Friday, January 29, 2010

There is No Frakking "Scientific Consensus" on Global Warming: Greenpeace and the Nobel-Winning Climate Report

There is No Frakking "Scientific Consensus" on Global Warming: Greenpeace and the Nobel-Winning Climate Report

Considered the climate Bible by governments around the world, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is meant to be a scientific analysis of the most authoritative research.

Instead, it references literature generated by Greenpeace - an organization known more for headline-grabbing publicity stunts than sober-minded analysis. (Eight IPCC-cited Greenpeace publications are listed at the bottom of this post.)

In one section of this Nobel-winning report, climate change is linked to coral reef degradation. The sole source for this claim? A Greenpeace report titled "Pacific in Peril" (see Hoegh-Guldberg below). Here the report relies on a Greenpeace document to establish the lower-end of an estimate involving solar power plants (Aringhoff).

When discussing solar energy elsewhere, the report references two Greenpeace documents in one sentence. Here it uses a Greenpeace paper as its sole means of documenting where the "main wind-energy investments" are located globally (Wind).


Thus, we read on page 14 that, "According to a WHO study, as many as 160,000 people are dying each year as a result of climate change." Should we care to double-check this claim, we're on our own.

As incredible as it sounds, this publication/brochure is itself cited in the Nobel-winning IPCC report as evidence that a particular statement is true. Appearing in the list below as Greenpeace 2006, it is one of two references mentioned in a single sentence, as discussed above.

Which begs an important question: how did it get into the same room with serious scholars? Why would it even be under consideration by a scientific body tasked with producing an assessment of the latest scientific research?

There appears to be an interesting chronology here. First Teske is granted "scientific expert reviewer" status by the IPCC. Second, a non-academic, non-peer-reviewed document in which he was closely involved gets added to the climate change research canon by virtue of it being cited by the Nobel-winning report.

Third, Teske co-authors a new Greenpeace report that receives an extra measure of prestige when it features a forward authored by the high-profile IPCC chairman. Fourth, in a final flourish, Teske - like his Greenpeace colleauge von Goerne - gets elevated to lead author status of yet another IPCC special report (on renewable energy) due to be published this year.

Where does Greenpeace stop and the IPCC begin? Sometimes it's difficult to tell.

Read the link and see the list of Greenpeace citations used in IPCC AR4.

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