Incoherent, inconsistent and not really funny at all

Below, my article as it appeared on DeSmog UK earlier this month. This is my 13th piece to appear on DeSmog since May 2017, when I reported on the inaugural ICSF meeting in Dublin, featuring big-name US denier, Richard Lindzen. While barred from attending that meeting (and every meeting since) I did drop by the Sandymount Hotel that first evening to snap a shot of the meeting in progress, and was struck by the uniformly ‘male, pale and stale’ profile of the attendees.

I also dropped by earlier this month to do some more light reconnaissance in and around the meeting, to the same venue, and took the opportunity to snap a new photo discreetly from the rear of the meeting room (see below). You will note, once again, the overwhelmingly elderly white male profile of the attendees (the only person who looked remotely under the age of 50 was one of the speakers, a young GWPF ‘researcher’).

Few if any of these ageing gentlemen will be around to find out whether their boundless optimism about the resilience of the global atmosphere and its unshakeable climate equilibrium turns out to be as absolutely misguided as the science suggests. Still, lucky for them they mostly won’t be around to face the wrath of the public (or, for that matter, their own families) when they finally come to realise how cruelly they have been misled and betrayed by these gung-ho ageing contrarians.

Under ordinary circumstances you might feel some pity for or even embarrassment on behalf of the author of the ridiculous but aptly titled GWPF ‘Deficiencies’ report, given how cruelly this latest ‘scholarship’ has been lampooned by actual practising climatologists, and his ever more risible attempts at defending it.

But these are not ordinary circumstances. The ICSF/GWPF science sabotage project has moved so far beyond the realm of fair comment or genuine skepticism that those who peddle it and those who support them deserve nothing less than contempt from anyone who cares about science or, for that matter, our collective future.


THROUGH participation in events and media links, the connection between UK’s premier climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) and its counterpart in Ireland, the Irish Climate Science Forum (ICSF), has significantly strengthened in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, the ICSF hosted what it described as a “mini-seminar” in a south Dublin hotel, involving three speakers, including Harry Wilkinson, a GPWF researcher whose published works to date constitute a series of climate-denying articles for “The Conservative Woman” website. While the ICSF, which operates in secret, and refuses to divulge either its membership or income sources, has brought a series of well-known climate deniers over the last two years, this is the first time the GWPF has been officially represented.

Other speakers included Irish engineer, Gerry Duggan and French mathematician and climate science denier, Benoit Rittaud.

DeSmog learned that the invitations to the ICSF seminar were sent to all members of the Parliamentary Committee. Ireland’s Regulation of Lobbying Act requires individuals and groups engaged in lobbying to register and verify their details on the website and make written returns every four months. To date, the ICSF has not lodged any account of its ongoing lobbying activities.

The topic of the ICSF’s Dublin seminar was: “Climate Action – Too Taxing?”, yet none of its three speakers has expertise or qualifications in either climate science or economics. According to the ICSF, “the results of the presentation and discussion could form the basis for an ICSF submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action”.

While prohibited from attending this week’s ICSF meeting in Dublin, DeSmog did manage to photograph the meeting in progress from the back of the hotel room.

In mid-December, the GWPF also issued its latest briefing document, titled “Deficiencies in the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5 Degrees”, authored by ICSF founder and long-time climate contrarian, Ray Bates, who retired from University College Dublin’s meteorology department 15 years ago. Despite not being peer-reviewed and containing numerous glaring deficiencies, Bates’ document achieved some largely uncritical media coverage in Ireland.

The GWPF document is “a cut-and-paste of long-debunked arguments from climate change deniers published by a highly questionable thinktank” according to practising climatologist and IPCC lead author, Prof Peter Thorne of Maynooth University (Thorne’s full blog, responding in depth to the GWPF document, was posted on Maynooth University’s ICARUS website)

Dr Gavin Schmidt, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, went further, describing Bates’ work as a “silly pseudo-rebuttal to mainstream science, basically a dialled-in work-for-hire. It’s incoherent, inconsistent, a little bit funny and adds nothing to our understanding of the science behind the SR15 report, or indeed any aspect of the attribution issue”.

Bates also circulated copies of his discredited GPWF “Special Report” to Ireland’s Parliamentary Committee on Climate Action, which he has repeatedly attempted to be allowed to present to, but has been rebuffed on each occasion to date.

ThinkOrSwim is a blog by journalist John Gibbons focusing on the inter-related crises involving climate change, sustainability, resource depletion, energy and biodiversity loss
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One Response to Incoherent, inconsistent and not really funny at all

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