Dr. Judith Curry writes over at Climate Etc about the upcoming Lisbon conference on
“Workshop on Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate.”
I thought it would be good to touch on this. I was originally scheduled to attend, having been invited early on. I truly would like to be there to represent the readers of WUWT, but unfortunately, my reality is much like that of Jeff Id’s at the Air Vent. I’m a small businessman with a young family, and I simply can’t take a week long leave right now. The economy is hitting us hard.
Dr. Curry writes:
This week, I will be in Lisbon attending a Workshop on Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate. The Workshop was conceptualized by Jerome Ravetz,Silvio Funtowicz, James Risbey, and Jeroen van der Sluijs.
While I (relatively) rarely travel overseas for meetings, I jumped at this invitation. The topic is certainly intriguing and an issue that I have spent a great deal of time pondering over the last year. Further, I really want to meet Ravetz, Funtowicz, Risbey, and van der Sluijs, whose papers I have been avidly reading over the past year, including citing them on a number of Climate Etc threads:
- Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster
- No Consensus on Consensus
- Decision Making Under Climate Uncertainty. Part I
- Overconfidence in IPCC Detection and Attribution. Part III
- Extended Peer Community
- Waving the Italian Flag. Part I: Uncertainty and Pedigree
- Politics of Climate Expertise: Part II
What has impressed me about their writings is that they recognize that climate change is not only a scientific subject, but also a political, economical, and ethical subject.
I am hoping that there is some sort of path for reconciliation in this debate for the benefit of both scientific progress and social consideration of the issues surrounding climate variability and change. I don’t know what this should look like, other than:
- transparency and traceability in the science
- loyalty to truth and the scientific method
- understanding and acknowledgement of uncertainty and the possibility of error
- win-win situations such as no regrets policy.
I know what it DOESN’T look like, and that is reflected by Kevin Trenberth’s essay, where the blame is put on the deniers, the media, etc. (everybody but the IPCC scientists and their supporters). The domination approach only “works” if you can actually pull it off; climate scientists are babes in the woods when it comes to this kind of politics. A partnership approach makes much more sense and might actually produce a good outcome.
The people that really need to be there are from NOAA and NASA. Perhaps they will attend next year if the conference makes some progress that gets noticed this year.
While I regret that I am not going, on the plus side, I have delegated Steven Mosher to go in my place, and he’s all set. I look forward to his reports here.
You can read about the conference here in this summary that was sent to all participants:
reconciliation-rationale-WS2011 (PDF 57k)