Day 1 of the ICCC conference

UPDATE: see an additional report from Prof. Bob Carter below the “read more” line.

ALSO: See this announcement at Climate Audit


Photo by Evan Jones

I don’t have  a lot of time to blog about today’s conference. You can see the agenda here.

Highlights today: I spent about a half hour meeting with Steve McIntyre. Some improvements to the Climate Audit website will be coming soon. See this announcement at Climate Audit

Frequent contributor and moderator Evan Jones came by too. As always it is a pleasure to see him.

Attendance doubled from last year. 400 last year, 700 for the dinner tonight with another 100 tomorrow registered.

I shared a table tonight with John Coleman, Joe D’Aleo, Art Horn, Alexandre Aguiar of Metsul Brazil, James Waters, Peter Leavitt, and Steve McIntyre. The presentations from Vaclav Klaus and from Richard Lindzen were enlightening. I particularly liked Lindzen’s presentation and I hope to have a copy to share here. UPDATE: His speech is here

Despite what critics have said about the conference, it was well attended by a wide variety of people from the US, Canada, Britain, and the EU. A number of elected officials were in attendance. Tomorrow Congressman Tom McClintock from California will be speaking. For those that stick by the tired old fallacy that the conference is funded by “Big Oil” to that I say you are quite wrong. Rebuttal here and list of sponsors

I discovered that WUWT has quite a following, and I was mobbed by people after the dinner presentation. It was an odd feeling.

UPDATE: Professor Bob Carter also has a nice account which I’m reposting here:

Heartland-2: session one

by Bob Carter

March 9, 2009

President Vaclav Klaus reports latest poll from the Czech Republic: only 11% of people believe that man has a significant influence in warming the climate.

West Australian Joanne Nova’s Climate Skeptics Handbook launched, and a 150,000 print run announced.

“We will win this debate”, says Dr Richard Lindzen, “for we are right and they are wrong”.

The opening session of the Heartland-2 Conference opened with a bang here in Manhattan tonight [Sunday evening March 8, 2009]. With registrations of around 700 persons, the conference is almost twice the size of its predecessor last year. The audience for the two opening plenary talks, held over dinner, included an eclectic mixture of scientists, engineers, economists, policy specialists, government representatives and media reporters. 

In welcoming delegates, and opening the conference, President of the Heartland Institute Joe Bast also launched two new publications. The first, by Anthony Watts, is a summary of his extensive studies of the weather stations at which U.S. surface temperatures are measured (“Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable”), which have revealed that many stations are scandalously poorly sited for their intended purpose. The second, “The Skeptic’s Handbook”, by Joanne Nova from West Australia, is a succinct and well illustrated briefing paper that summarizes accurately the evidence against dangerous human-caused warming in a humorous and easily understood format.

The first Plenary Address was given by President Vaclav Klaus, who is President of both the Czech Republic and (for a 6 month current term) the European Union. His talk was greeted, both before and after, with standing ovations. 

In response to a question, he reported a just-released Czech poll, which shows that only 11% of persons questioned in a recent poll believe that man has a significant influence in warming the global climate.

The President commenced his talk by commenting that little change had occurred in the global warming debate since his talk, 12 months earlier, at the Heartland-1 conference. He likened the situation to his former experience under communist government, where arguing against the dominant viewpoint falls into emptiness. No matter how high the quality of the arguments and evidence that you advance against the dangerous warming idea, nobody listens, and by even advancing skeptical arguments you are dismissed as a naïve and uninformed person.

The environmentalists say that the planet must be saved, but from whom and from what? “In reality”, the President commented, “we have to save it, and us, from them”.

Klaus reported his discouragement at participating in meetings with other senior politicians at Davos and within the EC. Here, he finds that not one other head of state who will make common cause in support of a rational assessment of the scientific evidence. Instead, all believe that the summaries provided by the IPCC represent the scientific “truth” on global warming.

But the climate data do not support the theory of human causation; the IPCC summaries therefore do not represent science, but instead environmental politics and activism. As a result, large and highly organized rent seeking bureaucracies and groups have emerged, and they further propagate the climate alarmism that is now in their self-interest.

President Klaus professed to be puzzled by the environmentalists’ approach to technical progress. It as if they “want to stop economic progress and take mankind centuries back”, he said. Applying their ethic of “saving the world”, western electorates are being asked for the first time in history to abandon successful current technologies before new technologies have been developed to replace them. Klaus stressed that there is no known, feasible way in which modern technological society can be run based on present sources of renewable, clean, green energy.

The second Plenary Address was delivered by Dr Richard Lindzen of MIT, an acknowledged world leader in atmospheric physics and a doyen of meteorological science.

Dr Lindzen started by making the important observation that being skeptical about dangerous human-caused global warming does not make one a good scientist, and nor does endorsing global warming necessarily make one a bad scientist.

He then pointed out the professional difficulties that are raised for many skeptics when scientists whose research they respect nonetheless endorse global warming. In most such cases, however, the science that such persons do is not about global warming in the strict sense. It’s just that supporting global warming makes their life, and especially their funding life, easier.

Thus, it is a particular problem for young scientists to oppose the prevailing alarmist orthodoxy, because to do so is to cruel their chances of receiving research funding. For as long as it is the AGW spin that attracts the research funds, for so long will there be a strong disincentive for most scientists to question the hypothesis in public.

Lindzen commented that the politicization of the AGW issue has had an extraordinarily corrupting influence on science. Most funding that goes to global warming would not be provided were it not for the climate scare. It has therefore become standard to include in any research proposal the effect of presumed AGW on your topic, quite irrespective of whether it has any real relevance or not.

Lindzen asserted that it boils down to a matter of scientific logic against authority. The global warming movement has skilfully co-opted sources of authority, such as the IPCC and various scientific academies. For instance, over a period of 20 years, the US Academy of Science has had a backdoor route for the election of environmentalists as Members of the Academy. The success of this tactic is indicated by the fact that the current President of the Academy (Ralph Cicerone) was elected that way and is a strong environmentalist.

But in giving an endorsement of alarm about climate change, the NAS, as well as similar societies in other countries, has never polled their own expert membership. Rather, the pro-alarm policy statements that are issued by various professional societies express the views of only the activist few, who often control the governing Council.

Despite the manifold problems of combating the alarmist climate message, Dr Lindzen concluded his talk with the rousing observation that in time the climate rationalist cause will win. “When it comes to global warming hysteria”, he said, “neither gross ignorance nor even grosser dishonesty has been in short supply. But we will win this debate, for we are right and they are wrong”.

During an extended question and answer session after the conclusion of the two plenary addresses, Drs Klaus and Lindzen were in close agreement about two things.

The first, is that global warming hysteria is being fomented as part of an environmentalist ideology; it is a politically organized movement. The grip that this hysteria now has on public opinion is explained partly by the fact that there is no equivalent, politically organized movement to mount a defense of sound science. Instead, there is simply a collection of persons who are united mainly by their common affront at the gross abuse of science that is going on.

The second common viewpoint was expressed in response to the question “What arguments are the most effective to promulgate the skeptics’ cause of building policy, not on authority, IPCC or otherwise, but on sound science”.

Both President Klaus and Dr Lindzen agreed that the most important arguments were (i) that sound science demonstrates that human increases in carbon dioxide are not going to cause dangerous global warming, and (ii) that a thorough cost-benefit analysis must be applied to all potential policy options.

For those on all sides of the argument accept that the Kyoto Protocol, despite its high cost, will do nothing towards measurably reducing global temperature; and the public need to be informed that the same is true also for the more ambitious carbon dioxide cuts mooted under cap and trade legislation. If taxpayers are to fund the operation, then it is only fair that they be told that the considerable pain, which will run to many trillions of dollars, will be for no measurable gain.

It was not expected that new science would be presented at the opening Plenary Session of Heartland-2. What participants got, instead, were inspirational messages delivered by two inspirational leaders of the climate rationalist cause.

Bob Carter

Bob Carter’s preliminary article on Heartland-2 here


The full text of President Klaus’ speech will be posted on the websites of the Climate Science Coalition:

As this article went to press, an account of the Heartland-2 meeting by Andrew Revkin appeared in the New York Times. Reading it is an interesting exercise in spot-the-spin.


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The thing I like about it most is the photo shot. You have a balding rather fat man in the lower right hand corner.
Who cares?? The truth is immune to hollywood images.
Thats what I love about all this.
Would rather trust an overweight balding scientist who cares about the truth ANY DAY than some hip Coal Plant Protest Disinformation BS.

Allan M R MacRae

OT but worth it. Enjoy!
Hubble [Ultra] Deep Field: The Most Imp. Image Ever Taken (Redux)

Pamela Gray

I once got on the radio down in California (called from Oregon) to announce a new song by a new artist. The DJ (Jo Jo I think his name was) sent me an autographed photo of himself. Anthony, since I have typed my opinions here, can I have your autograph? You know, before you have to move to DC?


Have fun, and be sure to give us the low-down upon return.


I discovered that WUWT has quite a following, and I was mobbed by people after the dinner presentation. It was an odd feeling.

WUWT has a great following, which has increased exponentially since it justifiably won the Weblog Awards “Best Science” site.
Anthony is a modest guy, but the fact is that people want and need an authority to look up to in this debate, to clearly explain what’s going on.
This site does it better than any other… thanks to Anthony Watts.

Leon Brozyna

You almost sound surprised “that WUWT has quite a following.” Don’t forget how good your numbers are as reported at Alexa or at Quantcast. Those numbers are earned through hard work — and by allowing for comments to be posted by critics who accept the AGW position. From all I’ve heard, I doubt the same would happen at someplace like RealClimate.

Ice Age

Congrats Anthony, your website has had almost 10mil hits. Not bad for a climate heretic!

Allan M R MacRae

Try again;
OT but worth it. Enjoy!
Hubble [Ultra] Deep Field: The Most Imp. Image Ever Taken (Redux)

Wow that sounds like an enormous agenda at the conference. I see different “tracks”, meaning you have to choose one of 4 presentations at any given time? Sounds like you would miss a lot no matter what you did. I hope the presentations are made available after the conference.
I’d like to go next year… Is it open to anyone or do you have to be invited?
Open to anyone, skeptics and alarmists alike. Gavin Schmidt and James Hansen were invited also. They only have to walk 10 blocks or so from Columbia U. Naturally they declined. – Anthony

Mike Bryant

“I discovered that WUWT has quite a following”
You mean the media hasn’t been lining up to interview you? I’d be shocked and surprised if they don’t. Thanks for taking us along for the ride!

Just Want Truth...

Doubled attendance, that’s great! Wish I was there too.

Jeff C.

“I discovered that WUWT has quite a following, and I was mobbed by people after the dinner presentation. It was an odd feeling.”
With more to come. Great work Anthony, and please keep us updated with the latest from the conference.
Tom McClintock is a good man. He was my state assemblyman and state senator from Ventura County before he moved up north and ran for Congress. He is very much a realist and doesn’t pull punches. Looking forward to hearing what he has to say.

Congratulations, Anthony!
As I wrote a few weeks ago on the post Most Hits Ever In January, “I have learned more at WUWT in a few weeks than I did in a couple of years on other sites. This is the way the internet ought to be!”
Apparently, a LOT of other people feel the same, or similarly.
Enjoy the accolades, sir, enjoy. Well-deserved.


Lets hope you can resist the inevitable effort to control your content.


Thanks for the blogging about the conference. Now all of us can attend but we do appreciate being informed with the latest and hot topics Du Jour!

Frank Ravizza

Looking forward to seeing these talks.
If Tom McClintock was Governor of California, I doubt we’d be in as much trouble as we are now. Although to be fair to the Governator, our State legislature is a real quagmire.


I understood AGW supporters claim the Hertland institute to be sponsored by “big oil” and “neocons”? In many discussions about climate global cooling change warming with “supporters” of AGW over the years, this view appears to be the concensus.

You’re a star! Next thing you’ll be dating Madonna!!!!
Just kidding. You’ve always been a star to me.
REPLY: Ewww!

Ken Hall

You should not be surprised that you have a great following. People look for truth and when they cannot get it from the mainstream media, then they will look elsewhere. The same thing happened regarding the Iraq war. Mainstream news readership has plummeted as the blogosphere has become a much more reliable medium for presenting honest information.


You’re famous! Woo Hoo!
Keep it up buddy. Your approach is a breath of fresh air for people interested in truth. Your contributions to society as a whole could very well be recalled in future history books. You report from the edge… you are on the front lines… stay objective and true to discovery and maybe it will catch on.
Thank you.

Mr Savethesharks said (19:16:20) :
“The thing I like about it most is the photo shot. You have a balding rather fat man in the lower right hand corner.”
Ahem, I say while polishing my pate, what’s wrong with balding fat men? (I omitted “rather” in the cause of personal accuracy)
I look forward very much to reading the addresses and supporting papers from this conference. Much though I like to jest about my scientific ignorance (using that term literally not figuratively) , I do my best to read and understand the science behind many of the issues raised here on WUWT.
My expectation is to find both the speeches and the supporting paperwork at the ICCC expressed in clear English (and/or American) and to be as free from unnecessary jargon as possible. Perhaps the greatest dividing line between the Apocalyptic doom-sayers and the rest is language. They seem determined to dress things up in so much techno-guff that the details of their message is not comprehensible to most reasonably well-educated bald fat men, whereas “we” prefer to concentrate on the substance of the thing and cut-out pompous obfuscation. (Yes, I know it is not wise to decry pomposity while writing “obfuscation”, but you know what I mean.)
Enjoy the conference Mr Watts, I look forward to receiving a postcard.

John Edmondson

Thanks Andrew for implying that Britain is not in the EU. If only that were true.


wow, groupies, it’s enough to make teenage, spotty kids get interested in science again 😉


You are lucky.
Here in Copenhagen things are quite different. I turned on a danish News Channel to see Kathrine Richardson proclaiming that this “Copenhagen Climate Congress” (starting tomorrow) is an important step Towards COP15, James Hansen is invited to talk to “ordinary” People and tell them to panic (I heard Frank Lansner got a ticket for that speech) and the weather forecast is saying warm. So no James Hansen Effect.
On the bright site the hockeystick has been broken (again) this time by Danish scientists form DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute). But there where no news on that

John Silver

Firefox can’t find the server at
My paranoia tells me it is being attacked.
Reply: It’s working fine. 1:08 am PDT ~ charles the moderator

Watch live at when Maggie is there.
Thank you everyone. Thank you Anthony for your continuing unassuming good and hard work, making the exploration of real science comprehensible and fun. Wow! numbers up from 400 to 800. Does that mean Inhofe’s list is now double as well? And 80 speakers, a dazzling array of stars. I look forward to the reports.

Pete S

Thanks for covering this meeting. WE look forward to your summaries.
I am impressed by the international content of the co-sponsors but depressed that there was no organisation from the UK. I am just now listening to the BBC and Lord Stern is saying that things are even worse than we thought, and we must do more to control our CO2 emissions etc. Where have we heard this before? Then in The Independent we have this ridiculous article So I wonder if these are in response to the ICCC.


17C yesterday in New York. That’s nearly a record. Guess it’s not only Al Gore and Chu who can influence the weather.
Thankfully it’s going to chill a little bit this week.
PS willing to bet that less than 10% of the 700 attendees have every published a science paper related to human induced climate change.


How many of those 800 people are below 50? Just curious.
I regularly notice that a lot of prominent skeptics are relatively old. And most old people I know (not all of them though) are quite entrenched in their patterns and beliefs, which makes them rather stubborn and inflexible. And especially when these relatively old, retired skeptics are being overly sarcastic, I sense a lack of wisdom, probably due to some personal bitterness. This for me has been one of the reasons to lean towards the AGW version of things.
So, I wonder: Are there a lot of old people at the conference?


Get off of my lawn!

Looks like a fun group of folks. Not a lot of posturing politico’s… Looking forward to the stories when you get back.
The AGW folks seem much more dour in their presentations. Lacking hope for a future. The folks in your picture look like they would believe they could make a fusion reactor in their basement!
and solve the world’s energy issues.
BTW, some couple of weeks ago I asked The Rain Gods in an earlier posting to please bring us enough rain for even just 1/2 normal… At this point California has had quite a bit of rain and I must say “If it please the Rain Gods, might we have a brief break to dry out and stop the mold?”… (whispering: just seeing exactly how powerful WUWT has become 😎

You have a popular blog and its growing. Its not surprising that some of it rubs off on you. As long as you stay away from the circus of celibrity you should be OK
I think the more important part is that people are listening to what you have to say because four years ago when CA started up, it was a struggle to get noticed and heard with the environmentalists in full hue and cry and the only “serious commentary” on a very slick (but looks can be deceiving)
Times have changed and the pendulum has swung back.
WUWT has filled a big niche in the blogosphere for informed comment on climate science that isn’t loaded with politics and doesn’t require a mathematics degree to understand (sometimes).
Next year, you’ll have the results of the SurfaceStations project to speak about. Then the fireworks will fly.

D. King

Please say thanks to the attendees for all their hard work.
Neven (01:38:28) :
How many of those 800 people are below 50? Just curious
Neven…Loop, Swoop and Pull. Don’t worry, you’ll get it!


The Guardian is painting this conference as being funded by Exxon-Mobil.
They fail to mention that Greenpeace gets more oil money than any of the free market think-tanks.

Neven 01 38 28
If you mean the more mature have travelled lifes road long often enough to recognise the charlatans, the naive, the misguided, the fervent, the politically motivated and the zealots, and can use lifes’ experiences to make up their minds based on facts, better than those who are younger and may be swayed more by their emotions, then I guess many of those questioning the AGW hypotheses are likely to be more mature.
Amazing as it may seem to you Neven, the ‘old’ do not become senile at 50, and the world’s sole repository of knowledge does not reside exclusively with the young. Those who no longer rely on a government pay cheque or are constantly seeking research funds to continue their work may also be rather more dispassionate and willing to speak out don’t you think?
I guess many of us who have been rationally examining the AGW hypotheses for some years, have acquired a basic grasp of Earths ever changing climate, and have the attributes mentioned above, would nod our heads in recognition of the truism expressed in one of my favourite quotes by H.L.Mencken who wrote:
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
Judging from some of the comments expressed here by apparently young, pro AGW bloggers, closed minds are certainly not the exclusive province of the ‘old’ and they seem more frightened of hobgoblins than I am.
Would you actually read some climate history lessons if we gave them Neven?
Do you want to start with the ‘unprecedented’ ice melt of the 1930’s, or the Viking colonisation of Greenland back in the 9th century, or perhaps you would enjoy reading how the Romans maintained their empires by marching over high level passes now closed by ice? Perhaps information on the Bronze age warm periods when the ancient civilisations first flourished as the climate warmed, then collapsed as they cooled, would be more up your street?
Myself and others here are quite happy to pass on facts rather than conjecture Neven, or you might prefer to read Al Gores 1992 book ‘Earth in the Balance’ who enumerated all these past warmer events. Perhaps you only saw ‘An Inconvenient truth’ by which time Al seems to have conveniently forgotten his earlier book?
Best regards Neven

Do you know the Met Office here in Great Britain has said we have had the coldest winter for 10 years. but it would have been much colder if it was not for climate change. They will not accept anything that in any way contradicts what they believe.How can they say that . They cannot predict next weeks weather.


“willing to bet that less than 10% of the 700 attendees have every published a science paper related to human induced climate change”
If you are right the proportion might not even be that much higher than among the IPCC authors.


“I regularly notice that a lot of prominent skeptics are relatively old. And most old people I know (not all of them though) are quite entrenched in their patterns and beliefs, which makes them rather stubborn and inflexible.”
They’re also old enough to not care if government funding gtes pulled. They have thier own money…

Mike Bryant

How many AGW proponents are under 50? Just curious.
I regularly notice that a lot of AGW believers are relatively young. And most young people I know (not all of them though) are still easily led in their patterns and beliefs, which makes them rather naive and gullible. And especially when these relatively young people are being overly sarcastic, I sense a lack of wisdom, probably due to some personal haughtiness. This for me has been one of the reasons to lean towards skepticism.
So, I wonder: Are there a lot of young people in the AGW movement?


DJ (00:54:02) :
PS willing to bet that less than 10% of the 700 attendees have every published a science paper related to human induced climate change.

Seems likely more have published papers related to natural climate change.

Denis Hopkins

Naveen,,,, could be because older people are the ones who remember the scares of the new ice age in the 70s or even the global warming from earlier in the last century.
Or perhaps they are just old enough to remember that we used to call this “weather”.
So I would have said it was that older people have more experience, rather than say they are more rigid in their opinions.
How old are you Naveen?
I am 57 and I am not stuck in my ways….. but I do remember warm summers in the 50s and cold times in the 60s and 70s.

Denis Hopkins

Sorry meant to write Neven… My apologies… got a student called naveen whose work I am marking!

Pierre Gosselin

How’s the media presence?
REPLY: Won’t know until today

Pierre Gosselin

Prince Charles says we’ve got 8 years!
Here (scroll down) you can see him getting off his PRIVATE JET!


On Australian news tonight, additional CO2 absorbed by the oceans (Making it like a “soda” apparently) is now responsible for micro-oganisms building thinner shells. There was an image shown how these shells were before the industrial revolution and now. It get’s better all the time!
Also, on world new, “global warming” is responsible for an increase in squids off the west coast of California.


If anybody has access (I don’t):
Volume: 23
No: 3 (30 January 2009)
Page 275 – 364


From the abstract:
The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that many authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier (1824), Tyndall (1861), and Arrhenius (1896), and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics, such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature, it is taken for granted that such a mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation. In this paper, the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarified. By showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33° is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.

Bill Illis

Interesting little map on La Nina from this morning.

manse42 (23:42:05) :

… James Hansen is invited to talk to “ordinary” People and tell them to panic (I heard Frank Lansner got a ticket for that speech) and the weather forecast is saying warm. So no James Hansen Effect.

Oops – posted the following to the wrong article – WordPress may rejected this try.
Well, I was in Atlanta last weekend for American Mensa’s Annual Colloquium. Dr. Hansen was the keynote speaker Saturday night, and was supposed to be at the panel discussion Sunday AM. However, he moved up some travel plans because the rain was changing to snow. (Traveling to the Capital Coal plant protest.) I wasn’t so lucky – a couple inches of snow overwhelms the deicing facilities at Atlanta’s airport and I didn’t get out until Tuesday.
Perhaps there hasn’t been enough time to recharge.
Or I can take credit – on annual trips I use to make to San Jose at the end of February, I’ve seen rain for 10 of the 11 days, a 40 year flood, and snow almost to the valley floor. That first event ended the area’s last major drought.
After a taste of spring on the last couple of days (frost heaves and mud season), it’s snowing again here in New Hampshire.
Hansen’s speech at the Colloquium was quite tame. No mention of death trains, but a few mentions of creation and future generations. He described the problem and why he thinks 350 ppm is so important, but admits he doesn’t know the solution.

Denis Hopkins

mmm DJ are you willing to bet how many AGW people at their gatherings have published work on climate science? seems to me they are mainly activists and politicians (same thing?)
I wonder how many have found non-government funds for their research.