New Report: Reform Or Abandon The IPCC

  • Date: 23/11/11

A leading environmental economist has called upon governments to either radically reform or abandon the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

In his report What is Wrong with the IPCC? Proposals for Radical Reform published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Professor Ross McKitrick (University of Guelph/ Ontario, Canada) reviews the IPCC’s own procedures in detail and highlights a number of serious flaws and weaknesses.

McKitrick’s report shows that, under current procedures:

  • The IPCC’s managing bureau unilaterally selects Lead Authors, giving it direct influence on the content of reports;
  • IPCC Lead Authors are frequently asked to review their own work and that of their critics, placing them in a conflict of interest;
  • The IPCC peer review procedures allow Lead Authors to overrule reviewers, and to rewrite the text after the close of peer review, rendering it ineffective at preventing bias;
  • Government review and oversight through the plenary panel is cursory at best, with the vast majority of member governments failing to take any    active role.

McKitrick presents a number of case studies that illustrate how these various procedural flaws have had material effects on key sections of past reports.

McKitrick proposes a set of rule changes that would aim to make IPCC editorial procedures as rigorous as those of a standard academic journal. Even this modest target would require substantial changes.

“If such a process of reform cannot be initiated then those national governments that seek objective and sound advice on climate change issues should withdraw from the IPCC and begin the process of creating a new assessment body free of the deficiencies identified in this report,” said Professor McKitrick.

In the foreword to the GWPF report, the Hon John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia, writes:

“The intellectual bullying, which has been a feature of the behaviour of some global warming zealots, makes this report necessary reading if there is to be an objective assessment of all of the arguments. The attempt of many to close down the debate is disgraceful, and must be resisted. Ross McKitrick has written a well-researched and articulate critique of the IPCC’s methods. It deserves careful study, especially by those who remain in an agnostic state on this issue.”

 

The full report What is Wrong with the IPCC? is available here

Professor Ross McKitrick – Ross R. McKitrick is Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He is a Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute and a member of the Academic Advisory Council of The Global Warming Policy Foundation. His academic research is in the areas of environmental economics and climate change. He was an Expert Reviewer for Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the Fourth Assessment Report.

The Hon John Howard – John Howard was Prime Minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007. He served as Treasurer from 1977-83 and as Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs from 1975-77.