agree with you J4R. CAGW is too big a bandwagon to get derailed by facts.
Sad but true!

Jun 15, 2011 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

It causes me great pain to write this. There is one part of the UK MSM that can halt J4R's prognosis.

It is The Sun newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Once the masses understand why their fuel bill are soaring, and cheap shots are readily available at the German Gov'ts of this century, it won't take much to shift MP's allegiances.

It is already happening in the US Republican party, and the UK has been known to follow the US lead.

Saving the world, it was the Sun wot dunnit! That it should come to this, speaks volumes about the institutional corruption now endemic

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:08 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

What a day.

Earlier I was at the Legatum Institute to hear Professor Paul Collier debate his latest book The Plundered Planet with Julian Morris. Paul is Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford and his evolving view of environmentalism and Africa is fascinating. We first met three years ago when I interviewed him for an 'ethical lifestyle' magazine about his first book, The Bottom Billion. He seemed genuinely interested in the DDT story, which he has never looked into. I'm convinced that it is only Out of Africa that we'll receive proper perspective on these two giant issues, malaria control and climate change, and much else besides.

What Judith Curry says in the post she links to above is immense, as usual.

I predict that your actually reading the Hockey Stick Illusion and mentioning it on your blog will get you removed from RealClimate’s blogroll.

That's to Mark Lynas of course, another known person who has certainly got some reputation risk to think about, as that final paragraph spells out.

Steve McIntyre. Andrew Montford. Mark Lynas. Leo Hickman. George Monbiot. Judith Curry. Roger Pielke. Jonathan Jones. Sven Teske. Rajendra Pachauri. And so on. The story is so rich, partly because it involves such a cast, all of whose reputations are on the line.

To use one's real name on blogs like this is a signal that the time for fear is over and that this, like every battle, requires sacrifice. We're not as oppressed as 'Russians in the Gulag' - in fact most of us have avoided that level of suffering all our lives. The odd career might go up in smoke but our freedom was won at a far greater price than that. It's time to play our part.

Jun 16, 2011 at 2:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Plenty of people make poor arguments using their real name.

Jun 16, 2011 at 3:43 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Richard, I posted earlier supporting J4R. The comment must have just gotten chewed up.

I don't want my career to go up in smoke. I am my family's sole breadwinner at the moment. I make huge sacrifices, at the moment, to be able to participate in the climate change debate.

Indeed, involvement in this highly time-wasting nonsensical 'debate' is in itself an enormous sacrifice, whether it be under one's real name or otherwise. I challenge anyone in the forum who reads or posts regularly, who can say otherwise. When I stepped up and got sucked in, about two years, I wondered every moment: 'Am I making a mistake?'. I have gotten into stuff like this before. I have sunk ample amounts of time in other highly-charged public debates in the past - those involving religious fundamentalism and the Iraq War, to quote two examples. It only brings great personal misery - which is not per se such a bad thing. The problem, is that it brings nothing else. No cash in the pocket, no recognition, no nothing.

Observe the latest post on my blog: it is about the Climateworks organization, a small story I did about a year back. A year later now, Matthew Nisbet a climate professor basically does the same material in his report and gets $100,000 to do it. Observe the present episode: The Independent in the UK has picked up the IPCC-Greenpeace story, because it can quote Mark Lynas.

But the call to come and be here, in the debate, is strong, and I (we) answer to that call. Who I am, is not important. It may however be important to those we are up against. And these charged exchanges will not work wonders with prospective employers and other sundry officials who hold the fate of one's life in their hands. Everybody uses Google.

Internet name handles have been around forever, anyway. Why this sudden aversion inside the climate arena?

Jun 16, 2011 at 4:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

To those here who think the battle is already lost, I say don’t give up yet. Whilst the CAGW crowd still dominate the agenda, things are, albeit very slowly at this stage, steadily turning. Whilst “Climategate” and episodes such as this Mark Lynas article have been useful, the real game changer will come, as was always going to be the case, when the general public realise just how much this is all going to cost them and the little return they will get for that cost. That’s when they will look closer at what is going on and start shouting. In my experience, most of those ordinary people I meet, and I meet loads, don’t believe in CAGW anyway. It’s looked on as a bit of a joke and something for somebody else to worry about and not them. Somebody else’s problem. Most have no clue about how it’s already affecting their wallets and their lives and what’s coming their way soon. However, that’s now changing. The MSM is printing quite a bit recently about the cost and effectiveness of “renewable” energy and I believe that will become more frequent and widespread in the coming months. The “Sun” was mentioned up-thread. Well, Trevor Kavanagh (yes, I do sometimes read the “Sun”) had a few lines of criticism about the cost and reliability of wind power earlier this week. A small step, but a sign of things to come. Once the public really start getting stroppy, watch our glorious leaders tread on each others backs as they scramble to jump ship.

As for Mark Lynas, whilst this isn’t going to turn him into a sceptic, it may just make him look that little bit closer at things in the future (including some of that WG1 science) and that can be no bad thing. I really don’t mind if someone is a “warmist” as long as they have looked into things and made their own mind up and not just taken somebody else’s word for it. As someone posted somewhere the other day, that’s the beauty of humanity, we can all look at the same evidence and come to different conclusions. Long may it remain so.

Finally, whilst I fully understand Richard’s wish for everyone to openly declare who they really are, we all know that not everybody either can or would want to, for a million different reasons. I really don’t think it matters. Sorry Richard. Generally, you make good sense and your comments are always well worth reading, but, on this one, I’m afraid you’re wrong ;) For what it’s worth though, my real name is Laurie Childs. I use my initials for two reasons. 1, I’m lazy. 2, My name wouldn’t mean anything to any of you. None of you will have ever heard of me :)

Jun 16, 2011 at 5:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterLC

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