Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise has been watching the climate world since 2009. What she sees isn't pretty.

Pachauri’s Rhetoric vs Reality

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2008:

we carry out an assessment of climate change based on peer-reviewed literature, so everything that we look at and take into account in our assessments has to carry [the] credibility of peer-reviewed publications, we don’t settle for anything less than that. [source – see bottom of p. 2]

Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC chairman, 2009:

IPCC studies only peer-review science. Let someone publish the data in a decent credible publication. I am sure IPCC would then accept it, otherwise we can just throw it into the dustbin. [source – see end of article]

IPCC insiders answering a 2010 InterAcademy Council questionnaire:

…there are vast amounts of information and data that are not published in scientific papers…and without which the assessments of the IPCC would not be possible. [p. 241]

For a number of areas of IPCC work non-peer reviewed literature is absolutely essential, because the peer reviewed literature does not cover enough relevant information. [p. 257]

Some chapters rely heavily on gray literature while ignoring peer-reviewed literature on the same matter (e.g., Ch 7 WG2). [p. 543]

The pressure from [developing countries] to use publications in [developing countries] and/or grey literature is high and effective. [p.555]

My [2007 Working Group 3] chapter depended heavily on non-peer reviewed literature and I have yet to hear a complaint about its quality. [p. 52]

It’s time for an explanation. How can the IPCC’s chairman be so profoundly misinformed? And are there really no consequences when the head of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning body goes around the world misleading the rest of us on so basic and fundamental a matter?

Do we really consider this acceptable behaviour? Have our standards sunk so low?


The 678-page PDF of collected, anonymized answers to the InterAcademy Council questionnaire is here.




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