The August 4 issue of the New York Times features a rather illuminating article
by Andrew Revkin – the Times’ climate reporter – on sentiment within the ranks of the IPCC as that organization begins work on its upcoming 2014 report. Revkin reports that the IPCC’s scientists are frustrated that the world’s governments – even those that are led by politicians who habitually give end-is-near speeches about global warming – are not taking the sorts of policy actions the organization thinks are necessary to head-off global catastrophe. Hence, a growing number of scientists want the IPCC to be more explicit and prescriptive with regards to public policy, less inhibited when discussing scientific issues where a great deal of uncertainty exists, more concerned with best practices pertaining to public risk management, and more politically sensitive about the issues that are examined at-length in the upcoming report.
In other words, Revkin reports that the IPCC wants to spend less time on science in their next report than they have in past reports and more time on issues for which it has no relevant expertise or comparative advantage. Of course, Revkin doesn’t put it quite that way, but that’s the unmistakable implication of what he reports.