Irish Climate Science Denial Group Hosts Discredited US Scientist. Again.

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They’re at it again. The fifth meeting of the Irish Climate Science Forum (ICSF) climate science denial group in the 10 months since its launch takes place in Dublin this Wednesday, February 14.

The five public events the ICSF has organised since its inaugural meeting last May have all taken place in an upmarket Dublin hotel and involved a series of guest speakers drawn mainly from the international climate denial circuit, including Richard Lindzen, William Happer and Henrik Svensmark.

The guest speaker at the latest meeting is set to be Nicola Scafetta, an associate professor at Duke University, who will deliver a lecture entitled ‘Natural Climate Oscillations & the Interpretation of the Post‐2000 Temperature Standstill’.

While Scafetta’s presentation was not available ahead of this week’s ICSF meeting, the topic is similar to a presentation he gave to the ‘London Climate Change Conference, 2016’, a gathering of climate deniers including Christopher Monckton, whose own presentation was titled: ‘Genocidal climate science’.

Studies published by Scafetta in recent years are extensively quoted by climate science deniers, but have been repeatedly debunked by climate scientists.

The ICSF describes itself as, “a voluntary group of Irish scientists, engineers and other professionals, currently in a formative stage”. It plans to carry out what it says is, “neutral, independent analysis of the latest climate research with the purpose of better informing climate and energy policies in Ireland”. Among the group’s invited guests has been rural member of parliament, industrial turf cutter and noted climate denier, Michael Fitzmaurice.

The ICSF is a secretive group that has no public website and does not divulge either its membership or how it is funded. DeSmog UK estimates the cost of each meeting to be between €5,000–€10,000. It does not charge admission or canvas for donations from attendees.

Since September 2015, the Irish government’s Regulation of Lobbying Act requires all individuals and groups engaged in lobbying to register and verify their details on the Lobbying.ie website and make written returns every four months. These are published on the publicly available register.

Over 1,600 individuals and organisations have registered and over 11,000 returns of lobbying activities submitted to the register to date, but Desmog UK could find nothing on the register from the ICSF.

Attendance at the ICSF’s meetings is by invitation only, and independent environmental media, including DeSmog UK, have been barred from attending.

However, the group has worked closely with the influential Irish Farmers Journal, which in recent months has given space to allow the group to spread disinformation about climate change to the Irish farming community.

DeSmog contacted the organiser of the event, Jim O’Brien, to ask about the event and ICSF’s funding. O’Brien refused to comment.

Image: Sarah777/Geograph.ie CC BYSA 2.0

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John Gibbons is a Dublin-based specialist writer and commentator on climate and environmental issues. He blogs at ThinkOrSwim.ie. You can follow him on Twitter @think_or_swim.

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