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Sir John Houghton - We Aren't Alarmist Enough

We climate scientists are not ecofanatics
If the IPCC has a fault, it is that its reports have been too cautious, not alarmist
John Houghton

John%20Houghton.jpg The IPCC is not a self-selected group of scientists with a political agenda.... The IPCC is too big an organisation to be captured by an ideological cabal or fall foul of group-think... I was chairman or co-chairman of the Science Working Group from 1988–2002, through the first three IPCC reports.... We had no preconceived agenda regarding our conclusions.
The IPCC process also makes it impossible for green propaganda to be slipped in... a report from Greenpeace or any other campaigning body would not be included because the science would not be considered robust enough.
A further myth is that the IPCC is alarmist. In truth, it’s far easier to find what now looks like excessive caution in IPCC reports.
Perhaps there is a criticism that can be made of IPCC scientists: they have been too slow publicly to defend their integrity. They have not been willing or able to hit the airwaves or make their case in newspapers. But scientists are now faced by powerful lobbies who are working to distort and discredit the science behind climate change. We scientists have facts on our sides — we must not be afraid to deploy them.


Comments

We had no preconceived agenda regarding our conclusions

The IPCC was set up specifically to explore the human effects upon climate (and that's being kindly)

The IPCC is not a self-selected group of scientists with a political agenda

Yes it is; the climategate e-mails show this quite clearly.

[IPCC scientists].. have not been willing or able to hit the airwaves or make their case in newspapers

Get real. They have been front and center of the whole propaganda campaign; TV and News have given them acres of script and editorial support. They have had the podium and the ra=rah crowd.

"The IPCC is not a self-selected group of scientists with a political agenda..."

Perhaps not as a whole: the actual science sections do contain at least occasional papers by those looking at other aspects of affecting climate than human influence, despite the founding of IPCC (as noted) being to investigate human influence - and naught else. But the group that writes the Summary for "policy" setting most certainly is.

What are we to make of this - "It was an error to include a poorly sourced claim in its 2007 report about the rate at which Himalayan glaciers are melting; but this mistake was marginal — it did not influence any of the IPCC’s main conclusions or appear in the summaries of the report" pther than to wonder if this person bothers to think? One poor source, one debunked claim? And putting it in the report means nothing since it was not in the report? It wasn't?

Or "It is also known that a substantial part of the recent variability is down to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation" - a phenomenon that has been known, and even predictable to some extent, for well over half a century yet somehow never made it into "climate science" nodels - at least, not the ones highlighted in the Summary.

As to those powerful lobbies - what? Does he mean the likes of EOn, which is delighted to grab money to put up a "wind farm" while also smart enough to know it must update - indeed, expand - the adjoining fossil-fuel plant to be able to supply needed power during the eighty (or more) percent of the time said "farm" will be producing less than five percent of its "rated" capacity?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

"There was one error but all the rest was OK"

"Oh, all right then, there were two errors, but all the rest was OK"

"Oh, well if you insist, there were three - no, make that four - errors, but all the rest was OK"

Actually, no matter how many errors we expose, they will still insist that everything in their garden is lovely. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

They are toast and they know it; but they are not going to give up without a fight. We have to keep the pressure on.

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