IPCC: “More politics than science,” scientist says

Published May 1, 2001

In an early March briefing before congressional staff, members of the press, and scientists, Professor Richard S. Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology assailed the politically driven work of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), charging the panel misrepresents the work of its contributing scientists to fit a preconceived agenda.


“The whole notion of a scientific consensus has been contrived to disguise the genuine disagreement among scientists on a number of different issues. Major media outlets announced, incorrectly, as early as 1988 that the issue of global warming was scientifically settled, and the IPCC has been spending over a decade trying desperately to make their reports conform to this belief,” said Lindzen.

“To think that hundreds of scientists could be in full agreement in dozens of separate disciplines is ridiculous,” he said. “The aura of certainty with which the IPCC’s conclusions are being reported is clearly more a matter of politics than science.”

Advocates of the theory of catastrophic global warming have managed to manipulate results of climate science for years now, Lindzen said, using a variety of strategies to mislead the public and the media. Among those deceptive strategies:


  • issuing a summary that misrepresents the contents of the full report;



  • using language that means different things to scientists and laymen; and



  • exploiting public ignorance–and the embarrassment about this ignorance–over scientific matters.


The congressional briefing, titled “The Search for Scientific Consensus, or The IPCC and the One-Handed Scientists,” was hosted by the Cooler Heads Coalition, a subgroup of the National Consumers Coalition that focuses on global warming issues. Members of the Cooler Heads Coalition include the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Consumer Alert, the 60 Plus Association, and Frontiers of Freedom.


Richard Morrison is associate director of media relations, at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He can be reached by email at [email protected] .



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Visit the Cooler Heads Coalition Web site at http://www.globalwarming.org/ .