Climate Change: A Siege Gun of a Book

The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert is a book about climate change and the claimed thoroughness of the reports issued by the IPCC.

“95% of world scientists agree;” “the science is settled;” “the time for discussion is over.” Such expressions dominate debate on climate change. The font of wisdom from which these assertions emanate is the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change whose job it is to survey the scientific literature and to issue a series of reports for the guidance of governments in formulating climate change policy. Journalists are among the IPCC’s most ardent admirers: “The greatest feat of global scientific co-operation ever seen … utterly unique and authoritive.” (UK Guardian). According to its chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC’s reports are the “crème de la crème.” And “its writers are chosen from people at the top of their professions … the best scientific experts from around the world.”

After two year’s research into this paragon of scientific authority, investigative journalist, Donna Laframboise, has revealed that these claims are bogus. Investigating Pachauri’s reference to “only the best scientific expertise from round the world” she was astounded to find that among the “impeccable sources” were graduate students in their twenties who were considered fit enough to serve as IPCC lead authors. Some of them had yet to publish their first academic paper. Another surprise was learning that issues of diversity, gender balance and regional representation were major considerations in selecting authors for the final chapter reports. She was astonished to discover the extent to which leading figures from activist groups had been infiltrated into senior positions in the IPCC. She points out that activists are people with agendas, and that science and agendas don’t mix.

Barack Obama’s scientific advisor calls the IPCC “…. an immense edifice of painstaking studies published in the world’s leading scientific peer-reviewed journals.” The term “peer-reviewed” is repeated like a mantra by the IPCC and its admirers. Chairman Pachauri states “… we carry out an assessment of climate change based on peer-reviewed literature. We don’t settle for anything less!” Here Ms Framboise’ research reveals yet another fairy tale. With the help of a team of forty volunteers, she examined the references at the end of all 44 chapters of the 2007 report. The result was astounding: of 18,531 references in the 2007 report no less than 5,587 were non-peer reviewed! Included were magazine and newspaper articles, unpublished masters and doctoral theses, and Greenpeace and Wild Life Fund documents.

The IPCC ignores the consensus among hurricane experts that there is no discernable link to global warming. And, purely on the strength of an article by non-experts in a popular science magazine, it disseminates a scare story that climate change could be blamed for the spread of malaria.

But the author’s most disturbing revelation is summed up in a statement by Chairman Pachauri: “I am not going to rest easy until I have articulated in every possible forum the need to bring about major structural changes in economic growth and development. That’s the real issue. Climate change is just part of it.”

Donna Laframboise has written a siege gun of a book. One that looks set to blast the IPCC to its foundations.

AUTHOR Alwyne Todd is a freelance writer, formerly from Cape Town, now living in Australia. This review may be republished without prior consent but with acknowledgement to the author. The views expressed in the article are the author’s and are not necessarily shared by the members of the Free Market Foundation.

FMF Feature Article / 29 November 2011

Note:The Deliquent Teenager is available at Amazon, or as a PDF for $5 at
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