Dat het IPCC citeert uit rapporten van actiegroepen als het WWF is geen incident. Er bestaat een innig contact tussen klimaatwetenschappers uit de CRU-files en fondswervende activisten, waaronder van het Wereldnatuurfonds. De campagnemanagers uiten vrijmoedig commentaar wanneer een rapport over klimaatprognoses niet alarmistisch genoeg klinkt

Fondswervende multinationals als het Wereldnatuurfonds verdienen hun geld via het verspreiden van mediaverhalen door urgentiemarketing. Door thema’s te agenderen bij journalisten en politici komen de eigen goede werken voor het voetlicht. Zo komt éénvijfde van de in totaal een half miljard euro’s jaaromzet vanuit overheden, de rest komt uit donoren en beleggingen. De fondswervers hebben dus een redelijk economisch belang bij het zo rampzalig mogelijk voorstellen van zaken, want dan zijn de eigen goed werken extra nodig.

Het WWF bestelt rampen bij het CRU

Het WWF bestelt rampen bij het CRU

Wanneer het WWF onderzoek sponsort is dit ook opvallend vaak een toekomstprojectie waarbij de ondergang van tevoren vaststaat. Met CRU bestaat een innige samenwerking.
Dat blijkt ondermeer wanneer het toenmalige hoofd van de WWF-klimaatcampagne Adam Markham in 1999 een email stuurt aan Mike Hulme. Hulme heeft meegewerkt aan een rapport over klimaatprognoses, dat niet extreem genoeg klinkt, waarschijnlijk het Special Report on Emissions Scenarios

From: Adam Markham
To: m.hulme@xxxxxxxxx.xxx, n.sheard@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
Subject: WWF Australia
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 09:43:09 -0400
Cc: mrae@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

Hi Mike,

I’m sure you will get some comments direct from Mike Rae in WWF
Australia, but I wanted to pass on the gist of what they’ve said to me so
far.

They are worried that this may present a slightly more conservative
approach to the risks than they are hearing from CSIRO. In particular,
they would like to see the section on variability and extreme events
beefed up if possible.
They regard an increased likelihood of even 50%
of drought or extreme weather as a significant risk. Drought is also a
particularly importnat issue for Australia, as are tropical storms.

I guess the bottom line is that if they are going to go with a big public
splash on this they need something that will get good support from
CSIRO scientists
(who will certainly be asked to comment by the press).
One paper they referred me to, which you probably know well is:
“The Question of Significance” by Barrie in Nature Vol 397, 25 Feb 1999,
p 657

Let me know what you think. Adam

De Csiro scientist in kwestie is Barry Pittock, waarmee Hulme in overleg gaat

‘I would be very concerned if the material comes out under WWF auspices in a way that can be interpreted as saying that “even a greenie group like WWF” thinks large areas of the world will have negligible climate change. But that is where your 95% confidence limit leads.

Sorry to be critical, but better now than later!…

Dr A. Barrie Pittock
Post-Retirement Fellow*, Climate Impact Group
CSIRO Atmospheric Research

Hulme wil helpen, maar zoals ook uit latere correspondentie blijkt is hij minder geneigd wetenschap te buigen naar WWF-belangen dan anderen..

My reason for introducing the idea of only showing changes in T and P that *exceed* some level of ‘natural’ variability was a pedagogic one, rather than a formal statistical one (I concede that using ‘95% confidence’ terminology in the WWF leaflet is misleading and will drop this). And the pedagogic role of this type of visual display is to bring home to people that (some, much or all of) GCM simulated changes in mean seasonal precip. for some regions do *not* amount to anything very large in relation to what may happen in the future to precip. anyway…

The point behind all this is to emphasise that precip. changes are less well-defined than temp. changes *and* that we should be thinking of adaptation to *present* levels of precip. variability, rather than getting hung up on the problems of predicting future precip. levels. This pedagogic thinking is hard to communicate in a short WWF brochure.

Your concern about my message is well taken, however, and I intend to remove any reference to 95% confidence levels, to re-word the text to indicate that we are plotting precip. changes only ‘where they are large relative to natural variability’, and to reduce my threshold to the 1 sigma level of HadCM2 control variability (e.g. this has the effect of showing precip. changes for the majority of Australia even in the B1 scenario).

But I do not intend to abandon the concept. I think it important – even for Greenie groups – to present sober assessments of magnitudes of change. Thus making it clear that future changes in T are better defined that future changes in P, and also to point out that future emissions (and therefore climate change) may be as low as the B1 scenario (is B1 climate change negligible? I almost think so), whilst also being possibly as high as A2 is I think very important.

The alternative is to think that such a more subtle presentation is too sophisticated for WWF. But I think (hope) not.

Thanks again Barrie for forcing me to think through this again.

Pittock heeft duidelijk een eigen belang in deze zaak:

I should perhaps explain my delicate position in all this. As a retired CSIRO person I have somewhat more independence than before, and perhaps a reduced sense of vested interest in CSIRO, but I am still closely in touch and supportive of what CAR is doing. Also, I have a son who is now a leading staff member of WWF in Australia and who is naturally well informed on climate change issues. Moreover, Michael Rae, who is their local climate change staffer, is a member of the CSIRO sector advisory committee (along with some industry people as well) and well known to me. So I anticipated questions from WWF Australia, and from the media later when the scenarios are released…

Hulme voert vervolgens aanpassingen door.

From: Mike Hulme
To: Jennifer F Crossley
Subject: Re: masking of WWF maps
Date: Thu Jul 29 09:13:24 1999

Jenny,

Thanks for these.

After entering into debate with Barrie Pittock, I have decided to shift to using the 1 sigma level as a mask for all maps. This will not affect any of the temperature plots you have done until now, but means that the China and C.America precipitation maps will need re-drawing using 1 sigma. Please let me know when these are done.
Note also for Russia and that everything from now on for WWF (both T and P) should use 1 sigma as the mask.

Sorry about this and I realise this squeezes even more time away from the RCM.

Given what has happened and your role in producing these plots, you may interested in the exchanges I have had with Barrie Pittock – it illustrates nicely the nuances of presenting climate scenarios in different Fora. Read these three emails in reverse order.

Mike

Maar vervolgens krijgt hij ook kritiek dat hij via een fondswervend bedrijf eerder werk lekt, dat nog niet door het IPCC is gebruikt of beoordeeld. Die kritiek wordt door Tom Wigley verwoord:

From: Tom Wigley
To: Mike Hulme
Subject: Re: CONFIDENTIAL: CRU scenarios
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 14:15:36 -0700 (MST)
Cc: rwatson@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

Your chosen method of distribution (especially the WWF pathway) might be judged as less than ideal; but I cannot see anything that you have done that goes explicitly or implicitly
against IPCC regulations.

Below the bottom line is the concern expressed by Sensenbrenner that theseactions (yours and mine) might, in some way, have undermined the”integrity of the IPCC process”.

Er zijn dus wetenschappers die betwijfelen of het door IPCC gebruikte onderzoek nog wel neutraal genoemd kan worden, als klimaatwetenschappers het eerst al doorspelen aan fondswervende multinationals die er urgentiemarketing mee bedrijven.

Nu wil vermenging van CRU met WWF niet automatisch zeggen dat plotseling alle onderzoek niet zou deugen. Maar zoals ook uit overige correspondentie blijkt, hebben WWF’ers invloed op de uitingen van de wetenschappers. En dat deze fondswervers het liever een onsje meer dan minder zien. Overigens is Adam Markham nu uitvoerend directeur van Clean Air Cool Planet, een fondswervende klimaatactivistengroep. Eerder was hij actief voor Friends of the Earth.
We komen in een latere posting terug op de WWF/CRU-link, nu eerst maar eens kerst vieren

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