Saturday, March 01, 2008

2008 International Conference on Climate Change

The next week will be very interesting. With most of the world in the grip of a solid winter, with global temperatures markedly down and with the latest media stunts on climate failing dramatically, the major event of the week is the International Conference on Climate Change being held in New York.

Except this is not an academic society conference, nor one hosted by a professional organization, nor sanctioned by the UN or the IPCC. It is not being held in some tropical resort. The organizers are the Heartland Institute and its presenters are a who's who of climate "skeptics". (Although some key people are notably absent...I meant Steve McIntyre actually!)

Impressively, the organizers have made both the program and the biographies of presenters readily available to both the media and to those who would oppose discussion/debate on climate matters except by those authorized to spout the approved dogma. The organizers know their perspective is not that of the prevailing dogma. They know they are likely to be criticized and who by, and have sought to have full disclosure of affiliation, background, expertise and sponsorship.

And that's why I say it will be interesting. We can expect and anticipate how the conference will play in the enviro-left blogs: what will tell the tale will be how the event is portrayed by the mainstream media. As a barometer of prevailing public sentiment, what take home message will the mainstream media use to encapsulate the Conference? Because one thing we know for sure, most politicians today do not lead but seek to embrace the direction of public opinion.

And although it doesn't truly fit today's theme, this quote of the day from Samizdata was too good to be missed:
  • Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. Ronald Reagan
Postscript: on the eve of the Conference, here is how the New York Times was framing discussion. I like the phrase climate realist -- seems to offer a way forward.