Washington, D.C., January 22, 2001 – Today’s release of the “Summary for Policymakers” by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has everything to do with political spin and very little to do with climate science. The 18-page Summary is not a fair or accurate summary of the IPCC’s full Third Assessment Report, which is over one-thousand pages long and which has not yet been released in final form.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers claims that the earth’s temperature will rise much faster than previously forecast and that the twentieth century was the warmest in the past thousand years. Neither of these claims can be substantiated from the available data. The totality of proxy records, such as tree ring data, shows that the past century was not the warmest in the past millennium. Moreover, proxy records for recent decades are in agreement with satellite and balloon temperature data that show no significant warming in the past twenty years.
The Summary’s scary predictions of much faster warming are based on discredited global climate computer models. The climate scientists who wrote the Third Assessment Report have become so doubtful of these global climate models that they did not use them to produce a prediction of future global warming, but instead provided forty possible scenarios. The political spinners who wrote the Summary for Policymakers simply chose to include the scariest scenarios in their Summary.
The Clinton-Gore Administration worked for five years to make sure that the Summary for Policymakers would be politically useful to supporters of the Kyoto global warming treaty. The Kyoto Protocol would require huge reductions in energy consumption and much higher energy prices. The Bush campaign pledged to reverse the Clinton-Gore Administration’s disastrous anti-energy policies of the past eight years and to oppose the Kyoto Protocol. As part of fulfilling those promises, the new Bush Administration should now demand that political operatives be taken out of the UN IPCC process and that scientists should be put in charge of preparing both the Fourth Assessment Report and its Summary for Policymakers.
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