IPCC conclusions fail under legal cross examination

By Eco Guy 12:26am 16th July 2010
A cross examination of global warming science conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Law and Economics has concluded that virtually every claim advanced by global warming proponents fails to stand up to scrutiny.

See here for the full document and cross examination.


"This paper constitutes such a cross-examination. As anyone who has served as an expert witness in American litigation can attest, even though an opposing attorney may not have the expert’s scientific training, a well prepared and highly motivated trial attorney who has learned something about the technical literature can ask very tough questions, questions that force the expert to clarify the basis for his or her opinion, to explain her interpretation of the literature, and to account for any apparently conflicting literature that is not discussed in the expert report. My strategy in this paper is to adopt the approach that would be taken by a non-scientist attorney deposing global warming scientists serving as experts for the position that anthropogenic ghg emissions havecaused recent global warming and must be halted if serious and seriously harmful future warming is to be prevented – what I have called above the established climate story. The established story has emerged not only from IPCC AR’s themselves, but from other work intended for general public consumption produced by scientists who are closely affiliated with and leaders in the IPCC process. Hence the cross-examination presented below compares what is said in IPCC publications and other similar work by leading climate establishment scientists with what is found in the peer-edited climate science literature.

The point of this exercise in cross-examination is twofold. The first is just to run a relatively simple check, as it were, on the claimed objectivity and unbiasedness of the IPCC AR’s and other work underlying the established climate story. Do IPCC AR’s, summaries and other work by leading climate establishment scientists seem to frankly and openly acknowledge key assumptions, unknowns and uncertainties underlying the establishment projections, or does work supporting the established story tend instead to ignore, hide, minimize and downplay such key assumptions, uncertainties and unknowns? To use legal terms, is the work by the IPCC and establishment story lead scientists a legal brief – intended to persuade – or a legal memo – intended to objectively assess both sides? The second and related objective of this Article is to use the cross examination to identify what seem to be the key, policy-relevant areas of remaining uncertainty in climate science, and to then at least begin to sketch the concrete implications of such remaining uncertainty for the design of legal rules and institutions adopted to respond to perceived climate change risks

.Far from turning up empty, my cross examination has (initially, to my surprise) revealed that on virtually every major issue in climate change science, the IPCC AR’s and other summarizing work by leading climate establishment scientists have adopted various rhetorical strategies that seem to systematically conceal or minimize what appear to be fundamental scientific uncertainties or even disagreements. The bulk of this paper proceeds by cataloguing, and illustrating with concrete climate science examples, the various rhetorical techniques employed by the IPCC and other climate change scientist/advocates in an attempt to bolster their position, and to minimize or ignore conflicting scientific evidence."

Now, I'm in full support of whatever needs to be done to make our climate sustainable and viable for all life; but the way in which we do this needs to stand up 'logically'; i.e. be drawn from science with considers all the facts as presented and draws a rational logical conclusion and resultant actions. This cross examination has found significant logical flaws in the analysis done by the IPCC and an attempt to 'filter' what is considered in that analysis to support the AGW cause. This is basically bad news, as it means:

  1. Has the IPCC actually come to valid conclusions and thereby valid actions?
  2. Does man made globally warming actually exist in the form the IPCC has concluded?
  3. What about all the research that has been done which has used the IPCC conclusions to steer funding and analysis - have we been led down the garden path?
Myself, I've always had 'trouble' with the IPCC; creating a large none governmental body whose mandate is to find global warming is sort of creating a situation that is going to be biased to finding global warming no matter what as that is what its mandate for existence is..

Hopefully this will all bring the discussion onwards and lead to a better more balanced discussion of the underlying science.

Related Content Tags: ipcc, global warming, climate change, research, science

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