UN Climate Body (IPCC) Too Slow, Too Cautious

The review of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has been completed and concluded that the science is sound. Of course that is not what many in the blogosphere are saying.

As a journalist my experience with the IPCC over past decade has been that their communication is terrible. The Summary for Policy Makers report is unreadable except by the most dedicated jurno with good salary and few deadlines…

Secondly public statements by IPCC are so qualified with caveats to require telepathy to parse the real meanings.

Finally compared to my reading of the latest science the IPCC is woefully out of date and conservative to a fault.

In my view much of the current criticism of the IPCC is misdirected and done so to deliberately confuse the public about the reality of the near and present danger of climate change.

I have interviewed scientists and other experts about how the findings and integrity of climate science/scientists have been systematically attacked and distorted by those with vested interests:

* Proof of Anti-Global Warming Cabal: Fossil fuel Interests, Christian Evangelicals and the Media

* Violent Backlash Against Climate Scientists

* Global Warming: What is the chance that thousands of scientists are wrong and Rush Limbaugh is correct? (video)


— Stephen

Summary of the InterAcademy Council Review from the excellent Australian science blog Climate Shifts:

The long-awaited review of the IPCC has been delivered by the InterAcademy Council (an Amsterdam-based organization of the world’s science academies). Contrary to the misguided expectations of the denialist community, the Inter-Academy Council has concluded that the periodic assessment reports of the IPCC have been successful overall. There is some need, however, for improving some of the reporting process and for developing a better set of processes to deal with the growing scientific and political complexity of the climate change issue.

Here is the press release posted today by the InterAcademy Council (IAC).

Science vs Politics at the Edge of the North Pole

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By Stephen Leahy

NY-ÅLESUND, Svalbard, Norway, Jun 14 (IPS)

Spectacular views of mountains and glaciers here in the world’s most northerly permanent human settlement contrasted with business and political leaders’ pessimism and concern about the enormous gap between the action on climate that science deems necessary and what politics considers realistic.

“We must push beyond the politically feasible,” said Tora Aasland, Norway’s minister of research and higher education.

SN852503“Here we are at the edge of the North Pole where climate change is easier to see…How do we communicate the urgency of our situation?” Aasland asked several dozen attendees at a recent high-level symposium in Ny-Ålesund, on the western coast of Spitsbergen Island about 1,200 kilometers from the North Pole.

She emphasised that we already know what to do and how to do it, including reducing fossil fuel energy use, improving energy efficiency, and investing in new technologies like carbon capture and storage.

Taking action on climate is imperative and an ambitious international agreement is urgently needed based on what scientists say is required to stabilise the climate system, participants concluded in a final statement. However, the current series of international climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany have bogged down and are on the edge of collapse, several participants noted. Continue reading