Reader Gareth sends this report of last night's debate on the ethics of global warming policy.
I've just got back from the Fisher House / Von Hugel Institute seminar "Global Warming & Equitable Development: the Ethical and Political Priorities" (following your notice of same a few weeks ago).
Chaired by Rowan Williams, with a panel of: Lord Deben, Prof Sir Brian Hoskins, Prof Richard Lindzen, Prof Peter Wadhams (Prof Physics & Head of Polar Ocean Physics Group, Cambridge), Professor Sir Colin Humphrey (Cambridge), Prof John Loughlin Von Hugel Institute), Prof Chris Whitty (long job title - govt advisor) & Peter Lilley (late addition, not advertised), plus a paper by Prof Emeritus Tony Kelly (Cambridge) read by his son as he was unwell.
I'd expected this to be a bit of a greenfest with Lindzen as the token denier but it wasn't at all. The panel was quite balanced in representation of "warmist" and "denier" viewpoint as was the audience, and it was quite a civilized affair. Brian Hoskins did the usual "ice caps melting, sea level rising, etc" stuff. The Cambridge Polar chap also did "melting sea ice worse than we thought". Lindzen was quite good and disagreed with the polar chap that sea level data showed accelerating rise. Peter Lilley was good too,
saying that if you actually read the Stern report and use its own data you can see that it does not support the action taken by government. The Tony Kelly paper was sensible stuff, including bio-fuels hurt the poor.
The only one of the panel who I wouldn't have wished to have a follow up conversation with was Deben. I know it's ad-hom, but having seen him and listened to him, "egregious" does not begin to cover it. So bad news that Deben and his pal Yeo have their claws on the wheels of power, but maybe good news that a fair proportion of the panel and of this Cambridge audience have a different view.