The release of the Climate-gate emails and subsequent outing of many other ‘gates’ in relation to the IPCC’s 4th report have all but destroyed the credibility of the IPCC AR4 as a scientific work. Back in January the situation became such that we wrote that IPCC AR4, rather then being the pinnacle of climate science, was in fact a very thick pamphlet, written by activists and advocacy groups.
One of the gates that came to light back then was Amazon-gate: The IPCC’s statement that 40% of the Amazon rain-forest was threatened directly by AGW. This statement in the IPCC report was a reference to a report written by the WWF (non-scientific and certainly subjective). The story was picked up by the Sunday Times, where Jonathan Leake outed the sordid details about the questionable referencing to non-peer reviewed literature in the IPCC’s 4th report.
Over the last week and a half the UK witnessed a minor blog-war, when George Moonbiot (columnist for the Guardian and all-round climate-nut) accused Richard North (of the highly esteemed and even more valuable EURef blog) of shabby work. And so happy Moonbiot was with his little discovery, that he also declared dead the sceptic’s case against AGW in toto.
This happened after the Sunday Times decided to retract the Leake article. The Times saw itself forced to do so, after it was alleged that the Amazon statement, while referenced to a WWF report, was indeed supported by really real scientific literature of the peer-reviewed kind. Which in turn led to the Moonbiot column.
Dr. North, normally calm and collected in his analyses, reacted furiously, stating the column was ‘One Moonbat too far’ and filing a complaint with the UK Press Complaints Commission.
[W]hile I am very much in favour of open debate, even I tend to draw a line at being accused on the website of a national paper of “peddling inaccuracy, misrepresentation and falsehood.”
This is not debate. It is libel. Booker’s advice on these things tends to be to avoid getting into a fight with a chimney sweep – for obvious reasons – but this is also a case of Moonbat going too far. And, since he is so keen on the PCC, I thought that this would be a good place to start.
Parallel to this, Dr. North decided to get to the bottom of the IPCC statement on the Amazon. Working his way back through the WWF report that originated the IPCC claim, he discovered what the true original source of the 40% claim really is.
I am not kidding. Following back the paper-trail, checking out the references the WWF and assorted other institution say they’ve used leads back to a Brazilian educational website which was taken down in 2003. Which is where we find the exact quote that “Probably 30 to 40% of the forests of the brazilian (sic) Amazon are sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall”.
In the meantime George Moonbiot is beating a hasty retreat, mocked all the way by the likes of a James Delingpole, who sardonically notes:
In his latest blog Monbiot describes the Amazongate story as an “issue of mind-numbing triviality.” So a story becomes, I suppose, once it has been revealed that you got your details wrong.
And ending his column with a poignant question:
With true stories as damning as these, why on earth does George Monbiot imagine we [Climate] Realists have any need to make our stories up?
That is the irony of the situation, I suppose. In declaring victory too soon, the warmist camp set itself up for its biggest defeat yet. Remember all those warmists (including our own then environmental minister Jacqueline Cramer) banging on about how the ‘science’ in IPCC AR4 was totally trustworthy because it was all peer-reviewed? Just the simple fact that the IPCC has to rely on an obscure, now defunct, educational website to bolster their claims, would seem to indicate a big problem with that statement.
We’ve said it before, and I am going to say it again: The Fourth Assessment Report by the UN’s IPCC is not science. It is a very thick pamphlet. And it should not be relied upon in formulating national policies. In fact, it should not be relied upon at all.
[INSTANT UPDATE] Read on View From the Right: The rejection of Global Warmism goes official.
What began with the release of the East Anglia University Climate Research Unit documents last fall has become, in a mere eight months, a global rejection and abandonment of Global Warmism.