12 October 2010

Hiding Behind Bob Ward at LSE

At the advice of Bob Ward on this blog, climate attack dog for the Grantham Institute of the London School of Economics, my colleague Professor Gwyn Prins of LSE invited Nicholas Stern, a member of the Grantham Institute's faculty, to participate in a public debate or discussion with me on the occasion of my visit to London in November.  On that date in November, Lord Stern is otherwise occupied, which is fair enough given what is surely his very busy schedule. So Stern delegated the task of finding another faculty member to participate in a debate to ... Bob Ward.

Bob has just written me to explain that no faculty member of the Institute is available on the day that we proposed.  I responded to Bob with 9 other possible days that I would be available for which to hold a public event -- dates that fall both before and after the Cancun meeting.  Ten minutes later, Bob replied that none of these dates will apparently work either.

Here is my view -- If the Grantham Institute insists on having Bob Ward going around in blogs and in the media seeking to criticize my work -- as he did on the disaster issue and has done so more recently -- then they have an obligation to come out from behind him to actually engage in intellectual debate.  The alternative would be to inform Mr. Ward that they do not wish to back up his various attacks. 

I understand that people are busy. So I have offered up two weeks worth of dates for the Grantham folks to find a single faculty member to defend Ward's frequent attacks on their behalf.  Apparently they can not or will not put someone up. (And it does indeed have to be a faculty member.  I have debated Mr. Ward before and, not surprisingly, he was unprepared to actually debate.  So I won't repeat that experience again.) 

Since the Grantham Institute folks have been given the opportunity to debate issues openly and in public, I will be very surprised to see Bob Ward rejoining his attacks on me in blogs and in the media.  That would be pretty uncool.  The offer of a public exchange, which I am sure would be of wide interest, will remain open to those hiding behind Mr. Ward.

17 comments:

  1. They're impressively busy there. I counted about 100 researchers and faculty associated with Grantham. 10 days times 100 people make 1,000 (one thousand) missed opportunities to debate Roger.

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  2. In retrospect "which day *can* you make it?" would have been a better gambit.

    But who could predict it was staffed solely by invertebrates?

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  3. RPjr, have you debated Morano yet?

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  4. RPjr, have you debated Morano yet?

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  5. There's an old saying that goes "there's no point in having a dog and barking yourself". A dog is completely shameless.

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  6. http://www.christmasghost.com/archives/3%20monkeys.jpg

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  7. I'm not really into insulting people, but I have to say my impression is that Bob Ward is "pretty uncool" already. ;-)

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  8. Here's my suggestion, get Richard Tol to don a Ward mask and be your debate opponent. Probably a worthy discussion with someone that know's the arguments from the other side. Put it on the web.

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  9. Roger, you might enjoy the latest cartoon by Josh. It's titled "The Pielke Effect".

    http://cartoonsbyjosh.com/

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  10. Climate science is reduced to a poor reinterpretation of Sir Robin:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4SJ0xR2_bQ

    No wonder the AGW promoters have to rely on squelching debate and discussion. If they actually had to debate, they know what would happen, I think.

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  11. Dear Roger,

    I am so sorry that my colleagues could not find the time to help with your promotional book tour. Happily, as you know, your co-author on the Hartwell Paper, Professor Prins, has already booked a lecture theatre on the LSE campus so that you can sell copies of your book. And I am sure that you will sell plenty of copies at your debate with Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. I just hope it receives more interest than the traffic on this blog might suggest!

    As you know, the dates you offered coincide with the first week of the UN climate change conference in Mexico. I understand that you have nothing to contribute to the conference, but the same cannot be said for my colleagues.

    But I am sure that there will be plenty of opportunity to debate the content of your book in the new year.

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  12. Roger, have you tried writing to Mr. Grantham himself? I bet he stands scrupulously back from the running of the Institutes, quite rightly, but he seems to be a grown-up.

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  13. Bob,
    It could have been a great response, but instead you come through as too clever by half. Usually that is seen as the clever one actually being something of a coward. In your case that is exactly what comes through.
    Enjoy your ride while it lasts. Sopping up a billionaire's excess funds is, I am sure a more dignified way to sell yourself out. I bet you found it beats fighting over space at a street corner.

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  14. FOFAS, yes, the smart sarcasm does not read well in this blog. (But then who am I to talk, I keep drawing Bob as an alien or a mouse! Apologies, Bob)

    Bob did 'debate' Roger earlier in the year at the Royal Institution - not much of a debate as the participants could only agree with Roger.

    I suspect Bob does not want to repeat the experience.

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  15. The climate change conference in Mexico? Is that still going ahead? With so little on the agenda there should be plenty of time to sip Margeritas and sit in the sun. Why not organise a debate with Dr Pielke by phone? Hell, you could broadcast it in the main hall and give the delegates something to do.

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  16. Roger, you may be interested in my experience with Mr Ward, first documented in The Australian newspaper http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/old-thinking-deters-crucial-carbon-debate/story-e6frg6xf-1225939072067 with a lengthy addendum at http://www.ambitgambit.com/2010/10/19/why-you-should-be-careful-dealing-with-bob-ward-director-of-communications-for-the-grantham-institute/.

    I didn't realise that he had a reputation as an international attack dog on global warming.

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