Have you ever been on the receiving end of one of those very kind “you’re fired” speeches. You’ve done great work, invaluable service, unique contribution, solid job but the world has moved on. Maybe a future rôle on special projects or giving timely, ad hoc advice? Oh, and HR wanted me to list just a couple of the things we’re not really happy about.

That’s how the editorial about the IPCC from the current issue of Nature reads to me. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “deserves thanks and respect from all who care about the principle of evidence-based policy-making, but the current report should be its last mega-assessment.” The IPCC “has a crucial role in this process and must remain the central authority on global warming … . It is not clear, however, that to immediately launch into yet another comprehensive assessment … represents the best use of our scientific resources …Instead, climate scientists should focus on smaller and more rapid assessments of more pressing questions … [these] assessments could be performed as needed, when there is sufficient interest from the governments that the IPCC serves.”

And that “here’s why I’m unhappy” close is there too. “Owing to logistics and deadlines, scientists barely had time to conduct a preliminary analysis for the current assessment, and as a result it lacks the more detailed analyses and most of the new science being published in journals today.”

Maybe they meant to be more helpful. See what you think and, while you’re there, read Nature’s comment piece by Elliott Diringer that the only attainable global agreement would be one in which each country decides on its own “the stringency and type of their emissions-reduction measures.” Sort of like that special projects job …

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