I’m writing this in the Marriott Hotel in Chicago, where I’m attending the Heartland Institute Climate Conference (and I’ve just done an interview with BBC Environment Correspondent Roger Harrabin).
Ahead of the interview, I thought I’d just check out the Conference Speaker’s list. There are 80 scheduled speakers, including distinguished scientists (like Richard Lindzen of MIT), policy wonks (like my good friend Chris Horner of CEI), enthusiasts and campaigners (like Anthony Watts of the wattsupwiththat.com web-site), and journalists (including our own inimitable James Delingpole).
Of the 80 speakers, I noticed that fully forty-five were qualified scientists from relevant disciplines, and from respected universities around the world — from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Norway, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
All of them have reservations about climate alarmism, ranging from concerns that we are making vastly expensive public policy decisions based on science that is, to say the least, open to question, through to outright rejection of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) model.
Several of these scientists are members or former members of the IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
But how do 45 sceptical scientists stack up, you may well ask, against the 2500 on the official IPCC panels? But of course there aren’t 2500 relevant scientists on the IPCC panel. Many of them are not strictly scientists at all. Some are merely civil servants or environmental zealots. Some are economists — important to the debate but not experts on the science. Others are scientists in unrelated disciplines. The Chairman of the IPCC Dr. Ravendra Pachuari, is a Railway Engineer.
And of the remaining minority who are indeed scientists in relevant subjects, some (like my good friend Prof Fred Singer) have explicitly rejected the IPCC’s AGW theory. Whittle it down, and you end up with fifty or so true believers, most of whom are part of the ‘Hockey Team’ behind the infamous Hockey Stick graph, perhaps the most discredited artefact in the history of science. This is a small and incestuous group of scientists (including those at the CRU at the University of East Anglia). They work closely together, jealously protecting their source data, and they peer-review each other’s work. This is the ‘consensus’ on which climate hysteria is based.
And there are scarcely more of them than are sceptical scientists at this Heartland Conference in Chicago, where I am blogging today. Never mind the dozens of other scientists here in Chicago, or the thousands who have signed petitions and written to governments opposing climate hysteria. Science is not decided by numbers, but if it were, there is the case to be made that the consensus is now on the sceptical side.