Climate Science and the IPCC Fail Legal Cross Examination

Commentary, Climate, Frontier Centre

The political whitewash of the work of  the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was stunning and brazen. They did not listen to anyone who knew what the accused had done. They examined only a few papers carefully selected by the Royal Society, which itself had a history of political involvement and propaganda.

So they only spoke with the defendants, only considered a controlled fraction of the evidence, and the judges were carefully selected for their prejudice. It bypassed every basic element of jurisprudence. When those basics are applied in legal examination of the climate data and record the ‘official’ science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is proved wanting.

Political Bias In British Schools: Gore’s Movie Dissected

The first newsworthy case was in a British court when a father, Stuart Dimmock, brought a lawsuit against the then Secretary of State for Education and Skills. His lawsuit claimed there was political bias, political indoctrination, and lack of balance in the presentation of global warming. Central to the problem was Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth. It was used as if it presented facts accurately and without political or scientific bias.  The Judge ruled that, “It is now common ground that it is not simply a science film – although it is clear that it is based substantially on scientific research and opinion – but that it is a political film, albeit of course not party political.” He found this contradicted the statutory requirement forbidding “the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school.” He reported existence of the Channel 4 documentary, “The Great Global Warming Swindle” as possible balance. He showed from government documents how the bureaucracy gave Gore’s movie primacy. The Environment Secretary and Education Secretary said, “The powerful Al Gore film “An Inconvenient Truth” will form part of a pack on climate change sent to every secondary school in England,” Mr. Milliband is quoted, The debate over the science of climate change is well and truly over, as demonstrated by the publication of today’s report by the IPCC.” 

The judgment is not just the lack of balance. Imbalance is aggravated by the scientific errors in the movie, but also because Gore departs from the IPCC views. There are errors and omissions in the film, to which I shall refer, and respects in which the film, while purporting, to set out the mainstream view (and to belittle opposing views), does in fact itself depart from that mainstream, in the sense of the “consensus” expressed in the IPCC reports. He states that these departures are further proof of Gore’s political objectives. “However, as will be seen, some of the errors, or departures from the mainstream by Mr. Gore in AIT in the course of his dynamic exposition, do arise in the context of alarmism and exaggeration in support of his political thesis.” In summary, the judge found there was no balance in the curriculum primarily because of political interference. Gore’s movie was a political production with nine errors and misuse of data including, ironically, the work of the IPCC. Appropriately the judge ordered the errors be identified and the lack of balance corrected.

An Amazingly Accurate Assessment

The more recent legal assessment of the climate debate is a detailed study titled, “Global Warming Advocacy Science: A Cross Examination” by Jason Scott Johnson of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. The approach was to examine the general position that, “Legal scholarship has come to accept as true the various pronouncements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientists who have been active in the movement for greenhouse gas (ghg) emission reductions to combat global warming.” In a surprising twist it compares the IPCC claims with “the peer-edited scientific literature on climate change.” This is the literature that people like Naomi Oreske and many others tried to claim did not exist. A most damming comment holds, “A review of the peer-edited literature reveals a systematic tendency of the climate establishment to engage in a variety of stylized rhetorical techniques that seem to oversell what is actually known about climate change while concealing fundamental uncertainties and open questions regarding many of the key process involved in climate change.”

He notes that established science failed to follow standard scientific method as I identified in seven different CanadaFreePress articles beginning here.

The article then identifies the procedures used to counteract any who questioned or tried to draw attention to other science. “…in every important case, the establishment response is to question the reliability of the disconfirming evidence and then to find other evidence that is consistent with model predictions.” It’s a reasonable account of the activities and techniques of the people associated with Realclimate; the group set up to fend off attacks on the people at the CRU.

Finally, the article identifies the major issues that are at the heart of the debate.


  1. “Because of the system’s complexity and non – linearity, without a quite detailed understanding of the system, scientists cannot provide useful guidance regarding the impact on climate of increases in atmospheric ghg concentration.”
  2. “As a large number of climate scientists have stressed, such an understanding will come about only if theoretical and model-driven predictions are tested against actual observational evidence.”
  3. “…there is no indication that climate scientists are converging toward the use of standard observational datasets that they agree to be valid.”
  4. “We should not be using public money to pay for faster and faster computers so that increasingly fine-grained climate models can be subjected to ever larger numbers of simulations until we have got the data to test whether the predictions of existing models are confirmed (or not disconfirmed) by the evidence.
  5. “Policy carrying potential costs in the trillions of dollars ought not to be based on stories and photos confirming faith in models, but rather on precise and replicable testing of the models’ predictions against solid observational data.”


Legal analysis looks at the evidence, the motive and the modus operandi. Both these examples do this with perception and clarity to expose the extent to which climate science was perverted for political ends. The analysis indicates actions were deliberate and premeditated.