Re: Environment-IPCC

Kenneth Piers (
Wed, 26 Jun 1996 10:47:21 EST5EDT

With respect to Maatman's comments regarding the difficulty of receiving
proper (scientific) information regarding environmental problems he
alludes to the summaries of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change 1995 report. For those interested, these summaries together with
a Synthesis report drafted by 20 persons are available for viewing or
downloading at <>. These summaries
were a condensation of over 2000 pages of three extensive reports
dealing with different areas: 1 The Science; 2. the Impacts; and 3. the
Socio-Econmomics of climate change.
It seems slightly incredible to me that one could pick one or two
sentences (out of context, likely) from the background reports and then,
on this basis, allege that the summaries do not correspond to the
material contained in the background reports themseleves. While I have
not read the background reports, I have perused the summaries to some
extent. I do not find these summaries to be on the flaming left-wing
fringe of the debate about climate change. In contrast, I think that
they are quite careful and and sensitive about what is likely to happen
and what needs to be done. I think we need to understand these reports
as the best judgement of those who have most closely studied the issues
involved in climate change and not as some irrational media-driven
imperative about what "everyone knows". Before bashing the summaries of
the background reports, or before accepting someone else's bashing of
them, I would want to read the background reports myself.
I have very much appreciated the comments of Ohlman, Sweitzer, and
Haarsma related to this thread. And I agree that the paper Maatman
refers to in Christianity Today by Tim Stafford is excellent.

Kenneth Piers e-mail:
Dept.of Chemistry and Biochemistry. ph. 616-957-6491
Calvin College fax: 616-957-6501
Grand Rapids. MI 49546
"... and withal he seemed bisier than he was..." - Chaucer