Claude Cartaginese

The United Nations Backtracks: the Sky May Not be Falling After All

Posted on January 20 2010 3:00 am
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The United Nations (UN), once again, has egg on its face.

In 1999, a little known Indian scientist named Syed Hasnain engaged in “speculations” about the melting of the world’s glaciers. He wrote a piece in a popular Indian magazine where he described his musings on the possible effects of global warming. His central premise was that, unless something was done, man-made climate change would ultimately lead to the melting of most of the glaciers of the Himalayas.

By his own admission, Hasnain did not conduct any formal research, was not peer reviewed and was not published in any scientific journal.

Sometime after his article appeared, it came to the attention of an influential science journal called the New Scientist. In 2001, that publication conducted a telephone interview with Hasnain, and published its own article about Hasnain’s theory of the melting Himalayan glaciers.

In 2005, the radical environmentalist organization World Wildlife Fund (WWF), cited the New Scientist article in a report it produced titled: “An Overview of Glaciers, Glacier Retreat, and Subsequent Impacts in Nepal, India and China.” The report credited Hasnain’s 1999 interview with the New Scientist and offered a grim assessment of the state of the Himalayan glaciers.

The WWF’s report, which was based on the New Scientist piece, which was based on the story in the Indian magazine, which published Hasnain’s thoughts 6 years earlier, came to the attention of the United Nations and its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

In 2007, the IPCC issued a benchmark report, which claimed to incorporate the latest research into the impact of global warming on the world’s glaciers. A central claim of the IPCC report was that glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035–a claim with absolutely no basis in fact.

For its “research,” the IPCC went on to share the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore!

Unfortunately for the IPCC, the main source of the “research” they utilized was the New Scientist article, based wholly on Hasnain’s speculations.

Had the IPCC really done its homework, it would have uncovered a few things, which would have made it think twice about publishing its report at all. For example:

With respect to Himalayan glaciers vanishing by the year 2035, Hasnain never made such a claim.

Hasnain: I was misquoted [by the New Scientist]. It was not a scientific journal, [my original article was] just a news report. Therefore, I did not ask for a clarification. It is not proper for IPCC to include references from popular magazines or newspapers.

So, the IPCC, a UN Agency, wins a Nobel Prize for a “scientific report,” containing “research,” that was nothing more than the multiple paraphrasing of an eight year old article in a popular Indian magazine, which was based upon pure speculation. Now under fire, the IPCC is preparing to retract “elements” of its report.

You couldn’t even make this stuff up.

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