IPCC history and mandate

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The purpose of the IPCC was to assess the state of knowledge on the various aspects of climate change including science, environmental and socio-economic impacts and response strategies.

I.e. it was meant to report on and asses the scientific knowledge. This includes the question of how much evidence and (as a result) how much agreement amongst experts (consensus) there is for human induced climate change.

Some science historians point to other important aspects of IPCC’s history. The National Academy of Sciences wrote in 1979:

A plethora of studies from diverse sources indicates a consensus that climate changes will result from man’s combustion of fossil fuels and changes in land use.

Oreskes shows that the IPCC was set up in response to the emerging consensus in the 70’s/80’s that global warming due to GHG emissions would likely become a problem.

Spencer Weart writes:

The concern [about impending climate change] gave rise to the IPCC.

And also points to the Reagan administration being in favor of the clumsy IPCC approach, hoping that it would downplay the scientists’ fears.

When pointing to scientists who disagree with the IPCC consensus, it is important to note that people can agree in basically two directions. The survey by Brown, Pielke Sr and Annan for example shows this to be an approximate bell curve: Most (45-50%) of the respondents (scientists) more or less agree with the main thrust, and sizeable minorities (15-20%) think that IPCC overstated or understated its case. I discussed this survey and the broader question of why the consensus matters before. And I probably will pick this up again soon.

Scientifically, the more uncertain areas are the most interesting. However, if I look at the political decision making in terms of emission reductions and knowledge of the big picture (and the length of time that we’ve known about this big picture, albeit in gradually more certain terms), I can’t but conclude that the politics is hopelessly lagging behind the scientific knowledge in taking this problem seriously. (see e.g. my Dutch post “tijd voor de politiek om wetenschap serieuzer te nemen”.) Of course I’m aware that there’s more that informs politics than just the science, but still, there seems to be an uncomfortably big disconnect there. Stark warnings from science are ignored at our peril.

At this point in time, the uncertainties are pretty much irrelevant for policymaking, because any realistic change in the uncertain details is not going to affect the main trust of what we know, and thus the policy response that people may favour. For the long term, of course we need to finetune our knowledge, so research is still needed. (Hey, I’m a scientist, so I kind of have to say that, right?)

As Herman Daly said:

“Focusing on them [the big picture of what we know] creates a world of relative certainty, at least as to the thrust and direction of policy.” On the other hand, focusing on the more uncertain rates and valuations creates “a world of such enormous uncertainty and complexity as to paralyze policy”.

Perhaps that’s indeed what’s happening now, also cf. Judith’s uncertainty monster and complexity monster.

“To make the point more simply, if you jump out of an airplane you need a crude parachute more than an accurate altimeter.”

Funny how Daly and Curry both address the huge issues of uncertainty and complexity and arrive at diametrically opposed strategies of dealing with them. In terms of public communication, I’m with Daly.

From the principles governing IPCC work:

The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.

Funnily enough, a commenter at Judith’s, Paul in Sweden, took this as proof of a “blatantly biased agenda”. Which is a little strange in light of the history of climate science and of the IPCC as mentioned above. Its mandate is a consequence of the scientific evidence for human induced climate change having become increasingly strong and societally relevant. It doesn’t state what the conclusion ought to be –it has to follow the science-, but of course it states what it’s supposed to assess.

Judith Curry also seems to suggest that the IPCC reports are working towards a predetermined conclusion, when she claims that they are akin to a legal brief (meant to persuade). If true, that should be reflected by large differences between the scientific evidence and the IPCC reports, and between scientists’ opinions and the IPCC reports.  I have not seen evidence of either.

Tom Curtis made some very thoughtful comments on the consensus thread at Judith’s, e.g.

In other words, the IPCC was tasked with reporting the consensus view of the science, were such a consensus existed; and to explain and report the differing opinions where no such consensus existed. Whether they have done that is not best judged by whether they have explained and included the opinions of every crackpot fringe group with an axe to grind on global warming; nor even those of every climatologist, no matter how small a number might support their views. Rather, they are to be judged by the agreement between the IPCC reports and the known consensus and divergences of scientific opinion.

Fortunately, we have available several anonymous surveys of the scientists opinions, which show conclusively that the IPCC reports fairly represent the consensus of relevant scientists on those topics on which it reports. (…)

The purpose of IPCC is to provided as succinctly as possible the best possible scientific advice for policy deciders to operate on. If they were required to consider all and every idea on climate change that circulates on the blogosphere; then the resulting document would be to large, and to ill organised to be usefull as a guide to policy.

Nevermind that the politicans still wouldn’t have a clue as to what is more likely true. The science has to be assessed and weighted; that is what makes the IPCC process useful. There already is another outlet for every crackpot idea out there (NIPCC report); it doesn’t need to be done by the IPCC as well.

To quote the Dutch newspaper “Volkskrant” again:

its work has political implications, but that that doesn’t mean that it’s engaged in doing politics.

And since I discussed history as well, see also my first blog post where I described the IPCC process. I don’t think anyone has read it yet, so I’d be much obliged. And while doing self-promotion, I kind a like this oldie featuring Fred Singer.

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38 Responses to “IPCC history and mandate”

  1. harry Says:

    Bart,

    The IPCC has in its chapter the assumption that they would have to be impartial.
    Citation:
    The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.
    /end citation

    This is far from being impartial, it has a clear bias in it: human-induced climate change. (HICC) This implies that HICC has been accepted as being valid by the authority, and is being impacted upon IPCC as starting reference for their reporting.

    To paraphrase: (in Dutch, sorry)

    Wij van WC eend adviseren WC eend.

    Bart, really, the IPCC is so involved in complicated schemes, that it is difficult to value its impartiality. There is none.

  2. Bart Says:

    Harry,

    Quoting myself:

    Its mandate is a consequence of the scientific evidence for human induced climate change having become increasingly strong and societally relevant. It doesn’t state what the conclusion ought to be –it has to follow the science-, but of course it states what it’s supposed to assess.

  3. harry Says:

    Bart,

    That is exactly what I wanted to say.

    Thanks.

    It starts with the assumption that climate change is induced by human activity.

    Which I doubt. I think climate change is an ever occurring naturally happening phenomemon, bound to contininue for ages.

  4. Jeff Id Says:

    “on and asses the scientific knowledge.”

    More s’s please. :)

  5. sidd Says:

    To me, WG1 at least, is like writing a large set of review articles. And having some familiarity with the work involved in producing even one review article, i say hats off to WG1 ! and i can see and sympathize with why they take so long, and why the data are a year out of date by the time they publish.

    sidd

  6. Bart Says:

    Harry,

    It [setting up the IPCC] starts with an emerging consensus (pretty much the opposite of an “assumption”) that continued emissions of GHG will change the climate, and that it’s a topic that ought to be assessed because of its relevance to society.

    With any other topic that you wouldn’t have strong opinions on, you wouldn’t want it any other way I’d think.

  7. Marco Says:

    Harry, the IPCC does not start with “climate change is human induced”. It starts with “humans may be inducing climate change”, and investigates how large the impact (and thus risks) of human-induced climate change will be. That is NOT a biased approach, as it automatically requires to compare the natural forcings, also

  8. harry Says:

    Bart,

    You know as well as I do that an emerging consensus is scientifically worthless: science does not work by consensus. Science works by truth. Thruth until proven otherwise.

    But IPCC did start with consensus and worked accordingly.

    It is not for nothing that IAC came to the conclusion that more room should be given to dissenting views, in stead of trying to eliminate them by stating that one would rewrite the definition of “peer reviewed” literature?

    And I may be blinded by the light, but was AR4 not very focussed on having CO2 as the main culprit for AGW? Little attention was paid to clouds, water vapour and convection, and no attention to the major heat exchanger: the oceans. The oceans were treated as a pool, not as an increadibly complex system. The basics of the greenhouse effect were not evaluated, there were taken for granted. The IPCC chose for the Bern carbon cycle model, just because that chapter was presided by a member of the Bern group. And this holds true for many contributions of the AR4. The literature references speak a clear language in this. Many examples of self citation can be found in the various contributions of lead authors to the various WG reports.

    This science is not settled. There is so much we have to learn to understand.

  9. adelady Says:

    By the same token, Harry, no account was taken of possible effect on sea level rise from melting ice sheets GIS and WAIS.

    There is a ‘consensus’ view that the SLR posited in the IPCC report is understated because of this omission. There is also a consensus view that without the science to calculate any accurate projections, that the SLR numbers =should= exclude this element.

    And it is absolutely valid to exclude any discussion of the radiative physics of greenhouse gases. Why? Because there are no recent publications on the matter – because it’s been long established. The only reason to include such a discussion would be if new work had been done which changed the absorption and emission spectra or some other important issue. And remember this work needn’t come from climate scientists. There are enough physicists working with CO2 alone, in lasers for one example, to come up with new insights or measurements.

    The argument about lead authors is self-defeating. Would you want a lead author on a particular area, say glaciers, to be anyone other than an acknowledged expert on that area? How does one get that status? By publishing in the scientific literature. The IPCC is required to work from the published literature. So it is inevitable that a lead author’s work should appear in an overview of the literature in that area.

    Science is like music. I can make good judgments about the technical competence and the interpretation involved in a performance of a piece of music, even if it’s something I don’t particularly like. But no-one in their right mind would ask me to conduct an orchestra. It’s a small, highly specialised field, even though the rest of the world has open access to the results of the work. Those of us who sing in the shower or conduct orchestras while stopped in traffic may have some musical facility, but very few are in the elite league required for competent performance on the world stage.

    The same considerations apply for authors and lead authors for the IPCC.

  10. harry Says:

    Adelady,

    You are not up to date. The radiative nature of the atmosphere, and hence the greenhouse effect are coming more and more under debate. It is only that the settled journals do not want to accept these publications. Nature, Science and PNAS have succumbed to the warmist view and suppress any other results. Sorry, I can’t do anything else than observe.

    I also like music. But the climate debate sounds at this moment more like Adrian Holst Mars in his Planets piece. Whereas I would like it to sound like Schuberts’s Unfol endete.

    But my favorite will be Schubert’s songs: Erlkoenig.

  11. adelady Says:

    I don’t know that non-publication in Science or Nature is much of an indicator. Very little gets published in these journals.

    My understanding about publication is that you submit to one of the high prestige journals while you evaluate your list of other journals to work out the most likely, realistic, avenue for publication. If you get to the point of receiving real, detailed comments from the peer reviewers you’ve done very well. And you are extremely pleased, if not astonished to make it all the way through. It’s not quite like an Olympic Medal but it’s not far off it either.

    If the material you’re talking about hasn’t made it at the most prestigious level, surely there would be physics or other journals with appropriate, respectable standards to publish competent work?

    You and my husband are very welcome to your 19th century German composers. I’ll shut my ears and go off to find some earlier era stuff or Italian opera, though I am amenable to Holst when I’m in the mood.

  12. HotRod Says:

    Bart, I’ve read this three times, and am not sure what the basic thrust is.

    I would be very surprised if the principles behind the IPCC all those decades ago weren’t and aren’t just fine, I’m sure they were and are.

    Surely a better, if more ‘political’ question, is what the late great C. Northcote Parkinson would make of it. All organisations, quangos, charities, companies, trusts, whatever, take on a life of their own, and necessarily feed all those on board in some meaningful way.

    The IPCC is different having as I understand it a tiny permanent staff, but it still feeds people, just not in cash.

    So has ‘its’ behaviour changed? Is it as open as it was, as it should be?

  13. Steve Bloom Says:

    “The radiative nature of the atmosphere, and hence the greenhouse effect are coming more and more under debate.”

    Just out of curiosity, Bart, what’s the value in tolerating this sort of pure crackpottery here? Being allowed to repeat it is, from Harry’s POV, a confirmation, and so it will only get worse.

  14. harry Says:

    Steve,

    Thanks for your complimentary remark. Crackpottery? That is the first time I heard this.

    You are debating the fact that the greenhouse effect is due to different mechanisms and is not ruled by thermodynamics?

    So you suggest to get rid of thermodynamics? What would you suggest takes it place?

    And do you mind me calling that crackpottery?

  15. Marco Says:

    Harry, either you do not understand thermodynamics, or you have let yourself be fooled by Gerlich & Tscheuschner, which is only marginally ‘better’. On Science of Doom, the blog owner (no “CAGW’er”) has patiently tried to explain why Gerlich & Tscheuschner are wrong, and how easy it really is to see that the greenhouse effect as described in all the textbooks is correct. I must say Steve (the blog owner) is quite the patient man, considering the crackpots he’s dealing with. One more won’t matter to him, so go there and try out your pet “it violates thermodynamics” hypothesis.

  16. harry Says:

    Marco,

    I have been doing some calculations of my own. I cannot get to grips with the fact thact that 300 ppm CO2 should work as efficiently as a massive black body does. It just can not hold the amount of energy it is assumed to radiate back to earth, since most (99%) of the absorbed energy by CO2 will go into vibrational, rotational and collisional energy, which are just not there for massive blackbodies. It will just heat up the upper layers of the atmosphere. Thre will be little energy left for back radiation, if it does exist.
    Have you done a thorough analysis repeating the backradiation, iteratively? I guess not.

    CO2 absorbs in a small spectral band, and has a emission at far larger values.

  17. harry Says:

    Marco,

    I have changed my nick. I will be posting in the future as Crackpot.

    Thanks.

  18. Crackpot Says:

    Marco,

    As promised,

    Crackpot

  19. Marco Says:

    Harry, I must say I am ‘impressed’ with your argument from incredulity…

  20. Crackpot Says:

    Marco,

    You are welcome.

  21. willard Says:

    Bart,

    You might be interested in **Scientific Certainty Argumentation Methods (SCAMs): Science and the Politics of Doubt**:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-682X.2008.00219.x/abstract

    Here is the abstract:

    > At least since the time of Popper, scientists have understood that science provides falsification, but not “proof.” In the world of environmental and technological controversies, however, many observers continue to call precisely for “proof,” often under the guise of “scientific certainty.” Closer examination of real-world disputes suggests that such calls may reflect not just a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of science, but a clever and surprisingly effective political-economic tactic—“Scientific Certainty” Argumentation Methods, or SCAMs. Given that most scientific findings are inherently probabilistic and ambiguous, if agencies can be prevented from imposing any regulations until they are unambiguously “justified,” most regulations can be defeated or postponed, often for decades, allowing profitable but potentially risky activities to continue unabated. An exploratory examination of previously documented controversies suggests that SCAMs are more widespread than has been recognized in the past, and that they deserve greater attention in the future.

    This kind of study is interesting to put some perspectives on the “uncertainty monster”.

  22. Paul in Sweden Says:

    Bart, way back when… when you did the OP, I didn’t respond to your mentioning my comment at JC’s blog.

    IPCC Mandate

    “The IPCC does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Its role is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic literature produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change, its observed and projected impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.”
    -http://ccd4e.org/ipcc_scientific_community/

    When it comes to organizations with blatantly biased agendas, I am a skeptic!
    ———————-

    My thoughts then are pretty much the same as they are now. Would any of your regular blog readers find offense in the following:

    “The United Nations Vaccination Committee does not conduct any research nor does it monitor Vaccination related data or parameters. Its role is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic literature produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of the risk of Vaccination, its observed and projected impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.”

    Does that above statement from a hypothetical UN committee suggest bias?

    Bart, I read your blog all the time, you have significant things to say. I did however enjoy your recent interlude: http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/flower-power/ and your subsequent photo on the open thread of May 9th. I was my mom’s garden boy and she did love having me turning the soil and planting hundreds of bulbs from Holland every year. I don’t miss the work but I do miss seeing the tulips grow. Now, I am just content with bringing flowers to my beautiful wife so she can enjoy them.

    Really enjoy reading your blog,

    Thanks, Paul

  23. Marco Says:

    Paul, a poor example. Vaccination is continuously monitored, and risk-benefit analyses are a mandatory part of the registration procedure. A UN committee evaluating the risk of vaccination would thus be doing work that expressly is part of the current system already. More importantly, however, the risks in vaccination are personal and carry no transnational risk. Note that this is the opposite from the risks of non-vaccination, where the spread of infectious diseases doesn’t care about national borders.

  24. Paul in Sweden Says:

    Marco, “Vaccination is continuously monitored, and risk-benefit analysis are a mandatory part of the registration procedure” unlike Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming which is responded to by the Global Warming industry with pie in the sky solutions that will not even address the formulas that are proposed by the hypothesis of CAGW without any regard for cost benefit.

    That is obvious.

  25. Marco Says:

    Paul, I see you accept my claim that your example was nonsense. That’s a start…

    (cost-benefit IS taken into account when looking at climate change mitigation and adaptation, but this will never get into the brain of someone who uses “CAGW”).

  26. Paul in Sweden Says:

    “…this will never get into the brain of someone who uses “CAGW”).”

    Marco, I have similar sentiments regarding the IPCC with catastrophic splattered like graffiti hundreds of times throughout the fourth assessment report(AR4l). Your belief that “cost-benefit IS taken into account when looking at climate change” is not shared by myself. Huge costs and absolutely no statistically significant change in theoretic CAGW becomes cost without benefit.

  27. Marco Says:

    Paul, the word “catastrophic” does not occur anywhere in the AR4 to the bext of my knowledge. And so far the experts in the field are quite clear that climate change will and already is incurring significant costs. I prefer to listen to the analysis of these experts, rather than the beliefs of Paul in Sweden, who does not provide any tangible evidence for his beliefs.

  28. Paul in Sweden Says:

    “Paul, the word “catastrophic” does not occur anywhere in the AR4 to the bext of my knowledge.”

    Marco, the “bext” of your knowledge would be greatly improved if you actually did a search on AR4 for “catastro”. The “bext of your knowledge” is tainted by your “beliefs”. It seems that unlike myself you never bothered to read AR4 or is it simply that with CAGW you are just so used to calling night day and black white?

    Climate change legislation has already been hugely expensive in Sweden and elsewhere in the world and will only become more expensive unless it is stopped. Marco, the sun will rise tomorrow(do alarmists attribute sunrise to CAGW?) and our climate continues to change. Prior to being robbed blind by people who “believe”(or blindly take the word of self-titled “climatologists”) they can control global temps via anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 emissions, I want actual evidence of a significant effect of anthropogenic emissions. After that Marco, I want a real sit down discussion on what temperature to set the thermostat with those who see dead people or AGW all around them. What exactly is the ideal global average temperature of the earth for humanity?

  29. willard Says:

    Paul in Sweden,

    We’ve already been there:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/1614543532

    A quote is more convincing than a goal dance.

  30. Marco Says:

    Thanks, Willard; expect Paul to ignore that again (wow, it appears once, and taken out of context by Paul, how surprising).

    Paul, please provide me the numbers that show climate change legislation has been “hugely expensive”. Surely, with the absolute absence of any uncertainty in your claim, you will have no trouble finding that evidence. And please do define “hugely” first, and then to whom it has been expensive. Sloshing money around in a society from one group to another is not “expensive”.

    Interesting is also your request to me to provide an “ideal global average temperature for humanity”, because it shows me you are assuming temperature increase is the only effect of continuing GHG emissions. Moreover, why don’t you provide the answer to that question? I know our answer will be the same: don’t know. We *do* know from past experiences in the geological history of the earth that rapid changes in climate are devastating to significant numbers of lifeforms and species. You are thus gambling, Russian roulette style, that it will be better or the same for us humans.

    Note that I have no incentive to have this requested debate with you, as you already doubt scientific results that show AGW is significant. If you don’t even believe what the science says, how would I, a mere individual, be able to convince you?

  31. Paul in Sweden Says:

    Dear Willard, ATM I have no recollection of you taking the time to make a special post for what I believe you meant to be for my benefit. Sincerely, I say thank you for your effort. My reading your reply now is better late than never but We’ve already been there and will continue to return there until trace amounts of anthropogenic CO2 emissions are not exaggerated by the IPCC and others with “catostrophic”, “may”, “might” & “possibly”. The marketing of CAGW by “warmists” (I mean that nicely) has caveats. they are all over every single IPCC assessment report. The words “believe”, “may”, “might” and the various forms of the word “catastrophic”(which appears more than 300 times in AR4) are all associated with the “belief” that anthropogenic GHG emissions, particularly CO2 is the dominant forcing in our global climate. I and a whole lot of others remain unconvinced but I am concerned. I read this blog and other warmist blogs daily. I “believe” that I learn by reading what you and others post. I am not un-malleable but like everyone else I have no particular desire to change or take action unless I understand there are valid reasons to do so.

    In another thread there was a comment that suggested that “climategate & the hockey stick” were a distraction. I however find the exaggeration of the contribution of anthropogenic CO2 emissions to be the actual distraction to the decarbonizing of our world’s energy supply. My thoughts are much more aligned with RPJ & Björn Lomborg. The polarizing effect of rushing to push through massive alternative energy solutions that are not ready for prime time just so that some individuals can be satiated that we are doing something/anything even if it is not the right thing to do is just wrong. Like many people concerned about our environment I am in contact with my government representatives back home in America(It was not my original intention but it looks like I will eventually have to sell my home and divest my interests back in New England :( ).

    Willard, a candle burning in my basement does add heat to the climate of my house, this can be proven mathematically. As of yet, I am unconvinced that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are any more significant to the global climate than my candle burning in my basement is to the climate in my home(the eight 60watt incandescent bulbs in the two ceiling fans in my living room that have a dimmer make their presence known when in use at full power).

    I share the opinion of the majority of the world which is unmoved by the CAGW hypothesis. Yes, I understand a cadre of researchers across multiple disciplines(physics, biology, hydrology, meteorology, geology, chemistry, etc, etc…) who have anointed themselves with the title climatologist “believe” that anthropogenic GHG emissions “may”, “might”, “possibly” effect our global climate “possibly catastrophically”.

    If the majority of scientists had presented evidence that GHG emissions were the dominate force in our global climate, we would have been “balls to the walls” building Nuclear and hydroelectric power stations 20 years ago instead of wasting time and money on carbonless alternative energy proposals(wind/wave/solar – cap & trade, etc) and other non-productive ventures. I am however genuinely intrigued/concerned by the CAGW hypothesis. I am still a little flabbergasted that you took the time 5 months ago to put up a post in response to Bart’s mention of my comment at JC’s blog and I somehow neglected to notice your effort. I keep my mouth shut most of the time Willard and I read your comments(and in the future your posts at your blog) here and elsewhere and I think about them. Thank you again for taking the time to communicate your thoughts, your efforts are not in vain or lost on me and “possibly”, “maybe” others. :)

    It is in my nature to hate big government Willard but I love NASA. Because CAGW remains plausible to me, and a low or no carbon energy source would be of great benefit, I would have no objection and would take an active role in encouraging my Senators and my congressman back home in America in the formation of a NASA-like energy futures institution. I think everyone wants clean energy but I am unwilling to rush policy changes for a problem that is recognized by most of the world as greatly exaggerated.

    Thanks again, Paul

  32. Paul in Sweden Says:

    Marco Says:
    May 13, 2011 at 13:58
    [...]
    Paul, please provide me the numbers that show climate change legislation has been “hugely expensive”.
    [...]
    Note that I have no incentive to have this requested debate with you

    Marco, as you do not read the science reports produced by the IPCC and you apparently do not stay current with changes in government policies with nations around the world I find no need to go into great detail with you as there would be little or nothing gained by my investment in time.

    Germany, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have all scaled back their renewable energy policies due to the crippling effects of Global Warming Legislation. It seems to me that you are disingenuous to claim ignorance on this matter. There are many other examples but as you are not inclined to converse and have little to offer I am content with just pointing you in the right direction. Good luck Marco.

  33. Marco Says:

    Paul, I have read AR4. You just did a search of AR4.

    And I know why you don’t provide me with evidence: you have none. There is no evidence that any of the countries you mentioned are scaling back their renewable energy policies “due to crippling effects”. In fact, there isn’t even evidence that they all ARE scaling back their renewable energy policies!

    Just take Germany. Soon after the Japan earthquake and the problems with the nuclear power plants there, Merkel (you know, the prime minister) announced a plan “to double the share of renewable energy to 35 percent of consumption in 2020, 50 percent in 2030, 65 percent in 2040, and more than 80 percent in 2050. At the same time, the chancellor vows to cut CO2 emissions (compared to 1990 levels) by 40 percent in 2020, by 55 percent in 2030, and by more than 80 percent in 2050.”
    This is vastly more than originally planned!!!!

    Well, maybe Spain then? Hurrah, we got a hit there: it has announced it won’t be able to get to 22.7% renewables by 2020, but ‘only’ 20.8%. Of course, Spain is in a major recession and cutting in many places.

    Portugal? Well, it is required to renegotiate its contracts to get IMF bail-out money, but no indication it has reduced its commitment to renewables.

    Then you mentioned the UK: I’ve searched my behind off, and can’t see anywhere it is rolling things back. The only criticism I see is that the current government isn’t doing more and relying on existing(!) policies. Oh, and that’s actually for England. In Scotland the SNP is going very strongly for renewables.

    That then leaves the Netherlands. Any evidence there of scaling back? Not really.

    Good luck, Paul; maybe someone else is interested in your lies.

  34. Paul in Sweden Says:

    Marco, Get real!

  35. willard Says:

    Paul in Sweden,

    Click on the link at the bottom of the post you just read.

    You should see it was a comment in reply to yours on this very blog.

    Thank you for your time reading it.

    Please consider adding a quote or two to back up your claims from time to time,

    All the best,

    w

  36. Paul in Sweden Says:

    willard Says:
    May 13, 2011 at 22:39

    Paul in Sweden,

    Click on the link at the bottom of the post you just read.
    —————-
    I did click on the link and was astonished and quite upset with myself that I missed your post five months ago. Thank you for your time, patience and consideration Willard. I think I will slip back into my lurker/sponge mode until I have a well formed question or I get another burr under my saddle.

  37. Marco Says:

    Paul, I just did get real: I checked your claims and found them to be false. HUGE surprise there…

  38. Marco Says:

    Paul in Sweden, chew on this one for a few moments:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/14/historic-climate-change-deal-agreed-chris-huhne

    After Germany, the UK also pledges an all-in on reducing CO2 emissions. Two of the countries you loudly proclaimed to have scaled down actually going to the forefront…

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