Interests and the Failure of the Kyoto Process
In this chapter we examine the ways in which climate change science has been selectively interpreted by the IPCC itself and even more so by its many ‘users’: environmental bureaucracies, NGOs and the media in particular, to promote consensus in favour of a particular policy direction. Here we focus on NGOs and the media as external users of IPCC advice, but provide some evidence that IPCC spokesmen acceded to what we consider to be unwarranted alarmism on the part of these actors. We consider the IPCC (in its policy advisory role) and its users as a coalition of advocacy in favour of climate alarmism, with the IPCC as a research network possibly the more reluctant partner. To repeat, we accept the view reported to us by IPCC participants themselves that the underlying report is authored by the teams of scientists who have been nominated by governments and selected by the IPCC Bureau, with the Summary for Policy-makers representing a consensus document produced by government delegates at an IPCC Plenary Session. According to Richard Lindzen (and others), there is no scientific consensus supporting these SPMs. Here we illustrate this contention with some examples of scientific controversies where the alarmist ‘predisposition’ of the IPCC process has resulted in interpretations supporting a more alarmist view of climate change science. We consider there are three stages in this process: 1. the production of assessment chapters that neglect challenges and uncertainties (the task of this chapter); 2. the production of the Summaries for Policy-makers (SPM)...
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