Doomed Planet

Nobel winners here, there, everywhere!

The CSIRO has been suckered by the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, into lauding eight of its climate scientists as Nobel Laureates. The eight celebrated by the CSIRO on October 16, 2007 were Kevin Hennessy, Roger Jones, Penny Whetton, Ian Watterson, Barrie Pittock, Bryson Bates, Nathan Bindoff, and Mark Howden.

The CSIRO claims were via its press release:

Climate scientists share in Nobel Peace Prize

Australian scientists who have been leading contributors to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been recognised for the crucial part they played in the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC.

In a letter to lead and convening lead authors, the Chair of the IPCC, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, wrote: “I have been stunned in a pleasant way with the news of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for the IPCC.

This makes each of you Nobel Laureates and it is my privilege to acknowledge this honour on your behalf. The fact that the IPCC has earned the recognition that this award embodies, is really a tribute to your knowledge, hard work and application,” Dr Pachauri said…

The leader of CSIRO’s Climate Change Impact and Risks group, Dr Penny Whetton, said Australian scientists have made a substantial contribution to the present level of understanding concerning climate change and the influence of rising greenhouse gas concentrations…

“Australian science through CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, universities and the private research sector has committed considerable resources to the IPCC process since it began in 1987,” Dr Whetton said. “Recognition at this level is important …”

Among lead authors for the IPCC’s 2007 Fourth Assessment report were: CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (CMAR) scientists Kevin Hennessy, Roger Jones, Penny Whetton, Ian Watterson and Barrie Pittock based at Aspendale; Bryson Bates at Floreat in Perth; Nathan Bindoff, who also works for the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem CRC in Hobart; and CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystem scientist, Mark Howden… 

… CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Geoff Garrett, said the award recognised the unstinting professionalism exercised by climate change scientists at CSIRO and other major Australian research institutions in investigating one of the world’s most pressing problems. “It is a great honour for the individuals involved…” Dr Garrett said. (My emphasis).[1]

The reality is that the IPCC’s Pachauri, not for the first or last time, was talking through his hat. But the CSIRO took Pachauri’s furphy about IPCC lead authors being “Nobel Laureates” at face value, obviously without checking with the Nobel committee in Oslo.

So many IPCC contributors have since been bragging about their Nobels that the IPCC was forced last month to issue a statement telling all of them (except Al Gore, the genuine co-winner), to cut it out.

The IPCC said:

“The prize was awarded to the IPCC as an organization, and not to any individual associated with the IPCC. Thus it is incorrect to refer to any IPCC official, or scientist who worked on IPCC reports, as a Nobel laureate or Nobel Prize winner. It would be correct to describe a scientist who was involved with AR4 or earlier IPCC reports in this way: “X contributed to the reports of  the  IPCC,  which  was  awarded  the  Nobel  Peace Prize  in  2007.” (My emphasis).[2]

Pachauri didn’t sign this new IPCC press release; after all, Pachauri himself had set the hares running with his over-the-top claim quoted by the CSIRO on October 16, 2007. Since then, Pachauri has been constantly and wrongly described as a Nobel laureate, including by third parties on his own website. While media people seldom feel the need to check such things, there was no excuse for, say, Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Jane den Hollander to have joined the chorus two years ago, hyping him as a “Nobel Prize winner”. (Deakin has a joint venture with Pachauri’s private research institute TERI).[3]

The new centre… was officially opened by Deakin University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, and the Director General of TERI, and Nobel Prize winner, Dr R K. Pachauri.[4]

Ever the ethical journalist, I emailed CSIRO media man Craig Macaulay and offered an opportunity to correct its 2007 howler:

1. Has the CSIRO ever corrected its press release? 

 2. Before authorising the press release, did Dr Penny Whetton make any inquiries to the Nobel Prize organisation as to the legitimacy of claiming Nobel status for the CSIRO people?” 

Macaulay replied:

“CSIRO has never referred to those who contributed to the IPCC Fourth Assessment as Nobel Laureates. The statements you refer to were quoted from a letter from Dr Pachauri sent to lead and convening lead authors to acknowledge their significant scientific contribution and the part they played in the 2007 Nobel Prize.”[5]

Macaulay’s CSIRO masters have thus decided to tough it out. But if the CSIRO didn’t believe its lead authors were Nobel Laureates, why did it put out a press statement quoting Pachauri as saying they were? Alternatively, a Logic 101 student would parse the  press release as “1. Pachauri says all lead authors are Nobel Laureates. 2. Lead authors from the CSIRO are Tom, Dick & Penny. 3. “It is a great honour for the individuals involved” – CSIRO chief executive Dr Geoff Garrett.

A clincher, which I only noticed at the last minute, is the press release’s URL (below) which says “NobelPeacePrizeWinners”.[6]

The CSIRO press release had mentioned its scientist Bryson Bates, for example, as an IPCC lead author and therefore, on Pachauri’s logic, a Nobel Laureate. Bates’ biography on the CSIRO website today says:

Dr Bates shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with other IPCC authors and Mr Al Gore.[7]

Elsewhere, a CSIRO-affiliated site describes Bates as “sharing the Nobel Prize awarded to the IPCC.”[8] (My emphasis)

Facts: (a) the IPCC received a Nobel Peace Prize, which is a political award, not the Nobel Prize awarded to the likes of Einstein (1921) and our peptic ulcer man Barry Marshall (2005); and (b) Bryson did not “share” it – see the IPCC’s statement last month.

Am I being too unkind to the CSIRO? No, because it has allowed its misleading inferences of October, 2007, to stand. Moreover, in May, 2008, it supplemented those inferences with an orgy of individual-naming, listing 111 CSIRO staff and alumni (with some double-counting) clamouring for their place in the IPCC Nobel sun.[9]   However, the CSIRO this time correctly cited the group as merely contributing to an organization which had won the prize. Thus the new list was misleading in context but literally correct. (Plugging the listed CSIRO individuals into Peter Bobroff’s marvelous data base, one finds that 10 signed the 2007 Bali Declaration about the “millions” soon to be fried or drowned by climate change, and 11 were associated with the CSIRO/BOM Drought 2008 group, which confidently predicted continued heat and drought.)

The 2007 Nobel Prize Peace was actually awarded to the IPCC and Al Gore "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”[10] That is, the prize was merely an Oslo elephant-stamp for effort, and for political ambitions to cancel out man-made climate change, whatever that might amount to. Remember, there has been no statistically significant global warming since about 1997, according to the UK Met Office.[11]

That IPCC Peace Prize was on a par with the 2012 Peace Prize awarded to the tottering European Union, "for over six decades [having] contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe". However, the IPCC’s  Peace Prize was at least an improvement on the joint award of the 1994 Peace Prize to Yasser Arafat, or that earlier joint 1973 Peace Prize to Henry Kissinger for, as I recall, pacifying Cambodia with B52s.

In June, 2007, a few months before the CSIRO was reveling in its own Peace Prize glory, Hamas gunmen blew up the door to the house of the late billionnaire Arafat and looted his Peace Prize medal, pre-empting any plan by Oslo to award a Peace Prize to Hamas itself.[12]

In the IPCC’s new-found concern at Nobel over-reaching, the first casualty was the world’s most prominent climatologist, Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann, of Penn State University. Last month he sued National Review, Mark Steyn and two others for defamation.[13] The four are delighted because they can now, through discovery process, winkle out Mann’s so-far-secret data and emails. Mann, who can’t be the sharpest knife in the drawer, in his complaint to Columbia Superior Court described himself as “a Nobel prize recipient” now inflicted with “emotional distress”. This affidavit appears to have prompted the IPCC’s sharp note to all its “Nobel Prize” claimants, also last month.

Back in 2007, the CSIRO’s Nobel bombast was replicated elsewhere, notably by Monash University. “Monash shares piece of Nobel Prize”, headlined the university’s press release of October 17, incorrectly, and eliding the distinction between Nobel Prizes and Nobel Peace Prizes. The release began, still incorrectly: “Eight scientists from Monash University are sharing in the prestige of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize…”[14]

Unlike the CSIRO’s eight lead author laureates, Monash could dredge up only one lead author, Professor Neville Nicholls. The others were mere contributing authors (2), review editor (1) and reviewers (4), who even by Pachauri’s debased standards didn’t deserve a personal Nobel. Nonetheless, Monash University still claimed this team was “among the scientists honored with the award”.[15]

The Monash release stated, “Lead author Professor Neville Nicholls said it was a great honour to be recognized through the extensive scientific reporting and reviewing that gave the work of the United Nation’s body such prestige and integrity."

As if that wasn’t enough self-congratulation, Monash went on to say, “Monash University Council member Dr John Zillman was instrumental in establishing IPCC back in 1988.” Lordy, I thought, some other people, like Bert Bolin and the later-disgraced Maurice Strong, also had a hand in setting up the IPCC.[16]

Thus, with the tone set by the CSIRO and Monash, Australia’s alarmist media and PR industry (mostly the same thing), can be forgiven for dubbing various climate scientists Nobel-winners. A classic was this online header from our ABC, February 10 last year: “Nobel prize-winning scientist David Karoly says Australia’s current extreme weather is strong evidence of climate change.”[17] The ABC has never corrected its doubly-wrong accolade to Karoly.

Individual scientists remain prone to claiming Nobel status, an awesome instance being IPCC stalwart Kevin Trenberth: “Season’s greetings to all my fellow Nobel Laureates, even if we did not get to go to Oslo,” he wrote in an e-mail to colleagues on December 14, 2007.[18] Trenberth, New Zealand-raised, has his official CV on the National Centre for Atmospheric Research website. It says, incorrectly and immodestly, "Nobel Laureate (shared) for Nobel Peace Prize 2007 (as part of IPCC)."[19]

Among my favorite CSIRO and alumni Nobel laureates are Roger Jones, who gave his professorial credibility to the ABC’s rap video (below) about “we’re climate f***ing scientists”, the indefatigable Graeme Pearman (439 alarmist briefings between 2000-09), and Mark Stafford-Smith, who wants to create a new UN security council-lookalike to enforce national CO2 emissions and other environmental panaceas.[20]

The IPCC has created a rod for its own back by issuing glamorous personalized certificates to untold thousands of   contributors to the IPCC since its foundation in 1988 (including reviewers, panelists, technical geeks and bureaucrats). The certificate’s top half is a full-color replica of the Nobel citation to the IPCC and the lower half emblazons the named person as “contributing to the Nobel Peace Prize”.[21] These certificates (below) have similar status to Zimbabwean billion dollar notes, but have contributed to many a climatoligist’s illusions of grandeur. The wording also contradicts the IPCC’s severe curtailment of Nobel crediting in its October, 2012, press release. The IPCC really should announce a recall of its certificates, a la Toyota’s recent recall over power window switches.

The media, while promoting Nobel inflation for its warmist friends, nevertheless excoriated one scientist for claiming Nobel status. This happened to be skeptic Lord Monckton of Brenchley. Monckton had claimed to be an IPCC Nobel Laureate for having forced a major correction to sloppy data in the 2007 IPCC report. Trenchantly attacked by our ABC, he was forced to explain that he was having a little joke. (There is nothing less funny than an explained joke).

The warmist media, heaping coals of fire on Monckton’s head, took the unusual step of checking with the Nobel officials in Oslo, who debunked Monckton and said:

No individual, no matter what their involvement with the IPCC, can pass themselves off an a Nobel Laureate. Not even Dr Rajendra Pachauri (the chair of the IPCC) is an individual laureate.”[22]

That was last February. Strangely, there has been no ABC follow-up against warmists dubbed in all seriousness with Nobel status, including IPCC boss Pachauri.

Tony Thomas won the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature for this article, edging out Chinese author Mo Yan.

[1]–Atmospheric-Research/NobelPeacePrizeWinners.aspx. After eight years with CSIRO, Dr Garrett left two years ago to become Queensland Chief Scientist.


[3] TERI has twice been subsidized by Australian taxpayer grants


[5] email Friday 9/11/12

[6] see 1



[9] see 1




[13] Steyn with his usual wit had described Mann as “the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus”.


[15] The Monash press release in passing managed to include another fib, that “The IPCC assessments are based on peer-reviewed scientific and technical literature.” It took a mere journo, Donna Laframboise, to expose last year that 30% of the 2007 IPCC citations were in fact non-peer literature such as press releases and propaganda from green groups. Use of unscientific literature – in fact a mere newspaper interview – led to the IPCC’s notorious "melting Himalayan glaciers" howler. 



[18] Op cit see 7


[20] To get the flavor, see

[21] e.g.


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