Meet Andrew Lacis, a physicist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and colleague of James Hansen.
- B.A., Physics, 1963, University of Iowa
- M.S., Astronomy, 1964, University of Iowa
- Ph.D., Physics, 1970, University of Iowa
Lacis's bibliography is pretty huge, so I haven't represented it here; suffice to say that Andrew Lacis is not only prolific and well-respected but also "mainstream"—he is not "a denier".
Bearing all of this in mind, I would like to call your attention to his comment on Chapter 9 of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). Now, Chapter 9 is extremely important, as Bishop Hill explains...
Chapter 9 is possibly the most important one in the whole IPCC report - it's the one where they decide that global warming is manmade. This is the one where the headlines are made.
So, bearing all of these facts in mind, here is Andrew Lacis's comment on the Executive Summary of Chapter 9 of the IPCC's AR4. [Emphasis mine.]
There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary. The presentation sounds like something put together by Greenpeace activists and their legal department. The points being made are made arbitrarily with legal sounding caveats without having established any foundation or basis in fact. The Executive Summary seems to be a political statement that is only designed to annoy greenhouse skeptics. Wasn't the IPCC Assessment Report intended to be a scientific document that would merit solid backing from the climate science community—instead of forcing many climate scientists into having to agree with greenhouse skeptic criticisms that this is indeed a report with a clear and obvious political agenda. Attribution can not happen until understanding has been clearly demonstrated. Once the facts of climate change have been established and understood, attribution will become self-evident to all. The Executive Summary as it stands is beyond redemption and should simply be deleted.
This is pretty damning stuff and would, surely, have given even the most enthusiastic Warmist some pause for thought. So why did no one pick up on it?
Because, of course, Andrew Lacis's comment did not appear in the report. Like many other even mildly sceptical comments, it was rejected and left out of the report. And the reason why the editors rejected the comment?
Rejected. [Executive Summary] summarizes Ch 9, which is based on the peer reviewed literature.
Frankly, I am staggered. That is the complete explanation for the rejection.
Further, as we are now beginning to find out, vast swathes of the IPCC AR4 are based on non-peer-reviewed reports from Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund; even where those organisations have used scientific reports in their pieces of propaganda, they have cherry-picked and twisted data to suit their own agendas, e.g. Amazongate.
This is how the "consensus" has been constructed—by posting sceptical comments down the memory-hole; by disappearing all but the most alarmist of opinions.
Is there anyone who now thinks that the IPCC are to be trusted as a truly scientific organisation?
If there are any such people left, then I have a bridge that I'd like to sell them...
UPDATE: Unity takes me to task on this over at Liberal Conspiracy. The essence of Unity's complaint is that the comment was left on the first draft of the Executive Summary. mea culpa: I should have checked it out more closely.
Over at Deltoid, there is a quote from Lacis on the second draft of the Executive Summary.
"The revised chapter was much improved," he said. "That's different than saying everything in there is nailed down, but I think it's a big improvement."
Overall, he said, "I commend the authors for doing as good a job as they did. That's the way the science process ought to work. You get inputs from everybody, find any bugs, crank through and the science moves forward."
Deltoid actually gets this quote from Andy Revkin (who featured in the CRU emails as someone who could not be trusted), who has something more to add to this.
But after reviewing the chapter myself just now, I have to say that at least one passage — as far as I can tell — did not contain a single caveat and did not reflect the underlying body of evidence and analysis at the time (or even now):Human-induced warming of the climate system is widespread. Anthropogenic warming of the climate system can be detected in temperature observations taken at the surface, in the troposphere and in the oceans.
I have yet to see anyone provide definitive evidence — with no error bars — that the fingerprint of human-generated greenhouse gases (or other emissions or actions) is unequivocal. The only thing described as “unequivocal” in the report was the warming, not the cause, unless I really haven’t been paying attention for the last two decades.
Revkin has a reply from another of the AR4 lead authors, which is worth looking at. However, I do not see that Andy's main criticism has been addressed—indeed, the author essentially blames a semantic issue.