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The WGII battle begins

With the Working Group II conference beginning today, upholders of the global warming consensus are drawing their knives to deal with inconvenient dissenters. The BBC's Matt McGrath describes the state of affairs here, revealing that Richard Tol has asked his name to be removed from the draft because of rampant alarmism that has been inserted:

[Tol] was involved in drafting the summary but has now asked for his name to be removed from the document.

"The message in the first draft was that through adaptation and clever development these were manageable risks, but it did require we get our act together," he told BBC News.

"This has completely disappeared from the draft now, which is all about the impacts of climate change and the four horsemen of the apocalypse. This is a missed opportunity."

In response Bob Ward is trying the fallacy of the trivial objection as a way to attack Tol.

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Reader Comments (35)

name to be revealed from the draft

"removed"..? [Done, thanks. BH]

Mar 25, 2014 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterPogo

How does Ward sleep at night ?

Mar 25, 2014 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

"How does Ward sleep at night ?"

Presumably by counting his big salary.

Mar 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

I am a bit confused. Richard Tol's name was not on the draft of the WG2 SPM that was leaked back in November. So Matt McGrath saying that he 'has now asked for his name to be removed' does not make much sense. Maybe RT can clarify?

Mar 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

The document does not contain the words 'pause' or 'hiatus'.

Mar 25, 2014 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterP Dean

"How does Ward sleep at night ?"

Hanging from the rafters by his feet?

Mar 25, 2014 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Catley

While throwing another American sourced log of wood on his fire!


Mar 25, 2014 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Fear not. Jon Snow of Channel4 News will be reporting on the scene from Greenland.

Mar 25, 2014 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Schneider

Andrew Lilico has been reading the leaked report and writes that it is steering the debate away from mitigation towards adaptation.

Mar 25, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Chris Field's clear alarmist bias contradicts everything we know from history about warm periods producing better crops, more prosperity, longer skeletons and longer life expectancy - all based on pessimistic models that he well knows are not even remotely fit for the task. Clearly this is a reaction to the optimistic notion that Matt Ridley put forward that some warming is good for us, which Arhennius and Callendar also believed. Good grief he can't have optimism running rampant. And of course there is a nice justification for the exclusion of facts provided by Dr Petersen who states that they are only interested in risks so they ignore anything that doesn't point to a risk; ie all available observations and human experience.

Mar 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

So the AGW extremists are going to drive even the IPCC into irrelevancy.

Mar 25, 2014 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

More on Tol.
Climate change is BIG BUSINESS to these people and their backers.
This is going to get nasty or should I say even nastier.

Mar 25, 2014 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterc777

Tol is a glutton for punishment. he reminds me of folks who stay in the Catholic Church but endlessly complain about its lack of democracy. It is 19 years now since he stood alone at the reconvened WG3 plenary in a failed attempt to defend the chapter he mostly wrote. A PhD candidate abandoned by all including his supervisor, still he held out, never giving his consent to the summary of his chapter, the result of which was that both sides of the 'price of life' controversy agreed that the only solution was to remove the chapter from the report. It stayed...and so did Tol.

Mar 25, 2014 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBerniel

The edits in the leaked draft, marked in blue, show that the alarmism and political activism is being ramped up.

"recognizing that there are limits to adaptation" inserted into first paragraph.

New definition inserted
"Hazard: The potential occurrence of a natural or human-induced physical event or trend, or physical impact, that may cause loss of life, injury, or other health impacts, as well as damage and loss to property, infrastructure, livelihoods, service provision, and environmental resources. In this report, the term hazard usually refers to climate related physical events or trends or their physical impacts"

Sentence about 'although ... burden of ill-health from climate change is relatively small' deleted, etc...

Mar 25, 2014 at 1:18 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Now now.

@Paul M
My name was on the ZOD, FOD and SOD, but not on the FGD or DD.

Mar 25, 2014 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Tol

Tol really should have known better. It's not as if it's his first involvement with the alarmists. Their target is always to own the executive summary.


Mar 25, 2014 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

Well, Tol, Betts (and a few others) are the 'change-the-system-from-the-inside'rs.

Mar 25, 2014 at 2:22 PM | Registered Commentershub

The story is here:

Mar 25, 2014 at 2:28 PM | Registered Commentershub

RT, thanks for clarifying, I didn't realise there were so many versions!

I have written a blog on how what RT calls the DD (March) is more alarmist than the FGD (Nov).

Mar 25, 2014 at 2:31 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Richard Tol:

My name was on the ZOD, FOD and SOD, but not on the FGD or DD.

Glad that's cleared that up then.


Tol really should have known better. It's not as if it's his first involvement with the alarmists. Their target is always to own the executive summary.

But think about the highly related treatment of extreme events in WG1. There both the main text and the summaries were far better than before, allowing Roger Pielke Jr to really sock it to them in the Guardian and elsewhere. Whatever the aims of the worst alarmists good people in the mix can make a difference. And sometimes they can't. Individual choice, based on individual assessment of the trade-offs, and individual conscience has to be paramount in such a complex mashup of good and bad. Bottom line: I very much appreciate Richard. Don't forget he doesn't get paid for all this and his protest got invaluable coverage on the Beeb. It's a shortsighted army that shoots its wounded.

Mar 25, 2014 at 3:05 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Interesting take by Andrew Lilico on the Telegraph blogs. V. upbeat

Mar 25, 2014 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Geronimo, Lilico has got that wrong. WG2 are talking about adaptation because that word is in their title.
In fact they are downplaying it, see the edit I mentioned above.

Does anyone have a link to the older, fod or zod versions, ie the ones RT was happy to put his name to? (thats not the version posted here in Nov)

Mar 25, 2014 at 4:20 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Now here's a funny thing

If you click on the link in the BBC Matt McGrath article labelled 'Science of climate change', you get a 404 error 'Page Not Found'

Heaven forfend that the BBC is reconsidering its position

Mar 25, 2014 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterHorshamBren

The significance of Lilico's take is that he's an economist taken seriously by the so-called modernisers in the Establishment, both Conservative and Labour, and on the BBC political radar. Up till fairly recently those modernisers were pushing eco-sustainability and the renewable economic revolution. Mitigation was formerly a politically unacceptable word.

Mar 25, 2014 at 5:03 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Damn! Adaptation I meant, not mitigation! He's effectively overturned the Stern conclusions which were the bedrock of previous policy.

Mar 25, 2014 at 5:25 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Mar 25, 2014 at 2:22 PM | shub
"Well, Tol, Betts (and a few others) are the 'change-the-system-from-the-inside'rs."

Absolutely. And if CAGW is to be tamed, such insiders are very much needed. However valid their crticisms, those outside of a dominant cultural entity generally have no power-base from which to challenge it; this has been a problem for Climate skeptics. Thus early progress in taming such cultures often has to come from the more enlightened folks *inside* the culture, especially those who risk links / communication to the outside challengers.

Mar 25, 2014 at 7:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy West

I much admire Richard Tol; his ethical stance is as wide as Judy Curry's.

Mar 25, 2014 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"I much admire Richard Tol; his ethical stance is as wide as Judy Curry's."
Mar 25, 2014 at 8:02 PM kim

Entirely agree. Strength and honour to Dr. Tol.

Mar 25, 2014 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichieP

A leaked draft of the summary, seen by the BBC, points to a range of negative effects that will, in some instances, be "irreversible".

Millions of people living in coastal areas in Asia will be affected by flooding, and displaced due to land loss.

The draft says that crop yields around the world will decline by up to 2% per decade for the rest of the century.

If the world warms by 4C towards the end of this century, this will pose a "significant risk to food security even with adaptation".

The summary says that in the near term, at levels of warming that scientists say we are already committed to, there is a very high risk to Arctic sea ice and coral reefs.

They warn that the oceans will become more acidic as they warm, and species will move towards the poles to escape the heat.

It is just a rehash of the propaganda previously regurgitated, a load of puke really.

Rewriting, redrafting, sexing up the dossier - it's a f**king charade as is the IPCC. Once again, I ask, why are western governments still funding these charlatans?

Mar 25, 2014 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

I've just seen an expose of world food prices on Channel 4. Not only is there a somewhat anti-development, anti-human underlying message that poorer countries demanding better food is increasing prices for us Westerners, the presenter blathered on about how climate change is predicted by "scientists" to cause coffee-destroying viruses in Ethiopia which will send coffee prices soaring. Well apart from any sane person thinking "ok so they might have to reduce their 1000% markup on a latte?", he conveniently overlooked the salient fact that if the world really was warming up to that extent then there would be fewer frosts in Brazil - which is the real driver of world coffee price.

This is the playbook of the climate change alarmist;
a) Point to some trivial potential problem based on predictions from folk who have never predicted anything at all correctly using models that don't even have such a regional capability in the first place.
b) Ignore the actual temperature,and weather records of the region that tell you that nothing unusual is happening there anyway.
c) Ignore the rather more important and certain benefit of present or future warming that needs no modelling.
d) Hey presto you have a typical impacts report.
e) Apply for the next grant to produce yet another useless report.

Mar 25, 2014 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Believers of global warming consensus propaganda are now retreating in disarray.

If the Sun enters another of its cyclic quiet periods, they may face harsh retaliation.

Original leaders of this 68-year (2014 - 1946) deception are mostly dead, and the public would not benefit by retaliation against recent advocates of lock-step consensus propaganda, disguised as science.

With kind regards,
- Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

Mar 26, 2014 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterOliver K. Manuel

I agree with Dr. John Christy: The climate debate has now evolved into a moral issue.

The survival of mankind will be at stake if the Sun moves into another cyclic period of low activity !

Mar 26, 2014 at 12:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterOliver K. Manuel

Yes, JamesG: it looks as though climastrology is growing in influence. Astrology first began as an overall, general, cryptic foretelling of things to come, usually in the not-too-distant future, based upon the position of celestial bodies (I wonder if it has its origins in noticing the stars preceding the seasons? Just a thought…); it has since moved to vague futures for individuals on a daily basis. So climastrology is doing the same, from general, vague-but-alarming predictions for the world in the distant future, to general, more specific (but still alarming) predictions for stated areas in the nearer future, all based upon computer “models”. How soon before the papers publish what alarming weather could be happening in your area in a few years’ time, based upon “models”?

Mar 26, 2014 at 1:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

How does Ward sleep?

Zombies don't need to sleep.

Holdren is another climate "science" zombie attack sheep.

"That includes the Obama administration’s science czar John Holdren, who routinely propagates the theory that the drought in the western United States is a symptom of climate change. Pielke mocked Holdren in February after the White House adviser called the relationship “one of the better understood dimensions . . . between global climate change and extreme weather.”

“The zombies will always be with us,” Pielke tweeted in response. “But it is brazen for zombie science to show up in the White House!”

Mar 26, 2014 at 3:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterNick

And it reaches the Daily Mail -

Mar 26, 2014 at 6:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

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