On the 19th of July in 2011 the National Press Club of Australia held a debate on climate change. In this video I will be analysing the claims Monckton made during the debate and if they are correct or not.
The reason I’m doing this is that Monckton challenges his critics to check his sources, or like he put it in this debate “to do your homework”. I’m going to follow him up on this to see if the scientific literature, and other available sources, corroborate what he’s saying.
On the 19th of July in 2011 the National Press Club of Australia held a debate on climate change. I will be analysing the claims Monckton made during the debate and if they are correct or not.
In this particular section of the debate Monckton makes the following claim:
"I wonder why the published version of the 1995 report - written by just one man - stated the exact opposite of the scientists' final draft, which had said five times that no human influence on global temperature was either discernible or immediately foreseeable."
I'll be going into the details of what was said into the report and the events surrounding the approval of the wording.
I wonder why the published version of the 1995 UN report written by just one man, stated the exact opposite of the scientists' final draft which had said five times that no human influence on global temperature was either discernible or immediately foreseeable.
I don't know why he would say that the 1995 report was written by one man, as it most definitely wasn't. Every report lists the names of all the authors, contributors and anyone else that was involved in the creation of the report. And that's a quite substantial listing. As demonstrated by the listed names for just one chapter.
[List of names scrolling by]
Chapter 8: Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes
Convening Lead Author
B. Santer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA
E. Anyamba, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA
T. Barnett, Scripps Institute Of Oceanography, USA
T. Wigley, OIES @ UCAR, USA
P. Bloomfield, Merrill Lynch Derivative Products, USA
E. Cook, Lamont-Doheity Earth Observatory, USA
C. Covey, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA
T. Crowley, Texas A&M University, USA
T. Delworth, Geophysical F l u id Dynamics Laboratory, USA
L. Gates, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA
N. Graham, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, USA
J. Gregory, Meteorological Office, UK
J. Hansen, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, USA
K. Hasselmann, Max-Planck Institut fur Météorologie, Germany
G. Hegerl, Max-Planck Institut fur Météorologie, Germany
T. Johns, Meteorological Office, UK
P. Jones, Climatic Research Unit (UEA), UK
T. Karl, NOAA National Climate Data Center, USA
D. Karoly, Monash University, Australia
H. Kheshgi, EXXON, USA
M. MacCracken, Office of the USGCRP, USA
K. Maskell, IPCC WGI Technical Support Unit, UK
G. Meehl, National Centre for Atmospheric Research, USA
J. Mitchell, Meteorological Office, UK
J. Murphy, Meteorological Office, UK
N. Nicholls, Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, Australia
G. North, Texas A & M University, USA
M. Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund, USA
J. Penner, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA
S. Power, Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, Australia
A. Robock, University of Maryland, USA
C. Senior, Meteorological Office, UK
K. Taylor, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA
S. Tett, Meteorological Office, UK
F. Zwiers, Canadian Climate Centre, Canada
Now it could be that he simply misspoke as his original argument on this was the following:
Updated with Slides - Lord Christopher Monckton Speaking in St. Paul – 0:43:22 to 0:43:40
And now watch this. Here is what the bureaucrats did: they rewrote the final draft, yet again, after they've been cleared and signed off by the scientists to say the exact opposite.
“The body of evidence now points to a discernible human influence on climate.”
And that has been the official line ever since.
In both cases he says that the published report doesn't say what the scientists wrote in the final draft. This is simply not true. But there is a reason Monckton mentioned this, I'll let Professor Stephen Schneider explain the genesis of this claim:
So then over the years we all do our quiet work that nobody really paid any attention to. And in 1994 the IPCC -the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as all of you know- in its second assessment report had in Working Group 1 a chapter eight.
Who's, I think they called them convening lead authors then, and had Ben Santer and Tom Wigley right? *Looks at Ben Santer* I think it was both if you guys? No, just you. OK. And that meant he was responsible for the chapter. And that chapter uh... was based on a paper that Ben led a team of people on looking for fingerprints. He'll explain that. In the system I gave you guys examples of the very quickly on the fly but that's the guy who really did it first.
And those fingerprints basically pointed to a discernible impact of human activities on climate. This triggered a massively ugly scene, at the, it was the first ugly scene at the IPCC history at a plenary session. Which is where the hundreds governments get together and have to agree to the IPCC Summary For Policy Makers word for word. And the guy being attacked was him *points to Dr. Ben Santer*. So it was because of this chapter saying there was a “discernible impact”, though that word came out later...
The chief Saudi negotiator basically said this was bad science, tried to drive a wedge between north and south countries, was very effectively doing it. And there was what is called a Contact Group, which is where when you can not agree in the plenary, you go off and negotiate. We negotiated like all day to get this language right.
Now the Saudis who made all the fuss and the Kuwaities never sent anybody. And they had many, many delegates. And this one guy from Kenya came, and he had actually proposed dropping the entire chapter because he believed the Saudi.... this was the southern solidarity. Now this guy, he was meteorologist, not a famous science star, came and he watched the entire day and changed his mind and decided the process was fair and open.
So we go back and the normal practice in IPCC after a Contact Group, where the group agrees, is that the text is put up there on a screen. And it is pro-forma accepted because if you started fighting over it again you’d never get out. Well of course the Saudi’s immediately raise their hands and Al-Saban starts in: this is unacceptable to us.
So Ben has the temerity, this mere scientist to say: “But, Sir your delegation made the most noise and you did not even have anyone at the group”.
And El-Saban slams his fist on the table and he says: I’m a representative of a sovereign country, you’re just a scientist, you can not talk to me like that and we’re a small delegation, we didn’t have time!
The Kenyan guy raises his flag, my stomach is in knots, and he gets up and says, I’m a small delegation, I’m it. But I was convinced by the Saudi’s that this was really important, so I went. I’m now satisfied the lead authors are correct and I withdraw my objection and urge everyone to vote for it. And it passed.
Then the Wall Street Journal started accusing him [Dr. Ben Santer] -Are you going to talk about it? *looks at Dr. Ben Santer* No.- of scientific cleansing. Because in an IPCC report, every single meeting is about revising language. So at the direction of the plenary he [Dr. Santer] corrected the language, to which these guys at the Wall Street Journal redacted the components were -one of those new words you thought me Meg[?]- that were caveats, therefore this was a distortion of that.
So there’s this mister mild mannered Ben Santer the statistician, quiet guy on the block. All of a sudden now out there as this object of derision by these manufactured, trumped up charges of the ideology of no government control and the fossil fuel industry.
Unfortunately for them, Ben very shortly thereafter got a MacArthur Genius Award. Not just because he stood up to them, but because this was the first scientific study really showing that there was a discernible impact of human activities on climate by good statistical testing.
[above transcript has been adapted from: http://citizenschallenge.blogspot.com/2011/05/ben-santer-general-public-why-such.html]
So to summarise what Professor Schneider said: The original report always said something to the effect that we are having a discernible impact on the climate. And this conclusions, from the research cited, caused some political controversy during a plenary session at the IPCC. All changes are discussed and approved during these sessions. And after such a session they agreed on this wording, which was then taken out of context by the media.
No shenanigans involved, no strange rewriting of documents, it was just the media incorrectly reporting. Something that is quite easy to verify in public records, considering the other scientists involved spoke out that the media got this wrong.
- Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind
- Updated with Slides - Lord Christopher Monckton Speaking in St. Paul
- Stanford University - The General Public: Why Such Resistance?
- Unauthorized notes, ~ Ben Santer ~ The General Public: Why Such Resistance?
- Houghton letter to Nature - Justification of Chapter 8
- Wall Street Journal – Letters to the editor: No Deception in Global Warming Report
- Special insert--An open letter to Ben Santer
- IPCC - Working Group I: The Science of Climate Change
- IPCC - Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptations and Mitigation of Climate Change: Scientific-Technical Analyses
- IPCC - Working Group III: Economic and Social Dimensions of Climate Change
- IPCC Second Assessment