Bad idea to bring political content into a "professional" blog, but I want to.
So there's this ongoing media frenzy about the report that the IPCC just issued. Many of you have heard of "the release of an authoritative and disturbingly grim scientific report in Paris that said global warming is "very likely" [90% certainty] caused by mankind and that climate change will continue for centuries even if heat-trapping gases are reduced. It was the strongest language ever used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose last report was issued in 2001." (ABC article )
But here's the thing about it. According to Junk Science.com, what the IPCC actually released was a summary of their report. The actual report will not be released for another 3 months, during which time it will be edited to make sure that it is consistent with the summary.
....Read that sentence again. Does that sound a little backward to anyone else? You may argue that we have no more reason to believe junkscience.com than the media... but all of the author's claims are directly cited... and he provides links to IPCC documentation concerning the process, whereas ABC.com doesn't really cite anything. Anyway, it's worth looking into. The fact that the Summary for Policymakers has been issued should mean that it has been approved - in which case a "detailed, line by line discussion and agreement" has been made, which sounds pretty good to me, and I'd like to the think that the IPCC isn't being irresponsible about their statements.. but it stills sounds questionable that the summary should be issued before a review of the actual reports has been completed... and that the individual reports will potentially be edited to suit the summary. (Sorry I keep reiterating.. it just sort of... blows my mind a little. Maybe there's something I'm not understanding completely.)
It's not to say I'm against us taking care of the environment, and I don't even necessarily think the media-frenzy over the issue is a bad thing. (Although I'm still not necessarily convinced that scientists have reached a consensus on industry's effect on the situation - see discussions on the effect of water vapor on global temperatures - I don't think setting regulations to limit our impact on the environment could possibly be a bad thing.) I'm just a little concerned about this incredibly backward-sounding move that the media is broadcasting in a somewhat misleading way, that's already having a gigantic impact on environmental policy worldwide.. that's all. Heck, junkscience could even be a hoax.. it's not like you can ever really expect to find the truth on the internet.