It looks as if the tottering IPCC has just made its biggest mistake yet. Twenty-four hours after the announcement of an "independent" inquiry into certain aspects of its activities it is possible to make a considered assessment of its significance. By any reasoned analysis, it is not only a whitewash but one in which the paint is spread so thinly as to be transparent.
First, who appointed this review body? Those two iconic standard bearers of climate science objectivity, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and IPCC head (still!) Rajendra Pachauri. There is nothing like being judge in your own cause – it secures a less damaging verdict. Ban Ki-moon is the clown who, on a visit to the Arctic last September, despairingly proclaimed that "100 billion tons" of polar ice were melting each year, when the sea-ice around him had just extended itself by half a million square kilometres more than at the same time the previous year. Pachauri, among many other solecisms, is also the buffoon who denounced criticism of the IPCC's absurd claims about melting Himalayan glaciers as "voodoo science".
Then there is the review's terms of reference. It has four remits: to analyse the IPCC process, including links with other UN agencies; to review use of non-peer reviewed sources and data quality control; to assess how procedures handle "the full range of scientific views; and to review IPCC communications with the public and the media. So, most of its activity will relate to reorganisation of the IPCC's propaganda operation and how it can be beefed up.
Nowhere are there proposals for it to revisit, in depth, the IPCC's 3,000-page 2007 report and repudiate the vast range of inaccuracies and downright fabrications it contains. Instead, the review panel has to report by August so that its meaningless conclusions on a variety of irrelevant issues can be used to sanitise the IPCC's next report, to be prepared at a meeting in October.
As for the personnel, the review will be conducted by the Inter-Academy Council and headed by its co-chairman Professor Robbert Dijkgraaf, who recently broadcast on Dutch radio a complacent statement about the "consensus" on climate science. The Inter-Academy Council is a representative body for a number of national academies of science, most of which are committed to the climate change cause.
So, a very obvious whitewash and presumably very satisfactory to the IPCC camp. Nevertheless, I repeat, it is probably the most serious mistake the AGW fanatics have so far made. This is because they have seriously underestimated the amount of trouble they are in. Any competent political spin doctor (and the AGW scam is pure politics, not science) would have told them that, as things stand in 2010, they had one last chance – and only one chance – to salvage their bogus crusade.
That was to allow a genuinely independent investigation, including highly qualified sceptics, to analyse the 2007 report and expose all its fallacies – which are already in the public domain in any case. They could then have apologised, sacked Pachauri (which they will probably do anyway) and prepared an equally mendacious but more sophisticated report, jettisoning the more extravagant scare-mongering for the time being, and so clawed back wavering support among the public.
Instead, they have opted for a very obvious whitewash, discredited from the day of its launch, that will provoke hilarity and increased scepticism when it reports. After that, there will be no road back. We should be grateful that the arrogance and over-confidence engendered by their longstanding immunity from challenge (but not any more) prompted the AGW fraudsters to create so inadequate a smokescreen.
This investigation is very good news for sceptics – not because it will denounce any significant flaws in the AGW imposture, but because it will not. AGW credulity is already a minority faith; but there is a further constituency of waverers, ready to break off like a melting iceberg from the main floe, whose final defection will mean the AGW movement is deprived of critical mass. This pathetic attempt at a cover-up could well be the catalyst for that decisive departure. Think about it and be glad.
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Amazon's: DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton