You’d think these folks would know better.

First was Climategate, a series of e-mails questioning the science behind climate change claims. Then came the admission from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN-appointed panel, that their postulation that glaciers in the Himalayas would be melted by 2035 was based on a brief interview with a scientist who later said his statement was speculation.

Now the IPCC is back in the news for similar false statements. But first let’s review: two years ago the IPCC issued a report that claimed to have incorporated the latest and most detailed scientific research. Among those claims was the aforementioned glacier disaster and, as the London Times reveals, a statement that global warming would wipe out 40% of the Amazon rainforest. It is now revealed that this information came from an unsubstantiated claim by “green campaigners who had little scientific expertise.”

This is fairly alarming. Countries around the world are considering climate change legislation based on reports like these, but without scientific evidence, let alone peer review, it all boils down to a rather serious knee jerk. And we could all pay the price.

The 2007 report states that even a slight change in rainfall could result in rainforests being replaced by savannah. Apparently the source was the World Wildlife Federation (WWF). According to the Times, the report was authored by two “green activists” who based their claims on a study published in Nature. The Nature article actually blamed human activity, not global warming, on destruction to the rainforest.

“This weekend, WWF said it was launching an internal inquiry into the study,” the Times reports.

In addition to the rainforest and glacier debacles, the IPCC report also stated that climate change may increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters like hurricanes and floods. Other research indicates that hurricane activity is actually likely to decrease, although the severity may increase.

In all, the only scientific fact that everyone seems able to agree on is that greenhouse gases have the capability to increase global temperatures. But when a renowned organization like the United Nations can’t get it right beyond that, one wonders how many more dubious claims may prove to be unwarranted.