By Donna LaFramboise In The Wall Street Journal
Warming Up for Another Climate-Change Report
Every six years, a U.N. panel issues its findings, and the media hail them as definitive. Skepticism may be in order.


When the IPCC issues a report, it assures the world that the organization bases its conclusions on reputable, peer-reviewed scientific literature, and that its members are comprised of the world’s top experts and best scientists. Yet when IPCC personnel answered a 2010 questionnaire sponsored by the InterAcademy Council (a network of national science academies), there were repeated complaints about unqualified individual members. For example, one individual (the responses to the questionnaire were anonymized) said there are “far too many politically correct appointments” involving people with “insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful.”

Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC’s chairman since 2002, has repeatedly said that the IPCC bases its conclusions solely on peer-reviewed source material. Yet many of the sources cited by the 3,000-page 2007 IPCC report were press releases, news clippings, discussion papers and unpublished master’s and doctoral-degree theses. The IPCC’s highly embarrassing, since-retracted claim that the Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035 came from a 2005 World Wildlife Fund publication.

The U.N. has charged the IPCC with weighing the evidence on climate change in an objective manner. The problem is that numerous IPCC personnel have ties to environmental groups, many of which raise funds by hyping the alleged dangers of climate change. This relationship raises a legitimate question about their objectivity.