On October 27, 2015, we issued a press release “Say NO to Climate Change CO2 Coercion at COP-21 Says Friends of Science Society in New Billboard Campaign” to publicize our new billboard campaign and to point out that many negative consequences have been the outcome of adopting stringent climate change targets. In that press release (now revised) we had referred to IPCC ‘recommendations.’ As you can see by the responses below, the IPCC claims that it does not make any recommendations.
Unfortunately, it seems that many people understand IPCC reports as making recommendations and policies are being set on this understanding. In particular, the Canadian economy has been severely damaged, and will be destroyed if Canada attempts to meet the climate targets presently being discussed. This would be particularly dangerous if a legally binding provision or criminal tribunal penalties were to be included in the COP-21 agreements.
After 20+ years of meetings, targets and threats of penalties, industrial carbon dioxide concentrations have increased significantly, several western economies have been severely damaged, millions of vulnerable people have been pushed into ‘heat or eat poverty’ by ‘decarbonizing’ schemes, the EU migrant crisis has been exacerbated by biofuels, as has global pollution – but the environment has not been helped; climate change has not been addressed. Real pollution has been reduced in some Western industrial nations – Canada is a leader in this regard as stated in our report – “Clear the Air in Paris.” [ English] [French] but we get no recognition for these efforts.
Where did all these bad policies originate? No one recommended them it seems.
From: Jonathan Lynn [mailto: email@example.com]
Sent: October-28-15 5:50 AM
Cc: IPCC Media <IPCC-Media@wmo.int>
Subject: error in Friends of Science press release
Dear Friends of Science Society
I’m writing about the Friends of Science Society press release issued today through PR Web which contains a serious error about the IPCC.
Your press release refers to “IPCC recommendations” and “recommendations of the IPCC”.
I’d like to point out that the IPCC does not make recommendations on any topic and you will not find any recommendations in any of our reports.
Article 2 of the “Principles Governing IPCC Work” states “IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal o bjectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.”
We often express this (as we do for instance in our communications strategy) by saying that the IPCC’s work is policy-relevant but not policy-prescriptive.
( http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session35/IAC_CommunicationStrategy.pdf )
I’d be very grateful if you could correct your press release and if necessary the posters on your billboards so that they do not state or imply that the IPCC makes recommendations.
Thank you for your help
Head, Communications and Media Relations
Twitter : @IPCC_CH
RE: Your email of Oct 28, 2015 concerning our Press Release of Oct. 27, 2015 http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/10/prweb13044767.htm
Thank you for contacting us.
We have slightly amended the press release to reflect some of your request, but we disagree with the claim that “the IPCC does not make recommendations,” even if you have an Article 2 that says you do not.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines “recommendation” as:
“the act of saying that someone or something is good and deserves to be chosen
a suggestion about what should be done”
From the Oxford dictionary:
a suggestion or proposal as to the best course of action, especially one put forward by an authoritative body.
What we think you are trying to say is that the IPCC does not make specific recommendations per country, such as saying “China should….” Or “Canada must…” or “The best route for Poland’s emissions reduction would be…”
But clearly, in compiling three reports of several thousand pages combined, the last report being devoted to mitigation options, these all constitute ‘suggestions about what should be done’…recommendations, by an authoritative body. Since your organization/IPCC are producing these reports, various governments are taking ‘climate action’ accordingly, and the IPCC/UNFCCC/UN and ENGOs excoriate those who don’t fall in line with the….recommendations…these can only be seen to be recommendations.
Now, before Paris, various UNFCCC and IPCC-associated parties are saying that countries are not ‘doing enough’ – enough what? Enough of the recommended mitigation measures. Where do those mitigation measures come from? The IPCC reports.
The essence of recommendation – a suggestion about what should be done –is self-evident in the following example passage from the April 2014 Working Group III – Mitigation – report found in the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM).
SPM.4.2.2. “Decarbonization…” Decarbonizing (i.e. reducing the carbon intensity of) electricity generation is a key component of cost-effective mitigation strategies in achieving low-stabilization levels …” http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_summary-for-policymakers.pdf
Why would any party to the Conference of the Parties, or signatory to Kyoto, or member of the UNFCCC, government or ENGO address the issue of decarbonizing their society, unless it had been brought to their attention that this was “a suggestion about what should be done?”
This SPM.4.2.2. paragraph clearly supports the phase-out of fossil fuelled electricity generation while falsely and not objectively (contrary to Article 2) stating that such a move is a “cost-effective mitigation strategy.”
We ask you to please send us evidence that this is a “cost-effective mitigation strategy.”
The paragraph continues, apparently “making a suggestion about what should be done” by saying that the use of Renewable Energy technologies are mature enough to be deployed “at significant scale…” but that they “still need direct and/or indirect support.”
Presently, in our own province, there are people advocating for an early phase-out of coal-fired power plants. There is already a federal phase-out in progress, however the advocates appear to be following the IPCC (non) recommendations by citing the IPCC as an authority on climate science, and parroting statements about decarbonizing society targeting electricity generation first by an early closure of coal-fired power plants, claiming renewable energy can fill the gap and suggesting (and some stating as if fact) that it will also be more cost-effective because “wind is free.”
According to power generation experts, Renewables like wind and solar are the most expensive forms of power generation and the least reliable, at least in our northern climate.
We find ample evidence that most of the world sees the IPCC as making recommendations.
The Guardian of Nov. 7, 2014 says: “IPCC recommendation to phase out fossil fuels by end of century to avoid dangerous global warming is categorically rejected by Poland and other eastern European countries.” http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/07/poland-rejects-ipcc-target-of-zero-emissions-by-2100
Past chair of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri in the linked article here is busy telling people to walk more, eat less meat, and turn down their thermostat. These sound like recommendations by an IPCC senior official. http://www.progressive.org/intv0509.html
In this report of the Washington Post, it seems clear that the IPCC is making recommendations and pretty specific ones – phase-out coal and go to solar and wind power:
“At a meeting in Berlin, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Sunday released a report that found that nations still have a chance to fulfill the goal but must aggressively turn away from relying largely on fossil fuels such as coal for energy and replace them with cleaner energy sources such as solar and wind power. To reach their target of 3.6 degrees(2 degrees Celsius) over preindustrial levels, nations must work together to lower emissions “by 40 to 70 percent” of what they were in 2010, the report said. “
And further, that leading officials with the IPCC are recommending actions:
“There is a clear message from science: To avoid dangerous interference with the climate system, we need to move away from business as usual,” said Ottmar Edenhofer of Germany, co-chairman of the group that produced the 2,000-page report.
As reported in The Register of Nov. 21, 2014, after years of effort Google engineers have concluded that renewable energy ‘simply won’t work’ – will not be able to supply appropriate power, will be phenomenally expensive, wasteful of precious resources and will not address climate change. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/renewable_energy_simply_wont_work_google_renewables_engineers/
So, it seems that for the past almost 20 years, the IPCC has been (not) recommending a mitigation strategy that does nothing for the environment, nothing for the power grid except to complicate it and destabilize it, is wasteful of resources and is phenomenally expensive, destroys economies and pushes the most vulnerable into heat or eat poverty – at the same time not addressing climate change.
While the Google engineers’ statement came out some months after the release of the AR5 WGIII IPCC report, it seems clear that an authoritative body like the IPCC, which had issued compelling mitigation strategies such as the one quoted above SPM.4.2.2. “Decarbonization” would promptly alert the member countries, their energy consultants and the taxpaying public that the mitigation option of “Decarbonization” found in SPM.4.2.2. is useless.
The lack of an emphatic public declaration and correction to this section of the AR5 Working Group III SPM.4.2.2. would seem to violate a number of principles of Resolution 60/1 of the World Summit 2005, such as but not limited to:
- We reaffirm that development is a central goal in itself and that sustainable
development in its economic, social and environmental aspects constitutes a key element of the overarching framework of United Nations activities.
- We acknowledge that good governance and the rule of law at the national and international levels are essential for sustained economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger.
- We pledge to enhance the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and credibility of the United Nations system. This is our shared responsibility and interest.
Obviously, affordable, reliable energy is the power driving industry and economic development – therefore the IPCC’s proposing of an ineffective and exceptionally expensive mitigation that does not even address climate change breaches Article 10 noted above – particularly when it is also known that renewable energy device production has led to the complete devastation of the region of Baotou, China and serious harm to its residents, (an area where the rare earth minerals are mined for wind turbine magnets) meaning wind power is not a sustainable development, a fact that Google engineers also pointed out. Furthermore, in Spain, it is estimated that some 6 to 18 million birds and bats are killed annually by wind farms there, as reported in Nature, June 20, 2012 http://www.nature.com/news/the-trouble-with-turbines-an-ill-wind-1.10849 .
Likewise, destroying the grid stability, affordable price and reliability of power through proposing faulty mitigation options like renewables defeats the goals noted in Article 11 and has the unintended consequence of increasing, rather than eradicating, poverty and hunger, as widely reported in the press in the UK and EU, and as we pointed out in our press release. Someone must bear the responsibility for these consequences. Who is the authority behind these policies? The IPCC.
Finally, the absence of a clear public statement from the IPCC about the now known ineffectiveness of renewable energy breaches Article 15, demonstrating a significant lack of “accountability, effectiveness and relevance” by your organization(s).
In fact, such repercussions have been known since 2006, shortly after the UK/EU implemented their climate targets. http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20081009/world/to-heat-or-to-eat-britain-in-court-on-fuel-poverty.228102 Things have gotten worse since – yet the IPCC blithely issued a 2014 report recommending Renewable Energy, without noting these devastating human consequences.
Is this the IPCC’s disclaimer: (found in SPM.4.2.2)
“Climate policy intersects with other societal goals creating the possibility of co-benefits or adverse side-effects. These intersections, if well-managed, can strengthen the basis for undertaking climate action.”
We are concerned because your documents have created a hostile investment atmosphere that is infringing on the economy of our province of Alberta and that of our country, Canada, yet you apparently take no responsibility in this regard, because you claim the IPCC has not made any ‘recommendations.’ We have shown this claim to be a case of absurd sophistry.
In addition to low oil prices, which have cyclically affected our provincial and national economies over the years, we are now also faced with a flight of investor capital, again driven by the (non) recommendations of your IPCC reports. Sections like SPM.5.1 for instance:
“Substantial reductions in emissions would require large changes in investment patterns.”
And persistent references to the phasing out of fossil fuel use, or misleading statements like:
“Regarding electricity generation alone, RE accounted for just over half of the new electricity-generating capacity added globally in 2012, led by growth in wind, hydro and solar power.”
…which is found in the previously mentioned section on “Decarbonizing…” and which fails to mention that despite this apparently significant sectoral growth in RE, the world still relies on 3 cubic miles of oil-equivalent energy per year, of which two cubic miles are coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydro, while only 0.01 cubic mile is provided by wind and solar renewables. We still rely on one cubic mile of oil per year. No amount of ‘decarbonizing’ will change that in short order.
How is it responsible for your organization to tout the phasing out of fossil fuels and diversion of investment from them, for a replacement strategy of wind and solar, recommendations which you clearly do make, when this is an impossible option? Oil, natural gas and coal will be the driving forces of industrial economies for the foreseeable future, a fact that seems to be well-understood by China, India and many other Asian nations who don’t really want a solar panel that works sometimes – they want real power generation and a real economy.
To suggest otherwise is to deceive unwitting policy-makers who likely have little or no idea of the power grid and transportation needs of the world. This is in breach of Article 15 … “relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and credibility.”
Further, in regard to the issue of credibility, there is a substantial divergence between observed temperatures and IPCC modelled predictions. There has been a substantial rise in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere but no global warming of any significance for over 18 years.
It seems that global warming ended ~18 years and 8 months ago and therefore global warming does not have to be mitigated so why does your organization continue to (not) recommend mitigation?
The IPCC Working Group I Physical Scientists state in the Technical Summary on “Uncertainties” (pg. 114 and 115) that they do not have enough data to make any long-term predictions and essentially there is no imminent climate catastrophe forecast. But this is not what we repeatedly hear in the media. Are you personally contacting these misleading media reporters, as you contacted us, to correct their misinformation?
Mr. Lynn, in our view, your organization is accountable for these misrepresentations and misdirection which have devastated national economies, and which have had other brutally negative consequences as outlined in our press release of Oct. 27, 2015.
In Alberta, we see your organization as directly responsible for this misinformation, and also responsible for a failure to publicly clarify the ineffectiveness of renewables, as reported by Google engineers. It seems to be fraudulent misrepresentation to continue to advocate for a switch to renewables of wind and solar – as your associated agencies and the numerous ENGOs continue to do – when these do not address any of the fundamental issues the IPCC is said to be attempting to solve.
In Alberta, your recommendations are damaging investor confidence in our national oil, gas and oil sands industries. Your recommendations are damaging investor confidence in coal-fired power generation, which underlies the cost-effective operation of our industrial base. Your recommendations are about to burden taxpayers with a completely unnecessary early phase-out of coal-fired power plants.
The (non) recommendations of the IPCC are driving these moves – the costs of an early phase-out of coal-fired power plants are estimated at this time to be $11.1 billion for compensation for lost investment value and employee packages, plus $11.2 billion to transition to natural gas; this for a small population of only 4 million people. Natural gas input costs are presently double that of coal. If wind and solar are added to the grid, millions more of hidden costs for transmission lines and interties will come from taxpayers’ pockets.
The province of Alberta is now facing a deficit budget of some $47 billion dollars, in part due to market collapse on the alleged ‘carbon risk’ of oil and coal…. stemming from IPCC “recommendations” such as SPM.5.1. Yet as indicated above, there is no viable alternative for these energy sources.
To try and generate some money, the Province of Alberta has been talking about another one of the IPCC’s (non) recommendations – a carbon tax or cap and trade. This will further burden taxpayers as it has done in the UK and EU.
As has been the outcome in the UK and EU, heat-or-eat poverty will set in, this in a region where temperatures in winter often drop to minus 40 ˚C/F.
This socio-economic destruction is being wrought because of your organisation and the mitigation options and recommendations in your report, Mr. Lynn.
Further, under the Rome Statute Article 7 Crimes Against Humanity 1. (a)(b)(d)(e) and 2. (b)(c)(d) it seems clear that IPCC mitigation options have led to:
“Extermination” includes the intentional infliction of conditions of life, inter alia the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to bring about the destruction of part of a population;”
Through the IPCC endorsement of biofuels as a means of reducing carbon dioxide, without any regard for the human consequences, which Jean Zieglar, Special Rapporteur to the UN on the matter of the human right of food, pointed out almost a decade ago, as noted in our press release.
The deprivation of access to food by the diversion of edible food products to biofuel production, as discussed at length in this NECSI report http://necsi.edu/publications/food/ and it has had the visible consequence of the current EU migrant crisis, where millions of desperate people have ‘nothing to lose’ and thus make their way north from the MENA region, resulting in the cascading crimes against humanity – once restricted to subsistence level nations, now flooding across Europe and creating inequities, social and sexual crimes, human trafficking and resulting in tremendous further food and fuel poverty for migrants and EU citizens alike.
Obviously, the IPCC has a clear role and responsibility in these outcomes because the IPCC publishes Summaries for Policy Makers that are be used by government officials around the world for the purpose of determining, from what the IPCC says “that someone or something is good and deserves to be chosen” and that records numerous “suggestions about what should be done” and “a suggestion or proposal as to the best course of action, especially one put forward by an authoritative body.”
In other words, recommendations.
As we have shown, your reports are not objective, they are directive and unmistakably do make recommendations, some of which are badly thought out and supported by inaccurate, rosy claims of “cost-effectiveness,” while selectively omitting crucial, relevant context, especially on energy issues.
You began by telling us the following.
Article 2 of the “Principles Governing IPCC Work” states “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.”
We often express this (as we do for instance in our communications strategy) by saying that the IPCC’s work is policy-relevant but not policy-prescriptive.
We conclude by saying these foregoing statements are, in our opinion, false and disingenuous and that your organization and its Summary for Policy Makers documents are wreaking socio-economic havoc around the world.
The IPCC is a force for chaos and should be disbanded. In our opinion, those responsible for these Summary for Policy Maker documents have knowingly misled and misinformed policy makers for decades, ultimately leading to the numerous breaches of the Code of Rome and Crimes Against Humanity that we have discussed herein.
Who should be held responsible?
FRIENDS OF SCIENCE SOCIETY
From: Jonathan Lynn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Friends of Science <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2015 11:25:33 +0100
Subject: Re: error in Friends of Science press release
Dear Friends of Science,
thank you for your mail and for correcting your press release. I think “statements” is a good neutral formulation.
It’s difficult for me to comment on how media or other organizations refer to the contents of IPCC reports, but I do assure you that we make great efforts not to tell policymakers in general or individually what to do. Our mandate is to provide assessments of scientific knowledge, not policy recommendations. Our reports should however be relevant to policy-making, so we may provide options for policymakers to reach a goal that they have defined. But it is up to them to decide which option to follow or whether to follow any at all. An example of this would be the 2ºC limit that governments have said they want to remain within. The IPCC did not set that limit, but governments arrived at it on the basis of IPCC and other materials. In the Fifth Assessment Report, we then looked at the implications of a temperature rise of 2º, and of bigger increases, and what would be required to keep the rise in temperatures to 2º or other limits. That hopefully provides policymakers with the information they need to take policy decisions.
IPCC reports do not involve original research, but are assessments of thousands of scientific publications. As you many know IPCC reports go through a rigorous process of repeated drafting and review, at the end of which the Summary for Policymakers is formally approved by our members, in dialogue with the scientists who are authors of the report. Approval of the Summary for Policymakers also denotes acceptance of the full report, although that is not formally approved by the members. This process, which is laid down in our procedures, makes it impossible to comment on individual reports or publications that come out after the finalization of the IPCC report (strictly speaking, after the cut-off date for inclusion of scientific literature in that particular assessment). We are not set up to comment on individual studies, but rather to look at the full spectrum of scientifically relevant material in a given period. That is why we have not commented, for example, on the conclusions of Google engineers about renewables that you mention. But if those conclusions are published in the scientific literature, they could be examined in a future IPCC assessment, which will surely continue to look at renewables in assessing solutions to the dangers of climate change. That process of review by both the scientific community (in it’s very broadest sense: expert reviewers register through a self-declaration of expertise) and governments, and endorsement by governments in dialogue with the scientific community underpins the IPCC’s accountability.
We welcome reader comments on this matter to our facebook page, twitter
or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org