Last week, I and some physics friends went to the conference in London at the Inst of Physics. It was an all-day meeting: “Studying the Climate: A challenge in complexity”. It was organised by The Grantham Institute, which describes itself as “An Institute of Imperial College London” with a mission “--to contribute to, and lead on, world-class research, training and innovation towards effective action on climate change and the environment [which] is more relevant now than ever”. One of Grantham’s handouts at the meeting was entitled “9 things you can do about climate change”. One suggestion is to cut back on flying, though obviously no one told the tens of thousands who go off to each COP meeting.
Nevertheless, IMO, the meeting was even more appalling than one might expect with that sort of marketing. I honestly expected better, even from taxpayers-funded alarmists. The audience seemed mostly to be PhD students who presumably only get funding to look into how bad things were, and all the speakers seemed far too deeply into the alarm. Not knowing of our position on the issue, my friends and I were asked about what we thought (probably expecting us grey hairs to applaud their efforts) and we said, in various ways, what a load of rubbish it was. It was worth being there to see the looks on their faces. I do not believe any of them had ever met anyone who didn’t go along with the alarm. Even worse, I didn’t find any student who wanted to engage in any debate. In fact, they seemed to have little idea about the concepts of curiosity, scepticism, open-mindedness. What has happened to British physics?
The impression of others who go more regularly to IoP meetings was that non-believers were not particularly encouraged to come anyway, since the email alerting IoP members only went out a short while before the meeting itself. Someone I know then offered an abstract on thermodynamic matters relating to climate (showing yet again why CO2 cannot perform the magic ascribed to it) but just one day before the meeting was told that there was not enough time to include him. This was obviously untrue as there was time in the programme for so-called flash talks and two unscheduled pro-alarm talks.
Clearly, they had little intention of allowing any view to be expressed with might support “it ain’t us” and when we were allowed to ask questions, even basic ones in regard to temperature lagging CO2, they were pretty much avoided. I think speakers included some from Exeter and Reading Universities, high altars to the alarm. Of course no physics was discussed which might lead down to the trail of getting anyone to imagine CO2 cannot perform miracles.
I have attended hundreds of conferences in my field, for physicists and geophysicists over the years, have given more talks/papers than I can remember (with a fair few I’d rather forget), and at all such meetings contrary but data-supported views were encouraged. I never went to a conference like the IoP one though.
BUT THE WORST PART -lunch only had vegetarian and vegan options. That should have come as no surprise as one of the nine things I can apparently do to avoid climate disaster is to eat less meat. I left before the end but am informed it got worse. I really couldn’t bear to be part of it any more.