Extracts from Ofcom Complaint, by Category

Paul Reiters Resignation

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Comment 115: Reiters resignation allegations

Key to colour-coded commentary text

Bright red text: Actual falsification of data, and/or misrepresentation of the views of a contributor to the programme

Dark red text: Narration, or on-screen graphics, or an accumulation of consecutive interviewee statements that taken together amount to narration; which are either factually inaccurate, or apparently intentionally misleading, or are an attempt to give the impression that a contentious opinion is a fact.

Blue text: Interviewee is either factually inaccurate, apparently intentionally misleading, or expresses an opinion as if it were a fact without context being provided to make it clear that its an opinion.

[This section was considered by both the the Fairness and Standards Divisions of Ofcom.]

[Prof Paul Reiter]

When I resigned from the IPCC, I thought that was the end of it; but when I saw the final draft my name was still there, so I asked for it to be removed. Well, they told me that I had contributed, so it would remain there; so I said: no, I havent contributed, because they havent listened to anything I said. So in the end it was quite a battle but finally I threatened legal action against them and they removed my name; and I think this happens a great deal. Those people who are specialists but dont agree with the polemic and resign – and there have been a number that I know of – they are simply put on the author list and become part of this 2,500 of the worlds top scientists.

[Comment 115: It is not true that Dr Reiter resigned from the IPCC.

Professor Martin Parry, co-chair of Working Group II for the IPCCs Fourth Assessment Report (2007), has reported (see: http://tinyurl.com/2hr3na, PDF) that Reiter was not selected as an author, so could not resign from its writing group. He was invited to act as a reviewer, and he did so, contributing many comments on the first and second order drafts of the Health Chapter. Parry also states that he has not received any request from him to have his named removed from the list of reviewers of the Fourth Assessment.

Professor James McCarthy, co-chair of Working Group II for the IPCCs Third Assessment Report (2001) has reported (see: http://tinyurl.com/2ax9p4, PDF) that:

Nothing like what Reiter describes with regard to having resigned, asking that his name be removed from the chapter author list, or threatening legal action ever happened [during the Second or Third Assessment] at WG II. Moreover, Reiters remark this happened a great deal … specialists … dont agree and resign … there have been a number that I know of … is completely without basis in fact. Neither [the heads of the SAR and TAR Technical Support Units] nor I can recall a single instance … of even one author having resigned.

McCarthy adds in his email (http://tinyurl.com/2ax9p4) that Reiter seems to have exaggerated his claim of having been the equivalent of an author. At one point in the review process, Reiters name appears as a contributing author, but he was never on the Working Group II author list, and a search of the archives reveals no indication that he ever contributed any text to the report.

The above statement by Reiter therefore appears to have been an attempt to mislead the audience by misrepresenting the facts, presumably in order to discredit the IPCC in the eyes of the viewers. It also appears to have greatly exaggerated Reiters links with the IPCC.

Moreover, the fact that the IPCC was not given a chance to respond to the very serious allegations made against it by Reiter in the Channel 4 programme is a clear breach of Section 7 of the Ofcom Code.]

(In breach of the 2003 Communications Act Section 265, Ofcom 5.7, 7.9, 7.10, 7.11)