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The Copyright of the The Copenhagen Diagnosis

Readers may recall The Copenhagen Diagnosis, a (so-to-speak) non-governmental international climate assessment published in November 2009 and targeted by activists at influencing deliberations at the Copenhagen conference. Because it coincided with Climategate, it received little-to-no critical attention at climate blogs. Thus, I suspect that few, if any readers, will (without peeking) be able to guess the answer to today’s trivia question about The Copenhagen Diagnosis: who holds the copyright to The Copenhagen Diagnosis itself?

copenhagen diagnosis The surprising answer is that the copyright to The Copenhagen Diagnosis is the sub-charterer of the Ship of Fools: the University of New South Wales (click on image at left for enlargement of the frontispiece). Out of all the universities and institutions in the world, why the University of New South Wales? Dunno.

The ostensible purpose of The Copenhagen Diagnosis was as follows:

The purpose of this report is to synthesize the most policy-relevant climate science published since the close-off of material for the last IPCC report. The rationale is two-fold. Firstly, this report serves as an interim evaluation of the evolving science midway through an IPCC cycle – IPCC AR5 is not due for completion until 2013. Secondly, and most importantly, the report serves as a handbook of science updates that supplements the IPCC AR4 in time for Copenhagen in December, 2009, and any national or international climate change policy negotiations that follow.

Its co-authors included both Real Climate bloggers (Michael Mann, Stefan Rahmstorf, Eric Steig) as well as University of New South Wales academics (Matthew England, Steven Sherwood, Ben McNeill, Andrew Pitman), Turney’s University of Exeter associate Peter Cox and longtime activists such as Stephen Schneider, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Andrew Weaver and Richard Somerville). The document itself contained no information on sources of funding.

Some of the authors appear to have also been involved with the large consciousness-raising conference of climate scientists in Copenhagen in March 2009 – see its Synthesis Report also bearing Copenhagen in its title (Richardson, K. et al., (2009) Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions. Synthesis Report of the Copenhagen Climate Congress. (University of Copenhagen), a report that was cited by The Copenhagen Diagnosis. Turney, then still at the University of Exeter, was a session chair at the March 2009 conference, as was Matthew England of the University of New South Wales, both subsequently (July 2010) recipients of lucrative ($3 million) Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowships. Curiously, Turney made an initial appearance in Climategate documents in March 2009, writing to Jones and Briffa about a scheme to get UKP 3 million in NERC funding, a topic that I’ll return to in a later post.

Source: 
Climate Audit

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