Journalists Against Transparency?

ALT TAGThe IPCC’s Compromised 2007 Assessment Report (AR4)

In response to my “Three Steps the IPCC Must Take,” which, among other things, urged the IPCC to “adopt an uncompromising transparency policy, which includes the release of all data, all emails, all meeting minutes, all drafts and all other documentation related to the development of assessment reports and all other policy pronouncements, in the past and from this date forward,” I received the following communication:

Will your Center also be adhering to this stringent transparency standard?

If so, when will such information from your group be available?


Steven Dolley
Managing Editor, Inside NRC
Platts Nuclear

I am amazed that a journalist took umbrage at my call for IPCC transparency (which is how I read his response, which I posted in full).

I believe Mr. Dolley misses the point in several ways.

First, (alas!) no nation has ever signed a treaty pledging to undertake actions based on pronouncements made by the National Center for Public Policy Research, as they have for those of the IPCC;

Second, the IPCC is funded by, among others, U.S. taxpayers (we are a tax-exempt institution — that is, donations to us are tax-deductible; we still pay many taxes — but we do not accept government funding);

Third, we are not doing peer-reviewed science, though if we did, we would make all the relevant documents public as we urge the IPCC to do;

Fourth, our management is not profiting on the side based on statements made, or conclusions published by, our personnel, as media reports indicate has been going at the IPCC;

Fifth; as we are a tax-exempt institution, like all other such U.S. institutions, our internal documents are not private, as the IRS can request a review of them, including all emails going back three years, at any time, just by asking. No such check exists on the IPCC.

Should at some future date governments around the world start lining up to brag about how strongly they are trying to implement policies based on NCPPR conclusions, I would be happy to suggest to our board of directors that we make all our internal emails, and any other relevant documents, related to the development of those policies, public.

In the meantime, I remain intrigued by the notion of a journalist being opposed to transparency.

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