The BBC reports that the Vice Chairman of the IPCC has just admitted the obvious: the IPCC’s terrifying prediction that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 is wrong.
And not just a little bit wrong. Totally, catastrophically, eye-poppingly, inexcusably and blatantly wrong.
Readers of this blog knew this was coming; the consequences have yet to unravel.
So far, the IPCC stands by its story: this is an isolated, meaningless error that in no way impugns the case for global warming. That may well be true; but it utterly undermines the case for the IPCC as a respectable and reliable body, and it pretty much ends the chance of meaningful climate action anytime soon.
For the IPCC bureaucrats, the error was a detail: “I don’t see how one mistake in a 3,000-page report can damage the credibility of the overall report,” said Dr. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the Vice Chairman of the IPCC.
This is pathetic. As the BBC (which, unlike the U.S. media, has been following this story for more than a month) points out, the error was called to the attention of the panel more than once.
More, the prediction that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear in 25 years was perhaps the single most dramatic and explosive prediction in the entire report. It meant that the rivers on which hundreds of millions of people depend for water and agriculture and industry in India, Pakistan and large swathes of China would disappear in a generation.
To make a prediction like that carelessly is inexcusably irresponsible.
Indian and Chinese political leaders will take note: the IPCC is ready to threaten their countries with hideous catastrophes in the immediate future with no evidence and no fact checking.
The U.S. media by and large is still ignoring this story; let’s see if a public admission of error reported by the BBC gets any attention.