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I realised my suggestion to review AR5 might not go down very well...
Let me fisk that a little bit, Richard, if I may.
The Himalayan Glaciers error was "a minor matter", "a typographical error". Or, if your name is Pachauri, it is 100% correct and anyone who disputes it is engaging in "voodoo science".
There clearly was not enough scrutiny so what happened? The InterAcademy Council recommended an Executive Committee with individuals from outside the IPCC or even outside the climate science community. The response: "**** off!" They also recommended that conflict of interest problems should be addressed. Response: "OK but not until after AR5 is out."
At least if people make comments and they are ignored, but they then turn out to be right, the IPCC authors can't claim nobody pointed it out
Yes they can, or better still they can be just ignored, which is marginally more grown up than sticking your fingers in your ears and singing "la-la-la, can't hear you" very loudly, which is RealClimate's method.
And I'm sorry but critics are not in a strong position because those people who ought to be prepared to give them a hearing, like the MSM or the scientific press or the scientific professional bodies, simply do not want to hear anything that might contradict the belief system.
And I'm sorry to say it but if you believe that Pielke's input would have helped, forget it. The received wisdom is that land use and UHI have been fully researched and anyway their contribution is minor if it exists at all. Now, back to that deadly pollutant carbon dioxide; that's where the problem is, Richard; you stick to that and don't let yourself be side-tracked by these weirdos.
Be honest. Is that not more or less the reaction you would have got? Would input from Pielke (either of them, of all people!) made a ha-porth of difference to the end result?
I doubt it.
And, yes, I'm being cynical. But anything with 'United Nations' attached to it is a political exercise and has been for over half a century. The science is there to serve the politics.

Jul 25, 2011 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson


Perhaps you should open a post in the discussion section to find out the answer to your comment:

'I realised my suggestion to review AR5 might not go down very well'

Even with responce though I was of the understanding that AR5 would not receive any external review until after publication in 2013-2014, or am I mistaken?

Perhaps if you have some information then a discussion thread would bring out pertinent questions that could influence the understanding of the background science, possibly avoiding future embarrasmemt.

Of course you must also realise that even though there are some who post here that have an understanding of the IPCC process and revue methodology, most of us would appreciate a more laymens approach to what is going to be included and why.

Jul 25, 2011 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

WWF not green enough, in bed with wood interests.

Jul 25, 2011 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Oh, BTW Brownedoff, I was distracted from your actual question...

Yes it's the same Peter Thorne, he moved from here to NCDC a year or two ago (sad loss for us), but there are 2 guys called Bill Collins, the one on Chapter 8 is my Met Office colleague and the one on chapter 9 is a different guy, from the US.

And in case you were wondering, none of them are fanatics either.

(I nearly put a smiley at the end there, but that would have annoyed you.)

Jul 25, 2011 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts


I am not a fanatic, and I ask you to withdraw that accusation please.

Also, if you were going to take back the statement about Pravda, why didn't you delete it before posting it? Actually I'm afraid that reveals your ignorance - if I'd previously worked in the Soviet propaganda machine, do you think I would ever have got through the very extensive security screening that all Met Office employees go through as part of our (until recently) MOD ownership? I very much doubt it.

I'm here to try to have a sensible conversation with people whose views I don't necessarily agree with, because (unlike many) I think there is a discussion to be had. I can assure you that I'm not a communist, green activist or involved in any kind of conspiracies or fanaticism.

Mike Jackson:

Yes you are right, the fact that climate science has allowed extreme interpretations to go unchallenged is a problem, and is down to my colleagues and I to address this. This is why I'm here - I want to properly understand all views. Simply ignoring all sceptics is, as you say, ridiculous - I realise that many sceptics (including our host BH) accept AGW in as far as they think that anthropogenic GHGs have at least *some* influence on climate. If we really believe in our science, why not go out and have it challenged, we might even learn something....

I realised my suggestion to review AR5 might not go down very well. However I would like to think that there may be some useful contributions to make, as there clearly were errors in AR4 - obviously the Himalayan Glaciers one, plus others. There was clearly not enough scrutiny, and this is recognised. At least if people make comments and they are ignored, but they then turn out to be right, the IPCC authors can't claim nobody pointed it out - and critics are in a much stronger position afterwards, having tried to engage but been rebutted. I could really have done with Roger Pielke Snr's support in AR4 when I was trying to get more discussion of land use and UHI effects, but unfortunately he'd given up.

Jul 25, 2011 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts

Jul 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM | Richard Betts

I see that you have diverted the question [snip]

Please do not presume anything, even with a colon, a dash and a close bracket.

I am not surprised that you think it is OK, particularly as you were on the AR4 team, consequently it is inconceivable that you would NOT sign on to the 2099 Statement as having "the utmost confidence in the observational evidence for global warming".

That is not just an opinion, it is a strongly-held view.

Where did I say I am challenging opinions or seeking to review the fruits of your strongly-held views?

Where did I mention the word catastrophic or impacts?

You endorsed the statement:

"Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is "very likely" due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations"

In the same way that you have difficulty with "must" and "should" you also seem to have difficulty with "very likely" and "uncertain".

[Snip. Please refrain from this sort of comment and moderate your language. Richard is being polite, please be so as well].

From the Met Office web page launching the 2009 Statement, John and Julia said:

"The Met Office has co-ordinated this united statement ........ This tremendous response affirms our confidence in the science, and reinforces the immediacy of the challenge and the critical nature of the discussions at Copenhagen."

Not much uncertainty there.

Whilst you are here, can you confirm that the Bill Collins who signed the 2009 Statement under the heading Met Office, is the William Collins who is a LA for Chapter 8 in AR5 WG1 and also, who is the William Collins (nominated by the US government) who is a LA for Chapter 9?

In addition, can you confirm that the Peter Thorne (nominated by the US government), who is a LA for Chapter 2 in AR5 WG1, is the same Peter Thorne who signed the 2009 Statement under the heading Met Office?

You say:

"You will also note that the 2009 statement only refers to evidence for warming ...".

Oh, yeah? The 2009 statement refers to AR4 and gives a quote "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal".

Again you have a problem with words, in your world apparently "evidence for warming" is the same as "warming is unequivocal".

A few days ago you told us that you are now under the wing of BIS rather than MoD. What do you think about having SJB as a scientific mentor and are you going to go onto the SJB blog to help him out with replies to the comments?

I suppose that the MoD will have some spare cash now that they are not supporting your super computer - they will probably now buy 100,000 Faberge docking stations for their tweeting devices.

You are lucky to have got out from the MoD before the next tipping point when there are more MoD pen-pushers than warriors.

That you can not see a problem with appointing people with strongly-held views, may I draw to your attention document and in particular, page 3.

Jul 25, 2011 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

I will take your point about "alarmist" and "eco-fascist", but both are terms which I have chosen to use where, in my view, the shoe fits.
I have very little time for those who take the science and exaggerate it. I have yet to see a shred of decent evidence that sea levels or even temperatures are going to reach a point in the foreseeable future or indeed ever where they will reach "tipping points" which will effectively make human life on the earth impossible. Those who see it as their duty to tell me such alarmist stories I will continue to call alarmists because that is what they are.
Similarly I need a term for those who wish to wind the clock back to some pre-industrial golden age by banning the use of oil, coal, and most other natural resources which we are supposed to "save" so that our "grandchildren" will be able to make use of them. ("Responsibly", of course, like in the drinks commercials!). They will condemn us to life without all the things that have given us the longevity, health and general well-being which we have today. I will continue to call them "eco-fascists" because that is, essentially, what they are. If you really object, I will suggest "enviro-mentalists", "eco-loons" or simply "nutters".
Our problem (or perhaps more immediately your problem) is that the "eco-fascists" (which includes most of the spokespersons for most of the greeny groups) and the "alarmists" (Gore and Hansen well to the fore) have found willing allies in each other and in the high-profile climate researchers (Mann, Jones, Trenberth, Briffa, Overpeck, et al) and their "useful idiots" (Monbiot, Romm, Oreskes -- and we can probably add in Nurse and Jones - et al) with the result that anyone who disputes the orthodoxy is a heretic (shorthand for all the other things we are actually called),
not deserving of any consideration;
not to be engaged in polite (or indeed any) conversation or given explanations (still less data so we can see the evidence for ourselves;
not to be given any credibility regardless of the views that are being put forward (McIntyre, the Pielkes Svensmark, et al -- none of whom, incidentally, dispute the existence of global warming or the likelihood that mankind has some influence therein or the possibility that CO2 might also be implicated to an extent).
And now we have an expert on fruit flies telling the BBC (which is supposed to provide balanced coverage of the important things that happen in the world) that sceptics should get less air time than the none they already have.
Forgive me for being a little unsympathetic.
Also, when you suggest we offer our services as reviewers, for engaging in a bout of hysterical laughter. Have you actually read the way reviewers' comments were treated in AR4? Why would anyone with even the slightest doubt about any of the conclusions put themselves through that experience?

Jul 25, 2011 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

This is excellant, sorry about the length but it';s worth it. A post over on Anthonys site by Andic:

The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she
should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good
for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green
thing back in my day.”
The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did
not care enough to save our environment.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to
the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and
sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and
over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every
store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t
climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the
throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling
machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry
the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or
sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we
didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every
room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief
(remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have
electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded
up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut
the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised
by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on
treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup
or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.
We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we
replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the
whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their
bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour
taxi service.
We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets
to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget
to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in
order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old
folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a
lesson in conservation from a smart-ass young person.

The Green Thing

Jul 25, 2011 at 7:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook


Ah, OK, sorry to have a sense of humour failure!

Don't worry, I expect others here found it pretty funny.

I'll get my coat....

Jul 25, 2011 at 12:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts


Their statement was worded like a pile of arrogant tosh. And yes, I know they weren't talking about models, and mentioned nothing of capitalism.
My humour has fallen on deaf ears.

Jul 25, 2011 at 12:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustin Ert

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