The fund’s climate witness program is just another fundraising scheme, as indicated by that “Donate!” button
It is an established strategy among both the panjandrums of climate catastrophe and their media handmaidens either to ignore individual skeptics or to denigrate them en masse as “deniers” or shills for the fossil fuel industry. No surprise, therefore, that The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star have so far contained not a peep about Donna Laframboise’s exposé of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), The Delinquent Teenager who was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert. However, the book has drawn an angry response from at least one bastion of climate alarmism, the WWF.
Ms. Laframboise’s book claims that the WWF — along with other environmental NGOs such as Greenpeace — has “infiltrated” the IPCC. The WWF subsequently issued a press release describing the assertion as “ludicrous.” Her “sole evidence” was “some overlap between some of the thousands of scientists who have worked for the IPCC and members of a scientific advisory panel to WWF’s climate witness scheme.”
Funny how even the most tenuous link between any individual skeptic and Big Oil or Big Coal is considered to taint all skepticism, and yet to point out the implications of the very significant “overlap” between a radical activist organization and the IPCC is “ludicrous.”
Further diversionary bombast came from the WWF’s Josh Laughren. In a letter to the Post, Mr. Laughren boldly refuted what Ms. Laframboise had never claimed. “Despite Ms. Laframboise’s (and Mr. Foster’s) claims to the contrary,” he wrote, “academies of science from 19 countries all endorse the consensus position that humans are causing climate change, not to mention the more than 800 Canadian scientists and 12 Canadian scientific societies who signed WWF’s 2009 letter to the Prime Minister asking for urgent action. The fact that scientists around the world are increasingly speaking up is evidence of how concerned they are, not of some vast and mysterious conspiracy.”
Ms. Laframboise’s book said nothing about the non-existence of such endorsements and letters. Neither did my review. And who is suggesting “some vast and mysterious conspiracy?” There is nothing mysterious about the fact that the IPCC was set up by governments to find scientific support for a thesis they were already strongly inclined to support.
I have little doubt that the vast majority of IPCC authors are well-motivated, honest and “concerned,” but I also have little doubt that quite apart from the fundamental bias in the organization’s orientation, its strings are being pulled — as Ms. Laframboise documents — by a central claque of activists such as IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri, who has repeatedly stated that what is required is a fundamental change in Western lifestyles, even as he personally piles up the Air Miles.
Ms. Laframboise is certainly not the first person to question the integrity and motivations of the IPCC. Former British chancellor of the exchequer Nigel Lawson suggested in his book, An Appeal to Reason, that the IPCC had mutated into a “politically correct alarmist pressure group.” Andrew Montford, at the end of his own exposé, The Hockey Stick Illusion, declared: “It is clear that it would be foolish in the extreme to give the IPCC the benefit of the doubt. Their record is too poor, the stakes too high.”
Perhaps the most significant official criticism of the IPCC came in the report by the InterAcademy Council, the group representing national science academies, which found “significant shortcomings in each major step of IPCC’s assessment process.”
This latter point is amply fleshed out by Ms. Laframboise’s assiduous investigative digging.
Unfortunately for the WWF, meanwhile, its eruption of indignation draws attention to that “Climate Witness” scheme, which it established “to bring attention to the serious impacts climate change already is having on people and communities, particularly in the developing world. The scientific advisory panel was set up to ensure that the climate impacts related in the articles were consistent with current scientific knowledge of impacts.”
If you go to the WWF website and locate the very first piece of climate testimony, you will find a scientist exercising creditable due diligence. According to “witness” Rifi Hamdani, 31, “I live on Derawan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, and work as a dive guide at the Maratua Paradise Resort. Unpredictable weather has made an impact on underwater tourism here.” The subsequent “scientific review” by Dr. Heru Santoso, of the Tropical Forests and Climate Change Adaptation Project, Indonesia, notes: “There are very few scientific literatures to report whether the observed phenomena in this specific region are related to climate change.”
So the first scientist concludes that this witness’s testimony is essentially worthless, as must be all such “stories” about local weather when it comes to assessing the science of global climate. The climate witness program is at heart just another fundraising scheme, as indicated by that “Donate!” button in the top right-hand corner.
As Ms. Laframboise points out of the IPCC authors involved with the WWF: “These people chose to link their scientific reputations to an activist organization that believes ‘It is nearly impossible to overstate the threat of climate change.’ They chose to muddy the water by aligning themselves with lobbyists at the same time that they were examining some of the planet’s most important questions.”
It’s one of the many critical issues raised by her book that, strangely, don’t seem to be getting the media attention they deserve.