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Edinburgh SciFest shuns global warming

The Edinburgh Science Festival is all but shunning global warming this year - just as they did last year.  The only mention I can find in the just-released programme for 2013 is this, quite breathtakingly dull-sounding discussion panel:

We cannot combat the effects of climate change without altering how we behave. With 2000 years of experience in guiding our faith and behaviour, what role could the church have to play in the future of our environment? Lesley Riddoch chairs a fascinating panel discussion with Professor Michael Northcott from the University of Edinburgh, Professor Stephen Reicher from The University of St Andrews, Dr Rebekah Widdowfield from the Scottish Government and Morag Wilson from WWF Scotland.
6pm (90 minutes) • £8/£6 • Teviot Row Dining Room
Presented by Eco-Congregation Scotland.

There is also this, which doesn't mention climate but does feature Chris Rapley. I just can't guess what his dangerous idea might be.

The history of science is full of discoveries considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time but which later became accepted – think Darwin and Copernicus for starters! But what are today’s most dangerous ideas? Join a selection of previous Edinburgh Medal recipients – including neurobiologist Professor Colin Blakemore and UCL’s Professor of Climate Science Professor Chris Rapley – as they share with you their dangerous ideas in a rare chance to hear from some of the most provocative minds in science.
8pm (90 minutes) • £10/£8 • Teviot Row Debating Hall.

I think I'll give it a miss.

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Reader Comments (17)

"With 2000 years of experience in guiding our faith and behaviour..."

Gimme a break.

Feb 15, 2013 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucifer

I was at first surprised that a discussion on 'The church and our environment' had no church representation, but then I saw that the WWF was there to uphold the side of religion...

Feb 15, 2013 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterkch


A traditional church building has to be one of the least energy-efficient structures still in modern use.

Massive thermal inertia; 10m - 15m high ceiling; intermittent, infrequent use; relatively low occupation/m2; and, single-glazed windows.

Their kW/m2/hour-of-occupation energy usage is enormous.

Feb 15, 2013 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Rapley often says "scientists should not be activists"
- Bishop criticised him August 2012
- maybe he is toning himself down compared to the past, he has a lecture in Bristol in 2 weeks and the intro page isn't totally over the top alarmist pleading

Feb 15, 2013 at 4:19 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Guilt is a useless emotion but look how effective it's been!

Feb 15, 2013 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterEric H.

"..With 2000 years of experience in guiding our faith and behaviour, what role could the church have to play in the future of our environment?.."

One of the few remaining services that the Church can provide for the nation is to act as a conscience for those in authority. There is a clear role for the Church to play in the 'future of our environment' - it could start by stressing that lying is a bad thing to do...

Feb 15, 2013 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Are the monetary figures mentioned the hourly rate that the audience will be paid? They are not really expecting anyone to pay to hear this stuff are they?

Further, surely an unshakeable belief in Man-made catastrophic warming is scarcely a "dangerous idea".

Maintaining that it is unproven is the position that will threaten your career, funding and standing.

Feb 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Stew Green, not sure about that. Here is Rapley in full political activist mode in his call to climate scientists to "raft up" last August:

"I believe that the Internet provides the forum for like-minded and motivated climate scientists from all disciplines to mobilize and transform the impact of climate science on the public and politics."

Feb 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

- Yes Paul Matthews you are right maybe a "wolf in sheeps clothing" I just checked The Turnbull vs Rapley debate
and on sea level rise he cites SKEPTICAL SCIENCE (the alarmist activist website)
- seems Rapley got burnt when as part of his alarmist Science Museum Exhibit he included an opinion poll hoping to prove the public "believes" in alarmist views .. and then found that the skeptics always won by more than 30%.. and that's why he thinks scientists being activists is counter productive.

Feb 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

PS have you guys seen the news on Italian windfarms ?
- "Police have arrested five people in eastern Sicily suspected of involvement in Mafia corruption over contracts to build wind farms, Italian media report."
that's BUILD not OPERATE ..and after 6 were arrested in December
- story from BBC

Feb 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

@ stewgreen Feb 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM

" .....the main contract to build one of the wind farms, installing 63 turbines. The contract was worth some 120bn euros (£103bn)."

At £1.6 billion to just built each turbine, that was some expensive contract. I wonder if it went out to competitive tender??

Feb 15, 2013 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Do you have to pay to get in, or is that an attendence fee to make sure someone turns up?

Feb 15, 2013 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

- yes surely the BBC like Dr Karl (0.03C not 0.3C) are having problems placing the decimal points correctly.
- I spent 5 weeks walking around Sicily last year and I can believe a cost of 1m for each turbine, but surely not 1Bn
- ah I just checked the Italian newspaper "Parchi eolici: i nomi dei 5 arrestati"
" hanno stroncato il malaffare che ruotava attorno ad un appalto da 120 milioni di euro: quello del parco eolico Alcantara. "
- Google translate says "that revolved around a 120 million euro contract to be: that the park wind Alcantara."

- another story "In 2010, cops seized $2 billion in 43 solar and wind fronts from "businessman" Vito Nicastri, known as "Lord of the Winds."

Feb 15, 2013 at 6:49 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Now that is a shame , I look forward to the protesters in polar suits to .

Feb 15, 2013 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

"I just can't guess what his dangerous idea might be."
-Probably best not to encourage him. He may have more than one.

Feb 15, 2013 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Prof. Stephen Reicher is from the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at St Andrews which appears to be part of the recently formed part of the bandwagon known as St As Sustainability Institute.

One of his areas of research is group behaviour. Any guesses at what his attitude to CAGW scepticism might be?

Feb 16, 2013 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

stewgreen on the Italian wind farm story...

I love the caption under the photo: 'Wind farms can be expensive to build and maintain..'

Stated on a BBC website..? Surely not..!

Feb 16, 2013 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

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