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Lancet Editor’s Backing For Extinction Rebellion

March 28, 2020

By Paul Homewood


Yesterday I reported how Guido had caught the Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, red handed after lying about the coronavirus on Question Time. This occurred during a rant attacking the government’s handling of the crisis, despite the fact that they were actually following the Lancet’s own recommendations at the time.

It turns out however that Horton is not the impartial expert we were led to believe. Last October he wrote this comment piece for the Lancet, praising Extinction Rebellion and calling for health workers to campaign for its far left policies:


An unprecedented social and political disruption is about to take place. Nothing like it will have been seen for a generation. The outcome could be transformational. Or it could be met with indifference. Remember the antiglobalisation protests in Genoa in 2001? Or the marches against the Iraq war in 2003? The outcomes of October, 2019, depend on the intensity of resistance. What part should health workers play in one of the greatest social movements of our time? The occasion before us is 2 weeks of non-violent direct political action, beginning on October 7. Billed as an “International Rebellion”, millions of people will gather in cities around the world. They will “continue to rebel against the world’s governments for their criminal inaction on the climate and ecological crisis”. Citizens are encouraged to take as much time off work as possible. Extinction Rebellion puts it like this: “Because time is running out. We’re almost at the point of no return. The governments are doing nothing. Businesses are doing nothing. The situation is urgent.” There are three demands—first, tell the truth; second, act now; third, go beyond politics to create a citizens’ assembly. A citizens’ assembly will reclaim control from a paralysed political process. To challenge corporate lobbyists. To explore the complexity of our shared predicaments. And to agree solutions. In sum, to break the political deadlock. What does any of this have to do with medicine?

The climate crisis is one of the greatest threats to the health of humanity today. A 2·0°C or higher rise in global mean surface temperature above pre-industrial levels is an acute danger to human and natural systems. We are presently living in a period of accelerating risk. The world needs to see a deepening commitment from governments to stabilise temperatures at 1·5°C above the pre-industrial period. Many health workers feel marginal to the mainstream political debate about this civilisational crisis. As one public health worker wrote recently, “I can be a booster for the field, but often I’m discouraged.” She went on: “Science in the traditional patterns and timescale is not going to get us there. Old-school conference[s]…are bad for the world…universities continue business as usual. Are we reinventing anything? The world is waking up to climate change as an issue. Is science?” Indeed, is medicine? Here is a paradox. It is the robust evidence gathered by scientists that has provided the political force for the growing public awareness about the climate emergency. And yet science itself is strangely reticent. The Royal Society is the UK’s leading scientific academy. It is dedicated to promoting excellence in science. But its activities to scale up political action to address the climate crisis are anaemic. The Royal Society has projects on low carbon energy and greenhouse gas removal. Its policy initiatives include work on energy, environment, and climate. But the Royal Society’s actions are empty of passion, devoid of campaigning, and seemingly disengaged from politics. Contrast the UK’s response to the threat of mass extinction with the US. This week, Margaret Hamburg, Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), wrote to scientists under the headline, “Our Moment to Combat Climate Change is Now”. In sharp words, she invited scientists to donate to AAAS’s campaign for political action: “We have a narrow window of time to take decisive steps to address climate change…we must activate the science community to speak up in new ways to address the impacts of climate change at the local, state, national, and global level. And we need to act now.” The UK’s scientific community, along with scientists in most high-income countries, is simply doing too little to engage civil society and politicians in the struggle for climate justice.

This failure of scientists to rise to the challenge of the current environmental crisis must be challenged. The health community is at least injecting moral force into the political debate about climate action. In London, Doctors for Extinction Rebellion is “a collective of health professionals who agree with Extinction Rebellion’s call for urgency and non-violent direct action”. With their focus on planetary health, they will play a prominent part in the forthcoming protests. It might be an exaggeration to say health workers have 14 days to change the world. But not much.


He is entitled to his political views, but should not be allowed to get away with conflating them with science. Perhaps the biggest irony of his commentary is that the vast majority of climate scientists do not agree with the apocalyptic views of XR.

Meanwhile, given his extremist opinions, it is little surprise that Horton is currently being given so much air time on the BBC.

  1. March 28, 2020 12:33 pm

    Climate activism distorts logic and subverts rational

  2. March 28, 2020 12:39 pm

    Climate activism distorts logic and subverts rational thought even at the highest levels of learning and education such that the correct answers to research questions are those that serve activism needs.

  3. johnbillscott permalink
    March 28, 2020 12:52 pm

    I would note the plan of Maurice Strong the organizer of the 1992 Rio Conference on the environment ……..”‘How better to accomplish the collapse (of Western Nations) than to create mass hysteria proselytized by the willing dupes in our education system that CO2 is going to destroy the world because allegedly it will cause the temperature to go up 3*C.”

    • March 28, 2020 1:05 pm

      That is a classic, have you a link for that. Good one as he was the father of the climate change movement and ended up in China wanted for fraud.

    • Ian Phillips permalink
      March 28, 2020 4:14 pm

      The True Origins of the Climate Alarmist Movement…the UN and Maurice Strong

      Three cheers that Brexit has at last happened, and a period of transition underway. Providing Boris delivers on the 31st December, and with the EU’s dark lords in retreat, can we now sit back a bit and look forward to years of happy stability, democracy and reinvigorated nationhood?
      But with the change of focus suddenly forced on us with the virus epidemic, and the climate hysteria out of the headlines for the moment, it is easy to let our guard drop.
      The eternal battle, we know so well, has always been between those two opposing mindsets: us, who believe that every person has an equal democratic right to determine the way, and by whom, our country is governed and the others, who believe it’s preferable for an unelected elite to rule over us.
      This latter mindset is still well alive and active. It hides within a political package, calculatedly unmarked, containing the climate change movement and its propaganda, and has been steadily persuading many of the world’s peoples and governments, including our own, to accept its false beliefs. The unwritten label on the wrapper reads “Towards Global Governance by the UN”.
      When the UN was formed in 1945, The US Senate was reassured that it would not interfere in the sovereignty of the US or the domestic affairs of the American people. It was sold as a debating chamber for the world’s nations to solve problems, to foster peace and wellbeing. UNESCO was set up in the same year. William Benton, Assistant US Sec. of State said during an early, 1946, meeting that it’s goal must include educating children away from “the poisoned air of nationalism”…. and to “break down the walls of national sovereignty”…..into “world-mindedness”. No interference? And only 5 years later, Council for Foreign Relations CFR member, James Warburg, said “We shall have world government whether or not you like it – by conquest or consent”.
      Big names in setting up the climate alarmist movement were Maurice Strong and Dr. Stephen Schneider.
      Maurice Strong was a tycoon wheeler-dealer in oil, energy and cattle, yet claiming to be a socialist and environmentalist. He organised the first Earth Summit in 1972, under U Thant. This led to the formation of the UN Environmental Program, UNEP, headed by himself, the first official commitee on “climate change” and a number of new UN bodies. Notably, The Commission on Global Governance, as its title suggests, believes the world is now ready to grant the UN the authority to enter any soveriegn nation to guarantee “the security of the people” as expressed by “rights”, defined in various treaties. UNEP has been behind the environmental movement Agenda 21 which morphed into Agenda 30, incidently gaining the blessing of the Pope. It’s now been rebranded as The Green New Deal, and seemingly taken on board by the government.
      The movement’s true purpose was made clear at the 1992 Rio climate conference, chaired by Maurice Strong, when he stated, “The objective is to bring about a change in the present system of independent nations. The future is to be World Government, with central planning by the United Nations. Fear of environmental crises, whether real or not, is expected to lead to compliance.” Strong fell from grace, in 2005, over a fraudelent cheque, endorsed and made out to himself for nearly a million dollars, issued by a Jordanian bank in the ‘Oil for Food Program’, and he fled to China.
      It was physicist, Dr. Stephen Schneider, who initiated the climate alarmist strategy. Earlier, in a 1989 interview for “Discover” magazine he said that, as a scientist, the whole truth and all the doubts must always be stated. But in order to capture the public’s imagination and get media coverage, “we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have,” and that each of us had to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. In other words, as long as you believe you are right, you can lie and exaggerate with a clear conscience to persuade others to your cause. Enter Al Gore, drawn into the debate by Schneider.
      As deputy US president, Gore demonstrated this poisonous mindset, of balancing efficiency versus honesty, when his climate adviser, Prof. Willi Happer refused to cooperate. Gore said that the facts must not be allowed to get in the way of policy, and Happer resigned.
      I should think we have all watched Gore’s propaganda film “Inconvenient Truth”, around 2007, which brought world opinion “on message” re the climate scare hypothesis. The film was the subject of a court case by school governor Stewart Dimmock, who tried to get it banned for use in schools. A whole list of “errors and exaggerations” were identified by the court, under Justice Burton, but the film was still allowed to be shown. It contained the infamous “Hockey Stick Graph” stunt, eventually discredited as a scientific fiddle, and which led to the two public enquiry scandals, “Climategates I, and II”. So called “hockey team” US collaborator, Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University, sued Canadian academic, Dr. Tim Ball for saying that he, Dr. Mann of Penn State, should be put in the “state pen”. This case was eventually concluded in 2019, won by Tim Ball on appeal in California, with the judge agreeing the Michael Mann was “motivated to commit fraud”. And this has been the story of the climate alarmist movement all along.
      We re now faced with The Green New Deal implying a complete shut down of fossil fuel use and with its mantra, “Net Zero”. For having just one seat in parliament, it must be said the Green Party is doing rather well. And all this because no one of independent mind is checking the facts, but just carelessly swallowing every fear-mongering interpretation coming from the UN and it’s climate propaganda body, the IPCC, and with the help of much of the MSM. Perhaps the greatest hypocrisy is that it will be the struggling third world countries, eg. of Africa, who will be hardest hit if this Net Zero demand is imposed on them.
      Going back to the beginning of this history, it’s no surprise to learn that Council on Foreign Relations, CFR president, Richard Haass, has joined in the clamour for world government, that he claims will save humanity and the planet. He insists that claims of sovereignty must no longer prevent a world authority from dictating action to deal with environmental problems. But let’s just say it the way it really is, please, “…..a UN dictatorship to rule the world.”
      Fortunately, there are honourable people standing out against this. One such was the late Harold Lewis, Prof. of Physics at the University of California, a former member of the Defence Science Board and USAF Scientific Advisory Board, and serving on numerous top committees. He resigned his membership of the American Physical Society, after 67 years’ membership, in disgust at their refusal to engage in proper scientific debate about climate change, and their ignoring of climate sceptics.
      Lewis stated “It is, of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.”
      And do I detect a hint of the future, with comments beginning to appear in the press about needing to have a co-ordinated world response to the coronvirus outbreak, and maybe an extension to the Brexit transition period? Are the UN’s WHO ‘crats now working on a back-up plan, if the climate alarmist bid founders?

      Ian Phillips, BA. Physics.
      Harbertonford, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 7TS.

      The very lengthy research paper, ibid. on the UN source of the climate scare….

      Really excellent sources I consult regularly…. (subscribe FREE for daily reports)

    • AndyP permalink
      March 28, 2020 4:19 pm

      Christopher Booker wrote about the passing of Strong back in 2015. Heres the link

    • dennisambler permalink
      March 29, 2020 4:44 pm

      There was a good piece here by Fox News, well worth re-visiting:

      • dennisambler permalink
        March 29, 2020 5:36 pm

        “UN envoy (Strong) steps aside amid oil-for-food probe”

        “Maurice Strong, the United Nations’ Korea envoy and an adviser to secretary-general Kofi Annan, on Wednesday said he would step aside until questions were answered over his relationship with a South Korean allegedly hired by Baghdad to lobby UN officials over Iraq’s oil-for-food programme.”

        At the time, the Deputy Secretary-General and Chief of Staff of the UN under Kofi Annan was Mark Malloch-Brown, former member of Gordon Brown’s cabinet and now Lord Malloch-Brown. A former employee of George Soros and still an international colleague on various boards, he led the Best For Britain campaign against Brexit, which also received funding from Soros.

        There was a eulogy to Strong by the UN

        “Today the world mourns one of its greats. Maurice Strong was a visionary and a pioneer of global sustainable development.

        “His courageous leadership allowed the Stockholm Conference of 1972 to make history by launching a new era of international environmental diplomacy which saw the birth of UNEP, the first UN agency to be headquartered in a developing country.”

  4. Pancho Plail permalink
    March 28, 2020 12:58 pm

    “It is the robust evidence gathered by scientists that has provided the political force for the growing public awareness about the climate emergency. And yet science itself is strangely reticent.”
    Can anyone distil any meaning or logic whatsoever from those two sentences?

    • March 28, 2020 1:27 pm

      Perhaps the author of the statement/opinion is dismayed and incredulous that, in reality, no “consensus” has arisen for the messages from the “green cr@p” purveyors.
      That is the only way scientific understanding and knowledge can make progress.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 28, 2020 2:22 pm

      It’s just nonsense. Science tells us what may happen. That’s it. What we do – if anything – to prevent that, is purely political. And that’s then up to individuals, not organisations that have a scientific, not a political purpose.

    • Jonathan Scott permalink
      March 28, 2020 7:46 pm

      it is meant to wow the feeble minded and silence those who are confused.

  5. Steve permalink
    March 28, 2020 1:20 pm

    God save us from ecoloon political doctors. Imagine this one thinking that the best thing for the Earth is fewer human beings setting fire to the planet and seeing him come round the door with rubber gloves on.

  6. March 28, 2020 1:40 pm

    He’s clearly an idiot and a dangerous one at that!

    • sean2829 permalink
      March 28, 2020 2:50 pm

      Not and idiot, an advocate. He was likely promoted by an organization with an agenda to use the technical publication or scientific society to champion a point of view, giving it legitimacy. This has been going on for 20+ years. I’m amazed at how pervasive it has become with little resistance from members of the society.

      • Duker permalink
        March 28, 2020 10:38 pm

        Someone should remind his media friends of this
        “Horton defended his position by saying “I do not regret publishing the original Wakefield paper. Progress in medicine depends on the free expression of new ideas. I worked at the Royal Free from 1988 to 1990 and met him on many occasions. He is a committed, engaging, and charismatic clinician and scientist. He asks big questions about diseases – …”

        That was the discredited paper by Dr Andrew Wakefield linking vaccines and Autism. It was really the worst sort of nonsense but Horton hadnt resiled from his support it seems and delayed retraction for 12 yrs

  7. Broadlands permalink
    March 28, 2020 1:59 pm

    “They will “continue to rebel against the world’s governments for their criminal inaction on the climate and ecological crisis”

    The corona virus IS taking action! It has rapidly lowered CO2 emissions in transportation. Is that not the action the ‘green’ deal leaders have demanded? The results speak for themselves…deaths with social and economic chaos. Should the world continue that activity when the virus is contained? Reduce and eliminate fossil fuels in transportation…to zero?

  8. Phoenix44 permalink
    March 28, 2020 2:19 pm

    He seems desperately confused. Science organisations should not lobby for political decisions. By all means let individual scientists be active in politics, but as individual.citizens, the same as everyone else. He us trying to co-opt non-political organisations (as The Lancet used to be) in order to bolster his own political views. In other words, turn them into propaganda outlets and bypass democratic decision-making.

    • mikewaite permalink
      March 28, 2020 3:50 pm

      Don’t forget that Lancet is now home to Christiana Figueres who has an editorial arm lock on anything said or published by Lancet

      • Broadlands permalink
        March 28, 2020 4:15 pm

        “This week, Margaret Hamburg, Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), wrote to scientists under the headline, “Our Moment to Combat Climate Change is Now”.” Purchased and paid for by the Grantham Institute…a major donor to what used to be a non-partisan, non-political scientific organization. Sad.

  9. Johnnie permalink
    March 28, 2020 2:56 pm

    Extinction Rebellion ought to be happy. Isn’t the present shut down a foretaste of what things will be like after they’ve got their way? At least with the present troubles there’s an end in sight; in their world it would be like this for ever.

    • Robert Christopher permalink
      March 29, 2020 2:26 am

      I still have a reliable electricity supply. 🙂
      And do do my food shops. 🙂

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    March 28, 2020 3:22 pm

    There’s a constant narrative in the MSM at the moment trying to make out that the air has been miraculously cleansed as a result of the shutdown and how brilliant it is. There are numerous stories showing comparisons of satellite pollution measures for various areas, before and after and year on year, but they take no account of the difference/change in the weather.

    Winds/rain disperse air pollution, or bring it in – famously the worst UK air quality is ‘imported’ from Europe under certain conditions – and obviously with warmer weather people use less gas/wood/coal to keep warm too. Dishonestly, they have not shown the comparisons where air quality has actually deteriorated as a result of people being home and using more domestic energy than usual.

    This morning on BBC radio the presenter said the air was so clean it made him feel like he was 10 again – I’d guess that would have been 25-50 years ago, so he was deluding himself to the facts, air really was generally filthy back then, unlike the normal situation today.

    I live on a main road, there is no perceptible difference. As ever, the only air quality problems here are people who burn junk in woodburners/fireplaces (reconstituted wood scraps that contain a lot of plastic resins), garden bonfires, fashionable char-grill type restaurants, and the real problem that ruins quality of life – stinking (esp. instant type) BBQs.

    • March 28, 2020 8:16 pm

      And any visible air pollution is no CO2, everyone wants cleaner air.
      XR cranks want to shut down economies because of CO2 that is invisible, odourless and beneficial to the biosphere.
      Most in the media are too stupid to know the difference.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      March 29, 2020 11:12 am

      When it comes to pollution the majority are not capable of understanding the difference between smelling something and it being at such a level to be harmful. Paul has repeatedly shown the graph of how much cleaner London air is even from 1990 when as a van driver I suffered a tight chest during hot still sunny weather. I have worked in London since 2006 and have not had any problem. I mean if you do a fart in a lift everyone is going to smell it but it won’t kill you even though sulphur dioxide can. The old childhood stinkbombs were worse.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        March 29, 2020 11:39 am

        Yes, the official UK data shows massively improved air quality, although progress has slowed in recent years (but then it is so clean already, and only ‘politically and legally’ dirty, not in reality dangerous).

        They go on about PMs etc. but if you have a BBQ you inhale more of them in one hour than 1000yrs living on the worst road in the country (made up hyperbole but you get my point).

        In London BBQs in parks on holidays result in worse air quality records than the worst roads in London.

        “Mean concentrations recorded over the whole monitoring period were higher in Highbury Fields than even at the kerbside of a busy London trunk route.”

  11. March 28, 2020 4:39 pm

    I m genuinely shocked by this article and the previous one whereby the editor said one thing then said another a couple of days after and now seems to have disappeared the first statement.

    then I remembered that a couple of years ago during a strike the doctors were surprisingly left wing

  12. Phillip Bratby permalink
    March 28, 2020 4:46 pm

    “Meanwhile, given his extremist opinions, it is little surprise that Horton is currently being given so much air time on the BBC”
    should read:
    “Meanwhile, given his extremist opinions, it is no surprise that Horton is currently being given so much air time on the BBC”.

  13. MrGrimNasty permalink
    March 28, 2020 6:01 pm

    Met Office says most of Central S & SE England has a very high fire severity index.

    Given that in the last few years this has been blamed on climate change – ‘record heat’ and drought in Winter/Spring………

  14. Jonathan Scott permalink
    March 28, 2020 8:04 pm

    This is the a total and complete abuse of his position. WHY is the board or whatever of the Lancet not censuring him.? That a number of government and scientific institutions have been infested by lefty ideology should be a warning to us all. There is NO PLACE for political posturing in any field of scientific endeavour yet as we can see multiple supposed outlets of objectivity are now spouting the party line. One of the simplest things to look for in supposed scientific outpourings is emotion. There is NO emotion in science. It is by its nature unemotional and conservative in its work and writing up of its conclusions. Whenever you see emotion on display then if the core piece was in anyway scientific then like the IPCC those who wrote it up were not! Just think for a moment upon his background and then consider the language of the piece. He is either in a minority of the top 1% of 1% of intellectuals who is so knowledgeable cross discipline OR someone else wrote the core of the piece and he spliced it into his own babble. That reinforces my assertion that this is blatant left wing political talk and has NO PLACE in the Lancet, unless they come clean and prefix “The Lancet” with the word LEFTIE! That the wild left have seen such places as soft targets to infiltrate and then infest is due to open mindedness and you can say absent mindedness of all of us. They do not believe in fair play or even handedness in pursuit of their political aims. Do you think for one moment the purveyors of this cancer would accept anyone else politicising science for gain? The Right (and I so detest this issue of poles) needs to wake up and understand how the totalitarian left behaves. These are the apologists for and pretenders to the roles of those who committed murderer on an industrial scale in the 20th century, make no mistake about it.

  15. Jonathan Scott permalink
    March 28, 2020 8:05 pm

    Ooops murder not murderer, sorry I way it as I pressed send!

  16. Stuart Brown permalink
    March 28, 2020 8:15 pm

    Friends, seriously off topic but here in the UK it is fifteen minutes to Earth Hour. Don’t forget to turn on your cooker, washing machine, dishwasher and do a bit of arc welding.

    Last year we managed to raise the demand at 8:30. Let’s do it again!

    • Gerry, England permalink
      March 29, 2020 11:14 am

      oops, forgot all about the Power Hour in all the excitement. In my defence I was burning coal and wood on my open fire to keep warm as it is bloody cold at the moment.

  17. March 28, 2020 8:21 pm

    The BBC News channel was touting this at 11:38 am today –

    “Last year’s summer was so warm that it helped trigger the loss of 600bn tons of ice from Greenland – enough to raise global sea levels by 2.2mm in just two months, new research has found.

  18. saparonia permalink
    March 29, 2020 11:02 am

    Throw out the TV! If we all did this the world would be sane again

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      March 29, 2020 11:48 am

      It’s certainly true that without the BBC’s relentless promotion, the climate change movement would never have gained significant support nationally or even globally given the BBC’s massive reach and influence over other news outlets.

      This is why ‘they’ infiltrate and install ‘their’ people in positions like the Lancet and the BBC, even the editor of the Daily Mail now, where they can promote their propaganda unchallenged and alter minds.

      Sound like conspiracy theory, but it’s blatantly conspiracy fact.

  19. jack broughton permalink
    March 29, 2020 8:12 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with Mr GN about the powerful conspiracy. What I struggle with is how total the media has become totally controlled by the “Climate controllers”. There are a few dissenting voices in the main media, but very few are allowed any access to the TV and newspapers ….. How and Why?

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