MM receive questionnaire of the IAC Panel

When I saw that the IAC Panel had not invited McIntyre and McKitrick for Tuesday’s session  I decided to ask the Panel through its spokeperson for an explantion. On Thursday I sent the following email to William Kearney:

Dear William,

I am Dutch science writer following the global warming debate closely. I was present at the first meeting of the IAC Review Panel in Amsterdam.

I applaud the Panel’s decision to invite people with ‘varying perspectives’ for the next meeting in Montreal. However, for people familiar with crucial and controversial issues in WG1 of the AR4 IPCC report, it is inconceivable that a Review Panel would not invite Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.
They were not only involved in the process (they were both very active as expert reviewers), but their work was also misrepresented in two important cases: McKitrick’s and Michaels’ critique on the global average temperature in chapter 3 and McIntyre’s and McKitrick’s critique on the hockey stick in Chapter 6.
Apart from the misrepresentation of their work, the climategate emails show how they were denigrated by IPCC lead authors.

Not inviting McIntyre and McKitrick during a public hearing of the IAC Review Panel is like not inviting victims of a crime in a court case.

However, now that the list of speakers for next week’s hearing is online, it turns out they are not invited. Given the fact that the meeting is in Montreal and that both McIntyre and McKitrick live relatively close from there (compared to Watson and Von Storch for example), this means that the IAC Panel has decided deliberately not to seek evidence from them.

This screams for an explanation in my opinion. A clear explanation from the IAC Panel about this decision would therefore be highly appreciated.

Kind regards,
Marcel Crok

Early this morning I received the following answer from William Kearney:

Marcel, sorry it took me till now to get back to you.  Given that the InterAcademy Council committee reviewing IPCC processes and procedures expects to deliver a peer-reviewed report by Aug. 30, it has limited time for presentations at its public meetings and therefore has chosen speakers who are current leaders of IPCC or who can offer representative and varying perspectives of IPCC processes based on prior IPCC experience.  Meanwhile, members of the committee are interviewing dozens of scientists and other stakeholders with insight and views on the IPCC process, such as Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.  A questionnaire also has been sent to hundreds of scientists and stakeholders, and posted to our website so the public has an opportunity to offer input.  The presentations, interviews, and answers to questionnaire all will be taken into consideration as part of the committee’s review.  I hope you can tune into our webcast from Montreal.  If you cannot listen live, we’ll have a recording up soon thereafter.  If you want to try to reach any of the speakers in Montreal, let me know and I will try to facilitate.  Bill.

The answer is polite but doesn’t make sense because the reason he gives to invite speakers – “speakers (…) who can offer representative and varying perspectives of IPCC processes based on prior IPCC experience” – fits perfectly with McIntyre and McKitrick. They were expert reviewers of AR4. Von Storch by the way was – as far as I know – not involved in AR4 at all. However after climategate and the errors in IPCC he openly criticized the IPCC in an op-ed in Der Spiegel. I have nothing against the presence of Von Storch, he is a very experienced climate scientist and I know he is a favorite scientist for this kind of Panels because he is not a skeptic but nevertheless he is prepared to be critical when science is not done in a proper way. However in this case the Panel should at least have invited either McIntyre or McKitrick because of their crucial role in both controversial issues in AR4 (hockey stick and Urban Heat Island).

Meanwhile I received an email from McIntyre writing that on Friday afternoon he received the questionnaire of the Panel. Can this be coincidence? No, especially when you take into account that Judith Curry received this questionnaire already a couple of weeks ago (information from McIntyre). McKitrick also received the questionnaire yesterday.

Kearney also writes that “members of the committee are interviewing dozens of scientists and other stakeholders with insight and views on the IPCC process, such as Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick”. Is he saying that they will interview McIntyre and McKitrick? No. He is saying that dozens of people in the category “McIntyre and McKitrick” will be interviewed. McIntyre and McKitrick so far have not received requests from the Panel for an interview. Now they have notified the “existence” of the two Canadians, it will be interesting to see whether one of the 12 Panel members (among which the Dutch scientist Louise Fresco) will take the chance to interview McIntyre or McKitrick, especially now they are already in Canada.

Door | 2010-06-12T14:45:39+00:00 12 juni 2010|7 Reacties

7 Reacties

  1. Hajo Smit 12 juni 2010 om 20:31- Antwoorden

    Wat een sterk verhaal zeg! Knap stukje actieve journalistiek. En wat een schandalige draaikonterij van dat IAC-panel. Ik vrees een white-wash.

  2. Oliver K. Manuel 13 juni 2010 om 01:48- Antwoorden

    Now you are getting close to the tap root of the Climategate scandal: An unholy** international alliance that tightened its grip on science as a tool of propaganda in May 2000:

    "In May 2000 all of the world's science academies created the IAC to mobilize the best scientists and engineers worldwide to provide high quality advice to international bodies – such as the United Nations and the World Bank – as well as to other institutions.

    In a world where science and technology are fundamental to many critical issues – ranging from climate change and genetically modified organisms to the crucial challenge of achieving sustainability – making wise policy decisions has become increasingly dependent on good scientific advice."

    **World leaders, National Academies of Science worldwide, the research agencies they control – NASA, DOE, EPA, NOAA, etc. – the UN's IPCC, the Norwegian Peace Prize Committee, the news media – BBC, PBS, NY Times, etc – Al Gore, working to establish the tyrannical government described in George Orwell's novel, 1984

  3. Hans Erren 13 juni 2010 om 12:56- Antwoorden
    McIntyre confirms to have received the questionnaire only after Marcel had asked questions.

  4. Amadeus Gould 13 juni 2010 om 19:30- Antwoorden

    I paid a visit to the Inter-Academy Council’s (IAC’s) website on its investigation of the IPCC.

    1) On the IAC webpage (see… I read the IAC is requested to investigate the procedures and processes of the IPCC (not the AGW theory and AGW “impact science” itself). It will come with recommendations to – I quote – “strengthen IPCC’s processes and procedures so as to be better able to respond to the future challenges and ensure the ongoing quality of its reports”.

    I think the IAC “copy-pasted” the quotation directly from what was written in the request for the investigation. This often happens in commissioned research, but the quotation is not entirely neutral (the “better able to” and “the ongoing quality of” part). Why not just say “to strengthen IPCC’s processes and procedures” and leave it to that. Or just add the request as a pdf to the web-site.

    2) The IAC states that a critical element in the committee’s analysis is the opinion of knowledgeable experts and thoughtful observers regarding the IPCC’s processes and procedures ( In other words not just opinions of academics, but those of a larger group (knowledgeable experts and thoughtful observers) are considered critical.

    Now, how can it be, that two people, McIntyre and McKitrick, who are at centre of the E-mail controversy (also known as the Climategate E-mails) and who can so evidently demonstrate what went wrong – some would say is wrong – within the IPCC procedures and processes, are not invited. In the eyes of critical IPCC observers, sending them a belated questionnaire simply will not do. They view that what McIntyre and McKitrick can tell is more than a mere questionnaire. I fear the IAC-committee is shooting itself in the foot.

    3) Regarding the outcome of the investigation, will it influence the AGW-hypothesis. Don’t think so. Even if the IAC-committee concludes certain procedures and processes of the IPCC were violated, have to be improved etc…it will not change the evidence proving/disproving the AGW-hypothesis.

    A small story to illustrate my view..

    Some might be familiar with the ISO 9001 quality standard. Complying with this standard means your procedures and processes to make a product are well described, and that you are following these procedures accordingly. But it does not say much about the quality level of the product itself. In theory a Trabant factory or a Mercedes-Benz factory could comply with ISO9001 (if ISO 9001 were there at that time).

    And if – in addition – one would be myopic and only looked at the waiting list for a Trabant and a Mercedes-Benz, one could conclude the Trabant must have been the better car, because its demand caused a much longer waiting time. At a point the waiting list for a Trabant was so long, that parents (being good parents – taking precautions) ordered their Trabant just after their infant was born, so that by the time their kid had a driving license it would also have its “Trabi”. This in turn made the waiting list even longer.

    I leave it to the reader if the proponents/opponents of the AGW hypothesis are the Merc or the Trabi buyers☺

    Just my humble opinion.

  5. woedende kok 13 juni 2010 om 23:43- Antwoorden

    We wisten toch allang dat R-O-B-B-E-R-T D-IJ-K-G-R-A-A-F een ordinaire klimaatapparatsjik is.

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