Formal Complaint With the IPCC

Hi all. Some of you may remember a series of posts I've written about how the latest IPCC report involved a number of inexplicable changes made absent any sort of external review. The latest of them can be found here. I've meant to write a formal complain to the IPCC regarding the concerns I have for the last couple months, but I've never gotten around to it until today. Today I finally got around to sending an e-mail to the IPCC alleging multiple cases of wrongdoing in their preparation of their latest report.

The e-mail I sent said (my personal phone number has been redacted):

To whom it may concern,

There were a number of unexplained and unjustified changes to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chapter (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Working Group II (WGII). Chapter 10 had two sections added to it after the Second Order Draft (SOD) was sent out for review: Section 10.9.2 (Aggregate Impacts) and Section 10.9.3 (Social Cost of Carbon). Additional changes were made to Section 10.9.2 after the Final Government Draft (FGD) had been disseminated for public consumption. Many of these changes were unexplained, and the explanations which were given were sometimes false. Most troubling, the changes generally promoted the work and views of Richard Tol, a person responsible for the text which was changed.

It is difficult to reconcile these facts with the IPCC principles which state:

Three principles governing the review should be borne in mind. First, the best possible scientific and technical advice should be included so that the IPCC Reports represent the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic findings and are as comprehensive as possible. Secondly, a wide circulation process, ensuring representation of independent experts (i.e. experts not involved in the preparation of that particular chapter) from developing and developed countries and countries with economies in transition should aim to involve as many experts as possible in the IPCC process. Thirdly, the review process should be objective, open and transparent.

It is difficult to see how a review process can be “open and transparent” if significant changes are made absent any review. It is difficult to see how a review process can “ensure complete coverage of all content” when entire sections are (re)written absent any review. The IPCC routinely promotes its review process as one of the most important points in its favor, but it is difficult to see why anyone should care about it if the IPCC review process can simply be disregarded on a whim.

Documentation of some examples of this is provided in the attached document. The document does not attempt to provide a comprehensive list of these problems, and it does not address all issues with the examples it covers. Even so, it shows the IPCC principles, and perhaps even IPCC policies, were completely disregarded in the preparation of the IPCC WGII.

If you'd like any clarification or additional information, you may contact me via this e-mail address or at 1-618-975-XXXX. I have no particular affiliations, but I have spent a fair amount of time examining this portion of the latest IPCC report, and I can likely provide any information you might need.

Brandon Shollenberger

The document I attached to the e-mail can be found here. I'm not especially happy with it, but I think it should suffice. I wanted to get it out of the way, and there seemed little reason to put more effort into it since it seems nobody is particularly concerned about the fact the IPCC has allowed flagrant abuse of its review process.