IPCC and Sourcing Data from WWF
Posted by greg2213 on January 25, 2010
Updates are at the end of this post.
The WWF (World Wildlife Fund, not World Wrestling Federation) has done some good things for the critters of the world, but it has a certain agenda and is hardly a peer reveiwed journal. Which is fine, except that the IPCC seems to feel that the WWF is a peer reviewed journal that’s beyond reproach, since a lot of the claims in the IPCC AR4 report are based on WWF claims.
Now, if you’re in the camp which believes that the planet will burn up unless we do something now then having the WWF as the source for IPCC claims probably isn’t an issue.
If you’re in the camp which would rather the IPCC was a neutral source, not an agenda driven one, and that it based its claims on real science and not hysteria, then you might reasonably feel that this is a pretty big issue. Especially since that’s what the IPCC claims as it’s mission.
Update: At least a few of the links on the pages below no longer work. Some of that’s addressed in their comments and those pages may or may not be updated as time goes on.
No Frakkin Consensus has a pretty good writeup on some other IPCC claims based on WWF info.
The IPCC, on the other hand, describes itself as “a scientific body” that provides “the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change” by assessing “the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information.” [bold added]
Many people would consider it improper for a science-focused organization to rely on a document created by an oil company, since the oil company can’t be counted on to provide the whole story. Surely, therefore, it is equally improper for the IPCC to consider a statement to be true solely because an activist group says it is.
Surely scientists working for a scientific body – and tasked with producing a scientific assessment – would endeavor to keep their distance from political spin of all kinds.
But that is not how the IPCC behaves.
Here’s the rest: More Dodgy Citations in the Nobel-Winning IPCC Report
Watt’s Up With That? has some added commentary, plus the usual large load of comments. Some of those comments update links and add interesting info.
All the years I’ve been in TV news, I’ve observed that every story has a tipping point. In news, we know when it has reached that point when we say it “has legs” and the story takes on a life of its own. The story may have been ignored or glossed over for weeks, months, or years until some new piece of information is posted and starts to galvanize people. The IPCC glacier melt scandal was the one that galvanized the collective voice that has been saying that the IPCC report was seriously flawed and represented a political rather than scientific view. Now people are seriously looking at AR4 with a critical eye and finding things everywhere.
Perhaps the IPCC really is an agenda driven agency after all. Who would have thought that???
Maybe the next report, due in 2013, will be more solidly sourced? No, I don’t think so either, especially considering the large amounts of money and major political interests involved.
update: looks like there are at least three GreenPeace reviewers in the IPCC WGIII Fourth Assessment Report. I wonder if they invited Rush Limbaugh to review, as well? This is a pdf, so use the search function to find things.
- A couple of people from the chemical industry
- Embrapa Rice and Beans?
- At least four items with the word Sustainable in their names. My opinion is that these are akin to the WWF in their objectivity.
- Only one Statistics group: Australian Bureau of Statistics
- Three groups with Analysis in their names
- About 42 with Environment or Environmental in their names
- A couple of banks (for the carbon trading info?)
- Reviewers for Working Group III – Mitigation
- IPCC standards for inclusion of material
- Heh. Maybe it wasn’t an April Fool after all
- A lie by omission?
It also seems that the IPPC has a similar issue with its claims about the Amazon rain forest.