Glover & Economides: Getting Phony Science in the Media is Easy

by David Bier on January 12, 2012

in Blog

In this excerpt from Energy and Climate Wars: How naïve politicians, green ideologues and media elites are undermining the truth about energy and climate, Peter Glover and Michael Economides explain how easily science can be corrupted for politically ends. Chicken little pundits then grab hold of this and use it to crush those who advocate caution and want more evidence to back up such dire claims.

Not many news reports have been used so effectively to incite fear on entire populations, demand immediate government action and cause concern among people the world over, than the alleged melting of the Himalayan glaciers.

Energy and Climate Wars was released in 2010

Chapter 10 of the 2007 IPCC report stated: “Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world, and if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at its current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 square kilometers by the year 2035.”

To put it in starker terms, among other calamities it presaged, India’s great rivers would dry out, and all associated agricultural, cultural and religious impacts associated with them. To begin with, the IPCC’s geography is appalling. 500,000 square kilometers is probably the area covered by all glaciers throughout the world. But it is fascinating how this gem made the IPCC report and how it has spawned, at a cursory count, 7,000 news stories and commentaries.

It has since emerged that the IPCC statements on Himalayan glaciers was entirely fictitious, based as it turns out on thoroughly misleading information from a 2005 report by the World Wildlife Fund, which itself was taken from an article published in the “eminent” and popular UK science journal, The New Scientist in June 1999. That article, “Flooded Out,” was written by an Indian glaciologist Syed Hasnain who speculated that Himalayan glaciers could vanish within 40 years as a result of global warming.

By diabolical coincidence on 20 January 2010, exactly at the time of the writing of this chapter, the IPCC released a statement saying that “estimates relating to the rate of recession of the Himalayan glaciers in its Fourth Assessment Report” were “poorly substantiated” and “well-established standards of evidence were not applied properly.” The IPCC had little alternative but to out its “evidence” as “bovine excrement” after a UK Mail On Sunday interview with the scientist behind the claim, Dr. Murari Lal, admitted it was bogus. Lal admitted that when his claim was repeated in the 2007 Nobel-prize winning IPCC report he knew it had not been verified. Lal’s defense was that it was included to “impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take concrete action.” And take action politicians duly did. On the basis of the spurious glacier claims, especially that threat of the Himalayan glaciers melting, Rejendra Pachauri’s Energy and Resources Institute was awarded over $500,000 by the Carnegie Foundation of New York and the “lion’s share” of a $4 million EU grant funded by European taxpayers for further research. Research into a claim that had no foundation in science whatsoever.

And yet the IPCC, despite their admission has “reiterated its concern about the dangers melting glaciers present in a region that is home to more than one-sixth of the world’s population.”

 (Excerpted from pages 103-104)

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