Arrived back in Canada last evening after a very stimulating and interesting trip to England – two speeches, lots of questions and interviews.
First thanks to the over 250 CA readers who chipped in to support the trip. I ended up not simply with my trip paid for, but a nice appearance fee.
Second, thanks to David Holland and to Josh of Cartoons by Josh (and particularly to their wives, Kate and Liz), each of who billeted me for 3 nights. I don’t think that I’ve ever billeted with anyone before. One of the drawbacks of business travel in hotels (which isn’t usually to conferences) is that you spend a lot of time by yourself and it can be a bit lonely. Also thanks to Richard Drake for arranging a couple of interesting meetings. I was fun to have excellent company throughout.
Also thanks to the organizers of the two presentations – the Guardian and the Global Warming Foundation. Both were gracious hosts. The Guardian representatives were very impressed by the generosity of CA readers in contributing to my expenses. I thanked them for not paying my expenses as CA readers were far more generous than they would have been. (Like all newspapers, they are under severe financial constraints, and, in their shoes, I wouldn’t have paid my expenses either.)
I checked into the blogs briefly from time to time but haven’t posted or commented for a week. I paid attention to one observer’s helpful suggestion following the GWF speech and used the lectern at the Guardian panel the next day. He was right. I’m amazed by Anthony’s stamina in keeping up trip reports from Australia, as I generally had no energy left by the end of the day to even think about making reports.
The trip was occasioned by the Guardian’s decision to convene a panel discussion following the release of the report from the Muir Russell inquiry – only a few weeks after a convening a panel on the release of Fred Pearce’s book documenting his more diligent inquiry into Climategate. I had decided to make the trip only on July 2. The Muir Russell report was released on the morning of Wednesday, July 7 (with its supplementary information later in the day). I left on Saturday, July 10 and spent most of the few days digesting the Muir Russell report and getting ready for the trip. It takes me quite a bit of time and concentration to organize speeches. It’s not like I have one stump speech that I can give over and over (amortizing the prep effort, so to speak). In this case, the inquiries were the topic of interest and this was new territory for presentation effort, especially, Muir Russell, where I’d only done a couple of blog posts scratching the surface. Thus, I was preoccupied right up to both presentations, editing and re-editing right up to show time in each case.
Other than prepping for my two appearances, I didn’t do much writing or notetaking during my trip. On Monday, Thursday and Friday, I’d arranged for a number of meetings and interviews (which were mostly background meetings and not ones that I plan to document.) So I was busy all week.
One major regret of the trip is that I didn’t get to really spend time with the many Climate Audit readers that attended the two presentations. Many readers came to say hello after the presentations, but, in each case, I was whisked off by organizers of the occasion to post-event get-togethers. While these occasions were fun, if I do this sort of trip again, I’ll try to arrange a venue where CA is, in effect, the host, and my obligation is to readers, rather than hosts.
London is, of course, a very gracious city to visit. Just that I ended up being pretty busy for the entire trip and didn’t do any sightseeing, other than choosing to sometimes walk from place to place. Billeting also meant that I got more of the perspective of living in the London area if you don’t start your day from a downtown hotel. You have to get from your house to a train station – the number of people using trains is large enough that service is very frequent. Then half an hour or so to one of the hub train stations – in my case, Euston for the first half, Waterloo for the second half. Then, transfer to the tube, which typically gets you to about a 10-minute walk from you want to go. Then, walk. In Toronto, business offices are typically located right by a subway stop, so, even if you take the subway downtown, you don’t walk as much as London, where the offices are lower rise and seldom accessible without the standard 10-minute walk.
On Thursday and Friday, I had a little extra time and walked to/from Waterloo to some destinations – about 25-40 minutes depending on whether I (shall-we-say) detoured or not. The weather was ideal for walking – low 20s deg C and partly cloudy. London streetscapes along Regent St to Piccadilly Circus, to Trafalgar Square to the Strand and across to the South Bank are the sort of thing that I like to do as a tourist, so even going from place to place was not necessarily a chore.
I’ll post on the presentations separately, but wanted first to thank my hosts.