Scientists and academics who have taken part in major international and domestic climate assessments say that politics and alarmism need to be taken out of the study on global warming.
A panel of climate experts are telling the House Science Committee that politics often gets in the way of good science at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as in the U.S. government’s own climate research.
Climate scientists and researchers who dissent even slightly from the talking points of politicians and environmental groups are intimidated and ostracized, said one congressional witness. Politics, the witness said, takes a lead role over science in the study of global warming.
“Academics who research climate change out of curiosity but find less than alarming things are ignored, unless they rise to prominence in which case they are harassed and smeared,” said Richard Tol, an economics professor at the University of Sussex.
Tol gained notoriety when reports came out that he removed his name from the IPCC’s fifth climate assessment because it had become too “alarmist”. Since then Tol says he has been attacked by environmentalists and left-leaning media for not agreeing that global warming would bring catastrophe.
“Governments nominate academics to the IPCC – but we should be clear that it is often the environment agencies that do the nominating,” Tol said in his written testimony, adding that it’s “rare that a government agency with a purely scientific agenda takes the lead on IPCC matters.”
“As a result, certain researchers are promoted at the expense of more qualified colleagues,” Tol said. “Other competent people are excluded because their views do not match those of their government. Some authors do not have the right skills or expertise, and are nominated on the strength of their connections only.”
Tol’s concerns were echoed by fellow panelist Dr. Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University. Oppenheimer is far from a climate skeptic and has participated in IPCC assessments for decades.
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