December 20, 2006

British Lord Chastises Sens. Rockefeller And Snowe Over Free Speech Denial

It is sad that it takes a British lord to school two United States Senators on the fine points of allowing scientific debate in an open society that values free speech:
Lord Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley, has sent an open letter to Senators Rockefeller (D-WV) and Snowe (R-Maine) in response to their recent open letter telling the CEO of ExxonMobil to cease funding climate-skeptic scientists.

Lord Monckton, former policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, writes: "You defy every tenet of democracy when you invite ExxonMobil to deny itself the right to provide information to 'senior elected and appointed government officials' who disagree with your opinion."

In what The Charleston (WV) Daily Mail has called "an intemperate attempt to squelch debate with a hint of political consequences," Senators Rockefeller and Snowe released an open letter dated October 30 to ExxonMobil CEO, Rex Tillerson, insisting he end Exxon's funding of a "climate change denial campaign." The Senators labeled scientists with whom they disagree as "deniers," a term usually directed at "Holocaust deniers." Some voices on the political left have called for the arrest and prosecution of skeptical scientists. The British Foreign Secretary has said skeptics should be treated like advocates of Islamic terror and must be denied access to the media.

Responds Lord Monckton, "Sceptics and those who have the courage to support them are actually helpful in getting the science right. They do not, as you improperly suggest, 'obfuscate' the issue: they assist in clarifying it by challenging weaknesses in the 'consensus' argument and they compel necessary corrections ... "

Lord Monckton's Churchillian reproof continues, "You acknowledge the effectiveness of the climate sceptics. In so doing, you pay a compliment to the courage of those free-thinking scientists who continue to research climate change independently despite the likelihood of refusal of publication in journals that have taken preconceived positions; the hate mail and vilification from ignorant environmentalists; and the threat of loss of tenure in institutions of learning which no longer make any pretence to uphold or cherish academic freedom."

Of Britain's Royal Society, a State-funded scientific body which, like the Senators, has publicly leaned on ExxonMobil, Lord Monckton said, "The Society's long-standing funding by taxpayers does not ensure any greater purity of motive or rigour of thought than industrial funding of scientists who dare to question whether 'climate change' will do any harm."

To the Senators' comparison of ExxonMobil's funding of climate sceptics with tobacco-industry funding of research denying the link between smoking and lung cancer, Lord Monckton counters, "Your comparison of Exxon's funding of sceptical scientists and groups with the former antics of the tobacco industry is unjustifiable and unworthy of any credible elected representatives. Either withdraw that monstrous comparison forthwith, or resign so as not to pollute the office you hold."

Concludes Lord Monckton, "I challenge you to withdraw or resign because your letter is the latest in what appears to be an internationally-coordinated series of maladroit and malevolent attempts to silence the voices of scientists and others who have sound grounds, rooted firmly in the peer- reviewed scientific literature, to question what you would have us believe is the unanimous agreement of scientists worldwide that global warming will lead to what you excitedly but unjustifiably call 'disastrous' and 'calamitous' consequences."
Free speech and open debate, a real "inconvenient truth" for "global warming"/"climate change" fearmongers and scientist activists.


Anonymous PIBoulder said...

I've been hearing about skeptics being called "deniers" as well. This is really unbelievable. The suggestion that skeptics should be arrested is off the charts. No scientist worth their salt would ever suggest such a thing. Even though Carl Sagan was guilty of telling a whopper when he was just as alarmist about a possible "nuclear winter", he was against the suppression of scientific debate. He would be the first to acknowledge that attempts at suppression had happened in the past, and he would condemn it.

What some in the alarmist community are making a deliberate attempt to do is make it appear that the debate is over before it's even started, that it's a fait accomplis, and that anyone who challenges the idea is just a loon who can be dismissed. This is what happened when Carl Sagan and his associates came out with their "nuclear winter" theory. It was totally media driven, and the science behind it was sketchy at best. They tried to shame other scientists into silence, but never was there the suggestion that they needed to be forcibly shut up. This is a new low.

Sat Dec 23, 03:46:00 AM  

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