UK Parliamentary Hearing On The IPCC

  • Date: 31/01/14
  • Judith Curry, Climate Etc.

A fascinating hearing on the IPCC was held on Tuesday by the UK Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Committee. I found this format to be much more illuminating and informative than the typical Congressional hearing in the U.S.

The link to hearing video is [here].  The witnesses:

  1. Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, Professor Myles Allen, University of Oxford University, and Dr Peter Stott, Met Office
  2. Professor Richard Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nicholas Lewis, Climate researcher, and Donna Laframboise, Author

I listened to the entire hearing this morning, I really didn’t have 3 hours to spare in today’s schedule, but I couldn’t resist. It was definitely worth listening to.

A quick reaction to the form (rather than the substance).  I found this format to be much more illuminating and informative than the typical Congressional hearing in the U.S., where the members posture and pontificate and try to catch out the witnesses with ‘gotcha’ questions.  By contrast the UK MP’s had really done their homework and asked very good questions, with a minimum of ‘gotcha’ type questions.

Blog articles are starting to appear on the Hearing:

The most extensive discussion is on RTCC which also includes tweets; the RTCC assesses the hearing from the ‘warm’ perspective.  The best summary of the hearing I’ve seen so far is this comment from John Shade posted at Bishop Hill:

There was no knock-out punch from either ‘side’, so the contest has to be decided on points. Points may to some extent be in the eye of the beholder, but to my eyes, the 3Ls made at least a couple of dozen good ones, while the ASH team were largely, and not very convincingly, on the defensive. If the committee is a rational one, I think this hearing today will serve to have broadened and deepened their grasp of key issues, and to have shifted them away from the sort of dumb deference to the IPCC that has so disfigured such as the Royal Society in its political posturings for example. Both panels deserve our admiration for remaining courteous and to the point throughout. I think the hearing did credit to Parliament, and to the panelists.

I append below the notes I took during the Hearing, paraphrasing the questions and responses (I found it difficult to hear/understand many of the questions), and this pseudo transcript is not complete as I had so step away a few times, but it provides the gist of the hearing. To get the exact statements, you will need to listen the video, or look at some of the transcripts in the other blog posts.  I have tried to represent the comments faithfully (but I am not a court reporter).
My quick summary of most significant statements from the witnesses (not necessarily ones that I agree with, but ones that I think defined the Hearing).
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