Repairing the IPCC’s Image

by Brian McGraw on June 15, 2011

in Blog, Features

Post image for Repairing the IPCC’s Image

Via Steve McIntyre

Doesn’t seem to be a top priority, and I wouldn’t count on it anytime soon. The report released a month or so ago touting Renewable Energy: “Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation” intended to show that the world could easily meet 80% of its energy needs with renewable by 2050. It was widely discussed on a number of blogs and reported in news media.

It turns out that the lead author of the report was an employee of Greenpeace, and relied heavily upon a joint Greenpeace/European Renewable Energy Council report — not exactly unbiased peer reviewed material:

Here’s what happened. The 80% by 2050 figure was based on a scenario, so Chapter 10 of the full report reveals, called ER-2010, which does indeed project renewables supplying 77% of the globe’s primary energy by 2050. The lead author of the ER-2010 scenario, however, is a Sven Teske, who should have been identified (but is not) as a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace International. Even worse, Teske is a lead author of the IPCC report also – in effect meaning that this campaigner for Greenpeace was not only embedded in the IPCC itself, but was in effect allowed to review and promote his own campaigning work under the cover of the authoritative and trustworthy IPCC. A more scandalous conflict of interest can scarcely be imagined.

The ER-2010 study would count for me as ‘grey literature’, despite being published in a minor journal called Energy Efficiency (link to PDF here). This is because it was initially written as a propaganda report by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council – the latter are are of course enthusiasts for renewable energy’s prospects because they make money from selling wind turbines and solar panels, so hardly count as an unbiased source. It is sadly ironic that the original ‘Himalayagate’ IPCC error was the result of an uncritical reliance on exactly this kind of campaigning ‘grey literature’. Then, however, the mistake was deeply buried in the report. This time, it was used to headline the entire thing – and the source was not obvious to media at the time because the full report was not even released. So the ’80% by 2050′ headlines were repeated far and wide with no-one realising their original true source.

Talk about not learning lessons.

 

 

Mark Lynas June 15, 2011 at 9:46 am

Since the extract above comes from my blog post on the issue, I should clarify that Teske is *a* lead author, not *the* lead author of the IPCC report. That of course is quite bad enough…

mememine69 June 16, 2011 at 4:08 am

I’m not the only one contacting authorities and law makers and the justice departments to have the leading scientists and NEWS EDITORS charged for this needless panic of a false war called Climate Change. We missed getting Bush………….
Catastrophic climate change was virtually a comet hit of an emergency yet Obama didn’t even mention the crisis in his state of the union address and was silent along with the scientists when American IPCC/UN climate research grants were all pulled. It’s clear to this former believer that the science was exaggerated, exploited and as we can see now, unsustainable in voter support. The new denier is anyone who still thinks most people are still supporters and believers and willing to sacrifice climate mitigation actions.

Russell C June 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm

My special research (see http://www.globalwarming.org/author/russell-cook/ ) has concerned the media smear of skeptic scientists – when Donna LaFramboise at nofrakkingconsensus.com said Greenpeace people were found in the IPCC’s “Annex IV Reviewers of the IPCC WGIII Fourth Assessment Report”, I looked to see if I could recognize any names in the United States section who relate to the smear. I found three, explanations about two of them are too long to detail, but this simple one is as direct as it comes to the enviro-advocacy group Ozone Action, which was merged into Greenpeace USA in 2000.

* Gallagher, Kelly Sims, Harvard University – formerly just Kelly Sims, Science Policy Director/International Policy Specialist at Ozone Action, a speaker on behalf of that group at the UNFCCC (Bonn) in August ’97, later described at a nautilus.org bio as participating “in more than a dozen rounds of international negotiations on global climate change and was an advisor to CNN in Kyoto and Buenos Aires. She was previously a Truman Scholar in the office of Vice President Gore…”

Paraphrasing from the old Nixon problem, ‘there is a cancer on the IPCC and AGW’.

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