Irish Climate Science Denial Group Invites GWPF Advisor to be Guest Speaker at Latest Secretive Meeting

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The latest in a line of supposed experts drawn from the fringes of science is the guest speaker at tonight’s meeting in Dublin of the Irish Climate Science Forum (ICSF), a climate science denial group. This is the sixth in a series of quasi-public meetings hosted by the ICSF since its first event last May.

Guest speaker at the meeting is Nir Shaviv, a professor of astrophysics at the Racah Institute of Physics in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is one of a number of recent speakers selected by the ICSF who promote the widely debunked view that cosmic rays rather than anthropogenic emissions are the dominant driving force behind global warming.

Shaviv is a member of the academic advisory council of the UK’s leading climate denial organisation, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, an organisation with opaque funding that works to spread doubt and disinformation about the causes and consequences of climate change.

Shaviv, along with two other recent ICSF guest speakers, Henrik Svensmark and Nicola Scafetta, contributed a chapter to a 2012 German book, ‘The Cold Sun – why the climate catastrophe does not take place’. The book’s claims have been widely criticised by mainstream scientists as lacking in credibility.

According to the abstract for this week’s meeting, Shaviv will argue that ‘climate sensitivity is low and future climate change is benign’. His talk is titled: ‘The Cosmic Ray Link – from Geological Time Scales to 20th Century Climate Change. While the venue for the meeting is once again an upmarket hotel in south Dublin. Attendance at the event is strictly by invitation. The GWPF published a video of a lecture with a very similar title that Shaviv delivered days before his scehduled ICSF appearance.

The secretive ICSF refuses to identify either its membership or funding sources, and has no publicly available website. Despite engaging with politicians and key influencers in state bodies including Met Eireann, the Irish national meteorological service, DeSmog UK could find no evidence that the ICSF has registered itself as a lobbying organisation.

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

Attendance at the ICSF’s meetings is controlled by the group itself. Independent environmental media, including DeSmog UK, have been barred from attending.

Ireland is currently in the grip of its latest fodder crisis following an extremely cold spring, with emergency food supplies for its 7.3 million cattle being shipped in from the UK and Europe.

Irish agriculture has been rocked by a series of extreme weather events in recent years, including another fodder emergency five years ago and a large number of climate-fuelled severe flooding episodes.

Ironically, the agri-food industry has lobbied successfully in Ireland against climate action, on the grounds that it could have economic implications on the country’s emissions and input-intensive beef and dairy sectors. As a result, Ireland is among the worst performing countries in the EU in terms of emissions reductions.

The ICSF has worked with agricultural media in Ireland to spread doubt and disinformation about climate change among the Irish farming community.

Event organiser Jim O’Brien, did not respond to DeSmog UK’s request for clarification about the event and the ICSF’s funding and lobbying activities.

Image: Wikimedia Commons CC SA 1.0; Composite: DeSmog UK. Updated 09/04/2018: A line about GWPF publishing a video of a similar Shaviv lecture was added.

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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