Anthropologist becomes arrogant climate activist

Here is a letter I sent this evening to Dame Anne Salmond, anthropologist and historian, Professor in Maori Studies and Anthropology at the University of Auckland, and 2013 New Zealander of the Year. An opinion piece she wrote on climate change in Stuff today considers climate sceptics beneath an honest anthropologist’s contempt.

Dear Dame Anne,

You expressed pride in a letter you signed ten years ago describing climate sceptics as “climate deniers”, even though ‘sceptical’ has long been a deeply admired virtue of all good scientists. Continue Reading →

Herald disbelieve unbelievers

A brain-dead editorial, a fresh view of CO2, an amazing letter, the kitten and the blue whale.

An editorial in Tuesday’s Herald ($) begins:

Amazing that he somehow knows what is discussed not only in “most households” but in “other social gatherings,” though it sounds to me like projection. The editorial goes on to conflate our discoloured sky, the scale of the bush fire outbreaks and the heat at the Melbourne cricket as reasons we ought not doubt we’re causing dangerous warming. It says we not only saw but felt the heat of the bush fires in New Zealand (which, 1200 km away, pushes the barrow a mite far). Preposterously, it ends: “The sun was so sizzling it became a wonder anything combustible was not catching fire.” But maybe Auntie Herald was trying to crack a funny. Continue Reading →

Herald silencing climate sceptics

Click to read the letters.

The Herald printed these letters on Saturday. Here is the letter (now slightly altered) I sent them that day, still unpublished as far as I know. The word count had to be under 200 words.

One cannot say much in just 200 words, but newspapers make it harder by not allowing multiple replies to multiple letters. Hence my achievement in replying to four letters, with extreme brevity, in the presence of the enemy and under fire from letter-writers on the one hand and journalists on the other, surely all but deserves the VC. Though some will demur. Continue Reading →

Mike Kelly cool, agile under BBC 4 climate grilling

Once a year the BBC invites guest editors onto Radio 4 to assemble the Today programme. The latest batch includes Greta Thunberg, the child climate activist, and Charles Moore, Margaret Thatcher biographer and former Telegraph editor.

Prof Mike Kelly

Professor Michael Kelly

Moore gave a spot on the programme to our friend Michael Kelly, Cambridge Professor of Engineering, Fellow of the Royal Society, Prince Philip Professor of Technology, former chief scientific advisor to the Department for Communities and Local Government, and member of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Introducing Kelly’s segment [at 32:22], Charles Moore observes wryly:

One of the subjects that’s very difficult to air on the BBC if you don’t share the prevailing view is climate change.

Continue Reading →