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FT Blog Undermines IPCC, Goes Where Few Skeptics Had Ever Gone Before

The following comment I have just submitted in reply to “Climate science: the IPCC controversy explained” on the FT website, a blog where Fiona Harvey manages to shoot the friendliest of fires risking to fatally wound the IPCC itself:

Fiona – I find your argument weak in the extreme. You’re basically tossing away the whole IPCC report apart from the SPM, the only part that “contains only substantiated data and can be relied on by policymakers“. In other words, the work of WG-I, WG-II and WG-III cannot be “relied on“, by policymakers and by simple extension by anybody else (“informed guesswork” springs to mind).

And it all sounds like you’re trying to defend the IPCC by retreating to an incredibly small ground, rather like a Last Stand Hill. Just imagine, if anybody finds now the smallest mistake in the SPM, it will be the end of the IPCC as far as your argument is concerned.

Worse: the SPM as you noted contains governmental contribution. It is written for governments, not for science and scientists. Nobody in their right mind will think that the SPM is a scientific document anymore than any governmental policy paper might ever be.

The end result of your blog is to completely undermine the science of the IPCC. Please reconsider the situation, as only the most extreme non-believers in AGW would want to go that far.

Addendum: And here we are…Richard North has found an incredibly badly-founded claim in the SPM (aka “Synthesis Report”). As already mentioned, this single piece of evidence alone invalidates the whole argument put together by Fiona Harvey in defense of the IPCC. It is a pity that Ms Harvey has been too busy to return to this topic during the past few days.

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  1. 2010/02/06 at 23:28

    And here we are…Richard North has found an incredibly badly-founded claim in the SPM (aka “Synthesis Report”)

    As already mentioned, this single piece of evidence alone invalidates the whole argument put together by Fiona Harvey in defense of the IPCC. It is a pity that Ms Harvey has been too busy to return to this topic during the past few days.

  2. 2010/02/05 at 15:11

    More on what I wrote earlier – this looks every bit as bad as Glaciergate: As I said, regarding sea level, here is an egregious error in IPCC AR4 from the text on their own website:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch12s12-2-3.html

    which states “The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding because 55% of its territory is below sea level where 60% of its population lives and 65% of its Gross National Product (GNP) is produced.”

    The real figure for Netherlands territory is a lot less than half that 55% figure. Currently, the Dutch consider that 20% of land below sea level is about right as a round figure. The figure changes because more land is being reclaimed. As far as the IPCC is concerned, giving them the benefit of a few years before 2007, they could have checked official government statistics from CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics, “Statistics Netherlands”), which in their Statistical Yearbook of the Netherlands 2004, page 451, gives the figure as 24%.

    http://www.cbs.nl/NR/rdonlyres/3C60B3E9-09E0-491F-87F2-99B8E54936A1/0/2004a3pub.pdf

    Of course, what else is wrong with the part I quoted is that it takes the Netherlands as a classic example: “The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding…”

    But this is what the Dutch government has to say in “Sustainability Monitor for the Netherlands 2009”

    http://www.cbs.nl/NR/rdonlyres/A36109C6-85F5-4371-8625-9D504C7DF957/0/2009sustainabilitymonitorofthenetherlandspub.pdf

    “In its 2006 climate scenarios, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) predicts that sea levels along the Dutch coast may rise by 35 to 85 centimetres. This is larger than the global average rise foreseen by the IPCC. Current technology enables the Dutch to reinforce its shore protection systems at socially acceptable costs (MNP, 2007b), even if the rate of sea level rise increases to 1.5 metres per century as a result of the increasing melting rates of the large land ice caps.
    …The Netherlands will probably be able to withstand climate change and rising sea levels for a number of centuries to come. The safety of the country appears to be guaranteed to 2100 with respect to rising sea levels and river drainage. Even in the worst-case sea level rise of 1.5 metres per century, flooding will be able to be prevented with existing technology (reinforcing and raising dykes, at a cost of a maximum of 0.15 percent of GDP).”

    Highly susceptible, my foot – it can easily withstand sea level rise FOR CENTURIES at moderate cost and existing technology – i.e. it’s business as normal for the Dutch. Looks like Glaciergate all over again. What is in the IPCC report is a lie, and a cruel hoax.

  3. 2010/02/05 at 11:24

    O/T but here is the latest error in IPCC AR4:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch12s12-2-3.html

    States “The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding because 55% of its territory is below sea level where 60% of its population lives and 65% of its Gross National Product (GNP) is produced.”

    The real figure for Netherlands territory below sea level is 26%, so AR4 has it more than double. AR4 is looking like a joke a minute!

  4. geoff chambers
    2010/02/04 at 05:28

    I left a comment on your comment at the FT. THis is how it comes up. Unbelievable.
    Fiona Harvey’s logic is rather odd. “The summary is reliable, even if the document being summarised is full of errors”. Omnologos compares it to retreating to a hill to make a last stand. I’d say it’s more like retiring into ****** and starting digging.
    She doesn’t seem to understand the criticisms levelled at the IPCC report. No-one is questioning the truth of that extract from the Antarctic Boot-cleaning Manual. They’re rather saying, “If they thought that was worth putting in, what’s the value of the rest of the stuff?
    As for the FT censoring Omnologos’s “*******” – obviously a knee-**** reaction.

  1. 2010/02/05 at 00:17

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