Ann cautions about downplaying the findings that the IPCC report erred in predicting the melting of Himalayan glaciers by 2035, and in the resistance of researchers to respond to FOIA requests from a climate skeptic site.
She’s right. We shouldn’t downplay the reports: instead, we should ridicule them.
So the glaciers won’t actually melt by 2035 — just suffer irreparable damage by then. Wow! How much should I flagellate myself? This obviously trumps the continual burying of science by climate skeptics, the rewriting of government reports by Bush administration officials, and the continual hyping of junk science of climate skeptics.
The way to respond to these “problems” is to go on offense and attack the skeptics. Pachauri’s actions were inexcusable, but they were also irrelevant to the broader picture.
I would suggest something like this as the default reaction:
Well, I’m certainly glad that climate skeptics finally believe that scientific validity should be a basis for public policy — a position they have previously rejected. Why don’t we agree to administer punishments to all those who have played fast and loose with the science — in proportion, of course, to the egregiousness of their errors. Maybe Pachauri — who has spent his life working in this area and has done a superb job leading IPCC until now, should get a couple of minutes in the stocks.
In comparison, Philip Cooney, who was lawyer and lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, edited out science in official government reports during his tenure at CEQ, and is now working for ExxonMobil, should get, oh, 15 years in San Quentin.
You can find Stephen Colbert’s biography of Cooney here.