Context and clarity are needed to understand the UN IPCC's latest report on climate change.
In late September, the media rushed to judgment in its reporting on the new United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Yesterday and today, The American examines the fine print, with essays by environmental scientist Kenneth Green and economist Benjamin Zycher.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Summary for Policymakers (SPM), and in terms of this official view of climate science, the beginning of wisdom is straightforward: it is a political document first and a (partial) summary of the scientific literature only secondarily. That is the only conclusion consistent with the following "Disclaimer" published on the IPCC website:
The Summary for Policymakers will be released on Friday, 27 September 2013. The accepted Final Draft of the full Working Group I report, comprising the Technical Summary, 14 Chapters and three Annexes, will be released online in unedited form on Monday 30 September. Following copy-editing, layout, final checks for errors, and adjustments for changes for consistency with the Summary for Policymakers, it will be published online in January 2014. (Emphasis added)