Remember those ‘melting Himalayan glaciers’? Well…

Now this is embarrassing: Two years ago, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report claiming — among other things — that the glaciers of the Himalayas would melt by 2035.

Unfortunately, it appears that the researchers didn’t do a lot of actual, you know, research.

In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report.

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It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was “speculation” and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.

This has been a tough few months for climate warriors.

*          *          *

Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford is quickly becoming the comic relief for the 2010 election cycle. I told you about his winning New York Times interview last week, so full of comedy goodness. And now there’s this… not quite as funny, but no more helpful to his hapless run for the U. S. Senate. During an appearance on MSNBC following the weekend’s joint presidential news conference on Haiti, Ford remarked that “It was good to hear President Bush’s voice. We haven’t heard that in a while.”

That comment — while harmless in most places — will not go over well in New York’s hyper liberal Democratic primary. If I didn’t know better, I’d say Ford is actually trying to lose the race. I don’t recall him being this incompetent in Tennessee.


  • Brian Saint-Paul

    Brian Saint-Paul was the editor and publisher of Crisis Magazine. He has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America, in Washington. D.C. In addition to various positions in journalism and publishing, he has served as the associate director of a health research institute, a missionary, and a private school teacher. He lives with his wife in a historic Baltimore neighborhood, where he obsesses over Late Antiquity.

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