Flying to Lisbon: On official climate business!

Posted: January 5, 2011 by Rog Tallbloke in climate

I’ve been invited to a climate conference!

The three day workshop is entitled “Conflict Resolution in Climate Science”
This event is being hosted by the European Commission Joint research Centre’s Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen at the  Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

It is being attended by some of the world’s foremost climate scientists, as well as experts in policy formulation and conflict resolution, and some laymen and women with an interest in climate science, including yours truly – me!

The program has yet to be finalised, so there will be more updates here once the details become available.

The mission statement of the Joint Research Council says:

  • The mission of the JRC is to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies. As a service of the European Commission, the JRC functions as a reference centre of science and technology for the Union. Close to the policy-making process, it serves the common interest of the Member States, while being independent of special interests, whether private or national.

The mission statement of the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen says:

  • The mission of the IPSC is to provide research results and to support EU policy-makers in their effort towards global security and towards protection of European citizens from accidents, deliberate attacks, fraud and illegal actions against EU policies

Located in Ispra, Italy, the Institute provides scientific and technological support to European Union policies in many areas, including global stability and security, crises management, maritime and fisheries policies, compliance monitoring and protection of critical infrastructures. Moreover, the Institute performs statistics and information analysis for the evaluation of the effectiveness of policies.

acrobat logoIPSC’s core competencies are in the field of engineering and information technologies, including satellite image processing and analysis, open source information analysis, structural mechanics and risk assessment.

Comments
  1. vukcevic says:

    Well done young man. You got our support, keep flag flying..

  2. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Vuk,

    I’ll update this post when I get a break at lunchtime. Talking about flags, we should design one. Any ideas?

  3. tallbloke says:
    January 5, 2011 at 11:25 am
    Congratulations!. About flag: There is no need to invent a new symbol: Choose one from the Rene Guenon´s book “Symbols of the Sacred Science”; any one of them is a representation of a cosmological law.

  4. tallbloke says:

    Nice book Adolfo. I like the symbol on the cover.
    symbol

  5. Joe Lalonde says:

    I am happy for you!!!
    Good going!

    And for God’s sake, DO NOT have a Craven moment! :-)

  6. That’s for Magister Ludi’ s flag!

  7. tallbloke says:

    Heh, thanks joe. I’ll be doing more listening than talking at first.

  8. johnnythelowery says:

    ….and if you see any of the hockey stickers….slap em!!

  9. tallbloke says:

    So far as I know, The only Hockey Schticker who replied to the invite was Gavin Schmidt.

  10. It’s a good initiative, that of a Flag, because it implies the formation of a learning society, one to achieve “La grande sintesi del terzo millennio” (The Great Synthesis of the Third Millennium), to which we would be honored to invite the members of the Holoscience organization.
    Wouldn’t it be a good idea? :-)

  11. P.G. Sharrow says:

    I find that I learn the most when My mouth is closed. Need to remember that nice guys are the last to finish. Having the last word gives you more time to think about it. pg

  12. ge0050 says:

    Symbols of the Sacred Science

    the symbol reminds me of …

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika

  13. tallbloke says:

    Very appropriate ge0050. An ancient symbol representing whirling forces. Might not go down too well in Portugal though. :)

  14. P.G. Sharrow says:

    A snake eating its’ tail might be better, and I prefer blues, a more honest color. 8-) pg

  15. tallbloke says:

    Ah, the ‘Orouboros’. Well a snake wrapped around the ‘world egg’ is another very old symbol.

  16. Nasif Nahle says:

    Congrats, Tallbloke!!! Don’t let those b… bring you down!

  17. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Nasif. I tried to get an invite for you but apparently, because some very high profile people such as the Pielke’s are attending, some of the warmers have decided not to attend and effectively ceded the field. The organisers are trying to find more people from ‘the consensus of 98% of all climate scientists’ but it’s proving to be difficult. Maybe they’re not so confident about defending their science on neutral ground as we are. :)

  18. Joe Lalonde says:

    Tallbloke,

    The deeper I explore into climate science, the uglier the whole process is. It is very much like voodoo science using proxies and confusion without a shred of evidence.
    Not looking into the planets history whatso ever except the CO2 world.

    Listen and learn will give an idea of crowd receptiveness.
    Have a good relaxing time as well!

  19. E O'Connor says:

    Well, well.
    This should be interesting and not only for the selection of invitees.

    Some background links on the IPSC and JRC.
    IPSC 2009 Annual Report @

    http://ipsc.jrc.ec.europa.eu/showdoc.php?doc=promotional_material/IPSC_AR_2009.pdf&mime=application/pdf

    IPSC MARS project ‘Vulnerability Analysis’ @

    http://mars.jrc.ec.europa.eu/mars/About-us/FOODSEC/Vulnerability-analysis

    The JRC has its own Climate Change Unit @

    http://ccu.jrc.ec.europa.eu/home.php

    From the IPSC 2009 Annual Report (p.24-5) –

    “The weather database to analyse the impact of climate change on agriculture.

    Global Circulation Models (GCM) provide simulations of climate under different scenarios of green house gas emissions. Such climate scenarios require further processing in order to be usable as inputs for biophysical models (spatial scale, daily and hourly values, derived variables). A database of daily weather covering EU27 and the Mediterranean was generated. It comprises a series representing baseline weather—i.e., based on observed historical weather—and of several series each representing climate change weather. These were generated using climate output from two GCMs, i.e., the Hadley3 (Hadley centre, UK meteorological office) and ECHAM-5 (Max Plank Institute), and corresponding to two emission scenarios (IPCC A1 and B1) and two future time frames, centred in 2020 and 2050. The LARS weather generator (Rothamsted Research Centre) and the CLIMA-AGRI4CAST libraries were used in the database generation. The resulting database will be made accessible for public use.”

  20. tallbloke says:

    Great news!
    Judith Curry will be attending, and I hope Steve Mosher will be as well. A chance to discuss half baked ideas over a friendly beer. :)

  21. Joe Lalonde says:

    Lucky Bugger!!!

    Sound like you REALLY are going to have a great time!

  22. E O'Connor says:

    Not to dampen the enthusiasm but I am wondering –

    – how “Conflict Resolution in Climate Science” will be defined at this conference;
    – if a professional mediator is engaged to facilitate; and
    – who is expected to yield their position?

    I am also wondering if the IPSC/JRC motives for this conference are about their raison d’être (to provide research results and to support EU policy-makers) or, some strategy either to chip away at the dominance of the IPCC/UN summary for policy makers or, the recognition that, like the good citizens of Denmark, climate cycles.

    There was a IPSC climate (impact on European agriculture) conference in December 2008 but a search yielded no outcomes report.

  23. E O'Connor says:

    To make it more clear –

    how “Conflict in Climate Science” will be defined at this conference

  24. Brian H says:

    Warning: avoid jugs of brightly coloured liquids; they’re spiked!

    The core question will be: is this a charade, a “cover” for the EU/IPCC/UN consensualists?

    Another is, does the IPSC have any clout?

  25. hro001 says:

    Congratulations, tallbloke!

    “Conflict in Climate Science”?! Nahh … couldn’t be … after all, the dyed-in-the-wool warmers-in-chief have declared that there’s a “consensus” ;-)

    But that aside …You wrote:

    “because some very high profile people such as the Pielke’s are attending, some of the warmers have decided not to attend and effectively ceded the field.”

    Given the past behaviours of the dyed-in-the-wool warmers-in-chief (e.g. vis a vis journals that dare to publish the papers of those with whom they disagree, and/or journalists who dare to diverge from the party-line) I’m inclined to think that they may not view their absence as “ceding the field” -:)

    Rather, I suspect that (having learned nothing from the Climategate fallout – or from the increasingly publicized shortcomings of their much vaunted “peer-review”) they will probably have convinced themselves that if they don’t participate, whatever the outcome of the conference, they can simply dismiss it as “spurious, irrelevant” etc. etc. because THEY were not involved!

    Although they probably do recognize that – in order to give some semblance of credibility to their dismissals (without appealing only to their own authority!) – they do need a “designated disser” in attendance … and Gavin got the short straw!

  26. P.G. Sharrow says:

    All they have to do is admit that the science is not settled. I would settle for that. pg

  27. tallbloke says:

    All this scepticism! I wouldn’t expect anything less from my contributors. ;)
    But we shouldn’t allow our healthy scepticism to automatically engender cynicism. We have to start ‘official’ dialogue somewhere and this is at least a seat at the table of an organisation which informs policy makers. Even if the organisers themselves are still ‘onside’ they are at least recognising that they need to take account of the views of the ‘other side’.

    E O’Connor says:
    January 7, 2011 at 12:45 am (Edit)
    Not to dampen the enthusiasm but I am wondering –

    – how “Conflict Resolution in Climate Science” will be defined at this conference;
    – if a professional mediator is engaged to facilitate; and
    – who is expected to yield their position?

    P.G. Sharrow says:
    January 7, 2011 at 6:41 am (Edit)
    All they have to do is admit that the science is not settled. I would settle for that. pg

    The document I’ve been sent (which has the filename ‘reconciliation-rationale’) says:

    “In the politics of climate change, we cannot say that ‘the science is settled’ or ‘the
    debate is over’.”

    and

    “We suggest that this is an occasion when the approach and techniques of conflict
    resolution can be applied to a scientific dispute. This does not require the
    participants to accept the competence and integrity of their opponents; rather it
    starts from the assumption that those elements are absent. It makes only the
    minimal assumption that everyone agrees that there is a problem to be solved,
    which will not go away or be achieved by the surrender of one side.”

    and

    “As in any contentious issue, there are not just two sides but a
    spectrum of positions, perhaps on several dimensions.”

    and, most importantly

    “If the term ‘science’ presupposes consensual public knowledge,
    then (unless we obliterate one side of the dispute) this is just what we don’t have.
    Our urgent problem is not one of uncertainties but of conflicting and mutually
    excluding certitudes. The philosophy of science has not provided us with a theory of
    honest error. There are no crucial experiments to resolve the debate
    ; instead we
    need nonviolent conflict resolution. All serious negotiations require talks-about-talks
    (even with more –about-talks) as preliminaries. This is where we believe that we
    are, in relation to the climate change dispute.”

    [my italics]

    The document says a lot more besides, but that gives us plenty to chew on to start with.

  28. tallbloke says:

    hro001 says:
    January 7, 2011 at 2:54 am
    Although they probably do recognize that – in order to give some semblance of credibility to their dismissals (without appealing only to their own authority!) – they do need a “designated disser” in attendance … and Gavin got the short straw!

    Hi hro001, and welcome.
    Gavin isn’t coming. It is not good etiquette to quote from private correspondence, so I’ll just say that he didn’t see the point in attending if the policy dimension was to be excluded and we are just going to discuss the science, because his side’s science is right and all the sceptic’s scientific arguments are just a smokescreen for their agenda.

  29. E O'Connor says:

    Well there you go, Gavin has given a definition – There is no conflict, and so I’m unpacking my bat and ball and staying home.

  30. tallbloke says:

    People with closed minds are by definition non-scientists as I see it. Gavin is a computer programmer, who by definition go about their work by defining the variables before they start. See Feynman on scientific method.

  31. E O'Connor says:

    Well the poor chap may have been carpeted by his boss for even considering going!

  32. Tenuc says:

    Well done Roger, looks like your going to get the chance to have your say about the IPCC brand of cargo cult climate science – cool head needed I think!!!

    Regarding ‘conflict resolution’ I learned several lessons when working for a period as a negotiator for a large multi-national. Here’s a few of the tactics to watch out for:-

    Persuade opposing group to see reason – appeal to authority, show benefits of adopting suggested actions – demonstrate negative consequences of opposition actions.

    Buy out the most vociferous members of the group with the opposing view (cash seldom required).

    Use any means to smear oppositions credibility.

    Intimidate the main players (or their families).

    A small personal anecdote… Many years ago I was involved in negotiating a large contract for canned tomatoes in Naples. At the end of a somewhat acrimonious and unsuccessful negotiation one of the sellers produced a photo of my family going into our house and opened his jacket to show me his gun. No surprise we ended up buying Spanish tomatoes.

    CAGW has nothing to do with science – it’s all about government control and money.

  33. tallbloke says:

    The reason I have devoted time and effort to understanding how and why the climates on Earth change and the hash mainstream climate science makes of describing, theoretically modeling and predicting those changes is because the science is the key to the credibility of the policy, and should not be allowed to become its hostage.

    It’s also why the proponents were so keen to declare that the ‘debate is over’ and the ‘science is in’.

    Without scientific underpinning and credibility, the policy will not be enforceaable against a public who know it is based on flawed science.

  34. Ulric Lyons says:

    @tallbloke says:
    January 7, 2011 at 7:55 am

    “It makes only the minimal assumption that everyone agrees that there is a problem to be solved, which will not go away or be achieved by the surrender of one side.”

    Wuwt? the problem is cold weather ahead, preparation and adaption is the only option. The statement is also self contradictory, ie how can “everyone” have sides !

  35. tallbloke says:

    The art of detente Ulric. The ‘problem’ is left vaguely defined so the fact that there is a problem can be agreed on by all sides. The fact that the sides have different problems in mind only comes to light after everyone has had coffee together and sat down to talk having broken the ice by passing the sugar to each other.

  36. P.G. Sharrow says:

    I don’t expect much from this as it would appear as the out come is preordained by the agenda. At least we have our own man to give us his observations of the precedings.
    That they want to negotiate means they feel that they are losing the argument so they want to create the appearance of prevailing. At least have fun. As long as you have a smile on your face they will think they are losing. :-D pg

  37. [...] response to the invitation to attend. Funnily enough he wasn’t making too much of it when I posted it last month though. Anyway, let’s hope that issue doesn’t overshadow the more interesting aspects [...]