Responding to Climate Change is a highly active activist blog with lots of informative articles by experts from around the world. It aims to do what Guardian Environment did in its heyday, (before Hickman and Monbiot deserted the sinking ship, leaving climate matters to the American comedy duo of Nuccitelli and Abraham) by keeping the flame of doom alive among the policymaking classes. It’s financed by Middle Eastern airlines and hotel chains, who have an evident interest in keeping those migrating hordes of climate scientists circulating round the world from one damned isobar to another. It would count as a five star zombie blog if it weren’t for the noble efforts of Robin Guenier and a few other BH Boys who occasionally inject some common sense in the comments threads.
by Ed King, is fairly typical. It starts:
The global mood on climate change is shifting, but there’s little sign that the proposed 2015 agreement will be enough to avert dangerous levels of warming.
Envoys from over 190 countries meet in Lima, Peru next week to continue work on efforts to slow greenhouse gas emissions, which the World Meteorological Organisation says are rising faster than ever before. They will arrive with warnings from leading scientists that nearly 1.5C of warming is already locked into the atmosphere, potentially causing sea levels rises, crop failures, flooding and drought.
I wondered about those “warnings from leading scientists” so I clicked on the link, which led me to another RTCC article, also by Ed King:
The chances of avoiding global warming of above 1.5C this century are “vanishingly slim” unless there is a radical cut in levels of fossil fuel use, says a senior UN scientist. Jacqueline Mcglade, the UN Environment Programme’s chief scientist, says current greenhouse gas cuts from governments are far too small to prevent dangerous temperature rises before 2100.
I’d never heard of Jacqueline Mcglade, but since UNEP is the mother of the IPCC, their chief scientist must obviously be a pretty important person – Rachendra Pachauri’s fairy godmother, as it were.
From her Wikipaedia entry we learn that she has a BSc in Marine Biology from Bangor, a PhD in aquatic sciences and zoology from the University of Guelph in Canada, and an MA from Cambridge. (Who said three degrees would be bad for you?)
She’s an expert in fish population, with an impressive CV, including posts at universities in Germany and Canada, and work for the NOAA and the Palo Alto Research Center.
Though fish is her speciality, it comes way down her list of current research interests, after metrics of sustainability and prosperity; analysis of risk and uncertainty in complex systems: development & implementation of enviroinformatics, including definition of metadata structures, semantic nets and data analysis; fuzzy-logic expert systems for environmental management and environmental forecasting, and ecological economics.
She was head of the Centre for Coastal and Marine Science for two years, resigning just before it was closed down by the Natural Environment Research Council, due to lack of contracts. She then became NERC Professorial Fellow in environmental informatics at University College London, where “her work field extended to environmental policy in areas as diverse as waste, pollution, air quality and biodiversity.”
From 2003 to 2013 she was Executive Director to the European Environment Agency. According to Wiki: “McGlade left the EEA during a period of controversy during which the agency was investigated by the anti-fraud office for misuse and misreporting of EU budgets.”
Environment agency and Council fail MEPs’ budget test
27.09.12. MEPs dealing with budgetary checks refused to give a clean bill of health to the European Environment Agency after its director gave “contradictory” explanations on how she managed EU funds.
The anti-fraud office is also investigating the Copenhagen-based office. […] the director of the environment agency, Jacqueline McGlade, has given apparently conflicting information to the parliament about her links with an environmental NGO hosted on the premises of her building in Denmark. Research trips to the Caribbean and a “green facade” for the site – plants worth €300,000 – were also paid out of EU money without proper tenders.
There are some more details here
When one thinks of corrupt green activists, one cannot do better than Ms Jacqueline McGlade, the disgraced former head of the European Environment Agency (EEA), who is now, I wish I were joking, the chief scientist to UNEP. How could McGlade possibly be the best person for this job – did she do a “Steiner”? [Achim Steiner was apparently named head of UNEP by Kofi Annan after he’d arranged for Annan to receive an environmental award worth half a million dollars] She was kicked out of the EEA for outrageous misuse of public funds to support an NGO to which she sat on the board, flying EEA managers for training in the Caribbean (invoiced to an NGO to which she sat on the board – €2000 per director), housing NGOs in the EEA head office – a frightful litany that even green MEPs could not defend. Jackie should not be allowed to teach undergraduates, let alone be the chief scientist to a UN agency.
The European Parliament held up signing off on the agency’s accounts because McGlade had allowed the campaign group Worldwatch Institute Europe to set up home in the EEA offices. There was also controversy over McGlade’s extensive travel, which a report found amounted to 13% of the agency’s total travel budget in 2010.
Today the European Parliament has refused to sign off the accounts of the EEA, accusing the agency, and in particular its director Jacqueline Mcglade of conflict of interest for having paid the NGO EarthWatch more than 30,000 euros for training sessions in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. She is also criticised for having spent 300,000 euros on a floral wall decoration in her Copenhagen office. [my translation]
She has developed a range of fuzzy-logic software applications for decision-making under high degrees of uncertainty, and helped to create and launch Eye on Earth – the global public information service.
From the European Environment Agency website:
The Eye on Earth website no longer exists. The European Environment Agency (EEA) will continue to focus on European environmental data services, while UNEP Live will provide similar service at global level.
But at this site
the same EEA says
A new global web service allowing users to create maps and visualise data on environmental issues is now live. The new Eye on Earth global public information service brings together vast amounts of data about the environment in a powerful, visual format.
While at http://www.eoesummit.org/
a site partnered by UNEP and the Abu Dhabi Global Environment Data Initiative, we read
Eye on Earth aims to convene thought and action leaders of the worldwide community, converge consensus on the key areas of mutual importance, and finally collaborate towards strengthening existing initiatives and filling the gaps into the future.
She is also Director of the company, View the World Ltd. whose business is described as “environmental consulting services”. The company is registered at an address near Warwick in 1995, (Mcglade was teaching at the University of Warwick at the time) and develops Discovery software whose office is in Devon where Mcglade was based in her ill-fated period with the Centre for Coastal and Marine Science. You can see their stuff at
Discovery Software offers software development and maintenance in a wide range of applications including environmental issues, climate change, mapping and GIS, gaming and educational tools, healthcare database development and sports league management.
So when she’s not busy mounting websites full of maps of the environment at the European Union in Copenhagen and the UNEP in Nairobi she’s back in Devon designing software for creating maps of the environment.
Did I mention that she’s an adviser to the Gaia Foundation and a director of Open Geospatial Consortium? The OGC is an international consortium of more than 415 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards.
I do recommend