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Brian Ellis
31st August 2010, 04:06
As one example amongst many, I cite this BBC report on the criticisms levelled against the IPCC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11131897

I deliberately place this in this forum because this report is neither scientific nor political, at least in terms of specific politics.

I very much welcome the majority of what has been reported in the media, such as the one that I cite. I assume that this will be implemented fairly rapidly. However, I emphasise that this will never remove all risk of error. It is probable that the Himalaya Glacier error would have got through even if these measures had been implemented long before 2007. In addition of course, it would never have stopped the East Anglia University debacle, which was a stupid storm in a teacup with the object of buggering up the Copenhagen conference.

The big advantage that I foresee is that the contrarians will be able to have their say in the future, much as Pittock has done in his book. As has been made quite clear in this report, the great majority of the IPCC work has been done correctly and it is scientifically valid. What has been omitted has been specific rebuttal, either pro or con, of any points of view; this will hopefully now be corrected in future reports.

For me, what is evident is that the IPCC needs new leadership. I find it regretful if the status quo is maintained for longer than is necessary, especially in view of the specific criticisms raised against the chairman. I have worked on international committees concerning the environment, and I know the problem of individuals who try to pose too much influence, often from vested interests. On more than one occasion, I have made myself very unpopular by fighting tooth and nail against such problems. Although I have worked with some members of the IPCC, I have never been a member myself because my retirement was too imminent. Unfortunately, there is always a risk of "cult of the personality" amongst the leaders and this has become increasingly evident over recent years.

Hopefully, the fifth report of the IPCC will be somewhat less dogmatic. If this be so, then the naysayers and other contrarians will have their say, although I anticipate that it would make very little difference to the scientific findings. On the whole, these have been well-established in the fourth report, warts and all. This has been made very clear in this latest document (which I have not read, having perused only a number of media reports).

I hope that the pendulum does not swing too far in the opposite direction. It would be catastrophic if no conclusion could be drawn whatsoever because the report would contain inconclusive controversy. Time will tell!