There’s nothing quite a like an article written by James Delingpole to spoil my evening and incite anger. His articles are almost always inflammatory, biased, full of inconsistencies and quite often wrong.
I just read his latest turd in the Telegraph and with each line I felt my blood pressure rising and my anger escalate. I probably shouldn’t have read it and I don’t recommend anyone else read it but if you really want to, then I’ve archived it here. Please don’t go to his blog and give him more hits.
Now I intend to off-load some of my anger in this blog post. So here goes.
James Delingpole does not accept the science of climate change. He rejects the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and gives as his reason quotes from the following people:
- One climate scientist with known links to ExxonMobil.
- An astronomer who doubles as an advisor for the contrarian Global Warming Policy Foundation.
- A politician and chairman of the contrarian Global Warming Policy Foundation.
- An author/accountant.
- An applied mathematician.
- One woman with a degree in women’s studies.
- An ex-mining industry executive.
Now I’m not saying that people like this are incapable of communicating the science of climate change, but they are all quite clearly on the contrarian side. Furthermore, James Delingpole rejects the science of 209 lead authors from 39 countries and more than 600 contributing authors from 32 countries and instead embraces his 7 dubious advisors.
I put James Delingpole and anybody who agrees with him, in the same camp as those people who think vaccinations cause autism. Like James, they reject the overwhelming majority of qualified individuals for a few outliers.
What’s more, what James Delingpole and the anti-vaccination groups are doing is unethical. The anti-vaccination groups compromise herd immunity, putting everyone at risk, particularly those who are immunocompromised. James and anyone who goes out of their way to misrepresent the science of climate change, are also putting everyone at risk by supporting a trajectory that will leave much of the planet uninhabitable for humans. They are deliberately misleading the public which has the effect that the voting public is incapable of putting enough pressure on our politicians to do something about the problem. The best example here is that Australians have just voted in someone who thinks that climate science is “crap”. Australians have people like James Delingpole to thank for that. I hope that one day, he and the others, are held accountable.
Accepting the views of just one climate scientist without question is not what a true sceptic would do. True scepticism ought to be applied to the likes of Richard Lindzen just as much as to the hundreds of scientists behind the IPCC report. What James Delingpole and other climate contrarians do is apply scepticism to all the scientists who disagree with their point of view while unreservedly accepting the views of those they agree with.
Why do they do it? I’m not really sure but I have heard people who call themselves sceptical of climate science say they reject the science because they don’t like wind farms. This is like saying, Gina Rinehart is fat, therefore climate science is a hoax. It is, in short, ridiculous. But accepting the science doesn’t mean one can’t argue against wind farms or a carbon tax. It is reasonable to say that I understand we have a problem, but I don’t like wind farms for reasons x, y and z, so let’s find solutions in a, b and c instead.
I saw this on Facebook today and thought it really summed up the ludicrousness of the position held by James Delingpole and others. It features shock jock Australian radio presenter, Alan Jones (who also happens to reject climate science).
So Alan Jones didn’t really say this. It’s satire. But what’s the difference between rejecting the existence of the Higgs Boson and rejecting climate science? Climate science critics could just as easily be accusing the scientists at CERN of an elaborate hoax in order to get research funding. They could say this is a huge conspiracy and the UN is planning to take over the world. But most of us would laugh and say, what nonsense.