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IPCC: No longer credible

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Competitive Enterprise Institute

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Jun 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/13/96
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Did anyone catch the article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
Frederick Seitz, former president of both the National Academy of Sciences
and the American Physical Society wrote an op-ed exposing the IPCC as the
scam it is. What has been widely acclaimed as a consensus of 2,500
experts turns out to be a consensus of two. To clarify the IPCC process
there were two types of authors, lead authors and contributing authors.
There were between 3 and 5 lead authors for each chapter of the report who
actually wrote and bear responsibility for the contents. The contributing
authors participated by contributing papers that they thought important to
the report. Some of this information was used and some was not. Many of
the contributing authors were not experts on global climate change. In
fact a relatively small number of the participants have had peer reviewed
articles published in the last five years on global warming.

The IPCC went through extensive peer review and was approved by those
participating in the process. So far so good. Later, the summary for
policy makers was written and approved in a plenary session of the U.N.
The summary is a negotiated political document and does not
reflect the views of the scientists. It is purely a political document.
The approval of the summary was a formal declaration that the summary
reflects the views of the report.

This is where it gets good. After the original report was approved there
were significant changes made in chapter 8 -- the chapter which set out
the scientific evidence for and against a human influence over the
climate. Here are some of the changes:

The original report stated:

"Finally, we come to the most difficult question of all: 'When will the
detection of unambiguous attribution of human-induced climate change
occur?' In light of the very large signal and noise uncertainties
discussed in this chapter, it is not surprising that the best answer to
this question is, 'We do not know.'"

The revised chapter states:

"Finally, we come to the difficult question of when the detection and
attribution of human-induced climate change is likely to occur. The
answer to this question must be subjective, particularly in the light of
the large signal and noise uncertainties discussed in this chapter."

Referring to the attribution of global climate change to human emissions
the original chapter stated:

"A major difficulty with such studies is in associating cause and effect
with a high degree of confidence.

Attribution of an observed climate change to a particular mechanism can be
established only by testing competing hypotheses. Thus, unique
attribution of a 'significant' observed change requires specifying the
signals of all likely alternative explanations and statistical
determination that none of these mechanisms is a satisfactory explanation
for the observed change. This is a difficult task, and one that detection
studies to date have not addressed in a rigorous statistical way."

It continues:

"Pattern-based detection studies are probably of greater relevance for the
attribution issue than studies of global mean change.... Detection of a
significant change...in a pattern-based study would give some scientists
more confidence in the attribution of observed changes to a specific
cause or causes, even without rigorous statistical testing of alternative
explanations."

Continuing later:

"While some of the pattern-based studies discussed here have claimed
detection of a significant climate change, no study to date has positively
attributed all or part of that change to anthropogenic causes. Nor has
any study quantified the magnitude of a greenhouse-gas effect or aerosol
effect in the observed data -- an issue that is of primary relevance to
policy-makers."

The revised chapter states:

"Viewed as a whole, these results indicate that the observed trend in
global mean temperature over the past 100 years is unlikely to be entirely
natural in origin. More importantly, there is evidence of an emerging
pattern of climate response to forcing by greenhouse gases and sulphate
aerosols in the observed climate record. This evidence comes from the
geographical, seasonal and vertical patterns of temperature change. Taken
together, these results point towards a human influence on global
climate."

Where did this revised language come from? As it turns out it was lifted
from the politically negotiated summary for policy-makers. Who did the
rewriting? Benjamin Santer and T.M.L Wigley. This raises serious doubts
about the credibility of the published IPCC report. And the claim that
the report concludes that there is a detectable human impact on the global
climate is fiction.

Not everything written here was taken from the Wall Street Journal op-ed.
Much of it I learned from people (scientists included) who were involved
with the IPCC process.

Paul Georgia
The views expressed are my own


Stewart Rowe

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Jun 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/13/96
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Solicited and planted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, no
doubt. Or did the Heritage Foundation or the Petroleum Institute
beat you to it?

Stewart Rowe sr...@tso.cin.ix.net

tomgray

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Jun 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/14/96
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af...@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Stewart Rowe) wrote:
>
>
>Solicited and planted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, no
>doubt. Or did the Heritage Foundation or the Petroleum Institute
>beat you to it?

Yeah. I noticed there did not seem to be a whole lot of science in what
was cited, too, but rather just allegations of political manipulation.
I'd be more impressed by an argument about why the science is wrong, but
those seem to be getting fewer these days . . .

Tom Gray
Director of Communications
American Wind Energy Association

PS Support renewable energy! Visit the Electronic Lobbyist For
Renewable Energy Web Site:

http://www.netcom.com/~stevie2/budget.html

John McCarthy

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Jun 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/14/96
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I see Stuart Rowe has no arguments, only innuendoes.
--
John McCarthy, Computer Science Department, Stanford, CA 94305
*
He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.
http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/

James G. Acker

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Jun 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/14/96
to

Competitive Enterprise Institute (c...@access.digex.net) wrote:

: The original report stated:


:
: "Finally, we come to the most difficult question of all: 'When will the
: detection of unambiguous attribution of human-induced climate change
: occur?' In light of the very large signal and noise uncertainties
: discussed in this chapter, it is not surprising that the best answer to
: this question is, 'We do not know.'"
:
: The revised chapter states:
:
: "Finally, we come to the difficult question of when the detection and
: attribution of human-induced climate change is likely to occur. The
: answer to this question must be subjective, particularly in the light of
: the large signal and noise uncertainties discussed in this chapter."

Not a significant difference. The first paragraph uses
colloquial language, the second is more formal. The uncertainties
are clearly mentioned in the final sentence.

NEXT:
: Referring to the attribution of global climate change to human emissions

: the original chapter stated:
:
: "A major difficulty with such studies is in associating cause and effect
: with a high degree of confidence.

Correct. I.e., to say "Increased emissions of CO2 to
the atmosphere will definitely cause global warming" is too strong.


: Attribution of an observed climate change to a particular mechanism can be


: established only by testing competing hypotheses. Thus, unique
: attribution of a 'significant' observed change requires specifying the
: signals of all likely alternative explanations and statistical
: determination that none of these mechanisms is a satisfactory explanation
: for the observed change. This is a difficult task, and one that detection
: studies to date have not addressed in a rigorous statistical way."

I.e., the detection studies have detected changes, and it's
harder to assign causes to the observed changes. Reflected in the
statement below.


: It continues:


:
: "Pattern-based detection studies are probably of greater relevance for the
: attribution issue than studies of global mean change.... Detection of a
: significant change...in a pattern-based study would give some scientists
: more confidence in the attribution of observed changes to a specific
: cause or causes, even without rigorous statistical testing of alternative
: explanations."
:
: Continuing later:
:
: "While some of the pattern-based studies discussed here have claimed
: detection of a significant climate change, no study to date has positively

Such as changes in seasonal commencement.

: attributed all or part of that change to anthropogenic causes. Nor has

Much of the meaning of that sentence hinges on one word --
"positively". It has certainly been suggested that the change is due
to anthropogenic causes.

: any study quantified the magnitude of a greenhouse-gas effect or aerosol


: effect in the observed data -- an issue that is of primary relevance to
: policy-makers."


This final paragraph strikes me as eminently accurate. Let's
see how bad the revision is:


: The revised chapter states:


:
: "Viewed as a whole, these results indicate that the observed trend in
: global mean temperature over the past 100 years is unlikely to be entirely
: natural in origin. More importantly, there is evidence of an emerging
: pattern of climate response to forcing by greenhouse gases and sulphate
: aerosols in the observed climate record. This evidence comes from the
: geographical, seasonal and vertical patterns of temperature change. Taken
: together, these results point towards a human influence on global
: climate."

O.K., here's what I see happened. In a number of separate studies,
climate change was apparently observed. None of the authors of these
studies would individually claim that their study showed a change
directly attributable to anthropogenic cause, but I'd guess that virtually
all of them stated something to the effect of "the observed results are
consistent with what one would expect due to an anthropogenic cause."
You take all of those studies together, the suggestion of anthropogenic
causality becomes much stronger. The above paragraph is a synthesis.


: Where did this revised language come from? As it turns out it was lifted


: from the politically negotiated summary for policy-makers. Who did the

Yes. Exactly. A synthesis is required for there to be any
guide for policy-making.


: rewriting? Benjamin Santer and T.M.L Wigley. This raises serious doubts


: about the credibility of the published IPCC report. And the claim that
: the report concludes that there is a detectable human impact on the global
: climate is fiction.

The final conclusion is doubtful. What the skeptics want is a
single result that says A=B, i.e. human influence = climate change.
Otherwise they will always claim there is no "proof". But this is
an incremental research program. A+B+C+D+E+... = an increasing likelihood.
And that's what the report concludes.

I'd definitely like to have more information about Dr. Seitz.


===============================================
| James G. Acker |
| REPLY TO: jga...@neptune.gsfc.nasa.gov |
===============================================
All comments are the personal opinion of the writer
and do not constitute policy and/or opinion of government
or corporate entities.

Jan Schloerer

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Jun 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/14/96
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Sounds like nit-picking by people who feel that it's getting
tough to argue against what is known :)


In <Pine.SUN.3.93.96061...@access2.digex.net>
Paul Georgia <c...@access.digex.net> included:

> The original report [by IPCC Working Group I, JS] stated:


>
> "Finally, we come to the most difficult question of all: 'When
> will the detection of unambiguous attribution of human-induced

^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^


> climate change occur?' In light of the very large signal and noise
> uncertainties discussed in this chapter, it is not surprising that
> the best answer to this question is, 'We do not know.'"


True. Except that it presumably should run "and", not "of".
Detection means showing that an observed climatic change is highly
unusual. Detection doesn't provide a reason for the change.
Attribution means establishing a cause and effect relation.
Unambiguous is a strong word. Unambiguous attribution of
climatic changes to specific causes is currently asking for
too much. In some cases, it may be next to impossible.

Take clouds. During the past decades, cloud cover has increased
over at least some land areas [1]. Some possible causes:

- Rising levels of greenhouse gases (human-made)
- The so-called indirect effect of tropospheric sulfate
aerosols and biomass smoke (human-made)
- Natural climatic variability

Perhaps stratospheric ozone depletion (human-made) will join
this list [2,3]. Sorting out such a maze requires modeling.
Models will never be perfect, thus unambiguous attribution
of "guilt percentages" may be elusive.

(Ambiguous) attribution of a change, in part and without precise
quantification, to human influence is something else again.


> The revised chapter states:
>
> "Finally, we come to the difficult question of when the detection and
> attribution of human-induced climate change is likely to occur. The
> answer to this question must be subjective, particularly in the light
> of the large signal and noise uncertainties discussed in this chapter."

I fail to see a contradiction to the original text. Unambiguous
attribution is currently not feasible. It may turn out to be
elusive in some cases, see above. Each individual study has its
potholes. Yet, taking together the clues from various studies,
it seems unlikely that the observed climatic changes are entirely


natural. Just what the following quote says:


> The revised chapter states:
>
> "Viewed as a whole, these results indicate that the observed trend
> in global mean temperature over the past 100 years is unlikely to be
> entirely natural in origin. More importantly, there is evidence
> of an emerging pattern of climate response to forcing by greenhouse
> gases and sulphate aerosols in the observed climate record. This
> evidence comes from the geographical, seasonal and vertical
> patterns of temperature change. Taken together, these results
> point towards a human influence on global climate."


Paul Georgia then expressed "serious doubts about the credibility


of the published IPCC report".

Fine, let's start with the above quote. If I get you correctly,
you believe that the observed climatic changes are likely "to be
entirely natural in origin." I'd appreciate to learn your reasons.
To be specific, I'd like to know why you feel that entirely natural
causes are the best explanation for the results mentioned in [2, 4-9].


[1] Thomas R. Karl, Philip D. Jones, 8 more authors, A new
perspective on recent global warming: asymmetric trends of daily
maximum and minimum temperature. Bulletin American Meteorol.
Society 74 (1993), 1007-1023
[2] L. D. Danny Harvey, Warm days, hot nights.
Nature 377 (1995), 15-16
[3] Ralf Toumi, Silmane Bekki & Kathy S. Law, Indirect influence
of ozone depletion on climate forcing by clouds. Nature 372
(1994), 348-351
[4] Thomas R. Karl, Richard W.Knight & Neil Plummer,
Trends in high-frequency climate variability in the twentieth
century. Nature 377 (1995), 217-220
[5] Richard A. Kerr, Study unveils climate cooling caused
by pollutant haze. Science 268 (1995), 802
[6] Richard A. Kerr, It's official: first glimmer of greenhouse
warming seen. Science 270 (8 Dec 1995), 1565+1567
[7] Michael C. MacCracken, The evidence mounts up.
Nature 376 (1995), 645-646
[8] David J. Thomson, The seasons, global temperature,
and precession. Science 268 (1995), 59-68
[9] K.E. Trenberth, T.J. Hoar, The 1990-1995 El Nino-Southern
Oscillation event: longest on record. Geophysical Research
Letters 23 (1 January 1996), 57-60. Abstract:
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu:80/cas/abstracts/


Jan Schloerer jsch...@rzmain.rz.uni-ulm.de
Uni Ulm Klinische Dokumentation D-89070 Ulm Germany

Mark A. Friesel

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Jun 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/14/96
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On 14 Jun 1996, John McCarthy wrote:

> I see Stuart Rowe has no arguments, only innuendoes.

You should feel right at home.

Competitive Enterprise Institute

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Jun 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/14/96
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On 13 Jun 1996, Stewart Rowe wrote:

>
>
> Solicited and planted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, no
> doubt. Or did the Heritage Foundation or the Petroleum Institute
> beat you to it?
>
> Stewart Rowe sr...@tso.cin.ix.net
>

Actually Seitz's tagline says he is working for the George C. Marshall
Institute.

I've read all of the reply posts and will try to answer them here. Or at
least I will clarify my reasons for posting this story. Doesn't anyone
(regardless of your views on global warming) find it strange that a report
that underwent extensive peer review was changed by two scientists after
the process was completed. Especially after this report has been touted
as a "consensus of 2,500 scientists."

Doesn't it raise some doubts about the credibility of the report that the
peer review process was corrupted? Many have analyzed in minute detail
the differences in an attempt to downplay the significance of what
occurred, but the fact remains that the report as it now stands does not
say what the approved report said. How did it go from

> > "...no study to date has positively


> > attributed all or part of that change to anthropogenic causes."

to

> > "Taken together, these results point towards a human influence on
> > global climate."

This is a major difference. The first was endorsed by those whose names
appear on the report the second was not. My point is that the claim (made
ad nauseum on this newsgroup) that there is now a consensus among
scientists on global warming and that the IPCC report proves it is no
longer a valid claim.

Paul Georgia
The views expressed are my own.


Donald L. Libby

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Jun 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/15/96
to

It's disturbing to find how fickle the process of consensus building can be,
and it would be especially troubling to know the built consensus has been
undermined by capricious rogue editors. I can't conclude from the
contrasting out-of-context snippets below whether the intended meaning of
the document has been changed by the indicated change of wording - if the
corruption is as bad as you make it seem, I suspect that a few of the 2,500
who were misrepresented by the two would make a statement to that effect.
I have some doubts about the credibility of the critics.

Playing devil's advocate for a moment, I have to ask what difference it
would make if the IPCC "consensus statement of anthropgenic GCC" were
incredible. It would reduce the leverage of legitimacy for those who wish
to enact controls on GHG emissions. As a political strategem, it would be
in conservatives' interest to cast dispersion on the most visible public
document in support of emission control. But would such a ploy defeat the
truth of the "pre-adulterated" consensus statement that definitive proof of
anthropogenic GCC is impossible at this time but that the body of evidence
supports the case for human influence? For conservatives to win
politically it may be sufficient to cast doubts about the credibility of the
scientific community's consensus statement without debating the validity
of the underlying science, since I doubt that many citizens will bother
to try to understand the science.

In either case, I still have to wonder if failure to enact controls over
GHG emissions would be all that bad in the long run. The oceans died 250
million years ago, the dinosaurs died 65 milion years ago, and despite all
those extinctions, life is pretty good today, if you ask me. True, I'd like
to keep it that way for a few more generations at least, but that's just a
moral value. Will reason triumph over passion in this morality play - will
science pursuade us to restrict the growth of GHG emissions? I doubt that
knowledge will penetrate the emotional rhetoric of spin doctors, whether
they're from CEI, the George Marshall Institute, the Hoover Institute, or
IPCC. So yes, I have to admit, this post raises some doubts.
-dl

In article <Pine.SUN.3.93.960614...@access2.digex.net> Competitive Enterprise Institute <c...@access.digex.net> writes:
>From: Competitive Enterprise Institute <c...@access.digex.net>
>Subject: Re: IPCC: No longer credible
>Date: Fri, 14 Jun 1996 14:15:18 -0400
snip


>Doesn't it raise some doubts about the credibility of the report that the
>peer review process was corrupted? Many have analyzed in minute detail
>the differences in an attempt to downplay the significance of what
>occurred, but the fact remains that the report as it now stands does not
>say what the approved report said. How did it go from

>> > "...no study to date has positively


>> > attributed all or part of that change to anthropogenic causes."

>to

>> > "Taken together, these results point towards a human influence on
>> > global climate."

>This is a major difference. The first was endorsed by those whose names


>appear on the report the second was not. My point is that the claim (made
>ad nauseum on this newsgroup) that there is now a consensus among
>scientists on global warming and that the IPCC report proves it is no
>longer a valid claim.

>Paul Georgia
>The views expressed are my own.


Bruce Hamilton

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Jun 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/16/96
to

In article <4prsm9$t...@post.gsfc.nasa.gov>
jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov (James G. Acker) writes:
[ all gone...]

> The final conclusion is doubtful. What the skeptics want is a
>single result that says A=B, i.e. human influence = climate change.
>Otherwise they will always claim there is no "proof". But this is
>an incremental research program. A+B+C+D+E+... = an increasing likelihood.
>And that's what the report concludes.
>
> I'd definitely like to have more information about Dr. Seitz.

Well, you shall know them by the company they keep ( or some
such expression ), incidentally at the site below there is a
response one of your letters.... I'm surprised others didn't
mention the connection sooner - I would have thought John may
regularly check the site to receive nutrition....

Science & Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
President: S.Fred Singer, PhD.
Board of Directors: Frederick Seitz, Ph.D., Chmn.
Charles Gelman, M.S. (Public Health)
David L. Hill, Ph.D.
S. Fred Singer, Ph.D.

http://www.his.com/~chyden/SEPP/

For a really entertaining perpective on the global warming issue,
try out their global warming section... Tragic really, but funny for
anyone routinely scanning Nature or Science....

http://www.his.com/~chyden/SEPP/glwarm.htm

The Science & Environmental Policy Project was founded by atmospheric
physicist, Dr. S. Fred Singer, then Professor of Environmental Sciences
at the University of Virginia, on the premise that sound science
should form the basis for environmental decisions. Otherwise,
millions of people will be (and have been) adversely affected by
environmental policies that are wasting tens of billions of
dollars.

Keep up with what's happening. Learn the facts about global
warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, urban smog, and chemical risks
to health. Your tax-exempt contribution may be sent to:
The Science & Environmental Policy Project
4084 University Drive, Suite 101 Fairfax, VA 22030-6812
Tel: (703)934-6940; Fax: (703)352-7535
(a non-profit 501(c)3 Virginia corporation)
Scientific questions may be sent to: Dr. S. Fred Singer

You are the 353rd visitor to this site since we started
counting in late November.

Oh dear, that probably helps explain the need to keep writing
all those letters etc., nobody visits their home page - I hope some
of the denizens of sci.environment will help boost their readership,
perhaps Rich or John should add pointers :-).
Note that Bruce Ames is amongst their scientific advisors.

Anyway, for those not wanting to vist the site - in case they
catch something, here are their position statements on issues
related to sci.environment. Note also that a brief tour of the site
indicates they may not have participated in any recent global
warming research, just critiqued the work of others, but there
may be some hidden away in various nooks and crannies...

SEPP'S POSITION ON KEY ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

GLOBAL WARMING
There is no evidence, other than from computer model calculations,
that appreciable global warming will occur as a result of human
activities, or that its consequences would be harmful. It is
therefore prudent to pursue a "no regrets" policy of improving energy
efficiency and conservation through market-based measures.

OZONE DEPLETION
There is insufficient evidence to conclude that anthropogenic emissions
will cause ozone depletion over populated areas or that if they do the
consequences would be harmful. One should avoid or postpone expensive
and potentially harmful disruptions of freon-based air-conditioning and
refrigeration systems and the phase-out of other important chemicals
until better scientific evidence is available.

CHEMICAL RISK
The Delaney Amendment assumes that exposure to infinitesimal quantities
of any chemical suspected of being a toxin, mutagen, teratogen or
carcinogen is hazardous. Scientific studies have shown this premise to
be false. Delaney should be replaced by comparative risk assessment,
cost-benefit analysis and peer review of scientific data.

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Use of a renewable resource should generally be limited to its
long-term sustainable yield. Lack of ownership creates disincentives to
conservation. Creation of property rights allows market forces to operate
and is the most efficient means of achieving sustainable development.

Gosh, this might even divert attention away from some other threads.

Bruce Hamilton


Bruce Hamilton

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Jun 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/16/96
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Competitive Enterprise Institute <c...@access.digex.net> wrote:

>Actually Seitz's tagline says he is working for the George C. Marshall
>Institute.

From what I've just posted, that is only one organisation, although
it may be the bread and butter one.

The question is - ( undoubtably not very polite, but them I'm not in a
position to detect his huge contributions to the science of climate
change ) - what credence does he have that enables him to assess
the merits and motives of the IPCC panel members and lead authors?.

>I've read all of the reply posts and will try to answer them here. Or at
>least I will clarify my reasons for posting this story. Doesn't anyone
>(regardless of your views on global warming) find it strange that a report
>that underwent extensive peer review was changed by two scientists after
>the process was completed.

These aren't just "two scientists", they may well be the lead authors-
The questions ( as I perceive them ) are ;-
1. Were they entitled to?
2. Were they qualified to?
3. Were they required to? ( by IPCC requirements? )
4. Should they?.

I await your response.

>Especially after this report has been touted as a "consensus of 2,500
>scientists."

Maybe by some, most would say that that a large number of the
leading climate scientists provided imput. I'd be stunned if 100
scientists could agree on the time of day, much less some technical
agreements. The best that can be hoped for - from 2,500 of such petulant
beasties - is a majority consensus, and I believe that was all that most
observers and reviewers expected. Science is seldom unambiguous.



>Doesn't it raise some doubts about the credibility of the report that the
>peer review process was corrupted?

....


>This is a major difference. The first was endorsed by those whose names
>appear on the report the second was not.

Are you claiming that the lead authors ( who may or may-not have modified the
report ) names were not on the first report. As lead authoprs surely their
names appear on the second report - please explain why those lead authors
names were not also on the first report.?.

>My point is that the claim (made ad nauseum on this newsgroup) that there is
>now a consensus among scientists on global warming and that the IPCC report
>proves it is no longer a valid claim.

Perhaps you should consider improving your nausea threshold?
You know, as well as I, that there is a distinct difference between a
consensus and a majority consensus. The majority knows there are
a vocal minority who disagree - such an event neither validates nor
invalidates the majority consensus view.

Bruce Hamilton

Jan Schloerer

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Jun 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/16/96
to

Nature addressed this matter in an editorial and two newspieces:

[1] [Editorial] Climate debate must not overheat.
Nature 381 (13 June 1996), 539
[2] Ehsan Masood, Climate report `subject to scientific
cleansing'. Nature 381 (13 June 1996), 546
[3] Ehasan Masood, Head of climate group rejects claims
of political influence. Nature 381 (6 June 1996), 455


These give roughly the following picture:

* The recent campaign against the IPCC appears to be orchestrated
by the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), "a group whose description
as `an organization of business trade associations and private
companies' disguises the extent to which it acts, in particular,
as the voice of fossil-fuel producers, primarily in the oil, coal
and petroleum industry." [1].

* The campaign was timed to match the publication of the 1995
IPCC Report. The IPCC Report was published on June 5 [3].
In the same week, "the GCC published a strongly worded criti-
cism of the IPCC's latest report which, it claimed, had been
subject to an institutionalized `scientific cleansing'." [1]

* The complaints primarily address revisions in the text of the
chapter on detecting climate change and attributing causes.
These revisions "did result in a subtle shift in the relative
weight given to different types of arguments ... this shift
tended to favour arguments that aligned with the report's broad
conclusions. Conversely, some phrases that might have been
(mis)interpreted as undermining these conclusions, particularly
if, as IPCC officials feared, they were taken out of context,
have disappeared." [1]

* The GCC attacks the revisions on procedural grounds [1,2], com-
plaining that the final draft of the detection and attribution
chapter, after having been approved, was revised by its lead
authors. Current IPCC rules, however, do permit late revisions
to chapter texts. Policymakers' summaries must be approved by
governments, usually line by line. The chapter text proper is
"not to be approved in detail" but only "in principle" by the
full working groups. Details remain the responsibility of the
lead authors. [1,2. James P. Bruce, Nature 379 (1996), 108-109]
It's another question whether late modifications are wise for
"a topic where political sensitivities run high". [1]

* Ben Santer, an atmospheric scientist and a lead author of
the chapter who carried out the revisions, "describes as a
`supreme irony' of the criticism the fact that `he fought very
hard during drafting sessions to include sections on signal and
noise uncertainties'. He points out that many of his co-authors
advocated removing these sections, on the grounds that the
issues were partially covered in other chapters." [2]

* "Despite continued dissent from a dwindling band of sceptics,
there is growing support within the scientific community for the
view" expressed in the IPCC report that "the balance of evidence
suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." [1]
A statement to this effect was already contained in the draft
report, and was approved [2]. (Ok, the GCC tried hard to
prevent this :)

The Global Climate Coalition does not address the question
whether the criticized revisions are scientifically sound.
While not directly accusing the GCC of intending this, Nature
warns that "the GCC's attack on the IPCC allows direct
consideration of the science involved to be overshadowed
by semantic argments that risk losing the wood in the trees." [1]


As I said: sounds like nit-picking by people who feel that


it's getting tough to argue against what is known :)

I'm looking forward to *factual* arguments which suggest
that the various climatic oddities observed over the past
decades [4-10] are likely to be entirely natural in origin.

[4] L. D. Danny Harvey, Warm days, hot nights.
Nature 377 (1995), 15-16
[5] Thomas R. Karl, Richard W.Knight & Neil Plummer,


Trends in high-frequency climate variability in the twentieth
century. Nature 377 (1995), 217-220

[6] Richard A. Kerr, Study unveils climate cooling caused


by pollutant haze. Science 268 (1995), 802

[7] Richard A. Kerr, It's official: first glimmer of greenhouse


warming seen. Science 270 (8 Dec 1995), 1565+1567

[8] Michael C. MacCracken, The evidence mounts up.
Nature 376 (1995), 645-646
[9] David J. Thomson, The seasons, global temperature,


and precession. Science 268 (1995), 59-68

[10] K.E. Trenberth, T.J. Hoar, The 1990-1995 El Nino-Southern


Oscillation event: longest on record. Geophysical Research
Letters 23 (1 January 1996), 57-60. Abstract:
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu:80/cas/abstracts/

Apologies for reposting these refs, but I thought I'd make
this one self-contained.

John McCarthy

unread,
Jun 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/16/96
to
Seitz is famous for his work in solid state physics starting in the
1930s. He was President of the National Academy of Sciences and then
President of Rockefeller University. He is long retired from these
positions and is in his 80s. He devotes his time to public service
activities, for which I doubt he is paid. I should think he gets
enough retirement pay from having been President of Rockefeller
University so that he doesn't need pay from the Marshall Institute or
that other organization.

His criticism of the IPCC report was based on discrepancies between
the draft submitted by the working scientists and the final report.
It is common that political considerations affect final versions of
reports.

Leonard Evens

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Jun 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/16/96
to

John McCarthy wrote:
>
> Seitz is famous for his work in solid state physics starting in the
> 1930s. He was President of the National Academy of Sciences and then
> President of Rockefeller University. He is long retired from these
> positions and is in his 80s. He devotes his time to public service
> activities, for which I doubt he is paid. I should think he gets
> enough retirement pay from having been President of Rockefeller
> University so that he doesn't need pay from the Marshall Institute or
> that other organization.
>
> His criticism of the IPCC report was based on discrepancies between
> the draft submitted by the working scientists and the final report.
> It is common that political considerations affect final versions of
> reports.
> --
> John McCarthy, Computer Science Department, Stanford, CA 94305
> *
> He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.
> http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/

And of course it is unheard of for people like Seitz who does not
work in this area, has no special expertise in it, and is associated
with a group which comes to clearly explicit ideological
conclusions, to be influenced by political factors?

See the posting which appeared previously to this one by Jan
Schloerer. There really is no issue here which has any scientific
merit. The IPCC concluded that the evidence that human activity
in the past 150 years has affected climate but explicitly does not
claim to be able to quantify this effect. Given the results of
Thomson, Karl, etc., this seems to me to be a quite conservative
conclusion.


Leonard Evens l...@math.nwu.edu 491-5537
Department of Mathematics, Norwthwestern University
Evanston Illinois

John McCarthy

unread,
Jun 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/17/96
to

Len Evens includes:

And of course it is unheard of for people like Seitz who
does not work in this area, has no special expertise in it,
and is associated with a group which comes to clearly
explicit ideological conclusions, to be influenced by
political factors?

I suspect Len is applying harsher criteria to Seitz than he would to
someone he agrees with. Even Schloerer does not work in the area his
excellent FAQ is about - as he makes clear. How does Len know what
reading Seitz has done?

Seitz is one of the founders of the Marshall Institute which claims
that it is fighting other people's ideologically motivated distortions
of science. Arguments about ideological distortions of facts go on
all the time, and sometimes they are correct.

Scott Nudds

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Jun 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/17/96
to

(John McCarthy) wrote:
: I see Stuart Rowe has no arguments, only innuendoes.

I see John McCarthy has no arguments, only sound bits.


---
Let me repeat that 25,000 reactors was computed on the basis of
(1) all countries reaching American energy usage levels
(2) all energy, including for transportation, being nuclear.
- John McCarthy 1996/02/05

The U.S. has about 1/20 of the world population, so it would seem that
40,000 reactors would be required to meet the world's energy requirement
at American usage levels. American energy usage levels will only be
required at an American standard of living. - John McCarthies web page
/04/96

The arithmetic suggests 120,000 reactors - in say 6,000 power plants.


--
<---->


Competitive Enterprise Institute

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Jun 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/17/96
to


On Sun, 16 Jun 1996, Bruce Hamilton wrote:

> Competitive Enterprise Institute <c...@access.digex.net> wrote:
>
> >Actually Seitz's tagline says he is working for the George C. Marshall
> >Institute.
>
> From what I've just posted, that is only one organisation, although
> it may be the bread and butter one.
>
> The question is - ( undoubtably not very polite, but them I'm not in a
> position to detect his huge contributions to the science of climate
> change ) - what credence does he have that enables him to assess
> the merits and motives of the IPCC panel members and lead authors?.

He didn't assess their merits or motives. He simply exposed the fact that
they changed the conclusions after the report was peer reviewed.

>
> >I've read all of the reply posts and will try to answer them here. Or at
> >least I will clarify my reasons for posting this story. Doesn't anyone
> >(regardless of your views on global warming) find it strange that a report
> >that underwent extensive peer review was changed by two scientists after
> >the process was completed.
>
> These aren't just "two scientists", they may well be the lead authors-
> The questions ( as I perceive them ) are ;-
> 1. Were they entitled to?
> 2. Were they qualified to?
> 3. Were they required to? ( by IPCC requirements? )
> 4. Should they?.
>
> I await your response.
>

Wigley and Santer were two of the four lead authors. No scientist is
entitled to change the conclusions of a peer reviewed document and then
continue to claim that it is peer reviewed.

> >Especially after this report has been touted as a "consensus of 2,500
> >scientists."
>
> Maybe by some, most would say that that a large number of the
> leading climate scientists provided imput. I'd be stunned if 100
> scientists could agree on the time of day, much less some technical
> agreements. The best that can be hoped for - from 2,500 of such petulant
> beasties - is a majority consensus, and I believe that was all that most
> observers and reviewers expected. Science is seldom unambiguous.
>
> >Doesn't it raise some doubts about the credibility of the report that the
> >peer review process was corrupted?
> ....
> >This is a major difference. The first was endorsed by those whose names
> >appear on the report the second was not.
>
> Are you claiming that the lead authors ( who may or may-not have modified the
> report ) names were not on the first report. As lead authoprs surely their
> names appear on the second report - please explain why those lead authors
> names were not also on the first report.?.

Their names were on the the first report. As were the names of all
scientists who contributed to the report. Those whose names appear on
the published version thought the were endorsing the peer reviewed report.
It is my understanding that only a handful of the contributing scientists
are aware of the changes. I know of at least one who asked to have his
name removed from the report when he learned of the changes.

>
>
> Bruce Hamilton
>
>
>
>

Paul Georgia
The views expressed are my own.


James G. Acker

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Jun 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/17/96
to

Competitive Enterprise Institute (c...@access.digex.net) wrote:

: Doesn't it raise some doubts about the credibility of the report that the
: peer review process was corrupted? Many have analyzed in minute detail


: the differences in an attempt to downplay the significance of what
: occurred, but the fact remains that the report as it now stands does not
: say what the approved report said. How did it go from

I analyzed the statements in an attempt to determine if
the peer-review process was corrupted, as that would be a serious
concern. I concluded that there were no changes significant to
indicate the process was corrupted.

: > > "...no study to date has positively


: > > attributed all or part of that change to anthropogenic causes."
:
: to
:

: > > "Taken together, these results point towards a human influence on
: > > global climate."

As I said before, the meaning of "positively" must be
determined, or the first statement is ambiguous. If Tom Karl says
(1) "the results are consistent with what would be expected from
warming forced by anthropogenic greenhouse gases", is that "positive"?
Or does Karl have to say (2) "25% of the warming is attributable solely to
anthropogenic greenhouse emissions". Now that's a big difference.
And note, more importantly, that the first statement focuses
on studies taken one at a time -- the second pulls the results
together. If 10 studies contain a statement similar to (1)
above, at what point does someone conclude "hmm, since all 10 results
are consistent with what would expect from warming induced by
anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, it seems reasonable
that the observed changes might be attributable to some anthropogenic
influence."
The IPCC report basically says that point has been reached.


: This is a major difference. The first was endorsed by those whose names
: appear on the report the second was not. My point is that the claim (made


: ad nauseum on this newsgroup) that there is now a consensus among
: scientists on global warming and that the IPCC report proves it is no
: longer a valid claim.

How many dissenters does it take to reduce a "consensus" to
an "agreement"? (Express your answer as a percentage ;-)

Jan Schloerer

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Jun 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/17/96
to

Paul Georgia, and presumably others, wondered:

How did it go from

"...no study to date has positively attributed
all or part of that change to anthropogenic causes."
to
"Taken together, these results point towards
a human influence on global climate."

This is a major difference.

James Acker lucidly explained, why these two statements
are well compatible, writing, among others:

... note ... that the first statement focuses on


studies taken one at a time -- the second pulls the results

together. If 10 studies contain a statement similar to ...
["the results are consistent with what would be expected


from warming forced by anthropogenic greenhouse gases"],

at what point does someone conclude "hmm, since all 10
results are consistent with what would expect from warming
induced by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, it seems
reasonable that the observed changes might be attributable
to some anthropogenic influence."
The IPCC report basically says that point has been
reached.


The irony is that some phrases like

"...no study to date has positively attributed
all or part of that change to anthropogenic causes"

allegedly were eliminated because they might have been
misinterpreted as contradicting phrases like

"Taken together, these results point towards
a human influence on global climate"

especially if, as some IPCC officials feared, the former phrases
"were taken out of context" (Nature 13 June 1996, p 539).

It now seems that was a boomerang. Perhaps they better had
asked James Acker for some explaining sentences :)

Scott Nudds

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Jun 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/18/96
to

Competitive Enterprise Institute <c...@access.digex.net> wrote:
: He didn't assess their merits or motives. He simply exposed the fact that

: they changed the conclusions after the report was peer reviewed.

I'm sorry. No conclusions were changed. And by all accounts the
authors were perfectly within their rights to revise their preamble
under the rules governing the process.


: Wigley and Santer were two of the four lead authors. No scientist is


: entitled to change the conclusions of a peer reviewed document and then
: continue to claim that it is peer reviewed.

I'm sorry. No conclusions were changed. And by all accounts the
authors were perfectly within their rights to revise their preamble
under the rules governing the process.


: Paul Georgia - The views expressed are my own.

Paul Georgia tells us that he does not speak for the CEI. His user ID
tells us that he does.

--
<---->


Eric Stevens

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Jun 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/18/96
to

On Sun, 16 Jun 1996 07:08:18 GMT, B.Ham...@irl.cri.nz (Bruce
Hamilton) wrote:

--- snip ----

>You know, as well as I, that there is a distinct difference between a
>consensus and a majority consensus.

Now that is a unique splitting of hair!

Please enlighten us all as to what the difference actually is. You
may, or may not be, talking sense. But we will never know until you
define your terms.


Eric Stevens


There are two classes of people. Those who divide people into
two classes, and those who don't. I belong to the second class.

James G. Acker

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Jun 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/18/96
to

Jan Schloerer (JSCH...@rzmain.rz.uni-ulm.de) wrote:

[after deleting Jan's complimentary echo]

: It now seems that was a boomerang. Perhaps they better had


: asked James Acker for some explaining sentences :)

Resume available upon request. ;-U

Bruce Hamilton

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Jun 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/18/96
to

stev...@iprolink.co.nz (Eric Stevens) wrote:

>On Sun, 16 Jun 1996 07:08:18 GMT, B.Ham...@irl.cri.nz (Bruce
>Hamilton) wrote:
>>You know, as well as I, that there is a distinct difference between a
>>consensus and a majority consensus.
>Now that is a unique splitting of hair!

Possibly. My dictionary ( Concise Oxford ), defines consensus as
" agreement" - no mention of hair :-)

>Please enlighten us all as to what the difference actually is. You
>may, or may not be, talking sense. But we will never know until you
>define your terms.

Consensus does not imply all participants agree, that situation would
usually be qualified with unanimous or complete. Consensus is taken
usually taken to mean that the majority agrees with the opinion, and
can also be specifically qualified by terms like general or major.

Thus, the original post was claiming that the "consensus" had been
violated by the changes, when the reality is that Seitz and co. have
presented *no* evidence that the majority disagree with the changes.

John Emsley of the European Science and Environment Forum
( a group of scientists who claim to be excluded from the IPCC process ),
accused the panel of censorship, and claimed the panel achieved
consensus by blocking out alternative views.

Both the ESEF and Global Climate Coalition claim the IPCC doctored its
report, but Houghton ( just appointed for another ( the third ) 5 year term
as co-chair of WGI ) notes that changes were made to background documents
only, as IPCC rules allow, and were designed to clarify statements, and not to
alter their meaning.

Sir John said "There are thousands of references to support the [ IPCC ]
conclusions. It is not an agreement about the detail, because science does not
work that way. It is a general consensus about what we know and what we
don't know. There is no question about forcing a consensus "
[ as reported by Ehsan Massod in Nature v381 p455 6 June 96 ].
As Jan's posts, and the above article note, the changes were permissible,
and were performed by the authorised people - the Lead Authors.

None of the examples provided so far would cause me any great concern,
and one wonders whether it would cause concern to many of the
participants in the process - unlike the fiasco of the WGIII cost of lives
debate. If the only concerns of the climate change opponents about the
Second Assessment are about relatively minor changes in language of
background documents, rather than the research papers on which those
conclusions are based, then they have not spent their time reading the
report wisely. They should either demonstrate that conclusions are not
justified by the data, or the data is wrong or biased.

Incidently, while tryingg out MS Word 6.0 UK English thesaurus on unanimous,
it produced "unadulterated" which, when also looked up, gave "twaddle"
Unadulterated twaddle seems an appropriate expression for this much
ado about nothing.

Bruce Hamilton

John McCarthy

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Jun 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/18/96
to

It is of the essence of twaddle that it is adulterated. Indeed it is
usually entirely composed of adulterations.

Eric Stevens

unread,
Jun 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/18/96
to

On Tue, 18 Jun 1996 15:41:39 GMT, B.Ham...@irl.cri.nz (Bruce
Hamilton) wrote:

>stev...@iprolink.co.nz (Eric Stevens) wrote:
>
>>On Sun, 16 Jun 1996 07:08:18 GMT, B.Ham...@irl.cri.nz (Bruce
>>Hamilton) wrote:
>>>You know, as well as I, that there is a distinct difference between a
>>>consensus and a majority consensus.
>>Now that is a unique splitting of hair!
>
>Possibly. My dictionary ( Concise Oxford ), defines consensus as
>" agreement" - no mention of hair :-)

My 'Shorter Oxford Dictionary' gives 'concensus' as follows:

"Agreement or unity view of or of opinion, testimony etc.; the
majority view, a collective opinion; (an agreement of different
parties to) a shared body of views."

At best "majority consensus" is a redundancy. At worst it is an
oxymoron.

>Consensus does not imply all participants agree, that situation would
>usually be qualified with unanimous or complete. Consensus is taken
>usually taken to mean that the majority agrees with the opinion, and
>can also be specifically qualified by terms like general or major.

As my quote from the Shorter Oxford shows, you are selecting a
minority meaning of 'consensus' if you use the word to mean "that the
majority agrees with the opinion". If this is the correct meaning for
the use of the word 'concensus' in the IPCC report there should be
some reference to the minority opinions. That these have been
concealed by removing them after the peer-review process is what Seitz
et al are complaining about.


>
>Thus, the original post was claiming that the "consensus" had been
>violated by the changes, when the reality is that Seitz and co. have
>presented *no* evidence that the majority disagree with the changes.

It's not up to them. It was up to whoever wrote the documents that
were approved by the peer-review process.


>
>John Emsley of the European Science and Environment Forum
>( a group of scientists who claim to be excluded from the IPCC process ),
>accused the panel of censorship, and claimed the panel achieved
>consensus by blocking out alternative views.

The claimed post-review editing seems to lend support to their claim.


>
>Both the ESEF and Global Climate Coalition claim the IPCC doctored its
>report, but Houghton ( just appointed for another ( the third ) 5 year term
>as co-chair of WGI ) notes that changes were made to background documents
>only, as IPCC rules allow, and were designed to clarify statements, and not to
>alter their meaning.

Even if the rules allow it, that does not make it a desirable
practice. Seitz claims that the meanings were changed.


>
>Sir John said "There are thousands of references to support the [ IPCC ]
>conclusions. It is not an agreement about the detail, because science does not
>work that way. It is a general consensus about what we know and what we
>don't know. There is no question about forcing a consensus "
>[ as reported by Ehsan Massod in Nature v381 p455 6 June 96 ].
> As Jan's posts, and the above article note, the changes were permissible,
>and were performed by the authorised people - the Lead Authors.

Why give lead authors permission to modify documents after the
peer-review process? Why have a peer-review process if the documents
can be cahnged afterwards? The whole thing sounds distinctly shonky to
me.


>
>None of the examples provided so far would cause me any great concern,
>and one wonders whether it would cause concern to many of the
>participants in the process - unlike the fiasco of the WGIII cost of lives
>debate.

I am not interested in the merits or otherwise of the excised/amended
sections of the documents. I am concerned at the fundamental
principle. Either the final report is peer reviewed, or it is not. If
Seitz et al are correct then the documents are not peer reviewed but
may be maskerading as such. That should cause considerable concern
amongst the scientific community.

>If the only concerns of the climate change opponents about the
>Second Assessment are about relatively minor changes in language of
>background documents, rather than the research papers on which those
>conclusions are based, then they have not spent their time reading the
>report wisely.

The reported changes are in the section of the report written to
inform governments and legislators. It was specifically written to
enable them to avoid the chore (for them) of reading the whole of the
technical material (which few of them would be competent to properly
evaluate) and reaching a conclusion. To this end, a peer-reviewed
document was produced. Subsequently, and before publication, the
contents of the document were doctored. This is not acceptable IMHO.

>They should either demonstrate that conclusions are not
>justified by the data, or the data is wrong or biased.

You have missed the point.


>
>Incidently, while tryingg out MS Word 6.0 UK English thesaurus on unanimous,
>it produced "unadulterated" which, when also looked up, gave "twaddle"
>Unadulterated twaddle seems an appropriate expression for this much
>ado about nothing.

When I tried looking up "unanimous" in the Word Perfect 6.1 Thesaurus
it came up with 'accordant', 'agreed', 'consonant', 'unified' and
'united'. As an antonym it produced 'dissenting'. May I suggest that
your MS Word 6.0 UK English thesaurus is adulterated and is giving
you twaddle.

Eric Stevens

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Jun 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/19/96
to

On 16 Jun 1996 16:27:32 GMT, JSCH...@rzmain.rz.uni-ulm.de (Jan
Schloerer) wrote:

--- snip ----

>As I said: sounds like nit-picking by people who feel that
>it's getting tough to argue against what is known :)

That may or may not be true. Far more important, what is the answer to
the question, was the peer-reviewed version altered before
publication?

If it was tampered with, that seems to me to be far more important
than any arguments over the detailed science.

Jan Schloerer

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Jun 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/19/96
to

It appears that news are late for Eric Stevens. I'll email him
this and some other posts, so we may avoid further duplications.


In <31c7bf48...@news.iprolink.co.nz>
Eric Stevens (stev...@iprolink.co.nz) wrote:

> [...] Far more important, what is the answer to the question,

> was the peer-reviewed version altered before publication ?

No. You don't yet know it, but this is a strawman.

> If it was tampered with, that seems to me to be far more
> important than any arguments over the detailed science.

Under current IPCC procedures, final drafts of the technical
reports proper are *meant to draw comments from reviewers*.
Lead authors are *required* to take reviewers' comments into
account when preparing the final text. Chapters are accepted
"in principle" by the Working Groups, but the final text remains
the responsibility of the lead authors [1-3].

You may quibble whether this specific procedure is well-designed.
In any event, a review process for an overview on a fast moving
field - which no single person fully oversees - must differ
from the process for authors submitting a paper to some journal.
Line by line approval of the resulting long and detailed text
by full Working Groups is impractical. Most participants wouldn't
understand most of it in sufficient depth. See also James Acker's,
imho, fine post on peer review.

Seitz may well not know the IPCC procedures. The Global Climate
Coalition (GCC), who apparently has launched this affair [1],
knows these rules. If the GCC had backed up their complaint
about the subtle shift in meaning [1] with *factual* arguments
which suggest that this shift was scientifically unsound, then ok.

From what I saw so far, though, it seems that the GCC capitalizes
on the ignorance of most people about IPCC procedures, crying
"peer review corrupted".

My hunch: The GCC, a voice of the fossil fuel industry [1],
wants us to lose the wood (human influence on climate)
for the trees (quibbles about peer review).

[1] [Editorial] Climate debate must not overheat.
Nature 381 (13 June 1996), 539

[2] James P. Bruce, Purpose and function of IPCC.
Nature 379 (11 January 1996), 108-109
[3] Ehsan Masood, Climate report `subject to scientific


cleansing'. Nature 381 (13 June 1996), 546

Bruce Hamilton

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Jun 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/19/96
to

stev...@iprolink.co.nz (Eric Stevens) wrote:

> On Tue, 18 Jun 1996 15:41:39 GMT, B.Ham...@irl.cri.nz (Bruce
>Hamilton) wrote:

[ Re use of qualifiers such as "general" or "majority" ].

>At best "majority consensus" is a redundancy. At worst it is an
>oxymoron.

Possibly, but then the quote I posted from Sir John Houghton said
"... It is a general consensus... " My dictionary provides me with the
meaning ( "agreement" ) that I understood for consensus, and that
would permit the use of qualifiers - I'm not wasting more time on it.

>>Thus, the original post was claiming that the "consensus" had been
>>violated by the changes, when the reality is that Seitz and co. have
>>presented *no* evidence that the majority disagree with the changes.
>It's not up to them. It was up to whoever wrote the documents that
>were approved by the peer-review process.

As I haven't seen the Second Assessment Report, or the later articles
in Nature, all I can assume is that the complaints are about the
background section of Chapter 8 of the WGI section, listed as
" Detection of climate change, and attribution of causes"
B Santer, T Wigley, T Barnett, E Anyamba

It appears as having four Lead Authors, presumably all the rest are
"contributors"? We have ascertained that at least two of above were
involved in the changes, perhaps all four. If they approved of the
changes to the background section ( to make it less likely to be
misinterpreted when taken out of context, and to match the language
used elsewhere - as implied in one of Jan's posts ), and they were
entitled to make such changes, then there seems to be little to quibble
about. One assumes that the person who asked to have their name
removed was listed as a contributing scientist, and not as an author
or reviewer, and that all the lead authors saw, and approved, the final
version.

It certainly isn't smart to have contributing scientists wanting there
names removed because of these changes, and I wonder if
this final editing of background sections only arose because time
pressures meant that the WG co-ordinators were not checking for
consistent language. The Assessment is already a year late, but
perhaps they had provision for the lead authors to make changes
because of experience with earlier reports.

There is no evidence, from the information posted, that the changes
were not permitted - it may not be smart to make changes at such stages,
but the posted examples seem to be more editorial that substantial.
Certainly it would be harder to misinterpret the final version.

>I am not interested in the merits or otherwise of the excised/amended
>sections of the documents. I am concerned at the fundamental
>principle. Either the final report is peer reviewed, or it is not.

The full working group previously would have approved the
chapter's content " in principle", but the detail is the responsibility
of the Lead Authors. The final report was peer-reviewed, but it may
not have been reviewed by all ( perhaps any ) of the contributing
scientists. There have been no reports ( so far ) that the original
reviewers are unhappy with the changes - if in fact the specific
section of the chapter was originally reviewed. I'm not certain
of the overall relationship of the Lead Authors, Contributing
Scientists and Reviewers to various parts of each chapter, but the
process used for these changes was permitted.

As I understand it, there is no obligation for the contributing scientists
to be given the opportunity to review the final changes to the background
sections. Just because the contributing scientists don't get to see the
complete final chapter doesn't mean that no peer review occured. I'd be
surprised if the final chapters were not reviewed by the WG chairs
and others, and perhaps that's why the changes were requested.

>The reported changes are in the section of the report written to
>inform governments and legislators. It was specifically written to
>enable them to avoid the chore (for them) of reading the whole of the
>technical material (which few of them would be competent to properly
>evaluate) and reaching a conclusion. To this end, a peer-reviewed
>document was produced. Subsequently, and before publication, the
>contents of the document were doctored. This is not acceptable IMHO.

These changes are apparently in the background section of
Chapter 8, and AFAIK, they are not part of the Summary for Policymakers
which was written , and approved ( often line-by-line ), by the government
appointees for the policitians. It's unlikely the politicans are going to
even approach the 2000 page Second Assessment, unless they have
a need for a doorstop.

As far as I'm aware, the Summary for Policymakers issued earlier was
based on the Second Assessment, and thus these changes may not even
have been made at that time. Who knows, who cares?.

Bruce Hamilton

Eric Stevens

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Jun 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/19/96
to

On 17 Jun 1996 18:57:45 GMT, JSCH...@rzmain.rz.uni-ulm.de (Jan
Schloerer) wrote:

--- snip ----

>The irony is that some phrases like

>
> "...no study to date has positively attributed
> all or part of that change to anthropogenic causes"
>
>allegedly were eliminated because they might have been
>misinterpreted as contradicting phrases like
>
> "Taken together, these results point towards
> a human influence on global climate"
>
>especially if, as some IPCC officials feared, the former phrases
>"were taken out of context" (Nature 13 June 1996, p 539).
>

>It now seems that was a boomerang. Perhaps they better had
>asked James Acker for some explaining sentences :)

Some of which should cover why it was that these changes were made
*after* the peer-review process and not before. I presume the document
as a whole was subject to peer-review and not just segments, with some
left to later write a summary not subject to peer-review.

Pete Owens

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Jun 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/20/96
to

In article 302...@news.iprolink.co.nz, stev...@iprolink.co.nz (Eric Stevens) writes:
>
>Some of which should cover why it was that these changes were made
>*after* the peer-review process and not before. I presume the document
>as a whole was subject to peer-review and not just segments, with some
>left to later write a summary not subject to peer-review.
>
You don't seem to understand how peer review works.
One of the main purposes of the reviewing process is
for the reviewers to make suggestions to the
author of possible changes. Preventing the
author from then making these changes would make
it a bit of a futile exersise.

---
Pete Owens
P.O...@dl.ac.uk


Richard Shedenhelm

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Jun 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/20/96
to

To all: I have compliled an extensive bibliography entitled: "Critical
Perspectives of the Greenhouse Effect: A Bibliography of Works Since 1970."
If you'd like an e-mail copy, please write to me at:
main...@uga.cc.uga.edu

Best,
Richard Shedenhelm, LTA

_________________________________________________________________________
||> Richard Shedenhelm University of Georgia Libraries <||
||> Library Technical Main Periodicals (706)-542-7460 <||
||> Assistant Senior Periodicals Assistant <||
||> Athens, Georgia 30602 USA <||
||> BITNET: mainper4@uga Internet: main...@uga.cc.uga.edu <||
*Editor/publisher of _Summa Philosophiae_, a monthly philosophical jn'l.*
_________________________________________________________________________

tomgray

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Jun 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/20/96
to

Good point. Doesn't it also make sense that only a few people would be
involved in the actual writing of a document, while many people would be
invited to review it and sign off on its contents? If the other folks on
the Panel are unhappy with its conclusions, why aren't they raising hell?

Tom Gray
Director of Communications
American Wind Energy Association

PS Support renewable energy! Visit the Electronic Lobbyist For
Renewable Energy Web Site:

http://www.netcom.com/~stevie2/budget.html

Interested in energy and the environment? The free electronic
edition of _Wind Energy Weekly_ reports on energy-related
environmental issues, energy policy, and wind industry trade
news. The electronic edition normally runs about 10kb in length.

For a subscription, send me an e-mail request. Please include
information on your position, organization, and reason for
interest in the publication.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Gray <tom...@econet.org>

sn...@swcp.com

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Jun 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/20/96
to

In article <31c7bf48...@news.iprolink.co.nz>,
Eric Stevens <stev...@iprolink.co.nz> wrote:
>On 16 Jun 1996 16:27:32 GMT, JSCH...@rzmain.rz.uni-ulm.de (Jan

>Schloerer) wrote:
> --- snip ----
>>As I said: sounds like nit-picking by people who feel that
>>it's getting tough to argue against what is known :)

>That may or may not be true. Far more important, what is the answer to


>the question, was the peer-reviewed version altered before
>publication?

>If it was tampered with, that seems to me to be far more important


>than any arguments over the detailed science.

Although it appears that the wording was changed for political reasons,
it is not clear to me that any of the original authors have objected.
In the absense of any such objection, it appears that the changes would
have, at least, the grudging acceptance of the original authors.

>Eric Stevens

snark

John McCarthy

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Jun 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/20/96
to

In article <4qb8jl$4...@mserv1.dl.ac.uk> p...@mserv1.dl.ac.uk (Pete Owens) writes:
In article 302...@news.iprolink.co.nz, stev...@iprolink.co.nz (Eric Stevens) writes:
>
>Some of which should cover why it was that these changes were made
>*after* the peer-review process and not before. I presume the document
>as a whole was subject to peer-review and not just segments, with some
>left to later write a summary not subject to peer-review.
>
You don't seem to understand how peer review works.
One of the main purposes of the reviewing process is
for the reviewers to make suggestions to the
author of possible changes. Preventing the
author from then making these changes would make
it a bit of a futile exersise.

As a former President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Fred
Seitz had lots of experience with reports and their review. When he
says that the IPCC Report was handled in a non-standard way, you
should take him seriously.

Jan Schloerer

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Jun 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/20/96
to

In <JMC.96Ju...@Steam.stanford.edu>
John McCarthy (j...@Steam.stanford.edu) writes:

As a former President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences,
Fred Seitz had lots of experience with reports and their review.
When he says that the IPCC Report was handled in a non-standard
way, you should take him seriously.


Alter schuetzt vor Torheit nicht.

:-s


Jan Schloerer
jsch...@rzmain.rz.uni-ulm.de

F. L. Johnson

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Jun 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/20/96
to

Pete Owens wrote:
>
> In ar**deleted**

later write a summary not subject to peer-review.
> >
> You don't seem to understand how peer review works.
> One of the main purposes of the reviewing process is
> for the reviewers to make suggestions to the
> author of possible changes. Preventing the
> author from then making these changes would make
> it a bit of a futile exersise.
>
> ---
> Pete Owens

This is exactly right!

> P.O...@dl.ac.uk

F. L. Johnson

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Jun 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/20/96
to

John McCarthy wrote:
>
> In article <4qb8------

--------bit of a futile exersise.


>
> As a former President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Fred
> Seitz had lots of experience with reports and their review. When he
> says that the IPCC Report was handled in a non-standard way, you
> should take him seriously.

> --
> John McCarthy, Computer Science Department, Stanford, CA 94305
> *
> He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.
> http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/

Did Mr. Seitz indicate in what way he thought the handling of the
report was non-standard? Revision in accordance with reviewer's
comments is standard, and is indeed one of the major objectives
of the peer review process.

tomgray

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Jun 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/21/96
to

j...@Steam.stanford.edu (John McCarthy) wrote:
>In article <4qb8jl$4...@mserv1.dl.ac.uk> p...@mserv1.dl.ac.uk (Pete Owens) writes:
> In article 302...@news.iprolink.co.nz, stev...@iprolink.co.nz (Eric Stevens) writes:
> >
> >Some of which should cover why it was that these changes were made
> >*after* the peer-review process and not before. I presume the document
> >as a whole was subject to peer-review and not just segments, with some
> >left to later write a summary not subject to peer-review.

> >
> You don't seem to understand how peer review works.
> One of the main purposes of the reviewing process is
> for the reviewers to make suggestions to the
> author of possible changes. Preventing the
> author from then making these changes would make
> it a bit of a futile exersise.

>
>As a former President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Fred
>Seitz had lots of experience with reports and their review. When he
>says that the IPCC Report was handled in a non-standard way, you
>should take him seriously.

A quick search on the Web reveals that Dr. Seitz is indeed an eminent
scientist. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Science
and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), a project headed up by Dr. Fred
Singer, a noted global warming debunker.

The following is a quote from SEPP's Web page concerning their positions
on global warming and ozone depletion:

GLOBAL WARMING-

There is no evidence, other than from computer model calculations, that
appreciable global warming will occur as a result of human activities, or
that its consequences would be harmful. It is therefore prudent to pursue
a "no regrets" policy of improving energy efficiency and conservation
through market-based measures.

OZONE DEPLETION-

There is insufficient evidence to conclude that anthropogenic emissions
will cause ozone depletion over populated areas or that if they do the
consequences would be harmful. One should avoid or postpone expensive and
potentially harmful disruptions of freon-based air-conditioning and
refrigeration systems and the phase-out of other important chemicals
until better scientific evidence is available.


Personally, I think these two statements are a bit extreme. I note in
particular the absence of any time limit in the global warming statement.
I think one can justifiably say "there is no evidence . . . that
appreciable global warming will occur as a result of human activities, or
tht its consequences would be harmful" with regard to the next 50 years,
but certainly not for 500.

John McCarthy

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Jun 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/21/96
to

In article <31C98F...@uoknor.edu> "F. L. Johnson" <fjoh...@uoknor.edu> writes:

John McCarthy wrote:
>
> In article <4qb8------

--------bit of a futile exersise.

>
> As a former President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Fred
> Seitz had lots of experience with reports and their review. When he
> says that the IPCC Report was handled in a non-standard way, you
> should take him seriously.
> --
> John McCarthy, Computer Science Department, Stanford, CA 94305
> *
> He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.
> http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/

Did Mr. Seitz indicate in what way he thought the handling of the
report was non-standard? Revision in accordance with reviewer's
comments is standard, and is indeed one of the major objectives
of the peer review process.

Yes, he did. The Web page http://www.nas.org/seitz.html contains the
full article.

Are there many people in this newsgroup who do not have access to the
Web - or is it just that people don't want to be bothered?

John McCarthy

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Jun 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/21/96
to

In article <4qctrc$3...@igc.apc.org> tomgray <tom...@igc.apc.org>
writes:

McCarthy wrote:

> >As a former President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Fred
>Seitz had lots of experience with reports and their review. When he
>says that the IPCC Report was handled in a non-standard way, you
>should take him seriously.

Calling proposals to temporize extreme seems a bit exaggerated.
I can't see that anyone has proposed to close the subject for 500
years or even 50 years. How about 10 years?

Steinn Sigurdsson

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Jun 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/21/96