here. Among others, Judith Curry was there and already posted on her blog great observations, insights and comments (for part 1 have a look here;). No one is a better blogger than her, and I will only add here some random observations and afterthoughts. On a post-workshop stroll through Lisbon, I ran across this sign on a door in the Alfama. In English, it says 'no man's land - anarchist space', and in a certain way it reminded me of the open atmosphere of the workshop, which represented many climate tribes connected only through their effort to find out more about the current state of climate affairs. At least on this workshop, climate change indeed belonged to no one, neither the skeptics nor the alarmists.
For me as an anthropologist, it was a great opportunity to get introduced to different tribes and subcultures in climate science and beyond. With 'beyond' I mean here journalists such as Gerald Traufetter from Der Spiegel or Fred Pearce from the Gurdian, or critical experts such as Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick or Steven Mosher, who also argue from outside of academia. Who is allowed to speak and to represent climate science? Who is included and excluded? Those were some underlying discussion threads during this really exciting workshop, and these questions are closely related to the science and policy of climate. Thinking along and across those dividing lines opened up new perspectives; seen from the outside, current hegemonic climate science appears as a system organized along exclusively academic criteria, where reputation, honor and your curriculum vitae are the main currency and used as weapons for gatekeeping or ignoring criticisms. Instead of getting an answer to your well argued critique, you get marginalized; at least, this was the experience as told by of some of the participants (and by climategate emails, too). This is of course an unbearable situation, and it is highly necessary to open up the climate debate in order to represent a greater diversity of results and also uncertainties in the IPCC and elsewhere. This workshop hopefully was a step at the right time towards this goal.
I was also impressed by the stunning individualism of some of the participants. "Skeptics" are not a homogeneous group; quite the contrary, some even insist on representing an individual standpoint and not being a part of a group. Considering the fact that some have highly influential blogs with many commentators and followers, the image of rather loosely organized tribes came to my mind.
To represent some of those tribes and currents was one of the virtues of this wonderful workshop, which had its moments of both tension and relief. Sometimes, just accusations turned into conspiracy theory and made me wonder whether there will really be a possibility of reconciliation - the hockey stick and climategate are open wounds and it is hard to imagine how there will be ever done justice to those hurt and overrun by those who are in charge of the IPCC process. In its best moments (and there were many of them), participants truly opened up the climate debate in a collective effort, through representation of different voices, perspectives and approaches. This was the case at the final public discussion, for example, when climate no longer was a matter of "but I have the better facts and I know the truth"; instead, climate became a matter of concern and skepticism turned into a valuable tool for good thinking and humility. Only then climate debate leaves its often time all too narrow natural-science-only constraints and embraces views from the social or cultural sciences, from journalism and last but not least from people 'out there' in the audience. We are all in the same boat, scientists and laypeople, and climate change is a collective experiment. Terra de niguém e clima de ninguém; é tudo um espaço anarquista!
In case you speak Portuguese, have a look at this article in O Público about the workshop.