IPCC versus Evidence

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN entity at the core of climate catastrophism) is apparently playing semantic games (and worse) to avoid uncomfortable omissions. Roger Pielke Jr. corresponded with them, noting errors like this one:

Error #1: IPCC p. 110: “These previous national U.S. assessments, as well as those for normalised Cuban hurricane losses (Pielke et al., 2003), did not show any significant upward trend in losses over time, but this was before the remarkable hurricane losses of 2004 and 2005.”

The problem is that data published at the time (and known to the IPCC) showed that even with 2o04/2005 hurricanes, the trend was still not significant. The phrasing makes it sound like it now is, but as Pielke reminded them:

FACTUALLY INCORRECT: Figure 5 in the following paper, in press prior to the IPCC AR4 WGII publication deadline, clearly shows that the addition of 2004 and 2005 losses do not alter the long-term trend in hurricane losses:

Pielke, Jr., R. A. (2006), Disasters, Death, and Destruction: Making Sense of Recent
Calamities. Oceanography 19 138-147.
http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/resource-2449-2006.02.pdf

This same information was also in the report of the 2006 Hohenkammer Workshop on Climate Change and Disaster Losses, which was cited by the AR4 WGII: http://cstpr.colorado.edu/sparc/research/projects/extreme_events/munich_workshop/pielke.pdf

The IPCC, however, seemed to be rather attached to the false implication that there was a significant upward trend in hurricane disaster losses. (And in fact, they can pick their starting year to produce that effect, which Pielke takes issue with in his post). So, the IPCC responded this way:

CLA Finding: There is no error in the statement. No correction is needed and the text can stand as is.

Rationale: The clause about the published analyses being before the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons is a statement of fact about the time line, and it is not a statement that the results were different after including 2004 and 2005. The statement does not infer that the overall pattern of losses would be different; instead it suggests that 2004 and 2005 were remarkable years in terms of hurricane losses, which they were.

In other words, they left the implication clear, but didn’t explicitly state it so that they weren’t technically lying — and if any reader jumps to the conclusion that hurricane disaster losses are trending up, why that’s just their problem.  But this technical evasion does not help them with the other problems.

This behavior has a long pattern with the IPCC.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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