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Lindzen vs Hasan

This just in:

Head to Head Debates with Mehdi Hasan - FRIDAY 8TH MARCH at 7.30pm - PROF RICHARD LINDZEN

Message: Al Jazeera English is launching a new discussion series called Head to Head, presented by Mehdi Hasan. Head to Head tackles the big issues of our times, from foreign intervention to faith and American supremacy.

This week’s recording tackles the thorny issue of climate change as Mehdi Hasan challenges one of the world’s leading climate sceptics, MIT Professor Richard Lindzen and asks, Is Climate Change Fact… or Fiction?

The event will be filmed in front of a live audience at the Oxford Union with questions from the audience.

We’d be delighted if you, or indeed any of your friends and colleagues would like to attend the recording, and take part in the discussion. I’m conscious you may not be based in the UK, but I’m sure many of your readers are. I’d love it if you could either publicise the event on your blog or perhaps tweet about the event if you use twitter. If you tweet about it, please use our email address for tickets:

The event will be televised globally on Al-Jazeera English later in the year. Al Jazeera English has an audience of 280 million households around the world and we’ll soon be broadcasting to 60 million new households in the US.

Please arrive by 7pm to guarantee places. The recording itself will start at 7.30pm sharp and last about 90 minutes.

We hope this will be the most passionate and well-informed debate of the series so any help you can provide to publicise the event or post on your web site will be greatly appreciated.

For tickets and info go to:

The Oxford Union
St. Michael’s Street
Oxford, OX1 3JB

The text is rather garbled, but I gather you email the address given for tickets.

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Reader Comments (22)

I wonder how the BBC feels about being upstaged by Al-Jazeera? 280 million is a pretty respectable audience figure!

Mar 5, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I'm sure I wont be the only one to notice, but from the text...

Is Climate Change Fact… or Fiction?

This seems like a loaded question that should be addressed before any discussion begins. Does anyone know anything about Mehdi Hasan?


Mar 5, 2013 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicG.

Mehdi probably won't turn up

Mar 5, 2013 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin

From the same people bringing you "Reality Drop"?:
Gore and his partner Joel Hyatt also announced the sale in a statement.

"Current Media was built based on a few key goals: To give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling," Gore and Hyatt said.

"Al Jazeera has the same goals and, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us."

Mar 5, 2013 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Does anyone know anything about Mehdi Hasan?

True believer. Had an exchange with him while he was presenting a phone in program on LBC and he came up with the mantra "the majority of scientists etc etc" and asked me to name one scientist who was against AGW. I mentioned Richard Lindzen and MH did not know who he was. Somebody after me phoned in to inform the listeners that Lindzen was in the pay of Big Oli and Mehdi was very pleased with the support.

In my opinion he is weak in science and will be aggressive with sound bites and Big Oil innuendo.

Mar 5, 2013 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex104

The Revolution will be Currently Televised.

Mar 5, 2013 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Kiss Your World Goodbye
Hoax or Reality? We'll be challenging the 'truths' behind climate science

Mehdi Hasan interviews Professor Richard Lindzen.

Nice headline.

Mar 5, 2013 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Haha, I thought that was Hansen for a second!!!


Mar 5, 2013 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

I dislike the fact that they've chosen a political editor to debate a scientist. Add to that that the editor is from the Huffington Post, no less. Why not Phil Jones or Wigley instead? Why not debate the science rather than the politics of the science? That said, Lindzen has shown he understands the politics of the debate.

Mar 5, 2013 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

I think Prof Lindzen can hold his own. But right up front he should re-frame the debate question:

'Is the projected global warming a problem?'

He should point out that the minuscule 0.8ºC temperature fluctuation over the past century and a half is extremely benign by Holocene standards: Geologically speaking, the planet has warmed and cooled by tens of degrees on short, decadal time frames.

We have been living in a "Goldilocks" climate. Going forward, the liklihood of falling temperatures is the same as rising temperatures. We have been very fortunate so far. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, global temperatures have been extremely flat:

Lindzen has a way of speaking that conveys the situation clearly, and he is extremely knowledgeable. I trust he will do well in this debate, even though it is a given that they will try to stack the deck against him.

Mar 5, 2013 at 10:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterSmokey

It is unfortunate that Lindzen didn't insist on a live broadcast as a condition of his participation. The 'estimated' recording time of 90 minutes is sure to be reduced to an hour or less of broadcast time, with all the editing risks that that presents for a well balanced outcome.

Mar 5, 2013 at 11:49 PM | Unregistered Commentermalrob

Well, I live in Oxford, and have just emailed them, so maybe I'll get to see it.
John Gibson

Mar 6, 2013 at 12:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Gibson

Take a sound-recorder with you, JG, and help protect Lindzen in case any creative editing is done 'twixt recording and broadcast.

Mar 6, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

theduke, I just raised your question on twitter and Jonathan Jones says he thinks Myles Allan will be taking part.

Mar 6, 2013 at 12:20 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Franny Armstrong is apprently going aswell.

Mar 6, 2013 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Finally, please let us know if you have a relevant question as these will be an integral part of the programme.

Here is a link to the location of the Oxford Union where this programme will take place:

Al Jazeera English has an audience of 280 million households around the world and we’ll soon be broadcasting to 60 million new households in the US.

“You have politicians who are being told, if they question climate change, that they are anti-science. We are trying to tell them, no, questioning is never anti-science,” said Lindzen.

Agree or disagree? Come to the Oxford Union this Friday and join the discussion!

Mar 6, 2013 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Some interesting tweets from Hasan this afternoon:

"Dear Twitter, what are the best, most-accessible sites for easy rebuttals to the most common climate-denial myths/arguments? #swottingup :-) "

"Video promo for my Richard Lindzen climate denial interview this Friday evening: … Free tickets: "

"Come question climate denier Prof Richard Lindzen on Fri at 7.30pm at Oxford Union for my Al Jaz show. Free tickets: debates "

Though he does not in fact use the d word in the short video.

Barry, good to hear Armstrong will be there. Will she be bringing her lovely video?

Mar 6, 2013 at 5:44 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

if he plans on using SKS type rebuttals with Richard Lindzen he's going to be in trouble. Lindzen was quite good during the IQ2 debate in 2007.

Mar 6, 2013 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterEric H.

Barry Woods - "Finally, please let us know if you have a relevant question as these will be an integral part of the programme."

Hi Barry - where did you source that from? I tried to find it but the only thing I found mentioning Lindzen at AlJeezera is this old piece by McKibben, republished from TomDespatch:


Anyway, if there is a question session, I'd like someome to ask the panel:

"Does research or analysis which cannot be reproduced have any value whatsoever?"

If Myles Allen is there, it'll be interesting to see if he states, from such a potentially wide reaching platform, that "naming and shaming" those authors and publishers who dodge this issue is the solution to the problem. After his original comment, he seemed to wish he'd put it differently, though I'm not sure how else such a tactic could be expressed.

From: Myles All en
Sent: 02 June 2012 18: 23
To : David John Karoly
Subject: Re: Climate audit post and paleo data
Hi David,
What I said was that disclos ure s hould be up to journal editors , not Foi lawyers.
If the editor thinks that a dataset is relevant and a challenge is serious, then
he or she should be in a position to require disclosure of the relevant data or
code or demand a paper ' s retraction. Journals that consistently fail to do so can
be named and shamed (but not banned~ banning journals is always a bad idea). I ' m
not s u ggesting anyth ing radical here: I thin k this is j u st a stateme n t of the way
things have been since the 17th century, and the way things work in most other
branches of sc ience.
I realise I shouldn ' t have put it the way I did in the post , and I ' m sorry to have
caused you unnecessary trouble .

Cut and pasted from the "Part 2b gergis.pdf" of Michael Kottek's FOI response:

Mar 7, 2013 at 1:00 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Source was automatic reply, from applying for a ticket to the debate

Mar 7, 2013 at 7:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Lindzen is going to throw Hasan a curve ball right from the start by agreeing that climate change is fact.

Mar 8, 2013 at 12:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Heyworth

An aside on Al Jazeera audience figures, they claim

Al Jazeera English has an audience of 280 million households around the world and we’ll soon be broadcasting to 60 million new households in the US.

These kinds of claims are based upon the spurious figures of how many can receive the signal, not how many actually watch on any regular basis, or ever.

For instance, the US figure of an upcoming reach to "60 million new households" is based upon the recent acquisition of Al Gore's Current TV network. Current TV has never been watched at all by the vast vast majority of people who might have "access" to the signal via a cable or satellite package.

This is not to say the recorded program won't eventually be viewed by a substantial number of people, but it may be a number in the thousands rather than in the tens or hundreds of millions.

Mar 8, 2013 at 1:14 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

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