Scientist: UN glacier report fueled by politics, not science

Posted on January 25, 2010

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The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change continues to suffer more blows to its credibility as a climate scientist admits that a claim in one of the UN’s reports – one which said the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 – was not based on peer-reviewed science and included to put political pressure on world leaders. Here’s what UN scientist Dr. Murai Lal had to say about the bogus claim:

It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’

In fact, the claim was based not on science, but on two magazine interviews by glaciologist Syed Hasnain. The date seemed politically convenient and so was added without any regard to the scientific accuracy – and resulted from a math error that used a claim of ice retreating by 123 meters per year instead of the actual 21 meters per year, as well as failing to take into consideration that some Himalayan glaciers were actually growing.

Take this into consideration when you ponder how close we were at Copenhagen to imposing an economy-crippling global regime of carbon regulation based on what now seems to be more and more a political agenda and not science. We dodged a major bullet with the breakdown at the summit, and while controlling pollution will always be important, carbon regulation remains less a means at saving the planet and more a mechanism of economic control.

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Posted in: News, Politics, Science