Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

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

More on IPCC Chapter Head Neil Adger – & Stephen Schneider

Recently I blogged about Neil Adger, who’s currently leading an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chapter that will examine decidedly non-scientific issues such as “culture, values, and society.”

I reported that Adger was employed by the University of East Anglia (UEA), the source of the notorious climategate e-mails. As it says at the bottom of this UEA web page, the “Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research is a trademark of the University of East Anglia” – and Adger “led Tyndall’s adaptation theme of research since 2000” (backup link).

However, it appears that Adger recently moved on to the University of Exeter, where he now teaches geography. My apologies for the error.

The HauntingtheLibrary blog has since noticed that Adger’s official academic bio over at Exeter tells us that:

Neil is a member of the Resilience Alliance [link in the original; the bio is backed up here]

What is the Resilience Alliance? Good question. On the one hand, it claims to be:

a research organization comprised of scientists and practitioners from many disciplines who collaborate to explore the dynamics of social-ecological systems.

On the other, the Alliance website tells us that one of this organization’s “key concepts” is something called panarchy.

That’s a brand new word for me. Wikipedia discusses it here. The focus seems to be global governance, hierarchies, and transformative change. As far as I can tell there’s nothing remotely scientific about panarchy. It’s pure politics.

Having read through the nebulous gobblygook on the Alliance’s panarchy web page a few times, I don’t feel one iota better about the fact that Adger is now in charge of an IPCC chapter.

Read the HauntingTheLibrary analysis here.

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On a related tangent, the Climategate e-mails reveal that back in 2003 Adger organized a conference around the politically-charged theme of Justice in Adaptation to Climate Change. The late Stephen Schneider was among those invited to present a paper.

Regular readers may remember my previous blog post about Schneider. As the founder (in 1977) and long time editor (until his death in 2010) of the journal Climatic Change, Schneider was an elder in the climate science community. Unfortunately, his idea of leadership involved a great deal of sneering and smearing. One Climategate e-mail reveals him dismissing those with whom he disagreed as idiots, incompetents, and bozos.

But back to the Justice conference. Schneider declined the invitation. Why? Because Adger happened to mention that Cambridge University Press had expressed an interest in assembling the papers that would be presented at the conference and publishing them as a book.

Schneider’s reasoning can be found in another Climategate e-mail. Evidently he wasn’t the sort of person who believed that free speech is sacred – or that his own arguments were persuasive enough to counter ideas he disapproved of.

Instead, Schneider makes it clear he was prepared to boycott an entire publishing house because it had had the temerity to publish a book he didn’t like – Bjorn Lomborg’s The Skeptical Environmentalist. Schneider’s e-mail response to Adger says he was leaning 80% toward participating in the conference

until you mentioned a big stumbling block. I cannot now, nor unless they withdraw the Lomborg book as science and apologize to the scientific community for a scientific fraud, nor can I EVER work with [Cambridge University Press editor] CHris Harrison. His talk at the AAAS was deceitful maneuvering–wrapping him self up in an authors right to speak and citing all the university visits Lomborg was paid to go to as proof how important his “challenge” was.

…until Harrison comes clean with the scientific community and denounces The Skeptical Environmentalist as political polemic, not science, neither I nor most ecologists I know will have any thing to do with them.

… If Harrison keeps his duck and cover polemics, then I and many of my colleagues will continue to excoriate him as dishonest and covering up fraud. So if you use Cambridge, then no thanks. Sorry to be so blunt, but only a full retraction from Harrison will satify me and most of my ecologist friends…

…I’m sorry I will likely miss your decent crowd – many people I like and respect on the invite list – because of this unshakable position of mine. Perhaps there will be another time. Cheers, Steve

[a direct cut-and-paste; typos in the original]

This, it seems to me, is as good an example as anyone could ask for of why no reasonable person should place their trust in climate scientists. Screw academic freedom, intellectual freedom, or free speech. Never mind the public’s right to hear a variety of viewpoints and to make up its own mind.

In the climate science world anyone who dares to publish politically incorrect content will be boycotted and accused of dishonesty by a ruling clique of scientists who expect them to:

  • denounce and withdraw the offending book
  • apologize to the scientific community
  • and admit to scientific fraud

Dissidents were treated remarkably similarly in Stalin’s Soviet’s Union. They still are in places like China and Iran today.

A community that regards Schneider’s demands as remotely acceptable is a community that’s dangerous.

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