Climate Council, represents who?
9:03pm 23rd September 2013
The Climate Commission is being reformed as the Climate Council, we ask who do they represent and what is their funding model?
According to this article Tim Flannery is reforming the Climate Commission as the Climate Council. The new Climate Council will consist of Commissioners from the old Climate Commission.
They need to be very careful in setting this up, as it could just been seen as an attempt to reuse the 'authority' of the old Climate Commission to continue the same messaging as they did before; which they cannot do, as they no longer have the 'platform' of being a government funded body; i.e. they have to now prove independence and transparency, it cannot be just assumed to be so.
'Professor Will Steffen said one of the first orders of business for the not-for-profit Council will be assessing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) fifth assessment report, due for release on Friday.
"We will do the very best we can to pull out the main points to this report and make it understandable to the Australian public," Prof Steffen told AAP, adding that he and colleagues hoped to produce a summary document within days of the release.'
Hold on, exactly how valid is such a summary? How do they ensure all the information in the report is correctly accessed, analysed, weighed and then produced into something 'understandable for the Australian Public' in a few days? It takes months if not years for the IPCC
to produce a report and they want to knock out a summary for the Australian public in a few days
! Also the IPCC produce their own summary reports for different audiences, so exactly what is being added here?
For instance they need to at least answer the following questions:
- Who is providing the funding to the new Climate Council?
- What is the 'mandate' under which the Climate Council operates?
- How do they ensure transparency and independence?
- How do they ensure a balanced and well considered analysis of the climate situation?
The danger here is that this could just go back to the 'old ways' of promoting doom and gloom climate change without actually taking the opportunity to stand back and see how they could actually contribute to the debate and the science in a useful way. The climate community does not need another 'mouth with a megaphone'; rather they need a group which listens to both sides of the scientific debate and facilitates advancing the discussion and the discovery.
For instance the Climate Council needs to address the following questions:
- Why do we now have a 15+ year pause in global warming?
- Given millions were spent on desalination plants that ended up not being used, exactly what in the predictions were wrong?
- Given the pause, would it not be better to focus on other more immediate environmental issues, such as pollution?
Remember, we only have a finite number of resources to apply to any given set of problems, therefore we need to pick problems that are real and evident, not just present in a model.