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.