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Dutch Agency Admits Mistakes In UN Climate Report 447

Posted by Soulskill
from the would-you-sign-my-hockey-stick dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The AP reports that the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency has taken the blame for one of the glaring errors that undermined the credibility of a seminal, 3,000-page UN report last year on climate change, and disclosed that it had discovered more small mistakes. However, the review by the agency also claims that none of the errors affected the fundamental conclusion by a UN panel of scientists: that global warming caused by humans already is happening and is threatening the lives and well-being of millions of people. The Dutch agency reported in 2005 that 55 percent of the Netherlands is below sea level, when only 26 percent is. The second previously reported error claimed the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035, which the Dutch agency partly traced to a report on the likely shrinking of glaciers by the year 2350. The original report also said global warming will put 75 million to 250 million Africans at risk of severe water shortages in the next 10 years, but a recalculation showed that range should be 90 million to 220 million. The analysis said future IPCC reports should have a more robust review process, and should look more closely at where information comes from."
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Dutch Agency Admits Mistakes In UN Climate Report

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  • by sonicmerlin (1505111) on Monday July 05, 2010 @04:48PM (#32803448)
    All this means is that scientists are in fact humans and make small errors just like everyone else. I'm just glad that scientific academies and agencies have the integrity to publicly admit when they're wrong in spite of the obvious fear-mongering and finger-pointing that will result from the anti-AGW camp.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by frank249 (100528)

      Saying that Africa is going to have water shortages in 10 years and then say it might be 220 million years is more than a small error.

      • by bhagwad (1426855)
        Read that sentence again
      • I don't know if you were just jesting at the poorly formed sentence, or completely missed that the range changed from 75 million to 250 million Africans at risk of severe water shortages to 90 million to 220 Africans at risk of severe water shortages - the 10 years thing is constant.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        220 million people, not years.

      • >>>Saying that Africa is going to have water shortages in 10 years and then say it might be 220 million years is more than a small error.

        Always frakking everything up.

        Oh.

        Wait.

    • by Zerth (26112)

      I'm just glad the Dutch don't have a space program.

      Sure, Americans get confused about the whole "metric-imperial conversion" thing, but these are some serious typos~

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by burne (686114)

        The error was not in percentages, but in what to include.

        55 percent is at risk of flooding, but more than half that because of rivers. 26 percent is at risk from flooding by sealevel-rises alone.

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:09PM (#32803654) Journal
      If it were just a matter of a mistake, or a typo, it would be one thing, but this is not a case of a typo. It's a case of using unreliable sources of information. They didn't rely solely on scientific journals to compile their report, they used non-scientific and non-peer-reviewed sources to compile the report. This is serious, and some of the ones responsible said they knew it was bad practice at the time.

      For analogous purposes, it is like writing a college research report using wikipedia as a primary source (or as any source really). Any good professor is going to mock you for it, and for good reasons.
      • by IICV (652597) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:41PM (#32803916)

        Do you know how long the IPCC report is? It's effing huge. If the worst things the denialists can find after going through it with a fine toothed comb are what amounts to a typo, a misstatement, and a bad calculation, that is amazing.

        Further, the physical sciences basis [global-gre...arming.com] for global warming remains unchanged and completely unchallenged. The only thing we are quibbling about (indeed, what you're so concerned about in your post) are what the actual effects of global warming will be, not whether or not it is happening.

        It's like that old apocryphal story about Winston Churchill - we've already agreed that global warming is happening, now we're just haggling over how painful it will be. For some reason, people seem to think that if they haggle the pain down a little, the "already agreed" part will go away.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by HiThere (15173)

          Your apocryphal story about Winston Churchill is a retelling of an actual occurrence...but George Bernard Shaw was the man asking the question of the lady.

        • If they couldn't write an accurate report the size of IPCC report, they should have written a smaller one. This report is a big deal, politicians are using as a guide for dramatic changes to the world's economy. I'm not saying it has to be perfect. But sloppiness and carelessness in unacceptable for something like this, and it is easy to keep the scope of a report small enough to ensure that every assertion made is accurate and meaningful.
      • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Monday July 05, 2010 @07:27PM (#32804728) Journal
        Insightfull but misleading.

        There are four volumes in the report [www.ipcc.ch], the report of which you speak uses "grey material" from goverment, industry and private sources that cannot be found anywhere else. In this case they used a government source for the percentage of land below sea level, unfortunately the Dutch govt got it wrong but that is about impacts and has nothing to do with the science. The scientific volume (WG1) only uses peer-reviewed sources and nobody has yet pointed out any errors in WG1, in fact the people who pointed out the 2035 error were contributors to WG1.

        Note the prominent link directly above the reports to their statement about the 2035 mistake. The IPCC is widely recognised by scientific institutions as one of the most robust peer-review exercises ever conducted and it has been forthright about recognsing it's mistake but if your expecting perfection from a large bunch of humans over a 20yr period you will be dissapointed.
    • All this means is that scientists are in fact humans and make small errors just like everyone else.

      Well actually, overstating by 200% the amount of land underwater in a small country is not really a "small" error.

      Some of the other errors are small, true. But it's hard to put a lot of faith the conclusion is correct when so many other little things are wrong. If the report is not consistent in accuracy throughout, trusting the result because they claim to have found "none of the errors actually matter" is

      • by Daishiman (698845) on Monday July 05, 2010 @06:13PM (#32804206)
        It is a small error in the grand scheme of things. Some measurements need only be precise to the order of magnitude to be significant. In this case, the fact that such a large amount of land can be underwater is still relevant even if they're off by a factor of 10.
      • by cas2000 (148703) on Monday July 05, 2010 @06:27PM (#32804300)

        > Well actually, overstating by 200% the amount of land underwater in a small country is not really a "small" error.

        yeah, it's about as serious as overstating the difference between 26% and 55% by about 100%.

        hint: 55% is just over double 26%, not triple. so it would be an ~ 110% overstatement, not 200%.

        hint2: anyone can make simple mistakes.

        > Some of the other errors are small, true. But it's hard to put a lot of faith the conclusion is correct when so many other little things are wrong.

        see, that's the thing. you don't put "faith" into the report. science is not about faith, it's about evidence and reason. faith is belief despite evidence or even despite the evidence. instead, you examine the evidence and analyse the rationale and the conclusions and decide a) whether they are consistent, logical, and rigorous, b) whether they match observed reality, and c) whether, over time, they are shown to be a good predictive tool for future observations of reality.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      the obvious fear-mongering and finger-pointing that will result from the anti-AGW camp.

      Yeah, we wouldn't want anything to interfere with the obvious fear-mongering and finger pointing from the pro-AGW camp.

      • Watch this typical example of how the anti-AGW camp operates [youtube.com]. The journal "Nature" has said that scientists are in a street-fight. I mean, wtf? You'd think that people would be interested in what scientists have to say, but actually, we have reason on one side, and a dangerous delusional psychotic lunatic on the other side. Of course the delusional psychotic lunatic is going to engage in mirror-image projections to defend its ego.

        So sad. So pointless.

        We will destroy this world, because of our ignorance.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Solandri (704621)

      All this means is that scientists are in fact humans and make small errors just like everyone else.

      Hey, I believe in AGW, but this is much more than just a "small error". It indicates that papers supportive of the conclusion had a much lower threshold for inclusion than papers contradictory to it. As in, there was no threshold for pro-GW papers. You could make up stuff and if it sounded good it could be included, without any fact-checking.

      The issue isn't whether there were a few factual errors. It's

      • by TruthSauce (1813784) on Monday July 05, 2010 @08:00PM (#32805006)

        Again, the paper in question was not investigating the scientific basis of the climate change, that paper has never been found to have significant errors.

        This is a DIFFERENT section of the report, which is designed to use "non-scientific" input in order to ascertain a POLITICAL impact of potential changes that were concluded in the scientific paper, separately.

        Try to keep them separate, because they are.

    • by jopsen (885607)
      Agree... It's not possible to write a 3,000-page report without making errors...
    • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Monday July 05, 2010 @06:14PM (#32804214) Homepage

      Just as a quick reminder, this report is talking about errors in the Working Group II report (the effects of climate change), and not the Working Group I report (the physical basis of climate change).
      The errors discussed here don't call into question the physical basis of the fact that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere increases the greenhouse effect; they have to do with the question of what the effects of the warming will. (And even there, I'll point out that the WG-II errors in question are from misquoting the research, or in quoting sources that don't refer to actual research at all-- they don't seem to be errors in the original science sources.)
      It's easy enough to get this confused, since most of the media reports don't distinguish the reports-- don't even seem to know that there is not just one report being discussed.

  • Global Warming: The Y2K Scare for the New Century.

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:22PM (#32803764) Journal

      It's a good analogy in that Y2K was more than just a scare, required a lot of people working on it to prepare, and even though there WERE issues, we managed to evade the catastrophy due to hard work and determination.

      The only issue we have right now is that Global Warming doesn't have the same commitment the Y2K scare had, and Global Warming is not something that can be fixed by computer scientists alone.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by phantomfive (622387)
        The reason it's like Y2K is because the public perception is way out of proportion with what scientists are saying.

        With Y2K, if you talked to computer scientists, it was problems with dates, maybe spreadsheets, maybe welfare checks would have trouble getting sent. But to the general public, it was about power plants exploding, planes falling out of the sky, and general chaos. People were literally stocking food and ammo. If the worst case computer-scientist scenario had happened, it would have seemed l
      • The only issue we have right now is that Global Warming doesn't have the same commitment the Y2K scare had, and Global Warming is not something that can be fixed by computer scientists alone.

        There is also the pesky problem that there is no consensus on global warming. For some reason, proponents of the theory like to assume that the science is settled, perhaps so they can conveniently call anyone who might disagree a loony denier.

        I think that's at least one other point where GW differs drastically from Y2K.

        • by am 2k (217885)

          There is also the pesky problem that there is no consensus on global warming.

          Not by the ones that are actually qualified to do such a judgement.

          I think that's at least one other point where GW differs drastically from Y2K.

          Not really. I'm sure there were a lot of rednecks that called Y2K a lie manufactured by IT guys to get a job back then.

    • by grcumb (781340) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:48PM (#32804012) Homepage Journal

      Global Warming: The Y2K Scare for the New Century.

      Absolutely. People realised well before the crisis occurred that remedial action was necessary to address shortcomings in human-designed systems whose effects, while difficult to quantify (and the subject of wild speculation), were known to be adverse.

      While some efforts began well in advance of the crisis itself, consensus concerning action didn't arise immediately. The result was a late push toward a technical fix that ended up costing businesses and governments more, because once-plentiful resources were now in high demand.

      The difference between Y2K and Climate Change, of course, is that one only required that a date field be fixed, and the systems we were modeling were entirely of human creation. Our sense of the scope of the problem, and therefore our predictive capability, was much better. This didn't stop an ill-informed media from announcing the Apocalypse and helping drive a millennial fervour among many, but those in this know were nonetheless able to concentrate on the task at hand and, for the most part, remedy it before it became a problem.

      Our understanding of the scope and nature of Climate Change, on the other hand, is based on observation of a nearly infinitely more complex natural system. Achieving a clear understanding of the scope and exact nature of the problem is therefore exceedingly difficult. Scientific speculation about possible effects has led to an ill-informed media announcing the Apocalypse and helped drive a (Mayan) millennial fervour among many.

      Those in the know are thwarted by competing economic interests who see mere acceptance of the concept of global climate change as a threat to their profitability. They have therefore recruited numerous 'public relations' companies to subvert the credibility of said researchers and to use any means necessary to cast doubt on the research itself. This has hampered efforts to win public support for action, which in turn has made it politically difficult to commit to anything but often meaningless half measures (e.g. cap-and-trade).

      ... But aside from the differences, yeah, they're exactly alike. 8^)

  • by wwwrench (464274) on Monday July 05, 2010 @04:58PM (#32803544) Homepage
    In reports of this size, there will always be small errors. The problem is that right wing bloggers trumpet these up to raise doubts about the basic science, and then fox news et. al. broadcast this even further. The result is a complete disaster: people will not make the sacrifices needed to stop climate change if they have doubts about whether it is happening. A great example is leakegate, where the Sunday Telegraph used a tiny citation error to suggest a conspiracy of scientists to falsify evidence of global warming (the UN report cited another report which contained the peer reviewed work, rather than directly citing the peer reviewed work). Eventually, the Telegraph retracted their article, but not before the damage was done. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/06/leakegate-a-retraction/ [realclimate.org] As Mark Twain said, lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SnarfQuest (469614)

      Ok, for a report this size, that is being used to massively change the living conditions of many millions of people downwards, how many errors need to be found before the results become questionable? At what point will you stop and say, I think we need to look deeper into this before we subject all these people to miserable living conditions based on these questionable results? There are so many "small errors" in this report that, if you wrote it as a school assignment, you'd probably get a failing grade.

      • Ok, for a report this size, that is being used to massively change the living conditions of many millions of people downwards, how many errors need to be found before the results become questionable? At what point will you stop and say, I think we need to look deeper into this before we subject all these people to miserable living conditions based on these questionable results?

        The implied assertion in such questions is that the only points of the report that were reviewed are the ones which have been reported as inaccurate. I do wonder, if you look at the total count of issues reviewed, and the percentage of those that has been proven accurate after review, how large will that be? That is the only metric under which you can truly judge the quality of the report.

    • by SuperKendall (25149)

      The problem is that right wing bloggers trumpet these up to raise doubts about the basic science

      Oh there's a far greater problem, it's people like you willing to whitewash inaccuracies and the inability for people to review the data used to reach the conclusion they claim is accurate. To just blow past that and still claim there's even science going on, much less that it is sound, is pretty incredible to me on a site where people are otherwise very level-headed about technical matters.

      If you can't peer re

      • by Cyberax (705495) on Monday July 05, 2010 @06:13PM (#32804204)

        "Oh there's a far greater problem, it's people like you willing to whitewash inaccuracies and the inability for people to review the data used to reach the conclusion they claim is accurate."

        Which. Fucking. Inaccuracies?

        We're talking about several errors in a giant report. How do you imagine that they can change the very BASICS of the climate science?

        Do you suggest that ALL climate scientists are members of a global conspiracy ring, spanning more than a century and more than 300 countries?

        "If you can't peer review, it's not science. If you're theory cannot actually predict anything but the past, that's not a good theory and you need to go back to the drawing board."

        It fucking can. IPCC predicitons from 1988 come true today, and they are statistically significant.

        Hell, even Arrhenius' predictions from 1890-s are correct (within their margin of error).

        Go on and study climate science before making stupid remarks.

      • by Daishiman (698845)
        But the things is, predictive models, while imperfect, have had a signifcant enough degree of precision to merit warning.
        You know, I'm surprised that laymen have no ability to distinguish between significant errors, insignificant errors, and acceptable margins of error. For AGW, being in the proper ballpark of the order of magnitude is a significant enough datum for systems which may have exponential behavior (or much worse, like the realities of the difficulty modeling climate). Considering how hard it i
      • by quokkaZ (1780340) on Monday July 05, 2010 @06:28PM (#32804306)

        Do you have any regard for the truth, or do you just think sound bites are sufficient?

        The truth is that there are a number of predictions that come from climate science that have been confirmed by observation:

        1. The surface temperature will increase - it has

        2. The heat content of the oceans will increase - it has

        3. The poles - especially the nth pole will warm faster than the rest of the planet. The observed warming of the Nth pole is dramatic.

        4. The stratosphere will cool as the troposphere warms. It has.

        5. Ocean acidity will rise - it has.

        A couple of these predictions are more than a century old, having been first made by the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius in 1896. He was the first to arrive at an estimate of sensitivity of climate to increase in atmospheric CO2. An estimate not that different to what is the accepted range today.

        Not only have these predictions been confirmed by observation, but no other plausible explanation has been found other than an enhanced greenhouse effect. Despite exhaustive efforts, attribution of climate change principally to solar changes, cosmic rays, astronomical cycles etc etc has been shown to be plainly incompatible with available observation.

      • These IPCC errors? They affect some implications, not the cause or the many other implications of AGW. CRU's data, their methodologies, their peer-review process? All vindicated by three independent inquiries. Any other inaccuracies you were thinking of?

        If you want to challenge the mountain of good science that's been done on AGW, you're going to have to use better science, certainly more than vague, sweeping, unsubstantiated accusations. Though that seems sufficient for all too much of the public today.

  • It's not one small error, it's a massive, brain-dead (or malicious) methodological error. Go to the IPCC report, check out WGII, and look at the citations page. It is so full of non-scientific, non-peer-reviewed references that as a scientific document it is practically worthless. A lot of them to WWF which however admirable the work it does may be (hey, who's not in favor of saving pandas really?), is still an advocacy group not a research group. It is really pathetic how horribly put together WGII was
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Krahar (1655029)
      I haven't read anything of these reports, but I'm going to but in and say that the presence of a reference in a scientific manuscript says nothing on its own about how that reference was used. E.g. if you are going to say that the there has been a large amount of worry about something in the media, then it is entirely appropriate to reference articles in the media that show that worry, and it's entirely appropriate to reference 20 of them just to really make your point. So it depends on how those references
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by k8to (9046)

      If only you understood the things you took such trouble to comment on.

      Your complaint is that the WGII contains non-peer reviewed non-scientific materiel. That is its goal and its charter.

      Sky blue today. Film at 11.

  • Small errors? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:09PM (#32803652)

    55% to 26% is a small error? Sounds like double to me. I'm not going to deny that climate change is happening, its happened for millions of years. I've seen layers of sandstone with sea shells it them, in the next foot of rock above there was petrified wood. From sea to forest in a short geological time span and back then humans weren't around. We may see climate change on such scales, that doesn't frighten me, we can adapt. The thing that does frighten me is politicians who use climate change as a platform to push whatever agenda they please.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Adrian Lopez (2615)

      From sea to forest in a short geological time span and back then humans weren't around.

      Are you actually suggesting there are people out there who believe only human activity could possibly lead to significant climate change? Why must climate change be explained either exclusively in terms of human influence or exclusively in terms of non-human factors? It doesn't make sense.

    • by azgard (461476)

      If this isn't a small error for you, here's more shocking news: We (humans) have increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by more than 30% during last 200 years. Definitely sounds like a lot, doesn't it?

      (The point is, you cannot determine if error is small or not from percentage alone.)

    • Re:Small errors? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday July 05, 2010 @06:12PM (#32804200) Homepage

      55% to 26% is a small error? Sounds like double to me.

      Yes, that's right. They got the sea level of the Netherlands wrong, and therefore anthropogenic global warming doesn't exist.

      Yup, that's perfectly sound logic, that is.

  • lol (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:09PM (#32803656)
    "none of the errors affected the fundamental conclusion by a UN panel of scientists" but it did affect the fundamental conclusion of the public as a whole. If you want the entire planet to shift the way it lives, to spend more money and get less for it, then "small errors" likes these are anything but small and completely unacceptable. Measure twice, cut once.
    • by bky1701 (979071)
      You have to make those same changes sooner or later. Coal and oil will not last forever, and they're already getting more expensive to source. You just have the option of stopping NOW and having a minimal risk of cataclysmic climate change, or wait until it runs out and have the risk of losing land. Tell me why we should wait and risk the worst so that you can drive your SUV cheaply for 10 more years.
      • Re:lol (Score:5, Informative)

        by cdrguru (88047) on Monday July 05, 2010 @06:18PM (#32804246) Homepage

        The changes aren't just not driving an SUV. It is things like not driving at all. Not being able to buy food in plastic packaging and only buy food that is grown within 100 miles or so of where you live. Things like starting to put people to work demolishing freeways in California so the space can be used to move people closer to where they work - no more driving, no more freeways, etc.

        Do you begin to understand the magnitude of the changes that are actually required?

        How about a simple one? Assuming the immigration influx into the US continues and the building of new powerplants continues on the rapid pace it has for the last 40 years (like none at all), you can expect that we will be running out of electricity commonly. We have to make some hard decisions about offices and homes - and telecommunity isn't a solution. If your refrigerator won't keep food cold for a day without electricity better think about getting a new one. If your pets can't live without air conditioning, time to start thinking about an aquarium instead.

        Sure, we could supply the entire country's electrical needs from solar cells in Arizona and Nevada. Except, who is going to keep the protesters out of the meetings where the new transmission lines get decided on? Nobody? It is their right? Well, then you can forget about new transmission lines because way, way too many people "know" they cause cancer, impotence and all sorts of other bad things. So they will not be built and solar cell farms in Arizona and Nevada will never be built, just like the huge wind farms in Texas - because the electricity cannot be transferred from there to the cities where it is needed.

  • No mention of... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Orp (6583) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:10PM (#32803666) Homepage

    No mention of the 6,475,248 correct statements in the report.

  • Meh! Meh, I say! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zmollusc (763634) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:11PM (#32803678)

    If the climate miraculously stops changing and steadies at current levels, and even if it is so predictable that we can evacuate places before storms hit, there will still be millions of people starving because the population keeps growing and the planet and its resources doesn't.
    So meh to climate change. A few thousand people can live in a desert or tundra, 20 billion cannot.

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:16PM (#32803724)

    The current debate over global warming is not unlike the debate over evolution, which is to say, there really isn't any rational debate, only people whose vested interests are threatened by the conclusions of science who are desperately grasping at straws to deny settled facts. In the case of evolution, the vested interest is an emotional attachment to long-discredited Bronze Age superstitions, while climate change deniers feel their (unsustainable) wealth and convenience are threatened by the growing recognition that those things cannot go on unchanged without risking our continued existence. As a result, each new fact added to the edifice of evolutionary theory, as with climate theory, leads to a perverse demand that science fill in the ever shrinking gaps. In the case of evolution-deniers, the gaps are now so small that they have been reduced to all but demanding a running video record of speciation. Climate change deniers have a little more wiggle room, the risk of global warming having been recognized for only sixty or so years now, but even they have been reduced to positing the existence of a global conspiracy of climatologists to rule the world.

    It would be funny if the threats we faced were not both urgent and existential.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SnarfQuest (469614)

      Yup, definitely the AGW people are stupid. One side insists that the facts need backing data to prove them correct, and the other side took a poll and claimed a consensus. Doesn't everybody learn in grade school that the scientific method is done by taking polls? Don't you remember taking a vote on the value of pi in junior high?

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      For a moment, let us accept that the only way to actually force change upon the climate-change deniers is to take radical, violent action. Without this, they will not believe, they will not change and everything on the planet will die.

      So, what have you done to further the goal of knocking these deniers off their pedastle of wealth and convenience? Burned any cars? After all, they are a symbol of 20th Century Western progress, right? How about destroying an airliner on the ground? They spew millions of

  • by fermion (181285) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:19PM (#32803740) Homepage Journal
    So once again we see that science is iterative. Scientist are always reviewing other scientists work trying to show that they in some way invalid. Hypothesis get revised and revisted, leading to better formulations of how the world appears to work.

    But, if we are honest, most of this is not about the science buy about the policy decisions. We are still reeling from the bad science that meant we could no longer increase yields by spraying crops with DDT just because a few radical scientists created massive birds deaths, like liberals caused the gulf oil spill to stop oil drilling. Or overstating the effects of lead on children, or asbestos, to destroy those industries and destroy capitalism. We all know that scientist don't really do science, but spend all their time trying to destroy democracy and all that is good.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:31PM (#32803830) Journal

      But, if we are honest, most of this is not about the science buy about the policy decisions. We are still reeling from the bad science that meant we could no longer increase yields by spraying crops with DDT just because a few radical scientists created massive birds deaths, like liberals caused the gulf oil spill to stop oil drilling. Or overstating the effects of lead on children, or asbestos, to destroy those industries and destroy capitalism. We all know that scientist don't really do science, but spend all their time trying to destroy democracy and all that is good.

      What's scary is that I can't be 100% sure you're shooting for satire here...

    • Technological advance is an inherently iterative process. One does not simply take sand from the beach and produce a Dataprobe. We use crude tools to fashion better tools, and then our better tools to fashion more precise tools, and so on. Each minor refinement is a step in the process, and all of the steps must be taken.

      -- Chairman Sheng-ji Yang,

      "Looking God in the Eye"

  • Oh, only 220 Africans are i the danger of dying a slow, painful death; thats so much different from 250 million.

    Let me spell it out clearly:

    a) the IPCC report is not a peer reviewed journal; if you want to have it more valid, introduce peer review. In the scientific part that took place, however the biggest problems are in the part where the consequences are described not by scientists, but collected by social and political sciences.

    b) the IPCC report is meant to be a basis for politics. There are few thing

  • by ZDRuX (1010435) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:27PM (#32805696)
    There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production - with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas - parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia - where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.

    The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree - a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

    To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather....

    OOOPS!... sorry, I mistakenly was quoting scientific data from the 1970's with regards to Global Cooling. Nothing to see here I guess, just forget I ever mentioned this. Thank goodness we have honest reporting and scientific fact finding these days, nothing like an apocalyptic blast from the past eh? Now don't forget to stay scared and make sure you let your state agencies dictate how much you eat and what temperature you can keep your house at.

    I'm sure they'll get it right with Global Warming this time!! Maybe we'll even die because of it in 10 years!

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