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The Climate Establishment’s Attack On Free Speech

May 1, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




Most people will have been unaware of the letter to the Times last week, which attempted to pressurise the editor into stopping publishing articles in the least bit sceptical of establishment climate science.

Fortunately, Booker has widened the debate:



There recently arrived on the desk of the editor of The Times an extraordinary three-page letter, signed by 13 members of the House of Lords. They informed him in no uncertain terms that, if he wished to save his paper’s reputation, he must stop printing articles which don’t accord with the official orthodoxy on climate change. Headed by Lord Krebs, its signatories read like a check-list of our “climate establishment”.

“The letter was a perfect case-study in "groupthink”

Four are members of the supposedly “independent” Committee on Climate Change, including its chairman Lord Deben (aka John Gummer). Others included Lord (Nicholas) Stein and Lord Oxburgh, chair of the inquiry set up by East Anglia University which cleared its Climatic Research Unit of any impression of scientific wrongdoing given by the Climategate emails. Although these signatories are all fully committed “climate alarmists”, none is in any way a climate scientist, and several have declared financial interests in “renewables” and “low-carbon” energy.

The gist of their letter, written in consultation with Richard Black, the former BBC environmental reporter who now runs an ultra-green propaganda unit, was to express outrage that The Times had published two articles which appeared to question the official orthodoxy on global warming. One was of such “low quality” that “on the social media it has been a laughing stock”. If the editor continued to publish such stuff, his paper would no longer be trusted it on anything, “even your sports reports”.

“Because their groupthink is based on such shaky ground, they intolerantly lash out at anyone who dares question it”

What made this even more bizarre was that the offending article had merely reported on a very measured, technical paper written for the Global Warming Policy Foundation by an eminent professor of statistics, an expert on computer models, questioning the reliability of the models officially used to predict future global temperatures, which have so consistently been proved wrong.

The response from the signatories of the letter was a perfect case-study in what Irving Janis, the former Yale professor of psychology, analysed as “groupthink”. Those, caught up in a bubble, he showed, first succumb to a collective mindset which is in some way at odds with reality. They then elevate this into an illusory orthodoxy which cannot be challenged. Finally, because their groupthink is based on such shaky ground, they intolerantly lash out at anyone who dares question it.

Nothing was more revealing in this letter than its signatories’ claim that in no way did they wish to interfere with the freedom of speech – when everything else in the letter showed that this was precisely their intention.—and-clockwork-bluebe/


Coincidentally, the Wall Street Journal offers this update of the even more sinister situation in the US, as GWPF report:     


Sometimes we wonder if we’re still living in the land of the free. Witness the subpoena from Claude Walker, attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, demanding that the Competitive Enterprise Institute cough up a decade of emails and policy work, as well as a list of private donors. 



Mr. Walker is frustrated that the free-market think tank won’t join the modern church of climatology, so he has joined the rapidly expanding club of Democratic politicians and prosecutors harassing dissenters.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman started the assault last autumn with a subpoena barrage on Exxon Mobil. His demand for documents followed reports by Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times that claimed Exxon scientists had known for years that greenhouse gases cause global warming but hid the truth from the public and shareholders.

Those reports selectively quoted from Exxon documents, which in any case were publicly available and often peer-reviewed in academic journals. Some Exxon scientists changed their views over the years, and several years ago the company even endorsed a carbon tax.

Mr. Schneiderman nonetheless says he is investigating Exxon for “defrauding the public, defrauding consumers, defrauding shareholders.” He also tipped a broader assault by claiming that the oil and gas company was funneling climate misinformation through “organizations they fund, like the American Enterprise Institute,” the “American Legislative Exchange Council” and the “American Petroleum Institute.” He wants to use the Exxon case to shut down all “climate change deniers.” […]

Mr. Walker is also over the line in demanding the names of nonprofit CEI’s donors, who can remain secret under federal law. Anyone on the list will become a new target for the Schneiderman climate posse.

CEI has filed to quash the subpoena, and the nonprofit has hired attorneys Andrew Grossman and David Rivkin, who recently founded the Free Speech in Science Project to defend First Amendment rights against government abuses. The project is much needed.

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has asked the Justice Department to use the RICO statutes to bring civil cases against climate dissenters. Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently referred to the FBI a request from two Democrat Congressmen seeking a criminal probe of Exxon. Democrats on Capitol Hill have sent letters pressuring companies to disavow the Chamber of Commerce for its climate heresy.

This is a dangerous turn for free speech, and progressives ought to be the first to say so lest they become targets for their own political heresies. Rather than play defense, the targets of the climate police need to fight back with lawsuits of their own.


The warmist establishment know that the public are becoming increasingly cynical about their alarmist claims, and are now becoming desperate.

All of this is yet more evidence that the debate has nothing to with climate, if it ever did. If it was, the facts would be speaking for themselves, and there would be no need to suppress debate.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    May 1, 2016 6:29 pm

    “Others included Lord (Nicholas) Stein …”

    Mr Booker needs a good subbie, or an updated ‘autocorrect’

    • May 2, 2016 10:22 am

      Yes, I spotted that too.

      Yet the paper version has it correct!!

      It’s usually the other way round

  2. May 1, 2016 6:52 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  3. May 1, 2016 7:13 pm

    “on the social media it has been a laughing stock”

    The Smug do mockery,

  4. Keitho permalink
    May 1, 2016 7:54 pm

    Exxon should be encouraging this rush to trial. The sooner the better and with as much public knowledge as possible. Let us have this debate out in the open with both sides able to clearly state their positions.

    One of the strangest and most troubling aspects of this entire concept of man made climate change has been the absence of robust public debate. Perhaps the courtroom is the place for just such a debate.

  5. Doug Proctor permalink
    May 1, 2016 9:38 pm

    “Perhaps the courtroom is the place for just such a debate.”

    As we have seen with the Mark Steyn-Michael Mann lawsuit, in its 5th year without going to trial, despite MS’s wish to do so, and Senator Whitehouse’s behaviour in the Cruz Congressional inquiry, “Data or Dogma?”, the courtroom is THE place the alarmist establishment does NOT want a debate. In the court, expert opinion would be pitted against each other, and the extreme statements that don’t have IPCC support, let alone 97% consensus support, would be seen invalid. As far as the CAGW/Eco-Green warriors are concerned, the court is not a desirable place for a battle to be held.

    We have to remember that the Scopes Monkey trial was a defeat for evolution at the legal court level, but a defeat for Biblical truth at a public level. A Pyrrhic victory. The same thing would happen to Climate Change/CAGW, I suspect. The changing climate would be said valid, but the certainty and quantum of human-determined control would be shattered. Enough NOAA- and IPCC-derived information is avaliable for the skeptics to show that the various “solid facts held by everyone” are not solid, not facts but conjectures, and not held by many in a scientific position to be credible. The bullying and harassment issues would come out. So would the unidirectional, progressive change of data supporting temperature changes. As would the breakdown of key elements in CAGW theory, including the “hiatus” that Karl et al disappeared. Al Gore might even be subpoenaed. Now THAT would not turn out well for the warmist side, considering the results of the British court on his “truthiness” in An Inconvenient Truth.

    The US court system doesn’t allow the defendant to get a quick trial. Weird, but there it is, like most of the US system, angled for the benefit of the powerful, not the powerless.

  6. 00Le_Gin00 permalink
    May 1, 2016 11:51 pm

    It would be interesting to know what, or if, The Times intends to say in reply.

  7. May 2, 2016 4:01 am

    if they had the science right they wouldn’t need political pressure to ram it down our throats. a huge gaping hole in their science is the reliance on spurious correlations between cumulative values.

  8. May 2, 2016 8:29 am

    ‘Although these signatories are all fully committed “climate alarmists”, none is in any way a climate scientist, and several have declared financial interests in “renewables” and “low-carbon” energy.’

    Tell these money-grabbing gits to take a hike.

  9. Green Sand permalink
    May 2, 2016 8:53 am

    OT I am afraid but you maybe interested in the latest Pacific subsurface temperature (150m) chart posted yesterday. It shows either a remarkable change has taken place or an error has crept in? At present I am leaning towards the latter and awaiting a possible correction.

  10. Green Sand permalink
    May 2, 2016 8:58 am

    Sorry should have added the chart was posted by Oz BOM here:-

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