It is time to reject political movements that masquerade as scientific societies while turning their backs on science.
So says Lord Christopher Monckton, former science adviser to Margaret Thatcher, in a brilliant rebuttal to an article in New Scientist by Paul Nurse.
In that article, Nurse, who heads “the grandly-named and lavishly-grant-aided Royal Society,” makes fun of the statement that climate change: variations are “natural, cyclical environmental trends.” (Which is correct.)
Then Nurse makes fun of the statement that “we can’t say with assurance that human activities cause weather changes”. (Which is also correct.)
Thankfully, there are people like Christopher Moncton who see through Mr. Nurse’s reprehensible non-scientific words.
Here are excerpts from Lord Moncton’s rebuttal
IF YOU respect science you will probably be disturbed by the following opinions.
On climate: true science may be found in “the consensus opinions of experts” , we can “say with assurance that human activities cause weather changes” , recent variations are not “natural, cyclical environmental trends” , the manmade CO2’s contribution to the annual carbon cycle is not the 3% imagined by the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC, but 86% , “anthropogenic climate change is already affecting every aspect of our lives” ,
On freedom of information requests asking publicly-funded scientists for their data: the requests are “a tool to intimidate some scientists” .
On US politics: voters should not choose Republicans .
You would probably be even more disturbed to be told that these are the opinions expressed not by some climate scientist or politician but by Sir Paul Nurse, the geneticist who heads the world’s oldest taxpayer-funded lobby-group, the grandly-named and lavishly-grant-aided Royal Society.
It’s alarming that a country which leads the world in science – the home of Isaac Newton, Lord Kelvin and James Clerk Maxwell – might be turning its back on science. How can this be happening? What can be done?
One problem is treating scientific discussion as if it were political debate. When some scientists try to sway public opinion, they employ the tricks of the debating chamber: cherry-picking data, ignoring the consensus opinions of experts (who, in the peer-reviewed economic literature, are near-unanimous that it is cheaper to pay for the damage arising from any global warming that may occur than to spend anything now on attempted mitigation), adept use of a sneer or a misplaced comparison, reliance on the power of rhetoric rather than argument. They can often get away with this because the media rely too much on confrontational debate in place of reasoned discussion.
Everyone should know and understand why the processes that lead to astronomy are more reliable than those that lead to astrology, or the wilder conclusions of the environmental propagandists adopted as though they were science by the IPCC and naively but profitably parroted by the likes of Nurse.
Scientific leaders have a responsibility to expose the bunkum, not to perpetuate it.
It is time to reject – and to de-fund – political movements that pose as scientific societies while rejecting science and taking us back into the dark rather than forward into a more enlightened future.
See entire Moncton response:
Thanks to Ron de Haan for this link