Home Environment The WWF Vice President & the New IPCC Report

The WWF Vice President & the New IPCC Report

IPCC AR5 authors - click to enlarge
IPCC AR5 authors – click to enlarge

The American wing of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has a page on its website about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That page contains an image which, while on the small side, is interesting nonetheless [backup link here].

This is a formal photograph of what appear to be 20 of the IPCC’s most senior personnel. Apparently taken in conjunction with the Nobel Peace Prize celebrations, the accompanying caption reads:

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize recognized climate change as one of the great destabilizing forces of our era. Dr. Richard Moss (second row center) is WWF’s lead on climate change and a long-term member of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the prize with Gore.

Moss’ WWF bio says he’s been involved with the IPCC since 1993. A press release says he became a WWF Vice President in 2007. It furthers says:

Moss joins WWF from the United Nations Foundation where he was the Senior Director for Climate Change and Energy. Since 1993, he has played many roles in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and is a key part of the team that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Ah, yes, the United Nations Foundation. That’s the charity headed by media mogul Ted Turner, the compassionate soul who recently declared that China’s brutal and coercive one-child policies should be exported to other countries to help curb global population growth. According to its website, the purpose of the UN Foundation is to support “UN causes.”

All of this raises some puzzling questions:

  1. How can Moss – who has cashed paycheques from a charity dedicated to advancing the UN’s agenda and from an activist group whose fundraising prospects are connected to the public’s sense of alarm – be regarded as a dispassionate and neutral scientist?
  2. Although some of Moss’ work is cited by the 2007 climate bible, he doesn’t appear to have been a member of any of the author teams for any of the 44 chapters of that report. So why was he considered a key part of the team that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize? Why does he appear in that photograph?
  3. Why did a VP of the WWF attend an IPCC workshop in Berlin last November? Why was Moss’ WWF affiliation not declared in that context? Why does the workshop documentation instead say he’s affiliated with the Joint Global Change Research Institute?
  4. Now comes the million dollar question: What is a VP of the WWF doing serving as a Review Editor for Working Group 2, Chapter 15 of the latest edition of the climate bible – the one that is being written as we speak? [see page 13 of this 27-page PDF]
  5. When the IPCC announced the list of people participating in the AR5 (Assessment Report 5) last June why did it not reveal that the WWF is Moss’ employer? Why did the IPCC tell us, instead, that he’s affiliated with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory?

BONUS READING: I find Moss’ testimony (12-page PDF) to a US Senate committee in November 2007 troubling. It suggests that senior scientists see their government positions, their academic positions, IPCC activities, employment with the United Nations, and employment with activist groups as being all interconnected and pretty much equivalent.

To me, this suggests that activist scientists are far from rare. It appears that activism has become the new normal.


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