Seen elsewhere
Twitter
Support

 

Buy

Click images for more details

Recent posts
Recent comments
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Lindzen at the Oxford Union - Cartoon Notes by Josh | Main | Air quality »
Saturday
Mar092013

Lindzen at the Oxford Union

The Lindzen debate at the Oxford Union was, I think, a rather significant moment in the climate debate. One in which sceptic views got a fair hearing in an open debate. Lindzen was to be accompanied by a panel of invited experts consisting of David Rose, Mark Lynas and Myles Allen. Part 1 was an interview of Lindzen with interjections from the panel, while part 2 opened up the debate to the floor.

A few of us sceptics - Josh, Tallbloke, David Holland and others had met up beforehand and I think it's fair to say that we all expected little from the evening. Mehdi Hasan, the left-wing journalist who was to compere the event had been using the d-word a couple of evenings ago and had said he wasn't a neutral. This didn't bode well. In the event he ran through the gamut of "questions you ask sceptics" - denialism, big oil funding and do on - and in a way that was quite aggressive (but not unfairly so), but I think it fair to say that didn't go the way he expected. I should add that Hasan's handling of the Q&A was exemplary.

Lindzen's laid-back style does not make for good TV and I think Hasan and the TV people might have wished for a more flamboyant figure. However, it does lend him an air of authority and many of the barbs from the chair seemed to simply bounce off Lindzen's avuncular force-field.

The debate was very wide-ranging, covering everything from peer review to climate sensitivity to Milankovitch cycles to policy matters and US libel laws. Lindzen certainly knows his stuff and there was nothing that threw him and only a couple of moments when his quiet calm seemed disturbed.

The star of the show, however, was David Rose, whose controlled aggression and moral outrage was combined with great lucidity and an ability to get complex points over in an accessible fashion. This was star in the making stuff. His opponents on the expert panel on the other hand were strangely muted and almost seemed as if they had no stomach for the fight. There was in fact a great deal of agreement on many aspects of the debate - for example, everyone agreed that Hasan's "97% of scientists" line was irrelevant (and as Barry Woods explained later isn't true anyway). Perhaps more importantly, everyone also seemd to agree that current policy choices are foolish, the main differences being over whether emissions reductions are required.

Before I left home I wondered if such a long trip was worth the effort. In the aftermath I am sure that it was.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (180)

Did you get a chance to ask a question, Bishop?

Mar 9, 2013 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

"Avuncular force field" Super. Wish I'd thought of it. Did you get the impression Mehdi was going for the junior Paxman role but it didn't quite come off?

Mar 9, 2013 at 10:16 AM | Registered Commenterrhoda

Bish

I posted this link on your travelling piece and hope you don't mind me posting it again here. It addresses the what we should do about it issue. A must see

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/08/a-bridge-in-the-climate-debate-how-to-green-the-worlds-deserts-and-reverse-climate-change/#more-81728

Mar 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

... many of the barbs from the chair seemed to simply bounce off Lindzen's avuncular force-field.

Great phrase. By now, if it bothered him, he wouldn't have been coming back for more for 25 years. If this is a turning point, as you say, then hasn't the prof emeritus done something of spectacular worth since 1988?

His opponents on the expert panel on the other hand were strangely muted and almost seemed as if they had no stomach for the fight.

Strange yes, but hardly a surprise. The widely publicised Intelligence Squared debate in New York in March 2007, where Lindzen, joined by more populist and energetic presenters Michael Crichton and Philip Stott, trounced Gavin Schmidt and friends, led to such risky public outings being limited to once a decade, it seems, by a frightened little IPCC 'consensus'. So it's a joy that Al Jazeera insisted on putting this one on in Oxford. Arab Spring the sequel?

Mar 9, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Will there be a video of the event?

Hans H.J. Labohm

Mar 9, 2013 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterHans Labohm

Hans, that's why Al Jazeera were there or so I'm reliably informed.

Mar 9, 2013 at 10:33 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The more the warmista participate in public debates, the more the public can see through the veneer.

That is why most do not like to "joust with court jesters" as Dr Hansen (of the 1st class air travel fame) likes to say.

Not because they give credence to "evil fossil fuel lackies", rather they will expose their very weak arguments.

Mar 9, 2013 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

I would be interested to hear what Mark Lynas had to say - what with him recently jumping off the anti-GM bus in such self-dramatising fashion at the Oxford Farming Conference ...

Mar 9, 2013 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterFilbert Cobb

This is all good news.

It seems as if Allen and Lynas were like lightweights in the ring with a heavyweight, but at least they turned up.

Actually, on the core science side (esp. physics), are there any heavyweights on the side of alarm over carbon dioxide as a driver of climate?

Similarly in the world of journalism, who on the CO2-released-by-human-action-is-a-planetary-emergency side can match Rose or Booker or Delingpole for penetration and delivery?

In politics, who can match Lawson and Monckton for knowledge, courtesy, rapier-thrusts and flair?

In books and/or blogs, whose work comes remotely close to the quality of Montford, Watts, Laframboise, Nova, Carter, Ridley, and McIntyre - and several others I could mention?

If indeed the long tide of this particular piece of millennial-level alarmism is on the turn, the falling waters are going to reveal some fairly pathetic sights for all to see. It has not been a high point in the history of science, nor of politics, nor of journalism.

Mar 9, 2013 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Well said John. Not a high point in the intellectual history of mankind, that's for sure. But only as the tide goes out will we see clearly how low some have been prepared to go.

Mar 9, 2013 at 11:24 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I was at the debate - I was sorry I didn't get chance to meet you Andrew. The combination of Lindzen's laid back style and 'attack dog' Rose was excellent. But poor Mehdi was out of his depth, hadn't prepared enough, and so the debate was meandering and unstructured. In my opinion Oxford is the home of 'Big Green' in Britain, so it was refreshing that the audience seemed reasonably well balanced.
The same question came up three times from the audience, phrased in different ways: 'what about all the poor people who will die from climate change?' Clearly very sincere and heartfelt.
Most of us at this site know what the answer is - poor people are much more likely to die from natural events than rich ones. The answer is to encourage policies that help poor people get rich - but most climate change and environmental policy works in exactly the opposite direction.
We need to work harder to get this message across.

Mar 9, 2013 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid C

Oh, here's one which slipped my mind earlier. Myles Allen's solution. Simplicity itself. Just require all fossil-fuel burners to bury their CO2. There it is, that's all that is need. Nobody picked him up on it, it just slipped past the serried ranks of deniers. I had used up my heckling allowance by that point, but does he have any idea of where to bury three tons of CO2 for every ton of coal or oil burned? Does he know of any CCS scheme which is better than pumping it into the atmosphere so the trees can get it?

Mar 9, 2013 at 11:45 AM | Registered Commenterrhoda

@david c

'The answer is to encourage policies that help poor people get rich - but most climate change and environmental policy works in exactly the opposite direction'

It seems that most 'environmental' policy works to make rich people even richer. At the expense of the poor.

Few residents of a Glasgow tenement can afford (financially or practically) to put up a solar installation on their roof and so take advantage of taxpayer largesse for this futile gesture of Sol Worship.

But the residents of leafy SW19 - otherwise renowned for tennis and a variety of crazy football clubs - have gorged themselves at the feast as a trip on the upper deck of a 93 bus will verify. More acres of PV panels than there are of greensward at the All England Club.

Similarly to take full advantage of our collective sacrifices to the God Aeolus, it is a prereq to have a few hundred spare upland acres in one's portfolio. The little people without the sprawling acres just have to pay for it.

The weird thing is that it seems to be mostly those who claim to be on the left of politics that support these bizarre schemes to enrich the plutocrats at the expense of the proletariat the most vocally.

Mar 9, 2013 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Bish did Mark Lynas turn up with a Custard Pie

Mar 9, 2013 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Interesting about David Rose, first came across his name on a Daily Mail article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2283558/How-MPs-pay-subsidised-eco-firms-set-insane-new-carbon-targets-send-heating-bills-sky-rocketing.html

Sorry don't know how to do links

Anyhow he seems like a good bloke to have on side

Mar 9, 2013 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered Commenteroxonmoron

I was also at the debate (or the first half at any rate). Lindzen's major advantage - apart from his avuncular force field - was that he knows far more about every aspect of the subject than does Hasan. It's a problem that political commentators and interrogators generally find insurmountable because they seem to feel obliged to have a strong opinion on every subject and (mostly) lack some combination of the expertise, knowledge, time or intelligence needed to grasp anything below the surface. Such weakly founded yet strongly held opinions are usually received with the minimum of critical thought and passed on without further analysis. So Mehdi would lead into each new line of questioning with an aggressive starter for ten, which Lindzen would politely but conclusively refute ("refute" rather than "deny") and Mehdi had little or nothing to follow-up with.

For example, Mehdi claimed that a recent NASA paper showed that extreme weather events were due to climate change, which contradicted Lindzen's views, so demonstrating that Lindzen was a maverick. Lindzen pointed out that, in this instance, his opinion was similar to that of the IPCC: that any effect of climate change on extreme weather was very small. So to accuse Lindzen of being an outlier was to likewise accuse the IPCC. It was instead the NASA paper which was the oddity. Mehdi changed the subject.

However, despite Lindzen's gentle and good-humoured rebuttal of almost all Mehdi's arguments I'd be surprised if Mehdi's mind was changed. Mehdi (and Mark Lynas) repeatedly said that they weren't scientists and had to rely on what they were told by scientists rather than take the time and trouble to find things out for themselves. When Lindzen was asked how non-scientists should try to understand the climate change arguments he suggested reading the papers. Activists and commentators are usually far too busy being active and commentating because of the sheer urgency of what needs to be done and talked about, rather than actually taking the time to work out whether anyone knows enough to say what's really going on.

I thought that Myles Allen's reactions were interesting. When Lindzen suggested that he and Myles were mostly in agreement, Myles agreed. There wasn't much talk of models (at least in the time I was there) but Myles didn't mount much of a defence against the recent fall in estimated climate sensitivity. Perhaps even the modellers are beginning to realise that, when predictions repeatedly don't work, it may be time to consider the possibility models don't work.

In fact Myles stepped away from the details of model predictions and twice fell back on a "no-feedback" argument. He and Lindzen agreed that it was likely that doubling of CO2 led to ~1 degree of warming. As that doubling was due to burning ~1/8th of known fossil fuel resources (so Myles said and I haven't yet checked) and the rest was being burned at a hugely increased and still increasing rate, when it was all burned, even without positive feedback, there'd still be a significant temperature increase.

Lindzen didn't really address this point which was a pity. If the logarithmic relationship of temp increase vs CO2 concentration continues as the rest of the FF reserves are burnt, the next 1/4 will give another degree, the next half another degree and then there's the small change of an 1/8th left over. The net result is ~3 degrees of warming which, roughly speaking and assuming there's not much time-lag between CO2 concentration and temp increase, would happen in the second half of this century. Is 3 degrees a catastrophe? Perhaps not compared to other problems if/when all FFs have been burnt, and if no reliable substitute has been discovered before then. It seemed a rather weak position for Myles to have fallen back on.

Mar 9, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Anthony

David C

When it comes to lefties (and indeed warmies) who are out of their depth, isn't that why they're lefties (and warmies) in the first place? Are they ever not out of their depth?

Mar 9, 2013 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Reed

I wonder if the egregious Martin Lack was there?

Some may remember that a while back he publicly vowed to end Lindzen's career, smite 'denialism' through the heart and make the planet safe for alarmists to pontificate unhindered once more.

But Lindzen has lived to gently persuade another day.

And there is a distinct lack of Lack.

Mar 9, 2013 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterLack Watch

I am with Rhoda, "avuncular force field" is accurate and compelling. Josh, are you listening?

Mar 9, 2013 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterbernie

nTropywins

Re the video to which you refer I'd say it is definitely a must for anyone interested in the ways in which humankind can really cause the climate to change one way or the other, as opposed to AGW. It is fascinating stuff and brilliantly counter-intuitive. It would be even better if someone could explain to Allan Savory that releasing carbon trapped at great depth in the earth's crust back into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels is a wholly beneficial process which helps to green the Earth. Hence it complements the process of reversing desertification he advocates. Perhaps if he had done though his talk would not have been nearly as well received as it was. In fact I have to admit that likely as not he would probably have been howled down before he could even begin to get his message across. That would have been a great pity.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/08/a-bridge-in-the-climate-debate-how-to-green-the-worlds-deserts-and-reverse-climate-change/#more-81728

Mar 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Reed

I meant to add that the audience size and composition was interesting. The room was only ~2/3 full, < 300 people. I understand that Katie Melua was there the day before so perhaps she got a better audience. Also, I'd guess that only about half the audience were students. It seems that Oxford students are not currently passionately interested in climate change, at least not on Friday nights, particularly since a rival speaking attraction less than 50 metres away was the ex-director of Mossad.

Mar 9, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Anthony

The debate is due to be broadcast in a month's time. I'll try to post a link if I get the details.

Mar 9, 2013 at 1:20 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I was deeply embarrassed to be associated with Hasan's ad hominem attacks on Dick Lindzen, in particular his going on about speaker fees and airline tickets. I thought this was going to be a discussion of climate science, and most of it seemed to be, as ever, about people and politics. As I hope I made clear when I had the chance, these were completely irrelevant to the discussion (and nothing he brought up seemed in any way exceptionable anyway) and that kind of attempt at personalising everything is just what is preventing a sensible discussion. I am very sorry that a visitor to Oxford was treated in this way.

On the science side, I'm happy to accept that studies comparing simple models with observations of the recent record, of which several have been published recently, suggest a climate sensitivity in the region of 2 degrees (although this isn't the only line of evidence). But even a two degree sensitivity, if we do decide to burn all available fossil carbon, which would take concentrations well over 1000ppm, would be more than enough for 4+ degrees of warming. The real question, therefore, is whether 4+ degrees is OK. That's what we need to be discussing, and unfortunately, because once again it was side-tracked onto irrelevancies, the debate didn't go there.

Mar 9, 2013 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMyles Allen

Well said, Myles Allen, on all of your points.

Mar 9, 2013 at 1:43 PM | Registered CommenterPhilip Richens

Myles... ... most of it seemed to be, as ever, about people and politics. [...] The real question, therefore, is whether 4+ degrees is OK. That's what we need to be discussing, and unfortunately, because once again it was side-tracked onto irrelevancies, the debate didn't go there.

Not having been at the debate, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by your reference to 'people and politics', but meanwhile it seems obvious to me that society's vulnerability to climate is fundamentally a question of 'people and politics', rather than purely material science. Hence, rich people living in democracies seem to suffer less from climate, period, than people who suffer poverty and tyranny, and so on. What kind of problem (or not) a 4-degree warmer world will be depends on the people who live in it. I presume you don't disagree that it's easier for wealthy populations to cope with climate -- changing or not.

Taking the other possibility that by 'people and politics' you mean something akin to 'squabbling', it is the attempt to defer politics to scientific institutions that creates the tone of the debate.

Mar 9, 2013 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Sounds great, so big question is - is there some way those of us who weren't there can still watch it?

Mar 9, 2013 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Harvey

On the science side, I'm happy to accept that studies comparing simple models with observations of the recent record, of which several have been published recently, suggest a climate sensitivity in the region of 2 degrees (although this isn't the only line of evidence). But even a two degree sensitivity, if we do decide to burn all available fossil carbon, which would take concentrations well over 1000ppm, would be more than enough for 4+ degrees of warming. The real question, therefore, is whether 4+ degrees is OK. That's what we need to be discussing, and unfortunately, because once again it was side-tracked onto irrelevancies, the debate didn't go there.
Mar 9, 2013 at 1:25 PM Myles Allen

Am I missing something here Myles?

If you accept that the relationship between CO2 concentration and temperature is logarithmic, and that the first doubling will only add 2degC, how can a further increase to 1000ppm (which is less than a second doubling) achieve a further temperature in excess of 2degC - to reach a total increase of 4+degC?

Mar 9, 2013 at 1:53 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Myles
I don't think you need be embarrassed for Mehdi. Aggression is what modern interviewers do. It's intended to rile the interviewee and get him to say something controversial. Increasingly a problem with modern "audiovisual" journalists (a generous description for many of them) is that that is all they have. As Simon Anthony points out up-thread they lack the necessary conditions — mainly a lack of time, I believe — to get themselves at least a sound basic knowledge of the subject.
There are also the twin assumptions on the one hand that the interviewer is more important than the interviewee and the audience are there to watch him/her being clever and on the other hand that the whole thing is intended to be entertainment and that the last thing the viewer/listener really wants is to be taught something.
Inevitably the result is a non-meeting of minds. I shall await the actual transmission with interest.

Mar 9, 2013 at 1:55 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

"I was deeply embarrassed to be associated with Hasan's ad hominem attacks on Dick Lindzen, in particular his going on about speaker fees and airline tickets."

Well said. Sadly, "Ad Hominem" is the default attack mode for Mehdi and much of the Left. Here's Mehdi with a belting Ad Hominem on all us Kuffirs...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1-wbrexoNs

As fas as Mehdi is concerned, I live like an animal. Nice guy.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:07 PM | Registered Commenterjeremyp99

Foxgoose, Myles Allen wrote "well over 1000ppmv", highlighted nicely in the quote you reproduced - so I am not seeing the problem with his conclusion of just over 4 degrees C. You'll get 4 degrees at 1120ppmv assuming preindustrial concentrations of 280ppmv - yes?

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Harvey

I wonder if this was a vanity project for Hasan. If so, and if he does not come across in it as at all impressive, apart perhaps from his handling of the Q&A session, why would he let it go any further to reach a possible broadcast stage? Especially if it fails to give support to the wishful delusion of the alarmed ones that they are dealing with demented ignoramuses in the pockets of Big Oil with sinister agendas on the other 'side' that they just need to 'expose'.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Myles Allen: "The real question, therefore, is whether 4+ degrees is OK. That's what we need to be discussing, and
unfortunately, because once again it was side-tracked onto irrelevancies, the debate didn't go there."

Rhetorical clap trap.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

http://tarascienceblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/adding-fuel-to-out-of-date-scepticism/
gives an interesting though not very literate view from the other side of the fence.

Your remarks about Rose are interesting. I think many underestimate his importance. How many people read the Daily Mail? He has much more influence than BH.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:25 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Simon Anthony & Myles Allen, have actually sat down and calculated how long it will take to remove and burn all the FF in the world?
And do you think that in those intervening years that there will be no alternative energy creation methods invented by mankind?
Also how many more 15 year periods of no temperature rises will there be when they are burning all that FF?

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterA C Osborn

Simon Anthony, yesterday was the last day of "Full Term" and most of the undergraduates go home today, so I wouldn't have expected to see many undergraduates there: too busy packing.

Myles, I suspect a lot of people here would be interested in discussing the appropriate response to a 2C/doubling climate sensitivity, which they would find much less implausible than 6 to 9C/doubling.

It seems to me that sensitivity in the 2C range indicates taking serious steps to sharply reduce emissions in the medium term, but not a full scale panic with impossible aims. Something like energy efficiency, a rapid switch from coal to gas, and a nuclear renaissance might be the place to start? While windmills, palm oil plantations, and shipping US forests as woodchips to burn at Drax don't make much sense?

Sure, some people here will oppose everything, but there may be more middle ground than you expect.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:30 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Myles,

On your first points: I also felt uncomfortable at Mehdi's approach: I suppose watching Paxman beating up politicians encourages others to try similar methods of crude attack. Lindzen handled it very well and didn't seem either surprised or put offthis stroke. I suppose it helps when you're so much more in command of the subject than your interrogator.

"The real question, therefore, is whether 4+ degrees is OK. That's what we need to be discussing, and unfortunately, because once again it was side-tracked onto irrelevancies, the debate didn't go there."

I think Lindzen would probably go to ~3 degrees but the difference probably doesn't amount to much in practice. So yes, if the discussion got away from models and historical reconstructions and instead took the logarithmic increase in temp with CO2 as the starting point, a lot of the differences between the sides of the debate would disappear. Perhaps the majority of people, currently polarized, would find that they could at least agree a starting point.

Some people may continue to object but, if you took this forward - put aside the models and hockey sticks and agree on the logarithmic increase - you might find that many reasonable people currently apparently distantly separated, find that they agree.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Anthony

Paul Mathews wrote
"http://tarascienceblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/adding-fuel-to-out-of-date-scepticism/
gives an interesting though not very literate view from the other side of the fence."

I love her bottom line "The aim was to shame the sceptic”, how pathetic.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterA C Osborn

"yesterday was the last day of "Full Term" and most of the undergraduates go home today, so I wouldn't have expected to see many undergraduates there: too busy packing."

Good point Jonathan; I always forget - or find hard to believe - how short Oxford terms are.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Anthony

The "fossil fuel funded" attack line is obviously not a good one, but it seems particularly odd coming from Al Jazeera, run by Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, cousin of the Emir of Qatar.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:37 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

From Paul's link to Tara's thoughts:
//
It was at this moment where I began to agree with Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE. Ward expressed his anger, via Twitter, that we were giving air time to a person who is now completely irrelevant to science and research in climate change: “Yet another example of the media hosting a falsely balanced debate about climate science instead of covering the real issues.” Ward did not attend this debate and I very soon saw his point. Not only would this be reaching media in the UK, but globally and with such power to control what people take away from this issue.
//

Tara, if you should drop by here - apply some of the scientific thinking you are apparently such a fan of and compare these two links:

http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/CV.pdf

vs

http://lse.academia.edu/BobWard

Who do you think might have the more scientifically valid comments on climate?

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Thanks to Myles Allen for commenting here and also for challenging Mehdi Hasan's ad hominem comments during the debate.

Myles says he thought was there to discuss climate science. So it was odd that we were told at the start that the audience and panelists should not make their questions and answers 'too technical' - which rather ruled out any proper scientific discussion.

I felt that the whole subject had been insufficiently researched by Hasan, who kept falling back on the same few arguments. Also, the show's format, with Lindzen and Hasan on a small stage, and Rose, Allen and Lynas in the front row of the audience, was also unsatisfactory, as it meant that the panel were commenting with their backs to the audience.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:54 PM | Registered CommenterRuth Dixon

Myles Allen

"The real question, therefore, is whether 4+ degrees is OK."

I beg to differ. The real question is the extent to which the theoretical effects of CO2 are swamped by the myriad other factors that drive climate.

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

I though one of the most interesting comments of the evening was when Myles Allen, asked what he would do to cut CO2, said 'make CCS (carbon capture and storage) mandatory'.

He went on to say that the energy companies should be required to remove an equivalent amount of CO2 from the air for every gallon of petrol (or other fossil fuel) they sold. He implied that the technology and the money is available to do this.

Myles, if you read this, could you expand on this? Did I understand you correctly? Is CCS a practicable proposition?

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:05 PM | Registered CommenterRuth Dixon

From the blog post of Ms Tara Spark Paul Matthews kindly pointed to:

... he [Lindzen] spent the majority of his time on stage boring the hell out of me.

Lots of comments on that spring to mind, all involving the word mutual :)

It is a reminder that some will insist on seeing the debate in fatuous and futile black-and-white terms. But what Simon Anthony, Jonathan Jones and Myles Allen say here shows it doesn't have to be that way.

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:10 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Heh, when I first scanned it I read 'avuncular forehead' and was wondering where all the admiring comments about force fields were coming from. Talk about dashed to the ground in stunned amazement.

Four degrees. How fast? And what else about the looming glaciation is concerning?
==========

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Thank you Myles for contributing your concerns here.

Mark looked pretty uncomfortable at times aswell.

As Myles said there was an opportunity lost to discuss the science, and/or even policy, but half the time Prof Lindzens' integrity was under challenge, with ridiculous appeal to a consensus, that Hasan did not understand.

It would have been an interesting debate if more was made on what we all agree on (ie current policies futile, which ever 'side' you are on) and the trivial consensus of theworld has warmed, that man may have contributed a proportion of it. and then covered sensitivity and policy areas.

Sadly, I think Hasan wanted to make good TV, and stir it up. but neither the invited guest, nor audience wanted that.

So it will all be in the TV edit.. Hasan has an opportunity to break the left of centre political consensus, and take a sensible look at the science AND to make a name for himself, in doing so. The choice is Al Jazeera's in the edit.

Hasan was very fair in the Q/A and think will have noticed the vague environmental statements by a few in the back rows, vs some obviously informed sceptical questions (in my view of course) I wonder if my question about where he got the 97% figure from and the background to it, will make the TV edit?

There is so very much we would all agree on.

positive signs that the debate happened, sensible sceptic guests were invited, like Tallbloke (Roger Tattersall), Andrew Montford, David Holland and Piers Corbyn (vocal, but good questions) others were there.

Bob Wards reaction to him, for even holding the debate, may give him pause to consider) Hasan challenged Bob to come along and put his questions and concerns, but Bob was a noshow (at least I didn't see him, nor heard a question from him)

Hasan could do something interesting with this, the choice is his

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

According to Simon Anthony above at 12:09 PM, the professors Lindzen and Allen 'agreed that it was likely that doubling of CO2 led to ~1 degree of warming'.

Yet later in the thread, Prof Allen uses +2C per doubling for the sake of an illustration.

It is not quite at how many angels on the pinhead level, but it is hard to believe our theory is good enough to establish 1C or 2, or even, dare I say it, the sign of the net impact. Let alone the overall result that will actually happen given that all the other factors involved will have been enjoying some level of variation as well.

It would be good to be shown the error of my ways, but I think it remains the case that when it comes to forecasting climate measures such as global mean temperature decades ahead, our science is not in a position to provide reliable guidance to policy makers. They would do well to plan for a range of conditions such as might be extracted from weather alamanacs plus an allowance to err on the safe side. I further suspect that such planning will largely boil down to: get richer, get more robust agriculture, get more affordable energy supplies, don’t build on flood plains or close to the polar regions if you can avoid it, encourage science and technology. We should be planning to increase our ability to cope with weather variations, be they for more cooling, more warming, more storms, fewer storms, and so on. Obsessive attention to a hypothetical +1C or +2C by the end of the century is like a house owner with a leaky roof, frail doors, broken windows and an unreliable water supply agonising over whether to put money aside to buy a table fan in 20 years time. Just because a powerful lobby group thinks such fans would be a great idea.

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

A C Osborn

And do you think that in those intervening years that there will be no alternative energy creation methods invented by mankind?
Excellent point. As Sheikh Yahmani said 40 years ago, the Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of stones and the Oil Age (so-called) will end long before we run out of oil.
Provided that we can get the measure of the eco-luddites who only want us to go backwards and have no wish to see mankind move forwards from where we are at the moment.

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:29 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is currently increasing at a linear rate of about 2ppm (parts per million). At this rate of increase it is going to take 200 years to double the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere from the present level of 400ppm to 800ppm. Whether that produces a temperature rise of 1 degree or 2 degrees Celsius, it is certainly not going to be catastrophic (probably beneficial)
"The real question, therefore, is whether 4+ degrees is OK” – well, at the current rate of CO2 increase I hope that people realise that is not going to occur until sometime in the next millennium.

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeB

Barry, Ward was definitely a no-show and a disgruntled one at that, as I learned from Josh's friend Tara.

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:42 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>