The scathing and evidence-based critique of the governance of the IPCC remains topical as long as the IPCC produces rubbish in the name of science. The good news is that almost 800 people checked out this link after it appeared on the Cat last week and a day or so later in a post on Tim Blair’s blog.
The overwhelming majority of the visitors came from The Daily Telegraph. When I post links from my website on the Cat I usually get 40 to 80 visits and once when Andrew Bold ran a link it raised 800. For the benefit of Cats who were too lazy to follow the link (admittedly I have posted it at least once a year since it first went up) I will run some of the worst examples of fraud here.
The Steve McIntyre case
McIntyre has a track record of his own, with his demolition of the “hockey stick” claim about global warming. So it is surprising that he was selected to be an expert reviewer for the documents feeding into the 2007 reports. Laframboise reports that McIntyre noticed that the arguments in one of the major reports were based on two papers which had not yet been published. He was suspicious of the results so he asked to see the raw data. According to the IPCC rules the support units are supposed to provide expert reviewers with material that is not readily available. They have fulltime staff and the reviewers mostly do the work pro bono. The head of the unit was Martin Manning, now head of a research institute in a NZ university. Twice he refused to help McIntyre. His second email read:
“Let me repeat – If you wish to obtain data used in a paper you should make a direct request to the original authors yourself. It would be inappropriate for the IPCC to become involved in that communication and I have no intention of allowing the IPCC support unit to provide you with what would in effect be a secretarial service. There are over 1200 other scientists on our list of reviewers and we simply cannot get involved in providing special services for each…I will not be responding to further correspondence on this matter.”
He probably could have emailed the two scientists in the time he took to reply to McIntyre and the request for the raw data would have had an official imprint, demonstrating a commitment to quality review in the organization. In the event, the two authors refused to provide the data to McIntyre when he contacted them.
He reported this to Susan Solomon, an atmospheric chemist who had a senior role in assembling the 2007 report. In 2008 Time magazine named her as one of the world’s most influential people due to her work on the 2007 Climate Bible.
Solomon’s own response could hardly have been less helpful. IPCC rules, she said, “only oblige the technical support units to provide copies of unpublished papers. The IPCC does not, said Solomon, concern itself with the raw data on which papers – published or otherwise – are based.”
In case that is not strange enough, Solomon then accused McIntyre of behaving improperly. In her view by contacting the journal, as he’d been told to do by the author, McIntyre was interfering with that journal’s internal decisions. She stated that McIntyre had been granted access to the unpublished papers for one purpose only: to read them. She suggested that in seeking more information, he was violating IPCC confidentiality provisions. For this reason he could be struck from the official list of IPCC reviewers. She wrote to McIntyre:
“We must insist that from now on you honor all conditions of access to unpublished, and therefore confidential, material…The IPCC rules…have served the scientific and political communities well for numerous past international assessment rounds. If there is further evidence that you cannot accept them, or if your intent is to challenge them…then we will not be able to continue to treat you as an expert reviewer for the IPCC.”