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The liberal society and its publicly funded enemies

In my absence, readers will no doubt have been aware of the attempt by several noble peers of the realm to silence dissenting voices on climate change. Headed by Lord Krebs, they wrote to a letter to the Times with the normal mealy-mouthed line of "we are in favour of free speech but you shouldn't publish people who disagree with us".

Today, the Times publishes another letter from Lord Krebs:


Sir, Matt Ridley (”Climate change lobby wants to kill free speech”, Opinion, Apr 25) misses the point of the personal letter to the Editor of The Times that we signed with 11 other peers. The letter was not an attack on free speech and we clearly stated that a free press is essential for a healthy democracy.
Our point is that misleading stories on the science of climate change undermine the credibility of The Times. We expressed particular concern that the views of the Global Warming Policy Foundation appear to be unduly influential. That it was an adviser to GWPF who criticised us in your pages adds to our concern. 
The letter was discussed with several people, including the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, but it was from the 13 peers and not from anyone else. 
The admission of the involvement of the ECIU in the letter really does stink. Krebs is the chairman of the Adaptation Subcommittee of the Commmittee on Climate Change, and is therefore a paid government adviser. Lord Krebs and his gang of environmentalist chums are therefore doing their anti-liberal-society dirty work on the public payroll.
It seems to me that his position is entirely untenable. Amber Rudd should sack him.


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Reader Comments (62)


Why don't you write to the Times pointing out this conflict of interest? In the slightly longer term it might be a good idea if the GWPF produced a publication on attempts by climate alarmists and their supporters to stifle free speech.

Apr 29, 2016 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

If they are in favour of free speech the correct response is to challenge the GWPF to a public debate and defeat their erroneous arguments.

The choice of trying to quiet the arguments instead of defeating them is telling.

The Times should be urged to arrange such a debate.

Apr 29, 2016 at 9:51 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

It's no use standing on the seat,

The Krebs in here can jump six feet.

Apr 29, 2016 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Krebs' father was a Jewish émigré who got the Nobel prize for his work in the UK after he was barred from working in Germany, so it's deeply ironic that his son wants to ban those in the UK who argue against our State Pseudoscience.

[Being a zoologist, he cannot understand how easy it is to show the IPCC climate models are based on a scientific howler of the 1st order hidden by complexity. In 2000, Hansen admitted this simple fraud to an AIP interviewer.]

Apr 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Is this why Harrabin always includes ECIU onto his tweets ?

Apr 29, 2016 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Perhaps we should take Lord Krebs at his word, and insist that the Times gives no platform to misleading alarmist articles - or better still, actually publishes summaries of work that debunks them. IN the mean time, it appears that having Krebs is a nasty, cyclic infection. Does it transmit sexually among greens and Blacks?

Apr 29, 2016 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

It's kind of ironic to see Krebs attempting to badger Rupert Murdoch.

Apr 29, 2016 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

We need as many climate censors as we need consensus climate scientists. You can only blame yourselves for this, climate heathens.

I wholeheartedly applaud the overtness of Lord Krebs and his stable.

Apr 29, 2016 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Why does he and the others care so much about "the credibility of The Times"?

If these stories are "misleading" as he claims, then he should write a letter explaining how.

The mealy-mouthed claim about The Times and his apparent inability to show how the GWPF is wrong speak volumes about his honesty and credibility.

Apr 29, 2016 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterTim Hammond

Am I to assume The Times has improved since the days I saw it stacked up in Post House Hotels.. free to the punters who didn't read it?

HoL..don't think thats a place of much integrity.

Apr 29, 2016 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

"The Times" lost the credibility it once had when it took the Advertisements off the front page. It has gone down ever since. To think, it once was the Paper of Record, but that was in the early 50s when I took it every day, six days a week.

Apr 29, 2016 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Buxton

I have all but given up my search for admirable leaders in the CO2 Scaremongering Campaign. I now think it extremely unlikely that there are any.

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:04 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Pronunciation: /ˈhiːð(ə)n/
chiefly derogatory
A person who does not belong to a widely held religion

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterVictoria Sponge

Has the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit considered a tax on generating oxymorons?

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Ayla, nice to see that you are a defender of "free speech".
Just so long as it agrees with your limited world-view.

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

Does Lord Krebs travel to Westminster on a citric acid cycle ( favourite joke of biochemists).

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

I imagine because his old friend Richard Black is a director.

Also of interest might be that Lord Oxburgh is on the advisory board along with Robin Lustig who appears on the BBC from time to time.

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

It may be that I'm a bit obtuse, but as I read it Krebs and cohort strongly support free speech providing that it's very carefully controlled and then only by selected people.

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Spilligan

The Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit has a post up which quite sensibly discusses just how bad the energy shortage is going to become thanks to the numerous barmy renewable energy edicts before insanely concluding that it will all be hunky dory because:
a) The national grids main plan to 'keep the lights on' is to 'reduce demand' ie switch the lights off.
b) We haven't had blackouts yet so it is therefore a 'myth' that it might happen in the future despite the reduction in capacity getting ever worse as their own article clearly stated.

Intelligence? Not so you'd notice!

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Krebs and co are adamant that they support free speech in principle.
But in practice they urge acting differently.

That's fine. Principles are costly.
When hit with reality they can't always be held on to by those whose virtue can be bought.

As an aside, isn't it interesting that an attack on free speech garners far more responses than a celebrity slurried?

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:48 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

@Mike: the intention of pseuds like Krebs is that there should be World Rule by a Committee of Wise Men, self-selected.

The problem is that on Day 2 of Year Zero, they are killed off and replaced by a series of would be Messiahs, one of whom, the strongest and most vicious dominates: Pol Pot on steroids with the intellectuals condemned to death.

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Bitter and Twisted.

Ayla's world view is vast and all encompassing. Free speech is chicanery

She greatly admires Lord Krebs and his love of camels (see window adornment), he having designed many in lordly committees, especially those on free speech and press control.

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Folks, Ayla is FUNNY ... seriously.

If you miss the tongue in cheek and respond to her posts at face value then your life becomes less rich, and you are perfectly illustrating just how subtle is her humour.

(At least, I'm assuming Ayla is female. Either way, I'm a fan).

Apr 29, 2016 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

Lord Krebs has got the hump.

Apr 29, 2016 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

Amen JerryM.
But it's fun to watch people fall into her web.

Apr 29, 2016 at 12:26 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Another acolyte Ayla.

With JerryM. you'll soon have enough to play Bridge!

Apr 29, 2016 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

AK, I am also a fan of Aila's evil twin and will take that chair.

Apr 29, 2016 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterGavin

Ayla wages such a complex web of inverse, reciprocated, inverted, cyber orang utan warfare, that no one can work out the whatdyamacallit of the thingamebob, to devastating effect.

Apr 29, 2016 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Gavin, welcome, but I cannot confirm your chair status, only Ayla can do this.

What type of Bridge system do you play? Ayla favours the strong presidental Trump Convention.

I see you also have an evil spellchecker. Kill it before alYa notices.

Apr 29, 2016 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

A related farcical attempt to interfere is something called 'climate feedback', enthusiastically promoted by the Grauniad. The idea is that "scientists" (Lewandowsky is one of the team) rate articles in the press. Needless to say, Chris Mooney gets a high rating and Bjorn Lomborg gets a low one. Who do these people think they are fooling?

German journalist Axel Bojanowski says
"Man stelle sich vor, Politiker oder Wirtschaftsleute würden Medien "kontrollieren". Wissenschaftler glauben dran".
Something like
"Imagine if politicians or businessmen tried to control the media. Scientists seem to think they can."

Apr 29, 2016 at 2:00 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

It reminds me of the Sandinista reply to a press freedom challenge to the main daily newspaper.

"You have alleged in your letter that we do not run a free press and are attempting to censor dissenting opinions. This is a lie and we cannot let you publish it."

Apr 29, 2016 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Derek Buxton: Re The Times taking adverts off its front page.

Nearly 49 years ago to the day, The Times front page showed news and (horror of horrors!) photographs (actually, just one). It was, curiously, Jim Callaghan, then Chancellor to Wilson. But the reason I kept that page - and still have it - was because of the nasty 'Big Oil' promotion that produced the following inspired ode which was printed in the lower right corner of the front page. Sheer brilliant copy-writing:


DEAR JENKS (deceased) of whom is sought the kith,
DEAR QC1, for sale with ancient Rover,
DEAR SKIING FOURSOME anxious for a fifth,
PAGE ONE no more is yours, so please turn over.
DEAR CHARITY inviting your bequest,
DEAR WIDOW, cheerful, good but simple cook,
DEAR GENTLEFOLK who welcome careful guest,
PAGE ONE your simple pleas no more will brook.
DEAR SRN, the queen of irrigation,
DEAR THANKERS, ever grateful to St Jude,
DEAR TITLED LADY, find a new location,
PAGE ONE, on graver issues now must brood.
PERSONALIA from this page, we solemnly expel.
(And, for moving with The Times,
There’s nothing quite like Shell.)

Apr 29, 2016 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Output of Krebs' citric acid cycle is CO2 and energy, like a coal-fired electricity generator plant

Apr 29, 2016 at 2:41 PM | Registered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

When you're 'saving the planet ' anything is acceptable

Apr 29, 2016 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Cowardly little demonstration that not all animals are created equal in the land of the climate empire.
They cannot win the argument unless they are answered with silence.
For over 30 years these abject cowards have declared there is nothing to discuss, and to prove it all they can do is to refuse to discuss it.

Apr 29, 2016 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Quite amusing how they sign themselves as Lord this and that but refer to the equally Lordly Ridley as "Matt".

Is that the weakest ad him* ever attempted in The Times?

*[ad hom? TM}

Apr 29, 2016 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Alan Kendall,

I seem to recall from my 'A' level biology studies some 60 years ago that the preferred method of travel was the Krebs Ornithine cycle.
Very efficient and completely fossil-fuel free.

Apr 29, 2016 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterOld Grumpy

Old Grumpy.

Well with a Nom de Blog like yours, of course you remember it. I had to use the Wiki, then remembered our shorthand for it - the pee cycle.

Krebs again, a cycle fanatic, probably a Tour aficionado.

Apr 29, 2016 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Old Grumpy & Alan Kendall, after Emma Thompson's recent encounter with farmyard slurry, would an ornithine cycle have helped peddle the smell away?

Apr 29, 2016 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf Charlie. No she couldn't even give that fragrance away if she tried. The cakes were also non-sellers. Their nut content way too high and, as for visual appeal, that was poor. The additional covering of brownish fondant with scattered brownie chunks was much criticized by the judges (from a distance).

Unfortunately when it comes to peddling opinionated tat, Emma's a star of the first magnitude.

So no gC, neither Krebs cycle would have improved her situation.

Look at that - two cross threaded posts in succession.

Apr 30, 2016 at 7:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

"...misleading stories on the science of climate change undermine the credibility of The Times"

Now who can disagree with that? The credibility of the Times is very important.

They should stop publishing climate 'stories'.

Apr 30, 2016 at 10:19 AM | Registered Commentershub

That portrait of Lord Krebs is very odd. The shadows are all over the place, and areas that should be in shadow aren't. Is it a paste job, cobbled together, and by an artist who knows little about physics? A little like a brand of scientific endeavour much favoured by the noble lord?

Apr 30, 2016 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

I think that portrait tells you everything you need to know about the man.

Apr 30, 2016 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

Roger Tolson. Why so cryptic?

Suggest you look at his biography, you would probably find much to admire (statements about organic foods and so on).. No mention of climate change. Letter to The Times seems rather out of character.

Apr 30, 2016 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Was a setting with no inconvenient reflective surfaces chosen deliberately?

Apr 30, 2016 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

7:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Actually Lord Ridley is one of the few remaining Boarders (Hereditaries). Krebs and most of the others are Day Boys.

May 1, 2016 at 7:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Constale

Thanks John.

It makes no difference to me but it seems petty that they invoke their own titles, presumably for added gravitas, while skipping Ridley's.

May 2, 2016 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Has anyone else noticed the striking similarity between the portrait and that quiz bloke ? The one with an IQ of 200 and a green willy. Bamber grassgroin , I think it was

May 3, 2016 at 2:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Road testing new Christmas cracker jokes EO? Limited market for that one; da yuf won't clock it.

May 3, 2016 at 5:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall
May 3, 2016 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

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