For climate scientists to make positive inroads in policy regarding a problem we know is only going to get worse - pollution and climate change - they need to police the actions of a few in their circle, most notably the very loud.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has existed for over two decades now - they are not new to politics and this is not gotcha journalism from WikiLeaks; they have also already been implicated by an independent commission created by the United Nations for their use of 'gray' literature published as data and for ignoring commentary on what studies it uses in reports.

They have said they would change their ways but now it turns out a report issued recently was essentially written by a Greenpeace employee.   You have heard of Greenpeace, they are the environmental fund-raising corporation that started out being anti-nuclear and then switched to whaling and then added global warming to the arsenal in their quest to increase revenue.   

The problem is framing once again.   Politically-minded scientists love framing but it's generally bad when the public looks for scientists to be trusted guides and finds they are only getting a part of the story filtered through politics.   The IPCC examined 164 analyses of how beneficial current fossil fuel alternatives could be - and then they settled on the most optimistic one, and its claim that  renewable sources could provide 77 percent of the world's energy supply by 2050.  Settling on the most optimistic report of 164 may be an IPCC consensus but it is not a fair assessment for the public.    More of a concern is the report they used is so flawed it pumps up the viability of renewable fuels by insisting energy use overall will drop despite adding billions of people.   

The IPCC has a bad habit of issuing 'media talking points' which groups like the BBC, to their discredit, publish as fact, and then issuing the actual reports later, to less scrutiny because it is already old news.    This time it didn't work.    The press release was dutifully reprinted but  the actual report was examined by a global warming denier group and they noted that Sven Teske, a Greenpeace employee, was a co-author in the optimistic 77% study eventually chosen by the IPCC.  Denial groups should be not be policing the IPCC, they should be relegated to the conspiratorial fringes, but they won't be when they are the only ones actually examining the reports issued by the IPCC.  And they turn out to have good points.      Who lets scientists assess their own study and decide whether or not the study is accurate?   

If Exxon scientists were writing skewed reports which got published in the mainstream news, would we let that go unchallenged?   Especially if their version was the most optimistic of 163 others and contained a glaring flaw like that 2 billion more people would require less energy, so fossil fuels would mean less emissions then?    If not, climate scientists shouldn't continue to let the IPCC damage their reputations this way.