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Reply to Graham Wayne, “US school infiltration attempt by Heartland’s IPCC Parody,” October 30, 2013
Graham Wayne, a journalist with the UK’s Guardian, apparently wrote this “review” of Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science for the anti-skeptic blog SkepticalScience.com without bothering to read the book. There are many statements in this article that require correction:
First, the NIPCC is not an IPCC “parody” and its correct name is “Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change,” not “Not the International Panel on Climate Change.” Just a couple sentences later, Wayne mistakenly says the NIPCC report “run[s] to thousands of pages.” It is, in fact, just over 1,000 pages long.
Wayne is confused by the number of authors, contributors, and reviewers of CCR-II. There are 47, as stated in the promotional material for the book. Some appear more than once on the title pages of the SPM and the book because the same author (e.g., Craig Idso) is a lead author and a lead chapter author. The labeling of each set of authors and contributors makes this easy to understand, but not, apparently, easy enough for Wayne.
Wayne says “no contributors to IPCC reports are paid for their work.” This is nonsense. Hundreds of scientists and thousands of government bureaucrats work “on the clock” on the IPCC reports, attending countless meetings held at universities and at fancy resorts all around the world. They aren’t volunteers. While most of the contributors and reviewers of the NIPCC report are volunteers, some of the coauthors were paid.
Wayne says “NIPCC was created by the Heartland Institute,” which is false. As is clearly reported on the first page of the SPM as well as the NIPCC web site, NIPCC was created by S. Fred Singer in 2003. Singer and his coauthors approached The Heartland Institute to publish the NIPCC reports.
Wayne claims The Heartland Institute has “significant connections to the fossil fuel industry” and was “previously associated with campaigns funded by the tobacco industry to discredit science attesting to the damage caused by smoking tobacco.” This is an unfortunately routine attempt to smear Heartland that has been debunked repeatedly. NIPCC receives no corporate funding at all.
Wayne claims that “16 of the listed contributors are retired e.g. emeritus positions,” and seems to believe this makes these scientists less credible. In fact, emeritus status is a mark of distinction and recognition of a successful academic career, and many of these contributors have long lists of publications in the climate field. Because most of them no longer are seeking research grants, they are not dependent on government agencies for funding. This makes them independent and more objective than most of the IPCC’s contributors.
Wayne points out that “the IPCC purposefully seeks representation from developing countries” whereas the NIPCC report has authors from “only” 15 countries. Wayne probably doesn’t know that practicing affirmative action adds no value to scientific research.
Wayne claims the research cited by the NIPCC authors “is highly selective. The report claims to be ‘independent’, yet its authors constantly cite their own work, that of other contributors, and frequently quote each other. Numerous papers widely discredited within climate science are still cited by the NIPCC.” This is all nonsense. CCR-II quotes nearly 4,000 peer-reviewed journal articles. It was written and peer reviewed by distinguished scientists. It defies credibility, even imagination, to claim that research this inclusive is nevertheless “highly selective.” The authors occasionally “cite their own work” because they are leading authorities in these fields, as is common in all academic publications. The publications Wayne thinks are “discredited” are those that contradict his dogmatic views on the issue.
Perhaps Wayne’s most surprising criticism is what he calls “a flaw so basic it would not be condoned in the submission of a 1st year science student,” which is that quotations are followed by the author and date in brackets with complete source citations appearing in bibliographies at the end of each section of each chapter. Apparently, Wayne was looking for footnotes. In fact, the referencing in Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science is the preferred style for scientific documents and identical to the method used by the IPCC. Only a journalist unfamiliar with scientific literature would make such an elementary mistake.
Finally, Wayne claims that only conservative and skeptical blogs covered the release of CCR-II. Not quite. The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, Bloomberg, and hundreds of other “mainstream” media covered it, along with hundreds of Web sites and blogs. Go here for a representative sample of that coverage, and here for endorsements by prominent scientists.
The Heartland Institute