## Friday, February 01, 2008

### Heartland Institute vs RealClimate

The Heartland Institute
organizes a climate conference in March that is, unlike the conferences that you usually hear about in the media, open to climate skeptics and experts regardless of their political opinions or overall sentiments about the relationship between Nature and the human civilization.

The organizers have sent invitations to many kinds of climate experts, including some of the well-known champions of the climate alarm. These invitations have provoked
a hysterical reaction of RealClimate.ORG.
The profoundly concerned scientists describe all the scientists who will attend - before they actually know who they are - as being corrupt by the "evil" oil industry, not being scientists at all, as people being paid concrete amounts of money to fabricate papers and talks, and so on. Their talks are described as "tobacco science". RealClimate.ORG even recommends their readers conspiracy theories from two hardcore smear ecoNazi websites, ExxonSecrets.ORG and SourceWatch.ORG, that preemptively throw mud at very concrete people who might (or might not) attend.

What about the remaining 450 scientists at the updated Inhofe's list? Are the environmentalist whackos fast enough to create a similar Goebbelsian web page about every scientist who says the obvious, namely that the dangerous global warming orthodoxy is a hoax? Do they actually believe that they can eliminate the opposition as completely and effectively as NSDAP did without actually having police and other arms under its control?

The RealClimate "group" explains that the participants are not scientists at all - before they actually know who is attending - and they encourage the participants to skip the talks and enjoy a nice hotel in New York instead. They wouldn't hear any science at all, so it is important that the participants can't hear the talks...

Their smear job is so blatant, hateful, and inconsistent with any kind of a reasonable, balanced, open-minded, or scientific analysis of a question that I can't really believe that there exist people who are intelligent enough to learn how to read but moronic enough to be influenced by this incredibly cheap propagandistic porn.

Motivation behind conferences

The Heartland Institute conference is clearly not designed as a cutting edge conference that is expected to lead to some revolutionary scientific results. No truly groundbreaking discoveries have been made in climate science for many decades and it is unlikely that some of them will occur in a foreseeable future. Climate is just too messy and there are too many moderately important small insights about it. On the other hand, there are scientists - such as Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, Henrik Svensmark, and numerous others - who understand the climate much better than most people, including many active participants of the "climate debate", and who have a lot of things to teach others.

The real problem here is a political one - there exist powerful forces that don't want other people to learn what is actually known about the climate, not even some of the basic results and numbers. There exist organizations and their ad hoc unions that prefer constant lies to be promoted by the media and myths to thrive among ordinary people.

They have certain reasons to make people believe that the temperature of the second millenium looked like a hockey stick - even five years after the papers were shown to be bunk and their main author a crackpot in statistics. They want everyone to believe that the carbon dioxide was driving temperature during the ice ages and interglacials - many years after it became absolutely clear that the causal relation behind the correlation goes in the opposite direction.

They want everyone to believe that small changes of the temperature can exterminate polar bears and other species even though the actual scientific evidence shows that it can't, that the Solar activity doesn't have any impact on the terrestrial climate even though there is extensive evidence that it does, that small warming creates catastrophic hurricanes even though all links of this type have been shown erroneous. They want everyone to believe that there is a scientific consensus about this scientific discipline and this consensus can settle the debate and justify arbitrarily oversimplified conclusions - even though there is clearly no consensus and even if there existed one, it wouldn't mean anything and it would certainly not justify any oversimplification.

Indeed, the official goal of the organizers of the conference is a political one - to inform the world about the real state of affairs, namely that many qualified experts who have carefully thought about these questions simply disagree with the global warming orthodoxy. Individual participants may have purer (or, on the contrary, more material) reasons to attend. At all conferences, it is always like that, to one extent or another, and the "group" is simply not saying the truth if they pretend that pure scientific curiosity is behind all of their conferences. But I think that it is good that the Heartland organizers honestly state what is their goal because the goal of analogous alarmist conferences is also political (while many of their attendees have material reasons to attend) but this fact is being routinely obscured.

There is another difference that RealClimate.ORG points out: that the preferred speakers are recommended by the organizers or sponsors while it is usually a scientific committee that does it at "ordinary" conferences. Unlike RealClimate.ORG, I am not so sure which of these two arrangements is superior.

I have learnt a great deal about the work in committees - most of them were impotent, constantly stuck bodies composed of people driven by their extremely narrow-minded personal interests and desire to look politically correct and coincide with whatever opinion is felt to be dominant according to the wind that is just blowing right now. Whenever the question was whether an adjacent discipline would be allowed an extra funding or job, the dominant argument was always the pockets of the participants. 90% of the arguments offered at certain committees' meetings were driven either by material interests of participants or the creation of their fake "nice" image.

Yes, with these memories in mind, I would probably prefer a semi-informed CEO of ExxonMobil to make the choice but I am not sure whether he or she is actually the person who will do it. ;-) In fact, I doubt it.

At any rate, I recommend all big shots and medium shots ;-) regardless of their position within the environmentally political spectrum to attend, learn a lot, and teach others - climate realists and climate alarmists alike - a lot.