In the last couple of months, journalistic practice from those reporters covering the Global Warming debate has been plagued by some rather worrying and, frankly, systemic misrepresentation of scientists. For example, the National Post bungled Andrew Weaver's interview to make him sound more critical of IPCC procedures than he really was, and David Rose has been a regular fount of mis-information. Now we have another climatologist, Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, a member of the UK government’s Committee on Climate Change and director of the Grantham Institute at London’s Imperial College, telling the Financial Times that they didn't get him quite right either..
Sir, In “Call to tighten climate science” (February 5), Fiona Harvey rightly quotes my statement that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change process has to be made more robust.
I think it important also to put on record the part of my comments that was not reported, which made clear that I have been hugely impressed with the way the IPCC conducted its most recent assessment. To have distilled coherent and robust accounts of the status of the understanding of climate change, and at the same time to exhibit the major uncertainties in this understanding, was a hugely impressive achievement by the IPCC.
The very small number of flaws in the thousands of pages of those reports should not be allowed to shake confidence in the arguments that depend on a very large number of strands of evidence and scientific contributions. I have been stressing the uncertainties for 30 years but also the increasing surety we have that we are doing something unprecedented and dangerous to the climate system.
Imperial College London, UK
PS. Brian Hoskins is.