Many people wondered why I would travel halfway across the world to attend the Cook and Mann lectures. The answer to that question is: I decided to come on a whim (I also had not visited the UK since I started blogging) hoping that other more valuable meetings could occur. As I pointed out in my posting last Saturday there was little if anything new in the Cook lecture on Friday night and I don’t expect much new in the Mann lecture either. But, I also pointed out the importance of face-to-face communications in overcoming walls that can be built up in electronic communications.
There has been one other meeting thanks to the foresight of Nicholas Lewis and others; an extraordinary dinner meeting occurred on Sunday night, September 21st, at his home in Bath, UK. In attendance was a nearly equal balance of climate scientists and climate skeptics, some of whom were also scientists.
The photo of that Sunday night meeting is shown below.
Starting with the front row from left to right we have: Prof. Paul Valdes, of Bristol University, Prof. David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, David Holland independent climate and FOIA researcher, Prof. Ed Hawkins researcher at Reading University, myself, Prof. Ted Shepherd of Reading University, Prof. Tamsin Edwards, researcher at Bristol University. Top row from left to right: Prof. Richard Betts of the Met Office, Marcel Crok, Dutch freelance science writer and initiator of climatedialogue.org, David Rose of the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Prof. Michael Kelly of Technology at Cambridge University, and Nicholas Lewis independent climate scientist and our gracious host.
The evening’s discussion was spirited and in-depth, covering topics of climate sensitivity, scientific publishing, science policy, the surface record, and finding agreements amongst ourselves on the various topics that we discussed as well as many of the topics that are in contention.
Since the venue was under Chatham House Rule, I am not at liberty to discuss any of the particular conversations that I was involved with nor will I discuss the conversations of others. However, with prior approval of all participants involved we’ve all agreed to bending the rule slightly to show the photo and name the participants. I think it is important to do so, because I cannot recall any similar meeting. Our goal is to lead by example.
More than anything this meeting demonstrated that a group of people with diverse ideas and some levels of distrust due to heightened rhetoric can come together and have an intelligent, polite, and enlightening discussion. I felt it important that this historic meeting be noted and to let it serve as an example of cooperation and hope for more future meetings so that we can understand each other better.
I was honored to be there and I thank you all for your willingness to participate and have a respectful discussion. I give a special thanks to Nic Lewis for his choices, his hospitality, and his foresight in organizing this meeting. A special thanks also to Sarah Lewis for her hospitality, which made this gathering excellent and seamless.