Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Friday, 21 October 2016

Royal Society accused of allowing ‘anti-scientific coal baron’ to preach benefits of global warming

From the Independent - ‘You couldn’t invent a better climate-change-denier villain,’ says Professor Michael Mann

"One of the world’s leading climatologists has attacked Britain’s prestigious Royal Society for hosting an “anti-scientific” speech about the benefits of global warming by “coal baron” and “climate change denier villain” Matt Ridley.

Viscount Ridley, a journalist and hereditary peer, insisted mainstream scientists were exaggerating the risks because they had a “vested interest in alarm” during the event run by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a sceptic think tank, at the world’s oldest scientific institution.

He claimed “environmental predictions of doom” would “always” turn out to be wrong; the “best evidence” suggested the planet would not get as warm as experts predict; and that climate models had been “consistently wrong”.

Higher amounts of carbon dioxide, which plants use to grow, were also causing beneficial “global greening”, Lord Ridley said, citing academic research.

However, Professor Michael Mann, who led research that produced the famous “hockey stick” graph showing how humans were dramatically increasing the Earth’s temperature, accused Lord Ridley of buying “into the sort of conspiratorial thinking uttered by Donald Trump”. The US presidential candidate has claimed global warming is a hoax perpetrated by China on the US.

The Royal Society’s decision to host the speech was “presumably as a gesture of ‘open-mindedness’”, Professor Mann, of Penn State University in the US, told The Independent.

“The motto of the Royal Society is ‘Nullius in verba’, which translates to ‘take nobody's word for it’. It is an affirmation of legitimate scepticism, but not the sort of pseudo-sceptical, anti-scientific, bad-faith contrarianism displayed by the Matt Ridleys of the world,” he added.

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