English Version of Communique Demanding a Review of Belgian Government Support for the position of Prof. van Ypersele for the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Preamble to English text:
This English version of the original French language document includes notes to clarify the authors’ objections to the appointment, as the reasons may not be readily apparent to people living overseas who are unfamiliar with the long tradition
of academic debate and freedom in Europe – founded on principles of the oldest university in the world, the University of Bologne, which celebrated its 900th anniversary in 1998 http://www.magna-charta.org/magna-charta-universitatum
and to which Prof. van Ypersele’s own employer, the Universite Catholique de Louvain, is signatory, along with 776 other universities around the world.
The authors believe that Prof. van Ypersele’s attacks on colleagues and attempts
to limit academic inquiry and freedom of speech violate the fundamental principles of the Magna Charta Universitatum in general and specifically item 3:
“Freedom in research and training is the fundamental principle of university life,
and government and universities, each as far as in them lies, must ensure respect for this fundamental requirement. Rejecting intolerance and always open to dialogue, a university is an ideal meeting-ground for teachers capable of imparting their knowledge
and well equipped to develop it by research and innovation and for students entitled, able and willing to enrich their minds with that knowledge.”
We, the undersigned who are authors of the book “Climate:
15 truths/Climat: 15 Verites qui derangent,” along with a number of associated researchers, hereby make a formal request of the Belgian federal government to review the previous government’s support of Prof. van Ypersele for the presidency of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who is now an official candidate for this position. (www.elic.ucl.ac.be/modx/elic/index.php?Id+951 )
We ask this in consideration of
the following evidence of what we believe to be a lack of impartiality and intent to interfere in free scientific inquiry and freedom of speech on the part of van Ypersele as evident in the following instances:
1) Refusal to
engage in civil debate; public dismissal and denigration of esteemed scientific colleagues: Prof. van Ypersele systematically refuses to debate relevant climate change issues, whether at a scientific or policy level (http://www.rtbf.e/info/emissions/article_l-evolution-climatique-un-debat-scientifique-ou-religieux?id+8100968)
2) Use of pejorative terminology against qualified expert critics of the IPCC: Prof. van Ypersele calls critics of the IPCC as ‘negationists’ – a pejorative term used for Holocaust deniers (http://www.uclouvain.be/46803.html
3) Intervention to block freedom of speech and free scientific/academic inquiry at a university level: Prof. van Ypersele intervened to block a scientific conference at the Universitaire Stichting (Brussels)
which would have included internationally recognized experts such as Prof. Fred S. Singer (University of Virginia, USA, former project leader of NASA for the atmospheric satellite temperature measurement) and Prof. Claes-Goran Johnson (Royal Polytechnic School,
University of Stockholm, specialist in atmospheric turbulence and thermodynamics); these like thousands of others have valid scientific criticisms of the IPCC’s official position;
4) Escalation of public bullying through
inflammatory language against scientists and critics: Prof. van Ypersele is a member of the George Lemaitre Centre for Earth and Climate Research (TECLIM – Universite Catholique de Louvain), an organization that designates critics of the IPCC
as guilty of “crimes against humanity” – a term typically reserved for war criminals (http://www.elic.ucl.ac.be/modx/elic/index.php?id=315);
to an organization and on-line petition (since removed) attempting to impose disciplinary action on a university colleague who engaged in free academic inquiry that criticized the IPCC official position: Prof. van Ypersele is a member of the George
Lemaitre Centre for Earth and Climate Research (TECLIM – Universite Catholique de Louvain) that requested that university authorities impose disciplinary sanctions against his colleague.
6) Evidence of bias/lack of impartiality:
While already party to the IPCC organization, in 2004, Prof. van Ypersele worked for the powerful environmental non-governmental organization (ENGO) Greenpeace and wrote a report on their behalf “Impact of climate change in Belgium.” The report
featured a catastrophic science-fiction scenario as its introduction, inappropriate in an allegedly-scientific document. Greenpeace has recently been identified by India as posing a threat to national security for its efforts to shut down economic development
and any use of fossil fuels; Greenpeace in Europe has demanded an exit from fossil fuel use and from nuclear energy and advocates for political ideologies that would bankrupt the Social Security and pension system of Belgium.
Invokes claims of a ‘scientific consensus’ which does not exist:
We, the undersigned, see Prof. van Ypersele’s actions as those of a radical ecological militant and that his possible ascension to the presidency
of the IPCC would lead to a further politicization and poisoning of the scientific debate on climate change that is in need of calm and civil discussion:
Issued this day in the city of Brussels, Belgium Jan. 12, 2015
Anne Debeil, Civil Engineer
Chemistry, engineer-consultant in security & environment
Drieu Godefridi, Lawyer, Doctor of Philosophy, Essayist
Henri Lepage, Economist
Istvan Marko, PhD Chemistry, Professor at Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Masson, Civil Engineer, Doctor in Applied Sciences, Professor emeritus at Universiteit Antwerpen and Visiting professor at Maastricht School of Management
Lars Myren – Civil Engineer Chemistry, engineer-consultant in security & environment
Alain Preat, Doctor of Geology, Professor at Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
The signatories act in a personal capacity.
Brief biographies of the signatories are noted below.
News reports of this communique may be seen at:
Anne Debeil, chemical engineer, Free University of Brussels,
post university degree Safety level 1, Antwerp University, expert recognized by the Flemish Environmental Administration for Major Accident Reporting (Seveso Reporting) and former expert for Environmental Impact Reporting (air and water), has been active in
her entire career in the environmental and safety field. Engaged since 2006, in promoting an open debate on climate science and energy policies, after the announcement by IPCC protagonists that the “science is settled”.
Godefridi, master in law, PhD in philosophy (Sorbonne) has authored several books, notably in the field of epistemology. In 2010 he published « Le GIEC est mort, vive la science », translated in English under
the title « The IPPC: a scientific body? ». In 2013 he had a debate on Belgian television with Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAiQ2OAnAxI), which
was one of the first, and the last, contradictory debates to which Prof. van Ypersele ever agreed.
Henri Lepage is a French economist best known for his book "Tomorrow Capitalism", published in 1978, that played an important
role in reviving interest in France for free market market research and neo-liberal theory. Now retired - after serving as an administrator at the European Parliament in Brussels - he devoted most of his career documenting the limits and ineffectiveness of
"command and order" public policies compared to market and property-based strategies - in particular as applied to the field of ecology and environmental goods.
Lars Olof Myrén, chemical engineer, Chalmers Gothenburg,
former expert recognized by the Flemish Environmental Administration for Major Accident Reporting (Seveso Reporting), has been mainly active in his career in the engineering, energy and process safety field. Engaged since 2006, in promoting an open debate
on climate science and energy policies, after the announcement by IPCC protagonists that the “science is settled”.
Istvan E. Marko is professor of chemistry at the Université catholique de Louvain and director
of the organic and medicinal chemistry laboratories. Among others, he delivered during five years lectures on the chemistry of the environment. These lectures became an eye opener and he became deeply interested in the science related to climate.
He debated with Professor Van Ypersele about climate change at the first "café chimique" organized by the Royal Society of Chemistry. After that, Prof. Van Ypersele refused to debate about climate science with him. Marko’s position
on the climate debate led the warmist community at the UCL to file a petition against him asking for his dismissal from the university.
Henri Masson, M Sc.Chemical Engineering, PhD Chemical Engineering. Professor Emeritus University
of Antwerp (Belgium) in environmental and energy technologies, economics & management. Visiting Professor Maastricht school of management (The Netherlands), research methods (with emphasis on non-linear time series and complex systems structure
and dynamics). Previously, Visiting Professor of Environmental Management and eco-design-life cycle analysis at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland). Past Director of SEII ( European Society of Engineers and Industrialists).
Past Vice-President of FEDDE (European Federation of Ethics and Sustainable Development). Author of more than 150 (peer reviewed) scientific papers and communications at international congresses.
Alain Préat is Professor
at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Faculty of Science, Biogeochemistry and Earth System Laboratory, Department of Earth Sciences and Environment, and at the University of Soran, Kurdistan (Iraq). His research led
him to publish about 140 papers in international and national journals, and to present more than 160 conference papers. He is the holder of eight courses at the ULB (5 mandatory and 3 optional), excursions and field stages, he taught at the third cycle in
several French universities and led or co-managed a score of 19 Doctoral and Post-doctoral theses and has been the promotor of nearly 50 Masters theses.