Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

The Water Cannon of the Climate Debate

Whenever I’ve tried to ask questions about climate change I’ve practically had to run for cover. Greens have responded by rolling out a weapon intended to disperse all opposition.

That weapon is known as the climate bible. Most people have never heard of it, but the current version is 3,000 pages long and was published in 2007. It was written by an organization called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the IPCC, for short.

The IPCC is a child of the United Nations. The idea is that United Nations countries send representatives to this panel which then writes a report (it’s actually three smaller reports) about what the world’s leading scientists think about climate change, what the consequences of climate change are expected to be, and what humanity should do about it.

People who want to ask questions are told the experts have spoken, that the gospel is contained in the climate bible, and that that book identifies carbon dioxide as the Great Satan. So shut your mouth, stop impeding attempts to save the world, and get with the program we’re told.

Aside from the fact that adults in democratic societies resent being treated like children, there’s another big problem: much of what has been said about the climate bible turns out to be a myth.

The biggest myth of all is that this report is based entirely on impeccable source material that was published in scientific journals beforehand and was therefore rigorously vetted via the academic peer-review process.

Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC, has spent years telling everyone that this report is based only and solely on peer-reviewed literature. Important, influential organizations such as the US Environmental Protection Agency have deflected criticism of their own positions by pointing to the climate bible and to Pachauri’s insistence that it “relies entirely on peer reviewed literature in carrying out its assessment.”

The myth has been disseminated most effectively, however, by the media. Some of the most reputable outlets imaginable have told their readers and viewers over and over again that the climate bible should be trusted because it is based 100 percent on peer-reviewed scientific literature.

The citizen audit report I released yesterday puts this myth to rest. More than 5,000 of the sources cited in the climate bible are not peer-reviewed. Many turn out to be press releases, discussion papers, and working papers. These are all informal documents, whose veracity has not been tested. In numerous cases, they were produced by advocacy groups – or by political and bureaucratic bodies with their own agendas.

Politics, in other words, is part of the very fabric of the climate bible. This document is not 100 percent pure science. It was produced by a political organization, an intergovernmental panel, set up by the granddaddy of political organizations – the United Nations. Politicians and bureaucrats have their fingerprints all over it.

Let us therefore be clear about one thing: the 100 percent peer-reviewed science claim is not true. It is bogus. A fabrication. A marketing ploy. So when will the IPCC chairman be held accountable for misleading us?

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