Climate Change Conference, New York – Day 1, In Review

I arrived in New York this morning for the first ever international meeting of ‘global warming skeptics’.

It’s actually called ‘The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change’ but many of the speakers and delegates are well known AGW skeptics and they have never gathered before in one place and time. At least certainly not the 500 or so said to be here today. [And of course none of them are skeptical of climate change – but rather the extent to which carbon dioxide drives warming.]

Perhaps appropriately for a first meeting of AGW skeptics it has been a chilly day. It has been probably close to zero outside with a blustery wind.

Indeed when I ventured out onto Broadway for brunch this morning in a warm coat I thought my ears were going to freeze off. Then I found a shop full of hats and bought something lined with fake fur – and I was slightly warmer.

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Jennifer in her new hat, Manhattan, March 2, 2008

After a long nap – I hadn’t really slept for 36 hours having missed my connecting flight from Sydney to New York in San Francisco – I registered for the conference at 5pm.

The conference is at the New York Marriott Marquis right on Broadway. I am also staying at the hotel and I think you can get everything here except a pot of tea.

Anyway, it was good to see some Australians here including my colleague Alan Moran, Bob Carter and his wife Ann, Viv Forbes, Ian McClintock, Tom Quirk – and that was just who I met this evening.

I was asked to mind a table for the Australians for dinner at the request of Viv Forbes, anyway, next thing a couple of Italians asked if they could join me and I thought what the heck, then three New Zealanders turned up and sat down, and Viv returned to find his dinner table full of ‘others’ and me – but I think he had a good night anyway.

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My colleague Alan Moran (the good looking one) with a fellow from Sweden and another from Holland at the conference reception. Manhattan, March 2, 2008.

The conference dinner was opened by Joseph Bast, President of The Heartland Institute. He began by saying that Jim Martin, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, recently told the Denver Post, “You could have a convention of scientists who dispute climate change in a relatively small phone booth” and went on to say that we finally hope this conference will put this misinformation to rest for good. He mentioned some of the 101 speakers from around the world joining the 400 or so delegates including skeptics from Russian, France, Canada and Australia.

Mr Bast also mentioned that Al Gore had been invited to the conference and to speak and that The Heartland Institute was prepared to pay his US$200,000 speaking fee – but he declined the invitation.

There were few formalities, no head table or pledges of allegiances. We were asked to respect diversity of opinion and the freedom to disagree.

The first speaker was a comedian Tim Slagle who was absolutely hilarious. He began by complaining that he had looked many of the delegates up at Sourcewatch before coming and was disappointed to find he was the only one not getting a million dollars from an oil company. [It was a joke, which the dinner crowd enjoyed, and by-the-way The Heartland Institute organised the conference without any money from oil or gas companies]. Most of Slagle’s jokes were so politically incorrect I shall not repeat them here and he included a plea for the legalization of cannabis and a comment that “global warming would be a God sent for Canadian citrus growers”.

The keynote speaker was Dr Patrick Michaels. He gave a really interesting address focusing on whether global temperature is still on a warming trend and what is happening at the Arctic and Antarctica concluding that the temperature trend is still one of increase – when ENSO, volcanoes, solar variability and carbon dioxide are taken into account – but that the warming is not much of a global threat. [The presentation also included a couple of good Al Gore impersonations.]

Much of the discussion that followed the key note address was around the subject of warming trends right back to the so-called Medieval Warm period and Ross McKitrick was invited to the stage to comment on the extent to which there is now a consensus regarding the last 1,000 or so years of the temperature record. For those who have read ‘Taken by Storm’ you may not be surprised to know that his answered was long and interesting.

All in all it was a great day and dinner and I would like to thank The Heartland Institute, The International Policy Network and The IPA for the opportunity to be here.

More tomorrow.

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The view from my room. Even at midday Broadway was lite up.

From today’s New York Times:

Skeptics on Human Climate Impact Seize on Cold Spell
Published: March 2, 2008

“The Heartland Institute, a public policy research group in Chicago opposed to regulatory approaches to environmental problems, is holding a conference in Times Square on Monday and Tuesday aimed at exploring questions about the cause and dangers of climate change.

“The event will convene an array of scientists, economists, statisticians and libertarian commentators holding a dizzying range of views on the changing climate — from those who see a human influence but think it is not dangerous, to others who say global warming is a hoax, the sun’s fault or beneficial. Many attendees say it is the dawn of a new paradigm. But many climate scientists and environmental campaigners say it is the skeptics’ last stand.

Read more in the New York Times here:

But of course don’t believe everything you read.

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23 Responses to Climate Change Conference, New York – Day 1, In Review

  1. SJT March 3, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    “And of course none of them are skeptical of climate change – but rather the extent to which carbon dioxide drives warming.”

    If you read your own blog I think you’d disagree with that.

  2. yttyyy March 3, 2008 at 6:25 pm #

    Sorry Jen but you look like an Aussie who has met cold weather for the first time, half dressed.

  3. Louis Hissink March 3, 2008 at 7:15 pm #

    I have a copy of “Taken by Storm” so know precisely where Ross McKitrick and Chris Essex are coming from. Bought it some years ago.

    (Now stands back and lets the usual idiots have the floor).

  4. rog March 3, 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    It’s a shame you arent in Colorado Jennifer, they have too much snow and the skiing is everywhere.

  5. Paul Biggs March 3, 2008 at 10:49 pm #

    Jen looks very cold – Jen the red nosed aussie!

  6. James Mayeau March 4, 2008 at 2:10 am #

    Look at all the eskimos on the street.
    Jen you sure you aren’t on an Everest expedition?

    That couldn’t be New York, because Al Gore said global warming is the crisis of our lifetime.

  7. Gary Gulrud March 4, 2008 at 3:23 am #

    New York isn’t quite Bali, the locals are a bit ascerbic but its on the ocean at any rate. Here in flyover USofA we’re to expect subzero degrees F by the end of the week. Please note our pitable state, this is late for such fare regardless of the baseline.

  8. IceClass March 4, 2008 at 4:15 am #

    “Then I found a shop full of hats and bought something lined with fake fur – and I was slightly warmer.”

    Ewwww, you should know better than that.
    Keep it sustainable and natural Jen!
    (Unless you’re worried about getting called names by Ann)

  9. Ann Novek March 4, 2008 at 7:04 am #

    Hey Jennifer,
    Missed that part ! Well done!!!

  10. braddles March 4, 2008 at 7:46 am #

    I’d like to see a calculation of the carbon footprint of this conference (even on a per-delegate basis) compared to the Bali shindig.

    For a start they have held it in the biggest city in the same country where most delegates will come from. Try Tahiti or Mauritius next time guys!

    Actually, I can’t imagine a conference like this being held in an exotic locale. Forget those phoney millions from oil companies; it is the other side of this debate that is being lavishly funded.

  11. Luke March 4, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    But of course – as the whole purpose is to convince people to do nothing and so lobbying and pandering to the status of large regional emitters isn’t necessary.

    Would have thought a terabit feed into all the local TV networks would be the main aim.

    Millions aren’t needed to run a disinformation campaign. You only need serious money for serious research. Some pocket money provides enough PR to keep the uncertainty issue alive after having failed on tobacco and star wars.

    Anyway what we all say and do doesn’t really matter – the next 10 years will probably sink one side (OR ANOTHER!). So we’ll view the conference as “the tipping point” or alternatively a quaint history lesson as the future reveals.

  12. Bruce Cobb March 4, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    This conference should throw a monkey wrench into the until now well-oiled AGW/AGCC propaganda machine, and none too soon. This is the beginning of the end for climate hysteria, and the return to true science. Kudos to Jennifer and to all those there. The work you are doing is indeed noble.

  13. Schiller Thurkettle March 4, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    Al Gore turned down US$200,000?

    That means the global-warmers are paying him better than the The Heartland Institute, The International Policy Network and The IPA can manage.

    Doubtless the global-warmers will say this means Exxon is running out of funds because of ‘peak oil’ or some rot.

    Everyone else knows, Al Gore won’t show up for this sort of thing, fearing a debate which he knows he will lose, catastrophically and completely.

    What a wimp.

  14. Tilo Reber March 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    “Al Gore turned down US$200,000? ”

    If I were Algore I would. Undoubtedly the Heartland Institute would demand a question and answer period as a part of the fee. And of course Algore would be asked about all of the factual inaccuracies of his presentation. He would stutter his way through it and embarrass himself horribly, and it would all be on video for the world to see. In the long run he would loose far more than 200,000.

  15. Tilo Reber March 4, 2008 at 2:43 pm #

    “It’s a shame you arent in Colorado Jennifer”

    I’m in Colorado. I know that the west and the mountains have been hit badly this year. But I think the front range has had less snow than last year. I think it was those Colorado hookers that did it last year. In any case, it looks like the lakes are going to de-ice a couple of weeks later this year than usual.

  16. Wm. L. Hyde March 4, 2008 at 4:42 pm #

    Luke said:”Millions aren’t needed to run a disinformation campaign.”
    I should hope not! The one you are attemptimg to operate is only worth a few dollars at most. Of course, the environment companies DO have a lot of money to throw around. Still, Luke, wouldn’t it be better if you got a real job?

  17. Luke March 4, 2008 at 9:09 pm #


  18. James Fleming March 4, 2008 at 11:47 pm #

    We have not heard a word about this conference from the BBC. Clearly, it does not suit the BBC agenda !!!

    Somebody please give the BBC newsrooms a call to help them meet their obligation to provide balanced news reporting to the British nation.

    Jim Fleming

  19. Witness to History March 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm #

    The whole point here is that no major media is covering this event. Major media – being beholden to the liberal hacks who promote this Global Warming Religion – would not dare to upset their benefactors by actually presenting a “fair and balanced” look at the subject. They dare not give any credibility at all through their coverage to a point of view they do not support.

    Global warming is a scam – and Carbon Credits are nothing more than a method to apply a global tax to support the Uselessnited Nations.

    It’s the second-largest scam in the world – right after “Islam is a Religion of Peace”.

  20. wjp March 6, 2008 at 9:49 am #

    Nuh WTH apologies but,the biggest scam is increasing money supply by 15% + p.a. doesn’t lead to inflation.

  21. Jennifer March 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    IceClass, thanks for your comment and where can I buy an affordable real fur hat and what sort would your recommend? Cheers

  22. nic meredith March 10, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    The war on terrorism for the right …….the war on climate change for the left….have you had your fear for the day?

  23. Colin Barton (geologist) March 22, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    Thank you Jennifer for your super blogs – keep plugging away. At least you are young enough to see us rationalists (not sceptics please) vindicated. I fear that it will take up to 10 years to change public opinion and, since I am somewhat maturity challenged, I could miss it (but hopefully not).

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