Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
Inhofe comments on Climategate 2.0
Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, commented on the release today of additional emails by scientists contributing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). While the authenticity of the emails is yet to be confirmed by the University of East Anglia, according to the UK Guardian, Professor Michael Mann, author of the debunked hockey stick graph, said, "Well, they look like mine but I hardly see anything that appears damning at all, despite them having been taken out of context. I guess they had very little left to work with, having culled in the first round the emails that could most easily be taken out of context to try to make me look bad."
"Even before the Climategate emails were released in 2009, the so-called ‘consensus' peddled by the IPCC was already shattered," Senator Inhofe said. "Nevertheless, the Obama administration is moving full speed ahead to implement global warming regulations that will impose the largest tax increase in American history, significantly raise energy prices, and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs.
"Remember, the Obama EPA is basing these regulations on its endangerment finding, which relies on the flawed science of the IPCC. Now a recent report by the EPA Inspector General has revealed that EPA cut corners in the process leading up to the endangerment finding: it shows that EPA did not engage in the required record-keeping procedures or conduct an independent review of the science underpinning these costly regulations. If the first Climategate scandal - and the over one hundred errors in the IPCC science that were revealed in its wake - were not enough, the apparent release of the Climategate 2.0 emails is just one more reason to halt the Obama EPA's job killing global warming agenda.
"The crisis of confidence in the IPCC translates into a crisis of confidence in the EPA's endangerment finding. The IPCC science has already disintegrated under the weight of its own flaws, and I believe it will only be a matter of time before the endangerment finding follows suit. It's time for the Obama administration to stop trying to resurrect policies that are all pain for no gain, and get to work on reviving our economy."
For years, Senator Inhofe warned that the IPCC would lose its credibility entirely and eventually be ignored if it did not make significant reforms. In 2005, he sent a letter to IPCC Chair Dr. Pachauri that contained several suggestions on how the IPCC could reform its flawed peer-review process. Yet as Reuters reported, Pachauri refused even to acknowledge his concerns: 'In the one-page letter, [Pachauri] denies the IPCC has an alarmist bias and says "I have a deep commitment to the integrity and objectivity of the IPCC process." Pachauri's main argument is that the IPCC comprises both scientists and more than 130 governments who approve IPCC reports line by line. That helps ensure fairness, he says.'
Senator Inhofe's concerns were validated when the Climategate scandal broke in 2009. The EPW minority staff released a Senate report in February 2010 that found that scientists involved in the controversy were obstructing the release of information that was contrary to their ‘consensus' claims; manipulating data using flawed climate models to reach preconceived conclusions; pressuring journal editors not to publish work questioning the ‘consensus'; and assuming activist roles to influence the political process. In the wake of the original email scandal, over one hundred errors in the IPCC science were revealed. These new emails appear to be more of the same, further eroding the credibility of the IPCC. Now it is not the so-called ‘consensus' but the evidence of scientific corruption which is ‘overwhelming.' Link to Report
Crisis of Confidence in the IPCC
August 31, 2010 Financial Times Time for a change in climate research: "Now it is time to implement fundamental reforms that would reduce the risk of bias and errors appearing in future IPCC assessments, increase transparency and open up the whole field of climate research to the widest possible range of scientific views."
January 28, 2010 ABC News Can Climate Forecasts Still Be Trusted? Confidence Melting Away: Doubters Grow in Climate Change Debate: But other climatologists are calling for consequences. They insist that IPCC Chairman and Nobel laureate Rajendra Pachauri is no longer acceptable as head of the panel, particularly because of his personal involvement in the affair. "Pachauri should resign, so as to avert further damage to the IPCC," says German climatologist Hans von Storch. "He used the argument of the supposed threat to the Himalayan glacier in his personal efforts to raise funds for research." Storch claims that the Indian-born scientist did not order the retraction of the erroneous prediction until it had generated considerable public pressure.
February 8, 2010 New York Times Article Skeptics Find Fault With U.N. Climate Panel: U.N. Climate Panel and Chief Face Credibility Siege: "Just over two years ago, Rajendra K. Pachauri seemed destined for a scientist's version of sainthood: A vegetarian economist-engineer who leads the United Nations' climate change panel, he accepted the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the panel, sharing the honor with former Vice President Al Gore. But Dr. Pachauri and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are now under intense scrutiny, facing accusations of scientific sloppiness and potential financial conflicts of interest from climate skeptics, right-leaning politicians and even some mainstream scientists."
February 15, 2010 Washington Post Series of missteps by climate scientists threatens climate-change agenda: "But recent revelations about flaws in that seminal report, ranging from typos in key dates to sloppy sourcing, are undermining confidence not only in the panel's work but also in projections about climate change. Scientists who have pointed out problems in the report say the panel's methods and mistakes -- including admitting Saturday that it had overstated how much of the Netherlands was below sea level -- give doubters an opening."
February 17, 2010 New York Times Editorial "With Stakes This High": Given the stakes, the panel cannot allow more missteps and, at the very least, must tighten procedures and make its deliberations more transparent. The panel's chairman, Rajendra K. Pachauri, an Indian engineer, also is under fire for taking consulting fees from business interests. Mr. Pachauri says he does not profit personally and channels the fees to a nonprofit research center he runs in New Delhi. Yet as the person most responsible for the panel's integrity, he cannot afford even the appearance of a conflict of interest. All this follows last November's uproar over leaked e-mail messages that, while they had nothing to do with the panel's reports, portrayed climate scientists as thin-skinned and fully capable of stifling competing views. The controversy over the 2007 report has been stoked by charges of poor sourcing and alarmist forecasts, prominently a prediction - in a 938-page working paper - that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. This was clearly an exaggeration, though it was not included in the final report. An overblown warning of crop failures in North Africa made it into the final report.
January 20, 2010 Seth Borenstein Associated Press UN climate report riddled with errors on glaciers: Five glaring errors were discovered in one paragraph of the world's most authoritative report on global warming, forcing the Nobel Prize-winning panel of climate scientists who wrote it to apologize and promise to be more careful. The errors are in a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N.-affiliated body. All the mistakes appear in a subsection that suggests glaciers in the Himalayas could melt away by the year 2035 - hundreds of years earlier than the data actually indicates. The year 2350 apparently was transposed as 2035.
January 21, 2010 Time magazine Himalayan Melting: How a Climate Panel Got It Wrong: ‘Glaciergate' is a "black eye for the IPCC and for the climate-science community as a whole."
January 21, 2010 Newsweek, The Economist Off-base camp - A mistaken claim about glaciers raises questions about the UN's climate panel: "This mixture of sloppiness, lack of communication, and high-handedness gives the IPCC's critics a lot to work with."