Steve Hayward, Ken Green and I have just written a preliminary analysis of the IPCC’s Synthesis Report. See below for a summary. The full analysis is available at AEI’s web site.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) new Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of its Synthesis Report (SR) should be taken with several chunks of salt. The summary itself is a political document that downplays assessments of uncertainty from the scientific reports written by the main body of the IPCC, which themselves are far more subjective than the IPCC would have one believe. Equally important, both the IPCC’s summaries and main reports omit much contrary evidence. In several cases, the SR disagrees with the reports on which it is based, and it fails to take account of cautionary publications in the scientific literature that were available early enough to have been incorporated into the SR. Climate change and climate policy are key issues for future human welfare, but that concern should translate into sober analysis and actions that are likely to do more good than harm. The people of the world should not let themselves be steamrolled by a report that reflects the IPCC’s interest in promoting climate change fears, rather than in conveying the weight of the scientific evidence.