The following comment I have just submitted in reply to “Climate science: the IPCC controversy explained” on the FT website, a blog where Fiona Harvey manages to shoot the friendliest of fires risking to fatally wound the IPCC itself:
Fiona – I find your argument weak in the extreme. You’re basically tossing away the whole IPCC report apart from the SPM, the only part that “contains only substantiated data and can be relied on by policymakers“. In other words, the work of WG-I, WG-II and WG-III cannot be “relied on“, by policymakers and by simple extension by anybody else (“informed guesswork” springs to mind).
And it all sounds like you’re trying to defend the IPCC by retreating to an incredibly small ground, rather like a Last Stand Hill. Just imagine, if anybody finds now the smallest mistake in the SPM, it will be the end of the IPCC as far as your argument is concerned.
Worse: the SPM as you noted contains governmental contribution. It is written for governments, not for science and scientists. Nobody in their right mind will think that the SPM is a scientific document anymore than any governmental policy paper might ever be.
The end result of your blog is to completely undermine the science of the IPCC. Please reconsider the situation, as only the most extreme non-believers in AGW would want to go that far.
Addendum: And here we are…Richard North has found an incredibly badly-founded claim in the SPM (aka “Synthesis Report”). As already mentioned, this single piece of evidence alone invalidates the whole argument put together by Fiona Harvey in defense of the IPCC. It is a pity that Ms Harvey has been too busy to return to this topic during the past few days.