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Ordered Notes About The Pielke Jr vs Ward vs Muir Wood London Debate

This is the ordered list (oldest item first) of yesterday’s evening live microblogs on my mmorabito67 Twitter account, about the Royal Institution (London) debate on Global Warming and Disasters with Roger Pielke Jr, Bob Ward and Robert Muir-Wood moderated by the Guardian’s James Randerson:

  1. 12 years in London , 1st time at Royal Institution http://tweetphoto.com/10490288
  2. Ward first to show up – seats comfortable for shorter people than me
  3. It’s all set- Pielke Jr looks even more satisfied than on his blog
  4. Bespectacled aloof guy must be Rhys-Jones – Pielke and Ward have briefly looked friendly
  5. Starts as soon as Piers Corbyn joins spectators
  6. BBC Shukman nowhere to be seen -Guardian environment editor introduces topic mentioning also recent IPCC disasters
  7. Spectators asked about debate’s question – semantics discussion ensues – this is going to be fun
  8. Is the moderator talking about AGW ? Most people do not answer as question appear ill-posed
  9. Moderator is James Randerson – bespectacled guy is Muir-Wood talking now
  10. Muir-Wood “Hype around disasters costs has actually decreased over the past decade”
  11. Muir-Wood 2003 heatwave saved people in 2004 – paradox easily explained (by considering people cared more about the elderly in 2004 given the experience of 2003)
  12. Muir-Wood mentions Hohenkammer Report – flood defences helped decrease risk in Japan
  13. Muir-Wood no trend 1950 2005 but reduction largest losses – trend from 1970s
  14. Muir-Wood recent trend heavily depends on 2004 2005 hurricanes – conclusion in 2008: “insufficient evidence”
  15. Ward ‘s turn – says he is no climate researcher – explainer to policymakers – starts with IPCC WG1
  16. Ward: climate change as trends but extreme events expected to increase – somebody laughs
  17. Ward repeats IPCC verbatim – importance of frequency but also of people exposure and vulnerability
  18. Ward shows not-normalised graphs – why? – then normalization studies – 2 with and 2 without trends
  19. Ward: WG2 and Stern used 2% trend – increasing! That is how Stern computed 1% GDP !!!
  20. Ward ends nevertheless saying evidence is not conclusive of climate impact on future losses
  21. Pielke presents as a non skeptic worried about exaggeration says IPCC has done it wrong
  22. Pielke talks of Hohenkammer workshop – not possible to determine attribution to climate change
  23. Pielke: over climatic timescales societal changes are extremely important
  24. Pielke: even Schmidt et al 2009 mentioned by Ward conclude finding no evidence
  25. Pielke: no evidence of changes to worldwide hurricanes – list of peer reviewed studies all agreeing
  26. Pielke shows misleading IPCC graph contested by 2 reviewers – reply by IPCC author was completely wrong
  27. Pielke: IPCC failed comprehensively on this issue
  28. Cheeky Pielke shows reasonable Ward statement in Guardian Jan 26 2010
  29. Very unclear what they disagree on?
  30. Ward says IPCC should be improved not scrapped
  31. Questions why decarbonize? what is disagreement? (that’s me) glacier dates important?
  32. Pielke: even if there were large signal disasters, it’d all be better dealt with adaptation- need to decarbonize to provide energy to all
  33. Muir-Wood without IPCC it would be a normal scientific debate-high profile and contentious – costs are very important
  34. Ward says IPCC was accurate – Pielke and Muir-Wood agree with each other but not with IPCC – all we need now is a kiss
  35. I wish people went straight to question
  36. Corbyn ‘s turn- will panel agree to scrap IPCC and prepare for actual disasters – recommends own site
  37. Muir-Wood says why he believes there is something going on – mentions IPCC deadlines as an issue (in the times of Wikipedia)
  38. Pielke says debate on physical questions not appropriate tonight – mentions institutional problems in IPCC
  39. Ward debates Corbyn
  40. Q: how to recoup IPCC authority- money wasted on maybe’s, could’s, etc
  41. Ward: most IPCC work is for free – whole thing matters in comparison to unknown consequences
  42. Ward makes moot point against complete unbelievers
  43. Pielke says there is a problem with work done on the cheap
  44. Ward revelations have not changed basics – but question was how to convince people?
  45. Ward decisions need to be taken now
  46. Questions: institutional issues – changes in human agency – scientists as activists
  47. Pielke: problem of advocacy among scientists – look at politicized intelligence – IPCC policy neutral but leaders are not
  48. Wards defends Pachauri – resignation will not solve problems – need changes to review process
  49. Wards: IPCC is to provide advice to policymakers
  50. Pielke also not interested in resignation – says IPCC needs deep reforms
  51. Muir-Wood speaks – also general public is audience of IPCC
  52. Vote again: many more on not side end of debate

(slightly edited for ease of reading)

  1. reloading bench plans
    2010/02/16 at 10:22

    Wow great notes…only wish i was there though.
    @ Josh, great blog buddy, thanka for the link

  2. Josh
    2010/02/07 at 18:18

    Hi
    nice notes. I was the guy drawing cartoon notes in the front row and sitting next to another twitterer, a Guardian journalist.

    Bishop Hill invited me to put up a guest blog – if you are interested

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/2/6/has-global-warming-increased-the-toll-of-disasters.html

    And ff there is a next time do come up and say hello!

  3. Ruth
    2010/02/07 at 12:36

    Great notes, Morizio – I was there too and this captures the essence brilliantly!

    The bit about IPCC deadlines was interesting, I’d not realised before the Climategate emails quite how important these publication deadlines were (to ensure particular papers were or were not considered in the AR4) and the opportunities for ‘gaming’ that such deadlines offer. The idea that the IPCC reports should be more of a continuous ongoing process (like Wikipedia) rather than a snapshot is certainly worth considering.

    • 2010/02/07 at 14:06

      Ruth – Bow Ward was explicit in stating he believes the IPCC is there to serve science to policymakers…they will never accept a Wikipedia-style constant editing, as by the time they finish negotiating something on the basis of what had been found, new results will put the whole thing into question again😎

      • Ruth
        2010/02/07 at 16:16

        I’m sure you’re right, they would not accept it, but some form of ongoing error corretcion would be good (one can always hope🙂 )

  1. 2012/04/01 at 16:02
  2. 2010/02/09 at 01:13
  3. 2010/02/06 at 22:10
  4. 2010/02/06 at 20:41

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