Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Is the IPCC doing harm to science?

Look out for a big BBC climate change splash this weekend, unless that is they think the weather's too cold in London or they think people are looking the other way. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), you see, is due to release another climate change paper on Friday.

Der Spiegel have written an interesting analysis of the current state of play, explaining the international wrangling that goes on about the use of language, and how the EU (with the UK) has tended to have its way in hardening forecasts.

What struck me most was this concerning CC "denier" Richard Lindzen:

"Lindzen's arguments sound convincing, but they are still nothing but claims, popular theories as opposed to a transparent global process, a global plebiscite among climate researchers."

I grew up in a family headed by a scientist, and this was not the way I understood it should work. Politics and science just don't mix, which appears not to be good enough for some.

Oh, another highlight from the Spiegel article (unserious one), concerning Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the IPCC:

"When colleagues describe him they mention his beard, the way he combs his hair straight across his head and his diplomatic skills."

Ah, I think this is the polite German way of saying that he has a wicked comb-over.

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