Re-reading Richard Tol's post at Die Klimazweibel (can anglophone readers call it The Climate Onion?), I was struck by this:
The models assessed by the IPCC all have that abatement costs grow and accelerate as targets become more stringent. Typically, doubling the rate of emission reduction would lead to a quadrupling of costs. The cost curve in SPM.6 (and SPM.4) bends the wrong way: Incremental costs fall as policy become stricter.
The IPCC -gates have so far mainly been a feature of Working Group 2, which looks at the potential impacts of climate change. As Hans von Storch explains in the introduction to a posting by Richard Tol, this is not because the other areas of the IPCC report deserve a clean bill of health.
The WG3 report did not attract the same scrutiny. This could create the impression that WG3 wrote a sound report. That impression would be false. Just as WG2 appears to have systematically overstated the negative impacts of climate change, WG3 appears to have systematically understated the negative impacts of greenhouse gas emission reduction.
Tol's article is a must-read.
Let's round up some of the developments in the Sunday newspapers and around the blogs.
Steve McIntyre gives some of the back story on Geoffrey Boulton's CV. Was it tarted up by the mysterious Nini Yang? And why is Boulton trying to insinuate that sceptics tampered with it when it is clear that this cannot have been so. A commenter on this site notes another appearance of the IPCC in a Boulton biography.
Al Gore himself is in the New York Times, telling us to move along and that there's nothing to see here. Werner Krauss is looking for reasoned responses. The Sunday Times says Gore's hurricane science is wonky.
Booker looks at the steady draining away of credibility at the IPCC and manages to fit in citations of both The Hockey Stick Illusion and Mosher and Fuller's CRUTape Letters.
Much interesting backwards and forwards on the surface temperature records. Tamino says that the "great dying of the thermometers" has no effect on the trend. Lucia agrees. Roy Spencer says he has evidence of a spurious warming in Phil Jones' CRUTEM3 land temperature index.
Benny Peiser's submission to the Science & Technology select committee is very interesting, telling the story of the Keenan fraud allegation from the journal editor's perspective.
Richard North notes that some £11m of British taxpayers money has been delivered or pledged to Pachauri's TERI
It's snowing again.
Nick Scott-Plummer updates the story of Geoffrey Boulton's CV over at the Channel Four website. You may remember that Steve McIntyre found a copy of the CV from 2007 that referred to Boulton being on the IPCC. Boulton has now sent a contemporaneous copy of his CV to Channel Four, pointing out that this version doesn't include the line about the IPCC. Nick continues:
Asked whether he was implying dirty tricks we received another email: "Professor Boulton has no CV with that line on it, because there is no reason for it", adding: "people are free to draw their own conclusions as to why it seems to have appeared now".
There's also some pertinent comments about how the blogs are making the running on these stories, digging up small details in a very short space of time. And in fact, commenter Turning Tide, has already pointed out that the last edit date for the new version of Boulton's CV is actually July 2008, so this is perhaps not the vindication that was originally thought.
These are notes taken from a discussion meeting at Oxford University on 26th February 2010 and sent to me by reader, Simon Anthony. I think they are extremely interesting.
Question and answer format featuring environmental correspondents Richard Black (BBC), Fiona Harvey (FT), David Adam (Guardian) and Ben Jackson (Sun) and chaired by Fiona Fox, director of the Science Media Centre.
(Abbreviations: CG = Climategate; CC = Climate change; CH = Copenhagen meeting)
FF: Has the press done a disservice to the public in reporting CG? Has media a responsibility to make the public “think the right way”?
The pace of events is getting out of hand again and I'm struggling to keep up with the demands on my time and the regrettable need to earn a living. I must put a tip box up on the site some time.
The stunner for me today has been the Institute of Physics submission to the Science and Technology Committee, which is to the point to say the least. This is really starting to look very bad for the guys at UEA:
1. The Institute is concerned that, unless the disclosed e-mails are proved to be forgeries or adaptations, worrying implications arise for the integrity of scientific research in this field and for the credibility of the scientific method as practised in this context.
With retrospect, once the emails became public it was likely that some of the major learned societies might try to distance themselves from the climatologists. It may be that support for the CRU now starts to fall away. We'll see.
McIntyre has the full story.
Of course, there is also the story of the IPCC review, but that will require a more considered piece, which will have to wait for the morning. For now, the local hostelry is calling.
Some explanation of the rather surprising statements on FoI made by Sir Edward Acton and his colleagues in their submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee has emerged. As noted in the previous post, Sir Edward said that no offence under the FoI had been established and that the evidence was prime facie in nature. Here is the exact quote for reference
On 22 January 2010, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) released a statement to a journalist, which was widely misinterpreted in the media as a finding by the ICO that UEA had breached Section 77 of the FOIA by withholding raw data. A subsequent letter to UEA from the ICO (29 January 2010) indicated that no breach of the law has been established; that the evidence the ICO had in mind about whether there was a breach was no more than prima facie; and that the FOI request at issue did not concern raw data but private email exchanges.
Guido Fawkes, (the top UK political blog, for the benefit of non-UK readers) is reporting that BBC political teams have been told not to go away over the weekend, this warning representing a red-alert for a potential general election announcement.
I think I'm right in saying that if an election is indeed called, Parliament will be dissolved and the CRU hearings will not take place.
Richard Drake in the comments notes that yesterday, after taking evidence from Sir John Beddington, Select Committee chairman Phil Willis bid the scientist "farewell" in the following terms:
This is likely, Professor Beddington, to be the last time we have the pleasure of you before our Committee. Could we thank you very strongly indeed for all the work you have done with our Committee and indeed your predecessors.
Given that Sir John is due to appear in front of the committee on Monday to give evidence on the CRU affair, it does rather look as if our suspicions may be correct.
I've now had a chance to cast an eye over Sir Edward Acton's contribution to the Parliamentary Select Committee's inquiry into CRU. Like many commenters, I'm not impressed.
It's every man for himself
The contribution is billed as as being submitted by Sir Edward, "with additional comment provided, where indicated, by the University's Climatic Research Unit". It's interesting to note, therefore, that the controversial sections are attributed to the CRU rather than to Sir Edward, so there's a strong hint that the UEA boss is not confident enough of what Jones et al are saying to want to put his name against it. Joint and several liability is a dangerous thing when giving evidence to one's political masters, it seems.
One of my favourite political bloggers, "Tom Paine", says some nice things about the Hockey Stick Illusion in an interesting essay charting the parallels between Steve McIntyre's experiences at the hands of the scientific establishment and those of John Harrison, the man who solved the problem of longitude.