My second day at the American Geophysical Union conference was entirely different than the first, mainly due to the fact that all of a sudden I found myself unable to do photography. Even though I had made extensive photographs in sessions and during talks last year, this year I was informed after my first blog post on Monday that I was no longer allowed to make any photography in these events. Apparently, this year AGU has put in a event-wide kibosh on photography. Readers may recall from last year’s reports that I made extensive use of photography which enabled me to recall some of the technical details and comment on them. It really puts a crimp on my style of reporting because I’m very visual mainly due to my lack of auditory skills and having photography helps me remember what transpired. Now, with no photography, reporting becomes even more difficult.
Now, I can understand that the American Geophysical Union is running a private event and when you run a private event you get the control how that event is portrayed to the public. But, at the same time asking reporters not to photograph things like posters with highly technical details in a place like Moscone Center which is a public venue owned by the city of San Francisco borders on infringement of a free press. While I will comply with this requirement it does force me to limit myself in my reporting which is going to be a loss for everyone.
Of course not everyone got the “no photography in sessions” memo delivered as I did:
— Prof. Kimberly Nicholas (@KA_Nicholas) December 16, 2014
On the plus side, I was told that photography in the hallways outside and of signs and displays for the public is fair game. So I decided to concentrate on those things that I could photograph yesterday. It is unfortunate though that I will be unable to give you a photo of the sneer Dr. Michael Mann gave me when he discovered that I was sitting just two rows behind him at the sessions that he and John Cook, Dana Nuccitelli, Katharine Hayhoe, Chris Mooney, and Dr. Jeff Masters presented in the basement of the Marriott Marquis in the meeting room that was the furthest walk from the main AGU venue at Moscone Center. I am unsure if the distance of separation for that venue was intentional or accidental but I can say that unlike last year the sort of condescending alarmism that group of people pushes didn’t seem to be part of the mainstream event.
During this event that I attended….
Indeed, “imagery is important”, so here is the photo imagery from the hallway I’m allowed to present:
I also happened across Dr. Peter Gleick on the Moscone West 3rd floor, and was able to capture his contempt on camera:
And like last year, AGU 2014 was funded by “big oil” such as Exxon-Mobil and Chevron, as this poster just feet away from Dr. Gleick demonstrated yet again:
UPDATE: Gavin Schmidt says the obvious, as I demonstrated above: