An author of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on climate change has asked for his name to be removed from a summary document because of its “four horsemen of the apocalypse” rhetoric.
Professor Richard Tol, an economist at the University of Sussex who was the convening lead author of the chapter on economics, asked for his name to be removed from a summary document provided to policy makers.
He said: “The message in the first draft was that through adaptation and clever development these were manageable risks, but it did require we get our act together. This has completely disappeared from the draft now, which is all about the impacts of climate change and the four horsemen of the apocalypse. This is a missed opportunity.”
“You have a very silly statement in the draft summary that says that people who live in war-torn countries are more vulnerable to climate change, which is undoubtedly true, but if you ask people in Syria whether they are more concerned with chemical weapons or climate change, I think they would pick chemical weapons – that is just silliness.”
The report, due to be issued in the coming months, is set to push a bleak outlook, with leaked information speaking of significant effects on food supplies, security and economies.
The United Nations’ IPCC is meeting in the Japanese city of Yokohama to agree on the report. The draft summary was been leaked yesterday, and has raised eyebrows from even the most climate-change friendly scientists.
The summary speaks of a wide range of negative effects likely to be caused by man-made global warming, some of which are “irreversible”. It says that millions of people around the Asian coast will face displacement from flooding and land loss, and crop yields across the world will drop by two percent over the coming century.
But researchers have branded the summary as “alarmist”, and sources have noted that the actual report is not as apocalyptic as the draft summary, which serves as an educational tool to policymakers around the world.
The last IPCC report was criticised its errors. These included the claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035, something the IPCC now admits to be untrue, and the statement that over half the Netherlands is below sea level. The real figure is 26 percent.