The Netherlands look more floodable, Asian glaciers more fragile. A suspicion thus gains ground that the way in which the IPCC sythesises, generalises and checks its findings may systematically favour adverse outcomes in a way that goes beyond just serving the needs of policymakers. Anecdotally, authors bemoan fights to keep caveats in place as chapters are edited, refined and summarised. The PBL report does not prove or indeed suggest systematic bias, and it stresses that it has found nothing that should lead the parliament of the Netherlands, or anyone else, to reject the IPCC’s findings. But the panel set up to look at the IPCC’s workings by Dr Pachauri and Mr Ban should ask some hard questions about systematic tendencies to accentuate the negative.