Questions the IPCC must now urgently answer

Here’s the scenario. An Exxon-Mobil employee – admittedly an energy specialist with an engineering background – serves as a lead author on an important IPCC report looking into the future of fossil fuels. The Exxon guy and his fellow lead authors assess a whole variety of literature, but select for special treatment four particular papers – one produced by Exxon-Mobil. This paper heralds great things for the future of fossil fuels, suggesting they can supply 80% of the world’s energy in 2050, and this headline is the first sentence of the ensuing IPCC press release, which is picked up and repeated uncritically the world’s media. Pleased, the Exxon employee issues a self-congratulatory press release boasting that his paper had been central to the IPCC effort, and urging the world’s governments to get on with opening up new areas to oil drilling for the benefit of us all.

Well. You can imagine the furore this would cause at Greenpeace. The IPCC would be discredited forever as an independent voice. There would be pious banner-drops by Greenpeace activists abseiling down Exxon HQ and harshly criticising the terrible stranglehold that fossil fuel interests had achieved over supposedly independent science. Campaigners everywhere would be up in arms. Greenpeace would feel doubly justified in taking direct action against new oil wells being opened up in the Arctic, and its activists could demonstrate new feats of gallantry and bravery as they took on the might of the world’s oil industry with some ropes and a rubber dinghy somewhere near Greenland.

How is the Exxon scenario different from what has just happened with the IPCC’s renewables report? And why – when confronted with this egregious conflict of interest and abuse of scientific independence – has the response of the world’s green campaigners been to circle the wagons and cry foul against the whistle-blowers themselves? That this was spotted at all is a tribute to the eagle eyes of Steve McIntyre. Yet I am told that he is a ‘denier’, that all his deeds are evil, and that I have been naively led astray by him. Well, if the ‘deniers’ are the only ones standing up for the integrity of the scientific process, and the independence of the IPCC, then I too am a ‘denier’. Indeed, McIntyre and I have formed an unlikely double-act, posing a series of questions – together with the New York Times’s Andy Revkin – to the IPCC report’s lead author Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, to which he has yet to respond.

Here’s some classic closing of ranks by Stefan Singer, of WWF, riding to the rescue of his embattled Greenpeace colleagues in a comment on my original blog post:

Yes, I am biased as well, I am Director for Energy Policy at WWF, we “scandalously” dared to publish a global energy scenario a few months ago showing how the world can go to even 95% renewables by 2050 and even more “shocking”  we also showed in that scenario how global energy consumption can indeed be reduced globally with substantive energy conservation and efficiency policies without curtailing growth and economic activities.

Moreover, if we want to combat climate change effectively (which I realise not everyone supports on this exchange), what is wrong with showing that renewables can contribute 80% or even more to global energy supply? Mark Lynas, in case you take that serious [sic], you should thank Greenpeace and NGOs to drive that debate.

I suspect Mr Singer, and all my other green critics, are intentionally missing the point. I’d have loved to have had a fully independent study conducted by the IPCC on the prospects for renewable energy over the coming century. I’d have been even happier had that independent IPCC study concluded that 80% renewables by 2050 is a realistic option. But what I don’t want are recycled campaign reports masquerading as ‘proper’ science leading the assessed scenarios – and the media – because their originator has managed to lever himself into a pole position on the team of lead authors. That stinks. And it stinks doubly because the Greenpeace report was originally co-authored by the European Renewable Energy Council – an industry lobby group whose prospects depend on state subsidies which can be expected to be further increased once its views are given the ‘official’ stamp of approval from the IPCC. So this is in effect worse than my Exxon-Mobil scenario above – because the company employees’ report would have to have been co-authored by the American Petroleum Institute.

The IPCC’s Edenhofer has made only one response so far, in an email to Andy Revkin:

The criticisms by McIntyre and Lynas relate to the headline of the press release that was drafted by the WGIII and the Secretariat and that accompanied the publication of the SRREN SPM on 9th May. It is important to note that the press release put the 80% figure into perspective…

Sven Teske was nominated as an author by the German government and selected by the WGIII as Lead author in the IPCC’s continuous effort to draw on the full range of expertise, and this includes NGOs and business as well as academia. Chapter 10 has been thouroughly reviewed by independent experts and governments. He is one of nine Lead Authors, with two Coordinating Lead Authors overseeing the process of writing the chapter. He has made substantial contributions, but was neither the only nor the leading person in this team effort.

It strikes me that Edenhofer’s reluctance to engage further may be down to the fact that there are really only two alternatives here, neither of which are good for him or the IPCC’s Working Group 3:

1: Teske (Greenpeace) and the other lead authors of the report had no involvement with writing the press release – in which case something is wrong, as a press release should not be released unchecked by the experts whose work it is meant to highlight.
2: Teske and the other lead authors did have an involvement in writing the press release – in which case something is wrong, as this suggests undue influence in selecting the Greenpeace scenario as the one to capture the headlines.

There are some very clear lessons here for the IPCC:

– Campaigners – or industry employees – should not be lead authors on IPCC reports, on any of the working groups
– Whilst ‘grey literature’ may be valuable to assess, it should not be assessed by those who have written it
– This rule applies more broadly: no authors should be tasked with ‘independently’ assessing their own work, across all the IPCC working groups
– Press releases and Summaries for Policymakers should not be released until the full report they are based on is also released
– A clear conflict of interest policy should be agreed by the IPCC and implemented immediately, applying to current as well as future authors

Here, repeated, are the questions I have posed to the IPCC’s Edenhofer:

1: what was the process for writing the press release, and who decided whether it faithfully represented the main conclusions of the SPM/main report?
2: why was the SPM released more than a month before the full report?
3: was Sven Teske in any way involved in the decision to highlight Teske et al, 2010 as one of the four ‘illustrative scenarios’ explored in greater depth as per Section 10.3.1?
4: what is the IPCC conflict of interest policy with regard to lead authors reviewing their own work, and having affiliations to non-academic institutions, whether campaign groups or companies?

Steve McIntyre has additionally, in the same email exchange, requested full access to the transcripts of the comments made during the reviews to which the IPCC reports are all subjected. As far as I understand, these are supposed to be in the public domain. He has also added the following request to mine:

Dear Dr Edenhofer:

Could you please provide the following additional information related to Mark Lynas’ question 1.  Was Sven Teske involved in the preparation of the IPCC press release of May 9?  Was he given drafts of the proposed press release prior to it being made public?  If so, did he comment on the press release drafts and what were his comments?

We (both) await a response.

Latest, 8pm 17 June: The Economist now has a long and detailed ‘Babbage’ blog, penned by Oliver Morton and entitled ‘Renewable Outrage‘, which I urge everyone with an interest in this to read. Impeccable context and detail as always. There is plenty of space for comments there too.

Latest latest, 8.10pm, 17 June: The Economist’s Oliver Morton, having added his name to the list of those seeking answers from the IPCC’s Dr Edenhofer, has managed to elicit a reply – cc’d to myself, Steve McIntyre and others. It does not deal in detail with any of the specifics of the questions we posed, but does hint at cockup rather than conspiracy. Here it is in full:

Dear Oliver,

As I have written to Andrew Revkin, the press release was drafted by the WGIII and the Secretariat. Nick Nutall, spokesperson of the United Nations Environment Programme was acting IPCC spokesperson at the time of the Abu Dhabi meeting, because this position was vacant. He has drafted the first version, which was then reviewed by the Secretariat, the WGIII co-chairs, and the WGIII TSU. Sven Teske was not involved in the process of writing the press release.

It was based on the SPM but supplemented from the underlying chapters, for example with the numbers that describe the upper and the lower one of the four scenarios that have been analyzed in-depth:

“Over 160 [164] existing scientific scenarios on the possible penetration of renewables by 2050, alongside environmental and social implications, have been reviewed with four analyzed in-depth. These four were chosen in order to represent the full range. […]

The most optimistic of the four, in-depth scenarios projects renewable energy accounting for as much as 77 percent of the world‘s energy demand by 2050, amounting to about 314 of 407 Exajoules per year. […]

77 percent is up from just under 13 percent of the total primary energy supply of around 490 Exajoules in 2008. Each of the scenarios is underpinned by a range of variables such as changes in energy efficiency, population growth and per capita consumption. These lead to varying levels of total primary energy supply in 2050, with the lowest of the four scenarios seeing renewable energy accounting for a share of 15 percent in 2050, based on a total primary energy supply of 749 Exajoules.”

Best regards,


So, there you have it. Satisfied?


  1. Barry Woods

    Mark – I wish you well.

    1. John O'Sullivan

      I’ll echo the sentiments of Barry Woods. On behalf of the Slayers group of scientists it is most refreshing to see a prominent green stand up for the traditional scientific method.

    2. MRW

      I second this sentiment. Thank you for pulling for the truth and transparency.

    3. mike

      BRAVO – thank you for furthering ethical ideals & integrity in this important and contentious debate. People on both sides should take note.

    4. Oliver K. Manuel

      Mark – Shortcut to the answer from an old goat that remembers:

      1. A-bomb explosions vaporized Japanese cities in 1945 and ended World War II.

      2. H-bomb explosions in the 1950’s were much more powerful.

      3. Politicians realized they TOO would die in a full scale, world-wide exchange of nuclear weapons.

      4. AGW is the “Common Enemy” politicians use to unite the world’s population and save themselves from certain death.

      That’s it in a nutshell.

      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

  2. geoffchambers

    All the regular sceptic commenters at BishopHill, Climate Resistance, and Harmless Sky wish you well. Happy reading. You’ve got some catching up to do

  3. PeteB

    This rule applies more broadly: no authors should be tasked with ‘independently’ assessing their own work, across all the IPCC working groups

    How would you do that ? The only way I can think is that none of the lead authors on a chapter should have published in that area.

    I’m not sure that is a good idea, surely we want the experts in each area to assess the current picture ?

    I’d actually be quite happy for any industry experts to be Lead Authors, as long as there is enough Lead Authors to make sure the chapter is a fair reflection of that area.

    I think all the Lead Authors should agree on the detail of Press Releases (which might make them less exciting, but more accurate)

    1. Latimer Alder

      Do you understand the distinction between an accountant and an auditor?

      The last person you want to be going round certifying that the accounts are true is the guy who prepared them in the first place. Even if this person’s morals are entirely lilywhite, his integrity untainted and he has been recently been beatified by the pope and favourably received by both Palin and Obama, he is not the right guy to do it, Because he has a Conflict of Interest.

      Outside of academe…i.e in every other profession there is, conflicts of Interests are very bad things to have around and strenupus efforts are made to avoid even the appearance of them. This helps to keep people honest and usually leads to better dealings all round. For example th guy you employ to seel your house shoudln;t be taking backhanders form the buyer. Your divorce lawyer shoudn’t work for your wife as well as you.

      And people who work for Greenpeace writing reports that advance the political and economic status of that organisation should not be f****g lead authors in writing IPCC reports that say what a wonderful job has been done in the original reports.

      In my unversity days, we had external examiners who marked our papers. Not self-certification.

      The same argument applies to letting the ‘experts’ loose. If they are activ ein th relevant field they too will have Conflicts of interest. A favourable IPPC mention about their work will enhance their career and grant status, and their future employability in the external world.

      For anybody outside your tiny and seemingly rather incestuous world, this CoI stuff is so obvious that I genuinely fail to understand how you cannot see the problem? Or that you didn’t do anything to stop it before it arose. That you didn;t throws grave doubts aboiut your judgement of ethics..and by implication of anything else.

  4. FarleyRusk

    Sorry to be pessimistic Mark, but if the enormity of climategate could be obliterated with several thick coats of investigative whitewash, then this small blip in comparison stands little chance of rescuing the world from the future of failure we will otherwise be condemned to by eco-activism.

    I wish you luck too.

  5. Chris

    I am undecided, but apparently that makes me a Denier as well.

    Good luck.

  6. Adam Gallon

    I can smell the Greenies lighting their (renewably fueled, of course!) bonfires now. Get ready to be burnt at the stake!
    Your name’s going to be engraved upon the list of the damned, let alone struck from Real Climate’s blogroll of the pure of mind!
    Now just wait until you’ve had time to read The Hockey Stick Illusion, followed up the links and read the pages of discussion at Climate Audit.
    If you can’t wait, just drop into Bishop Hill’s & read the “Caspar & Jesus Paper” to get an idea of the other IPCC shennanagins.

  7. J Bowers

    It’s important to distinguish IPCC Working Group 1 (the physical science) from the other two working groups, and keep an eye on the ball.

    With regards to the physical science (AR4 WG1) there have been no mistakes found. Whatever one may believe about adaptation and mitigation, the science itself still stands.

    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)


    2. Phillip Bratby

      As physicist I disagree. The “greenhouse effect” theory does not stand up to scrutiny by physicists and there is evidence to support the theory. Computer models have no validity.

    3. Barry Woods

      If you actaully read the entire working group 1 science document, many people are surprised how this gets translated into what is said in the Summary for Policy makers.

      All the scientific, he if’s, could’s, maybe’s, unknown’s more research needed and uncertainties just fade away …..

      Professor Kelly’s notes from one of the inquiries, obtained under FOI (why not the BBC/Times,etc) by Bishop Hill, should be relevant here…

      Professor Kelly:

      (3) Up to and throughout this exercise, I have remained puzzled how the real humility of the scientists in this area, as evident in their papers, including all these here, and the talks I have heard them give, is morphed into statements of confidence at the 95% level for public consumption through the IPCC process.

      This does not happen in other subjects of equal importance to humanity, e.g. energy futures or environmental degradation or resource depletion. I can only think it is the ‘authority’ appropriated by the IPCC itself that is the root

      oh look, A summary for policy makers, differs from big report that no politician would ever read (let alone understand) I doubt most politicians get beyond the first couple of pages of the Summary for Policymakers…

      That is if they bother to read that as well.

      More of Professor Kelly’s thoughts from the inquiries..

      5) I think we should consider using the opportunity to make entirely positive
      recommendations that would improve the situation, such as (i) wider peer review to prevent narrow and premature orthodoxies being developed unchallenged and (ii) more effective engagement with the end-users of their findings beyond politicians and policy makers. Engineers seem more sceptical that others on the implications of the findings to date.

      (6) There is late-breaking news about attempts to suborn the workings of the Journal of Geophysical Research, which I think we should examine and comment upon having heard from one of the co-authors before I was approached on this mission.

      And this….

      There are however some more detailed qualifications:
      (i) I take real exception to having simulation runs described as experiments (without at least the qualification of ‘computer’ experiments). It does a disservice to centuries of real experimentation and allows simulations output to be considered as real data. This last is a very serious matter, as it can lead to the idea that real ‘real data’ might be wrong simply because it disagrees with the models! That is turning centuries of science on its head.

      And this:

      (iii) I think it is easy to see how peer review within tight networks can allow new orthodoxies to appear and get established that would not happen if papers were written for and peerreviewed by a wider audience. I have seen it happen elsewhere. This finding may indeed be an important outcome of the present review.

      Lest I be accused of cherry picking, the whole of his notes are here….

      I wonder what Mark’ thoughts are of Professor Kelly’s notes from the inquiries. Were you aware of them? What do you think..

      My first quote I think is very relevant here…

    4. J Bowers

      The IPCC does no original science, they synthesise the science. As a physicist, if you feel so strongly on the issue and claim to have evidence to debunk thousands of papers, why not write a paper and submit for peer review?

    5. Dave Salt

      J Bowers, the argument is that there’s nothing to debunk (see my post below) because there is no evidence that has been or can be verified/falsified by the ‘Scientific Method’, so what exactly could Phillip Bratby write and submit for peer review?

    6. Jeremy

      J Bowers says: 17 June 2011 at 10:43 am

      It’s important to distinguish IPCC Working Group 1 (the physical science) from the other two working groups, and keep an eye on the ball.

      With regards to the physical science (AR4 WG1) there have been no mistakes found. Whatever one may believe about adaptation and mitigation, the science itself still stands.

      “The science itself still stands” is quite vacuous here. You are using it to imply that the IPCC conclusions on the science are still meaningful, but your statement is distanced enough that you could re-interpret it to mean something far more general.

      However, it’s amazing to me that you claim no mistakes were found on any report with as many pages and authors as this one had. I’ve read two-page papers written by english majors that had mistakes. More importantly have you ever heard of mistake by omission? Where is the discussion in the IPCC report on how clouds figure into the equation? You can say, “oh the IPCC made no mistakes,” in what they delivered, but you cannot say they have comprehensively addressed all the questions.

      J Bowers says:
      17 June 2011 at 12:28 pm

      The IPCC does no original science, they synthesise the science. As a physicist, if you feel so strongly on the issue and claim to have evidence to debunk thousands of papers, why not write a paper and submit for peer review?

      Oh wait… now I’m confused. You seemed to be saying in an earlier post that “the science still stands” in a supportive manner for what the IPCC reported. Now you’re saying even the IPCC is distanced from the science, and itself only summarizes it. So what exactly are you saying? Is the “science” that the IPCC reports still completely error free even though it is “synthesized”? I recall some of my childhood science textbooks that summarized newtons laws. They were wrong. They weren’t wrong because they were trying to deceive me. They were wrong because the nuanced complexity which is the physical world is difficult for younger people to grasp (until you learn Calculus, and then just get ready throw your brain in the garbage).

      So is a synthesized report on science as complex as the earths climate truly error free? What about the summary for policy makers, which is the summary of the summary. Is that error free?

      Now lets consider a situation where e-mails from a professor involved with the IPCC process include statements like:

      I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow, even if we have to redefine what peer-review literature is!

      Yes, I’m sure the synthesized “science” of the IPCC WG1 still stands…

      …on one leg upon a rickety pole along the San Andreas.

    7. simaon abingdon

      “there is evidence to support the theory.” Say again?

    8. John O'Sullivan

      Phillip is correct on the point that the so-called greenhouse gas effect has been refuted.
      Carbon dioxide has been proven to only cool the atmosphere. Why is that physicists see this and not those generalists of science who call themselves climatologists?

    9. Latimer Alder


      I;m as sceptical as they come, but the theoretical paper you cite doesn’t adequately deal with the observed fact that the temperature of the Earth is bout 50K higher than i would be if radiating as a black body.

      Show how that observation fits into your theory and I’ll be more interested.

    10. Carrick

      Phillip is certain “not correct” on the point that the so-called greenhouse gas effect has been refuted, regardless of his claimed level of expertise.

      I would suggest that interested readers with some technical background peruse

    11. Leo Hickman

      I, too, agree that this is an important point to make before this inevitably gets inflated in some quarters into some kind of “all climate science is crock” nonsense.

      I do broadly agree with Mark’s central questions about this ‘affair’, though – even if I do detect a certain relish in Mark’s tone at having a chance to bash Greenpeace 😉 The issue for me here is about sensible procedure (publishing a press release a month before the full report is clearly bonkers) and total transparency about vested interests and who reviewed what/when/where. I don’t see “conspiracy” here, I see an avoidable mess, one you think the IPCC would have learned to side-step by now.

    12. Latimer Alder

      Or one might have hoped that the guys in the IPCC would have had enough integrity and honesty to run a mile from such a disaster in the first place. And they might have taken the trouble to set up their own procedures in such a way that it never could have happened.

      To ‘learn to avoid’ digging themselves an ethical minefield says little about their judgement….nor of your expectations of their integrity. Perhaps there is a lack of transparent leadership?

    13. Joe V.

      “all climate science is crock”

      No Leo I wouldn’t say that. Just everything that’s coming out of the IPCC seems to be nonsense. That’s not say everything that’s going on in the IPCC is, just what and how they tend to release, for the benefit of society & politicians. That is woeful in it’s ignorance.

    14. Dave Salt

      J Bowers, you say “Whatever one may believe about adaptation and mitigation, the science itself still stands” but I wonder just how solid you consider the ‘science’ to be?

      Here are a few ‘clippings’ from WG1 that may be of interest to show just how candid the WG1 people were about their uncertainties… though they seem to have been ignored by the subsequent groups that built upon their findings.

      Note that in reviewing this report and others, I couldn’t find one example where Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) had been verified by the Scientific Method (i.e. predictions tested against real-world data) – yes, there is the ‘tropospheric hot spot’ but current data seems to falsify rather than verify CAGW, which is why its relevance is now questioned by some. Note also that WG1 makes widespread use of model ensembles to ‘bound’ the uncertainties but I suspect this approach may be fundamentally flawed if these models do not include all physical processes and their interactions with sufficient fidelity.

      ——————————————————- What Explains the Current Spread in Models’ Climate Sensitivity Estimates?
      Using feedback parameters from Figure 8.14, it can be estimated that in the presence of water vapour, lapse rate and surface albedo feedbacks, but in the absence of cloud feedbacks, current GCMs would predict a climate sensitivity (±1 standard deviation) of roughly 1.9°C ± 0.15°C (ignoring spread from radiative forcing differences). The mean and standard deviation of climate sensitivity estimates derived from current GCMs are larger (3.2°C ± 0.7°C) essentially because the GCMs all predict a positive cloud feedback (Figure 8.14) but strongly disagree on its magnitude. Clouds
      In the current climate, clouds exert a cooling effect on climate (the global mean CRF is negative). In response to global warming, the cooling effect of clouds on climate might be enhanced or weakened, thereby producing a radiative feedback to climate warming.

      Therefore, cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty in climate sensitivity estimates. Understanding of the physical processes involved in cloud feedbacks
      The sign of the climate change radiative feedback associated with the combined effects of dynamical and temperature changes on extratropical clouds is still unknown.

      The role of polar cloud feedbacks in climate sensitivity has been emphasized by Holland and Bitz (2003) and Vavrus (2004). However, these feedbacks remain poorly understood. Conclusion on cloud feedbacks
      Despite some advances in the understanding of the physical processes that control the cloud response to climate change and in the evaluation of some components of cloud feedbacks in current models, it is not yet possible to assess which of the model estimates of cloud feedback is the most reliable.
      8.6.4 How to Assess Our Relative Confidence in Feedbacks Simulated by Different Models?
      A number of diagnostic tests have been proposed since the TAR (see Section 8.6.3), but few of them have been applied to a majority of the models currently in use. Moreover, it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining future projections. Consequently, a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed.
      9.6.4 Summary of Observational Constraints for Climate Sensitivity
      Structural uncertainties in the models, for example, in the representation of cloud feedback processes (Chapter 8) or the physics of ocean mixing, will affect results for climate sensitivity and are very difficult to quantify.

    15. J Bowers
    16. Dave Salt

      Yes, I’m aware of this site and have looked at the ‘evidence’ but have been disappointed by the over-reliance on model ‘hind-casting’ or references to papers that are somewhat debatable (e.g. Santer 2003).

      By the way, if the ‘scientific’ evidence presented on this web site is so solid, why didn’t it feature prominently in the WG1 report?

    17. J Bowers

      Unfortunately, AR4 was released in 2007, but the evidence you mention is based on analysis released in 2010. A bit of an impossible feat to have featured it in the 2007 report outside the confines of science fiction.

    18. Dave Salt

      J Bowers, when you say “Unfortunately, AR4 was released in 2007, but the evidence you mention is based on analysis released in 2010” I assume you mean the data on the web page you linked to, which was posted on 4 September 2010 by dana1981. However, I should point out that the vast majority of the papers referenced there were published well before 2007 and so I would indeed have expected them to feature prominently in AR4 WG1 if they were considered to have merit.

      Nevertheless, given the importance of ‘attribution’ in this debate, I hope to see these arguments and the associated real-world data that verifies their forecasts, rather than hind-casts, featured prominently in AR5 WG1 so that we can all finally agree on the solidity of the science.

    19. Justice4Rinka

      Strawman argument though.

      There’s a taxonomy of scepticism about the IPCC, which ranges from “the temperature’s never changed” through to “your proposed solution will never work and is worse than the problem that probably does exist”.

      The “climate science still stands up” argument is useful only against the former. It’s of no use at all against any the more nuanced shades of opinion. There remain a lot of people out there who agree with the general drift of the science, but not with the laughable attempts at 100-year climate forecasting when climatologists can’t even get the next decade right.

      It’s not helpful, and not a rebuttal to the charge of activist capture, to assert that the science is still settled. The issue is what a certain group of economically illiterate ecofascist utter loonies want, by stealth, to subvert the science into supporting.

      To try to obfuscate this point is to number yourself among them or among the useful idiots they also rely on.

    20. Simon Hopkinson

      It is far too simplistic to state that there are no problems with the physics of climate change. In truth there are huge uncertainties in the physics of the atmosphere – many of these uncertainties under-acknowledged, and some ignored completely by the IPCC.

      The suppression of uncertainties and the resulting false illusion of certainty is both necessary and key to providing the perception of urgency to restructure society in order to mitigate against a perceived threat to the planet posed by mankind.

      The IPCC’s reliance on human-parametrized computer model scenarios to provide “evidence” in support of the call for mitigation is an abuse of observational science and the scientific method. That, as an example, we don’t know (and yet the model programmers simply assert) that clouds are a net positive rather than neutral or net-negative feedback is evidence that WG2 and WG3 are moot, while core elements of the science of WG1 are still hotly debated and the science is NOT settled. Not even close.

    21. mikep

      WG1 produced teh following paragraph

      “McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and De Laat and Maurellis (2006)
      attempted to demonstrate that geographical patterns of warming
      trends over land are strongly correlated with geographical
      patterns of industrial and socioeconomic development, implying
      that urbanisation and related land surface changes have caused
      much of the observed warming. However, the locations of greatest
      socioeconomic development are also those that have been most
      warmed by atmospheric circulation changes (Sections and
      3.6.4), which exhibit large-scale coherence. Hence, the
      correlation of warming with industrial and socioeconomic
      development ceases to be statistically significant. ”

      The last sentence is pure assertion, not based on any study and shown by McKitrick to be false in
      McKitrick, Ross R. (2010) Atmospheric Oscillations do not Explain the Temperature-Industrialization Correlation. Statistics, Politics and Policy, Vol 1 No. 1, July 2010

    22. Joe Sixpack

      The general public doesn’t care about the intimate details of how the science is done and whether a particular report is from working group 7 or sleeping group 149. And is even less interested whether Joe Bloggs acknowledged Fred Wibble correctly or not…..all things that get the academics to wet their knickers.

      What they see is yet more dodgy dealings coming from the IPCC and its major contributors. And it is all tarred with the same brush of underhand dealings and weak secretive ‘science’.

      An increasing number are of the opinion that the answer to the question

      ‘How do you know when somebody from the IPCC isn’t telling the truth’


      ‘Their lips move’.

      It is no defence of a corrupted institution to say that some bits of it are as yet untainted.

      And I’m also reminded that there is a good saying ‘the fish rots from the head’. Railway Engineer Pachauri has been noticeably quiet on this latest body blow to his organisation’s tattered credibility. After his disastrous ‘voodoo science’ intervention last time, perhaps the best words we can expect from him are ‘I resign’ Surely he needs to spend more time with his train set?

  8. Spartacusisfree

    I think we need a full investigation of the share ownership of all the renewables’ companies in Europe and links to environmental bodies. One example of this is the interest of the WWF and other organisations in carbon offsets; two ex WWF executives now control the UK’s Met. Office.

    In Italy there has been a Mafia investigation into the Calabrian interests of one company, a renewables’ subsidiary of which has as Chairman the person in the second chamber of the UK Parliament who oversaw the CRU enquiries and arguably misled the UK Parliament’s legislative chamber.

    1. Pete H

      Lets move it up a little and start with the the Prime Ministers Father in Law!

    2. ferd berple

      It is amazing the number of organizations that are promoting the IPCC agenda, when you look beneath the covers you find that the head of the organization stands to personally benefit greatly if the IPCC’s program is adopted.

      This was the formula Maurice Strong used with great success working behind the scenes in Canada and later at the UN. Having made his money in oil, it was important to remove the competition. In this case cheap coal. With a tax on CO2, coal becomes more expensive than oil and billions and billions can be made.

      Nothing so shapes a person’s judgement as their own personal interest. If you want to implement a program that will make you a billion dollars, make sure the head of the approval process stands to make 10 million if it is approved. Then just sit back and wait. That person will do almost anything to get the 10 million.

  9. Rick Bradford


    If you didn’t know before what happens to people who leave a cult, you’re about to find out.

    Best of luck.

    1. ferd berple

      Steve McIntyre and Judith Curry for example are vilified by mainstream climate science. Yet when you actually check the facts you will find that they have done nothing wrong to deserve this.

      SM said that the numbers don’t look right. And sure enough, when the numbers were checked there was a problem.

      Then, when the climategate emails were released if because apparent this problem was not an accident. Michael Mann knowingly “hid the decline” and Phil Jones and other knowingly approved/participated.

      JC – who was the darling of climate science at the time – spoke out and said that science is not done in this fashion. Science does not hide contrary information. That this is not normal scientific practice, that scientists do not “hide the decline”.

      Otherwise, mistakes can result. It is like hiding evidence at a trial. It can lead to a faulty verdict, for example if you hide the fact there are two sets of fingerprints on the murder weapon, and only mention the suspects fingerprint.

      This is why SM and JC are vilified by climate science. Not because they have made errors, but rather because they have spoken out and said there are errors in climate science that have knowingly been kept from the public and the policy makers.

      It seems likely that your name and Andy Revkin’s will be added to the list. In the end this will be a positive thing. The more people that speak up, the more courage others will find to also speak up.

      As climate science vilifies more and more people, it will be clear who the true villains are.

  10. Bob Ward

    Mark, I think your four questions to the IPCC are fair enough. But you should also acknowledge that Andy Revkin does not share your view that anybody with a potential conflict of interest should be banished from being a lead author (see Comment 4 here:

    Like him, I believe that all potential conflicts should be openly declared and then safeguards put in place to ensure that they do not exert undue influence.

    The reason why simply banning everybody with a potential conflict of interest would not work is that it is difficult to draw a consistent line that did not mean excluding virtually everybody in the field. That would lead to reports written by those without the best knowledge.

    And you really should stop making the unsubstantiated claim that the work of Teske and his co-authors is a campaign report masquerading as proper science, or that it is ‘grey literature’, unless you have some evidence that the peer review process at the journal ‘Energy Efficiency’ was corrupted. Such wild accusations like that put you in the same camp as the clowns who claim that all climate scientists are involved in a global plot to bring about a Communist world government.

    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Bob –

      I agree that a transparent approach to conflicts of interest is better than banishment if the latter means a serious depletion of needed talent. That is why it is worrying that the IPCC has been having trouble framing and agreeing a CoI policy – I’ve asked for clarification on this but have heard nothing yet.

      I take your point on the ‘greyness’ or otherwise of the Teske et al study. I guess my issue is that it is lead authored by a Greenpeace campaigner, and was initially published (I’m assuming – I haven’t reconstructed the timeline) as a campaigning pamphlet first. I just can’t take that as ‘proper science’. Having said that, it’s fine for Teske et al, 2010 to be included in the IPCC literature reviewed… just not by Teske himself!

      By the way, can you clarify a point about your own academic affiliation and funding? So many people in these comments call you a ‘PR flack’ and so on, which I assume is an unfair slur on your role and intentions. Let’s all be transparent, particularly given your high-profile role in some of these scientific global warming controversies.

    2. Barry Woods

      From an investment standpoint, this paradigm shift need not mean disaster: Grantham says the obvious play is to own “the stuff in the ground” (and the ground itself, as the huge boom in farmland prices illustrates). The less obvious but equally compelling play is to own companies and technologies that facilitate resource conservation.

      Read more:

      What’s more, asserting that intellectual opponents in the climate fight are industry stooges is a timeworn tactic.

      But what’s comical about Grantham’s assertion is he conveniently omits his own role in supporting organizations to push his preferred views on climate. These include the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics. According to the Institute’s website, it was “established in May 2008 through a generous £12 million donation from the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, and works closely with the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, which was launched in February 2007.”

      30 seconds googling

    3. Barry Woods

      An impecable source 😉
      Joe Romm presents Jeremy Granthams thoughts as a must read….. a year ago

      “Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future.

      But how to make money around this issue in the next few years is not yet clear to me.

      In a fast-moving field rife with treacherous politics, there will be many failures. Marketing a “climate” fund would be much easier than outperforming with it.”

      Actually the whole article is worth a read to understand Jeremy Grantham’s mindset….

      Take a step back and read it all, exactly who has the conspiarcy theories?….
      Ie It is only a year old, doesn’t it feel dated.

    4. Barry Woods

      About Grantham Institute

      A member of staff.

      Bob does seem to get to use the Guardain as an extension of his press office.

    5. Bob Ward

      Hi Mark, happy to clarify. I am employed as a member of staff at London School of Economics and Political Science, where I work as policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. The Grantham Research Institute is a research centre at LSE. LSE receives funding for the Institute from the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. All the details are on our website:

      . LSE also co-host, with the University of Leeds, the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. One of the Centre’s programmes is funded by Munich Re. Again, all of this information is on the website:

      I would also observe that the Institute advertises its funding source in its title and is far more transparent than so-called ‘sceptic’ groups, such as the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which last year received £494,625 from donors whose identities are a secret!

    6. Jonathan Jones

      Thanks Bob. Would you agree that “PR flack” is a broadly accurate (if somewhat informal) rendering for a “Policy and Communications Director” who heads the “Communications” section of an institute divided into Management, Administration, Communications and Research?

    7. DirkH

      I would like to add that the policies of the EU are not based on recommendations of the GWPF but on policies and recommendations by the IPCC. And that some other irrelevant think tank might be funded by some oil company, but what does that have to do with Greenpeace sailing under the false flag of the IPCC to push through their lobbyism?

    8. Barry Woods

      I guess that amount of money would just about keep Greenpeace in toilet rolls and stationary for a year, EU and circular NGO funded of course….. 😉

      The intention here would appear to be to to suggest ulterior motives (evil exxon/koch funding, etc of course) thus to be dismissed

      Or perhaps, it was set up this way to protect people’s privacy from being villified by peole like Bob Ward. It is a shame that they feel the need to protect their privacy (ie Bob’s accusations) but as Bob is one of the very that call out exxon links, or others that link anybody that even had tea and buscuits at a conference 10 years ago co-sponsored by exxon, suddenly becomes a fully paid up denier…

      A look at the people brave enough to put their names to the board of the GWPF and the Scientific Advisory Panel, I would hope make people stop and think, these people are respected scientifically and do have personal integrity, EVEN if you think them wrong about AGW…

      But in lobbyists world all alternative voices to a ‘consensus’ has to be dealt with..

      Note this is apolitical( across party politics, which saw Lord Lawson (Con) alongside MP Graham Stringer (Lab) alongside each other at a Spectator debate)

      Board of Trustees

      Lord Lawson(con), Lord Turnbull(cross bench), Lord Donahue(lab), Baroness Nicholson (lib dem), Lord Fellowes(crossbench, Lord Barnett (lab), etc

      Academic Advisory Panel

      Professor David Henderson (Chairman)
      Professor Freeman Dyson
      Professor Richard Tol
      Sir Samuel Brittan
      Sir Ian Byatt
      Professor Robert Carter
      Professor Vincent Courtillot
      Christian Gerondeau
      Dr Indur Goklany
      Professor William Happer
      Dr Terence Kealey
      Professor Anthony Kelly
      Professor Deepak Lal
      Professor Harold Lewis
      Professor Richard Lindzen
      Professor Ross McKitrick
      Professor Robert Mendelsohn
      Professor Sir Alan Peacock
      Professor Ian Plimer
      Professor Gwyn Prins
      Professor B P Radhakrishna
      Professor Paul Reiter
      Dr Matt Ridley
      Sir Alan Rudge
      Professor Philip Stott
      Adrian Berry (Viscount Camrose)
      Dr David Whitehouse

      A broad crossection of people that includes science journalists, take a good look at their bio’s, are they reaaly likely to be on the pay (tiny sums)of the imaginary big oil (big oil turned into big energy and doing very nicely now, out of AGW and selling oil, and a bit of carbon trading on the side)

      What are their motivations, beyond the deepgreens ‘conspiracy theories’

      And no, I’m not a member of the GWPF, just my observations from their website

    9. DCC`

      Where were you when the US Department of Energy was formed and the greenies screamed loudly that nobody from the oil, coal, or nuclear energy sectors should be in a position of importance there? Perhaps that’s why the DOE has never accomplished anything.

    10. Barry Woods

      Bob Ward:

      “Such wild accusations like that put you in the same camp as the clowns who claim that all climate scientists are involved in a global plot to bring about a Communist world government.”

      That does sound silly doesnt’t it…

      I’m glad I’m not one of those clowns. I don’t think that, I’m sure Steve Mcintyre doesn’t think that, nor Andrew Montford, etc……

      There IS a huge vested industry in renewables and all things carbon trading, etc, their is a huge vested industry in oil… Neither should be in this position..

      Yet many of those with a vested oil background, are now ALSO leading the way in renewables and carbon trading, even lobbying for it (see at Cancun)

      Big OIl, saw where the ‘wind’ was blowing and the changing political ‘climate’ a decade ago, and became BIG Energy..

      Lots of nice subsidy dollars to feed on as well, whilst saving the planet as well, whilst sneaking in a bit of extra profit in, under all the carbon taxes, which of course are all past onto the consumers…

      How many more pensioners will be suffering from fuel povery this winter (cold deaths far exceed warm related deaths….)

      If Mark is a ‘denier’, I’m a climate cynic, at all the vested interests.. When you see adds on how to make profits on carbon trading, or carbon offsrts, something has gone very wrong.

    11. Les Johnson

      Bob Ward: So let me get this straight: You have no problem with:

      1. An activist lobbying group writing a report with an industrial trade group, themselves lobbyists to the EU.

      2. Both receiving funds from the EU, to lobby the EU.

      3. Then having a member of the activist group evaluate the paper written by the activist and the industry.

      4. Finally, presenting the evaluation to governments, including the EU, which the EU would presumably use to set policy.

      And you have no problem with this?

    12. Dave

      Bob Ward>

      I’ve asked before: in the interest of full disclosure, would you please tell us how much you are being paid to post these comments? I understand that this may involve estimating an hourly rate based on your yearly salary.

    13. Dave

      “Like him, I believe that all potential conflicts should be openly declared and then safeguards put in place to ensure that they do not exert undue influence.”

      OK, are you going to start us off by declaring yours?

  11. PeteB

    “2: why was the SPM released more than a month before the full report?”

    There was a bit here

    …The process of finalising the SPM (which is well described here and here) is something that can seem a little odd. Government representatives from all participating nations take the draft summary (as written by the lead authors of the individual chapters) and discuss whether the text truly reflects the underlying science in the main report. The key here is to note that what the lead authors originally came up with is not necessarily the clearest or least ambiguous language, and so the governments (for whom the report is being written) are perfectly entitled to insist that the language be modified so that the conclusions are correctly understood by them and the scientists.
    …..Finally, a few people have asked why the SPM is being released now while the main report is not due to be published for a couple of months. There are a number of reasons – firstly, the Paris meeting has been such a public affair that holding back the SPM until the main report is ready is probably pointless. For the main report itself, it had not yet been proof-read, and there has not yet been enough time to include observational data up until the end of 2006. One final point is that improvements in the clarity of the language from the SPM should be propagated back to the individual chapters in order to remove any superficial ambiguity. The science content will not change.

    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Thanks, that’s helpful. I’m not suggesting for a second that the time divergence between the publication of the SPM/press release and the full report was intended to mislead, especially as it happens all the time. But I do think it is very poor practice nonetheless.

    2. Phillip Bratby

      Oh, it’s meant to mislead alright.

    3. JPeden

      I’ve never seen a scientific study in the field of Medicine publish its conclusions without its supporting science or even heard of it, that is, until the advent of “Climate Science”.

      The SPM4 itself was even preceded by a press release alleging the existence of a “smoking gun”, you know, the kind which would prove CO2 = CAGW, but which then never materialized; that is, apart from its own function as a smoking gun pointing instead to these very same unscientific pre-releases as, by then following the similar TAR publication process, likely indicative of the full nature of ipcc Climate Science as essentially being only a massive Propaganda Operation, which it indeed is.

      It’s a process and “method” which in fact and effect specifically avoids the use of real, scientific method and principle, science in very critical areas, as needed.

      For example, that’s why its alleged hypotheses cannot be seriously challenged by empirical data contradicting its completely failed predictions so far, as proven and counting, much less falsified. Climate Science’s “method” involves simply not letting its hypotheses be challenged or falsified. Therefore, its alleged particuarized CO2 = CAGW “hypotheses” in practice don’t even say anything about the real world to begin with.

    4. Dr Michael Cejnar

      The original report was delayed by a month because:
      “..improvements in the clarity of the language from the SPM should be propagated back to the individual chapters in order to remove any superficial ambiguity”

      If this means “summary and conclusions from the data are propagated back to modify the data to make themn consistent ” then as an auditor, this is a major breach of data integrity.

    5. Cecil Coupe

      Do IPPC climate scientists accept the PC revision pushed down from their SPM betters like lapdogs hoping for a treat from their master? How much science was “adjusted” from SPM to report publication?

  12. Caspar Henderson

    I wondered from the get-go about a report with a scenario for such high renewables penetration. Theoretically possible, but so what?

    That said, what do you make of the comment by Daniel Kammen, a coordinating lead author of the report and chief specialist for renewable energy and efficiency at the World Bank, quoted by Revkin:

    “There is no Himalaya-gate here at all. While there are some issues with individual chapters, there is no ‘Greenpeace Scenario.’ The 77% carbon free by 2050 is actually more conservative than some cases. The European Climate Foundation, for example has a 100% carbon neutral scenario and Price Waterhouse has a very low carbon one for North Africa. Further, while the IPCC works from published cases, the scenarios are evaluated and assessed by a team.”

    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Yes, it was perhaps a mistake – picked up by Joe Romm – on my part to complain about both the content of the Teske et al, 2010 scenario and the process for its inclusion and highlighting. As I clarify in this post, it is the latter that is the real issue. That’s why we want an independent IPCC, to help us sort these things out!

    2. Dennis

      So you have no critique on the Teske et al 2010 scenario, but only on using this peer-reviewed paper in an IPCC report, because on of the authors works for Greenpeace?

    3. Rattus Norvegicus

      I can accept this as a legitimate objection to the report. As I and others have pointed out in other places, to some extent this is a problem with all expert literature reviews and in particular is a problem with WG III because so much of the work is being done by industry and NGO’s.

      It seems that the IPCC is doing it’s best to try and counteract this through diverse author groups and extensive external review.

  13. Richard Drake

    Dunno Mark’s markup language here but …

    Bob Ward:

    Like him, I believe that all potential conflicts should be openly declared and then safeguards put in place to ensure that they do not exert undue influence.

    That’s helpful. I agree with Bob Ward. That may be a first. Let’s continue:

    And you really should stop making the unsubstantiated claim that the work of Teske and his co-authors is a campaign report masquerading as proper science, or that it is ‘grey literature’, unless you have some evidence that the peer review process at the journal ‘Energy Efficiency’ was corrupted.

    The peer review process corrupted? The Hockey Stick Illusion gives some key illustrations of that. But some of the best examples now come from the Climategate emails. In other words, without access to private communications such things are hard to prove. But the corruption of climate science and energy policy goes deeper than peer review and is strongly driven by the IPCC, which brings us to:

    Such wild accusations like that put you in the same camp as the clowns who claim that all climate scientists are involved in a global plot to bring about a Communist world government.

    If in doubt, send in the clowns. But nobody believes that ‘all climate scientists’ are involved in such a plot. Richard Lindzen is a climate scientist and, although a lifelong Democrat before he started to be labeled a ‘denier’ – a moniker he, like Mark, now adopts with pride, in contempt for those who use it, which is quite a step for someone many of whose family perished in the Holocaust – is I feel sure not working for Communist world government. There are others. Indeed the use of the term ‘Communist’ is ridiculous in 2011.

    What that doesn’t mean is that all power seeking in the energy area is benign. Control the world’s energy policy and you’re getting close to absolute power. And absolute power corrupts absolutely. Those that warn about such things are not all clowns.

  14. Phillip Bratby

    Welcome to the “deniers” club, and good luck to you.

  15. Ben Pile

    Bob Ward says, ‘The reason why simply banning everybody with a potential conflict of interest would not work is that it is difficult to draw a consistent line that did not mean excluding virtually everybody in the field. That would lead to reports written by those without the best knowledge.’

    But hasn’t Bob Ward attempted to remove everybody with an alleged conflict of interest from the wider debate about climate change, never mind within the IPCC?

    I think he’s only interested in one side’s conflict of interest.

    Speaking of conflict of interest, isn’t it interesting how many members of UK climate change institutions have had, or do have, very close relationships with carbon finance firms?

    Let’s put to bed the idea that we’re ever going to rule out conflict of interest. It has been used only to shut down debate. It has backfired on those who have used it for such purposes because it turns out that both putative ‘sides’ in the debate include interested parties.

    And while we’re at it, why don’t we rule out the possibility that pure objective facts about the complex relationship between society and the environment have been established, or can be established at all easily, if at all. Maybe it’s time to admit that the IPCC was doing a lot of political work, whether or not it has been unduly influenced by NGOs and their agendas.

  16. Shub Niggurath

    Yet I am told that he is a ‘denier’, that all his deeds are evil, and that I have been naively led astray by him. Well, if the ‘deniers’ are the only ones standing up for the integrity of the scientific process, and the independence of the IPCC, then I too am a ‘denier’.


    This is precisely the reason there are a lot of ‘deniers’ around at the moment. One ought not to club these ‘deniers’ with the rest of the so-called deniers.

    1. J Bowers

      There aren’t a lot of deniers around. Even Republican voters in the US want climate change addressed and more done on renewables.

      The Yale and GMU poll results, May 2011.

      ” 71 percent of Americans say global warming should be a very high (13%), high (27%), or medium (31%) priority for the president and Congress, including 88 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of Independents, and 50 percent of Republicans.

      91 percent of Americans say developing sources of clean energy should be a very high (32%), high (35%), or medium (24%) priority for the president and Congress, including 97 percent of Democrats, 89 percent of Independents, and 85 percent of Republicans.”

    2. Shub Niggurath

      Welcome Bowers,
      It is only a short time before the Football club plasters this venue with irrelevant spam.

      What can you say, to the topic at hand: that a wide locus of questionable scientific practices in the IPCC and in climate activist endevaours exists, the recognition and criticism of which gets one branded as a ‘denier’?

      Instead, you offer links to a literal headcount of ‘Republicans’. Psshef.

    3. J Bowers

      I’d ask whether the IPCC had stopped beating its wife, yet.

    4. David S

      Apparently it hasn’t. But the questions were asked in the proper order, and it was established by Donna LaFramboise that the IPCC was beating its wife, so it is now reasonable to find out whether it has stopped.
      I think it will carry on doing so as long as Pachauri is in charge, since his organisation was funded by Tata Steel, a major net beneficiary of cap-and-trade.

    5. J Bowers

      “and it was established by Donna LaFramboise that the IPCC was beating its wife,..”

      When Donna and her team figure out that self-cites and books which are a collection of peer reviewed papers do not mean “not peer reviewed”, you’ll have a point.

    6. Stuart

      I guess that’s why the republicans and the T Party want to question Gore about the rubbish he’s been preaching mmmmmmmm


    7. Mike Mangan

      According to Pew there’s not a lot of True Believers around…

      Just a tad over one third of Americans believe that the world is warming AND that man is responsible for it. Given the state of the PDO and the sun, I’d say that would be the high water mark for this decade.

      If you really believe that mankind is in danger from co2 emissions and climate change you would be best served by tearing everything down and starting all over.

    8. Alexander K

      And how is this relevant in any way to this thread?
      Science is not a democratic process and does not rely on head-counts for verification!

    9. Mike Mangan

      It’s relevant because the results of the IPCC’s efforts will theoretically galvanize the nations of the world to establish huge, costly programs to combat “climate change.” The U.S., at least will not join in these programs when two thirds of its citizens don’t buy into the IPCC declarations. I suggest that the IPCC’s efforts to this point have resulted in failure and is reflected in these poll numbers. The current example of using a partisan NGO to shape results is a continuation of past failed policies.

      Your never ending desire to change the world via argument from authority will never work as long as the vast majority does not trust your authorities.

  17. J Hauge

    >>Bob Ward “Like him, I believe that all potential conflicts should be openly declared and then safeguards put in place to ensure that they do not exert undue influence.”>>

    Bob, please elaborate on what safeguards you think could be put in place to prevent an activist author, reviewing his own work, exerting undue influence on the checking process? What we have in this case, it seems, it self-certification masquerading as scientific review.

  18. Judith Curry

    Bravo, Mark! I have a new post on this up at Climate Etc.

    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Thanks Judith – just posted a reply on yours. Hope not to be a total ‘monster’!

  19. Alexander K

    Hi Mark, I admire the stand you have taken over an incredibly important principle. Welcome to the ranks of Deniers, who are mostly intelligent and friendly people who want to discuss the science in an intelligent and non-combatitive manner and will go with the actual observed evidence, however it falls.

  20. Rattus Norvegicus

    Of course, there was a representative of fossil fuel interests as an LA on Ch. 10:

    WRIGHT, Raymond M.
    Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ)

    And yes, some of his work is cited by this chapter.

    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      That’s an important observation – and were the report to be headlined in an IPCC press release all about the huge potential for oil development in and around Jamaica I would be equally concerned about possible abuse of process.

    2. Galvanize

      As would any true sceptic, Mark.

      I must admit, I wouldn`t like to be your inbox over the coming days. Congratulations on well and truly putting your ahead above the parapet, though. You have courage and conviction.

  21. Stargazer

    Mark… I am so glad to see that you are giving us ‘climate change deniers’ a long overdue second glance.

    (We of course don’t deny climate change… Climate change IS our argument).

    As many here have said, be prepared to be vilified and belittled. But hold steady for the sake of those of us that believe that science will win out in the end.

  22. Mike G.

    Well done! The IPCC reports should be balanced, not biased, and be based on science, not activist literature. The sad result is policy being based on a substandard foundation.

  23. Simon Marsden

    Thank you, Mark, for having the courage to take a stand.

  24. MartyY

    “Mark Lynas: Well, if the ‘deniers’ are the only ones standing up for the integrity of the scientific process, and the independence of the IPCC, then I too am a ‘denier’.”

    They aren’t standing up for the integrity of the scientific process nor the independence of the IPCC. They just jump on any reason to hate the IPCC and mouth platitudes about the integrity of science. Honestly, read some Whats up with That.

    Read this and tell me where the integrity of science is being advanced. Watts says

    “1. Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and uni-directionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.
    2. All terrestrial surface-temperature databases exhibit signs of urban heat pollution and post measurement adjustments that render them unreliable for determining accurate long-term temperature trends.
    3. All of the problems have skewed the data so as greatly to overstate observed warming both regionally and globally.
    4. Global terrestrial temperature data are compromised because more than three-quarters of the 6,000 stations that once reported are no longer being used in data trend analyses.
    5. There has been a significant increase in the number of missing months with 40% of the GHCN stations reporting at least one missing month. This requires infilling which adds to the uncertainty and possible error.
    6. Contamination by urbanization, changes in land use, improper siting, and inadequately-calibrated instrument upgrades further increases uncertainty.
    7. Numerous peer-reviewed papers in recent years have shown the overstatement of observed longer term warming is 30-50% from heat-island and land use change contamination.
    8. An increase in the percentage of compromised stations with interpolation to vacant data grids may make the warming bias greater than 50% of 20th-century warming.”

    I am pretty certain this is not the denier you want to be associated with.

    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      No, I was making a rhetorical point. I don’t agree with any of the points 1-8 above from WUWT. But the fact remains that there should be some middle ground between defending the IPCC even when its procedures aren’t up to scratch, and being an out-and-out disbeliever in any of the established facts of global warming.

    2. NewYorkJ

      There’s a difference between honest critique of the IPCC and this:

      McIntyre: Everyone in IPCC WG3 should be terminated and, if the institution is to continue, it should be re-structured from scratch.

      If we could reduce the noise, we might observe more signal.

    3. New Zealander

      I concur. Getting rid of WG3 would greatly improve the signal-to-noise ratio.

    4. JPeden

      McIntyre made an honest critique, the same one Mark is making, then offered his personal conclusion as to what to do about the obvious conflict of interest problem displayed. I don’t see what the problem is.

      The ipcc doesn’t have to take his advice, just as it didn’t take it before regarding the question of how it should handle the now infamous tree ring data “divergence”, when McIntyre was an ipcc Reviewer.

      But since you also didn’t address the problem being discussed, you apparently just don’t like McIntyre’s conclusion. Therefore, instead of simply saying so, why doesn’t your further intimation about McIntyre’s [bias, ulterior motive, disingenuousness, dishonesty…whatever it is?] instead apply to you?

    5. New Zealander

      Firstly, Bravo!
      Secondly, do not dismiss the 8 points from WUWT too readily. I think that, were you to engage with Anthony Watts, you might find that some of them are not without merit. Try. It’s the only way to learn.
      Thirdly, I believe I may have been the first to use the term ‘PR flack’ about the estimable Mr Bob Ward. If a career in media relations, publications (bar 2) limited to newspapers/press releases, not (by his standards – no PhD) being a scientist of any sort etc. don’t eminently qualify him for that tag, well …..

    6. David Bailey


      When you see the scientific process deliberately flouted – as in the case I mentioned above, you just can’t say, “well carry on but try to be a bit more careful in future!”.

      These are not mistakes – any more than the ‘Glaciergate’ was a mistake. You can’t accidentally remove part of a graph in a way that obscures what has gone on, and do it by accident! You can’t take a report claiming the imminent demise of the Himalayan glaciers, carefully check it, and then months later announce that it was all a mistake, and there was no evidence to review!

      At the moment, I would say that the evidence for AGW has been utterly contaminated by those working on these projects, and this has been done deliberately. In this context Steve McIntyre is absolutely right to say that if we really want to know what, if any evidence there is for a problem from CO2, we absolutely have to assemble a fresh team of people to look at the issue.

      I don’t want the earth to overheat because of added CO2, any more than you do, and I would like to know how important CO2 really is, but we won’t find out, if we continue to employ people who seem to confuse scientific study with something more akin to marketing.

      I do think a lot of the problem has been caused by the fact that very few journalists and even fewer politicians have any training in science. As a result, they have had to take even the simplest statements on trust. I would urge you to find a physicist you can trust (not a climatologist with a vested interest!), and ask him to help you explore these issues further.

    7. Marty

      Your rhetorical point is taken comletely literally by the “deniers”. They rely almost entirely on ‘gray’ literature, smear and guilt by association. Your entirely honourable intentions that the IPCC is held to the highest standards is of no concern to them, if you read the comments here, then read the comments by the same commentators at other ‘skeptic’ web sites, they have nothing but contempt for the the science behind global warming, believe that the whole case for AGW is a fraud, and that there is a global conspiracy by scientists to destroy capitalism. If you don’t believe me, read the comments by the same commentators here on other web sites.

      Here you are presented as being someone who has finally seen the light, and now agree with the endless nonsense of WUWT and Bishop Hill.

      You no longer support the science behind AGW, nor the IPCC. I know this was not your intention, but that is how this story is played out on the webs now. That you have written whole books that support the science behind AGW is completely irrelevant. You are now on their side. (According to them).

    8. SteveH

      And which of these are untrue or at the very least serious discussion topics?

    9. Steve Thursby

      So some one goes out and collects real data , fully documented , that shows fundamental problems with the data that under pins the whole discussion of what is a supposed to be a very important topic, and they are the denier?

      What a strange view of how science works you have.

  25. PaulM

    Mark, more excellent comments. You are starting to ask the questions that investigative journalists should have been asking for some time, if we had any investigative journalists left who are not slaves to the bandwaggon of political correctness.

    These are the sorts of questions that Steve Mc and David Holland and others have been asking for some times. I predict that you will not any get satisfactory answers. If you get an answer at all they will fob you off with answers along the lines of
    1. The press release is a team effort and it would be inappropriate to name any individuals involved.
    2. This is standard IPCC procedure. For IPCC AR4, the SPM was released in Feb 2007, well before the main report.
    3. See 1
    4. Conflict of interest is currently under review see IPCC document “REVIEW OF THE IPCC PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES” Abu Dhabi May 2011.

    The story is spreading fast – see today’s Daily Mail, and Fred Pearce in New Scientist.

  26. David Bailey


    As a journalist, you need to start asking yourself some serious questions:

    1) Why did WikiLeaks host the Climategate leaked emails if they didn’t hold anything of importance? That site is crammed with information about abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, banking abuse, etc. Why would they bother about mere chit-chat between scientists?

    2) Why is it that The Daily Mail was able to demonstrate exactly why one of Mann’s graphs in the highly respected science magazine, Nature contained a deliberate deception?–Russians-admit-DID-send-them.html

    As far as I know, Nature has taken no action about this!

    3) Along with the famous emails, were other documents, including some programmer’s notes in a file called “HARRY_README.TXT”. You don’t need to know how to program computers, to realise that the CRU didn’t even bother to keep its temperature records in a clear unambiguous form.

    4) Ask yourself if the lie that ‘deniers’ bombarded the CRU with FOI requests, just to waste the time of the scientists who work there, could possibly make sense. The information that should have been publicised could have been put on a website, and any that genuinely could not be released, could have been handled using a standard letter.

    5) Read the “Hockey Stick Illusion”, and go and ask some hard questions of those involved (preferably with a statistician on hand) – what is the betting that they suddenly have a lot of urgent work on their desk?

    6) Ask Lord Oxborough whether his involvement with the Globe organisation, didn’t constitute a conflict of interest when he chaired the inquiry into the science at the CRU. Ask him which of the emails he examined (I believe the answer is none!) and which papers he examined (I believe the answer is uncontentious ones, not involved in any of the scandals).

    Please try not to feel too bad about any ‘deniers’ who choose to express themselves here in more forceful terms – they all feel as angry as I do that the whole scientific process has been traduced in this way. I doubt if any of them are receiving any of those mythical payments from big oil!

    1. KatyD

      David: Yet again someone is referring to a Daily Mail piece as being factual! If Mark is going to read the book suggested then perhaps you would be good enough to read; & perhaps too.

      And regarding peer review & citing of sources this video gives an excellent insight into how information can be misleading;

    2. David Bailey

      You can’t justify a fatally flawed paper by saying there is other evidence pointing in the same direction!

      If one piece of evidence is flawed, you simply have to let it go, and put forward some other evidence for scrutiny. This was a major piece of work, trumpeted all over the world. I remember seeing it appear as first item on the TV news, and it was based on a piece of faulty maths!

      Actually, it was bogus justifications like that, that made me become a minor blogger on this subject – because I know how science should operate, and this is not it! You may be surprised to know that I have not received one penny from “big oil” or anyone else for my efforts – I just don’t like to see science treated like this!

      Please read what a physics professor at Oxford had to say on this:

    3. Nick Palmer

      Re your point 4 about the denial of service type attack on CRU.

      Here’s a direct link to one of McIntyre’s minions crowing about the time consuming nature of the FOI requests

      Quote “I assume that the reference number means that this is the 100th email Palmer has received! This will presumeably totally foul up his plans for a vacation.”

    4. Latimer Alder


      That’s the best that you can do? One sentence in one post from nearly two years ago with a slightly disobliging nature? There were 168 other posts just in that thread.

      As to ‘minions’, how do you figure that the author is a ‘minion’ of McIntyre? Are you a minion of Lynas by posting here? Or am I ?

      I tried to post at RC once. Had I succeeded would I have a Schmidtite? Or a Mannian? Or just a lackey of their PR firm?

      I note that you follow Ozo the Bozo. Does that make you an Ozo? Or something else

      Even across the wide sea from Jersey I hear the very loud sound of straws being clutched at………

    5. Nick Palmer

      Shooting from the hip again Latimer? Jersey is a small Island. I know the person who made that remark quite well – and their political motivations. I shared an election platform with them.

      There may well have been some of McIntyre’s little helpers who were entirely innocently helping the cause of total openess, honesty and integrity in climate science but plainly there were others who gleefully jumped at the chance to harass those who research truths that conflict with what they want to believe politically

    6. Latimer Alder

      Would you like to explain exactly what harassment took place?

      UEA had answered a previous request under FoI by saying that they couldn’t supply the data because of ‘international confidentiality agreements’. The requesters asked to see copies of those agreements with each of the (about) 210 countries worldwide. To ease the workload on UEA, while still allowing each request to be processed within a reasonable time, each request asked to see the agreements with five other countries. There were, I believe 52 such requests.

      UEA could in fact produce only four agreements. There was no evidence that the other 206 had ever existed.

      I see no harrassment. It shouldn’t have been too hard for UEA to copy agreements that they had already asserted (under FoI) that they had copies of. I see UEA trying to evade their responsibilities by being ‘economical with the truth’.And then being wrong-footed by the next move. Please explain where you see harassment not evasion.

      Its also interesting to note that, after these and other shenanigans, and uniquely among UK universities, UEA were obliged to sign an undertaking with the Information Commissioner’s Office that they would comply with the Law more effectively and rigorously in future. The jury is still out on whether this agreement has had any effect on their actual behaviour.

    7. Latimer Alder

      Intriguing that you shared a platform with somebody with the same name as the poster. On the mainland we also have a Duchess of York floating around who has the exact same moniker. Small world eh?

      But assuming that it is the same person (and excluding any possibility of sour grapes) I just note that she got over five times more votes than you did, and got elected to the States of Jersey. You came 19th out of 21 candidates and weren’t elected.

    8. Nick Palmer

      Shooting from the hip again! I was one of four green candidates who had never stood before and we all split each other’s vote.

      Sarah was already an elected well known and popular member of the States of Jersey (and an honorary policeman before that in her home Parish). She stood on a financial reform manifesto which had a lot of sense in it – which was desperately needed here. Just because she has been sucked in by the delusionist stuff on ClimateAudit and WUWT doesn’t mean she hasn’t got ability elsewhere. If it wasn’t for her denialist views I would vote for her in a second. I like her. We discussed what she was doing re the FOI requests. If you can’t understand that what was being done was harassment to attempt to find non existent nits to post facto justify a prejudiced outlook then you are pretty much the same as many other denialists/avoiders of reality around.

      BTW, while campaigning to be a Senator (she was a Deputy) she did not play up her denialism (or independent thinking as she calls it). I don’t recall her even mentioning it much in public until she got elected. Like many sceptics, the root of her scepticism/caution/denialism is a sort of semi-libertarian philosophy that views Big Government as such a horror that stopping it trumps all other considerations. Because she believes this so sincerely, even with her undoubted intellect, she turns a blind eye to the risks she would impose on us all. Not acceptable.

    9. Latimer Alder

      1. You presented your view to the electorate. They were not overall impressed enough to vote you into power. Your ‘opponenet’ however was elected.

      Get over it.

      2.’If you can’t understand that what was being done was harassment to attempt to find non existent nits to post facto justify a prejudiced outlook then you are pretty much the same as many other denialists/avoiders of reality around’

      I think I’ll have to ask you to explain that in more detail. Please present your interpretation of this incident, and how you come to your conculsion. I’m especially interested in hearing about ‘non-existsent nits’, how ‘post facto’ comes into play and exactly what you think I am ‘denying/avoiding’

      You can read my interpretation above. Interested to know exactly where yours differs

    10. J Bowers

      Wow. If only Mosher hadn’t shot his mouth off at Kloor’s and bragged about organising the “spamming” (his word) of CRU, and designing his own request to fail (ergo, waste time). But he did.

    11. Latimer Alder

      Link please?

    12. Latimer Alder

      Re: designed to fail.

      Of course the FoIs were designed to fail.

      They were ‘Show me’ requests for something that the requestee had claimed to possess, but didn’t actually have.

      How else could their nonexistence be demonstrated?

      As to wasting time, it is not difficult to reply to such a request…’sorry we don’t have it’. A lot more work if they did, and had to go and photocopy a document and stick it in an envelope,

      But they didn’t have the documents so the maximum amount of time they took was enough to create a short form letter 50 times, modify the e-mail address each time and send it to 50 addressees. A morning’s work for a junior administrator at most.

    13. Nick Palmer
      This is ridiculous. If you don’t realise that the effect on the very small CRU small team would have been very onerous, wasted a colossal lot of time and displaced time for real work then you simply are incorrigible. Where is the empathy in you? The whole project to get source data was harassment as the vast majority could have been obtained by McIntyre directly from the hundreds of global met services involved. Did he do this? No. Why not? Instead he chose to mobilise an army of followers to make FOI individual requests for five countries thus vastly multiplying the necessary admin to comply with the requests for data. FOI legislation can be used or abused. This was a crystal clear case of abuse.

      Furthermore, McIntyre has a clear underlying agenda to masquerade as being a balanced truthseeker whilst what he actually does is apply pathological quantities of hair-splitting and nit-picking IN ONE DIRECTION ONLY. A true sceptic about climate change science would only be balanced if they direct equal quantities of scepticism at the arguments from the other side too.

      The whole denialism movement looks like it operates like someone who takes a microscope to a photo of a supermodel, claims to find some pixel wide blemish, and jumps to the conclusion that not only the subject of the photograph was ugly but that her sisters and whole family were too. This is a form of paranoid thinking. Because of this “seeing pictures in ink blots” modus operandi sometimes the blemish is real but sometimes it proves to be an artifact of the photo. CRU and other scientists in the field know exactly how McIntyre and co operate seeking small or imaginary blemishes and they know their motivation is not that of pure academic researchers – they have an agenda – it is a measure of the dishonesty (whether they realise what they are doing or not) of the pathological sceptics that they purport to be searchers after truth whereas what they actually are is a type of personality who only looks for evidence that confirms their wishful thinking and turns a blind eye to anything else. That is not objectivity, that is bias and prejudice.

      McIntyre being disingenuous “I undertake that my use of the data will be for “academic” and not commercial use. In addition, it is my expectation that any restrictive language in the relevant confidentiality agreements will apply only to the “use” of the data and my use is academic”

    14. DHM

      Context and a timeline would be a useful correction here.
      The strategy of refusing FOI requests was discussed in the climategate emails before they’d ever even gotten a single FOI request! Their early discussions of avoiding FOI compliance was not prompted by an actual FOI request, but merely by receiving memos at work about their responsibilities under the FOIA:

      Tom Wigley, Former Director CRU, to Phil Jones, 21/01/2005


      I got a brochure on the FOI Act from UEA. Does this mean that, if someone asks for a computer program we have to give it out?? Can you check this for me (and Sarah). [snip]

      Phil replies to Tom:


      On the FOI Act there is a little leaflet we have all been sent. It doesn’t really clarify what we might have to do re programs or data. Like all things in Britain we will only find out when the first person or organization asks. I wouldn’t tell anybody about the FOI Act in Britain. I don’t think UEA really knows what’s involved.
      As you’re no longer an employee I would use this argument if anything comes along. I think it is supposed to mainly apply to issues of personal information – references for jobs etc.

      So the coverup starts immediately, even before the first request. “I wouldn’t tell anyone about the FOI act in Britain”.

      Willis traces the development of the FOI requests as he knows them, and while, yes, the requests certainly snowballed, this was in direct reaction to the utter lack of cooperation or response to those requests.

      in February of 2005 Phil sends an email which reveals that he has received no FOI requests yet:

      “If they [he seems to be referring specifically to McKittrick and Mcintyre] ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? – our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it.”

      Michael Mann replied, in part, with this:

      ” …there is a freedom of information act in the U.S., and the contrarians are going to try to use it for all its worth. But there are also intellectual property rights issues, so it isn’t clear how these sorts of things will play out ultimately in the U.S”

      This also seems to indicate that while Mann expects to receive such requests, they haven’t really been a bother yet. And, again, if any of them had ever replied to the requests, there would not have been the snowball effect.

      The dishonest rejection of legitimate FOIA requests came first. The snowballing was a direct response to that.

    15. David Bailey

      It was clearly a stupid remark, but you have to ask yourself why this information wasn’t simply open, or not available for a well defined reason. If that had been the case, the 100 FOI requests could have been handled by a secretary.

      These guys wanted the information, not just to irritate the scientists.

    16. David Bailey

      Further comment – this was not a “denial of service attack” – something that is performed by hacking a large number of computers to send fake messages to a website – it was 100 requests for information that should have been in the public domain already!

    17. J Bowers

      Blame the British government for the invention of Trading Funds.

      The Met Office is an agency of the Ministry of Defence, which in turn earns millions in annual dividends from Met Office profits. Weather has always been of interest to Her Majesty’s Royal Navy.

      Phil Jones, by the way, made it clear in an interview given before Climategate (Augist 2009) that he was trying to get the proprietary data released.

    18. Nick Palmer

      Ferchrissakes, the DOS phrase was an ANALOGY. Stop being so hair-splittingly literal

      Also, most of the info WAS in the public domain – being directly obtainable from the Met departments etc of the hundreds of countries. That is why multiple small coordinated FOI requests were harassment. If you can’t understand that then you must be autistic or something.

      And your paranoid thinking in trying to interpret the quotes as bits as evidence of a sinister pre cover up is just embarrassing – what is the matter with the way people like you think? That is exactly the sort of stuff that any office type would say when faced with a potential new bureaucratic demand that would involve extra tedious work. Stop seeing Machiavellian evil where only pissed off grumpiness exists.

    19. Nick Palmer

      Sorry – my reply was to DHM too…

  27. Pingback: Quote of the Week – bonus edition | Watts Up With That?

  28. Anthony Watts

    Welcome sir, to the club.

    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Thanks Anthony – though please remember it is the ‘standing up for the integrity of science’ rather than the ‘don’t believe in global warming’ club 🙂

    2. Mike Mangan

      I don’t think you’ll find too many members in the “don’t believe in global warming” club. The “Climate is not dominated by positive feedback” and “GCM’s cannot adequately model cloud formation” clubs have much better amenities. Properly aged Scotch and squash courts and all that.

    3. Barry Woods

      Mark do you really misunderstand sceptics so badly?

    4. Judith Curry

      Mark, that is exactly what I have been doing is standing up for integrity in science and the assessment process, and for an improved characterization and acknowledgement of uncertainty. The result has been vilification.

    5. Joshua

      Unfortunately, Judith, your concerns about vilification are highly selective.

      Broad charges of “scientific cleansing” and the like are a regular feature of the comments at your blog, and you seem to not be the least bit concerned about it.

    6. Dolphinhead

      Mark if you want to stand up for the integrity of science you must needs be branded a denier by the true believers. Sad but true. If you open your eyes you will see that the lack of integrity of the so-called climate scientists is the reason that anyone with half a brain cell is a skeptic. Once you leave the green bubble there is no going back.

    7. GDaddis

      Mark, you need to read Mr. Watts’ website. (Sorry to be adding to your reading list 😉 ).
      Anthony does not deny warming and to my reading has not claimed that humans do not contribute to that warming.
      His very data based focus is on understanding the accuracy and significance of the collection stations in the US. He has interacted with the Berkley team and (IIRC) has a recent peer reviewed paper on the subject, with respected climate scientists as contributing authors. His research on that subject has been cited before Congress by the lead of the Berkley team.
      Since Anthony does not censor comments you are likely to find extreme comments from both sides of the aisle on his site. That’s the price of honest debate.

    8. Joshua

      Right, Anthony does not deny warming. He only runs banner posts when there is an above normal snow pack.

      Purely a coincidence, I’m sure.

    9. Marty

      How can Watts ‘welcome’ you to the club when he is not a member himself? He has no regard whatsoever for the integrity of science, and repeatedly publishes articles that are scientificly inept or ignorant, and repeatdly launches personal attacks at scientists. His approach breaches one of the tenets of the scientific method, do not personalise issues.

      In the paper by Watts I linked to before.

      “A series of case studies illustrates the scale and frequency of data manipulation. In every instance, the effect of the tampering is to make it appear as though temperature has risen faster in the instrumental record than in truth it has. This is but a sampling. By the time you read this, there probably will be many more.”

      He is accusing scientists of conspiracy and fraud on a large scale by climate scientists to mislead the public. Such literature is read and believed by a large number of the people, and the net effect is that public confidence in the scientific findings is falling and the possibility of action being taken to prevent problematic warming is becoming less and less likely. They do not seek to improve the integrity of science, they seek to undermine it, using accusations such as the ones in this paper, of absurd conspiracy claims. The irony is, Watts himself has just published a formal peer reviewed paper the destroys his own claims of fraud.

      If you sup with the devil, Mr Lynas, use a long spoon. The scientist who is a member of Greenpeace is the least of your problems.

  29. Borepatch

    Mark, this post is so full of win that it hurts. It’s very gratifying to see the focus (properly) turn on the question of whether the scientific process has been corrupted.

    Until this question is resolved conclusively, none of the scientific details matter much.

  30. jorgekafkazar

    Brave and bold, and unequivocal. Well done.

  31. Harold Ambler

    Congratulations, Mark!!

    Being a denier is the toughest job you’ll ever love. Take it from me.


  32. NewYorkJ

    You have a post entitled “New IPCC error: renewables report conclusion was dictated by Greenpeace” which is in error. A single lead author doesn’t have hte ability to dictate anything.

    You’ve also made sweeping conclusions that

    – Anyone from an NGO shouldn’t be a lead author. Richard Tol is one. Does he count?

    – IPCC lead authors shouldn’t “review their own work” – a poor conclusion since there are many lead authors on each chapter. In fact, you still falsely refer to the published study as “grey literature”.

    And when confronted with these flaws, you refuse to admit any error or overreach and simply cry foul (circle the wagons) on the part of those pointing them out, a classic Judith Curry rhetorical tactic (along with “gotchas”) used to dismiss dissent.

    This is not to say that everything you say has no merit, but it gets drowned out in all the spin and nonsense. For example:

    “Press releases and Summaries for Policymakers should not be released until the full report they are based on is also released”

    This is reasonable, and I at least agree with the first part. I’m not even sure there should even be press releases, because the summary should be good enough for a knowledgeable reporter, and I think your criticism of the press release is valid to begin with.

  33. Energy Expert

    As a physicis (energy expert) my theme for years has been:
    “Do we want our energy and environmental policies to be determined by lobbyists or science?”

    My point has been that lobbyists are the source of essentially ALL of our environmental and energy policies. This is not good for anyone other than their clients.

    REAL science is the answer to this self-serving, expensive, and ineffective alternative.

    See EnergyPresentation.Info for a scientific perspective on renewables.

  34. Maurizio Morabito (@omnologos)

    nevermind the scientific process…Greenpeace and Bob Ward want us to get poor, cold, sick and hungry (and fewer) and perhaps renounce a democratic freedom or two in order to defeat climate change. On what basis, one wonders, as the edifice keeps crumbling .

    If one’s got a good case any lie and any deception will undermine it. Simple.

  35. Bob Kutz

    Sorry to be so visceral; but what they’ve done deserves jail time.

    They took Taxpayer funds and used them for political purposes.

    It is very clear; they clearly walked outside of their remit, used and promoted their own (non-peer reviewed) material to mislead the entire IPCC project, prevented dissenting opinion from being expressed in the report, etc. etc.

    That is clearly abuse of office, violation of free speech (using government power and funding to stifle dissenting opinion and abject corruption. That it was under the auspices of the UN makes little difference; if they cannot keep that house clean then why are we involved in it at all. If they cannot punish outright lawlessness, then there is no value to the organization whatsoever. The UN needs to understand; punish the wrongdoers in your house or leave the US and go without our funding.

    Noble cause corruption is still corruption and deserves to be punished as such.

    1. David Bailey

      Unfortunately, if they couldn’t jail the bankers for losing billions for the sake of their bonuses, I don’t think they will jail the scientists involved in this scam – but I do share your sentiments!

      To be fair, I suspect AGW was one of those frog in hot water things, where the evidence started out pretty inconclusive, and was “sexed up” (UK citizens will understand this reference) a bit at a time. By now, those involved don’t know how to extricate themselves from the mess.

      There has been quite a bit of speculation in various blogs as to who leaked those emails. The general view seems to be that it was an inside job – someone at the CRU recognised that it was time the truth came out – the trouble is any whistle blowers can only be expected to speak out if the press as a whole will take notice.

  36. Adrian G

    Mark, am I understanding this right?

    1) despite dismissing their report as propaganda throughout your piece you have nothing to say on the peer-reviewed science submitted by Teske et al other than that the assumptions they make about energy efficiency look unlikely given the lack of political appetite for the necessary enabling policies (or in other words, the assumptions are very optimistic). Since this was explicitly set out as the most optimistic scenario (and this was made clear in the report and the press release), it hardly makes sense to criticise it on that front. What have you added to the debate other than a lot of bluster and rhetoric?
    2) you published your headline “New IPCC error: renewables report conclusion was dictated by Greenpeace” without first finding out whether Teske was in any way involved in the decision to highlight his paper in greater depth? (I’m presuming this is the case, otherwise why the need for the clarification email to Edenhofer). So you were effectively just speculating? In which case how do you justify the absurdly bombastic headline? I presume you’d feel obliged to publicly apologise to Greenpeace if the IPCC now tells you that Teske had no significant role in the decision?
    3) what exactly is the really, really terrible ‘error’ you’re referring to? As far as I can see, you offer no substantive criticism of the science, and you can only offer speculation when it comes to the role of Greenpeace in influencing the report?

    Certainly it looks like at the very least the IPCC made a mess of their media release, and maybe worse, and there’s definitely a legitimate conversation to be had about the role of interested parties in contributing to these reports (non-profits, as well as EDF, Exxon, Chevron…etc), so I’m not trying to suggest there is no story here… but if there is, you completely missed it in your first piece – while banding around a bunch of unsubstantiated accusations and speculation. Just from a journalistic point of view, it feels like a bit of a shame.

    1. Sarah

      Agreed 🙁 Even if the IPCC comes back and it turns out that there is a conflict of interest, this reads like really cheap, nasty journalism.

      If you’re going to make sensationalist claims, at least do your research before you post the story, not after. Really disappointed.

    2. Latimer Alder

      Trying to shoot the messenger……..and missing

    3. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Adrian G –

      I hope you would be sticking up for Exxon had they been similarly maligned. I suspect not. But anyway, since I belive in answering questions:

      1. I accept that I should have separated out the two issues, namely the procedural issue of possible conflict of interest and the merits of the Teske et al, 2010 study per se. Let’s stick to the former just now, as it makes things simpler. (But yes, anything produced by Greenpeace is ‘propaganda’ for me – that’s their job: to campaign. I would never use a GP report in one of my books as a source in the same way as a scientific paper.)

      2. Yes, my initial headline makes the assumption that a lead author of an IPCC chapter would have been involved in selecting its key content, especially if that ended up headlining the entire thing. I’m seeking clarification from the IPCC in an attempt to establish exactly what did happen. If I have dramatically overstated the case, and a very strict conflict of interest policy was followed in some way that has not yet been revealed, then I would expect the IPCC to inform us all about it. Of course, an apology will be forthcoming if it is deserved.

      3. The IPCC’s “error” was to get itself into a position where it allowed its entire renewables report to look discredited because of a blatant conflict of interest. Yes of course this is different from a straightforward ‘error’ about a point of fact. I believe the word can cover both scenarios.


    4. Adrian G

      Why do you suspect not? The problem I have with your piece is the poor quality of the journalism, not the story itself.

      1) you’re conflating the Greenpeace report with Teske’s paper. Teske’s paper was peer-reviewed. The logical implication of your argument seems to be one of the following:
      a. you no longer believe in the peer-review process?
      b. you think it was corrupted in the instance of the Teske paper (another significant allegation which you’ve failed to substantiate?).
      c. you only believe certain people should be allowed to submit their work for peer review and have the opportunity to be taken seriously, no matter whether their work is scientifically sound?
      d. you lack journalistic integrity when you suggest that Greenpeace propaganda influenced the IPCC, and have let the fact that you saw an opportunity to bash an environmental NGO over the renewables/nuclear issue cloud your judgement. In which case you should probably just apologise and stop talking about propaganda entirely.
      Can I ask which of these you identify with most at the moment? Or is there another logical conclusion to your argument that the IPCC was influenced by propaganda?

      2) we all make assumptions I guess. For the sake of your reputation I almost hope you’re right with this one. If you’re wrong, you’ll have done immeasurable harm to the IPCC’s reputation by exposing countless numbers of people (Daily Mail, Independent, NYT, The Australian, the Economist…etc etc) to a story that you simply failed to research properly.

      3) you’re right, the word can cover both scenarios. Given the polarised nature of debate on climate change and the eagerness of some people to undermine the IPCC’s reputation using ‘non-scandals’ and rhetoric, do you think you might have been a little more careful not to use ambiguous language? Or was it deliberate to attract a bigger readership? ‘IPCC vulnerable to potential conflict of interest’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it does it. Presumably as an environmental journalist who specialises in climate change you’re more conscious than most of your responsibilities on this front; do you regret the tone of your piece, if you’re honest?

    5. Latimer Alder

      Seems to me that the ‘immeasurable harm to the IPCC’s reputation’ is entirely self-inflicted.

      So it’s no use shooting the messenger after the horse has bolted.

    6. Albatross

      Very good points Adrian, and I hope that Mark takes the time to carefully answer them. This could have been done a lot more tactfully and much more responsible wording could have been used. How about contacting the IPCC first to ask above Teske’s involvement, that is standard practice– I’m sure you know that.

      Mark, many so-called ‘warmists’ still respect your efforts (even Romm, but as you know he has a short fuse), nobody is perfect and sometimes we err, as you seem to have done here on a couple of counts– a little overzealous perhaps and a little careless.

      There will be no burning at the stake or vilification, the ‘skeptics’ are just being silly as per usual. I think that everyone here should be able to agree that we need to move to a sustainable and low carbon economy. Bickering and being heavy handed with the IPCC is not aiding that or working towards that objective.

    7. Latimer Alder

      ‘Bickering and being heavy handed with the IPCC is not aiding that or working towards that objective.’

      You cannot ‘move to a sustainable and low carbon economy’ – even if you deem that desirable – without somebody picking up the enormous tab for doing so. If it could have been done for nothing, it would already have been done…no cost free energy is a very very attractive idea.

      But instead the bills are eye-wateringly huge..and they have to paid for somewhere. Failing the existence of the money tree in your back garden, the only place it can come from is the energy consumer/taxpayers.

      And before sloshing out the thousands of trillions of pounds or euros or dollars required, they will want some better reassurance that they have been given the best advice. and that patently isn’t going to happen when the IPCC issues a report where one of the authors has a blatant financial and political Conflict or Interest. The public are not fools….however much you like to think they are.

      So your ‘don’t rock the boat, the poor IPCC are trying ever so hard and doing their best’ argument might stand up among a greenie’s lovefest, but in actual real politics is naive to the point of childishness.

      Either the IPCC shape up and reform themselves so they are not only squeaky clean ethically – but are seen to be relentless in the elimination of even the hint of Conflicts of Interest – or they will get reformed/abolished.

      Pretending that everything is hunkydory and all the bad publicity is the fault of those nasty nasty sceptic bogeymen is just blinding yourselves to reality. Good luck with that. Lets revisit in 2013 and see how you get on.

    8. Adrian G

      Thanks Albatross.

      I’m not trying to deny that there is a story here. There might even be one that merits a good deal of attention. I just think Mark’s journalism was irresponsible and that his sensible points have been obscured by a carelessness and sensationalist tone that is really disappointing from the POV of any serious reader. Perhaps many or all of Mark’s accusations may turn out to be true… I just wish he’d established that before making them rather than after. It seems an awful precedent.

    9. Joshua

      Mark, believe that Adrian’s response to your response should be addressed.

      I also think that your admission of your errors needs to be made into a separate post. Those errors are very substantial given the context, and it would only be responsible for you to address them more completely.

      If you have any concerns about your work on this issue being deceptively used (by whichever side) to fight ideological battles, then I think you have a responsibility to be as clear as possible. If you have no such concerns, then I am left to wonder why that might be the case.

    10. Albatross

      Agreed Joshua. This is looking to be more and more a case of innuendo and dog-whistle politics to me, and not responsible investigative journalism. Make the accusation first and then try and chase down the facts, and then bend over backwards to try and defend your original position.

      And May Lynas is not a ‘denier’, he knows that all too well, can we please get serious and stop playing games and arguing strawmen.

    11. Dean

      He knows he’s not a denier and yet he is the one who used the term to apply to himself. Calling it rhetorical is the height of naivete in the current environment, which is basically how I see how this episode has actually played out.

  37. Harry Trent

    Mark – I’m sorry to hear that the likes of Bob Ward and Joe Romm have already begun the process of ostracising you, as they do with anyone who doesn’t go along with their all-or-nothing catastrophic alarmism. Many sincere scientists with genuinely-held doubts about AGW have suffered the same, and worse.

    What will it take for the science to be debated openly and honestly, without such vilification descending from the extremists? No wonder the public are having doubts about the whole business.

  38. John Whitman


    I suggest the most important aspect of this current IPCC incident is that it will finally force open the processes of the IPCC in real time . . . . it will achieve getting real transparency and openness during the actual real time IPCC process. That would be a breakthrough for IPCC de-biasing.

    Steve Mc and your requests to the IPCC for info related to the current IPCC incident is therefore is of paramount importance. THANKS.


  39. tonyb


    This is the start of what will be a long process from ‘accepter’ to ‘denier’ which I suspect many of those commenting here will already have gone through.

    Unfortunately it will be more painful for you than most because of your high profile as a former ‘accepter’ who has started to ask some interesting questions. Best of luck on your journey

    tonyb .

  40. Pete H

    Mark, the whole point is that this should be about pure science and honest peer review. The IPCC has never been about that and has been political bent from the beginning. Maurice Strong jumps immediately to mind!

    PR from the likes of Ward/Greenpeace and the WWF etc with their lobbying on contested science continue to chafe and have no place in research.

    The whole of climate science is viewed with increasing dismay, as your post has proved. Taking into account the vast sums that have been spent and are proposed to be spent in the near future surely to heaven the whole matter requires to be investigated by independent scrutiny and lobbyists should be isolated from the scenario as your original post points out.

  41. Russell C

    Mr Lynas,

    Piling on to the reading list suggested by others above, may I also suggest an inquiry as to why enviro-activist people (specifically Ozone Action / Greenpeace USA) involved with the IPCC processes are also involved in what I call the ’96-to-present smear of skeptic scientists?

    If you care to look at the United States section of “Annex IV Reviewers of the IPCC WGIII Fourth Assessment Report”, you’ll see the name “Gallagher, Kelly Sims”.

    If you look at this 1996 press release trashing skeptic scientists, you’ll see her maiden name, Kelly Sims, literally in the sentence following one that was concluded with the same “reposition global warming” phrase seen in Al Gore’s 2006 movie just before the 1 hour 13 minute point.

    By clicking on my name above, you’ll have the opportunity to read though my articles and blogs on this narrow topic of how the accusation that skeptic scientists are corrupt appears to have been consolidated at that Ozone Action enviro-group around 1996.

    To put it mildly, there is a cancer on the IPCC, it’s growing in every direction. Does this give you more incentive to be a denier?

  42. Wu

    I’d like to congratulate you, without sarcasm, for questioning the ethics of IPCC.

    I also would like to add that questioning science is a prudent thing to do. Dismissing science, whether through bias or prejudice, slows our progress as a human race. That’s how I differenciate between wisdom and denial.

  43. Ron Zelius


    I agree entirely with Anthony and no sensible member of the club (there are admittedly some insensible ones) would like to conscript you to the visceral ‘don’t believe in global warming’ club. Appropriate scepticism (the default position of the true scientist) is fine by most of us. Basically it’s just good to be able to interact in a civilised manner.

    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Really? Well if that’s the case then I’m in.

    2. geoffchambers

      Ron Zelius expresses well the essence of true scepticism. It’s not about saying “global warming isn’t happening / won’t happen”. It’s simply a matter of admitting that we don’t know. Not only is the science uncertain (and the IPCC – between gritted teeth – has admitted as much) but we cannot know what temperatures will be in 50 years – no-one can. Philosophers understand this better than scientists, and engineers better than either.
      You say you’re “in” [the default position of the true scientist]. Does that mean that you accept that we don’t know what future temperatures will be, for given levels of greenhouse gases?

  44. David H. Wright

    I wish to point out that Judith Curry was criticised for her uncritical acceptance of Andrew Montford’s book, The Hockey Stick Illusion, and not because of any sincere doubts she had regarding AGW, as she has implied elsewhere in the comments section. As though reading your first book on the John F. Kennedy assassination and believing every word. “Gosh, the real killers roam free!”

    1. Latimer Alder

      And your point was what?

      You state that Judith Curry was criticised. Lots of people get criticised. Criticism is what happens in blogs. It may even have happened to you.

      But what point are you trying to make?

    2. David H. Wright

      Simply that she is not a “heretic”. Even now she refuses to acknowledge the reason why she was criticised. A tad ironic given the topic.

    3. Latimer Alder

      I fear that your convoluted approach to whatever point you are struggling to make has hit so many nods and winks and allusions that I am totally lost.

      It is usually considered to be the duty of the writer to make their meaning clear….I fear you have failed in this endeavour and I have grass to watch growing and paint that needs my attention to dry.

    4. David H. Wright

      The clearest illustration of Judith’s sweeping embrace, and stubborn refusal to accept that Montford got many important details wrong, can be found in the comment section at RealClimate (beginning on page 2).

      Sadly for her, these exchanges are archived at

    5. Latimer Alder


      Your case seems to rest purely on the fact that Gavin Schmidt said some disobliging things abouta review Judith wrote of the HSI.

      Wow. Gosh. There’s a thing then. Wee Gav dishing it out to those who criticise his boss and mentor.. I’m so shocked I must go and lie down in a darkened room.

      But seriously I still fail to see your point. Judith read the book, liked it and wrote a pretty favourable review. Schmidt didn’t like it and said so. Who’s surprised? Or are we just to assume that every word from GS is the final word on the subject?

    6. Latimer Alder

      And I don’t recall seeing Schmidt;s criticisms of the book at Montford’s Bsihop Hill blog. Where the author could reply and debate them. Perhaps GS/MM are unhappy posting somewhere where they do not hold the moderator’s scissors….

    7. David H. Wright

      Montford’s account, of course, is entirely second hand. But nothing prevented the author from posting at RealClimate when their critical review appeared. Let’s not pretend otherwise.

    8. Latimer Alder

      We all know that posting anything at RC that is not in entire agreement with the Team’s views is a futile exercise. Those that they moderately diagree with go into endless moderation. Those that they dislike just disappear.

      All in the interests of ‘climate science from climate scientists’

      Anyway ..RC is irrelevant nowadays. Few posts, little traffic, acolytes only.

    9. NikFromNYC

      That RealClimate post is by Tamino. In it he claims that the Central England temperature series forms a hockey stick.

      He indeed turned into one by a classic “lying with statistics” method which I debunk in a single glance here (which was of course moderated out on his blog):

      Central England has good company too:

      These utterly linear trends are also shared by the overwhelming majority of long running tide gauge records:

  45. Oliver K. Manuel


    I also wish you well.

    As a liberal, left wing Democrat who was once a supporter of Greenpeace, I now suspect that this whole affair was molded by the skillful hands of people of some propaganda politicians – like Henry Kissinger.

    I was a Principal Investigator for NASA and saw shadows of something strange moving across the stage in 1972 – but I had no idea why science was being distorted and manipulated until I saw the opera of “Nixon in China.”

    Here are a few of the experimental findings that were hidden [“Neutron Repulsion”, The APEIRON Journal (in press) 2011]:

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

  46. Jack

    CAGW has been sold to the public with the integrity of a third rate used car salesman. Let me count the ways:
    1)Appeals to authority
    2)It is a crisis, so you MUST ACT NOW!
    3)Appeals to credentialism.
    4)Out right lies (Climategate)
    5)Out right lies (changes to historical temp records via NASA and James Hansen and refusing to explain the change properly.)
    6)Refusing to release data, algorithms, methods of analysis, etc.

    No one would by a house, a car, or a child’s toy with a sales pitch like this. But the warmists want us to spend billions.

    The list is by no means complete.

  47. Josh

    Mark, another thoughtful article, which I thoroughly agree with.

    You have inspired a cartoon.

    and best of luck with the question!

  48. Fred

    Mark – despite the comments I made yesterday (which you blocked), I have to admit you have convinced me that you are serious about what you say and I give you credit for it.

    But don’t stop here. This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of process. I am fine if you want to disagree with sceptics about the science. It needs open debate.

    However what “deniers” (I hate that word) feel is that the debate so far has been skewed since the processes have become tainted with alarmist bias.

    If only you would revisit the climategate emails or the workings of the IPCC with the same inquiring mind then you will come across a lot to be concerned about. Look also at the BBC and the failings of Black to cover this issue.

    1. Oliver K. Manuel

      I agree, Fred.

      Mark is very serious.

      The climate scandal is only the tip of an iceberg, a puzzling shadow that I first saw moving across the stage of space science in 1972.

      That was the year we first reported evidence that the solar system formed directly out of supernova debris [“Xenon in carbonaceous chondrites”, Nature 240, 99-101 (1972)].

      Most of you here will not remember, but the first planetary system beyond ours was discovered in 1992 – three rocky, Earth-like planets orbiting a pulsar [“A planetary system around the millisecond pulsar PSR1257 + 12”. Nature 355, 145–147 (1992)].

      That was confirmed in 1994 [“Confirmation of Earth Mass Planets Orbiting the Millisecond Pulsar PSR B1257+12”. Science 264 (1994) 538–542].

      Al Gore and the UN’s IPCC have absolutely no control over the pulsar in the core of the Sun that controls Earth’s climate.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel

  49. Jani

    It is disingenous to claim that Teske has no relevant conflict of interest since everyone has “some”. There is a range of impartialities from entirely impartial to totally biased. No one would put Greenpeace close to the first category. It is bizarre that Teske has been appointed as a lead author. Such person should be in the category of relatively objective at minimum. This decision undermines the credibility of the ICPP which is tragic. If a general of Chinese peoples army drafts a report on global security, it would be met with scepticism even if it would make sense. ICPP is supposed to be a reliable scientific advisory group for everyone, not just “True believers”.

  50. Gunnar Strandell

    I am a true skeptic and welcome you into my motto:
    -Do not believe everything that is “true”!
    Contiunue being a “rumpnisse” (invented for children by Astrid Lindgren) and keep asking the questions:
    “Why are they doing in this way, why, why why then?”

    I think is good then IPCC turns its view into solutions instead of crash scenarios. But I dislike the exaggerations regardless of the direction they are poniting to.
    -Why are they doing in this way?

  51. David L. Hagen

    My compliments Mark on seeking to uphold the integrity of climate science and how it is reported.

    A deeper unresolved issue within climate science is quantifying the relative magnitude of anthropogenic vs natural causes – which requires thoroughly investigating each and every aspect of both.

    Foundationally the critical yet almost unaddressed question is:
    Which is the cause and which the effect?
    Did anthropogenic carbon dioxide increase ocean warming which changed clouds?
    OR Did natural causes (solar/planetary modulation of galactic cosmic rays affecting clouds) cause warming which increased CO2?
    See Roy Spencer on the related challenge:
    Are variations in water vapor and clouds the consequence or the cause of climate variation?

    Similarly, Do water vapor and clouds positive or negative feedback?

    Should we be mitigate climate change? Or focus on other humanitarian concerns? Why does the Copenhagen Consensus rank global warming mitigation dead last among the 30 greatest global humanitarian projects?

    Neither recognizing nor thoroughly exploring these questions is a much greater failing of IPCC.

    More importantly, are we asking the right questions?
    Is climate change our most important challenge? OR
    Is the peaking of light oil more important?

    See The Impending World Energy Mess Richard Hirsch et al.

    Peak Oil Versus Peak Net Exports–Which Should We Be More Concerned About? Jeffrey Brown et al.

    Peaking of light oil without having prepared for transitions to new/alternative fuels is likely to cause orders of magnitude greater harm our economies in the very near future than any anthropogenic global warming.

    Why are we allowing the political divide and self serving reports from OPEC and big oil to hide this far greater danger?

    I wish you well in exploring these issues and communicating what you discover!

  52. Mike.

    To all those people having a go at Mark Lynas, they should realise that people like him give the Green movement more credibility than any number of bodged reports could do.

    I’ve been studying the history of the green movement for a few years now at an academic level, and this tendency to circle the wagons (as Mark puts it) is indeed a recurring feature. Understandable in the past, but harmful now.

    I believe we could have 75% or more of our energy from renewables soon if the political will existed. But I also think the IPCC stinks to high heaven, not of conspiracy, but of cock-up and cover-up. Time for a change at the top and a new leader committed to transparency.

    1. Latimer Alder

      ‘I believe we could have 75% or more of our energy from renewables soon if the political will existed’.

      If we had eggs we could have ham and eggs if we had ham.

      The political will doesn’t exist, and there are no signs that it is going to exist. And hilarious self-inflicted IPCC cockups like the present one ensure that the will is ever further away.

      They really will have to get used to the idea that the general public aren;t morons and that trying to treat them with arrogant contempt is a self-defeating policy.

      They must either clean up their act bigtime and quick, or be cast into the dustbin of history.

  53. Webcraft

    Well Mark,

    If you wanted controversy then well done – you have it. You have also unwittingly given the climate denial industry another tool to use in their armoury – or rather, they would seek to make you into their tool.

    You are already popular as a Greenpeace-basher with your fairly outspoken contempt for conventional treehugging environmentalism, which is fair enough . . . and your trendily controversial espousement of nuclear power and GM undoubtedly stimulates rational discussion and thought. Who knows, it may even influence policy some day.

    And of course the point you make in the way this report was presented is perfectly valid and of course it’s Hooray for Mark for sticking his head above the parapet again – but did you actually realise what a can of worms you were opening? Or are you in fact heading – as many commenters here seem to believe – towards the climate sceptic position, passing another milestone on your journey away from your previous relatively conventional environmentalism? If so you may have to abandon more than the climate change planetary boundary . . . the people who now seem to believe you are getting into bed with them don’t generally accept any boundaries for the planet or its denizens.

    Whether you meant it to have that consequence or not, ‘Mark Lynas is a Denier’ will echo eerily round the blogosphere for months and years to come.

    1. Wu

      In other words, you’re either with us or against us.

      Tribal mentaility tends to stifle debate. I hope you see that as a bad thing.

    2. Mr B

      Wu: “Tribal mentality tends to stifle debate.”

      It’s unfortunate, then, that some climate sceptics have been so vocal about welcoming a potential member into the “club”.

      There’s a disheartening – if vaguely comical – inevitability to the way this issue is unfolding. Perhaps human beings are irrevocably tribal creatures, and opinions unavoidably become tests of loyalty. I like to think, though, that we all have the option of choosing our side, or none at all.

      Disagreements – even strong ones — are not necessarily expressions of tribalism. But it’s an unfortunate reality that climate sceptics tend to view dissension among global warming proponents the way Christians view the atheist on his deathbed: as an opportunity to thrust forward their books and pamphlets and urge repentance.

      By all means let’s have a debate, but let’s leave the proselytising at the door.

    3. Hoi Polloi

      “Whether you meant it to have that consequence or not, ‘Mark Lynas is a Denier’ will echo eerily round the blogosphere for months and years to come.”

      A typical tar-and-feathers attack and another perfect example of the alarmist’s view on science. All criticism is verboten and considerate an attack on it’s own dogma’s. Woe betide the man who has doubt of the word.

      I’m convinced that many scientists do think the same as Mark, but probably don’t have the courage that bring it out in the open for the sake of honest science. Dr.Judith Curry is another example of such a person.

      I wish Mark Lynas all the mental strength to withstand the incoming vicious attacks, as Webcraft so crafty predicts.

    4. Latimer Alder

      ‘the people who now seem to believe you are getting into bed with them don’t generally accept any boundaries for the planet or its denizens.’

      As a dyed in the wool sceptical climate realist, I wish just one alarmist would come out with some actual discussion of the shocking behaviours that me and my fellow sceptics are supposed to indulge in. Is it eating babies, drinking blood, summoning up Beelzebub or what?

      So far somebody has manged to find one slightly disobliging sentence about a UEA employees holiday written in a168-post blog from 2009. This is hardly major criminal activity.

      And that is it. all the innuendo , the nudge-nudge, the veiled hints of terrible misbehaviour have come to no more than that. Somebody having a giggle at an academic.

      Please come up with something a bit more scary and frightening. I want to think of myself as something a little more evil than a lily-livered milksop hiding behind my mother’s skirts.

      But wait! I plan to have a kipper for breakfast…and I an not 100% sure that the herring was organic, nor the woodsmoke from 100% entirely renewable resources. Perhaps that is sufficient to cast me into the fiery flames of planet destruction and genocide.

      Please reassure me…or come up with some real juicy stuff

    5. Nick Palmer

      And in your very words in your post you demonstrate why deniers get (what they think of) as insulted. You don’t appear to absorb or comprehend reality where it conflicts with your prejudices but, more significantly, once exposed to another’s view of reality you cannot seem to fairly communicate it to your audience.

      Latimer: “So far somebody has manged to find one slightly disobliging sentence about a UEA employees holiday written in a168-post blog from 2009. This is hardly major criminal activity.

      And that is it. all the innuendo , the nudge-nudge, the veiled hints of terrible misbehaviour have come to no more than that. Somebody having a giggle at an academic.”

      Read what I wrote and compare with Latimer’s interpretation. Fair and balanced? or rhetorical cherry picking? QED

    6. JPeden

      the people who now seem to believe you are getting into bed with them don’t generally accept any boundaries for the planet or its denizens.

      What, Webcraft, so you would now disparage even the “yellow” Chinese and “brown” Indians? For being so uppity and unboundaried as to dare to think that the alleged cause of the alleged CO2 = CAGW disease, is instead merely a very acceptable byproduct of a necessary component of the cure to their very real disease disaster resulting from under-development? The very same CO2 byproduct resulting from their massive endeavor to construct as many fossil fuel burning electricity plants as possible which will allegedly also ward off any impending Maunder Minimum – as per Gavin Schmidt?

      I don’t know, Webcraft, your rather wild claim here flirts with your possibly being “correctly” dubbed with a very powerful p.c. appellation starting with the letter “r” – but which, since I am not p.c….I will simply write off your outburst as a case of excessive rhetorical exuberance in service of your own very personal quest for a sense of meaning in life.

      No harm, no foul.

  54. geoffchambers

    Congratulations on everyone here, sceptics and “warmists” alike, for a civilised exchange of views. I do believe this is a first on the blogosphere
    Mark, this subject deserves a wider airing. Will you be writing about this in the Guardian?

  55. patsi baker

    Let’s get real here everybody.

    The only reason Mark is so wound up about this whole thing is because the IPCC Renewables report contains no mention of nuclear energy.

    This has really annoyed Mark, and so he blames it on the Greenpeace scenario that also doesn’t have nukes in it.

    He’s a bit miffed as his blog on the Guardian about Italian nuclear situation got well and truly trashed in the comments, with the Guardian’s own Damian Carrington disagreeing with him. That must have stung.

    1. Ben Pile

      “The only reason Mark is so wound up about this whole thing is because the IPCC Renewables report contains no mention of nuclear energy.”

      I don’t think that’s true. But either way, that’s a good reason to be annoyed about an energy report that seeks to influence global energy policy.

      I mean, why should the IPCC produce a report on renewables, if its interest is in studying the possibilities of decarbonisation? We know that it’s possible to power 80% of an economy through nuclear because France does it. Renewables do not present such opportunities.

      Whatever you think about climate, nuclear is an option, and one with a lot more proven promise than wind, and wind and solar (as far as most of the planet is concerned). And its physical and ecological ‘footprint’ is tiny in comparison. Doesn’t this emphasis on ‘renewables’, rather than decarbonisation in general speak about a pre-determined agenda?

      The problem of climate change — whatever kind of problem it is — is about producing energy. But of course, it’s become about so much more. And that’s why people find themselves the object of the term ‘denier’.

    2. EdG

      Excellent point. Why should the IPCC be producing reports on renewable energy in the first place?

    3. Latimer Alder

      That’s a really insightful discussion about Conflicts of Interest in the IPCC and misleading press releases. Thanks for your contribution.

    4. W. Landers

      @patsi baker

      Nail on head.

      Mark Lynas loves nuclear. There is no nuclear in the peer reviewed paper that forms the basis of the IPCC’s scenario for 77% renewables. This makes Mark Lynas very angry so he imagines conspiracies and corruption to explain this – and ‘cites’ a notoriously unreliable and dishonest denier to try and make his case.

      While the need to mitigate global warming becomes ever more urgent, Lynas is creating another pointless cloud of innuendo and distortion.

      On the positive side for Mark: he has made lots of new friends who are now fawning all over him and his baseless attack on the IPCC.

  56. Stephen Brown

    I quote … “the integrity of the scientific process”.
    That, Sir, is all that the so-called “deniers” have ever wanted.
    Propose an hypothesis, test it, make the results of the testing known and let others attempt to falsify the hypothesis.
    That is the way, the only way, that the basis of real scientific knowledge is achieved. That is what those who support and propagandise the “hypothesis” of anthropogenic interference in the natural climatic fluctuations singularly fail to realise.

    As Einstein said, “… it only takes one experiment to prove me wrong.”

    I admire your courage in standing up to one of the most infamous bastardisations of the scientific process that the world has known.

  57. Some other Mark

    Mark – I very much appreciate your stand for the integrity of science. The world needs more independent thinkers who are willing to pursue truth and demand integrity. Now that you’ve taken this step, there are a variety of other embarrassments lurking in climate science that deserve equal outrage; from the ClimateGate emails to the CRU whitewash to the Hockey stick debacle and cover up (well documented in Montford’s excellent book).

    I was a true believer in the CAGW orthodoxy and fully accepted the explanations and justifications of the Hockey Team until the day I went and actually read the source material myself. Since then I’ve learned that the “Deniers” are not “fossil fuel funded disinformation agents” but rather, for the most part, people who care about getting the science right. The fact that some leading CAGW proponents so intensely try to smear those who disagree with them is what clenched the issue in my mind. When I see the Hockey Team obfuscate, deflect, misdirect and otherwise continue to ‘fight dirty’, that alone undermines their credibility.

    Like most skeptics I fully agree that the Earth as been gradually warming since emerging from the little ice age. CO2 has also possibly contributed a very small amount to this warming. On the whole, this warming is natural and beneficial and there is, as of yet, no experimental evidence showing that CO2 causes a positive feedback effect that will lead to catastrophic, runaway warming. Therefore no taxes or other economically damaging regulation are justified. For that, eminently reasonable and scientifically well-supported position, I am labeled a “Denier”.

    Welcome to the “D”-List! You are in excellent and rapidly growing company.

  58. Barry Woods

    Mark I wonder if you consider this a fair comment and representation or misrepresentation of the issue from The Guardian?

    “The IPCC report, first published just over a month ago, has attracted criticism this week from climate change sceptics, who have complained that a scientist from Greenpeace was one of more than 120 authors of the study. They claim that this makes the study biased.”

    You do have to admire the professional deadpan PR approach at work

    Actually the whole article is worth a read, I would be interested in your thoughts, whether the peoplec,, wwf, greenpeace, pachauri, etc quoted have dealt with the issue

    1. Barry Woods

      Of course, The Guardian as is their way…

      ….have disabled comments on this article, lest anybody, presumably Mark or otherwise make a comment to the contrary….?

  59. Rachel

    I am a complete climate change denier (due to C02). However I completely agree with the greenies re: population control, use of solar power and nuclear in safe environment (ie Japan Building Plant besides major faults absolutely crazy), less dependence on oil etc for obvious reasons (not particularly dirty etc but economic reasons). Here is a funny video of someone who thinks alike except for the nuclear issue enjoy

  60. Hank Roberts

    Awcheeses, lookit _that_ headline (from Mark’s first link at the top)

    “New IPCC report reveals: Renewable energy is indispensible to avoiding climate change”

    Ya saying it is possible to _avoid_ climate change, Greenpeace folks?

    Press release headlines from PR people.
    They suck.

  61. Jason Pettitt

    Mark, I’ve got an even more outrageous hypothetical scenario for you. How about if the current Chair (no less) of the IPCC was, even during his chairmanship, also a director of ONGC – India’s largest producer of Crude Oil and Natural Gas and one of the World’s wealthiest 500 corporations.

    Oh wait, no, that’s actually true.

    What if though… I mean, can you imagine?

    If the boot were on the other foot the reaction of commie greens like me would be like… surely… well, it doesn’t bare thinking about does it.

  62. Harold Pierce Jr

    Helllo Mark!


    Re: Fossil Fuel Are Forever!

    Harold the Chemist says:

    Boats, planes, freight trucks and trains, military and emergency vehicles, heavy machinery used agriculture, construction, forestry and mining, cars and light trucks with spirit and muscle, recreational vehicles, and so forth will always require and use hydrocarbon fuels because these fuels have high energy density and are readily and primarily prepared from abundant crude oil, which exists free in Nature, by fractional distillation and blending of the distillate fractions, low energy processes which do not involve the breaking of chemical bonds. Even catalytic cracking of the heavy distillate fractions into lighter fractions for fuel formulation is a relative low energy process.

    In the heavy industries, only fossil fuels can supply the enormous amount raw heat energy and high process temperatures either directy or indirectly (e.g. the electric furnace) required by lime and cement kilns, smelters, steel mills, foundries and metal casting plants, all facilities manufacturing ceramic materials (glass, bricks, tiles, porcelin ware, etc), refineries and chemical plants and so forth.

    Diesel-electrical generating systems are used extensively throughout the world for primary and back-up power and for power generation in many delveloping countries and at remote locations (e.g., diamond and gold mines, resort islands, drilling rigs, movie sets, etc). Electrical generators using gasoline are quite portable and are used for small snd modest power requriments.

    Many processes in food production require large amounts of heat for baking, cooking and steam for sterilization, etc which can provided economically by fossil fuels. Drying of grain for storage requires enormous amounts of heat which can only be provided economically by fossils fuels.

    Energy for space heating especially in cold climates and hot water production and for electricity generation, in particular for refrigeration, communication systems, hospitals and emergency services, is provided most reliably and economically by use of fossil fuels.

    Factoids: A Boeing 747 takes off with 346,000 pounds of fuel for a long intl. fight. At large airports big jet are more numerous that house sparrows. The Emma Maersk is largest container-carrying ahip ever built and burns 45,000 liters of diesel fuel per hour.

    The most wasteful use of energy is diamond mining. Tons of ore are sometimes processed to obtain a few carats of rough diamonds. About 80% of gold production goes to the jewerly industry.

    Who amongest you wants to tell the ladies, “No more diamonds, gold, sliver, platinium, rubies, emeralds for jewerly.” In NYC. they would become outraged, ponce on you, take off the Pradas and pound you into hamburger which they would feed with glee to coyotoes in Central Park!

    I don’t want read any more foolish comments about getting rid of fossil fuels. Ain’t ever going to happen.

  63. Webcraft

    A ‘civilised exchange of views’ GeoffChambers? I don’t see it.

    One or two see Mark’s original point, but most are too busy welcoming him to the climate denial camp, while one or two prefer to slag him off because he dared to criticise Greenpeace.

    ‘Mark Lynas – climate denier’ – that’s the lasting headline the twonks are working up here. Not what was intended, but what has happened. And if THAT doesn’t convince you of the total dishonesty and disingenuity of the ‘sceptic’ camp then I don’t know what will.


    1. Fred

      I think very few of us “deniers” here really believe that Mark is about to abandon his belief in man-made global warming.

      However what we do appreciate is that for once, a well-known warmist (6 degrees!!) has decided to question the activities of the IPCC in an honest and insightful way. He is asking the questions that any fair-minded person should about conflicts of interest and process. This is to be respected.

      Perhaps sceptics are getting a bit carried away by this one event. But the simple fact that a warmist asking a few perfectly sensible and appropriate questions causes such a reaction really tells you how low our expectations of the warmists have been. I am also sure that Mark is feeling the heat from the warmists right now for his stand. I hope he can resist.

      Also, to call sceptics dishonest or disingenuous is a bit rich coming in the extreme coming from the side of “hide the decline” and “redefine the meaning of peer research”.

    2. Latimer Alder

      ‘Mark Lynas – climate denier’ – that’s the lasting headline the twonks are working up here. Not what was intended, but what has happened. And if THAT doesn’t convince you of the total dishonesty and disingenuity of the ‘sceptic’ camp then I don’t know what will.

      You lost me at the bit about ‘total dishonesty and disingenuity of the sceptic camp;

      Please explain exactly what you mean. It is the warmists who are piling the insults on poor Lynas for asking a few honest questions. By what convoluted logic does this represent ‘dishonesty’ by sceptics?

    3. Webcraft

      If the dozens of comments above welcoming Lynas to the Denier camp aren’t disingenuous then what are they?

      I confidently predict quotes and misquotes of the ‘. . . . then I am a denier’ fragment will be thrown in my face in climate change discussions for years to come, even though you all know that Mark has not moved his position on the climate change planetary boundary and consequent need for urgent action one iota.

      So I stick with it – dishonest and disingenuous. Live with it, the proof lies plain to see in the steaming pile of comments above.

    4. Latimer Alder

      ‘If the dozens of comments above welcoming Lynas to the Denier camp aren’t disingenuous then what are they?

      Please show me the ‘dozens of comments welcoming Lynas to the Denier camp’.

      And why do you believe that the ones welcoming his adoption of a degree of scepticism are either dishonest or disingenuous?

      To do in the first case (dishonesty) you will need to show actual deceit in the writings. In the second case you need to be able to look into the writers’ hearts.

      Good luck with both efforts.

    5. Jack Cowper

      Webcraft has obviously realised he’s lost this argument and all he has left now is lies and insults. Very foolish indeed.

    6. KatyD


  64. xyzlatin

    Hmmm. For many years now, all the information on the corruption of the UN and its bodies has been available. The IPCC political setup is there for anyone to read. The Climategate emails were released in 2009, and fully available on the internet for anyone to read. The Harry Read Me file showed that he had to make up most of the temperature data as it was a shambles. This is the basis of the computer so called science.
    McIntyre and other bloggers have exposed the lack of integrity of the whitewash inquiries (through real evidence obtained through FOI searches).

    And it’s only NOW that this fellow Mark Lynas who is supposed to be a reporter, asks a question about the integrity of the IPCC process?

    Sorry Mark, this doesn’t impress me about your work.
    But the other bizarre thing on these comments, are the people (labelling themselves deniers etc) rushing into print to congratulate Mark.
    Are you so desperate for some approval that you need to rush up to annoint him like the prodigal son even though he hasn’t actually retracted any of his thinking at all, merely pointed out a potential conflict of interest, that might end up hurting his own AGW cause!

    This is cringemaking suckup stuff.

    Meanwhile, the most important thing happening in nature is the lack of sunspots on the sun. This is seriously worrying stuff as there is a proven correlation over many centuries between lack of sunspots and severe cold periods, and cold is a proven killer of crops, livestock, and people. This threat is real, but Greenpeace are still advocating the closing down of coal fired energy, and nuclear, in support of windmills that seize up in cold and stop turning, and solar which doesn’t work at night or in rain, snow or sleet.

    1. Dolphinhead

      I tend to agree with you and if I could write your name I would. As a graduate of Basil Fawlty’s School of the Bleeding Obvious I cannot understand how anyone with 3 O levels and a budgie cannot see through the crass stupidity that masquerades as climate science.

  65. gyptis444


    Did you read the IAC Review of the IPCC’s processes? It ia available at

    Although couched in diplomatic language, the problems are well documented. These include political interference, lack of transparency, biased treatment of genuinely contentious issues, use of non-peer-reviewed and unpublished material which had not been critically evaluated or flagged as such, vague statements not supported by evidence, poor handling of uncertainty and lack of any policy to preclude any conflict of interest.
    It is salutory to reflect that these problems had been unchecked throughout the 20 year history of the IPCC!
    In its recent response to the IAC Review, the IPCC opted to move for
    confidentiality rather than transparency!

    Regarding bias…see


    The IPCC has systematically avoided/downplayed anything (even if peer-reviewed) which does not support the AGW hypothesis.

    The NIPCC’s ‘Climate Change Reconsidered’ is replete with citations from the peer-reviewed literature which is at odds with the IPCC’s view.

    I started out assuming that ‘the IPCC must be right’ but the harder I look the more shennanigans I find – deceit, distortion, exaggeration, obfuscation etc.

    In my professional career I was forced to accept that a proper review of the literature meant documentation of
    which databases were searched?
    what time periods were covered?
    what search terms were used?
    what boolean logic was used?
    how many citations were retrieved at each stage of the search?
    what criteria were used to include/exclude papers for detailed analysis?

    Has the IPCC done any of this? Emphatically NO. So the IPCC has been allowed to cherry pick the ‘evidence’ to support the agendas of the sponsor governments (194 of them). That is the mess that must now be addressed before we all become victims of economically damaging and environmentally ineffective interventions.

  66. gyptis444

    BTW can someone steer me to all this money I am supposed to be getting from ‘big oil’?

  67. Dr Michael Cejnar

    As a cardiologist and bioengineering quality expert, I applaud your integrity in this valid criticism of the IPCC.
    I am no climatologists, but I can tell a corrupted process when I see one, and the IPCC has been and continues to be so compromised, it should be rebuilt from scratch.

    We should vehemently oppose the restructure of our society based on the outputs of a corrupted politicised scientific IPCC process. Whether it happenes to be right or wrong on GW in the beginning, we can be confident that a corrupted process will soone or later lead to wrong answers

  68. Harpo

    Good on you Mark. If only everybody in this debate was as prepared to stand up for good science as you are. I fear you will be the subject a some pretty horrible attacks from the pro-AGW side of the debate but that just means you are doing the right thing by science.

  69. Webcraft

    I haven’t actually seen a lot of attacks from ‘the pro-AGW side’ – in fact, there is a deafening silence – because, I think, most can all see the unintended consequences of Mark’s valid and reasonable ctiticism of the IPCC’s publishing process and the perhaps unfortunate way he phrased it.

    Sadly there has been almost no discussion here of the actual subject of Mark’s two articles, which concerned specific points about authoring, transparency and potential conflicts of interest in the publishing of this report.

    No, all I see is the ‘cringemaking suckup stuff ‘ xyzlatin mentions from the hard core deniers that infest blogs like this. Mark Lynas is no more a denier than he is a denizen of the hollow moon of Phobos. Hopefully he will, now he has seen the rod he has made for his own back, consider the implications of a carelessly turned ‘sensationalist’ phrase more carefully in future.

    Mark, you have set yourself up on a bit of a pinnacle. With the publishing revenues and the adulation comes responsibility. I am sure you stick by 99.9% of what you wrote, but are you still happy with the particular turn of phrase you used that has triggered this deluge of drivel?

    1. David Bailey


      Each ‘denier’ can only speak for himself, but I can tell you that I simply want decent scientific standards to apply to the science of AGW.

      I used to belong to Greanpeace, when its primary concern was about nuclear weapons, the destruction of the rain forests, pollution in the normal sense, etc. I certainly don’t get money from anyone for posting what I do.

      By my reckoning, that AGW crowd condemn themselves out of their own mouths. For example, they chose to defend Mann’s work by claiming that there was other evidence pointing in the same direction. When I was first getting suspicious about AGW, after the emails were released, this immediately drew my attention. Each piece of published scientific work must stand or fall on its own. It can draw on the work of others, but the statistics/mathslogic it uses must be valid – otherwise the paper should be withdrawn. Attempting to defend a flawed paper in this way, tells us a lot about this ‘science’.

      The Nature trick was deliberate and fraudulent. If you want to see how science normally deals with cheats, please read:

      Many years ago, when I did research, any discussion about trying to influence the peer review process would have been unthinkable – rather like discussing with your teacher, how best to cheat in an exam! Those emails show clear evidence that this was happening, and I don’t know why those responsible have not yet paid the price.

  70. Jack Cowper

    Welcome to our world Mark

    Where it’s common to be constantly insulted with remarks such as denier, frequently used by those who know they have lost the argument and only have name calling left & appeals to authority to use.

    I respect for your honesty and integrity.


  71. Paul S

    Mark, until several years ago I was convinced by the arguments being put by by the IPCC and govts about AGW. A desire to understand the science led me to seek information about the basic principles underlying the claims. This process of investigation in turn led to the understanding that all was not well with the “settled science”. There are fundamental flaws in the claims that are being made. The refusal of those who promote AGW to debate theiir conculsions because it may upset the consensus or just confuse the proles is intellectually dishonest. As a health care professional I am obliged on a daily basis to explain to lay people complex concepts in clear, concise english. If you can’t do this, and at the same time communciate the limitations of your knowledge, you either don’t know what your talking about, or have no integrity. You will undoubtedly get alot of flak for writing about this issue, but at least you’ll be able to look yourself in the eye without flinching.

    1. geoffchambers

      “There are fundamental flaws in the claims that are being made. The refusal of those who promote AGW to debate their conclusions because it may upset the consensus or just confuse the proles is intellectually dishonest. As a health care professional I am obliged on a daily basis to explain to lay people complex concepts in clear, concise English. If you can’t do this, and at the same time communicate the limitations of your knowledge, you either don’t know what your talking about, or have no integrity”.

      Well said.

      This, and not likely temperatures or sea levels in 2050, is the fundamental point which we sceptics have been making for years. It seems to be the point which Mark Lynas wants to make. Yet his replies below the line show more concern to placate the criticisms of his allies than to advance the cause of transparency. We’re all looking forward to his replies to some of the points raised here.

  72. Frog

    French to English translation

    this problem of conflict of interest has two solutions.

    Or it is said that the report on renewable enerigies is not credible.
    Or we accept the peer-reviewed articles produced by Exxon Employers.
    the second solution seems more rational.
    Indeed, this solution would refuse to ban the right to counsel under the pretext that is paid by the client.

    We must focus on the refutation of an article rather than on the person who wrote it.

    We often hear of tobacco vendors. So what! Are we not come to refute their pseudo-science by peer-reviewed articles?

    The only required is the transparancy! The rest should be science.

  73. Webcraft

    Jack Cowper,

    You are missing the point. Mark Lynas has not ‘landed’ on your world. As Mark said further back, when ‘welcomed to the club’:

    “please remember it is the ‘standing up for the integrity of science’ rather than the ‘don’t believe in global warming’ club”

    Unfortunately people seem to be making the leap that because he said ‘ . . . then I am a denier’ – in a very specific context – he is suddenly rejecting the science. He hasn’t said that anywhere.

    Mark is right – this lapse in good practice by the IPCC is shocking. They should realise by now after the ferocity of the attacks on them that they cannot afford to be anything other than perfect in the way they present the data and the arguments.

    I too respect Mark’s honesty and integrity, but I also think he should have realised that his use of that one word – ‘denier’ – would be wilfully and maliciously misinterpreted – and will undoubtedly continue to be so misrepresented for a long time to come..

    1. Latimer Alder

      ‘They should realise by now after the ferocity of the attacks on them that they cannot afford to be anything other than perfect in the way they present the data and the arguments’

      They should have f….g realised at their inception, not twenty years later. It wasn’t hard.

    2. Latimer Alder

      And what possible justification was there for not setting themselves up to be squeaky clean from the outset? I can only think of one, and it reflects no credit at all on the integrity of its founders or of subsequent senior participants.

      Welcome your views on that point.

    3. JPeden

      “Unfortunately people seem to be making the leap that because he said ‘ . . . then I am a denier’ – in a very specific context – he is suddenly rejecting the science. He hasn’t said that anywhere.”

      Mark is supporting the use of the usual principles involved in the practice of real, scientific method and principle, science, not those of Climate Science’s CO2 = CAGW Postnormal Science Propaganda Operation which specifically avoids using the principles of real science – as already well documented, but evident again as to the ‘conflict of interest’ and ‘press release’ issues seen again in this specific case.

      Moreover, “the science” has not produced even one successful empirical prediction. But instead of admitting of the possibility that Climate Science’s CO2 = CAGW hypotheses have been seriously challenged, much less even falsified, its “method” has been to simply not let them be challenged by empirical evidence vs its “hypotheses”, which in practice makes them not scientific hypotheses right from the start – but instead once again, mainly functional as components of a Propaganda Operation, or perhaps a Religious belief system ruled by “tenets”.

      Supporting the use of real, scientific method and principle, science starts you on the right path toward your individual search for truth vs a doctrinaire one, regardless of your own specific evolving conclusions as to the validity of CO2 = CAGW science compared to the real world along the way.

      It certainly makes one a “sceptic”, which is the only way one’s rational process can work effectively, to boot, toward the understanding of things.

    4. Jack Cowper


      You miss the point. I was talking about the constant low level insults that come our way when you people dare question the consensus. I don’t use terms such as alarmist, global WARMonger, watermelon and hope that at some point people such yourself will stop using the denier tag.

  74. Atomic Hairdryer

    “So, there you have it. Satisfied?”

    Not really. But you do seem to have identified the problem here:

    “It strikes me that Edenhofer’s reluctance to engage further may be down to the fact that there are really only two alternatives here, neither of which are good for him or the IPCC’s Working Group 3:”

    The reply you got from Edenhofer identifies the problem. The press release was drafted by Nuttall, hired by the UNEP to spin their Global Green New Deal and Green Economy Initiatives. It was approved by WGIII co-chairs, who are Edenhofer, Ramon Pichs-Madruga and Youba Sokona. And by the WGIII TSU, who are based at Edenhofer’s PIK.

    Where the buck stops seems obvious, and what happened in Potsdam should probably have stayed in Potsdam.

  75. Webcraft


    Scientists 20 years ago were both cloistered from reality and still on a bit of a pedestal. They concentrated on the science and didn’t even know what PR stood for. Now they are at a huge disadvantage and playing catch-up. The point of Lynas’ attack was – I believe – to send a wake-up call to the whole climate science establishment to vet everything clean their act up so it is beyond reproach. This was a criticism of the way one report was compiled and presented, not a criticism of the science itself.

    The good intentions and fundamental honesty of climate scientists and members of the IPCC is ultimately down to individual perception. I do not believe that there IS any ‘conspiracy’ afoot, but in the present ‘climate’ of mistrust and wishful thinking anything that could – however fancifully – be interpreted that way must be strenuously avoided.

    I don’t i any way disagree with what Mark said. I just happen to think that his choice of words in this case was unwise, as the ‘opposition’ don’t seem to hold themselves to the same rigourous standards of debate they demand from the IPCC.

    1. JPeden

      “the ‘opposition’ don’t seem to hold themselves to the same rigourous standards of debate they demand from the IPCC.”

      Demanding that ipcc Climate Science follow the practice of real, scientific method and principle, science – for example by making the “materials and methods” which are its “science” transparent in a timely fashion so that they can be reviewed, replicated, and very sceptically examined by nearly anyone interested, given the significance and import of the CO2 = CAGW claims – should not have even been necessary.

      It’s the ipcc’s alleged “science”, after all, and it’s up to the ipcc to follow the rules for practicing real science – which it hasn’t in the cases of some very crucial papers and reconstructions, which through much persistence on the part of “skeptics” have eventually been shown to be extremely faulty.

      Trying to turn this basic failure around to point at the “skeptics” is irrelevant. Why should the skeptics have to force ipcc Climate Science to practice real science?

    2. David Bailey

      I have puzzled for ages over what has gone wrong with science to produce this mess – and I certainly believe it is an extraordinary mess. However, I don’t really believe in huge conspiracies – like the supposed conspiracy to pretend to place men on the moon!

      I think what happened was a gradual drift. Work which showed AGW was praised more than that which didn’t, and the researchers involved attracted more funds – particularly from the campaigning organisations whose minds were made up. This was compounded by sloppy statistics, and a pernicious tendency to ‘adjust’ the raw data in a whole variety of ways. For example:

      Because people turned a blind eye to what was going on, things got worse and worse. As a ‘denier’, I was able to read the climategate emails without feeling guilty (I suspect most AGW proponents didn’t) and it is clear that some of the scientists were actually uncomfortable with what was going on – but by then they were (and are) trapped in a process. Someone inside the CRU was almost certainly responsible for releasing those emails, and obviously expected the world to sit up and take note, but by then the corruption had become so deep that very few journalists responded. Those emails are still out there – beautifully organised and annotated:

      Whoever the whistle blower was, he/she must have been amazed by the muted reaction, which culminated in an inquiry which managed to avoid actually looking at any of the evidence, and found the scientists not guilty of anything significant! The moment the CRU announced multiple inquiries, people should have smelled a rat – remember the four inquiries into the Iraq war while Blair was in power!

  76. Latimer Alder

    I left professional science about 30 years ago.

    And the people I worked with then knew the value of honesty and integrity. Of trust and truthfulness. Maybe PR wasn’t their big idea, but they recognised and abhorred Conflicts of Interest,

    And the guys I worked with were by no means cloistered and on pedestals. They were streetwise and savvvy as well as being good scientists.

    So how did this shocking decline in standards all come about? I worked in a hard science (Chemistry) that hadn’t been taken over by a political agenda. So being right about the science was important..being ‘correct’ about The Message was never a consideration.

    I don’t buy the line that the poor down-trodden scientist are having their little lives disrupted by the evil scrutineers trying to pick holes in their work. Rather the exact opposite..that far too late people are beginning to realise just what shoddy work has been done in ‘climatology’, how weak the evidence actually is and how corrupted the process of drawing the conclusions has always been.

    There is only one thing on which we can all be certain

    The Science is Not Settled.

    and the net ten years will (one hopes) start to get rid of the political and activist agenda and maybe get some real scientists into the field to do some real science. And report it honestly.

    But I see absolutely no future for an IPCC-like body. The credibility of its work and its methods has gone forever.

    1. Shona

      My take on is this somewhat similar – I think many of the brains behind this are third rate, they went into what 20 years ago was a quiet backwater (I mean trees as thermometers- I ask you) and went on happily. Fast forward and suddenly trillions of dollars hinge on their work. the guys can’t hack it. They are caught up in a movement they don’t and can’t control.

  77. Webcraft

    I see absolutely no future for an IPCC-like body. The credibility of its work and its methods has gone forever.

    What would you replace it with?

    1. Latimer Alder


      For at least twenty years when there might, just might be some decent science and a credible new generation of real ‘climate scientists’.

      Then, if there is a crying need, perhaps a small body of unimpeahcable character..and more external nasty oversight than you can even begin to imagine.

      And I really mean nasty oversight.,Oversight that starts with the Paxman question:

      ‘What are this lying bunch of scumbags lying to me about today’?

    2. David Bailey


      You raise a good question – what should replace the IPCC?

      Without answering that completely, I think we need a mechanism that rewards research equally, regardless of the conclusion. In effect, you have to set up some sort of a competition between those who wish to show that an insidious problem (such as AGW) exists, with others who take the opposite view. This probably means excluding private funding, unless it is given equally to both sides.

      In addition, in questions that involve much noisy data (look at the global temperature curves to see what I mean) it is essential to involve professional statisticians at an early stage.

      Finally, the process simply has to be transparent. For example, if some data is collected – say temperature data – and is then adjusted in a variety of ways, it is absolutely essential that the raw data, and proposed adjustments are published separately, and completely, so that others can repeat the analyses.

    3. JPeden

      In effect, you have to set up some sort of a competition between those who wish to show that an insidious problem (such as AGW) exists, with others who take the opposite view.

      But, respectfully and not misinterpreting your proposed solution, I hope:

      1] Who or what decides who wins, a pronouncement or a vote? No, that’s exactly what Postnormal Science wants, where either an appeal to authority or subjectivism, influenced by any manner of tactic or appeal reigns supreme, at least until “might makes right” takes over.

      Apart from the latter state of affairs, that’s exactly what we’ve got going on in the case of CO2 = CAGW “Climate Science”, whose “method” is something which I’ve never seen before presented as real science, and seems to instead either harken back to a pre-enlightenment era, or else points to a to a current or recent Totalitarian condition or desire.

      A mere pronouncement by someone chosen/anointed, or in turn elected by a vote, or a consensus however defined has nothing do with the process we already have for the practice of real science and determining what idea prevails, even if it’s still always provisional or “unsettled”.

      2] We’ve already got the practice of real, scientific method and principle, science as a very effective process to get at the provisional “truth”, if the process is actually used. It’s downright miraculous, imo, that it works!

      What happens here instead of a competition, which could actually involve any number of “sides”, is that anyone wanting to argue that something new or previously unrecognized is going on, as compared to the business as usual “null hypothesis” involving the existence of “nothing new to explain”, simply follows the rules already present, which include the necessity of the hypothesis/es to stand up to attempts to replicate and very sceptically criticize the “science” behind the proposed hypotheses, as revealed by a timely and fully transparent publication of the “materials and methods” employed, which are the “science” supporting the hypotheses, along with its predictions.

      In other words, there’s no need to disprove what hasn’t been “proven” – or, again, when there’s nothing new going on that needs an explanation, such as is the case regarding the climate – as determined by an at large examination via the already existent methods and principles of real science, concerning the “materials and methods” and the predictions of the hypotheses – which themselves would always include some kind of possible empirical falsification of the hypotheses at some point.

      Any real scientist would want to first try to challenge or falsify his/her own hypothesis to begin with, rather than simply setting up shop to try to “prove” the hypothesis by any means necessary, and would then welcome its test in the realm of his/her “peers'” examination, not just determined by a select few “peers” then anti-scientifically alleging the “given truth” of the hypothesis, and ideally including the criticism and insight of anyone else who might see something going on which the others have missed, in order to truly vet his/her hypothesis.

      That’s how anyone gets a name and real science progresses.

    4. David Bailey


      I don’t completely agree with you, because you have presented a rather idealised description of the scientific process – institutionalised science often falls far short. See for example Peter Woit’s book, “Not even wrong”, about how institutionalised science has supported string theory for several decades without it producing anything testable.

      There are also incredible scandals from time to time. For example:

      There are lots of other examples – no process is perfect.

      I guess I wasn’t thinking of a competition in which someone would choose a winner – more that if researchers could feel confident that if they followed their instincts, they would be rewarded whatever the outcome, the ‘winner’ would be obvious in time. In particular, something like Mann’s work would have got shot down pretty fast.

      Think for a moment, not about AGW research per se, but about all the research that has been done on how bad a few degrees of temperature rise will be! Someone compiled a list of this research:

      As others have pointed out, it is amazing that almost all that research has highlighted negative aspects of any change. Even if all that research is valid (I am sure it isn’t) it ends up biased because very few people get funding for potential positive consequences of any warming.

      Remember also, that the consequences aspect of CAGW is coming from a far wider range of scientists. People can get snared by this process horribly easily.

      Funding is crucial – at present people tack on a climate change theme to any research program that is even vaguely related, in the hopes of extra funds.

    5. JPeden

      Ha, essentially agreed! Below is one of my favorites as to ipcc Climate Science’s “method” as indicated by the TAR’s analysis of the potential benefits of GW/AGW to the whole of Australia and New Zealand. Using the TAR’s own search engine, I couldn’t find any mention of benefits, positive impacts, gains, etc., in the report, but I quickly found [only] this one in the TAR via Google, which sent me exactly right back to the following:

      “12.8.1…. However, it must be said that potential gains [benefits of Global Warming] have not been well documented, in part because of lack of stakeholder concern in such cases and consequent lack of special funding.”

      I take that as basic to its overall method – stakeholder funding, including Government grants to obliging and hungry “scientists”.

      My own, by now ritualistic, challenge concerning the benefits of GW/AGW has been:

      For a mere $10 billion I will assemble a bunch of scientists who will “prove” – using the same “method” which the ipcc’s Climate Science has used to “prove” its net CO2 = CAGW disease disaster – that GW or AGW will instead produce the closest thing to Heaven on Earth possible.

      Strangely, my plea for special funding has gone unanswered.

  78. Oliver K. Manuel

    Thank you, Mark, for letting us know that Oliver Morton added his name to the list of those seeking answers from the IPCC.

    Is this the Oliver Morton that was “Nature’s Chief News and Features Editor from 2005 to 2009”?

    If so, that is really great news!

    I copied that Oliver on my message to Nature’s Dr. Philip Campbell last year – when I demanded his resignation as editor for publishing deceptive misinformation on CO2-induced global warming.

    Although I have had a personal subscription to Nature for years, I am now banned from posting any comments there.

  79. Kent Draper

    What did we do before we had the IPCC? If the world didn’t end then, why on earth would you think the IPCC can help in any way? Why pay folks to “what”? Change the weather? Talk about pouring money down a rathole.

  80. Kent Draper

    Tell you what, give me the money 🙂 I will guarantee the weather will change. If not I’ll give you a refund.

  81. Mike Roddy

    You have drifted into the dark side, Mark, probably without even realizing it, and if you’re not careful you will find your reputation shattered among serious people.

    First, don’t you know what Steve McIntyre is all about? I hope you read the realclimate hey ya mal link I mentioned at Climate Progress.

    Second, anybody with statistical or scientific training will concur with the statement that a prediction about the future with multiple variables from tangential fields- in this case, politics and corruption, for example- is just guessing. The IPCC draft that you reference falls into that category, and it was acknowledged by the authors.

    Third, how can you compare Greenpeace to Exxon Mobil? That’s like comparing Michael Mann to Lord Monckton, The Greenpeace tag is nothing more than a smear by the Right, spearheaded by McIntyre.

    Fourth, guess what: many timber, oil and gas company scientists contribute material and reviews to IPCC, though it’s in compiling data, not writing draft reports or opinions. Their influence is more pervasive and deadly than Greenpeace or all of the green NGO’s combined.

    What you are saying in essence is that it’s OK for the fossil and timber companies to work on IPCC, but not a Greenpeace researcher, even though he’s not even contributing hard data.

    Wake up, Mark!

  82. grypo

    Mr. Lynas

    Let’s get down to the nature of what’s happening here. If you search throughout this thread, you will notice multiple times where skeptics are saying that you will be called a denier, or that you will part of a witch hunt, or many other iterations of this meme that has sprouted all over the skeptic blogs. This is simply not true. While the lure of the embrace you feel might make the last few shots you’ve taken easier, any illusion that this episode is being used to protect the integrity of the science must be taken apart and studied with due diligence. Ask yourself who made the accusations. Ask yourself why. Now ask yourself who is proclaiming the deconstruction of an IPCC WG.

    Yes, you are in a “war”, in policy-speak, but this war is not the one that has distracted us away from the important issues over the past few days. This one is about mitigation, and how we do it. Ask the accusers what type of mitigation they propose, now ask yourself how they plan on attaining their goals. The real battle is one you speak of frequently and that is renewables versus nuclear. If anything comes of this, I hope it is to draw the conversation back to where it belongs, not where the accusers want it to be.

    So when asking yourself if the mitigation community wants to call you a denier, I hope you see that the answer is ‘no’. But what that community refuses to do is allow insinuation and nonsense to get in the way of the people that can get us where we need to be. I hope you can get back to the other war, the important one, the one with others about how to mitigate, not whether or not we should. Unfortunately your words, although I believe them to be completely honest, are going to be used against your goals.

    There are people that are really on your side here. And it is not because of a simple blog post, and not at all new.

    So, if you think this exercise is about ‘protecting science’ or ‘preserving confidence’ in science, ask yourself who wants that to happen and who doesn’t, and who works to do which.

    1. NikFromNYC

      Anti-capitalist (as opposed to classic) greenies scuttled The Atomic Age and created a world full of CO2, one sprinkled with dangerous old reactor designs. And now you want to put up bird-chopping industrial towers (access roads and power lines included) on every pristine hillside to very little effect.

      Your name links to comic John Cook’s web site, whose site partner is an employee of a nuclear weapons design firm that now gets $330 million green energy contracts too. Cook’s core motivation is extremely political, his expressed views being boilerplate Marxist, anti-capitalist, and anti-scientific:

      “A sustainabl­e society will require fairness (equity) and justice locally and globally, both within this generation and between our generation and future generations.” – John Cook and Hadyn Washington (“Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand,” 2011).

      “Preventin­g the collapse of human civilizati­on requires nothing less than a wholesale transforma­tion of dominant consumer culture.” – John Cook and Hadyn Washington (“Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand,” 2011).

      “Just because there a professor of something denying climate change does not mean it is not true, it is just that the professor is in denial. This is why one must make use of the prepondera­nce of evidence in science, the collective view.” – John Cook and Hadyn Washington (“Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand,” 2011).

      “Monbiot (2006) notes that mostly these groups use ‘selection not invention’. They cherry-pick one contradictory study (and remember science operates by people questioning the accepted) and then promote it relentlessly.” – John Cook and Hadyn Washington (“Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand,” 2011).

      If you don’t understand how the last statement is a profoundly anti-scientific bastardization of the term “cherry picking” then we have no common ground for debate.

    2. grypo

      I have interest in ‘bird-chopping towers’ nor in the old nuclear reactor designs. I do have an interest in decarbonizing the atmosphere for humanitarian and ethical reasons, which is what I would like to discuss with Mark. Whether you see SkS as a site dedicated to skeptic mythology or a haven for Marxist pinkos is neither here nor there. That was much more revealing of your interests than mine.

    3. NikFromNYC

      “Whether you see SkS as a site dedicated to skeptic mythology or a haven for Marxist pinkos is neither here nor there. That was much more revealing of your interests than mine.”

      In what way? I didn’t link to a disinformation site which has become a laughing stock of AGW enthusiasm. You did! The tone of your comment is consistent with the attitude on that censorious site as well, namely it’s all about paranoid character assassination and the presentation of toyish cartoon versions of serious skeptical arguments.

      My interests are not particularly environmentalist, no, but nor are they particularly political. I’ve never voted. My interest has to do with my self-image as a trained scientist. I want to rid science of this plague upon its house. When you insinuate that this is not a feature of skepticism then I suspect you are willfully trapped in a cultish green bubble, since “restoring science” is a very common feature of comments on WUWT, whereas the Marxist meme is quite rare. I remember a huge collective shudder amongst skeptics when Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck started reporting Climategate.

      Much of my interest has become quite eccentric in another way, actually, which is why I often venture onto AGW enthusiast blogs (prior to being site blocked as is the story for most skeptics). Namely, I have become quite sincerely interested in the psychology of mass hysteria, cultism, projection, paranoia, psychologization of foes, denial (of natural climate change etc.), deception, religiosity, genocide, psychopathy and eco-terrorism, shame and self-hatred, envy, authority, the 50% genetic/environmental basis for political persuasion, bigotry, active forms of depression, self-destruction, and pomposity. The level of testy neurosis I detect on the pro-AGW side of the debate swamps that I find on the skeptical side.

      When you make vague reference to “ask yourself who wants that to happen and who doesn’t, and who works to do which.” what exactly are you implying about the skeptics coming here from other sites, sir? I’d like to know due to the viscous personal bile I have been subjected to for years as I point out conflicting evidence, starting with the demeanor of a helpful teacher but often ending up extremely angry at the insulting response. Like any minority subjected to demonetization, it’s exactly the sort of hate speech I run into that motives me most of all to fight you in the court of public opinion. I figure the skeptics have already won most of the scientific debate, so that’s becoming less motivating to me. I’ve become interested in the people involved.

      I have just learned that Mark has already had another big run in with Greenpeace, for which I complement him, namely his evident support for nuclear power.

      But for “decarbonizing the atmosphere” for other than practical reasons that don’t yet seem to exist? No thanks. I like a greener earth!

    4. Hampy

      You talk to much about yourself and your ‘wants’.

  83. David Bailey


    I’d just like to say one more thing.

    I am a natural lefty – I went on the CND marches, and the protests over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I used to support Greenpeace and WWF. I still believe in many of the Green ideals – preserving the rainforests, opposing war, avoiding pollution with toxic metals or organic chemicals that don’t easily biodegrade. I drank a toast when Obama took over, and I still support him – he is not perfect, but I think he has made the world a safer place.

    I know from personal experience (in a minor way) all the hard work that is involved in organising those campaigns, and I have huge sympathy for those activists who campaign now for a low carbon society – giving time and money to their cause – because I think they have been duped!

    Those campaigners – and indeed everyone – absolutely depend on journalists such as yourself, to sniff out any suggestion of corruption in any public body of importance. Journalists in some countries fear for their lives if they look under certain stones, but here in Britain, you can do just that.

    A mass of technically minded people have called foul here regarding the ‘scientific processes’ employed by the AGW crowd – surely you don’t think we are all funded by big oil (or indeed funded at all!). Please, please, get some technical help and dig into the mountain of suggestions contributed by by everyone here.

    Remember the pensioners who are already finding electricity too expensive, and think about the sheer misery they will face if the present policy proceeds – not to mention the near certainty that the electrical supply will become intermittent. Even if you think there is only a 10% chance that we are telling it as it is, and all that pain is unnecessary, don’t you have a duty to find out?

    1. Oliver K. Manuel

      Thanks, David.

      Your advice to Mark is excellent.

      Most of us support preserving the rainforests, opposing war, avoiding pollution, etc. I do and so do most of my friends, . . . in both camps.

      The problem is growing evidence that environmentalism is now a propaganda tool, . . . for some hidden purpose.

      What is it?

      I do not know. My speciality is nuclear, isotope and space studies.

      The answer is probably in studies of history, politics and psychology.

      For years right-wing and left-wing politicians have worked together – behind the scenes – to keep everyone scared about AGW.

      Why? Is AGW a tool – a “Common Enemy” – to end nationalism?

      Study Henry Kissinger:

      a.) As a consultant to the Director of the USA Psychological Strategy Board in 1952.

      b.) His 1954 doctoral dissertation, “Peace, Legitimacy, and the Equilibrium (A Study of the Statesmanship of Castlereagh and Metternich)”

      c.) As a consultant to the USA National Security Council’s Operations Coordinating Board in 1955.

      d.) As Study Director in Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations in 1955-56

      e.) His book, “Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy” in 1957

      f.) His actions as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State to Richard Nixon

      Finally, study the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis that renewed fears the entire world (politicians and all) would be destroyed in a nuclear exchange.

  84. Susan

    Thank you Mark for taking a sensible standpoint in this debate – at least it seems so to me – but I am not so informed that I could criticize anyone in this matter. I don’t enough about you to trust your words either. And this is the problem in this matter.

    One thing I am quite well informed of is that the people of the world are SO tired of corruption amongst the established “decision makers”, that things are getting dangerous. There might come a point where all faith in our institutions are gone, and then- where do we stand? Therefore there must be absolute honesty and integrity in the work of IPCC. I cannot stress this enough. People just will not accept anything else, and we need workable changes in our energy management (and other environmental issues) based on credible reports and evidence – NOW.

    Once again, thank you for doing your best to make that happen.

    1. Latimer Alder

      Ain’t that the Truth, Sister!

    2. David Bailey


      You are so right! I am 61, and I feel that corruption and public dishonesty has grown and grown all through my adult life. It is easy to think that feeling is just about getting older, but I’m pretty sure it is not.

      I’d say there should be a range of jobs – certainly including Senior bankers, anyone who serves on a public inquiry, Ministers, MP’s and top civil servants – where if you are shown to have been deliberately or negligently dishonest, you go to jail for, say 10 years, for “bringing public life into disrepute”.

      As you say, the current situation is frightening.

  85. Webcraft

    Mark has gone very quiet.

    Perhaps it was all just a very clever ploy to increase sales of his new book 🙂

    1. geoffchambers

      Be fair. He’s got a lot of reading to do. He’s promised to deal separately with the question of the quality of the Teske article. Then he must be considering how best to bring his concerns to a wider audience. An article in the Guardian, to which he is a frequent contributor, would seem the ideal medium.
      Then he must be considering his replies to the many questions posed by commenters here. So far, his replies have consisted of polite acknowledgements to Judith Curry and Anthony Watts, and placatory gestures to his supporters who are feeling betrayed.

  86. Russell Seitz

    Transparency is a great solvent for cynicism.

    Those who carp for the carbon energy trade in the interest of careerism are unlikely to shed their anonymity, but if Bob Ward wants credible denial on the attainder of being “a PR flack ” he should be above board on whatever PR firms he’s worked with, and whether confidentiality agreements constrain him from listing them on the record.

    Where ever carbon credits change hands by open outcry, the floor traders are required to wear conspicuously legible badges announcing their affiliation to the world.

    What would Heartland conferences and Greenpeace palavers look like if every Mad Man and registered denizen of K-Street were required to wear a funny hat and colorful blazer ?

    1. J Bowers

      “but if Bob Ward wants credible denial on the attainder of being “a PR flack ” he should be above board on whatever PR firms he’s worked with,”

      Ask that of Mosher’s Climategate novel co-author, Tom Fuller, and see what response you get other than, “…no I will not tell you who my clients are. Are you kidding?” It has to be said that being a “sceptic” seems to pay a pretty decent salary, though.

    2. Barry Woods

      Thing is – Tom Fuller totally believes in AGW as does Steve Mosher…
      They also get a lot of criticism form the more hardcore sceptics out there..and Tom most of all, particulary from the extreme AGW advocates (Realclimate, Deltoid, Michael Tobis, Eli Rabbett, Stoat , etc)

      Tom has also guest posted a number of times at WUWT, and been loudly criticised by a minority of hardcore sceptical commentors.

      I disagree with Mosher about GCM’s a lot, but totally respect his view on many other issues. Tom Fuller might be described as a more left leaning environmentlist, but we would share many common values.

      Why not ask them, instead of spreading smears and inuendo..

      Failing that you could try actually reading their book, where they make this very clear.. that they believe in AGW (maybe not the Greenpeace version though!)

      Climategate – The Crutape Letters – Mosher/Fuller..

      I’d lend you mine for free, but I suspect you would not bother to open the cover..

      Actually if Mark would like to read Mosher & Fullers book, he could have mine, I’m in Oxfordshire. Or Professor Jonathon Jones might have a copy…

      Failing that I’ll ask Tom Fuller if he could get his publisher to send one to Mark Lynas for review. I’m sure they would be delighted if it was welcome. From what I know about Tom, he would agree with Mark Lynas about very many things environmental..

      But Mark might have too much on his plate at the moment, HSI to read and otherthings…

      Offers there.. I nearly said ‘No Pressure’ !!! but thought it might be taken the wrong way 😉

      May I also ask if Mark has read the climategate emails first hand or merely relied on third parties views. The assumption many have is that he has read them and ignores them..

      Whereas as he had not read the HSI yet, merely trusted others possibly what some might consider biased views..

      Mosher/Fuller collate the emails and put them into context of Climate Audit/Realclimate and the team.

      If anybody wants to verify their book they can of course get hold of the emails
      to verify for themselves what they say is ‘true’ or not…..

    3. Latimer Alder

      Whatever Tom Fuller may or may not say is irrelevant to the case of Bob Ward. AFAIK, Fulle is not employed by The Grantham Institute/LSE as an alarmist propaganidst.

    4. J Bowers

      Barry Woods, does the Mosher/Fuller book contain the email clearly describing what a scientific “trick” is? In the meantime I’ll finish Lawson’s book, first, although, being jampacked with Just Plain Wrong, it may take a while for me to work through the molasses. The grandfather of British neoliberalism simply hasn’t got a clue.

      In the meantime, I recommend you read Mark Lynas’ book, Six Degrees, should you have not done so already. It’s so good I bought it for friends, too.

    5. Barry Woods

      Let us put aside ‘trick’ and even ‘hide the decline’ ,for a moment and consider why there was a ‘NEED’ to hide the decline from policymakers?

      the above also at Watts Up With That..

      in the link Professor Jonathon Jones (Quantum Physics – Oxford) defends Professors Judith Curry’s (Chair earth & Atmospheric Sciences – Georgia tech ) criticism of ‘Hide the Decline’ and the reason / need to hide it…

      2 Professors vs J Bowers (Guardian commentator), but I’m sure a reasonable person would read it and make their own minds up.

    6. J Bowers
  87. Webcraft


    Even if AGW is all a huge conspiracy we still need to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions to mitigate increasing ocean acidification. The chemistry and biology behind this is incredibly (O-level) simple and unarguable. Is this just another part of the great conspiracy, or merely a lucky co-incidence for the conspirators?

    1. JPeden

      Given the wise actions of India and China towards solving their own current disease disasters having to do with underdevelopment, and the lack of wisdom behind calls to de-develop in the face of a still imaginary CO2 = CAGW disaster, CO2 emissions are simply not going to be reduced.

      Moreover, atmospheric CO2 levels have been much higher than present, which itself is now actually more close to being too low, when around 180-200 ppm., to sustain terrestrial photosynthesis which ultimately produces nearly everything we eat, in concert with Oceanic CO2 concentrations and food production there.

      Ocean “acidity” in a range where many Oceanic species developed and would still evolve has been higher than the current, but not well sampled, value of about pH = 8.1[?], which is technically “alkaline” compared to neutral pH = 7, the pH of distilled drinking water, with pH values less than 7 being “acidic”.

      There is no objective evidence that current Oceanic pH is having any unusual or adverse effect in the Oceans, only the usual demonization of CO2 and disasterizing of its merely “possible” effects, occasionally based upon some anecdotal “evidence” that “could” presage disaster, which characterizes Climate Science’s “method”, in turn based upon the “the chemistry”, of Carbonic Acid, H2CO3, which is then promoted apart form living systems and the real climate and imagined to go hyperbolic in the Ocean, given the well known susceptibility of some human beings to such purely propagandized suggestions.

      Bottom line, we need more real science and perspective as to the way things actually work, not more focalized obsessing over the possible runaway of “the physics” or “the chemistry” of CO2, heretofore best known as plant food.

      [Nor is CO2 an atmospheric “toxin” any more than water vapor is. The human body’s pH is controlled for the benefit of the biochemical processes necessary for life at about pH = 7.41, a level which is regulated with every breath we take via the body’s automatic control of CO2 levels via “ventilation” or breathing, levels which average about 56,000 ppm. compared to an atmospheric level of about 390 ppm..]

    2. JPeden

      One correction, compared to atmospheric concentrations of water vapor, equal CO2 concentrations would present much more of a threat to the preservation of human physiology and much more of an adjustment, given the need basic for human activity – moving around and doing things – than would water vapor concentrations at, say, 2% = 20,000 ppm. and up.

    3. David Bailey

      I’d really strongly endorse that. It is easy to draw an influence diagram showing what influences what – CO2 influences sea pH, and temperature, and the conversion of calcium carbonate into (soluble) calcium bicarbonate, temperature influences evaporation and precipitation of water, water vapour is a powerful greenhouse gas in its own right, etc, etc. Such a diagram rapidly becomes really complex.

      It is very easy to take a piece of that diagram, and think that everything is on a knife edge – but the Earth (and life) has had to survive all sorts of upheavals, including huge volcanic eruptions such as those in the Indian Deccan Flats, and more recently, Yellowstone and Krakatour (each of which spewed out vast quantities of CO2 and SO2). The Earth clearly is a lot more resilient than some people give it credit for. Some years ago, we were told that by 2010, there would be 50 million “climate refugees”, and that snow in Britain would be a rare event (the last three years must have been a succession of rare events), or that the Maldives would soon be washed away (sorry Mark!) – none of that has happened!

      It is not that we should become complacent, but if we focus on one variable – atmospheric CO2 – we tend to forget everything else.

      If I were ‘in control’, I suppose I would try to persuade people to have fewer kids, and live a little more frugally, but I would certainly not obsess about CO2 to the point where the supply of electricity might become intermittent, with all the wasteful consequences that will follow from that. I’d try to stop the rain forests burning, and do everything possible to stop the arms trade and reduce the risk of nuclear war. Nuclear war is still a real possibility – far more probable than serious global warming – and we have all averted our eyes from that possibility.

    4. Mick Buckley

      Supereruptions are a significant contributor to adding CO2 to the atmosphere on geologic time scales. Yet they pale by comparison to human emissions. Yes, you read that right — while supereruptions only happen every 100,000 to 200,000 years or so, we’re presently adding CO2 to the atmosphere at a rate of one or more supereruptions every year.

      Posted today by tamino.

    5. Latimer Alder

      Just in case we have missed it, please outline the O level Chemistry and Biology needed to understand the process you describe as ‘acidification’.

      As its so simple, I’m sure that you can do it in your words rather than merely pointing to links that others have written


    6. Latimer Alder

      Forgot to say that I will be especially interested in your discussion of the point that the pH of seawater naturally varies pretty widely across the world. (+/- 0.4 pH units). But disaster will occur if the average varies by 01.. I am intrigued to understand the reasoning here.

  88. David Bailey

    You could start here:

    I know you won’t like the source, but if you once get it into your head that there even might be another genuine perspective, the best place to start looking is on ‘denier’ websites!

    1. David Bailey

      You might also cast your mind back to the early 90’s when Europe’s forrests were supposedly threatened by acid rain – where has that scare gone?

    2. Webcraft

      A lot of rain in Europe and the US is still rather more acidic than is ideal but the problem was greatly reduced by a variety of measures, the main ones of which were:

      ~ Scrubbers in power plant chimneys
      ~ Switch from coal to gas
      ~ Cap and trade programmes for sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides
      ~ Universal fitment of catalytic converters to cars

      The result was a massive drop in emissions of sulpher and nitrous oxides.

      China on the other hand is still badly affected by acid rain across a third of its landmass.

      What are you going to come up with next? Will it be ‘whatever happened to the Ozone hole’ ? Because we fixed that as well.

    3. David Bailey

      Sulphur dioxide is a noxious substance, and efforts to reduce it are very useful, but I would say the original scare was over-hyped. By chance, my partner (who came from Czechoslovakia) and I were going over there in 1990 – the first time she could go back without risking arrest, We did quite a bit of walking through the wooded areas, and honestly, we saw no dead trees. Prior to going, we had had seen endless TV footage of dead trees – we were expecting something quite different.

      Regarding the ozone layer – well I have seen suggestions that that was an over-reaction too, but let’s not explore that now.

  89. Webcraft

    When people are filming a documentary about acid rain killing trees they will film dead trees, not live healthy ones. No-one said acid rain killed all trees.

    Trying to work out the truth or severity of global warming – or acid rain, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss or any other planetary boundary – from your own experience is like trying to count the stars in the Andromeda galaxy using the naked eye.

    If a walk in the woods in Czechoslovakia is your sole evidence for saying the acid rain scare was ‘over-hyped’ then I am afraid IMO it shows an extraordinary naivete.

    1. David Bailey

      Not really, because people who didn’t happen to go to the area at the time, almost certainly ended up with a very false idea of what was going on over there.

      When media people want to make a good story, it is frighteningly easy for them to loose a sense of balance – to give a false impression that everything is on a knife edge. The acid rain issue is tangential to this discussion, except as it relates to CO2 acidification. Read what Latimer Alder has to say on this.

      One of the problems about responding here, is that unless you are a specialist in the subject, people can always throw something into the discussion, and say “what about this” – it isn’t always possible to respond instantly. The point I want to make, is that when people do look into a whole range of claims connected with AGW, they crumble – the inquiries avoid the problem issues, deceptive papers get published, and are not even withdrawn when exposed, the emails contain an extraordinary amount of evidence – so people don’t look! Even the raw data gets tinkered with:

      Just poking into that mess, has left me with a queasy feeling that scientific process has gone out of the window.

      In a way, you and I are on the same side. I mean, if Mark goes and looks into the questions raised in this blog, and finds them without foundation, he will have enormously strengthened his (and presumably your) cause. Conversely, if he finds that the science really is corrupt, do you honestly not want to know?

  90. Webcraft

    And – re the ozone layer . . . I too have seen ‘suggestions’ that it was an over-reaction. But I have also seen the details of the chemistry and the measurements that show it was very real and was fixed by changing our behaviour – in this case by completely banning CFCs.

    I believe science, not suggestions.

    1. Kent Draper

      So then, where is the hotspot over the tropic’s? Maybe we made a mistake and CO2 has not increased? That would account for the lack of the “hot spot”, accelerated sea level rise, lack of the “hockey stick”. Who knows, maybe the CO2 instruments are out of calibration. It could happen 🙂

    2. Webcraft

      Why have you posted a comment about the tropospheric hotspot in reply to my comment on the ozone hole? The ozone problem is/was nothing to do with global warming or CO2 levels.

      It is hard to have a rational discussion with people who do not seem to understand the basic rules of debate.

    3. Kent Draper

      It had more to do with the “over reaction” point. It was also a very simple question. If you would rather not answer, I will understand.

  91. tim bastable

    Absolutely horrified by the IPCC’s naivety. Making themselves hostage to denier rantings is a politically devastating mistake but no reason to lose all perspective. The potential for renewables isn’t diminished a jot and the dangers of not decarbonising are just as great as they ever were. On the whole the IPCC do a reasonable job of providing and impartial – if at times overly conservative analysis, of the issues. The hydrocarbon industry on the other hand, has invested fortunes in lobbyists, fake science and fake journals in an overt campaign to distort, discredit and confuse the public. It’s political sway in the states is now so strong that the republicans are close to trying to legislate climate change out of existence. Don’t lets fall into “BBC syndrome” and beat ourselves up over the odd fall from grace while the real deceivers walk away squeaky clean.

    1. Webcraft

      The most sensible post for quite a few comment-inches Tim.

      Anyone who thinks Mark Lynas is now a ‘denier’ is recommended to read his new book ‘The God Species’, published on July 7th.

    2. Latimer Alder

      Lynas has declared himself to be a ‘denier’. Do you not take him at his word?

    3. J Bowers

      Does Mark Lynas deny IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity to CO2?

    4. Latimer Alder

      Don’t ask me…ask him.

      It’s his blog.

      Why is it important to you to know?

    5. J Bowers

      Rhetorical question.

    6. Latimer Alder

      Interested to know more details of the ‘fake science’ you claim to have been produced.

      Please describe, in your own words, exactly what science you claim is ‘fake’ i.e. knowingly produced with the intention to deceive.

    7. Orkneygal

      Well, not my own words but rather a paraphrase of another’s

      ” The trick to hide the decline.”

    8. JPeden

      “It’s political sway in the states is now so strong that the republicans are close to trying to legislate climate change out of existence.”

      Yes, tim, since the word “climate change” has intentionally been morphed by ipcc-style Climate Science to now come to mean “CO2 = CAGW”, there certainly should be no need to legislate it out of existence, because it hasn’t happened, as a proven matter of fact:

      none of the predictions based upon “the physics” of the CO2 = CAGW “science”, as contained and put forth by the Global Circulation Models, have been successful when later compared to real = empirical data.

      But such legislation still does seem like the right thing to do when it’s also true that the legislation instead of “Climate Science’s” own alleged cure to its still only alleged disease is already proven to be empirically worse than the alleged disease itself.

      In fact CO2 = CAGW “climate change” is a “disease” whose status as a net disease has not in any way been scientifically established, except as a very useful paranoid delusion via the ipcc’s “perception is reality” method, its Climate Science Propaganda Operation, which in turn is also in fact directed towards the obvious self-aggrandizement of certain “stakeholders”, including members of the ipcc itself resulting exactly from their Conflicts of Interest.

      Furthermore, why should Countries such as China and India be the only Countries allowed by ipcc Climate Science to remain sane? That is, why did the ipcc and its inbred products of similar conception, the UNFCC, allow Countries containing ~5 billion of the Earth’s ~6.7 billion people to not have to follow their own alleged cure, the Kyoto Protocols, to their own alleged disease disaster?

      Perhaps it’s because the ipcc did not and does not even believe its own “science”? Only it’s Conflicts of Interest?

      In other words, why are the champions of ipcc Climate Science getting rich, and why are the vast majority of the “CO2 = CAGW” proponents at the same time not doing much of anything to lower their own “carbon footprints” – at least nothing coming even close to what people like myself have been doing for decades out of completely rational concerns for efficiency; not to mention what I and other Classical Liberals have done completely on our own to directly save and rationally preserve and improve our own immediate environments?

      Why aren’t proponents of “CO2 = CAGW” personally following the rules which in turn follow from their own alleged beliefs and their own ipcc Climate “Science”? And why are they instead trying to legislate these rules for everyone else they can get their hands on who has something to take or control, while disproving that they believe in their own “science” by ignoring its need for the same rules in the case of the underdeveloped countries?

      Perhaps, tim, there are some Conflicts of Interest?

  92. keepturningleft

    I have spent the last hour reading the whole thread and add my tuppence worth as follows.
    Mark’s ill judged comment does not make him a denier. If anyone cares to read his new book about the three planetary boundaries which we have already crossed and the one’s we are rapidly approaching will see that he is still a very strong advocate of AGW. It is positive to the future but his solutions (nuclear, water privatisation etc) will upset some.
    The comments on this thread are, mainly, well judged, sober and polite on both sides of the dichotomy.
    The AGW side are let down by the generally insulting, “I’m right, you’re wrong, I know it all” style of one of their “team” – webcraft.
    The Denial side are let down by the vitriol aimed at the IPCC.
    Well done, though, Mark. An excellent book and an excellent idea to allow free access to anyone on the blogosphere to review it. A sign of true honesty and faith in your own work.

  93. MartyY

    “Mike Roddy says:
    18 June 2011 at 9:03 pm

    You have drifted into the dark side, Mark, probably without even realizing it, and if you’re not careful you will find your reputation shattered among serious people. ”

    He hasn’t drifted to a ‘dark side’. Many straight scientists and those with an informed opinion on AGW just ignore the deniers because they have no interest in their nonsense. They just have no interest in the ‘dark side’, and don’t recognize it when and comes and offers it’s grimy little hand out to them.

    I’m all in favor of the IPCC having high standards. I just think that membership of Greenpeace is not necessarily evidence that you have made a pact with the devil.

    1. Latimer Alder

      ‘I just think that membership of Greenpeace is not necessarily evidence that you have made a pact with the devil’

      But it does show that you are no longer an objective and unbiased player when it comes to writing about stuff in which Greenpeace has a political and financial interest.

      And the guy in question is not just ‘a member of Greenpeace’. He is

      ‘The Director of the Renewable Energy Campaign for Greenpeace International’, which puts him slap bang centre in the middle of it – right up to his neck. To imply otherwise is disingenuous.

    2. J Bowers

      Latimer Alder says:
      “But it does show that you are no longer an objective and unbiased player when it comes to writing about stuff in which Greenpeace has a political and financial interest.”

      In that case Pat Michaels, Bob Ferguson of SPPI, and the Idsos, are neither objective nor unbiased.

    3. JPeden

      Even if so, then the latter should also be allowed to author ipcc Chapters and have their studies highlighted in ipcc Press Releases, too. And the EPA must also forswear its use of the ipcc as determinative of the “state of the science”.

      Hey, but then we could get back to solely using the standards of real, scientific method and principle, science, complete with no Press Releases and Summaries published prior the “science”, to evaluate scientific hypotheses. And that should be a good thing, right?

    4. J Bowers

      “Even if so, then the latter should also be allowed to author ipcc Chapters and have their studies highlighted in ipcc Press Releases, too.”

      Not really. AR5 would be jampacked with cites to

      Besides, IPCC authors do it for free. Given Singer’s payment of $143,000 for his NIPCC work, I don’t think the IPCC would be able to tempt him. Richard Tol cried off the opportunity to work on AR5 as a convening author when he wasn’t given a blank cheque by the Irish government for travel expenses. Given he’s a scientific advisor to the GWPF who are rolling in it, I’m amazed they didn’t stump up. Well, no, I’m not. Richard may have found out the IPCC’s not such a bad lot, after all.

  94. Frog

    Posted Jan 28, 2010 by Donna Laframboise:

    No so bad… 😉

  95. Richard A

    For years I’ve been wondering: If the APG advocates were right, why did they have to cherry pick data and cook the results? I broke with believing the APG advocates as soon as I saw the infamous hockey stick graph–I couldn’t believe that someone could simply eliminate the well-documented Medieval Warming and LIttle Ice Age for convenience to their cause, and then get away with it.

    Now, finally, people who are concerned with the future of the planet, people who do not have a political axe to grind, or large investments in energy companies, are starting to ask hard questions of the IPCC.

    For my part, I care nothing for who is right and who is wrong; I care only for the truth. Because of their behavior, I cannot believe the IPCC is telling us the truth. Their methods make the oil companies seem honest and above-board, and that’s a scary thought.

  96. J Bowers

    “I couldn’t believe that someone could simply eliminate the well-documented Medieval Warming “

    If you look at the MBH98 hockey stick you’ll find the error bars contain the MWP and LIA. But, the well documented MWP you’re taking about, prior to MBH98, is probably only HH Lamb’s work on Central England Temperatures in the early 1960s. HH Lamb went on to found CRU and agreed later that AGW is a distinct possibility.

  97. S Zell

    So we have four scenarios of “renewable” energy ranging from 15 to 77% of total energy demand, and the headline reads “up to 80% renewable possible”?

    Edenhofer’s 77% solution requires total energy demand to DECREASE by 17% (from 490 to 407 EJ), while the supply of renewable energy must nearly QUINTUPLE (from 64 to 314 EJ ) over 39 years. Since most “renewable” energy is hydroelectric, does his group plan to build dams across every river in the world, and would this be enough? What happens to the fish in those rivers?

    Has anyone calculated how much this would COST, and who would pay for it, and what benefits (if any) would be realized from such a tremendous cost?

    Right now, we have people at IPCC quoting themselves in Greenpeace to mandate expensive energy. The fox guards the henhouse, then sells us eggs at twice the price. How is this any better than OPEC closing the spigot to drive up oil prices?

  98. joltinjoe

    Too much emphasis is given to the term “expert”. Is Michael Mann an expert? His famous hockeystick was a lie. Is he still an expert? A believable expert? His expertise seems to be in the art of deception. There are no “experts” on this climate debate. Skeptics should abound on any “scientific” matter.
    Those folks who have studied this area for most of their lives still don’t know much about it. Now you know!

  99. Edna Bowser

    So, the vast and world-dominating biggest most profitable industry in the world is now renewable energy eh?

    Your point is very dull buddy. This makes NO sense. Duh.

    Oil companies behind false reports speaks of a conspiracy, but renewable energy just doesn’t have that kind of clout, there are not even one big renewable energy company that people can name.

    But Esso, Exxon, Shell, Koch Industries, TransCanada Pipelines, Enbridge are on the tip of the tongue.

    Get a grip, stop taking pig oil money dude. Do some good.


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