It looks like the media missed a key aspect of the United Nation’s recently leaked climate report. Parts of the report’s summary for policymakers were written with the help of environmental activists, according to a climate skeptic Canadian journalist.
While many media outlets focused on the UN’s warnings about the effects global warming will have on food production, the Canadian journalist who leaked the report on Monday has focused on the role environmental activists played in reaching these conclusions.
“One would expect a body that says it’s conducting a scientific assessment to choose people who are clean as a whistle for such a task,” writes Donna Laframboise. “People who exemplify science at its best — neutral, dispassionate, disinterested scholars. But that’s not what happened.”
Hundreds of people were selected to help the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to help draft its next climate report, but only 71 people were chosen to help distill the 30-chapter report into a 29-page summary.
Those chosen included individuals connected to influential environmental groups. One such person is Michael Oppenheimer who worked with the Environmental Defense Fund for more than two decades and still advises the group to this day, according to his online biography.
Another activist who worked on the climate report’s summary was Australian marine biologist Ove Hoegh-Guldberg. According to Laframboise, the Aussie worked with Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund. Hoegh-Guldberg was the author of various reports on global warming for both these groups.
A third activist that Laframboise pointed to was New Zealand medical doctor Alistair Woodward. The Canadian journalist argues that Woodward “has published articles that could be mistaken for political manifestos,” including a 2009 article that urges doctors to “Educate and encourage patients…in climate change action” and “Make Green Prescriptions.”
The New York Times reported that Laframboise runs a blog that is “hostile to the intergovernmental panel.” UN officials have not disputed the authenticity of the document but did caution that it’s a draft report and subject to revisions.
“It’s a work in progress,” IPCC spokesman Jonathan Lynn told the Times. “It’s likely to change.”
The leaked IPCC report found that global warming poses a risk for global food production, departing from other research that shows that rising temperatures would be beneficial for crop yields.
The UN’s previous climate report was more optimistic about crop yields in a warmer world, as food production gains in areas in higher latitudes would offset crop losses in tropical areas closer to the equator.
However, the leaked report found that crop risks “are greatest for tropical countries, given projected impacts that exceed adaptive capacity and higher poverty rates compared with temperate regions.”
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