Re: [asa] AGW discussion

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Sat Nov 28 2009 - 15:31:35 EST

Interesting proposal. Your structure would get around my concerns about discussing public policy in a not so civil manner. My thinking is to repeat what we did in the Rocky Mountain Section meeting a couple years ago and that is to do a panel discussion rather than a debate. Since the global warming critics understandably resent being called denialists we should just take them/you at their/your word and all of us can just stipulate up front that AGW is real but that the size of the effects, particularly the local effects, are still being debated. (The current scientific ambiguity on the size of the problem is what makes the public policy debate so hard. Politicians hate the error bars and other qualified statements that scientists make.) Rather than repeating the screaming and yelling what we should be discussing is the "so what" question. Here's some things I would like to see discussed on the "panel":

Bill, you could take the technophile position and discuss where technology can help and how best to encourage it

Jack Swearengen could take the technoskeptic position like he did as one of our plenary speakers two years ago [Note: the reason why I like two engineers in the pro/con debate is engineers are intimately familiar with both plusses and minuses of technology. We live in the world of the trade off.]

Glenn Morton could discuss why he believes that peak oil is a more pressing problem than climate change

Ian Hutchinson being a professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT could discuss how nuclear power can help

David Opderbeck could discuss the pros and cons of the various public policy options [Note: David is the most up to speed on this amongst ASA affiliated people I know. If anyone could come up with the name of an economist(s) in or around the ASA that would be a helpful addition.]

I could discuss how a non-specialist -- and even a motivated non-scientist -- can navigate the climate change scientific literature

Rich Blinne
Member ASA

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Received on Sat Nov 28 15:32:06 2009

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