Climategate, Glaciergate, and now Amazongate....
Can't the IPCC conduct real research???
It is now six weeks since I launched an investigation, with my colleague Richard North, into the affairs of Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the hugely influential body which for 20 years has been the central driver of worldwide alarm about global warming. Since then the story has grown almost daily, leading to worldwide calls for Dr Pachauri's resignation. But increasingly this has also widened out to question the authority of the IPCC itself. Contrary to the tendentious claim that its reports represent a "consensus of the world's top 2,500 climate scientists" (most of its contributors are not climate experts at all), it has now emerged, for instance, that one of the more widely quoted scare stories from its 2007 report was drawn from the work of a British "green activist" who occasionally writes as a freelance for The Guardian and The Independent.
Last week I reported on "Glaciergate", the scandal which has forced the IPCC's top officials, led by Dr Pachauri, to disown a claim originating from an Indian glaciologist, Dr Syed Husnain, that the Himalayan glaciers could vanish by 2035. What has made this reckless claim in the IPCC's 2007 report even more embarrassing was the fact that Dr Husnain, as we revealed, was then employed by Dr Pachauri's own Delhi-based Energy and Resources Institute (Teri). His baseless scaremongering about the Himalayas helped to win Teri a share in two lucrative research contracts, one funded by the EU.
The source the IPCC cited as its "scientific" authority for this claim, however (as Dr North first reported on his EU Referendum blog), was a propagandist pamphlet published in 2005 by the WWF, the environmentalist pressure group, citing a magazine interview with Dr Husnain six years earlier.
Dr North next uncovered "Amazongate". The IPCC made a prominent claim in its 2007 report, again citing the WWF as its authority, that climate change could endanger "up to 40 per cent" of the Amazon rainforest – as iconic to warmists as those Himalayan glaciers and polar bears. This WWF report, it turned out, was co-authored by Andy Rowell, an anti-smoking and food safety campaigner who has worked for WWF and Greenpeace, and contributed pieces to Britain's two most committed environmentalist newspapers. Rowell and his co-author claimed their findings were based on an article in Nature. But the focus of that piece, it emerges, was not global warming at all but the effects of logging.
A Canadian analyst has identified more than 20 passages in the IPCC's report which cite similarly non-peer-reviewed WWF or Greenpeace reports as their authority, and other researchers have been uncovering a host of similarly dubious claims and attributions all through the report. These range from groundless allegations about the increased frequency of "extreme weather events" such as hurricanes, droughts and heatwaves, to a headline claim that global warming would put billions of people at the mercy of water shortages – when the study cited as its authority indicated exactly the opposite, that rising temperatures could increase the supply of water.