The Conversation

Lead author claims U.N. climate change report was rewritten for political reasons

If the Church of Global Warming still had any real credibility, the bombshell revelations by Harvard professor Robert Stavins in an open letter published Friday would be devastating.  As it is, the fanatics will probably scream that Stavins has become a Nazi-like "climate denier" or tool of Big Oil or something.

It was already known that the summary of the latest U.N. climate report was substantially edited by political interests.  Very few media figures or politicians are going to read the full report - they generally make do with the summary.  In this case, the summary wasn't merely "sexed up" to fool gullible reporters and politicians; it actually direct contradicts the full U.N report in places.  For example, media reports of the summary yelled that global warming was going to cause more wars; the actual report summary says global warming might increase the chances of violent conflict; the report itself says there's no reason to believe climate change has much to do with violent conflict.  It's more likely that sustained conflict leads to poor environmental stewardship than the reverse.

These hijinks already led one of the report's contributors, Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University, to refuse to sign the final product, because he was uncomfortable with the tone of hysteria in the report summary.  Now the UK Daily Mail reports on an online letter published by lead author Robert Stavins, in which he alleges an astonishing three quarters of the original document were deleted or revised after a late-night meeting in Berlin:

Prof Stavins claimed the intervention amounted to a serious ‘conflict of interest’ between scientists and governments. His revelation is significant because it is rare for climate change experts to publicly question the process behind the compilation of reports on the subject.

[...] Prof Stavins said the government officials in Berlin fought to make big changes to the full report’s ‘summary for policymakers’. This is the condensed version usually cited by the world’s media and politicians. He said their goal was to protect their ‘negotiating stances’ at forthcoming talks over a new greenhouse gas reduction treaty.

Prof Stavins told The Mail on Sunday yesterday that he had been especially concerned by what happened at a special ‘contact group’. He was one of only two scientists present, surrounded by ‘45 or 50’ government officials.

He said almost all of them made clear that ‘any text that was considered inconsistent with their interests and positions in multilateral negotiations was treated as unacceptable.’

Many of the officials were themselves climate negotiators, facing the task of devising a new treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol in negotiations set to conclude next year.

Prof Stavins said: ‘This created an irreconcilable conflict of interest. It has got to the point where it would be reasonable to call the document a summary by policymakers, not a summary for them, and it certainly affects the credibility of the IPCC. The process ought to be reformed.

"Science" was bludgeoned into submission with a hockey stick graph long ago; the Church of Global Warming is pure politics now.  Climate change hysteria provides a perfect excuse for higher taxes and more regulations, combined with a pseudo-religious cause around which left-wingers can rally with a sense of supreme righteousness.  They even feel confident in trying to outlaw dissent, because if you try to debate the latest climate-change fatwa, you're threatening the very survival of the Earth.  Sure, every single one of their doomsday predictions has been wrong thus far, but we can't take the chance they'll be wrong with the next twenty predictions, so shut up and pay up.

This United Nations report is a purely political document that has only a tangential connection to "science."  It's a desperate bid for the movement to stay relevant as the number of questions it cannot answer keeps growing.  If you do take the time to read the full report, not just the politically doctored summary, you'll find the thing absolutely riddled with pure speculation - things that "might" or "could" or "may" happen over the coming century, or maybe not.  Obviously the hucksters who use climate hysteria to screw over their taxpayers didn't think that was good enough, so they wrote some science fiction instead.


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