Klimaatscepsis en vrijheid van meningsuiting

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Foto: Nigel Lawson

Een ongemakkelijke relatie.

Onder de titel, ‘Charlie Hebdo, Climate Skepticism & Free Speech’, publiceerde Anthony Watts onlangs een aantal uitspraken van klimaatalarmisten op zijn website die hij had ontleend aan die van de ‘Global Warming Policy Foundation’ (GWPF).

In de geest van George Orwell’s ‘Big Brother’ hebben verschillende media in de Angelsaksische wereld, waaronder de BBC, openlijk verklaard geen podium te willen geven aan klimaatsceptici. En  als ze dat al zouden doen, zouden deze van waarschuwingen vergezeld dienen te gaan. Het bekendste slachtoffer daarvan was Nigel Lawson, minister van Financiën onder de ‘Iron Lady’, Margaret Thatcher, thans lid van het ‘House of Lords’ en actief klimaatscepticus in zijn hoedanigheid van voorzitter van de GWPF. Hij heeft een uiterst interessant boekje over het klimaatbeleid geschreven, ‘An Appeal to Reason, A Cool Look at Global Warming’.

‘The Economist’ schreef daarover:

In this well-informed and hard-hitting response to the scaremongering of the climate alarmists, Nigel Lawson, former Secretary of State for Energy under Margaret Thatcher, argues that it is time for us to take a cool look at global warming. Lawson carefully and succinctly examines all aspects of the global warming issue: the science, the economics, the politics, and the ethics. He concludes that the conventional wisdom on the subject is suspect on a number of grounds, that global warming is not the devastating threat to the planet it is widely alleged to be, and that the remedy that is currently being proposed, which is in any event politically unattainable, would be worse that the threat it is supposed to avert. Argued with logic, common sense, and even wit, and thoroughly sourced and referenced, Lawson has written a long overdue corrective to the barrage of spin and hype to which the politicians and media have been subjecting the public on this important issue.

Als ‘The Economist’ zo’n recensie schrijft, dan betekent dat nogal wat. Maar voor de meeste andere media is dit geen reden geweest om hun ban op de klimaatsceptici op te heffen. Integendeel zij hebben de duimschroeven aangehaald of zullen dit nog gaan doen, zoals blijkt uit een stemmingspeiling van een recente bijeenkomst van studenten journalistiek over dit thema bij de Columbia Universiteit.

Het gaat hier om ‘evenwicht’ in de klimaatberichtgeving. Volgens broeikasgelovigen is het niet nodig om hoor en wederhoor toe te passen in de behandeling van het klimaatvraagstuk in de media, omdat ‘de’ wetenschap daarover vast staat. Zoals ik in vele recente ‘postings’ uitvoerig heb aangetoond, is dat allesbehalve het geval. Maar met devote opwarmingsgelovigen valt niet over de feiten te praten. De broeikasmantra is als de Koran. Die is onveranderlijk en dient letterlijk te worden genomen. De gelovigen vinden dat men geen podium mag geven aan klimaatsceptici. En de media gaan daarin mee.

Met uitzondering van de Telegraaf en Elsevier geldt dit ook voor de MSM in Nederland. Maar dat gebeurt stiekem en niet openlijk.

Terug naar Watts. Ik pik een aantal citaten uit zijn ‘posting’.

I wonder what sentences judges might hand down at future international criminal tribunals on those who will be partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead. I put [their climate change denial] in a similar moral category to Holocaust denial – except that this time the Holocaust is yet to come, and we still have time to avoid it. Those who try to ensure we don’t will one day have to answer for their crimes.
– Mark Lynas, 19 May 2006

In the climate wars, those that use pejorative names for people that they disagree with are the equivalents of racists and anti–semites, and deserve opprobrium and disrespect. It is very sad, not to mention bad for science, to see scientists engaging in this behavior. We need to open up the public debate about climate change, and get rid of the tyranny of political ‘correctness’ in the climate debate that is being enforced by a handful of self–appointed and readily–offended fools.
– Judith Curry, Climate Etc, 11 January 2015

As George Bernard Shaw said, “All great truths begin as blasphemies”. In the West in the past, it was the Christian God that was protected by a censorious forcefield. Now it’s climate–change orthodoxy, the ideology of multiculturalism, Islamo–sensitivities, gay marriage … These days, speaking ill of any of those new gods could earn you a metaphorical lashing from the mob, or expulsion from polite society, or possibly a prison sentence.
– Brendan O’Neill, The Australian, 10 January 2014

A globally–renowned climate scientist has been forced to step down from a think–tank after he was subjected to ‘Mc-Carthy’–style pressure from scientists around the world. Professor Lennart Bengtsson, 79, a leading academic from the University of Reading, left the high–profile Global Warming Policy Foundation as a result of the threats, which he described as ‘virtually unbearable’. In his resignation letter, published on the think–tank’s website, he wrote: ‘If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy.”
– Willis Robinson, Daily Mail, 15 May 2014 …

Ministers who question the majority view among scientists about climate change should “shut up” and instead repeat the Government line on the issue, according to MPs. The BBC should also give less airtime to climate sceptics and its editors should seek special clearance to interview them, according to the Commons Science and Technology Committee. Andrew Miller, the committee’s Labour chairman, said that appearances on radio and television by climate sceptics such as Lord Lawson of Blaby, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, should be accompanied by “health warnings”.
– Ben Webster, The Times, 2 April 2014

The danger comes instead from self-censorship. Which BBC editor now is going to invite Lord Lawson or even Prof Bob Carter on to their programmes in the certain knowledge that they are likely to be criticised and perhaps have time–consuming complaints upheld against them? As Lord Lawson argues, surely correctly, he has, in effect, been banned by the BBC. It is an easy thing to judge. Let’s see when he next appears in the climate change context. There will, of course, be no edict. He will just never ever be invited to take part in any BBC programme on the issue.
– Raymond Snoddy, MediaTel, 9 July 2014

The BBC has effectively banned Lord Lawson, the former chancellor (…) from appearing on its programmes to debate climate change, unless he is introduced with a statement discrediting his views. When people try to close down debate rather than engage with it, there is a pretty clear conclusion to be drawn: they lack confidence in their own case.
– The Spectator, 12 July 2014

Lees verder hier.

Wie had gedacht dat zoiets mogelijk zou zijn in het land van de Magna Charta en George Orwell?

Klimaat maakt meer kapot dan je lief is.

Voor mijn eerdere DDS–bijdragen zie hier.

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