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on 15 October 2011
We were told that the IPCC was the embodiment of true climate science. However Donna Laframboise has found out it is a monolith of corruption. Not only has the science been seriously compromised, but the influence of advocacy groups like Greenpeace in my view, border on sinister. The book is well written and although easy to read, has significant detail resulting from a lot of good research. It is comprised of short sections which make it great for busy people with only a limited time to read.

Whether you believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming or not, the validity of the science is extremely important to the current policies being pursued by many governments. These policies will affect all of us in a very profound way, therefore the corruption of the IPCC should be of interest to everyone. My advice is to read this book and make your own mind up, before these policies seriously affect your lives. Let's make sure we do not follow the Australian example and fatally destroy our economy without checking the facts properly.
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on 12 November 2011
A brilliantly written and well referenced explanation of a great illusion which is still fooling some of the people all of the time. Were the consequences of what Donna Laframboise describes not so serious this would have been an enjoyable read. It was certainly thought provoking.
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on 24 November 2011
The tragedy of this book is that it has come too late. Those of us who have been frustrated and furious at the crass dishonesty of the pontifications of the IPCC for so many years can feel gratified that Ms. Laframboise has produced such a well-researched exposé.

But to what result? Those of us who try to make an honest contribution to the debate will still be derided and dismissed as "skeptics" and "deniers". The whole paradigm is so deeply implanted in the minds of people in every walk of life all over the world that our voice is a petty irritant to the high priests, nothing more.

My name comes up several times in the book and one reviewer on this blog has protested that I was not an outsider to the IPCC; I was a contributor. Yes, it is true, I was an Expert Reviewer, but only after I had exposed the dishonesty of the WGII selection committee in my testimony to the House of Lords.

<...>

Some years ago I analyzed the inter-relationships between the publications (on climate change and human health) produced by the leading contributors to the Human Health chapter. I don't have the figures at hand, but a mere eight authors had written something like 29 articles (on climate change and human health) in which their names appeared as authors nearly 100 times. This small band of associates were publishing opinion pieces, disguised as "reviews", in various scientific journals. Their approach was crafty: the same message was given in slightly different form with authorship in different orders. "A" would be the lead author in an article with co-authors "B" and "C", "B" would be lead author in a different journal, with "D" and "C" and so on. They backed their statements by referring to each other's reviews; needless to say, they hardly ever quoted articles by those of us who actually work in this field. Thus, in the manner of classic propaganda, their oft-repeated messages were built up into a truth of their own. They even started their own journal, Climate Change and Human Health, to further their cause. The important point about this that all eight authors have been Lead Authors or Contributory Authors on WGII in three IPCC reports. Only one of these has any background in the field; she is the lady who was an "expert" before she was awarded her PhD.

In frustration, nine of us, including six distinguished professors, published a protest, Global warming and malaria: a call for accuracy, in The Lancet, decrying this irresponsible peddling of misinformation. Needless to say this has not been quoted, nor has another publication of mine in Malaria Journal:

<...>

Happily, this article has been downloaded nearly 24,000 times yet in his latest book, Paul Epstein (recently deceased), one of the most persistent of activists in this field (and many others, as summarized by Ms Laframboise), wrote the same nonesense as he had for nearly 20 years. For example, he described how Dr. Andrew Githeko "...a scientific underdog who, through patience, triumphed against formidable opposition" identified the reason why malaria had moved to higher altitudes in Kenya on his laptop by devising a simple mathematical model. Global warming of course.

And who were his "formidable opposition"? In Epstein's words: "The handful of climate change "skeptics" (more aptly called deniers and naysayers in the face of new evidence, for scientists are naturally skeptics) who worked in public health and included biologist Simon Hay, of the University of Oxford, and Paul Reiter, then at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention".

All this might be of limited significance except that Epstein fed the same fantasies to Ex- Vice President Al Gore for his blockbuster film "An Inconvenient Truth". Al Gore was awarded half of the Nobel Peace Prize, the IPCC got the other half and Paul Epstein...he was the Lead Author on two of the IPCC WGII reports!

In future years, as pointed out by the highly regarded climatologist Richard Lindzen, people will be amazed that a global civilization could rely on an organization with so many flaws and become convinced of a coming Armageddon on the basis of a set of mathematical models of a highly complex system about which they still know very little.

So: bravo Ms Laframboise but sadly your effort is too late.
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on 19 October 2011
Some years back, I believed that man-made global warming (AGW) had been established as firm reality by physical measurements and the application of the laws of physics. I had no reason to believe otherwise - I had read in newspapers that the UN had summarised numerous scientific studies and there was no doubt about the results.

Then I decided to read up on the subject myself and understand what it was all about. With a background in advanced engineering, and experience of statistical analysis in communication systems and modelling a range of physical systems, I had enough background to read and understand what it was all about.

There seemed to be two main themes:
- The global average temperature was rising at an unprecedented rate.
- Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were the cause.

I started to read up about the "hockey stick" graph, famous from its use by Al Gore. Immediately, alarm bells sounded. Most of the graph had been produced by tree-ring temperature proxies. But the last bit, showing rapid temperature rise, had been produced from actual temperature measurements. If you produce a graph where the appearance changes at the exact point where you change the data source, would you have confidence in the graph? Few engineers would.

I quickly came across the work by Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. Quite apart from the question of switching data sources at the crucial point, their work showed that the "hockey stick" graph was based on faulty statistical methods and essentially an artefact of the analysis method devised by Michael Mann. Here was something that just did not make sense - global temperatures have been shown to be rising at an unprecedented rate but the analysis showing this is based on flaky statistical methods?

Then I tried to pin down the physics relating global temperature to atmospheric carbon dioxide. Alarm bells again quickly sounded for me. This conclusion is based on predictions from computer models. Oh - oh... I have enough experience of constructing models of physical systems to know that, even when the physical system is well understood, validating a model so that you can have confidence in its results is very difficult. A model that has not been validated, if you start to believe its predictions, puts you in a far worse position than if you simply say "we don't know".

How can models of the climate be verified, when there are many aspects that are - at best - only partially understood and where observations of the real system are available only for a very brief period? Even more alarm bells rang for me when I read the UK Met Office's statements that their climate models are verified by checking that they correctly reproduce the historical data used to construct them. For any engineer who has constructed models of engineering systems, such a statement is a joke (a bad one). If a model cannot even reproduce the data used to construct it, then it is clearly worthless - but reproducing the training data is far from confirming that the physical model is correct and will produce reliable predictions.

Then I found that things were even worse yet. To predict significant warming based on increased carbon dioxide, the models incorporate positive feedback effects, where the effect of carbon dioxide is assumed to be multiplied by a large factor. Any engineer who has had to cope with the ticklish instability of systems incorporating large amounts of positive feedback has extreme difficulty believing that planet Earth's climate incorporates significant positive feedback.

By this point, I had become a sceptic of AGW. It seemed to me that there were elements of religious belief in its proponents ("knowing" a thing to be true, even in the absence of evidence). They were talking the talk of science - but walking the walk of a new religion.

Yet, how was it possible that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change could present all this stuff as "rigorous science"? I had the beginnings of an understanding of this question towards the end of 2009, when I downloaded and read the "Climategate" emails. It was very clear that IPCC lead authors had been conspiring to keep out anything that cast doubt on the AGW orthodoxy.

I have greatly enjoyed reading Donna Laframboise's book "The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World's Top Climate Expert." It explains in detail how all this nonsense has been passed off as rigorous science by the IPCC.

My question now is this: What were all the other journalists of the world up to while this was happening? There were enough clues that something very wrong was going on.
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on 14 October 2011
Donna Laframboise carefully traces the origins, structure and working practices of the world's leading climate bureaucracy with devastating results. We find that, far from being a disciplined and impartial judge of climate science - it is a partisan organisation which has been hijacked by green activists and political extremists from its very beginnings.

Many of its "leading scientists" turn out to be activist grad students with Greenpeace of WWF affiliations and no previously published scientific work. Its rules, procedures and time limits are regularly flouted to include more alarmist material and a high proportion of the included "science" comes not, as claimed, from peer-reviewed scientific papers - but from environmental activist's PR material.

A clearly written and revealing book - which might turn out to be a turning point in climate politics - read it!
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on 15 October 2011
Donna Laframboise has an original style and provides a powerful case for doubting anything claimed by the IPCC, which she compares with a spoilt brat.

The 2005 House of Lords' enquiry into climate change, which she cites, had concluded of the IPCC, "Sound science cannot emerge from an unsound process". She goes on to expose in excoriating detail the bias, concealment and utter hypocrisy of the unsound IPCC process, based on the publicly accessible recorded words of its leading participants and activists. The IPCC and its adherents say one thing but do something very different.

In 1993, the governments of the world, who pay for it all, instructed the IPCC to undertake its assessments on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis. However, Laframboise provides verifiable evidence to show that none of these four requirements are met; that many of the so-called experts are still wet behind the ears; that the much vaunted claim that the IPCC reports are based upon published peer-reviewed literature is grossly overstated; and that the IPCC Expert Review process is routinely circumvented to reach the preconceived conclusions of activists.

But for those who had already worked all that out, Laframboise gives an in depth analysis of the long established IPCC social network, its pecking order and its deep links to the massively funded environmental movements. Her book is not embellished, but could have been twice the length if all the verifiable failings of the IPCC had been included.

Even if only every other page of her book is read what is left is a crushing indictment of the politician godparents of the IPCC who have not brought up and disciplined their brat properly to follow the rules they laid down, as well the norms of professional behaviour appropriate for the world's most powerful advisor.
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on 29 October 2011
The important thing to stress about this book is that it is, first and foremost, an examination of how "the science" is chosen for inclusion, filtered, challenged, excluded, reviewed and audited *before* it ever makes it into the body of the IPCC document, whether the technical sections or the summary for policy makers.

As such, specific examples of criticism of the science serve primarily to show how these criticisms are mishandled and passed over - it is the governance of the process that is examined. Readers would do well to bear this in mind when reading reviews that claim she doesn't understand the science.

From this it follows that the science as presented isn't *necessarily* in error - even the 30%+ references to non-peer-reviewed grey literature *may* be correct - but that the IPCC vastly overstates the case that the referenced science is *proven* as a result of it's own processes.

In fact Laframboise documents - with specific referenced examples - how the papers chosen for inclusion skew balance in favour of a predetermined politically motivated narrative, how participants described as experts are frequently inexperienced and admit to being out of their depth, and how experienced domain experts are ignored or expelled when they attempt to do the job they are engaged to do.

With that in mind, the book is a relatively short and engaging read; it builds a convincing case that the trust put in the governance and impartiality of the IPCC is seriously misplaced, and that this can have a profound effect on the public perception of the "certainty" of AGW

It could certainly do with a few diagrams - graphically showing the proportion of activists and affiliations would be useful for instance - but it is well referenced and plainly written.
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on 19 October 2011
With "the Delinquent Teenager", Donna Laframboise has completed a major effort in compiling the many key aspects where the IPCC is doing a bad job. What struck me most is that during reading of this book it became clear to me that the IPCC is not so much a scientific effort to define human influence on climate, but that it is a political instrument to push through environmental policies for people who are riding the green wave. The book gives many links to experts showing that the policies the IPCC is advocating for its paymasters are very expensive, detrimental to the economy and based on very shaky science.
Donna shows up the IPCC for what it is: a malignant green monster, sucking power from Earth's
citizens to yield it to a small circle of green high priests.
The book is a must read.
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on 17 October 2011
Donna shows very clearly that the advice to the governments around the globe and coming from IPCC is driven by politics and various environmental NGOs and nothing to do with the real science. I was part of the Donna's led exercise, where the scientists around the world used some of their free time and went through thousands of literature references quoted by IPCC to be 100% peer reviewed papers. That was clearly stated by the IPCC's president over and over at every interview that he gave. And yet, it was a total lie. Over 5000 references cited as `scientific' came from non-scientific brochures, pamphlets and internal reports. People should take Donna's book very seriously indeed.

The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World's Top Climate Expert
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VINE VOICEon 19 November 2011
It's an all too familiar story - something that when viewed from a distance appears perfectly fine but on closer inspection turns out to be a mess. The flawless makeup concealing a face covered in blemishes, the smooth paint job disguising a lethally decrepit car, the beautiful mansion later found to be riddled with dry rot, the brilliant and charismatic politician with - alas - feet of clay.

This can equally apply to institutions. Take the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Ever since it was established in 1988, the IPCC has been held up as an exemplary organisation, representing a "gold standard" for the synthesis of climate science. Operating with utter transparency and relying only on solid, peer-reviewed material, an army of 2,500 expert reviewers and over a thousand contributing and lead authors from all over the globe have been working tirelessly to build a superlative up-to-date and reliable picture of the science of climate change, which in turn can be used, with absolute confidence, to inform and underpin the policies of governments the world over.

Except - it turns out that this is not exactly the case. Enter Donna Laframboise, Canadian writer and blogger, who, aided by a team of citizen auditors, has painstakingly examined the workings of the IPCC, placed them under the microscope, so to speak, and reports her findings in this very timely book. And what she has uncovered is a picture radically different to the one the IPCC would like the world to see. One by one, she refutes and demolishes a number of key assertions made by the IPCC and its supporters over the years.

The IPCC's material is prepared by the finest scientific minds? Well, no - many of them are little more than activists, who have worked for Greenpeace or for wildlife charity turned climate-campaigning behemoth, WWF. People at the top of their profession? Hardly - quite a few of them have been graduate students in their twenties. The IPCC only uses peer-reviewed scientific literature? No again - many of its sources have been newspaper and magazine articles, press releases and documents from environmental organisations. And authoritative? Some of its bolder claims, for instance that 20-30% of all plant and animal species are at risk of extinction due to global warming, are based on flawed and controversial scientific studies. Behind the crisp, definitive headline statements like Ban Ki-moon's "the world's scientists have spoken, clearly and with one voice", exists something far less clear-cut - a body of work that is more like a perplexing, indeterminate mass of uncertainties, likelihoods, suggestions, coulds, mights and maybes.

In addition, the author describes the IPCC's various underhand practices, its lack of openness, its defensiveness and its arrival at predetermined conclusions. What she reveals is an unattractive picture of an organisation staffed with activists and reliant on "grey material" from partisan lobby groups, an organisation which has been set up to promulgate a certain point of view, and accordingly has employed whatever means it feels is justified, including the frequent breaking of its own rules. An organisation that is meant to be "policy-neutral", but whose chairman is an outspoken advocate for carbon prices, vegetarianism, aviation taxes and, overall, a "radical value shift" in the western world.

The next IPPC report on the state of climate science (AR8) is due out in 2013, and even if a fraction of what Donna Laframboise reports in her book is accurate, an urgent root-and-branch reform of this organisation is sorely needed, at the very least. Whether this will happen in time to make a real difference is another matter entirely.

In The Delinquent Teenager, Donna Laframboise has written a succinct and hard-hitting book, which I think should be read and heeded by those from all sides of the climate debate. It is a product of the sort of methodical investigative journalism the mainstream media have consistently failed to deploy when it comes to climate change, and it arrives at a time when the institutions of climate science, with all their shortcomings, deserve to be under more scrutiny than ever before.
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