Behind the Great Pay Wall of Fleet Street, we find that The Times has further comment on the IPCC’s recent defenestration in an interesting article by Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist. It deserves wider circulation because it reminds us of the events of earlier in the year
Of course one way round the great pay wall is to go down to your newsagents, there you will find Mr Ridley saying, ‘this discredited science body must be purged’. It has to be said that ‘discredited’ is putting it a bit mildly. Its not just that the IPCC published a misprint worthy of the Reverend Spooner whilst scaremongering about the Himalayas or that it regularly quoted rumours propagated by lobby groups as if gospel.
No; its the way the IPCC have treated people who had the temerity to offer a different view which disgusts the most. Mr Ridley quotes instances where academics such as Ross McKitrick and Pat Michaels, who legitimately (and correctly) questioned the temperature record, had their contributions first ignored and then falsely rebutted.
But perhaps most shockingly of all Mr Ridely reminds us of the University of East Anglia ‘Climategate’ scandal where amongst other now infamous emails Professor Phil Jones referred directly to these papers in the words,
‘I cannot 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 the peer-review literature is!‘
I am not sure which is the more shocking; the fact that Jones can bring himself to corrupt science in this way, the fact that he is still in his job or the fact that Jones is allowed to be a ‘co-coordinating lead author and pass judgement on his own papers as well as those of his critics’.
Mr Ridley reminds us of these things and more (‘unilateral redrafting of reports by lead authors’ and the ‘writing of sexed-up Summaries for Policy Makers’ are stand out items) but his final line sums it all up,
‘we run the risk of putting a tourniquet round our collective necks to stop a nosebleed’
That sounds pretty much like a noose to me.