InterAcademy Council Shenanigans

  • Date: 13/06/10

Marcel Crok of the Netherlands had an interesting exchange with the Netherlands-based InterAcademy Council this week – see his blog post here.

Noticing that the InterAcademy Council’s IPCC Review was holding hearings in Montreal and that presenters were being imported from Europe (e.g. Robert Watson, Hans von Storch), Marcel wrote to the IAC at 4 pm on Thursday June 10 (see here for full letter):

Given the fact that the meeting is in Montreal and that both McIntyre and McKitrick live relatively close from there (compared to Watson and Von Storch for example), this means that the IAC Panel has decided deliberately not to seek evidence from them.

This screams for an explanation in my opinion. A clear explanation from the IAC Panel about this decision would therefore be highly appreciated.

William Kearney, titled as Spokeperson for InterAcademy Council Review of IPCC, Amsterdam, and Director of Media Relations, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. wrote back to Marcel at 6:52 pm Friday June 11 (00:52 a.m. Saturday June 12 Dutch time) saying that members of the panel were interviewing “dozens of scientists and other stakeholders with insight and views on the IPCC process, such as Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick” as follows:

Given that the InterAcademy Council committee reviewing IPCC processes and procedures expects to deliver a peer-reviewed report by Aug. 30, it has limited time for presentations at its public meetings and therefore has chosen speakers who are current leaders of IPCC or who can offer representative and varying perspectives of IPCC processes based on prior IPCC experience. Meanwhile, members of the committee are interviewing dozens of scientists and other stakeholders with insight and views on the IPCC process, such as Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. A questionnaire also has been sent to hundreds of scientists and stakeholders, and posted to our website so the public has an opportunity to offer input. The presentations, interviews, and answers to questionnaire all will be taken into consideration as part of the committee’s review.

“Interviewing dozens of scientists and other stakeholders with insight and views on the IPCC process, such as Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick”.

In fact, neither Ross nor I have been interviewed by them nor have we been approached by anyone from the InterAcademy review as to our availability for an interview – something that might have been easily arranged while members were in Canada. One really wonders why organizations like this make untrue statements, when they are certain to be checked.

The InterAcademy Council did something else that was, shall we say, a bit sly. When Marcel wrote to them on Thursday, not only had we not been included in the “dozens” to be interviewed, we had not even been included in the “hundreds” to whom questionnaires had been sent. At 4:53 pm Eastern June 11, they sent me the standard questionnaire. An hour or so later, they emailed Marcel, saying that they were “interviewing dozens of scientists and other stakeholders with insight and views on the IPCC process, such as Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick”.

The email enclosing the questionnaire began:

The InterAcademy Council has established a committee to conduct an independent review of the policies and procedures of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A critical element of the committee’s analysis is the opinions of knowledgeable experts and thoughtful observers regarding IPCC’s processes and procedures for producing assessments. Only a few such individuals can interact with the committee at each meeting. Consequently, the committee has carefully selected a limited number of thoughtful individuals to provide written comments. On behalf of the committee chair, Harold Shapiro, and vice-chair, Roseanne Diab, I would like to invite you to respond to the questions below.

 

They told Marcel that the questionnaire had been sent to “hundreds” of scientists, but their email to me told me that “the committee has carefully selected a limited number of thoughtful individuals” and that I was fortunate enough to be chosen. It must have been a lucky day for me as I got several emails from people in Africa telling me that they had also carefully selected me as their beneficiary. If all of these careful selections prove out, it will have been a good day.

Climate Audit, 12 June 2010

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