28 February 2010

Two IPCC SREX Authors Discuss Inclusiveness

Last week Andy Revkin documented the fact that the IPCC decided to leave me off its committee on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX). That I was left off is less troubling that there is no way to discern why I was left off, as the IPCC functions as a black box.

Perhaps there is some insight to be gained from one of the committee's members? One of the report's lead authors, Sabrina McCormick, responds to Revkin and justifies the IPCC's empanelment decisions on her blog as follows:
The IPCC is not meant to be a reflection of the work and perceptions of the same scientists year after year. It is a living, breathing entity whose strength is partially derived from the new talent that is represented across disciplines and generations of researchers. One essential piece of that is drawing from a pool of researchers who are not all old white men or from particular disciplines. So, if certain stalwart scientists are passed up because there are new views on critical subjects, so be it. I respect their work and the many years they have devoted to this subject. Such contributions are not to be denied. However, neither are the bright, new ideas of scientists not traditionally involved in the IPCC, like sociologists such as myself. Maybe we have the answers to solve the most pressing problem of our time.
Richard J. T. Klein, who is also on the SREX committee and an experienced IPCC author, shows up in the comments with this corrective:
Sabrina, in principle you're right. Except that Roger Pielke Jr., the person Andrew Revkin writes about, isn't old stalwart blood. He's never been an IPCC author before either, so his inclusion in the author team would have been just as innovative.
The black box remains unopened.