Travel Plans

I’m going to be away for most of the next two weeks – I’ll be in New York for a couple of days and then I’m going to Thailand with my wife and daughter to visit one of my sons. I’ll be spotty in internet connection and posting. I’ve asked a couple of regulars to contribute a few threads and to monitor posting while I’m intermittent. Please be especially diligent in not getting involved in food fights or rising to every barb or bait. If a comment breaches blog policies, point it out and ask that an editor snip, but please do not debate it.

I’ll be in New York to present a paper at the Heartland conference. I’d be just as happy to go to a Pew Center conference if I were invited. By presenting a paper at a conference, I do not endorse the views of other contributors nor the sponsor. I will present my own views. And any tailoring of the presentation will be in the direction of challenging the audience rather than trying to reinforce their preconceptions.

I don’t know about this particular conference, but it’s my understanding that the Gavin Schmidts of the world have refused to attend such venues in the past. I don’t understand the purpose of such refusals. I don’t understand what harm could possibly be done by preaching to the heathen. Maybe some of them would be convinced by Gavin.

In part, I’m attending this conference, because, quite frankly, I don’t get many invitations to speak. I’ve only received one invitation to speak to climate scientists at a university (from Judy Curry and Julien Emile-Geay at Georgia Tech) and they were pretty severely criticized for this. (I was invited by an engineering seminar at Ohio State.) Anyway, I’ll guess that henceforth speaking at this conference will feature prominently in all future profiles of me on the internet, but, as I said above, I’d be delighted to speak to the Pew Center or the Sierra Club or the World Wildlife Fund.

After that, I’m going to Thailand for a couple of weeks. The last time I was in Thailand was in 1968, so it’s been a while. On that trip, we went to Cambodia as well – this is while the Viet Nam war was raging next door. I can’t imagine how worried we would be if one of our children was doing something equivalent today. But we were 20, young and foolhardy. We were about the only people at Angkor Wat when we went there. I think that there was one couple from France there as well. The idea that the Killing Fields would take place was, even in retrospect, inconceiveable. Anyway, it should be a lot different now.

I’ll try to a write a brief comment from New York. I’ll be in touch a bit from Bangkok, but will probably be tired and not too interested in writing.


  1. Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    Enjoy your trip

  2. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    Have a good trip. Your type of presentation and work will contribute a lot to the conference.

  3. Judith Curry
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    Steve, we look forward to your report from the Heartland Conference. Your point about mainstream climate scientists avoiding the venue and not “preaching to the heathen” is interesting. I guess it is too exhausting for an individual to try to take on the large number of issues to be raised at the Conference. There is also the issue of having to defend your attendance to other members of your tribe (I have been criticized by spending time here and inviting you to georgia tech). It is too exhausting to contemplate, really, although it would be interesting in principle to attend and to engage that group. Looking at the list of speakers, you seem to be one of a few that I would characterize as open minded. I’m sure the Conference will be widely discussed in the blogosphere, perhaps a tamer and more civilized venue than trying to take on the Heartlanders at the actual Conference.

    • MrCPhysics
      Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

      Re: Judith Curry (#3),

      I attended Heartland last year. They had multiple tracks. The political track was full of over-the-top, moderately uniformed skeptics, but the other tracks were generally scientists who presented their research with at least the appearance of objectivity. I honestly had no idea if the scientists were open-minded, the same way I have no certain idea as to whether Michael Mann or Gavin Schmidt is open-minded, or just merely much better informed than I am. I really find it sort of presumptuous to reach conclusions as to the extent to which someone is closed-minded as opposed to the extent to which one is well-informed in his or her area, and therefore has pretty solidified opinions. Hansen is really vocal about his beliefs, but I wouldn’t necessarily call him closed-minded rather than honestly convinced of the truth of his analysis.

      Are we really just saying that those who disagree with us and actively advocate for their opinions are closed-minded, but those who agree or who are less evangelistic are open-minded? I can’thelp thinking it’s a lot more than that.

      • Dave Dardinger
        Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

        Re: MrCPhysics (#25),

        moderately uniformed skeptics

        So what is that like, beanies but no propellers?

    • Frank
      Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

      Re: Judith Curry (#3),

      I’m also a GT alum – EE 1977, and appreciate Dr. Curry et al checking in here. I have not noticed any comments from y’all of late. I hope the signal to noise ratio is not too high to deter you.

      (20) Hi Bruce. I attended the lecture at GT last February. Here’s the recap –


      • Frank
        Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

        Re: Frank (#56),

        once more…

        (20) Hi Bruce. I attended the lecture at GT last February. Here’s the recap –


  4. Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    Have fun SteveM!

  5. Gong
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    Good News! Two weeks closed at Climate Audit!!! Now I will have some time for my family and other things important in life. Your blog is so interesting, the interaction in the Comments not least! The last one was impossible to avoid, so I look forward to avoiding now.. Good luck in NY, and Thailand! Roland, sweden

  6. Ned Komar
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 1:46 PM | Permalink


    I’ll be attending the conference and look forward to hearing your presentation. I had the pleasure of meeting you and Ross at the NAS panel in 2006. I own a limousine company in the New York area. Presumably Heartland will be providing your transportation needs. If not we would be happy to make a car and driver available to you gratis while you are in New York.


    Steve: Hi, Ned. I remember our meeting at the NAS panel. Look me up (I’m leaving on Mon night as I have to be in Bangkok for Saturday and flights from Toronto were cheaper.)

  7. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    Good luck, and happy traveling, Steve.

    I understand that the effect of Thai food is what Johnny Cash had in mind when he sang, “Ring of Fire.” If you’re eaten Thai food in Canada, let us know how you liked the real McCoy in comparison. 🙂

    Steve: Toronto has probably the most diverse restaurants of any city in the world. There are three Thai restaurants within 4 blocks of our house. I got a taste for curry when I was a student in England around 1970 and quite like spicy food, tho I don’t have Indian food as often as I should.

    • Richard
      Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

      Re: Pat Frank (#8), Steve, enjoy your trip, but I must admit to some unease about you presenting at Heartland. This will be used against you in the future to indicate bias. It shouldn’t, I know, but it will. Heartland is red rag to Schmidt and others. By the way, I reckon Melbourne could give any city a run for their money in terms of diversity and quality of restaurants! Look forward to seeing a copy of the presentation at some stage. Bon voyage.

    • Gerry Morrow
      Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 3:09 AM | Permalink

      Re: Pat Frank (#8), Real Thai food is surprisingly unspicy, sure it has chilis in but not mouth burningly hot. My experience is that it is considerably different from the Thai you eat abroad, and don’t be scared of eating in those places on the sidewalk with woks and rickety tables. But if you want the best Italian food you’re going to taste anywhere in the world go to Zanotti’s off Sukumvhit, the food is exquisite. Just a note they usually have some specials flown specially in, my case it was Dover Sole, it was absolutely fantastic. When the bill arrived I realised these Dovers must have flown in Business Class. Enjoy Bangkok and try Vietnamese food it’s brilliant as well.

  8. Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Steve — Enjoy, but watch out for the Chess hustlers!
    Chess — One Night in Bangkok

  9. dearieme
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

    Is there a hint of a suggestion there that Thai Green Curry with Steak and Kidney Pie isn’t authentic?

    Steve: I believe that it is very much authentic. As I understand, Thai Green Curry by itself originated from people ordering ” Thai Green Curry with Steak and Kidney Pie – hold the Steak and Kidney Pie” – a practice that dates only from the time of Anna in the King and I.

  10. DJ
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    Steve, a critical need of time off for you…good to keep in touch with family. I’m sure we will see a couple of Threads about your trip. Hope you take pictures, would like to see them!!! Have a good time, safe trip..we NEED you here!


  11. Andrew
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    Should be interesting to hear your remarks in New York. Should be stimulating…maybe you should speak to the economy? Just a little topical humor!

  12. Nicholas
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    Steve: Toronto has probably the most diverse restaurants of any city in the world. There are three Thai restaurants within 4 blocks of our house. I got a taste for curry when I was a student in England around 1970 and quite like spicy food, tho I don’t have Indian food as often as I should.

    I believe I can beat that. I’d have to check, but I’d say there are eight Thai restaurants within 1 block of my apartment, and probably 15 within walking distance.

    Somebody once said, the first thing Thai people do when they move to a new city or country is open a restaurant. You won’t find me complaining 🙂

  13. Gerry Morrow
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    Steve: Try Zanottis in Bangkok, best Italian food I’ve had anywhere in the world, including Italy. Reasonably priced, although if they say they’ve flown the fish in watch out, because from the bill I received the fish had flown business class. Have a nice time.


  14. Fred
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Pssst . . . . Buddy, over here, ya its me talking.

    Looks like yer gonna be burning up some airplane time and I just happen to have some very legit carbon credits I could sell ya at a really good price. See I got a friend who’s uncle knows a guy who once was a chauffeur for one of Al Gore’s fleet of limos and he got them from Saint Al as a tip for services in lieu of real greenbacks.

    So I can sell them to ya for cheap, cause I got them at a good price. And if you you also buy one of my Fair Trade Hair Shirts, I’ll sell you some prime Wind Farm ready real estate in Ontario that my buddy Dalton says is gonna be worth a lot of money real soon . . he just has to pass some kinda new “Draconian” (whatever that means) new Green Law.

    Deal ?

  15. Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 4:43 PM | Permalink


    Don’t go back to Angkor Wat. It’s changed a little since you were there.

  16. chris y
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    I am looking forward to hearing your presentation. I’ll be there for the Heartland conference. I decided this year to spend a little less at the IEEE and attend this conference.

  17. rephelan
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    I was hoping to hear your presentation but I’ve got a class to teach in New London that evening and the logistics just don’t quite work out. Good luck at the conference and enjoy your trip to Thailand.

  18. Bruce Cunningham
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    Enjoy the time off. I’m sure I will read about your presentation at the conference. Hope the rest of the world listens to it too. I am glad to hear that Georgia Tech has invited you because I am a GT alumnus. I am going to write them a note in support of that decision!

    Bruce Cunningham

  19. John F. Pittman
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Hope you have fun. An old college grad of mine, who helped me get my first professional job, came from Cambodia, married a Thai, and is currently a consultant doing all sorts of interesting work. This last comment is wrt the Heartland conference. Who knows what might transpire? Perhaps Gavin and Judith would find that preaching to the heathen has unmeasured (unmeasurable!?!) benefits … It was in game “Ceasar III” IIRC, I swear. 😉

  20. NaN
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

    “The art of the green disinvite”

  21. pjm
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    Enjoy your trip – I would say a well-earned break. Don’t be irritated by criticism about attending Heartland conference, after all they say Jesus Christ was criticised for eating with sinners and tax collectors, so you would be in good company.

    Have fun.


  22. janama
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

    have a nice trip Steve – I expect you will enjoy sitting around chewing the fat with fellow scientists. I can’t see why you shouldn’t.

  23. Peter
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    Steve, good luck and Godspeed. You display the best characteristics of science, irrepressible curiosity tempered with discipline in expression. Humbling to read. I look forward to your return.

  24. Ron Cram
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

    Have a great time in Thailand. I am happy to hear you are presenting at Heartland. And I agree that people of different views should spend more time hearing each other out. It is a ways off, but if you want another speaking engagement you should check with the Third International Conference on Global Warming and the Next Ice Age which will be held in 2011. The last one was held in 2006 and the science part was chaired by Petr Chylek. He always tries to include presenters from both sides of the debate, so hopefully it will be the same next time.

  25. Ron Cram
    Posted Mar 7, 2009 at 11:35 PM | Permalink

    I just noticed that Ross McKitrick was among the presenters at the last one so this conference in 2011 is probably already on your calendar.

  26. Ian
    Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

    Have a good conference and trip, Steve, it’ll be relaxing for us without you kicking the tyres.

    Now where’s that tip jar, you’ll need some spending money.


  27. Richard111
    Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 2:09 AM | Permalink

    Have a good trip. I am quite envious. I was last in Bangkok in 1964, before the war. The hospitality then of the local people was wonderful. (sigh)

  28. Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

    Have a fun time in Thailand.

    At the ICCC, if you get a chance, do attend the talk by Yaron Brook. I’m guessing it will address the moral issues surrounding climate change and will do so in a thought-provoking way.

  29. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 7:12 AM | Permalink

    “Maybe some of them would be convinced by Gavin.”
    The art of convincing requires facts that can stand up to rigorous review. If you don’t have that, then it’s better not to show up. Even Gavin recognises this. Debate has not been friendly to him and his kind.

  30. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

    I’m puzzled by your “tailoring of the presentation” comment which appears to me as a thinly vieled backhand slap at the gracious conference hosts.
    Political undercurrents ought not be influencing you to tailor your message in any way. Keeping it anchored in science will do. Anyway, that’s how it used to be in science.
    Of course you don’t have to agree with your hosts, but is it really constructive to issue this kind of political disclaimer, almost saying the views of your hosts are a social disease or something?

    • Raven
      Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

      Re: Pierre Gosselin (#36),
      I think you are reading too much into the comment. The biases of the audiance mean the audiance will pick up on some scientific points but ignore others. A presentation that is tailored for the audience would take this into account and spend more time on the points which the audiance may be inclined to ignore. In Steve’s case he would likely need to emphasize that he has only demonstrated that the cool MWP conclusions are not supported by the data and that one cannot use his work to claim that the MWP was warmer than today.

  31. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    If science presentations have to be accompanied by political disclaimers nowadays, then how about rephrasing:
    “By presenting a paper at a conference, I do not necessarilly endorse the views of other contributors nor the sponsor”.

    Science with political disclaimers – what next!

  32. Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    Have a good vacation. We’ll miss you of course.

  33. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps you’re right.
    But Steve’s 2nd paragraph looks to me like a disclaimer of some sort. I was just wondering why he had to write that in.
    Rather odd I think.
    The Heartland Institute has a lot of good guys and they are only doing what they believe is right. Here they are working to keep science honest. They deserve kudos for that. Or are they just another right-wing nut group?
    My participation in this weblog does not mean I endorse in any way the views of its contributors or those of the weblog operator. 🙂

    • Raven
      Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

      Re: Pierre Gosselin (#41)
      Sceptics have a wide range of views and do not agree with each other on many points (just look at the discussions on this blog). Steve is simply stating that fact. I see nothing in his statement that denigrates the Heartland Institute or implies that they are a ‘right wing nut group’. I think you are falling into the ‘if you are not with us you must be against us’ trap that alarmists are so fond of.

  34. Mark_T
    Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Why were those two persons at Georgia Tech severely criticized for asking you to speak to some climate scientists?

  35. Andrew
    Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    Harry (44): Shush now, no arguing about politics!

    Chris Colose (40): That’s a rather ridiculous and pretentious statement. Shows how open minded you are…Grow up and stop throwing slurs around.

  36. AdrianS
    Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    Have a good vacation, and stay true to your beliefs.
    If somebody could show me that all AGW was man made and a terrible problem then I would change my skeptical view. Nothing so far has convinced me. Your site is great because it tries to get to the bottom of things rather than just assuming green spin

  37. Ron Cram
    Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 3:22 PM | Permalink


    I was just looking at the speakers presenting and it is actually quite a good group. You should be comfortable with friendly faces like Ross McKitrick, Anthony Watts and Craig Loehle also speaking. They also have two of my favorites climatologists, Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen. I was pleased to see Scott Armstrong and Kesten Green are there. I hope you get a chance to hear their session. Unfortunately, I did not see Roger Pielke Sr on the list but William Cotton, the co-author of his book “Human Impacts on Climate,” is there. All in all, quite a number of people with good publication records are presenting.

  38. Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    Harry (44): Check the record. DJI Average = 9,625 on 11/04/08. DJI Average = 6,626 on 3/06/09. That is a >30% drop in the DJI Average since the election. My retirement account ain’t doing so well, and that is where my bread and butter comes from.

  39. Keith Herbert
    Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 5:52 PM | Permalink


    I’ll be in New York to present a paper at the Heartland conference. I’d be just as happy to go to a Pew Center conference if I were invited. By presenting a paper at a conference, I do not endorse the views of other contributors nor the sponsor

    I suspect though, had you spoken at a Pew sponsored event, you wouldn’t “disclaim” their politics because you wouldn’t be asked to. You didn’t offer any such disclaimer when you spoke at the Curry/Emile-Geay venue. Your language discredits Heartland and you needn’t do that.

  40. Posted Mar 8, 2009 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    Gerald (52): Thank you very much! I located the Internet site. I certainly wish that I could attend the conference. Being there would almost be as exciting as tornado chasing in Kansas/Oklahoma with my son. Ehr … perhaps that is not a good comparison.

  41. Tim
    Posted Mar 9, 2009 at 12:42 AM | Permalink

    i trust the reason for the departure is you finally heeded the Goreacle’s recent warning that continued debate on AGW is “silly!” enjoy your trip and your newfound bliss now that the Goreacle has blessed you with enlightenment! 😉 looking forward to a full report on Heartland, but at least wait until you at least have a base tan…

  42. Jim
    Posted Mar 9, 2009 at 4:09 AM | Permalink

    The conference rated a special article at the
    Manchester Guardian (the Czech president turned
    up). SM did not warrant an individual mention
    in the list of deniers. I enclose the last bit
    or the guardian article for edification.


    How we deal with climate change: denial

    Academics meeting in Bristol at the weekend for Britain’s first conference on the psychology of climate change argued that the greatest obstacles to action are not technical, economic or political – they are the denial strategies that we adopt to protect ourselves from unwelcome information. Nearly 80% of people claim to be concerned about climate change, but many people have a tendency to define this concern in ways that keep it far away. They describe climate change as a global problem (not a local one) and as a future problem (not one for their lifetimes). And 60% of people believe that “many scientific experts still question if humans are contributing to climate change” while 30% believe climate change is “largely down to natural causes”. Seven per cent deny climate is changing at all.
    George Marshall

    • George Marshall is founder of the Climate Outreach Information

  43. Matthew
    Posted Mar 9, 2009 at 6:23 AM | Permalink

    Have a great (and well earned) trip !!!

  44. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 9, 2009 at 7:12 AM | Permalink

    I checked in briefly and was disappointed to see that posters had ignored invoked creationsishm current political figures obama( and tried to argued AGW from first principles in one paragraph. Please behave.

  45. Ron Cram
    Posted Mar 9, 2009 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

    What was wrong with my comment? All I did was point out the illogic of a comment that you left.

  46. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Mar 9, 2009 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Thailand. A nice size carbon footprint.
    Enjoy it indeed!

  47. Jim P
    Posted Mar 9, 2009 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Someone else has travel plans, Steve. The following from the Glasgow Herald:

    “THE Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall began their ten-day tour of South America yesterday with the issue of climate change at the top of their agenda.

    Prince Charles and Camilla arrived in Chile, but they will also visit Brazil, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Highlighting the issue of global warming is a major theme, and this week the prince will give a dire warning on climate change to the world.

    Their chartered Airbus arrived at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez airport close to Santiago. They were driven away in a limousine, followed by a motorcade of six cars.”

    Ye couldnae mak it up!!!

  48. Posted Mar 9, 2009 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    Steve, just so you know, I have suggested your name for our speaker series in the Dept. of Geography each of the past two years. This is the home department to Brian Luckman and where Rob Wilson received his doctorate.
    In my continued hope for intellectual improvement, I thought you would be an excellent speaker and would focus discussion on some very pertinent issues relevant not only to Brian’s students but the wider bevy of graduate students both in geography and in other departments at UWO focused on climate related issues. Thus far my requests have fallen on deaf ears, and by the looks of this year’s speaker series and the direction our new program on Environment and Sustainability is taking, I won’t hold my breath waiting on any pending invite!

    People who criticize Steve for not publishing in peer-reviewed journals would do well to pause and recognize how unwelcomed the climate realist perspective is within the halls of academia. Rule 1 of all institutions: do not kill the goose that lays the golden egg. For most universities, the largest golden egg available is the AGW egg. Many are hoping the Easter bunny will deliver on the green energy egg too, so that they can just morph into new rhetoric without any significant change in ideology, thought or concepts.

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