Well, this is it, I just have a few minutes before heading to the Gulbenkian Foundation to register for the event and get to the first session.
I was up at dawn:
Last night a group of us including Steve Mc, Judy C, Peter W, Ross McK, STeve Mosher and myself went out for dinner together and had a wide ranging discussion round the issues. Ross and Steve M came back to my palatial penthouse suite to continue over a nightcap, and we turned in around 1am.
I have to get going so I’ll try to update this post during the day from the nokia – if the wordpress app plays ball…
Well, WordPress for Nokia has let me down, but in any case there was no time for ‘phone blogging as the pace was fast and continuous. After registration we settled down to a session where the 28 attendees took it in turns to introduce themselves and their work, we were given five minutes each so this inevitably over-ran past the lunchbreak. There was a great diversity of backgrounds and approaches to the issues, including research on the history of attempts and ideas for geo-engineering, analysis of decision making in the face of conflicting evidence, historical comparisons with previous scientific conflicts, my own missive on the need for parallel development of alternative hypotheses and possible cross fertilisation of results and ideas, setting the climate change question in context with other pressing human issues, and many more.
Then we had a session on non-violent communication. This lacked bite and relevance to the kind of discourse entered into in the climate arena and there was a struggle to push the session into some kind of useful shape.
After a coffee break, they need bigger coffee pots! we examined some of the issues identified in the intro session as ‘critical to resolution of the science’ and the ‘things which get us mad with each other’ in groups and reported back in a summary session at the end. Our group chose natural variability/climate sensitivity and ‘bad faith’. Ross McKittrick had an illuminating anecdote about an extra paragraph he managed to get put into IPCC AR4 about other types of models being better at dealing with longer range noise signals in climate data, which then got deleted again from the final version.
We also had Nick Stokes at our table and it was great that he could express disagreement and put in points from his side which all integrated into Ross’s final summary. He delivered this in a beautifully laconic style after we’d witnessed some fireworks from Hans von Storch in response to Peter Webster’s group’s summary on the same natural variability topic.
By seven pm we were fading fast so we closed and barely had time to get changed back at the hotel before taxis whisked us away to a superb little restaurant in the old part of the city centre. After the meal Silvio Funtowicz led some of us on a tour of the Baja Alto before we wandered down to find a Metro station for the ride home.