the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Dr. Spencer – Dump the IPCC

Posted by Jeff Id on August 31, 2010

I read this post By Dr. Roy Spencer last night with my jaw in my lap.  He may have written this kind of thing elsewhere,  but I’ve certainly never read it from a climate scientist.  There are so many points made which are absolutely true that I had to ask to repost it here.

There is a beast in the corner of climate science.  A big ugly beast, called the IPCC.   It was designed in my opinion to create and express extreme science for the purpose of a specific type of policy.  It was cleverly built on a foundation incenting and even requiring the exaggeration of science.

There are 3 primary questions the IPCC answers every five years in their reports according to their working groups.

WGI  – Assess the amount and severity of CO2 climate change and whether man is causing it.

WGII – Assess the impact good and bad of CO2 climate change including costs and options for adaptation

WGIII – Assess options for mitigation of climate change, look at the benefits and drawbacks of different policy scenarios.

These groups were established well before the consensus that CO2 causes warming even existed, but think about it, you don’t need question 2 if you haven’t already assumed 1 and you certainly don’t need 3 if you haven’t assumed 2.  What’s more is, if the IPCC doesn’t answer all three of these assessments in an extreme fashion, the group itself would be dissolved.  The more extreme the assessment, the more money they control, and more importantly to their intent the more policy they control.

If any of the following were true, the IPCC wouldn’t exist

WG1 – CO2 only causes only very moderate warming — IPCC closed

WG2 – Impacts of warming are mostly good or moderately bad — IPCC closed

WG3 – The solution to CO2 emissions is simple.  Adaptation and adding more nuclear power generation over the next 50 years, fossil fuels will rise in cost on their own due to scarcity. — IPCC closed.

It’s obvious to me that the plan was in place before the group took the first look at the science, but Dr. Spencer says it better than I.

Reposted with permission below.

Dump the IPCC Process, It Cannot Be Fixed

August 30th, 2010

In a recent opinion piece, Ross McKitrick has argued that the IPCC process needs to be fixed. He correctly points out that, “There is too much conflict of interest built into the report-writing process”.

But I say the process cannot be fixed. DUMP the IPCC process.

The reason why is because the IPCC process was never created to achieve what the U.N. claims, and what most people believe it exists for.

The IPCC was created to use the scientific community to build a case for regulating CO2 emissions. Period.

While you might believe otherwise, climate scientists back in the 1980s did not get together and decide “let’s create the IPCC and investigate the evidence for and against manmade climate change”. Instead, politicians and politically savvy opportunists saw global warming as the perfect excuse for instituting policies that would never have been achieved on their own merits.

Maybe some scientists thought they helped dream up the IPCC to help save humanity from itself. But the process was instigated by politicians and U.N. bureaucrats who misrepresented what they were trying to accomplish. Some people are gifted in their ability to get others to think that they came up with an idea, when in fact they were artfully guided into it.

As someone who watched from the sidelines as a U.S. government employee, I witnessed the mindset, and a few of the central players in action. These are people who think it is their gift to humanity to decide how others should live.

I’m NOT saying that most of the scientists involved in the IPCC effort are of this mindset…although I do find government employees and government-funded researchers (of which I am one) to be rather clueless about what helps, versus what hurts, the human condition.

Darn those pesky unintended consequences!

I am claiming this is the mindset of that handful of politically powerful people who saw a way to accomplish personal goals, and maybe even save humanity in the process. These people never expect that they will ever be required to live under the restrictions placed upon the rest of humanity. They are too important to the process. Sound familiar?

To believe otherwise is to have one’s proverbial head in the sand.

I hate to sound so cynical, but this is how I saw the IPCC process play out. I would personally dread having to be part of that process, because it is only using science and scientists to achieve policy and political goals. I don’t like to be asked to contribute my time when I know I am being used.

In stark contrast to me, John Christy (my boss) has valiantly attempted to change the process from within the IPCC. I think this is a valuable effort, and am glad someone is willing to try.

But I do not see the ultimate goal of the IPCC ever being changed as long as the United Nations and politicians who look favorably upon the UN’s long-term goals are in control of the process and the purse strings. It is as simple as that.

56 Responses to “Dr. Spencer – Dump the IPCC”

  1. Jeff Id said

    I don’t know how many times I’ve said that the politicians are using the scientists or how many times that the ‘conspiracy’ I’m accused of believing in is a very simple one which requires very little additional input from the creators. The structure feeds itself and sorts scientist according to their political views and extremeness of papers outcomes.

    The ‘best’ scientists get through peer review more easily, they get the grant money more easily, they get the international attention more easily. The IPCC is a significant part of determining who is the ‘best’. As the like minded individuals conglomerate and reinforce each others opinions, the effect builds and the scientist start declaring consensus.

    It was really a brilliant plan, however, it has overshot reality pretty badly when they are publishing papers which claim fish are shrinking 40% from overfishing and 3% due to AGW. Or crops are shrinking 1% according to a very tiny bit of noisy satellite data – automatically attributed to AGW without evidence. They didn’t count on the flow of information on the internet from exposing the silly stats used in paleoclimate.

    It’s not done yet, AR5 will be even worse than AR4. You can count on it – because it’s necessary for the IPCC survival.

  2. Neil said

    I have not read or been involved enough to make a truely insightful comment, but there is teh saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Mankind still has basic animal instincts, we forget them because they are automatic and we want to think we are different. Mankind has also conquered the globe and is clearlythe dominant species (so far). We have always feared the weather, and we are poor even now at predicting it and understanding cause and effect. So when a group comes along and says that mankind is affecting the weather and it will lead to disasters etc, the animal instinct kicks in, fear.

    At the same time I personally have observed through my participation in power station development an attitude that I find quite peculiar. There is a group of humans who think that we are a blight on the planet, they do not see us as the most successful species on the planet and of the planet, but as something almost alien that should be removed from the planet.

    Included in this group is the likes of Greenpeace. When I was seeking environmental permits for a coal plant I met with them occassionally. They told me their goal was to stop development of coal and oil power stations, then shutdown existing coal plants, then gas plants, then cars until fossil fuel usage was zero. I found this quite astounding. They have no interest or concern about mankind other than the environment. They would be happy if we lived in caves, as long as we dont use a candle! They are more than happy to step outside the law.

    In light of this it does not surprise me that a group of people could be using this for their own personal gain, be that financial, emotional, intellectual or power.

  3. BarryW said

    Yeah, but think about all those bureaucrats running around looking for something to do! The mind shudders to think of what they might latch onto for their next scam. RIght now they’re causing trouble but haven’t managed to do too much actual damage (relatively speaking).

  4. sod said

    this is a conspiracy theory, and nothing else.

    without the IPCC we would know less about a event that is obviously real.

  5. j ferguson said

    It might be interesting to see how much US policy is premised on IPCC findings. Weren’t some of the recent EPA impositions referenced to IPCC material?

    I was certainly a late arrival to the conclusion that the IPCC was conspiracy originated but it looks more and more like that. Not a self-induced mania as I had thought, but a driven process.

    I had thought the politicians insufficiently competent to make anything this big happen.

  6. kim said

    I’ve wondered for awhile whether Maurice Strong is in China advising them about climate policy or whether he is there being advised of his rights.

  7. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Climate Science™ = 0.5 * science + 0.35 * (leftist politics) + 0.15 * (Gaia delusions)

    Climate scientists provide the science.
    Politicians supply the politics.
    Green NGO’s provide the Gaia delusions (and non-peer reviewed litchurchur!).

    There is of course some overlap… some scientists can suffer Gaia delusions, or hold strongly left-leaning political views. But left leaning politicians are mostly working the puppet strings. Alarmist AGW policies can therefore only be rejected at the ballot box. Poking holes in ‘the science’ can help facilitate this political outcome.

  8. Duke C. said

    verb (used with object)
    to estimate or judge the value, character, etc., of; evaluate: to assess one’s efforts.”

    plural of as or of ass”

    Surely you intended to use the former… yet the latter seems quite appropriate. 🙂

    REPLY: That’s hilarious. My not spel gud.

  9. TimG said

    #4 – Sod

    Why do you think that you can refute an argument by labelling it a ‘conspiracy theory’. The fact is there are many people out there who do believe the UN should be running things and want to national sovereignty taken away. There are many people who think that the ‘rich’ do not deserve their wealth and it should be taken away and given to the ‘poor’. It is also a fact that many people with those views are key proponents for action on climate change and have publically stated that regulating CO2 is a means to achieve their definition ‘social justice’.

  10. TimG said

    A simple test to distiguish between an AGW alarmist who supports action on CO2 because they really believe CO2 is problem and those that see CO2 regulation as a means to impose social policies that they have not been able to impose via regular politics channels:

    1) Do you support rapid expansion of nuclear power?
    2) Do you believe that developing countries need agree to reduction targets?

    If the answer to either is ‘No’ then the alarmist does not really believe that CO2 is problem.

  11. sod said

    Why do you think that you can refute an argument by labelling it a ‘conspiracy theory’.

    things are the other way round. Spencer has to provide evidence for his main claim:

    While you might believe otherwise, climate scientists back in the 1980s did not get together and decide “let’s create the IPCC and investigate the evidence for and against manmade climate change”. Instead, politicians and politically savvy opportunists saw global warming as the perfect excuse for instituting policies that would never have been achieved on their own merits.

    so far i have seen ZERO evidence. but i ll train my patience on this one!

    well, it is obvious, that evil US presidents like Clinton and Obama conspired to create an institution like the IPCC. oooops.

    here is a definition of conspiracy theory:

    The term “conspiracy theory” is frequently used by scholars and in popular culture to identify secret military, banking, or political actions aimed at “stealing” power, money, or freedom, from “the people”.

  12. Andrew said

    I wonder how it is that anyone can be expected to provide evidence, of something which is self evident…

    Better question: What kind of evidence do you want, sod? Depending on what it is you are after, it may be easy to provide for you. But if you don’t say ahead of time, you’ll be free to dismiss evidence ex post facto as “not the kind of evidence I was looking for”, and you’ll never be forced to admit when evidence was provided to you.

  13. Andrew said

    11-No idea what dictionary you are using, but according to Merriam Webster:

    “conspiracy theory: a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators”

    A Conspiracy is:

    1. the act of conspiring together
    2.a: an agreement among conspirators
    b: a group of conspirators

    Thus a conspiracy theory would be postulating that 1. a group of people or organizations actively and consciously working together to use their combined power to achieve some end, generally in a clandestine manner. The intent of the conspiracy may or may not be perceived as malicious, but usually the actions or the ends are look upon negatively by the theorists.

    The situation Spencer described involves some individuals working together, but also being driven to the same means and ends by their shared goals and motivations-the latter is not a conspiracy, it’s free will in action. Spencer has pointed out that their motives are not necessarily malicious, and while this is something a conspiracy theorist might do, more commonly they would impute the motives of the conspirators as well. The ends and means are indeed not view positively by many of the “theorists” in this circumstance. But there is one other crucial thing missing. The “theorists” do not suggest that this “conspiracy” is really secret, indeed, they maintain that much of it is out in the open.

    This is not a conspiracy theory because:

    1. Nobody is suggesting that all involved are involved through a single cabal-on the contrary, they are individuals acting independently, even unconsciously. That alone suggests that such a thing is not and cannot be a proper conspiracy.

    2. There is no clandestine, under the radar scheme being suggested here, it is all out in the open. Conspiracies are secret and they are “theorized” because if they did exist, they obviously would have to be hidden.

  14. Jeff Id said

    The term “conspiracy theory” is frequently used by scholars and in popular culture to identify secret military, banking, or political actions aimed at “stealing” power, money, or freedom, from “the people”.

    perhaps they should stop stealing power, money and freedom from the people.

  15. Varco said

    The current terrible state of affairs with the IPCC seems to have been predicted as far back as 1994 according to a recent Mike Hulme paper…

    “More critical readings of the emergence of the IPCC have also been offered.
    Boehmer-Christiansen (1994a,b,c) argued that establishing the IPCC as a ‘single established
    source’ of information about climate change suited a convergence of scientific, political and
    some business interests. She pointed to dangers for scientific practice and scientific
    institutions from scientists being used to feed this new politically charged activity.”

    Hulme goes on to report in the same paper…

    “In his analysis of the knowledge politics of climate change, Grundmann (2007) concludes that using science to provide “the basis for
    the legitimation of political decisions is a tried and tested instrument” (p.428) and that the IPCC fits this pattern very well. Pielke (2007) and Sarewitz (2010) agree that the IPCC has failed in its role as an ‘honest-broker’ and has moved towards being an ‘issue advocate’ in Pielke’s terminology, or even on some occasions a ‘stealth issue advocate’. Drawing upon insights from science and technology studies and citing wider examples of science controversies, Carolan (2008) explains some of the reasons why this may have been the case with the IPCC.”

    Now this maybe ‘cherry picking’ negative comments from what is a balanced paper but I don’t see that Dr Spencer is alone in pointing out the operational flaws in the IPCC?

  16. David Jay said

    Thanks, sod.

    Always appreciate the clear thought and reasoned insight that you bring to the climate blogs.

  17. Layman Lurker said

    Is there any dispute that AGW is implicit within the raison d’etre of the IPCC? If anyone can shed light to the contrary please do. Does it really matter whether the political act of creating the IPCC was nefarious, conspiratorial, or otherwise?

  18. Jeff Id said

    Does it really matter whether the political act of creating the IPCC was nefarious, conspiratorial, or otherwise?

    That’s a good point, I suppose the fact that it’s strikingly obvious that the system creates a bias in the science, really the bias itself both in the science and politics is the issue.

  19. PhilJourdan said

    Andrew #13 – Thank you for beating me to the punch. You stated it very well.

  20. kdk33 said

    “There are many people who think that the ‘rich’ do not deserve their wealth and it should be taken away and given to the ‘poor’.”

    Most prevelantly among the poor, would be my guess. 🙂

  21. Layman Lurker said



  22. Derek said

    Layman Lurker said
    August 31, 2010 at 2:40 pm


    Time IS telling.

    If I may also quote from one of Ed Krug’s colleagues

    ” Why did this happen? “He was,” a colleague says, “a bit immature in the area of political science.” “

  23. Lady in Red said

    Yes. The “system” is now corrupt and the corruption spreads beyond just the IPCC. It is governments, funding agencies…. “review” committees and panels.

    And they can wait out the good honest folk. (For all the complaining about “big oil” funding “deniers,” the money and resources that EPA and NASA and NOAA and NSF can bring to bear, not to mention NAS and Penn State panels, etc. etc. etc. boggles minds.)

    And, scientists like Patrick Michaels — shunned as a “denier” — cannot, even, publish…

    How to win, to help truth and honest science surface…?

    If you were a smart young thing, learning at the knee of Michael Mann, would you enter the field of climate research? …if you had integrity?

    That problem is going to compound things even more!

    I wonder if there might be assembled a team of “smart helpers” — statisticians and physicists, etc. etc. — who might coach the young with their grant proposals, research paper submissions, etc. etc.? …exposing corruption in the system, when found…

    I suspect NSF has not funded any research challenging/testing the “science is settled” mantra in the last decade. That shouldn’t be!

    Right now the honest scientists in climate research are mostly lonely and on their own, watching their careers fizzle…

    Why not help them… in the name of Richard Feynman, perhaps? Or (one of my favorites) Hank Stommel?

    Otherwise, you will be stomping on the gopher holes of phoney science over and over and over again. ..until
    those with the long term political agenda finally wear you out…?

    ………Lady in Red

  24. Phillip Bratby said

    As we say in the UK, ignore the silly sod.

  25. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I think Spencer sizes up the IPCC about the same as I judge it, although I am not clear about who is pushing the advocacy role of the IPCC more – the politicians or the scientists. Surely it was not politicians who encouraged the scientists in lead roles in the IPCC to close their eyes to some of the less than documented evidenced that made its way into the final versions of their reports or pushed the scientists to apparently exclude much of the countervailing evidence for the extent of AGW and its detrimental/beneficial effects. The leading and influential scientists connected to the IPCC would appear to be very much of one view point in advocacy for AGW mitigation. Perhaps that was in the purview of the politicians who selected them, but no matter to me since I see the important issue here being the obvious biases and playing to a preconceived conclusion that the IPCC process allows.

  26. Lady in Red said

    And, another thought….

    What about an online climate science
    peer-reviewed journal for the stuff
    that is repeatedly rejected (without cause) by The Team and The Community?

    Just as the quality of the minds blogging on the skeptical side of the slope trumps (with quality writing, argument presentation, etc.) the minds of those on The Team, Etc., so, I suspect that it would be apparent, that the quality of the research papers published in this on-line journal would be apparent to thinking hoi poloi.

    Just for starters, I’m damn curious what it is in Patrick Michaels’ research papers, jammed in The Team’s closed-to-outsiders, peer-review process. …Lady in Red

  27. j ferguson said

    Sod, there is a thread entitled “Reader Background” at this site. It would be very helpful if you could contribute a biography along the lines of the ones already there and maybe include some hints about your location and even nationality.

    Although your English seems quite good, it really needs to be near-perfect to accurately convey your thoughts in the very short phrases you seem to prefer. People might conclude that something that is a bit bizarrely phrased is nonsense – and maybe unfairly. I would struggle more in trying to divine your thoughts if I knew you were working with a second language.

    I hope that this is not insulting, because that was not my intention.

  28. Matt Y. said

    without the IPCC we would know less about a event that is obviously real.

    I would argue the opposite. The only thing worse than not knowing something is knowing something that is wrong. The IPCC has not only flooded us with biased information and alarmist nonsense, they have cast doubt on the whole topic. People don’t know what is legitimate and what is alarmist propaganda designed to scare us into forking over tons of cash to the UN. So thanks to the IPCC, we literally know next to nothing.

    My fear is that this will be the new template for the politically ambitious. Abusing the scientific method to push their unpopular political agendas, because “Science demands it!”

  29. Mark F said

    The “Limousine Liberals”, by definition NOT poor, build power by the creation and exploitation of the poorer classes, by fomenting hatred toward successful people and entities.

  30. Stilgar said

    The IPCC did not have to be create with evil intentions. Like most government study committees, the idea of it is just to bring together all the climate related scientific papers published around the world.

    Through no ones evil motives it is possible for the rules and structure of the IPCC to be setup in a way that allows the reports to not be easily susceptible to outside pressure or influence (they trusted something would not happen instead of putting in place processes to make sure it would not happen).

    Example, unlike many study committees, the IPCC relies on the same people that do the science to write the reports. Which means the people who get the government grant money are the same people who write the reports that influence the governments as to how they should spend their money.

    Put it another way, if your boss told you to do something and then write a report about it. If you knew ahead of time that if your report was too positive your current job would no longer be needed (but you would be transferred to a new department), many people would err on the side of being more negative.

    I don’t thing the IPCC was created with global dominance in mind. I think it was created in a way that did not make it very hard for biases to be introduced. Once introduced and reinforced by more grant funding and name recognition, the bias becomes greater and greater while the fallout from being discovered becomes more and more.

    I am not saying it is impossible for people with nefarious or evil intent to be guiding the IPCC, I am just saying that it is possible that the IPCC is the way it is just because of the political and monetary decisions its reports were designed for.

  31. BarryW said

    Remember, the UN is the organization that puts such stellar countries, such as Libya, and Syria on human rights panels and has standing ovations for Hugo Chavez. The amazing thing about the IPCC is that it’s not worse, although as I remember it, they managed to write the executive summary before they wrote the document (saves time coming up with the conclusions before you finish the analysis).

    /sod on /
    without the IPCC we would know less about a event that is obviously real.
    /sod off /

    Yes the corruption in the UN.

  32. TA said

    Oddly, I agree with Sod, in part anyway. Not that I am particularly doubtful of Dr. Spencer’s claims. And I do agree with Jeff’s analysis at the top. However, if Dr. Spencer is going to say “the process was instigated by politicians and U.N. bureaucrats who misrepresented what they were trying to accomplish,” and “this is how I saw the IPCC process play out,” then I think he should give specific evidence and say how he (Spencer) reached these conclusions.

  33. Jeff Id said

    #32, The evidence does exist, right out in the open. You just have to put in the legwork to get your own specific questions answered.

  34. stan said

    What I don’t understand is why an assessment isn’t a rather straightforward, easily compiled process. If the purpose is simply to summarize all the available science on a particular topic, aren’t scientists as up-to-date on their areas of interest as the average law professor? Every year, law profs update/annotate the texts they author with any changes in statutes or case law which affect whatever specialized area of the law they cover. If you wanted a current ‘assessment’ of the law in that area, you could easily find a quality hornbook which would give you the majority and minority view on the key developments.

    Isn’t the same true for science? If you ask Pielke, Jr. about disaster losses, he’s all over the studies that have been done and the ways the IPCC or whoever has screwed up their summary. I would assume that is also true for his dad who is always taking issue with some study or another and producing a blog post where he cites all the studies he and others have done which take a contrary position. I would expect the same is true of Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, Michaels, et al.

    I mean how hard is it to pull together all the relevant studies on some particular point and outline where they stand? I would think a climate science prof in grad school could go thru the most recent IPCC assessment divide up the major areas among the students and have each prepare a summary of all the studies which pertain to that area (requiring them to include everything whether they personally agreed with it or not). Law students and law clerks do this type stuff all the time. It ain’t hard.

    When the IPCC has failed to adequately address both sides of an issue, it should be easy to point out where they’ve missed the boat. In fact, I would bet that an enterprising blogger could put together an online version of an assessment with a wiki for comments by reviewers and knowledgeable others who are shut out by the lead authors. How damn embarassing would it be for the IPCC dinosaur if some bloggers, with no budget, put together a work product which did what the IPCC is supposed to do and did it better and with more balance?

  35. boballab said

    #32 and #33

    Great Ghu Jeff, all they need to do is look up UN Global Governance in Google:

    Civil Society and Global Governance: The Possibilities for Global Citizenship

    Our key contention is that civil society at the global level thrives through its interaction with strong facilitating institutions of global governance.

    Through analysing the impacts of various modes of global governance, we identify strategically appropriate forms of political and social engagement that best advance the prospects for global citizenship.

    At the same time as the span and depth of national state governance are changing and becoming less direct, interstate collaboration in
    institutions of global governance is expanding, albeit unevenly. This can be seen in the arrangements and organisations that aim to influence or govern the global economy (Hirst and Thompson, 1997), the environment (Willetts, 1996b; Young,
    1997a), human rights (Camilleri, 1994; Risse, 2000; Weiss and Gordenker,1996)and military security (Lizee, 2000; Weiss, 1997)
    . Such a situation raises a series of questions about global citizenship as a possible counter or response to, or complement of, the growth of global governance.2

    Increasingly, human rights, labour rights, migration, environmental and other issues arise and are played out in global policy arenas.
    Thus the capacity of national and global non-government organisations (NGOs), networks and social movements to join governments and international agencies as global policy protagonists may be crucial in defining and deciding issues in the emerging institutions of global governance, and the interests that are served as a result .

    The organised institutions of global governance are not only still emerging,they are also incomplete, relatively disparate, and weak compared to the institutions of the well-established earlier systems of national governance, such as the public sector agencies of the welfare state. Most obviously , they include the formal institutions and arrangements for managing trade, aid, security, the environment, etcetera, and can be worldwide (for example, the United Nations group, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation), macro-regional (for example, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation process), or regional (for example, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Association of South East Asian Nations). They also include numerous bilateral treaties and agreements, and ad hoc arrangements such as rescue packages for destabilised currencies. They may be prominent (as with economic and military arrangements) or underdeveloped (as with arrangements for managing environmental policy and social policy issues such as child labour), but they are generally relatively weak, lacking
    sufficient balance, institutional capacity, norms and collective will to achieve their objectives.

    NGOs have also pressed for the creation of environmental institutions of governance to protect endangered species and prevent global warming, for agreements on arms control in areas such as blinding laser weapons and land mines (Price, 1998).
    There has been similar NGO activity to extend the jurisdiction of the World Court (Chemillier-Gendreau, 1996). When NGOs do this they are seeking, often in collaboration with like-minded states or elements within them, to create stronger forms of global governance that constrain and regulate the activities of individual states and their citizens in ways that will enhance the infrastructural support for civil society within states, and globally.

    Weiss, T. and Gordenker, L. (1996) ‘Pluralizing global governance : analytical approache s and dimensions ’, in: T. Weiss and L. Gordenker (Eds), NGOs, the UN and Global Governance (Boulder, Lynne Rienner).

    Willetts, P. (1996b) ‘From Stockholm to Rio and beyond: the impact of the Environment Movement on the United Nations consultative arrangements for NGOs’, Review of International Studies, 22, pp. 57–80.

    Willetts, P. (2000) ‘From “consultative arrangements” to “partnership”: the changing status of NGOs in
    diplomacy at the UN’, Global Governance,
    6, pp. 191–212

    Young, O.R. (1997a) ‘Global governance : toward a theory of decentralized world order’, in: O.R. Young (Ed.), Global Governance: Drawing Insights from the Environmental Experience (Cambridge, MA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) .

    Young, O.R. (1997b) ‘Rights, rules and resources in world affairs’, in: O.R. Young (Ed.), Global Governance : Drawing Insights from the Environmental Experience (Cambridge, MA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

    Recasting Global Governance
    Samuel M. Makinda

    The concept of global governance, as distinct from ‘good governance’, refers to formal and informal sets of arrangements in global politics.3 It implies that states alone cannot manage global affairs, and therefore it accords roles to international governmental organisations (IGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs).

    It covers many issues, such as women’s rights, human rights, development, democratisation, the environment, security and investments. Its recent achievements include the treaty banning landmines, the Kyoto climate convention, the international criminal court, the World Trade Organisation, and the ‘new generation’ UN peacekeeping operations. In a nutshell, global governance describes regimes or systems of rule, embracing both formal and informal regulatory mechanisms.4

    However, it is power that determines whose interests, rules and standards become ‘global’. Thus, while global governance requires tolerance and accommodation of conflicting interests across national, racial, class, gender and ethnic boundaries, it is often the preferences of the most powerful actors that are accommodated.

    The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate that global governance can be understood from several perspectives. I will do so by focusing on three themes: state sovereignty, globalisation and Western hegemony. In the next section, I will explain briefly the theoretical approaches that are used in this essay. I will then describe how the global ‘interpretive community’ has sought to influence perceptions of global governance. This will be followed by an analysis of how sovereignty has evolved. In the penultimate section I will discuss the impact of globalisation. I will conclude that the UN can help to shape global governance.

    Global governance, which is essentially a product of liberal thinking, concerns so-called global values, norms, standards and rules. The majority of values that are considered global are Western and so global governance basically facilitates, and reflects, Western hegemony. Western hegemony here refers to the dominance of Western institutions, interests, standards and NGOs. The ‘global civil society’ is based on Western mores. In global governance, non-Western states and NGOs have had to redefine their interests and identities in relation to Western norms and power. Severe socio-economic problems have delivered Third World political leaders and NGOs into the hands of the West, thereby making Western hegemony appear like an ‘empire by invitation’.

    The dominance of Western institutions is partly due to the function of an ‘interpretive community’ that constantly explains, promotes, advocates and justifies global governance. The ‘interpretative community’ has been extremely successful in portraying Western ideas, values and preferences as global. The term ‘interpretive community’ is used in this essay to refer to any group of people who are committed to providing justification and legitimating principles for particular institutions, values or practices. Members of an ‘interpretive community’ may come from different professional backgrounds, such as scholars, journalists, international civil servants and NGO workers. They may also be recruited from different countries and might not even be aware that they operate as a part of a global ‘interpretive community’. What they have in common is a conviction that they are interpreting reality, when in fact they may be only expressing aspirations. Sometimes the ideas of an ‘interpretive community’ may influence practice.

    If that is not enough for anyone there is a UN Commission on Global Governance.

  36. Hi Jeff,

    The faulty IAC probe of the Climategate scandal is but a symptom of a bigger and more widespread problem than the manipulation of climate data:

    Our best research journals, governmental and international research organizations have become tools of propaganda that routinely violate the most basic principals of science and promote absolute rubbish as scientific facts.

    Unless I receive a response from Nature tonight, which is most unlikely since the NPG Executive Board has ignored several earlier messages, I will post here tomorrow an open request for the resignation of the Nature editor, Dr. Philip Campbell with documentation.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    PS – By separate e-mail I will notify the NPG Executive Committee that this message has been posted here.

  37. JPeden said

    There are many people who think that the ‘rich’ do not deserve their wealth and it should be taken away and given to the ‘poor’.

    1] The strange thing is that to achieve “equality”, the “excess” wealth is taken by the Gov’t and given to the Gov’t, not the “poor”, which can’t end well, as proven.

    2] Strict Communism has never worked, and it can’t work: no one has any incentive to be productive so as to profit, and not much incentive to even work. Marxism is also self-contradictory right from the start: it postulates “class warfare” as some kind of quasi-principle of physics, then claims as a subtext that somehow Communism will avoid it, which it never does, regardless. It instead manages even to reproduce the ultimate form of a classist society, the Master-Slave Society, with the Communist Party as Master, and the rest of the society as Slaves.

    Welcome to Utopia!

  38. Stephen Wilde said

    34 Stan said:

    “What I don’t understand is why an assessment isn’t a rather straightforward, easily compiled process.”

    Well of course it should be However I lost faith in the process when I saw the expert reviewer’s comments and compared them with the summary for policymakers.

    Those expert reviewers pointed out a huge number of doubts and uncertainties as regards every aspect of climatology but all were written out of the summary which announced 95% ‘confidence’.

    The IPCC process was hijacked by politically motivated non scientist policymakers who presented falshood as a scientific ‘consensus’ and gave more weight to the speculations of Greenpeace, WWF et al than to all those uncertain expert reviewer scientists.

    The investigations so far have spectacularly missed the point out of a misplaced respect for a wholly intellectually corrupted organisation.

  39. Stephen Wilde:

    The same non scientist policymakers took control of Nature soon after 1983, as you will see documented in the open message requesting the resignation of the current Nature editor, Dr. Philip Campbell (To be posted below later today).

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Emeritus Professor
    Nuclear & Space Sciences
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  40. DBD said

    Similar take from Piers Corbyn:

  41. The crime of conspiracy, according to its modern interpretation, may
    be of two kinds, Namely, conspiracies against the public, or such as
    endanger the public health, violate public morals, insult public justice,
    destroy the public peace, or affect public trade or business. See 3 Burr.

    need one say more?

  42. Bart said

    Jeff ponders about the history of the IPCC:
    “It was designed in my opinion … ”

    And how do you know how close your opinion is to reality?

    Others, eg some who have looked into this in some detail, have a different idea:

    Ronald Reagan apparently supported the setting up of the (“clumsy”) IPCC in the hopes that the emerging scientific consensus at the time would be ‘proven’ false.

  43. boballab said

    I see Bart still has his eyes wide shut in denial.

    Yep just overlook the academic papers on the reason for it, over look the UNEP commisioned papers on what to do with “Global Warming”, over look the fact the UN has an outline you can look up on their website called Agenda 21 and over look…. Do I really need to go on Bart?

    I guess you just overlooked this from my earlier post and it describes you so well:

    Members of an ‘interpretive community’ may come from different professional backgrounds, such as scholars, journalists, international civil servants and NGO workers. They may also be recruited from different countries and might not even be aware that they operate as a part of a global ‘interpretive community’. What they have in common is a conviction that they are interpreting reality, when in fact they may be only expressing aspirations. Sometimes the ideas of an ‘interpretive community’ may influence practice.

  44. boballab said

    Maybe This paper will be illuminating:

    Actors and International Environmental Governance: Best and Worst Practices for Improving International Climate Change Governance

    1. Introduction
    The study of international environmental governance is now a well established field of study, in political science and across other disciplines. Recent findings in International Environmental Governance (IEG) have emphasized the emergent equivalent of a division
    of labor amongst actors involved in environmental governance. Elsewhere in IR attention has focused on the prevalence of transnational public-private partnerships.(Keohane and Nye 1971: ; Keohane and Nye 1974: ; Hall and Biersteker 2002: ; Schaferhoff, Campe et al. 2009) In this essay we aim to move beyond a concern with partnerships of non-state actors, and of state and non-state actors, to develop a framework research program that will look at the effects of different configurations of political actors on environmental
    governance. As a consequence we seek to develop hypotheses about best and worst governance practices, as well as raising some suggestive puzzles that may advance our understanding of the interplay of political actors in environmental governance, and their
    ability to exercise agency. That is, what kinds of partnerships are most conducive to effective environmental governance, and what kinds are likely to inhibit effective environmental governance? These lessons will then be applied to climate change,
    currently known for its low effectiveness (Andresen and Skodvin, forthcoming 2010)

    While ‘globalization’ itself remains contested, the core driving forces which shape choices and understanding within the current setting are widely believed to include the following analytic features:(Grande and Pauly 2005: ; Biermann and Pattberg 2008)

    1) The nation state has lost a monopoly over the sovereign control of policy

    2) Most actors believe that transboundary and global threats require cooperation

    3) There is a large scale diffusion of non-state actors who participate in the decision making process. MNCs, IOs, scientific networks, and NGOs all compete for attention in international diplomacy, as well as seeking to influence states.</b.

    4) Uncertainty is the dominant systemic condition facing actors

    5) Decisions are taken through multi-level governance that entails vertical, horizontal, temporal, and networked linkages across and between scales.

    Kennette Benedict provides a useful definition of the current application of “global governance” (Governance 1995: 2-3; Benedict 2001: 6232) which is also shared with the Commission on Global Governance:(Governance 1995: 2-3)

    …a purposeful order that emerges from institutions, processes, norms, formal agreements, and informal mechanisms that regulate action for a common good. Global governance encompasses activity at the international, transnational and regional levels, and refers to activities in the public and private sectors that transcend national boundaries.

  45. Jeff Id said

    #42, I’ve written on that many times, I beleive the structure is designed to exaggerate the science. Each working group must find strong evidence to support the claims or the IPCC becomes irrelevant. i.e. strong AGW, strong damage, expensive mitigation. Any one of the three is found to be moderate or less, and the whole thing goes away. It simply wasn’t possible for them to conclude that perhaps the ground data trend is a little warmer than the sat/sonde because of UHI or data quality. Now that doesn’t mean you guys don’t believe what you write (still have difficulty saying that about Mann), but there are many who don’t that are simply not selected to have their views represented. Over 30 years, only one group is left and the others have moved on.

    Christy is a great scientist from the papers I’ve read, but he’s treated like the ‘token skeptic’ in mainstream crowds. UAH is a pretty good match to radiosondes, despite all the instrument changes and it shows a different result than models predict by 2-4 times depending on the model. I’m still hoping to hear your opinion on that very serious issue. It’s certainly more interesting than the IPCC. The whole thing should be making quite a furor in your crowd but I bet there will be little mention. At least scientists should attack the quality of UAH or sonde data – it couldn’t be the models.

  46. TA said

    Jeff said, “#32, The evidence does exist, right out in the open. You just have to put in the legwork to get your own specific questions answered.”

    It’s fine with me if that is satisfactory to you. It isn’t to me. I believe that a person who makes a claim, especially a criticism of someone else, should substantiate it, laying out the evidence to support their claim or providing links to their sources of information rather than expecting their readers to do their own legwork. The good commenters on this site have done a better job providing evidence for Spencer’s claims than Spencer apparently did.

    However, Spencer’s evidence may be different from that suggested by commenters here. He says, “As someone who watched from the sidelines as a U.S. government employee, I witnessed the mindset, and a few of the central players in action. These are people who think it is their gift to humanity to decide how others should live.” What specifically did he witness? How did he determine what their mindset was? He is claiming that he is basing his conclusions on special insider knowledge that the rest of us do not have, or at least I don’t. His claims of insider knowledge may very well be justifiable, but he does not substantiate them by giving any specifics. That is my objection.

  47. TA said

    Not to belabor this too much, but what I look for is replicability. I’d like to see Spencer’s evidence and process and find out if I reach the same conclusion from it. For me, it isn’t good enough if I can reach the same conclusion by my own means which may or may not be similar to Spencer’s.

  48. Hi, Jeff et al.

    Today’s message requesting the immediate resignation of the Nature editor, Dr. Philip Campbell, documents the widespread problems that were exposed by the climategate scandal and its later cover-up:

    Here are a few of earlier messages over the past ~2 years seeking the same services as other Nature subscribers.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Emeritus Professor
    Nuclear & Space Sciences
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  49. Bart said


    You claim that the IPCC’s raison d’etre is to prove “strong AGW, strong damage, expensive mitigation.”

    Expensive mitigation? I thought you were of the mind that mitigation is even more expensive (prohibitively so) than claimed by the mainstream? So is it in fact cheaper than the IPCC report claims? Well then, let’s go do it, and have a beer afterwards. My treat.


    Nice try, a conspiracy in sheep clothing: “global interpretive community”.

  50. boballab said

    Hey Bart you got something against the United Nations, for that paper comes from them? You do know that is what the UN calls it? You do know what the the address is don’t you? Here I’ll help you:

    Welcome to the United Nations University
    Towards Sustainable Solutions for Global Problems

    The UN University is dedicated to the generation and transfer of knowledge, and the strengthening of individual and institutional capacities in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

    The mission of UN University is to contribute, through collaborative research, capacity development, and advisory services to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States.

    In doing so, it pays due attention to the social sciences and humanities as well as natural sciences. The UN University fosters intellectual cooperation among scholars, scientists, and practitioners worldwide — especially those in the developing world — and functions as:

    an international community of scholars
    a bridge between the United Nations and the international academic community
    a think-tank for the United Nations system
    a builder of capacity, particularly in developing countries
    a platform for dialogue and new and creative ideas.

    Also Bart this has now been shown many times and I guess you over looked them too so I’ll have to show you again: A conspiracy is not the pejorative you think it is. Or maybe you need to see this from the Princess Bride:

    Now just replace Inconceivable Bart with Conspiracy. You see you can go look up the definition for the word conspiracy:

    from Websters Dictionary:

    Definition of CONSPIRACY

    1: the act of conspiring together

    2a : an agreement among conspirators
    b : a group of conspirators

    So lets look at what is a conspirator:

    Definition of CONSPIRATOR

    : one who conspires : plotter

    So we now work back to Conspires:
    a : to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement
    b : scheme

    2: to act in harmony toward a common end >/blockquote>

    So now answer this Bart: Is there people “acting in harmony toward a common goal” in the IPCC? This is a Yes or No question and answer truthfully Bart.

    You see the text book definition of a conspiracy is the IPCC, however nice try at trying to derail the fact that what I showed has been UN sponsored academic papers. Please note that all the papers I linked to come from Academics at Universities and the UN themselves Bart, not one single far right Blog.

    Sorry Bart all you did was demonstrate your ignorance:
    You didn’t know that paper came from the UN itself when trying to slime it and me.
    You didn’t know what a conspiracy is. Acting like the typical IPCC/UN apologist you assumed that word meant something it doesn’t. I know I’m speaking to someone that is probably incapable of learning this stuff or you would have learned this 3 threads ago at least. You Bart are a person that “knows what I knows, don’t confuse me with the facts”. Like I said Bart you fit the UN definition to a T.

  51. sod said

    Is there people “acting in harmony toward a common goal” in the IPCC? This is a Yes or No question and answer truthfully Bart.

    this is getting stupid!

  52. boballab said

    I see I reduced Sod to sputtering because he can’t logically refute that the IPCC meets the definition of a conspiracy.

  53. Jeff Id said

    #49, Bart, you always have star status here. I’m blown away by your willingness to discuss.

    Consider that mitigation of usage is the single most expensive and damaging thing we can do to the world’s poor. Then consider that the only working solution for our energy needs is the nearly unheralded Nuclear power, and that the IPCC supports global implementation of non-working technolgies like wind and solar. Consider again that the IPCC supported wealth redistribution from working governments to the poor of the world for the purpose of expanding non-working energy solutions.

    All of it maximizes cost and damage, in the guise of helping the people. The overwhelming expense maximizes profit and control for those in charge (not by coincidence) while ignoring the fact that it doesn’t solve co2 emission.

    Maximum cost for minimum benefit with the caveat of limiting industry and private wealth.

    IPCC – Ugly and stupid, what a combo.

  54. stan said


    Dean Wormer on the IPCC:

  55. Bart said


    Are you really trying to claim that the IPCC (ie mainstream climate scientists) are out to “maximize cost for minimum benefit” or am I misunderstanding you?

    I’m at a loss in seeing anything rational in the position you ascribe to the IPCC.

  56. […] badly | Watts Up With That? IPCC announces “independent” review | Watts Up With That? Dr. Spencer C3: Another Failed IPCC Prediction: Three Peer-Reviewed Studies Find Amazon Not At Risk From […]

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