Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Reverse Ferret

Richard Tol has been playing Richard Tol at the IPCC WGII meeting in Tokyo.  It looks like he is not going to sign on to the summary statement, which would make the process to reconcile the full report to the SPM, interesting, especially given the short shrift he has given to the expert referees. Tol is extensively quoted in a BBC report by Matt McGrath

Prof Richard Tol is an economist at the University of Sussex, who has been the convening lead author of the chapter on economics.

He was involved in drafting the summary but has now asked for his name to be removed from the document.

"The message in the first draft was that through adaptation and clever development these were manageable risks, but it did require we get our act together," he told BBC News.

"This has completely disappeared from the draft now, which is all about the impacts of climate change and the four horsemen of the apocalypse. This is a missed opportunity."

Critics say that some aspects of the projected effects are "alarmist", such as the impact on conflict and migration caused by climate change. 

"You have a very silly statement in the draft summary that says that people who live in war-torn countries are more vulnerable to climate change, which is undoubtedly true," said Prof Tol.

"But if you ask people in Syria whether they are more concerned with chemical weapons or climate change, I think they would pick chemical weapons - that is just silliness."
Tol's first is very pleased to push the article

Tol then reverse ferrets to explain the news about him no longer being a co-author on the SPM and why the BBC is, shock horror, a bunch of journalists
Now some, not Eli to be sure, might think this all is in response to an article by Toralf Staud a freelancer in Klima Retter (Climate Savior) a German on line magazine for which Richard is going all Ms. Manners in the best tradition of his sidekick who when told he was no longer needed, decided everyone was being mean to him. Richard complains about Staud introducing himself as a "freelance science journalist"
Eli will be providing a translation of this article in a few minutes, but just to set the stage, let the Bunny translate the last paragraph which was an additional comment that Tol provided after the article appeared.
P. S. 27 03 : After publication of this article , we received a response from Richard Tol , which we gladly add. On the question of his competence, he replied : " I have done research for 20 years on issues of climate change impacts, have published myself on the topics of health and conflicts and have closely followed the literature on the subject of nutrition."  In addition, it was true that he had between the third and fourth draft of the Summary for Policy Makers,  "sometime  betweenOctober-November " withdrawn from the authors' group, but he had previously been involved in discussions on specific topics, as well as the tone of the summary.Tol rejects the accusation that his current criticism is a PR stunt. In talking with the BBC correspondent although he had made ​​the statements that were quoted they were, however, only a small side issue in a 30 - minute interview . The BBC had inflated the idea without his agreement, and other media had then amplified it. "I'm not the least bit happy with that. Debates should be about climate science or climate policy , not climate people."
Strangely enough, those who never see enough of their names in print are now being quite shy about having their names mentioned, except of course, when they are doing the mentioning.  The great mentioners are having meltdowns


Florifulgurator said...

Tol has no idea of Syria, it looks.

Syrians are, of course, no longer that much concerned with catastrophic climate change. But at the beginning of the Syrian mess was a combination of overpopulation, global warming type super drought (with almost a million ruined and hungry farmers fleeing to the cities), and bad resource management by an incompetent/corrupted government.

Victor Venema said...

I have some sympathy for Tol about his interview with Staud.

When marcel Crok introduced himself to me he also claimed to a journalist. When I found out what he really was I felt conned.

EliRabett said...

Although not frequently journalized, Eli quite early learned the first rule: Decide what your single elevator speech is and repeat that endlessly. Journalists are not there to sell your message.

And Then There's Physics said...

Victor, I saw your tweet, but didn't get the context till I saw your comment here :-)

Eli, indeed. In fact I'm normalised pleased if they don't mangle what I say too much.