“Unprecedented” IPCC Meeting

The IPCC held a meeting (in Bali, not Irkutsk) that is “unprecedented” in a milllll-yun years:

Participants in the unprecedented meeting – held at the annual assembly of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Governing Council in Bali – were sworn to secrecy over the decision and it is only expected to be announced after its detaled scope and composition have been worked out by UNEP and the World Meteorological Organisation, the two UN agencies that oversee the IPCC’s work.

h/t Anthony


  1. Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 11:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Impeccable.”The ministers regard the mistakes as exaggerated, point out that they just concern a few sentences in a 3000 page report”…”were sworn to secrecy”

    Where’s ‘confidential agent’ Ammann when he’s needed? :)

    • Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 12:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I’m collecting the data on all the AR4 errors here in an effort to provide an informative alternative to the Wikipedia “Criticism of the IPCC AR4” article. I have only just started listing the errors and gathering source material, but it’s already abundantly clear there are problems with more than just “a few sentences”.

  2. BlogReader
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 11:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Their main concern has been over the aggressive way in which Dr Pachauri has responded to criticism, beginning with denouncing Indian research suggesting that the glaciers were not melting so rapidly as “voodoo science”.

    What about conflict of interest with his financial interests weighing on his decisions?

    Hey at least they are investigating. Should be amazed by that. And not “amazed” in the sense of the Penn State “investigation” but amazed that something might come out of this.

  3. Sean Wise
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 12:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    They are having this meeting in Bali. I think it will take weeks to sort this all out. Lets hope they call hundreds of witnesses and invite them to come Bali to testify. Perhaps a few skeptics could at least get a good tan for all the efforts they’ve put into their voluntary oversight of this organization.

    • windansea
      Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 12:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I used to surf in front of the Nusa Dua resort where this IPCC meeting is being held. Very nice right when the wind is blowing offshore.

      I’d be glad to volunteer :)

      • Geoff Sherrington
        Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 4:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

        You mean outside the Sheraton? You think they have a sophisticated waste water recycling plant?

  4. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 12:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dr. Pachauri responds to criticism in the same way that many in the climate science community respond by using ad hominem arguments. The “ministers” are using the tried and true method of dealing with errors. They attempt to dismiss errors by claiming that they are inconsequential; [blockquote]point out that they just concern a few sentences in a 3000 page report[/blockquote]

    The UNEP is failing to grasp the impact of the CRU emails, since the revelations do impact the science which supports the IPCC’s reports.

  5. Henry chance
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Other IPCC meeting. The UN has also announced a separate new group will investigate the IPCC itself. The environmental department of the UN is a loose canon.

    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 1:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s not surprising that the ministers refused to allow Pachauri to carry out the “independent review” of the IPCC. Perhaps, they and others at UNEP and WMO (the two UN agencies that, at least the Telegraph.co.uk believes, “oversee the IPCC’s work”) have been reading the papers.

    For example, the Economist at:


    published an interview exchange with Pachauri earlier this month on the issue of conflict of interest, part of which reportedly was:
    “The Economist: That seems odd compared to the standards of scientific publication, or the standards of the United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation, which both have conflict of interest rules. Isn’t it rather remarkable that you should have this organisation [IPCC] that does not have any procedure for dealing with conflict of interest, regardless of whether there is conflict of interest.
    Dr Pachauri: Well, those are UN organisations and they are bound by UN rules, and you know that the IPCC is not a UN organisation, it is an intergovernmental organisation and in that sense we are distinctly different from UNEP and WMO or any of those organisations.
    The Economist: And it’s your position that distinct difference means that there is no need for any official procedure within the IPCC for dealing with conflict of interest?
    Dr Pachauri: I think if the governments who govern the IPCC determine that there should be something of this nature I’m sure that will be put in place.
    The Economist: And would you welcome that?
    Dr Pachauri: Of course, absolutely. I would have no hesitation. In fact, I would suggest it myself if I got the opportunity.
    The Economist: Well you’ve had the opportunity, surely, sir?”

    Odd comments by Pachauri since the IPCC website alone has UNEP and WMO logos on all pages, including at the top of IPCC’s organizational structure. Perhaps, UNEP and WMO want more of a role than absentee manager.

  7. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 2:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Come on guys, wake up. Steve is posting faster than you can comment!

    Steve: vindication! (re all of today’s posts)

  8. Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 2:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The participants add that he admitted only one mistake, a discredited prediction that the glaciers of the Himalayas would entirely melt away by 2035, for which the IPCC has already apologised.

    Not exactly. The IPCC statement in fact merely admitted that an unspecified statement in WGII was not backed up by a proper primary source, and does not admit that the statement in question was wrong. There is no indication on the page referenced in the footnote of the statement that any part of it should be regarded as retracted.

    A second-hand or even third-hand source could correctly convey information in an ultimate primary source, but not citing the primary source would be an error of IPCC procedure. This is the extent of the error that Pachauri has admitted.

  9. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 3:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Eric Rasmussen’s comments are of interest:

    The implications of this case are that criminal concealment of scientific research data in the UK is currently nonpunishable by the government, something which no Independent Review will solve. You need a new bill to punish nondisclosure. This bill could be special to scientific data, and so would, I imagine, be within your remit.

    • Phillip Bratby
      Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 3:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Steve is posting too fast. I posted under wrong heading.

  10. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 4:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This man has an assured future, as a first level Telecoms call centre operator in a big Indian city. His ability to think on his feet is matched only by the neural network complexity with which he has to cope.


    (With thanks to photographer Marcus Ferrell.)

    • Alan Wilkinson
      Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 10:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Nice photo, Geoff. Reminds me of an Indian friend a few years ago who told me when Indians want power they just run a wire out to the street pole. If the power company complains they just cut its cables.

  11. Invariant
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 7:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Please read these two Norwegian newspaper links carefully:

    05.30.2009 http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=no&u=http://www.dn.no/klima/article1680078.ece
    02.26.2010 http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=no&u=http://pub.tv2.no/dyn-nettavisen/printversion/article.jsp?id=2844670

    My point is that Jan Egeland is mentioned in both news articles, and I cannot see how he would have any integrity in distributing climate information to the world.

  12. crosspatch
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 2:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “were sworn to secrecy”

    In other words, they only want to open themselves up to criticism after it is a “done deal” and too late for any criticism to have any impact on the process.

    Sounds like your typical “we’re not responsible to anyone but ourselves” type of organization.

  13. Louis Hissink
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 4:16 AM | Permalink | Reply


    This is fast becoming a remake of the Star Wars series – Climate Gate and it’s repercussions could be likened to the first destruction of the Death Star, the present “unprecedented” meetings and etc to the “The Empire Strikes Back”, (though I’m not sure to whom the appellation “Darth Vader” be directed at), but when the Jedi return has yet to play out; I suspect we are still in the “Empire Strikes back” phase, if it has struck back at all, and assume its next option is to use non-diplomatic methods that failed at wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen.

    And another conference in Bali to boot – but this time it’s deliberations are secret – seems the Empire has decided to continue as if nothing happened, hoping that by adopting this tactic the rebels will assume the battle was lost.

  14. Louis Hissink
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 4:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Heck, my brain must be addled with overload – they used diplomatic methods at Copenhagen, which failed, and thus will use non-diplomatic ones to further the cause.

  15. Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 7:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    To whom is IPCC accountable? To whom are WMO and UNEP accountable?

  16. Anna
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    They must be kidding. Using the words “unprecedented”, “independent review” AND “robust” in the same article…

  17. Erasmus de Frigid
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 6:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Booker on Bali at the Telegraph:


  18. AnonyMoose
    Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 3:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Isn’t the IPCC required to have an open process?

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