When I read this I could hear my English professor at UBC saying: "what oft was said but ne’er so well expressed". This is posted in it’s entirety not for the ideas but so that the words can be savored. You don’t often see this kind of writing nowadays. Only in England!
31 March 2008.
Oxford, OX1 4BH
Thank you for your letter last week on the subject of fund raising for the College. When last we exchanged correspondence about this, it was mentioned that contributions had been made on a number of occasions in the past, and I looked forward to gifting further in the future. However, as was also stated at the time, just at this precise moment, I am already fairly heavily committed. In short, there are a dozen small (and now not so
small) waifs in Chiangmai, orphaned by AIDS but not themselves carriers of the virus,who depend on me directly for a significant part of their overall welfare, especially educational.
There is, however, another factor, which I should like to draw to your attention. I ask your indulgence if this letter turns out to be a little long, but think you’ll see why. Anyway, a little background history is called for.
Four years ago, Dr. Andrei Ilarionov, then chief economic adviser to Vladimir Putin, decided to cross check the advice coming to him from the Russian Academy of Sciences on the subject of global warming. Its members had opined that it would not be significant and would pose no threat. To this end, and here I quote from an impeccable source, “he looked around for the sappiest, laziest, most acquiescent, most truebelieving government in the world, and settled upon the UK.” The then Foreign Secretary was invited to a meeting avec entourage, including the then Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir David King. Unbeknown to them, six of the world’s most eminent sceptical scientists had also been invited.
Let me continue by further quoting my source: “Sir David King, not realizing he had been ambushed, launched into his usual exaggerated, alarmist presentation (he actually knows remarkably little about the science of climate, and makes an ass of himself every time he opens his mouth on the subject). The six sceptics heard him politely until one of them, who told me the story, could contain himself no longer. When Sir David said that the snows of Kilimanjaro were melting because of “global warming”, my informant pointed out that, in the 30 years since satellite monitoring of the summit had begun, temperature had at no
instant risen above –1.6°C, and had averaged –7°C (Molg et al., 2003); that the region around the mountain had cooled throughout the period (Cullen, 2006); that the recession of the glacier had begun in the 1880s, long before any anthropogenic influence (Robinson, Robinson & Soon, 2007); and that the reason for the long-established recession of the Furtwangler glacier at the summit was ablation caused by the desiccation of the atmosphere owing to the regional cooling. It had nothing to do with global warming.”
Fortuitously, it just so happens that I am a child of empire, one of the last, and this rings a bell entirely personal to me. You see, as a small boy in either Kenya or Uganda, I recall Kilimanjaro (as well as what I now know to be the Furtwangler Glacier) being discussed at my father’s dinner table. Of course, I do not recall the detail of the grown-up conversation nor would I have understood it all, but its essence I do remember. It was a speculation about the apparent diminution of ice at the summit.
So, to return: “Sir David King, embarrassed at having been caught out, said he had never been so insulted in all his life. He flounced out of the meeting, followed by the rest of the British delegation. To Dr. Ilarionov, two conclusions were evident: first, that the supporters of the “consensus” position had based their argument on known scientific falsehoods and were accordingly unable to argue against the well-informed sceptics; secondly, that, as he put it at the time, the British Government were behaving like old-style imperialists. The breakdown in relations between the UK and Russia began at that moment.”
So, what is the point of all this? The point is a simple one. It is that anthropogenic global warming, now spun to climate change, has not a scintilla of authentic scientific evidence to support it. Likewise, there is not a scintilla of authentic scientific evidence to support the plethora of catastrophic phantasmagoria, which the likes of David King and Al Gore are determined to promote as fact. In other words, King, himself a distinguished physical chemist if not scientist, is content not simply to watch the corruption of scientific method, and therefore of the scientific endeavour generally, but to act as an enthusiastic participant in it. This issue, we are admonished ad nauseam, is the defining challenge to the species in the 21st century. In reality, intellectually it is no more than a vast inverted pyramid constructed on the summit of a sand dune.
Let me go a step further and suggest that it is so manifestly shoddy, mendacious and debased that it is simply not possible for AGW science to be pursued disinterestedly and with honesty of purpose. Rajendra Pechauri is clearly concerned. He should be; he’s driving the wrong way up a one way street. The underlying science is against him, and so is empirical observational evidence. He should be paying heed to his Vice-Chairman,
Yuri Israel. At a macro level, Nigel Lawson has called for the dissolution of the IPCC. He’s right to do so.
You may or may not agree with the proposition just put, but it represents a carefully considered conviction and, moreover, one I believe to be important on many levels – supremely so, in fact. I am not alone in that perception.
So, where does that leave us or, more accurately, where does it leave me? Well, I find myself confronted with an uncomfortable dilemma. In general terms, do I consider that donating to the University in one guise or another is ‘a good thing’? Yes, of course. Do I, on the other hand, really feel, in good conscience, that financial support should be given to an institution, which not only promotes the self-preening of a vain man, but actually goes further by installing him in a no doubt lucrative sinecure calculated to allow him to further
his malignant proselytising endeavours.
No doubt, in the fullness of time, the ethical conundrum will resolve itself in my mind – perhaps to the benefit of the university and/or College, perhaps not. Either way, in the grand scheme of things, the purely monetary effect will be insignificant. In the long run, I am not so sure that that it will remain so with regard to the appointment of the Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford.
We shall see.
Kind regards and best wishes –
Cc: Sir David King Lord Rees Prime Minister Mr. David Cameron MP Mr. Nick Clegg MP
Ms. Julia Goldsworthy MP Lord Lawson Mr. Mark Thompson, Director General, BBC
Mr. John Humphrys, Today Programme, BBC Editor, Daily Telegraph As the spirit moves
Notice the Cc to "As the spirit moves" That is why it is passed on to you!