Irish Climate Science Forum

The Irish Climate Science Forum (ICSF)

Background

The Irish Climate Science Forum (ICSF) launched on May 4 2017 in Dublin. The ICSF describes itself as “a voluntary group of Irish scientists, engineers and other professionals, currently in a formative stage”. The ICSF said it plans to carry out “neutral, independent analysis of the latest climate research with the purpose of better informing climate and energy policies in Ireland”.

Stance on Climate Change

The group’s stated goal is to be “better informing climate and energy policies in Ireland”. The guest speakers headlining the ICSF’s first two meetings were both well-known climate science deniers: Richard Lindzen, and William Happer.

Funding

The ICSF claims to be only funded by “modest personal donations from its members and has no vested interests other than seeking the most sustainable future for Ireland and its citizens.”

At the “strictly private” launch meeting in May 2017, event organiser, Jim O’Brien, an energy consultant, said: “People think our organisation is funded by fossil fuel interests, but we have no donations from fossil fuel sources, only from private sources.” According to O’Brien, the group's inaugural guest speaker Richard Lindzen didn’t charge to give the talk and ICSF only paid for his expenses (however it wasn’t clarified who the “they” were). O’Brien reiterated that ICSF is all self-funded, stating its total funds are “only around €5,000”.

Members

Retired University College Dublin meteorologist Dr Ray Bates is understood to be a key mover behind the development of the ICSF. In recent years he has become an active lobbyist for climate inaction in defence of Ireland’s greenhouse gas–intensive beef and dairy sectors.

Key Deeds

June 2017

At the ICSF’s second meeting, the guest speaker was noted climate science denier William Happer, a retired Princeton professor who was reportedly on a shortlist for the role of Science Advisor to the climate-denying Trump administration in the US. Happer is a director of the US-based CO2 Coalition, whose tagline is “Carbon dioxide, a nutrient vital for life”.

Happer delivered his behind-closed-doors presentation in an upmarket Dublin hotel to a hand-picked audience, numbering around 40 to 50, which included several senior staff from Met Éireann, Ireland’s national meteorological service. His presentation was titled: ‘Irish Agriculture – A New Look at the Influences of Methane, Nitrous Oxide and Carbon Dioxide’.

May 2017

The inaugural guest speaker for ICSF’s launch meeting was noted US climate science denier and retired MIT profressor Richard Lindzen. The lecture was entitled “The Science and Politics of Climate Change”. Lindzen is also an academic adviser to the UK climate denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation and works at the U.S. conservative think tank the Cato Institute, which has been funded by the billionaire petrochemical brothers Charles and David Koch.

Lindzen opened his talk by condemning the “narrative of hysteria” that he claims surrounds the science of climate change. Carbon dioxide, he told the audience, is a plant fertilizer, and the Earth was lush 600 million years ago when atmospheric CO2 levels were far higher than today. He described any climate change that has occurred to date as “miniscule”, calling it all for the good, later adding “warming would actually benefit the Earth”.

Photo: DeSmog UK