An Idea I Had Too Late

I was reading this post from Climate Quotes, wherein they demonstrate how the IPCC made a claim without proof, and when called on it, cast about for a source that turned out not to say any such thing.  A lot of focus has been put on gray literature cited by the IPCC, but there appear to be at least as many occasions when the IPCC statement is not actually backed by the source cited.

The idea I had too late is that three years ago, when I had the time, I should have put the whole IPCC report on the web in some sort of Wiki or 2-column format (almost like a Medieval gloss) we could have linked and collected challenges to each individual statement and attribution.  I think a couple of people are working towards this right now, but I kick myself for not thinking of it earlier.  What a resource we would have now!

PS – No Consensus is looking for volunteers to identify and count the gray literature citations in the IPCC reports.

  • papertiger

    I was recently contacted by a newly formed organization named climategate countryclub. http://www.climategatecountryclub.com/

    I’m not big on the social network type things, but I’m giving this one a shot.

    They collected 300 members in the first day. So there’s a sizable chunk of like minded humanity there – with as far as I can tell, no particular mission.
    So I joined up, and got a welcome to the club email from Mark Gillar, a few comments from Luis Gomez on my personal profile page.

    This is still a good idea you have, to tear apart the AR4, and have the entrails on permanent display. Maybe if you pitch it to the greeting guy it will give the countryclub a bit of focus. Might be just what they (we) need.

  • Jim Turner

    Oh well, life is full of ‘if only I had thought of that…’ moments.
    I have to say that the recent revelations about the IPCC ‘grey literature’ sources are often things that could theoretically have been spotted on publication day. It is perhaps a little disappointing that the ‘skeptic community’ as a whole didn’t spot this issue until now.
    What we could really use is a highly organized, well-funded denial machine…

  • Speaking of ideas–do you remember the “Anthrax Project” that linked 3.5 million personal computers running screensaver software to find a cure for anthrax, back in 2002? I’ve contacted the lead scientist on that project to ask if the same thing might work for climate modeling, and his initial response was positive. Now that CRU and others are “promising” to put meteorological data out in the open, why not develop the software to allow thousands (or millions!) of desktops to crunch those numbers in real time. A “rebel alliance” of skeptics with software can out-compute anything the government funded “experts” can produce.

    I’ve posted preliminary thoughts about such a project here:

    http://futuremetaphysics.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-get-enough-computing-power-for.html

  • John Dougan

    The AGW alarmists keep talking about how a few incorrect papers don’t break the whole theory…are they right? are they wrong? and by how much? It seems to me that it’s all pretty tightly bound together but that is just an impression and I’d like to have some evidence either way.

    To remedy this gap in the knowledge does anyone have any idea how feasible it would be to start with the papers we know to be unsound and work forward to the papers that depend on/cite them, and the papers that depend on those and so on? A giant graph of all the papers that have to be called into question because of they relied on supporting evidence we now know to be questionable.

  • Waldo

    ******”how the IPCC made a claim without proof,”

    And what was the “claim”?

    Verbatim from Page 43 of the IPCC document in quetion:

    “Relatively few NGOs are directly accountable to members in the same way that governments are to voters or businesses are to shareholders, raising further questions about the extent to which their claims to the mantle of civil society are justified.”

    Shocking! Terrible! How objectionable! Yes, this absolutely needs to be cited!

    Pretty typical. A brief statement about a generalized comment that has virtually nothing to do with the science involved. And do we really need a citation for this? REALLY? Do we really need expert literature to tell us that NGOs work differently than governments and businesses?

    This is pure and simple neocon pedantry, folks. There is no reason for this to need citation. And if this is the most damning evidence the deniosphere can come up with, then the deniosphere has nothing.

    Interestingly, then the IPCC author does provide a source. To which Mr. Meyer comments:

    ******”and when called on it, cast about for a source that turned out not to say any such thing.”

    Actually, Mr. Meyer, that is not correct. If one reads the post, one finds that Climate Quotes has not actually read the article that the IPCC author posted.

    Mr. Meyer just lied. Shame.

  • papertiger

    Those google ads really work for bringing the warmers in Warren.

    You get more “Waldos” per inch of skepticism then the average realist site…

  • Waldo

    Say what? Didn’t get that one, paperkitty.

    Let me say it another way: the problems that Climate Quotes and Climate Skeptic have attempted to highlight are really non-issues. Even if the above IPCC excerpt on NGOs was not originally cited, which it was with a little effort (probably the IPCC authors had actually read up on the subject of NGOs long before the project was written [maybe even worked with a few] and did not anticipate the need to assuage the meddling, pointlessly antagonistic deniosphere), the quote in-and-of-itself doesn’t amount to much. CQ and CS, and the deniosphere in general, are simply nick-picking in an effort to legitimize their pedantic, reactionary existences.

  • Sam

    Waldo,

    I wrote the article on CQ, and if you read the last section of the article, I take issue with the process, not the claim itself.

    Also, I’ve posted a new article where I did obtain the paper, and it doesn’t support the claim:

    http://climatequotes.com/2010/03/16/ipcc-coordinating-lead-authors-own-paper-falsely-cited-in-ar4/

    There is no excuse for citing a paper that doesn’t support the claim made, even if it is an unimportant claim. Especially when you call yourself the ‘gold standard’.