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November 23rd 2014 print

Tony Thomas

Climate Hustles Hot from Brussels

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele reckons global warming will kill Prince William, and that is only one of his many unhinged prophecies. A man who strikes many as an all-round cad and thoroughly deplorable fellow, he trades in schemes and slurs to silence sceptics. Oh, and one other thing: He aims to head the IPCC

Brussels BS-erPlease don’t tell Kate Middleton! We don’t want to upset her, but a leading IPCC scientist has predicted that in 2039, her bloke, King William V, will die at 57 from the West Nile virus as a result of the planet’s IPCC-predicted global warming.

The scientist is Belgium’s Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, and he made the forecast in a tract written for Greenpeace in 2004. At the time, he was  Vice-Chair of the IPCC’s Working Group 11 for the 2007 Fourth Report. He has since risen to Vice-Chair of the IPCC itself, one of three Vice-Chairs directly below IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri. (The other two are from South Korea and that powerhouse of climate-change science, Sudan).

But wait, there’s more! Ypersele is the first to put up his hand to be elected the next  IPCC chair when that position is up for grabs late next year. He has the full and proud backing of the Belgian government. In a year he could be the most influential scientist on the planet!

Find it odd for a supposedly impartial IPCC boffin to be writing reports for Greenpeace? (And did he get paid, by the way?). No, it’s not at all odd. Chair Pachauri himself wrote doom-laden  intros for Greenpeace tracts in 2007 and 2008. The IPCC’s writing team for the Fifth Report included various Greenpeace alumni[i], and IPCC reports cheerfully cite Greenpeace among their sources.[ii]

Apart from killing off our future king in 2039, Ypersele’s 40-year forecast for 2044 is a catalogue of horrors extreme even by the standards of his catastropharian peers. Even Tim “No More Rain” Flannery, who fancied  Perth as a drought-denuded ghost town, seems almost sane by comparison. According to the ambitious alarmist from Brussels, here are the high-temperature torments the world has coming:

  • Belgian irrigation drying up with the river Meuse
  • Farmers suiciding outside the Prime Minister’s office
  • The Paris-Berlin high-speed train departing its buckled rail tracks and killing 52 passengers
  • Heat-death corpses stacked in the improvised morgue of Antwerp’s cold stores
  • Desperate Egyptians flooding Belgium as they flee the rising Mediterranean
  • Belgian workers inundate Norway in quest of somewhere to cool down, then refuse to return
  • Turkey and Syria are at war over water access
  • The female US President — Hilary Clinton, perhaps, finally fulfilling her ambition at the age of 96? –  dispatches a dozen submarines to seed  the Southern Ocean with iron powder in a desperate bid to increase its CO2 absorption capacity.

Ypersele “admits that the picture is a little contrived”  but swears “every one of the facts described is possible unless serious measures are taken to protect the climate. Sometimes I have to wonder whether we will have to wait for a climate disaster to strike the White House … for the problem to be taken seriously by the decision makers at every level (political, economic and even down to the citizens themselves).” Warming to his theme, he continues:

“Simply knowing that the intensity of tropical cyclones is going to grow in Bangladesh and that African agriculture risks collapse, is not sufficient to rally public opinion at home. I have long dreamed of drafting an inventory on the potential impacts of climate change in Belgium…Greenpeace’s request has given me the chance to make a start on this…We assume full scientific responsibility for the results  and would like thank Greenpeace for not having interfered at all in the control of our paper… This is our only planet – we do not have a spare.”
                –  Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Professor of Climatology & Environmental Science at the University catholique de Louvain,  Belgium.”

(Editor’s note: As Ypersele’s intro is difficult to cut and paste, Tony Thomas has kindly retyped it in full as a footnote).[iii]

brussels bser2Actually, a quarter of Ypersel’s 40-year climate timeframe has now occurred and the planet has not  warmed one jot.  King William V may yet survive. Yet Ypersele remains so sure about human-caused warming  science that he compares it to the theory of gravity.

In the coming IPCC election for chair, a last-minute scramble of nominations is likely, so Ypersele’s chances are moot.   The election is a one-country/one-vote system involving all the United Nations’ 194 states. That is, Tuvalu’s vote is as good as the US vote. Of course it is possible for big nations to lean on little ones for votes on elections and other issues. Secret US cables, disclosed via Wikileaks, showed  American and European officials plotting bribery, blackmail, threats, and even espionage to advance their climate agenda and get delegates’ signatures for the 2009 Copenhagen summit. For instance, the Maldives was exposed   demanding at least $50 million from the US in “tangible assistance”.  Even Saudi Arabia put its hand out for money in return for docility at climate negotiations.

A specific instance of  US government vote-manipulation on IPCC elections emerged from the cables.  There was an IPCC push in 2008 to elect  unopposed  the highly-qualified Dr Mostafa Jafari of Iran as a Working Group 11 co-chair, which was anathema to the US as the other co-chair was an American, Professor Chris Field. One of the Wikileaks cables read that the US “contacted IPCC Chairman Dr. Rajendra Pachauri (please protect), who agreed to work on this issue to avoid the potential for disruption to one the organization’s three core working groups.” Pachauri has denied playing any such role in the election. The cable also ordered US embassies from Brazil to Uzhbekistan to do “everything possible” with host states if and when requested to organize someone other than the Iranian to be elected.

The US sought to supplant the Iranian with a co-chair from Mali or Argentina. The Argentinian did indeed get the job, while Jafari finished up with only a minor roost in the IPCC’s climatocracy.

While we should all try to see the best in everyone, Ypersele really doesn’t seem a very nice person. Three years back he ran a vendetta that succeeded in preventing noted atmospheric physicist Dr Fred Singer and mathematician Professor Claes Johnson from speaking at a science conference. And for the past 18 months Ypersele has been telling whoever will listen that any talk of the 18-year halt to warming involves “lying”.

Singer published an email from Ypersele objecting to him taking part in a September, 2011, climate seminar to be held at SEII (Société Européenne des Ingénieurs et Industriels) Foundation Universitaire in Brussels, where he was to have given a talk entitled “What is new in climate change”.Claes Johnson, another sceptic, was also invited to give a paper on “Blackbody radiation and Climate Thermodynamics”.

“We are very happy to have this opportunity to bring together scientists and some politicians (we hope) and get some useful and interesting discussions,” the organisers initially told Johnson. But neither scientist presented there, thanks to Ypersele’s intervention, which led to the cancellation of that seminar session. Johnson subsequently published his paper under the title, CO2 Climate Alarmism Debunked by Mathematics.

As Google-translated from the original French, Ypersele’s email reads:

Subject: SEII and scientific honesty

Mr. Secretary-General,
SEII argues implicitly climate denial, on the eve of World congress in Geneva of engineers dedicated to energy challenges (where I have the honor of giving a ‘keynote reading ‘).. .

“You should know that Mr. Fred Singer [correctly, “Dr” Singer] is a person whose scientific honesty leaves much to be desired. (His) activities are financed disinformation by the lobbies of fossil fuels and it is outrageous that such a person may be associated, directly or indirectly, with SEII and the University Foundation.

Distinguished colleagues wrote that Mr. Johnson [correctly Dr and Professor of Applied Mathematics] was not much better… One of (his recent) ‘ textbooks ‘, where he spoke wrongly (about) climate change…has been retracted (because) it contained errors.

Thank you for telling me quickly what steps SEII (will) take to distance themselves from this “event”. I would be glad also to know what is the mandate of this “think tank” of SEII on Climate Change that Mr Masson chairs (although his resume is not available on the website of the University of Antwerp, and I never heard of his expertise in climate).

Sincerely,
Prof. Jean -Pascal van Ypersele”

Singer responded:

“Why am I not surprised by this disreputable action of this IPCC officer? After all, we know from Climategate emails that these people will go to any length to suppress scientific dissent. Even to libel and to use bald-faced lies.

Of course, I am not supported by fossil-fuel industry. That is complete nonsense and invention.

Our IPCC colleague van Ypersele also questions my honesty. Well now —  the IPCC has been using me as a scientific reviewer, I publish regularly in peer-reviewed journals and am an elected Fellow of several scientific societies. So there must be some who disagree…”

Ypersele’s reference to Claes Johnson’s mathematical text being “retracted” concerns a political decision in 2010 by Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology KTH to stop use in courses of his mathematical critique of climate models and sensitivity, aka “KTH-gate”. Johnson is among the few Swedish scientists on the ICI  Highly Cited list of the world’s most cited scientists, and holder of a Humboldt Research Prize.

A key letter from the SEII Founding President Michel van Hecke to the SEII seminar organizer Henri Masson, reads (Google-translated):

“Regarding the climate problem…animosity is growing by the day between the two parties…  The debate, which should only be scientific, becomes a destructive conflict.

“Obviously SEII should be held away from this kind of destructive conflict. It cannot take sides, especially as it wants to be the link between the world of industry and academia …”

He continued that Ypersele had a “quality relationship” with SEII  which needed to be safeguarded. The best policy, he concluded, would be to cancel the seminar rather than allow a sceptic to be heard:

 “I deeply regret the circumstances because… I am a convinced supporter of the right of everyone to express their views (provided, of course, that this be done without harming others).  I look forward to receiving your comments, as soon as possible, on how to end, as suggested above, this regrettable situation.”

To sum up,  IPCC vice-chair Ypersele blackballs two eminent fellow scientists for the crime of being sceptics, stopping them putting their IPCC-dissident views to a science seminar. Yet his official biography insists he is “devoted to the provision of policy-relevant, but non policy-prescriptive, scientific information” and is determined to “lubricate the interface between science and policy/decision making, to advance Humanity”.

On Ypersele’s claims of  people “lying” about the warming halt, here’s the deal: In at least 15 presentations this year – the latest in Brussels on October 20 — Ypersele has used a slide headed “Lying With Statistics, Global Warming Edition”.  This shows five temperature plateaux since 1912, each at a higher level than previously. Ypersele took the slide from the MotherJones.com website which in turns says, “It’s pretty obvious the world is still heating up.” He has used the slide at Jonkoping in Sweden, Mexico City, Brussels (five times), Liege, Namur, Luxembourg,  Paris, Louvain, Geneva, Watermael Belgium, and Leuven  Belgium.

How the man who aspires to head the IPCC views sceptics can be discerned from the YouTube clip of his full presentation at Hasselt University, Belgium, on May 27, 2013. In that address he conceded that human-caused CO2 emissions are only 5% of natural emissions, but swore that the natural sinks and emissions balanced out. Those who argue that human-caused emissions don’t matter are “quite dishonest …. an example of typical arguments used by some climate sceptics; they are, as you know, ‘merchants of doubt’. That is the title of a book written by two historians of science Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, if you are interested to look at the details of how this (scepticism) is organized.”

Ypersele then puts the cover of the book on the screen. The book claims various sceptic scientists previously took funds from the tobacco lobby. Oreskes is now preaching that everyone’s kittens and puppies will die from climate change in 2025, not because she believes what she says but because it will increase the panic factor. She also asserts that the entire population of Australia will be killed by climate change. Needless to say, Oreskes is a particular darling of the ABC, which gives her free rein at the microphone every time she jets here to flog one or another of her climate-porn epistles of doom.

When the Climategate scandal broke in 2009, Ypersele said that the attack on scientists was “organised” and “mirrors  the earlier tactics of the tobacco industry”. It was not just coincidence that “the mistake on the Himalayas is raised and transformed by some media into major error”. To Ypersele, the IPCC claim, subsequently retracted, that Himalayan glaciers would melt away in just 20 years was not a “major error”.

Ypersele, a loyal deputy, said his boss, IPCC Chair Pachauri, “had the courage to take a larger share of the responsibility for the [Himalayan] problems”. Like so much of what passes the climate careerist’s lips, that was incorrect. Pachauri has never apologized for describing the eminent glaciologist who exposed the error as practising  “voodoo science”. When the IPCC finally issued its correction and apologised for the glacier gaffe, the statement was authorised jointly by  “the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the IPCC, and the Co-Chairs of the IPCC Working Groups” — a gaggle of warmists of no less than 13 individuals, one of whom was Ypersele himself. That’s what you might call diffusing responsibility.

Ypersele doesn’t just want zero CO2 emissions. He wants, from 2070-80, negative emissions.  He told the BBC’s Business Daily on September 23, 2014, that much bigger CO2 cuts would be needed than presently envisioned in order to keep warming below 2 degrees. (You can here him from the 11.36 minute mark of the broadcast), “It would be zero before the end of this century and even negative emissions after 2070-80. Absorbing more than we are emitting is a much bigger challenge than dividing emissions by two or three.”
IPCC statements about its internal workings and the reality, are not always the same. Ypersele says,

“Communicating science is a particular challenge for the IPCC…. This is because the rigorous reviews behind an IPCC report culminate in a dialogue between scientists and government representatives in which the texts are accepted or approved (with scientists having the last word). As a result, it is not possible for the IPCC itself to later simplify or paraphrase the content to make it easier to understand for a lay audience without threatening the agreed text or its scientific accuracy.” (author’s emphasis).

This claim of scientific over political supremacy is at odds with what IPCC Chair Pajauri has said. Pachauri  explained in 2007 that the draft version of the summary, written by IPCC scientists, had undergone some “minor” changes during the plenary. Nevertheless, said Pachauri, “we necessarily have to ensure that the underlying report conforms to the refinements.”

As Donna Laframboise concluded, Pachauri was saying that, in effect, the scientific authors must give ground and accede to whatever changes the politicians want.

As a further check on who in the IPCC gets the last word, I’ve gone to the IPCC’s own rules. Apart from the thousands of pages in the full report (which go mostly unread) there is an all-important Summary for Policy-Makers or SPM (about 5-10 pages) based on the scientists’ Synthesis Report (30-50 pages). The politicians at a final session  go through the SPM word-by-word, making the changes they want, and the rules say , “The [scientific] authors of the longer report of the Synthesis Report will then make changes in the longer report of the Synthesis Report.”

If Ypersele says otherwise, I must be wrong, of course. Anyway, good luck Jean-Paul with your quest for the IPCC Chair position. When it comes to being out there, way out there, on the intergalactic far horizon of bug-eyed alarmism, Tim Flannery could use a little company.

Tony Thomas blogs at tthomas061.wordpress.com

 


[i] Donna Laframboise, The Delinquent Teenager,  p91, p8; Lafamboise, Into the Dustbin, p54-55, 46,

 

[ii] Delinquent Teenager, p12

[iii]7am, 2 August, 2044, Brussels. The unbearable heat goes on and the ozone is still there.  The crisis committee met again last night. The army will have to help the Disaster Management and Fire and Rescue Services. The state of emergency continues. The drought has lasted since the end of May and fields that have been irrigated for about 20 years are irrigated no longer. Five farmers committed suicide outside the Prime Minister’s office the day before yesterday. The capacity of the combined heat and power plant at  Tihange has had to be reduced as the river Meuse is too low and the windmills are turning in slow motion owing to the lack of wind. It has not yet been possible to repair the tracks of the  Paris-Berlin high speed train, which derailed near Louvain a week ago, causing 52 deaths and  234 wounded, because of rails deformed by the heat. Scouts are helping to hydrate the elderly in homes where the air conditioning systems are operating for just three hours a day because of the lack of electricity. There is no more room except in the improvised morgue in the cold stores in Antwerp.

 Those who have left to holiday in Norway  do not dare return despite the call from the Federation of Belgian Companies to return to work to safeguard the competitiveness of Belgian firms. The Central European Bank has had to give the Euro a huge amount of support against the Chinese yen, owing to poor economic forecasts for the whole of Western Europe following the climatic crisis. The Office for Refugees is  overflowing from the influx of Egyptians following the invasion of half of the Nile Delta  by the Mediterranean, the level of which continues to rise. And the water war between Turkey and Syria  has worsened. There is one piece of good news, however.  Glaxo-Smith-Kline-Novartis-Nestle-Suez has just announced the perfection of a vaccine against the West Nile virus, which was responsible for the death of King William of England five years ago. But events should improve soon at the special G15 meeting next week, the American president is set to announce that 12 submarines are ready to stock the Southern Ocean with iron in an attempt  to increase the absorption of CO2  as a matter of urgency. She also announced that 4x4s  could no longer consume more than 18 litres per one hundred kilometres.”

Ypersele admits

“…the picture is a little contrived but every one of the facts described is possible unless serious measures are taken to protect the climate. Sometimes I have to wonder whether we will have to wait for a climate disaster to strike the White House, as in Colere, the stunning Denis Marquet novel, for the problem to be taken seriously by the decision makers at every level (political, economic and even down to the citizens themselves.

Simply knowing that the intensity of tropical cyclones is going to grow in Bangladesh and that African agriculture risks collapse, is not sufficient to rally public opinion at home. I have long dreamed of drafting an inventory on the potential impacts of climate change in Belgium…Greenpeace’s request has given me the chance to make a start on this…We assume full scientific responsibility for the results  and would like thank Greenpeace for not having interfered at all in the control of our paper… This is our only planet – we do not have a spare.