This week a debate on global warming was held at The Royal Geographical Society. Sponsored by The Spectator magazine, it included a couple of notable names from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Benny Peiser and Nigel Lawson.
Now I've been watching the climate scene for long enough to know that "debate" isn't really happening. Mudslinging , yes. So I wasn't tempted to shell out thirty quid to watch something that was unlikely to really challenge my perceptions or inform me. Even though the line up also included the excellent Dr Simon Singh, whose book on codebreaking I am reading right now.
Instead I rely on Andrew Montford's account who writes: "Benny Peiser's talk was the one that intrigued me. He essentially argued that the science is irrelevant - that the public have made their minds up and that they vote out any party that pushes the green line too far."
I wonder how Dr Peiser arrived at the line that 'the public have made their minds up'. No plebiscite has ever been called, nor any proposition put to the public. So how could any reasonable person reach this conclusion? Dr Peiser, a sports psychologist with a background in anthropology is affiliated to the Global Warming Policy Foundation but he has not been elcted to speak for the public. And I am pretty sure I am right when I say that 'the public have made their minds up' is unsupportable.
Now I'm not quibbling that this is how things are working out, but I suggest Dr Peiser is misrepresenting the public's view. I argue that the public have been largely misled, but the fact is there has been no plebiscite or referendum to support Dr Peiser's assertion. And I figure we really ought to get to the bottom of this. Perhaps it is more opinion dressed up as fact. Perhaps Montford's account was a little wide of the mark. Whatever , it looks like I shall have to email the great man himself.