I see that Andrew Bolt is spearheading another baseless anti-IPCC rant over on his blog. Unsurprisingly, it’s another non-issue – involving the IPCC referencing reports by Greenpeace. Same old Bolt, same old story – click here to read just how wrong Andrew has been in the past. Instead of going for the science (after all, in our last debate, Andrew conceded “I am not a scientist, and cannot have an informed opinion on your research”), Bolt specifically takes a swipe at the inclusion of a report I authored back in 2000:

Considered the climate Bible by governments around the world, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is meant to be a scientific analysis of the most authoritative research.

Instead, it references literature generated by Greenpeace – an organization known more for headline-grabbing publicity stunts than sober-minded analysis. (Eight IPCC-cited Greenpeace publications are listed at the bottom of this post.)

In one section of this Nobel-winning report, climate change is linked to coral reef degradation. The sole source for this claim? A Greenpeace report titled “Pacific in Peril” (see Hoegh-Guldberg below).

This is the offending report – please feel free to read through and comment below.

Hoegh-Guldberg, O., H. Hoegh-Guldberg, H. Cesar and A. Timmerman, 2000: Pacific in peril: biological, economic and social impacts of climate change on Pacific coral reefs. Greenpeace, 72 pp. (link to PDF here)

Ignoring the blatant threats to myself and other scientists on Bolt’s blog, one of the most valuable comments in the entire thread is from a commentor, Eldon Degraw:

“What the IPCC reports have been shown to have is a consensus scientists, plus the consensus of WWF and Greenpeace activists, Guardian journalists and other non-scientists, submitting work that isn’t peer reviewed at all.

So, instead of showing a consensus of scientists in the IPCC reports, we have a ‘consensus of some people involved with the matter’. ”

You mean ‘a consensus of scientists plus other people involved in the matter’. I hardly expect climate scientists to be experts on areas outside of climate science (such as economic effects of coral reef degradation on Pacific cities). In fact the Greenpeace study you’re dismissing wasn’t being cited for scientific claims, only for the claims about likely economic impacts. I don’t see a problem. And the ‘Greenpeace Activists’ who wrote it were actually biologists (Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, for instance) whose other papers in peer-reviewed journals (Science, Nature) were used as references for scientific claims regarding the causes and current state of coral reef degradation. I don’t see your problem.

I also vote for changing the statement ‘consensus of climate scientists’. I think it should be ‘consensus of climate scientists…and more’.


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