Rear Mirror: IQ2 Debate: Global Warming is not a Crisis
GLOBAL WARMING IS NOT A CRISIS
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2007
MEDIA TRANSCRIPTS, INC.
41 WEST 83rd STREET NEW YORK, N.Y. 10024 (212) 362-1481
PROGRAM Intelligence Squared U.S.
Global warming is not a crisis
BGT NO. .
I want to introduce to you, Robert Rosenkranz, Chairman of the
Rosenkranz Foundation, the sponsor of this evening’s debate,
who will make some opening remarks. [APPLAUSE]
Thank you, Brian, and, and welcome to all of you. I’m Robert
Rosenkranz, Chairman of Intelligence Squared, which is an
initiative of the Rosenkranz Foundation. With me tonight is Dana
Wolfe, the Executive Producer of this, series of debates. I see a
number of, uh, a lot of familiar faces in the audience but also a
lot of newcomers. So let me just say a word about why we’re,
we’re doing this. It’s really with the intention of raising the level
of public discourse in this country. It comes from a feeling that,
uh, political conversations are just too rancorous and that, this
nation could benefit from a forum for reasoned discussion of, key
policy issues. The topic tonight is, is one that, uh, has attracted
an enormous amount of, of interest. The proposition: Global
warming is not a crisis. And the, panelists are going to try to
persuade you to vote for or against the motion. Uh, ultimately
your votes will decide which side has carried the day. Uh, well,
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PROGRAM Rosenkranz-Intelligence Squared US-“Global warming is not a crisis” Page 2.
why this particular, topic? Senator Barbara Boxer, Al Gore have
assured us that on this particular topic the debate is over. Well,
we took that as throwing down the gauntlet and I personally am
cynical enough to think that perhaps there’s a distinction
between science and political science. Um, and maybe a side
that feels like there is nothing to debate, might feel that there are
perhaps some inconvenient truths on the other side that they
would prefer not to deal with. I’m old enough to remember when
there was a, uh, scientific consensus on global cooling, and this
was in the 1970s with all kinds of alarmist data on that subject.
I’m enough of a businessman to know that the modeling and the
use of the computer, uh, algorithms and forecasting the future is
a very, very difficult undertaking. I mean, if one could predict,
uh, the weather or patterns of storms even a year in advance it
would be worth billions and billions of dollars to people engaged
in energy trading or, uh, or, insurance underwriting and a whole
bunch of other pursuits. And yet it can’t really be effectively
done. So tonight’s debate, I think, is addressing issues that for
me are very real and, which, at Intelligence Squared we feel can
use some serious enlightenment. Uh, first of all, on the science
of it. Does science really have the, the ability to tell us with, with
a good degree of reliability what is going to happen to our climate
over a hundred year period? And secondly, the economics. Um,
this all leads in effect to public policies that say, We should
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PROGRAM Rosenkranz-Intelligence Squared US-“Global warming is not a crisis” Page 3.
invest, money now for benefits in the future. Well, that always
poses the traditional questions of, well, what are the costs? What
are the benefits? What are the alternatives? What are the risks
of action? What are the risks of inaction? So there are a whole
welter of economic aspects that I think, hopefully tonight we’re
going to get some enlightenment on as well. Uh, this evening, of
course, is a live event but it will reach an audience through
National Public Radio of over fifty radio stations around the
country. We’re produced for radio by by WNYC in New York.
And it’s now time for me to turn the, uh, proceedings over to
Brian Lehrer, who is the award winning host of, WNYC’s New
York public radio call in program, The Brian Lehrer Show. This
has been called New York City’s most thoughtful and informative
talk show by Time magazine. It covers politics and life locally,
globally. Brian not only holds a master’s degree in journalism
but also a master’s in public health and environmental studies.
So he is very well equipped to lead these proceedings and to
introduce the extraordinary group of panelists who are the real
stars of tonight’s event. Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE]
And, Bob, thank you so much. I so personally appreciate your
commitment to public discourse at a high level. We need much
more of that in this country. I would like to welcome you all
formally to the sixth Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Let me
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PROGRAM Rosenkranz-Intelligence Squared US-“Global warming is not a crisis” Page 4.
give you a brief run-down of the evening. First, the proposer of
the motion will start by presenting their side of the argument.
The opposition will follow. Each person will get a maximum of
eight minutes and we will go back and forth from one side to the
other. Second, when all six speakers are finished with their
opening remarks I will do some follow-up questioning and open
up the floor to brief questions from the audience. And when I say
brief, I do mean brief. We have, we are limited to twenty minutes
for the entire follow-up discussion after the eight minute
presentations. And so I ask that you limit your questions to
thirty seconds and not give any speeches tonight and I will do the
same in my follow-up questions. Uh, third, when the Q and A is
complete, each debater will make a final statement, not lasting
more than two minutes per person. And fourth, during the
closing statements, uh, ballot boxes will be passed around for
voting. You have your tickets. This is what the ballot box looks
like and you will put in either the “for” piece, the “against” piece
or the whole ticket if you still don’t know which side you favor. If
anyone does not have a ticket ballot – are you snickering at the
very idea of being undecided or ambivalent? This is what we’ve
come to? Um, an usher will get you a ballot at the appropriate
moment if you still need one. And fifth, and last, after the final
closing statement is made I will announce the results of the
audience vote and tell you which side carried the day. Now, to
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PROGRAM Rosenkranz-Intelligence Squared US-“Global warming is not a crisis” Page 5.
introduce the panel. For the motion, author and filmmaker, best
known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of E.R.,
Michael Crichton. [APPLAUSE] The Alfred P. Sloan Professor of
Meteorology in the Department of Earth, Atmosphere and
Planetary Sciences at MIT, Richard S. Lindzen. [APPLAUSE] And
Emeritus Professor of Biogeography at the University of London,
School of Oriental and African Studies, Philip Stott. [APPLAUSE]
Against the motion: Climate Scientist at the Union of Concerned
Scientists, Brenda Ekwurzel. [APPLAUSE] Climate Modeler at
the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Gavin Schmidt.
[APPLAUSE] And distinguished Professor of, uh – I’m sorry. And
distinguished Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
University of California, San Diego – Richard C.J. Somerville.
[APPLAUSE] And that was all very polite. I couldn’t tell how
many people voted for or against the motion. [LAUGHTER] All
right, first, for the motion: Richard Lindzen. Please go to the
RICHARD S. LINDZEN
Okay, I’d like to thank I