Friday, November 26, 2010

Why would the IPCC lie to us?

After a class presentation and in the context of an extended discussion of why one would or would not subscribe to a belief in AGW, one of my students finally posed the central question that vexes many: "why would the IPCC lie to us?"

It is a question that many use rhetorically as if it is all that is required to re-assert the ascendancy of their axiomatic dogma:
  • you can't possibility be questioning the authority of the IPCC?
  • can you?
  • the science?
  • the scientists?

The IPCC was not established to examine climate, nor climate change.  It was established to provide a comprehensive and objective assessment of scientific, technical and socio-economic information that could lead to a better understanding of human-induced climate change.

We get the answers to the questions we ask.  The IPCC has always been a process structured and guided by the politics of environmentalism and not any science of discovery. 

Consequently, when the exaggerations, biases and mis-conducts subsumed within the IPCC process are revealed, it should not be surprising that its leading beneficiaries resort to rhetorical questions, ad hominem attacks and bluster. 

Sadly, these tactics persist and they persist at the highest levels within academia as this wonderful rebuttal by James Delingpole illustrates.