As many know, I recently returned from ICCC4. It has taken me a couple of days to get back on track and I want to share over the next couple of days, some of the things I saw there.
One thing I witnessed was a story of courage and of professionalism in the face of adversity. As many know, Heartland formally invited many scientists and scholars who are AGW proponents from the other side of the aisle.
This has been done for every conference since the first one in 2008.
James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at the sponsoring Heartland Institute and the person who recruited all of the 70-plus presenters Including yours truly) at the May 16-18 conference, said this about the invitations:
“I personally and cordially invited literally dozens of high-profile scientists who disagree with our speakers, including Gavin Schmidt, James Hansen, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, William Schlesinger, and many others,” Taylor said. “I planned to give each side equal time at the conference.
Regrettably – and predictably – only two ‘warmists’ accepted my invitation to participate: Scott Denning of Colorado State University and Tam Hunt, a consultant on renewable energy and a lecturer at UC Santa Barbara’s School of Environmental Science & Management.”
All others declined, nearly all of them cordially.
Scott Denning was warmly and respectfully received, leading him to request a second opportunity to address the audience. He was granted that opportunity at the May 18 closing luncheon that I attended, where he said,
I want to thank you very much for inviting me to this conference. I have to say that I’ve learned a lot here. It was very gracious of [Heartland Institute Senior Fellow] James [Taylor] and of the organizers to bring me here. And I actually feel that it’s really too bad that more of my colleagues from the scientific community didn’t attend and haven’t in the past, and I hope that we can remedy that in the future.
Denning’s remarks, with the applause he received throughout, can be seen on the YouTube video below. It is well worth watching because it illustrates the mood of the conference well.
Many scientists missed a chance to bridge the gap, and it is sad for them that they choose to keep the wall up, rather than participate in discourse and debate. Maybe Scott Denning’s courageous example will lead to more attendees next year.
Videos of all presentations from the two-and-a-half-day conference are being posted on the Web site of the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change.