Andy Revkin has just published on dotEarth a James Kanter article titled “Explanation Offered for Error in U.N. Climate Report“. Apparently,
Faulty communication allowed an unsubstantiated estimate of the melting rate of Himalayan glaciers to make it into the landmark 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a senior scientist and panel official said Monday. […] The official, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, a vice chairman of the climate change panel, said that a glaciologist, Georg Kaser at the University of Innsbruck, in Austria, had sought to correct the information about the glaciers before it was published by the panel but that the correction came too late and never reached the people who could fix the statement.
This “explanation” obviously explains very little and simply opens up a series of new questions:
- Why didn’t Dr Kaser think it worthwhile to voice his concerns in any form (public, or private) after the publication of the IPCC report in 2007?
- What made Dr Kaser place more importance on his colleagues potentially ill feelings about being criticized, than on scientific truth?
- And if a relatively well-known published scientist such as Dr Kaser finds himself forced into some kind of self-censorship and reluctance to speak out, how poisonous, impermeable to criticism and ultimately anti-scientific has the world of the IPCC become?
Words of wisdom to the big cheeses at the IPCC: please stop digging!