Paying IPCC authors? Last I heard there wasn't actually a shortage of applicants. Pay what is necessary to fill the posts, that's what I say! If the most capable people are actually turning it down out of hardship, then that's another matter...but I have not heard of such a case.and Richard Tol writes:
Researchers indeed have a small amount of discretionary time available for "service". I've worked at 8 universities in 6 countries. I've worked at 4 IPCC reports. The time needed to fulfill your duties to the IPCC cannot be done in the time available for services.Eli's position is that if the IPCC fully funds the authors there is a) a gain in transparency and b) this would enable people in soft money positions who have to cover their salaries (ie they are on piecework like RT) and there are a lot of them, to participate.
There are all sorts of implicit subsidies going from universities and national labs to the IPCC. That is sort-of fine as long as the subsidies do not come with political ties. But there are also IPCC people from national labs who are not at arms' length of the government; there are governments who hire consultants to work for the IPCC; and there are IPCC people in the employ of industry and environmental NGOs. The latter groups tend to have more time and energy for the IPCC and disproportionally influence its findings.
If you do not believe me, just research the authors of AR4.
And there are people who would have been in the IPCC were it not for the fact that their boss said "if you can raise the money".
Since even with IPCC funding non faculty folk will still have to account for their time to their organization, this will not be a silver bullet.