ICCC 4 Opens with a Climategate Surprise

It’s Heartland’s fourth International Conference on Climate Change and the first since the November revelations of fraudulent behavior by leading AGW-preaching climate scientists at Britain's Climate Research Unit (CRU).  And at its opening night dinner on Sunday, ICCC IV managed to add a surprising twist to the Climategate saga.

After welcoming the 700-plus attendees, Senior Fellow James Taylor turned the podium over to Heartland President Joseph Bast.  Joe also welcomed the guests and speakers (from 23 countries) to Chicago, “the hog butchering capital of the world,” and promised that in the next few days it wouldn’t be swine but rather myths that would be butchered.

Joe highlighted the progress made since last we met in Washington, DC:  Climategate, the collapse of the Kyoto II dream at Copenhagen, the multitude of IPCC AR4 errors finally getting both national and international attention, Phil Jones’s admission of no significant warming since 1995 (not to mention the myth of AGW “consensus”), questions raised about the fraud inherent in carbon trading, and ultimately, the April Rasmussen poll reporting that only 32% of Americans (down from 47%) believe that global warming is manmade.

But the debate is far from over, warned Bast.  Advocates of global warming are supported by billions of dollars from government and environmental agencies as well as the renewable energy industry.  Says Joe, “They’re not just going to quit and go home.”

Joe got quite a laugh quoting School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia professor Mike Hulme’s words: “We need to ask not what we can do for climate change but what climate change can do for us.”  And he warned us that not all of the speakers we’ll hear in the coming days agree on the causes of climate change, the extent of the consequences or what -- if anything -- should be done about it.  He predicted lively debate and many disagreements, perhaps even commencing that night.

He was not mistaken.

After Apollo 17 moonwalker Dr. Harrison Schmitt, gave a wonderful presentation on climate policy from a constitutional standpoint, Climate Audit’s Steve McIntyre took the podium to discuss Climategate and the valuable role he played in uncovering the scandal.  But after walking us through the Briffa and Mann reconstructions, Mike’s Nature Trick, the conspiratorial emails and other unscrupulous goings on at CRU, Steve stopped quite a bit short of passing judgment on the co-conspirators. In fact, referring to those who have obstructed the truth about the “hockey stick” and thereby climate sensitivity itself, Steve – who admitted he had no problem with governments dictating energy policy -- suggested only that their “tricks” be disavowed and “such practices be avoided in the future.”

During the Q&A segment that followed, Bass let us in on something McIntyre told him upon ending his presentation – that the rousing standing ovation from the audience Steve received before his talk began and decidedly less enthusiastic and predominately seated reaction afterwards didn’t go unnoticed. 

When questioned why Mann, Jones, and company shouldn’t be thrown in jail, Steve surprised and, no doubt, disappointed many in attendance.  He approached CRU’s trickery as “academic misconduct,” stating that in academic circles the level of non-disclosure of adverse data we saw was perhaps perfectly acceptable. 

McIntyre even slammed Virginia Attorney General Ken Ken Cuccinelli's investigation into Hockey Stick creator Michael Mann, describing Mann’s work as “diligently published” and Cussinelli’s as “abuse of administrative prerogative.”  Not exactly what the crowd was hoping to hear from one its undeniable heroes.

Schmitt quickly made his contrary opinion in the matter quite clear.  This is science, he retorted to a now cheering crowd, and if you want to play that game (tricks, non-disclosure, etc) then you can go somewhere else.  To which more than a few in attendance added:  “To Jail!”

I agree, and stated so back when the Climategate scandal was just beginning to unravel:

As this mock-science serves as justification for trillions of dollars in imposed and proposed new taxes, liens, fees, and rate hikes -- not to mention the absurd wealth-redistribution premise of international climate debt "reparations" -- such manipulation of evidence should be treated as exactly what it is: larceny on the grandest scale in history.
Stay tuned.  I promise you won’t be bored.