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UK Government Confirms IPCC Has A Transparency Problem

Simon Anthony’s excellent report on Thomas Stocker in Oxford reminds me that I should add a postscript to the piece that Andrew and I posted after the 33rd IPCC Session when the IPCC decided to make the drafts and comments of its Assessment Reports confidential. We did not say so at the time but that was the handiwork work of Thomas Stocker. How he did it is a good story in the style of the “hockey stick” and I have posted a rough draft of it here. In short, it was achieved by the sort of chicanery that we have come to expect from the “directing circle”. However for the first time to my knowledge the British Government seems to have has woken up to what’s going and in aletter sent to my MP, has stated,

We are aware that this new text would mean that reviewers would not have the opportunity to see how their comments had been addressed by IPCC authors before acceptance of the final report. It was not the IPCC’s intention to change the procedures in this way and it is likely a drafting error. Indeed, the intention of the update in the procedures was to increase openness in the way that IPCC reports are prepared. We understand that the IPCC is aware of this issue and intends to address it at the next appropriate opportunity.

We shall see – but I will not be holding my breath. If the rule is agreed to be that Expert Reviewers get to see the responses to their comments before each draft of the AR5 Report is published what is to stop them from blowing the whistle if we have another bit of chicanery?