The Institute of Physics are holding a meeting on Climate change prediction:a robust or flawed process? Why IOP? Who knows, probably a hotbed of skeptics. Though the RMS is advertising it too. That page doesn’t list the speakeres; this does: Lindzen and Thorpe. Oh dear, the traditional adversarial stuff. Rumour (thanks N) says that Piers Corbyn is also appearing on Lindzen’s side, which if true indicates the entire thing is misorganised.

The blurb starts well enough with

One of the biggest concerns in contemporary society is the rise in global temperatures brought about by the release of greenhouse gases, as a result of human activity. The challenge of implementing policies and strategies in time to mitigate the consequences of global warming, such as rising sea-levels and adverse weather conditions, is one which occupies an increasing amount of the political agenda.

Notice how there is no doubt here: the rise in T *is* brought about by GHG. So, an interesting discussion of the possibilities of predection as opposed to projection? Sadly I doubt it, because it degenerates into

Increasingly, however, many scientists are becoming sceptical of the reliability of these models to accurately predict our future climate and are not convinced that global warming is a direct consequence of human activity.

So it looks like turning into another tedious re-run of the attribution debate. If anyone goes along, please let me know how it turns out.

[Small update: to fix obscurity problems so often complained of, the only other place i know Lindzen and Corbyn combining is TGGWS -W]

[Update: they have updated the lists: now our own Chris Rapley is the missing panellist -W]


  1. #1 Alexander Ac


    all the sceptics are appearing beacause of this:

    you shouldn’t have warned us of coming Ice Age :-(

    Though, some of them (Gerge Kukla) are doing that persistantly…
    maybe, when arctic summer ice is gone in 40 years – everything will be ok

    [Since when is “we” Newsweek? See -W]

  2. #2

    I have been invited, and will attend. I agree with your comments above, including TGGWS connection, and can also try to get answers to some of your questions (email me). You have to realise I am going along as a Chartered Engineer, i.e. my background is in a completely different discipline, not as a climate scientist. But I guess that applies to the rest of the audience too … it will be interesting to see who turns up.

  3. #3 Gareth

    Denis Dutton is a bumptious right-wing philosophy don at the University of Canterbury whose main claim to fame is the creation and subsequent sale of Arts & Letters Daily. He is a member of the NZ Climate “Science” Coalition, and has just started teaching a new course: Science: Good, Bad and Bogus. I feel for his students, I really do…

  4. #4 SCM

    The blurb for this event included the following statement:

    “…many scientists are becoming sceptical of the reliability of these models to accurately predict our future climate and are not convinced that global warming is a direct consequence of human activity.”

    AAAGH! As a former member of the IoP (when I lived in the UK) this makes me more than a little cross – especially the last bit. I’m a member of the Aussie IoP now and had been thinking of rejoining the UK one before I read this.

    Quite a few climate/atmospheric scientists have a physics background and may well be members of the IoP. If so I hope they express their displeasure to IoP in no uncertain terms.

  5. #5 meenerh

    here is how we can prevent global warming

  6. #6 SomeBeans

    I’m a member of the IOP too and I have to say I’m not impressed, they seem to have gone into “Teach the controversy” mode.

  7. #7 Brian

    This page now has Piers Corbyn as a panelist, in the august company of William’s boss…

    There was also this from Physics World, the IoP magazine, a few months ago. So perhaps there’s a pattern emerging here.

  8. #8 fergus

    I wonder if any of the material on offer here will come up:
    It’s the CCSP draft report on models. Any thoughts?


  9. #9 SCM

    I did a bit of digging. It appears the greenhouse sceptic driving force within the IoP is from the Energy Management Group (EMG) a professional special interest group within the IoP.

    Leading the charge is the group chair, one Peter Gill (a coal and oil industry man), who organised the EMGs Piers Corbyn lecture in Feb 05, and who wrote a glowing review thereof in the EMG newsletter (issue 15).

    That lecture & review promted an exchange of views in subsequent EMG newsletters with a couple of members who work for ARUP, supporting the IPCC position. In response Peter Gill first wrote a long rambling article attacking the IoP’s own position paper on climate.

    Following a longer reply from the ARUP guys his subsequent salvo (in issue 17) involved inviting Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen (of “Energy and Environment” fame) to write an article attacking the IPCC.

    In the same issue, Gill’s sidekick from the EMG Ctte, schoolteacher Richard Bloodworth, writes a glowing review of Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, noting at the end:

    “I found it a good read especially as it reinforced all my opinions about the climate change debate! See Sonjal’s piece later on -she would no doubt support Crichton.”

    For the latest issue of the EMG newsletter Peter Gill got Lindzen to write a lengthy article . It also appears the Gill & the EMG were also behind the Lindzen vs climate science debate mentioned above. The IoP took it on from the EMG because the costs inolved in bringing Lindzen over exceeded EMGs budget (presumably he only stays in the best hotels!).

  10. #10 Nathan Rive

    Anyone able to report in on how it went? Was it a discussion on modelling, or was it just a rehash of the arguments from TGGWS?

  11. #11 Peter F Gill

    I came across this blog by chance yesterday, some two and a bit years too late. I note that comment (9) is somewhat typical of the species in that his/her identity is hidden (SCM) fact, fiction, opinion and attempts at character assassination appear together seamlessly.

    Whilst I could take issue with most of the comments I shall restrict myself to one point. As a member of the Energy Sub-Group of the IOP Science Policy Board I was a reviewer of the paper that IOP commissioned from Alan Thorpe. Pre-publication I requested a number of changes none of which were made. So in making some points subsequently in the Energy Group Newsletter I was simply being consistent. Actually had I known then what I know now my requests for change would have become demands.

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