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Dellers on the GWPF report

James Delingpole has a blog post up on my GWPF report.

I've written about this several times before but because I was once the victim of a nasty stitch-up by the Royal Society's current president Sir Paul Nurse there's always a danger of it looking like sour grapes.

That's why I'm so heartened by the magisterially damning report on the Royal Society produced by Andrew Montford for the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

We all have different roles to play in the great climate wars and Montford's, unlike mine, is to write with cool restraint. But though he doesn't title his report quite as provocatively as "The Royal Society is a joke" – that, essentially, his conclusion.


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Reader Comments (74)

The Royal Society is definitely not a joke, it is actively involved in supporting scientists who hide declines. Its last three presidents, including the bumbling Nurse have been the nastiest sort of activists, intent on using their position as presidents of what was once, but alas no more, the most prestigious scientific society on the face of the planet. It is difficult to understand why the Fellows have stood by while these environmental activists have, and continue, to bring it to new lows in esteem.

Feb 10, 2012 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

As I have commented before, the state the RS finds itself in is a direct consequence of the comparatively recent move to rebranding itself as "Britain's National Academy of Science".
Such institutions are Bad Things. The Soviet Academy gave credibility to Lysenko, and remember that the US NAS was founded to oppose Darwinian evolution!
The RS was never a NAS and, in my view, will only regain its former reputation when it moves back to its former ethos.

Feb 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkeptical Chymist

Judith Curry now has a post on this too.
She seems puzzled by the RS behaviour.
With all this publicity it seems likely the RS will have to respond.

Feb 10, 2012 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Matthews


We all have different roles to play in the great climate wars and Montford's, unlike mine, is to write with cool restraint.

Absolutely right. It's a team game. A privilege occasionally to come on as a substitute.

Skeptical Chymist:

Such institutions are Bad Things. The Soviet Academy gave credibility to Lysenko, and remember that the US NAS was founded to oppose Darwinian evolution!
The RS was never a NAS and, in my view, will only regain its former reputation when it moves back to its former ethos.

Didn't know that about the US NAS - fascinating - but thoroughly agree about the direction the RS must take. One of the things that has shocked me in the last few years has been to learn how late it was that Lysenko was disowned by Soviet Academy, following Andrei Sakharov's devastating speech before its General Assembly in 1964:

He is responsible for the shameful backwardness of Soviet biology and of genetics in particular, for the dissemination of pseudo-scientific views, for adventurism, for the degradation of learning, and for the defamation, firing, arrest, even death, of many genuine scientists.

1964! I hope we don't have so long to wait with the CAGW bug.

Feb 10, 2012 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Shall we call it the Royle Society then?

- state-benefit dependent CHECK
- banal statements CHECK
- media-centric CHECK
- dimwitted but well-meaning characters CHECK

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

OT I admit, but the WUWT article on Mann's new book has disappeared without comment. Are we to believe the great Maestro has had a superinjunction on criticism of his novella?

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

OT I admit, but the WUWT article on Mann's new book has disappeared without comment. Are we to believe the great Maestro has had a superinjunction on criticism of his novella?

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

The Royle Society ... brilliant, Maurizio. If the cap fits ...

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Geronimo I can still see it well down the list.

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Hanwell

"dimwitted but well-meaning"

That should sting a bit.

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"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."

Great quote, Bish. Nailed it.

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

I wonder when the RS will begin its fight-back? How will it go about it? Any bets? Or will it just ignore it because it hasn't been mentioned by the BBC or Grauniad.

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

James P - not ALL of them, of course. But sometimes I wonder...

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Bishop I think you have the better approach.

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

WUWT has not dropped the reviews of Manns book, its just a lot of articles in last few days has sent it downwards.

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

geronimo: It is still there on WUWT, at the moment in position 14.

Feb 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexej Buergin

Not much of a punchline, though!

Feb 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

@don pablo de la Sierra. Yawn. a) that is such a tragically sucky-up comment. b) you're completely ruddy missing the point. I bow to no one in my admiration for what the Bishop does: he is thorough, dignified, diligent, scrupulous, scientifically grounded - altogether more of an homme serieux. But if you remotely believe that this war we're fighting matters (and if you don't believe it is a war or that it matters then you clearly haven't read or understood very much) then you ought to have the decency to avoid snarky little comments directed against those who are on the front line on your behalf. I'm not asking for your grovelling gratitude, merely for a slight bit of courtesy. The reason Climategate got out there and became kind of "my" story was not because I got there first or because I brought the myriad skills to the party that Andrew Montford possesses and I don't. It's because I'm a stylist and polemicist and 18th century pamphleteer who, with respect to the competition, can write more entertainingly than anyone else in the game. If you don't like my approach that's your problem. But it ill behoves you to criticise someone who is doing way, way WAY more than you - and taking considerably more flak - to fight on behalf of real science, empiricism, liberty and truth. So: back in your box with you - and consider yourself properly and deservedly told off.

Feb 10, 2012 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Delingpole


Feb 10, 2012 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Science "by committee" generally doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

It has been put more strongly by others:
“Highly organized research is guaranteed to produce nothing new.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune

Feb 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

James Delingpole for PM and the good Bishop for President of the Royal Society. I'll be humbled to be Secretary of State for Energy and will banish Climate Change to the dustbin of history.

Feb 10, 2012 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Delingpole's ego obscures his objectivity.

Feb 10, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

well said Dellars

Feb 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterthendisnighnot

James if you spoke to your tribe less, the normal people that don't really care might listen and think you have a point. You have all these excellent articles that, yet they don't speak to the people that are not already convinced that you are right.

Sometime it is just more powerful, just to say someone is wrong and explain why.. this is why Steve Mcintyre has respect.

The so called 'alarmist' choose to focus on yourself and Monckton' rather than Mcintyre demonstrates that they fear staemnts of accuracy. Far easier to rail in turn against a polemicist, which totally alienates the public and people that need convncing. (ie the majority of scientists) that switch off because of style and rheoric and then miss the facts.

I'm trying to convince Mark Lynas, Leo Hickman, Roger Harrabin, George Monbiot a bunch of honest IPCC scientists.. over the top rhetoric might score points.. but delays the serious people looking at the serious issues.. ie I think Booker style is more powerful than yours.

please reflect on Roger's comment

Feb 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

James Delingpole,

It's because I'm a stylist and polemicist and 18th century pamphleteer

Tom Paine you ain't.

Feb 10, 2012 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil McEvoy

Barry, I like your point better than Rogers!

Remember lads, we are all on the same side here. Well, mostly on the same side that is! :)



Feb 10, 2012 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

I was defending James Delingpole, when most other so called sceptics were calling him foolish and naive, for taking part in that Horizon program. I also completely understand the grief he receives from all the really irritating condescending, media luvvy smug bloggers and lefty journos..

Toning down the rhetoric and sticking to the brutal facts, means it is much harder to be ignored as a cliche.

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM | Maurizio Morabito:

"Shall we call it the Royle Society then?

- state-benefit dependent CHECK
- banal statements CHECK
- media-centric CHECK
- dimwitted but well-meaning characters CHECK"

Wonderful!!! May I add: Anthropogenic Global Warming? My Ar*e!!

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

If I may comment from across the pond, I think that Dellingpole, Montford, McIntyre, Watts, Monckton, and many more are essential to "progress" on these issues. I don't find debates about the one best approach to be helpful. It was reading a couple of columns by "Dellers" that got me to begin looking at these issues more. I'm still a newbie here and at WUWT, but I and many others would not even be reading these blogs with interest were it not for Dellers. Yes, I appreciate all the more dispassionate work done by others but there is a vital role for energetic verbal combatants who are inthe fray on behalf of all of us. Let's appreciate and support all who fight the good fight in their own ways.

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

Different styles have differing pros and cons. Whilst it may be easy to point out the pros and the cons, it is rather more difficult to assess how each will fair at the end of the day.

I for one are grateful for Dellers input in what he correctly describes as a war. Materially, he potentially reaches a wide audience and I sure that this has a bearing on public perception of this issue and plays a part in changing public opinion on this issue. I see no point whatsoever in joining issue with his style, even if his style may not be to everyones taste,

Dellers, hopefully you will continue to chip away at this beast.

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Snotrocket - that's "Ar*eopogenic Global Warming"

ps I'll get me coat

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

I for one welcome James Delingpole's contributions. They are vivid, memorable, engaging, and very often capture the outrage that many of us no doubt feel at various items of news while lacking his skill to express that outrage so coherently and to such great effect. There are scientific issues to be addressed. There are political issues to be addressed. There are moral and emotional issues to be addressed. Some of it will be done in the once-hallowed halls of such as the Royal Society and our universities. Some of it in various corridors of power, and some in the mass media, some in the bar and some within the confines of our own minds. I think JD can and does contribute to most of them, with a boldness, and indeed courage, that I think is both admirable and appropriate for his workplace.

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Neil McEvoy:

James Delingpole,

It's because I'm a stylist and polemicist and 18th century pamphleteer

Tom Paine you ain't.

You mean James hasn't crossed the channel in search of revolution, hooked up with a journalist promoting conspiratorial Illuminism and his wife, forming a steamy menage a trois, then hopped off to America taking the wife with him?

James, frankly I'm disappointed in you.

(James Billington has the details in Fire in the Minds of Men. A bit of a eye opener.)

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

The hydra in the battle needs many heads.

This isn't some University common room debate over afternoon tea.

This is politics pure and simple. Science is just the vehicle. BH's book, no matter how well written, would in a normal world sell about 10 copies. Because of the politics his exposure is greater. James D. helps frame that debate, fuel it (whether you like his manner or not).

To try to isolate one of part of the system and say they are not related, is a "mistake" that Climate "Scientists" make all the time. BH needs James just as much and James needs BH.

And as someone who lived in an ex-socialist country for 20 years and has worked in many similar ones, the methods of James D. have far greater effect on the people that matter. Reason? Reason never comes into it. Ridicule works.

He is the devil incarnate to some, but he always will be. Of course I am bit of a bast*rd also, at least he uses his real name and reputation.

Perhaps I am prejudiced because as a working class lad at University I met so many middle-class socialists, I just know who who promotes this CAGW crap. I met their type every week in the refectory. And anything that gets under their skin is fine by me :)

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

J.D. and Bish, The point is getting the message across without arguing the approach. Each has is own way! Include Booker in it. As long as the con is exposed more the better!

My problem Bish is will you send my some sellotape? My HSI is really in trouble due to my daughter repeatedly stealing it from me, though your latest "The Royal Society and Climate Change" has taken the pressure off!

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

@Pete H - buy her a Kindle ;-)

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Seriously, as the whole Climategate thing shows, the only sin is not to always be one's honest self, and to be fixated on modifying one's message in order to "get it across" to the point of losing the message proper.

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

I'm with John Shade on this. If serious people on the warmist side are turned off by James's polemic style, they should look elsewhere for statements of the sceptic position. I hope that I am not put off the AGW view, simply because I do not like the style of some of its enthusiasts.

James entertains and informs a much wider audience than the seriously engaged sceptics that hover around here and Climate Audit.

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

My point is James has the language skills. And capability to convince those that need to be convinced... If only if it was reined in a bit.. he has a far better chance of convincing, the Tom Chiivers and +en &oldacres of the world (who would then write about it as well) than I do.
They have this cliches view of James, thus they can ignore the content of his articles. If he challenges the cliche, the battle might be won very much sooner

5hen as a totally pessimitic optomist,well over a hundred emails trying to privately change R Harrabin's mind, many people miss my point.

It would be nice to have that Berlin Wall breakthrough, a downfall moment.
Tohave that moment when monbiot's worldview shatters, for example
But the only way i thing the Aegean stables of climate science are going to be cleared out of 'climate. Change science' taking it's politicised leadership with it. Is fromwithinthe scientif community itself.

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Barry - the Berlin Wall didn't come down because of anybody's capability to convince those that needed to be convinced.

CAGW is dying of a thousand other more real and more existential crises.

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

P.s. I am well aware that my comment did not address issues of most effective messaging and influence with the wider public, powers that be, etc. I do think that a variety of approaches is needed, and that Dellers does get a lot of people to think and consider myriad info, ideas,etc. that they have been ignorant of or trying hard to ignore.

I also agree with Maurizio that the world needs a lot less messaging and a lot more intelligent candor.

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

The Berlin wall came down because of thousands of nameless individuals

A comment of mine that should have appeared way above is apparently stuck in spam
When most of the sceptical commentators, here and elsewhere were calling James foolish, naive and stupid.... For appearing on that Horizon program .. I was defending him at WUWT.

Feb 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

The Berlin wall came down because basically one Austrian and one Hungarian got together one day and said Visa restrictions between the two countries were ******* stupid.

East Germans and West Germans had used Hungary as a post war holiday destination so they could meet up with their displaced families.

As soon as they realised there was a path to West Germany the East Germans got in their cars and drove round it.The Berlin wall did not fall, it was just bypassed.

It just took a couple of people. There was no popular movement in either Austria or Hungary demanding the lifting of restrictions.

A couple of people at the right moment and the right time brought it down.

History has always been so... there will be moments such of these in the roll-back of CAGW.

CAGW is ******* stupid, and James D. highlights that.

Feb 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Forgive them for they know not what they say!

Come on guys, if there is anything missing on the warmie side, it is a Delingpole. (Of course, they don't have a Bishop, or a McIntyre, or a Vaclav Klaus, or a Freeman Dyson...)

Feb 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Barry, I know you tweetle (or whatever that is) with these people.

But you are not going to convince Mark Lynas.
You are not going to convince Leo Hickman.
You are not going to convince Roger Harrabin.
You are not going to convince George Monbiot.

You are up against a band of environmentalists. You are not going to convince anyone.

Have you ever thought about it this way? Why is it, that you seek to convince these people (or all people) of your rationality, open-mindedness, your love for the world you live in, fairness and respectfulness?

Why exactly do you do it?

Feb 10, 2012 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Jiminy Cricket:

A couple of people at the right moment and the right time brought it down.

I hadn't heard that explanation and I'd be very interested in a source for it. On the general point of accidental revolutions there's this lovely example from Alex Todorovic writing in The Times on 6th October 2000 about events in Belgrade the day before:

I was one of the five journalists who inadvertantly began the half-hour uprising that demolished the Milosevic dictatorship.

As the crowd standing outside Parliament was moved by the rhetoric of opposition speakers, we were desperate to get a better view. So we clambered up the steps of the 19th-century building, pushing our way through the police cordon. Misinterpreting our purpose the crowd followed.

I stick with my earlier assertion that we are a team. That doesn't mean of course that every player plays as well as every other or that the same player plays equally well in every game. Barry's point about alarmists always pointing to Delingpole and Monckton clearly has truth in it. But that doesn't mean these men are playing their role badly - it may mean that they're doing particularly well.

What is certain is that many with different skill sets are needed and that war is a completely fair analogy. I applaud Delingpole for joining the discussion here in such a passionate manner, which has opened up some things we don't often talk about.

Feb 10, 2012 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I think all approaches are needed to discredit this Global Warming farce that purports to be science. The dissemination of UEA by Steve McIntyre is perfect, the destruction of the "Hockey Stick" was sublime
the scathing attacks on the personalities and policies that affect us all by Dellingpole is masterful and definitely needed. Carry on guys you are all now making a difference. No mention of the science being settled now.

Feb 10, 2012 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Shub.. I like a challenge..

my main focus though is 'climate scientists' as opposed to 'climate change scientists'
Only science can sort out science ultimately.

My point, is scientist like Mann, Gleick, Trenbert or the llikes of romm, NEED moncton's and the like to rail against.. they need to get abuse, (not that they know it) otherwise thay would have to deal with quieter more serious criticism of their work.

Feb 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods


Here is a quick ref:

BBC Report of 10th anni.

It was actually more personal than that. I will see if I can find the reports of the 20th. anniversary - they were more nostalgic so more personal.

Feb 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Feb 10, 2012 at 3:59 PM | James Delingpole

Written like the Delingpole that we read, love, and need. You are very entertaining and very effective, Sir.

My apologies to Don Pablo.

Feb 10, 2012 at 6:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

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