Friday, October 15, 2010

IPCC reform (okay, a little bit)

More details have emerged on the "reform" of the IPCC.
1. The guidelines for non-peer-reviewed material have been updated. The old guidelines were fine. They were just not implemented.
2. Review editors will be reminded of their role (sic).
3. The guidelines for uncertainty will be updated. I found this a minor irritant in the past -- replacing judgement with ill-defined rules -- and I expect that the new guidelines will not improve things. No shortcut can do justice to the complexities of conveying degrees of confidence.
4. There will be a policy on conflicts of interest.

Point 4 is the only real progress, and it only matters if it is implemented -- unlike previous IPCC policies on basically everything.

The Plenary deferred all other reforms to a committee.

Pachauri still chairs the IPCC. He is incompetent, but that used to be irrelevant as the IPCC chair is a figurehead anyway. However, he has clearly and repeatedly demonstrated his incompetence to the world. Pachauri is a liability to the IPCC, and he should go.

The new conflict of interests policy will be tested immediately. Either the policy is not serious, or the IPCC chair will violate the policy.

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