Challenge to UK's Royal Society

Sold out?

The Royal Society is (was?) one of the most respected scientific institutions. However, in recent years, and like many other similar organisations around the world, it has sold out to climate alarmism and has abandoned its guiding principles of championing impartial scientific enquiry. Even its motto, Nullius in verba, meaning “take no one’s word for it”, looks forlorn and lost surrounded as it is by a fog of political posturing and environmental advocacy.

Andrew Montford, the author behind the Bishop Hill blog and The Hockey Stick Illusion has prepared a report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is calling on the Royal Society to restore a culture of open-mindedness and balanced assessment of climate science and climate policy.

In a new GWPF report, written by science author Andrew Montford, the Royal Society is urged to ensure that genuine controversies are reflected in its public debates and reports and that the full range of reputable scientific views are being considered.

“As the Society’s independence has disappeared, so has its former adherence to hard-nosed empirical science and a sober detachment from the political process. Gone are the doubts and uncertainties that afflict any real scientist, to be replaced with the dull certainties of the politician and the public relations man,” said Andrew Montford, author of the new report.

In his report, Andrew Montford describes the development of the Royal Society’s role in the climate debates since the 1980s. He shows the Society’s gradual closing of critical scrutiny and scientific impartiality and the emergence of an almost dogmatic confidence that climate science is all but settled.

In recent years, the Society has issued a series of highly political statements demanding drastic action on energy and climate policies from policy makers and governments. On the issue of climate change, it has adopted an increasingly political rather than scientific tone. Instead of being an open forum for informed scientific debate, the Society is at risk of turning into a quasi-political campaign group.

The GWPF report criticises the Society for being too narrow minded in its assessment of climate change and for failing to take into account views of eminent scientists and policy experts that do not accord with its own position.

In his foreword to the report, Professor Richard Lindzen (MIT), one of the world’s most eminent atmospheric scientists, warns that “the legitimate role of science as a powerful mode of inquiry has been replaced by the pretence of science to a position of political authority.”

The report can be downloaded here (PDF).

Alarmists' PR own goal


Interrupting my short break to comment on Richard Curtis’s truly sickening video – which you will no doubt have heard about elsewhere – which shows children who do not go along with the requirement to cut their emissions being blown up in a nauseating and gory way. Despite the creators issuing a worthless apology and withdrawing it, copies are appearing on YouTube faster than they can be removed, such is the viral nature of this video – do your own search if you wish to view it (discretion advised).

This kind of stunning own goal is very welcome, since it lays bare, for all to see, the totalitarian nature of the climate alarmism, where dissent is met with violence, albeit in a “humorous” context. I hope that this video will have disgusted many people who are in the global warming camp by default, and as a result may be spurred into making their own enquiries about the kind of movement they are associating with… a movement which now includes Osama bin Laden!

The timing is interesting, since the Royal Society, which has previously abandoned scientific impartiality and jumped aboard the alarmist bandwagon, has been forced to tone down its warmist rhetoric, admitting that there are areas of climate science where doubt exists:

Climate change continues to be a subject of intense public and political debate. Because of the level of interest in the topic the Royal Society has produced a new guide to the science of climate change. The guide summarises the current scientific evidence on climate change and its drivers, highlighting the areas where the science is well established, where there is still some debate, and where substantial uncertainties remain. (source)

One thing we can be sure of is that as more doubts are acknowledged in the science, the more desperate the alarmist machine will become to keep the ship afloat.

Royal Society to review climate message

Environmental advocacy

As we know, the Royal Society has become a credibility-free zone with regard to climate change, pushing hysterical environmental advocacy above the impartiality of science. Now the Society has been forced to reconsider its message after 43 fellows complained it oversimplified the issues.

They said the communications did not properly distinguish between what was widely agreed on climate science and what is not fully understood.

The society’s ruling council has responded by setting up a panel to produce a consensus document.

The panel should report in July and the report is to be published in September.

It is chaired by physicist John Pethica, vice-president of the Royal Society.

Its deliberations are reviewed by two critical sub-groups, each believed to comprise seven members.

Each of these groups contains a number of society Fellows who are doubtful in some way about the received view of the risks of rising CO2 levels.

A Royal Society pamphlet Climate Change Controversies is the main focus of the criticism [link here, although it will probably be posted down the memory hole pretty soon, so you can download the document from ACM here: Royal Society Climate Change Controversies]. A version of it is on the organisation’s website. It was written in response to attacks on mainstream science which the Royal Society considered scurrilous.

It reads: “This is not intended to provide exhaustive answers to every contentious argument that has been put forward by those who seek to distort and undermine the science of climate change…”

One Fellow who said he was not absolutely convinced of the dangers of CO2 told me: “This appears to suggest that anyone who questions climate science is malicious. But in science everything is there to be questioned – that should be the very essence of the Royal Society. Some of us were very upset about that.

Yes, there are some things we are all agreed on, like the fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and will cause some degree of warming when its concentration is increased. However, the scale of that warming we are not agreed on. The IPCC has wrongly concluded that the climate is very sensitive, and positive feedbacks will act to amplify that warming. Climate realists (and real world observations) show negative feedbacks, acting to reduce the warming from CO2.

As one commenter on Watts Up With That states:

In other words, they admit that they were lying all along and have been caught with their knickers down.

Read it here.

(h/t WUWT)

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