Sweitzer, Dennis (
Fri, 28 Jun 96 08:23:00 EST

Russ responded concerning the IPCC report>>>>>>>>>
>I still have this rather simple question: Were the following
three statements, which Seitz says were in the *summary* he saw,
reflected in the *published* summary?
*"None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we
can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of
increases in greenhouse gases."

*"No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate
change observed to date] to anthropogenic [man-made] causes."

*"Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are
likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural
variability of the climate system are reduced."
>This is a very important matter. We are talking about conclusions made
by a world-famous scientific panel about *many* scientific studies--not
just one study--made over a period of several years. It is not
relevant that Seitz is associated with such-and-such a society, and
that another society disagrees. It is not relevant that someone else
attempted to defend Seitz. The question remains:

>Were these three statements in the summary to which Seitz lent his name
reflected in the published summary?

Russ, will you answer the following simple yes or no question?

Do you still beat your wife? Yes or no?


To definitively answer your question, one would have to get both the Oct.9
draft and the Final versions of the report and painstakingly compare the
two. I am not in a position to do so.

Based on what I have seen so far, it would seem that these exact sentances
were in the Oct.9 version and not in the final version. Probably they were
in the part of the concluding summary of chapter 8 which was redundant with
the executive summary of chapter 8, and not in the half which was merged
into section 8.6 of chapter 8 (or whatever).

Santer's claim is that this information is elsewhere in the report (no doubt
with different words and sentence structure). Hence, they would be
reflected in the report (emphasis on reflected--as opposed to repeated).

On the other hand, Seitz's implication is that the information is nowhere
else in the report--though the specific charge is that these exact
statements were removed from the report.

For instance, statement #1 may have been more precisely expressed elsewhere
as: "Observed climate changes have not been linked to man-made greenhouse
gase with high statistical certainty in any of the studies sited above".
[Note: I made that up].

If this sentence were indeed in the executive summary, then indeed the
content of statement #1 is still in the report, though not the exact wording
of statement #1. However, even though "clear evidence" is nearly equivalent
to "high statistical certainty" in precise scientific thinking, it is less
clear in common usage where it roughly gets translated as simply "evidence".

In other words, statement #1 is bad because many laypeople (and policy
makers) will carelessly interprete it to mean that "there is no evidence
linking man-made greenhouse gases and climate change". I have to wonder
whether Seitz & the GCC & other advocacy groups were hoping to use this
semantic loophole in later debates (no wonder they're upset).

To answer whether or not these statements were exactly in the final version
is like answering the question of still beating your wife. Answering yes
implies that you beat your wife. The technically correct answer is no, but
in common usage, answering no implies you have beaten your wife previously.
The best answer would be "I have never beat my wife" (expect in chess &
checkers....)--which is excluded by the framing of the question.

This raises a 'science-as-practiced' question :-^)

The IPCC report is to be a consensus report on the topic of climate change.
Consensus often is used as meaning "unaninimous", though the dictionary
meaning is " a group as a whole or majority will", or "general

There were nearly 100 scientists signing on to it. Knowing what I know
about the personality of scientists, engineers & such, it seems remarkable
that there is only one dissenter (Seitz). Has anyone heard of any other
IPCC scientists expressing similar sentiments?

God bless you Russ, this is a fun debate. I hope someone is seeing some
light through all this smoke :-) (thought it may help to be able to see in
the Infra Red band!).

Grace & peace,

Dennis Sweitzer