Thursday, December 1, 2011


date: Mon Apr 18 08:40:45 2005
from: Phil Jones
subject: Re: Villach, 1985
to: pearcefred

Been away. I do remember the Villach meeting. There was the US Dept of
Energy State of the Art reports in 1982 that Bill Clark edited, so Villach
wasn't the first.
Also IPCC may not have happened if WMO had taken the issue
seriously in the mid-1980s.
I was much younger then, so hope that Bert Bolin knows more as
to what the driving force behind IPCC was.
At 17:10 12/04/2005, you wrote:

Apologies for writing to you as a group. I am interested in proposing to
the New Scientist editors the idea of a feature in our Histories slot about
the Villach 1985 conference on climate change. I was not writing about
climate change for New Scientist at that time, though I was commissioning
John Gribbin on the topic. But my memory is that Villach for the first
time laid out the science of climate change in a coherent way for an
international audience. Without it perhaps there would not have been the
1989 Toronto meeting, the IPCC or the UNFCCC. And certainly looking at the
SCOPE book of the conference again, it seems that remarkably little has
changed in the central IPCC analysis to this day.
I wonder if each of you would agree with this interpretation. Would it
perhaps be interesting to write about "the week they invented climate
change". And would you be willing eventually to offer your memories of
that meeting?
The subtext here is to address the quite common public perception today
that nobody was talking about the greenhouse effect until the recent run of
very warm years and that in some sense, the science was invented to explain
the phenomenon.
Thanks for your time.
Fred Pearce
New Scientist

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email

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