Yes – I have just finished reading this book (Kindle version) and would like to say a few words about it.
First, in the name of transparency, I disclose that I am named in the acknowledgments as one of the over 40 citizen auditors whom the book’s author, Donna Laframboise, had recruited to audit the references in various IPCC AR4 chapters in order to verify whether the sources were peer-reviewed scientific journals or other materials. (More on this later.)
Let me start with the conclusion: well worth a read!
It is worth reading regardless of your opinions about global warming and the role humanity does or does not play in it because, contrary to some book reviews, the book does not actually address the science itself. Let me say it again: this book is NOT an examination of the science, nor does it draw any scientific conclusions. Not one!
Rather, this book takes the claims the IPCC (and its members) make about the organization and how it functions and tests them for consistency and validity. As the sub-title of the book says, it is ‘An Expose of the IPCC’. It is a journalistic expose of the process (and its corruption) behind the IPCC repots: exactly the sort of thing that investigative journalist are trained to do.
This is a serious matter: regardless of where your opinions may fall on the science itself, the process through which the IPCC reports – the reports with perhaps the furthest and deepest financial and political implications of our generation – are generated must be transparent and worthy of our trust. It is perhaps even more the interest of the ACC believers that this process is ‘beyond reproach’ – that their Kool-Aid is not tainted, if you will.
What Donna Laframboise has revealed in ‘The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert: An Expose of the IPCC’ is an eye-opener to people who have trusted the IPCC simply because they were told to trust world’s leading scientists.
No, the book is not perfect. There is a number of things that I would have either eliminated or re-phrased or even things I think are important that were not included in the book. For example, she does go on about the Y2K bug in an attempt to parallel the hysteria and I get her aim – yet I think this and similar bits detract, not add to the book. At times, her wording is more colloquial than what appeals to my taste, but that is a minor pick – and what she says, regardless of the style she says it in, is valid.
As for omissions – perhaps the most important one is that while I was checking the references for several of the chapters in AR4 for the Citizen Audit, I noted that a number of the references were not to peer-reviewed journals, but to actual official government policy papers.
To me, this is a big deal.
Yes, she correctly pans the IPCC for using a WWF and Greenpeace pamphlets and ads and press releases as source material – these are clearl not peer-reviewed science, despite the often repeated mantra that the IPCC uses exclusively sources from peer-reviewed scientific publications. Citing these as peer-reviewed science is very problematic and Donna does a great job exposing this.
But that a number of actual government policy papers (from several different national governments as well as from the EU) are the source material on which the IPCC draws its conclusions is, in my never-humble-opinion, just as big (if not even bigger) deal. Precisely because, as she documents in her book, it is governments who nominate people for IPCC participation, inclusion of policy papers by those very same governments demonstrates very clearly the conflicts of interest of many of the people behind the IPCC.
OK – that was my pet peeve. I have to admit, in light of what the book does reveal and how meticulously it documents all of its assertions, it is just a minor niggle.
Perhaps the most praise-worthy aspect of ‘The Delinquent Teenager’ is how meticulously it is researched and documented. I have not seen a hard copy, but the Kindle version (and, I understand, the pdf version) are filled with links to relevant material and almost a quarter of the book is ‘footnotes’. Really. Everything written in this book has been researched and documented beyond anything I have seen – ever. For a fact junkie such as I am, this really makes the case – and proves it.
Different people liked different aspects: here are a few other reviews of the book (this one has copious quotes).
What did I learn from the book that I did not know before?
Two things jump to mind right away:
1. There were no conflict of interest guidelines or rules for the IPCC as late as 2010 – they were deemed unnecessary. This is problematic on its own. However, following a scathing review by IAC, such conflict of interest rules have been done up. Alas, they will not apply to any of the people currently working on the next IPCC report, because, as Rajendra Pachauri who heads the IPCC says, that would not be fair…
It would not ‘be fair’ to expect the IPCC ‘experts’ to adhere to conflict of interest rules?!?!?
2. Donna Laframboise strings together a sequence of events that we should be aware of and supports it with quotes from Rajendra Pachauri and others: the role of the IPCC never was to present an impartial report.
Here is the sequence:
- UN creates INFCCC
- UNFCCC creates a treaty to curb carbon emissions.
- UN creates IPCC to support the UNFCCC and get buy-in from various governments and people around the world.
Let me emphasize this: the IPCC was created specifically to lend ‘scientific’ backing to the claim there is a problem only AFTER the UN had created the solution!
There is more in the book that I learned, but these two things are of such importance, it is difficult to believe any investigative
This is an important book – if you have not done so, please, read it!