Climate change and the bunker mentality

The head of an organization focusing on cleaning up a developing environmental catastrophe is urging its workers not to talk to the media. BP? Nope. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The whistle is being blown by a member of the so-called Working Group II, Edward R. Carr, on his blog, “Open the Echo Chamber.”

Part of the problem for the IPCC is a perceived lack of openness – that something is going on behind closed doors that cannot be trusted. This, in the end, was at the heart of the “climategate” circus – a recent report has exonerated all of the scientists implicated, but some people still believe that there is something sinister going on.

There is an easy solution to this – complete openness. I’ve worked on global assessments before, and the science is sound. I’ve been quite critical of the way in which one of the reports was framed (download “Applying DPSIR to Sustainable Development” here), but the science is solid and the conclusions are more refined than ever. Showing people how this process works, and what we do exactly, would go a long way toward getting everyone on the same page with regard to global environmental change, and how we might best address it.

Carr has posted a letter he received yesterday from the head of the group:

“I would also like to emphasize that enhanced media interest in the work of the IPCC would probably subject you to queries about your work and the IPCC. My sincere advice would be that you keep a distance from the media and should any questions be asked about the Working Group with which you are associated, please direct such media questions to the Co-chairs of your Working Group and for any questions regarding the IPCC to the secretariat of the IPCC.”

Perhaps the panel will recommend bunkers as a solution to climate change.

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