In the smaller ring, we have Gavingate, Gavin Schmidt's refusal to attend the Lisboa Baccalau Bunnyfest, which sought reconciliation between the tutt-tutters, cherry pickers and post normal ADD types (ok, James Risby and Nick Stokes were there to represent the reality based community, but they were fleeing Cyclone Yasi). As this is a fast moving story, Eli thinks that a place where all the documents are available might be useful. So to begin, from Tallbloke, Fred Pearce's Deep Something or Other, we have the original documents
Dear Dr. Gavin Schmidt,
We have been following your activities with regards to the science of climate change, the controversies and the challenges, etc.
We are writing to you now about a proposed workshop on the issue, which we are hoping to organise for next January, the 26th to 28th. It will be sponsored and financially supported by the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen of the European Commission’s DG Joint Research Centre, and will take place at the C. Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.
We have been trying to find a way to begin to overcome the polarisation on this issue, which as you know has already done great damage to the cause of coping with climate change, as well as to the reputation of science itself. At this stage we are planning to have a workshop where the main scientific issues can be discussed, so that some clarity on points of agreement and disagreement might be reached. We would try to stay off the policy issues, and will also exclude personal arguments.
The issues we have in mind are Medieval Warm Period, ‘ice’, climate sensitivity, and temperature data. We would hope to have smaller groups discussing these in some detail, hopefully with scientists who are very familiar with the technical issues to lead the discussion.
Since the topics are so sensitive we would have Chatham House rules unless the consensus desires otherwise; and there would be some public report of the proceedings.
We are just now finalising the invitation list. I do hope that you find this a useful activity to engage on.
With very best wishes
Sincerely-the organising team
I’m a little confused at what conflict you feel you are going to be addressing? The fundamental conflict is of what (if anything) we should do about greenhouse gas emissions (and other assorted pollutants), not what the weather was like 1000 years ago. Your proposed restriction against policy discussion removes the whole point. None of the seemingly important ‘conflicts’ that are *perceived* in the science are ‘conflicts’ in any real sense within the scientific community, rather they are proxy arguments for political positions. No ‘conflict resolution’ is possible between the science community who are focussed on increasing understanding, and people who are picking through the scientific evidence for cherries they can pick to support a pre-defined policy position.And (thnx Andreas, Eli is not keeping up), it appears that Tallbloke left something off, like the final paragraph, which Gavin provides on Judith Curry
You would be much better off trying to find common ground on policy ideas via co-benefits (on air pollution, energy security, public health water resources etc), than trying to get involved in irrelevant scientific ‘controversies’.
But Gavin was nice
(The last line may not have been seen by ‘tallbloke’). I am at a complete loss to see how this email could be interpreted as implying that ‘the science was settled and there was nothing to discuss’.
The game of telephone (or ‘chinese whispers’ in the UK) is lots of fun at parties, but it’s a dumb game to be playing in the politicised sandpit of the climate change ‘debate’.
Continued below the fold
Which was mangled by Fred Pearce in the Nude Scientist (just putting in the paragraphs which dealt with Gavingate
Avowed non-sceptics included Hans von Storch, a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and James Risbey of CSIRO. But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA's Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss.To which Gavin responded at several blogs including Rabett Run
Across the spectrum, participants were mostly united in disagreeing with Schmidt. Climate science, they said, is much less certain than the IPCC mainstreamers say, and peace can be found only if all accept what they dubbed "the uncertainty monster".
My decision not to accept the invitation to this meeting was based entirely on the organiser's initial diagnosis of the cause of the 'conflict' in the climate change debate. I quote from their introductory letter: At this stage we are planning to have a workshop where the main scientific issues can be discussed, so that some clarity on points of agreement and disagreement might be reached. We would try to stay off the policy issues, and will also exclude personal arguments. The issues we have in mind are Medieval Warm Period, ice, climate sensitivity, and temperature data. We would hope to have smaller groups discussing these in some detail, hopefully with scientists who are very familiar with the technical issues to lead the discussion. Since, in my opinion, the causes of conflict in the climate change debate relate almost entirely to politics and not the MWP, climate sensitivity or 'ice', dismissing this from any discussion did not seem likely to be to help foster any reconciliation.And sent a letter to the Nude Scientist which appeared only after a delay of a day or more
This, of course, lead to several hundred harumphs over at places where good bunnies only go in bunny suits to keep clean with lots trying to pin the settled science on Gavin, who has responded in more detail at Kloor's
Why do people spend time trying to torture some implication out of what I said in a single email, when I have written thousands of words and dozens of papers on exactly the issue they are questioning?Eli predicts: Nah
On medieval climate: here, here – interesting
On Climate Sensitivity: here, here – interesting
The issue is not that there isn’t interesting science yet to be done on all of these issues – there is, but rather the *perceived* conflicts (cf. WUWT ad nauseum) have nothing whatsoever to do with the real scientific issues. Accusations of fraud or ‘manipulation’ in GISTEMP is a made-up non-issue, whether the medieval period is or is not warmer than the 1990s is not relevant to anything much, whether a tree ring series is or is not online is not salient.
If I wanted to learn more about medieval climate, I would organise a workshop of people who know stuff about medieval climate. If I wanted to learn more about climate sensitivity, I would organise a session including scientists who have worked on climate sensitivity. This would be completely different to what was organised in Lisbon.
Can it really be that people are incapable of having serious conversations that acknowledge this? Please prove me wrong.
Now we have Steve McIntyre at RankExploits asserting that Pearce was actually shown Gavin's letter.
and Tallbloke thanks Steve for the tree limb
**Eli was pointed to the video by somebunny, but forgets whom. Step up and win your prize.