Royal Society Puts Matt Ridley And His Friends On Notice

The Royal Society is the world’s oldest extant scientific society. And, it is a place where scientific controversy has a home. Both Huxley and Wilberforce were members back in the 19th century, when young Darwin’s ideas were first being knocked around.

More recently, just a few weeks ago, the Royal Society accidentally agreed to host a talk by coal baron and formerly respected science writer Matt Ridley. Matt Ridley has been a great disappointment to us scientists and science teachers. Many of us used his book as a supplementary reading in our evolution courses, for example (Ridley was a respected science writer back in the day). But more recently he has become a global warming science denier, and the suggestion has been made that this is because his personal wealth is tied up in coal mining.

Here are some resources to get up to speed on the Ridley controversy:

<li><a href="http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/11/30/matt-ridley-and-benny-peisers-misleading-guide-to-the-climate-debate/"><strong><em>Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser’s Misleading Guide to the Climate Debate</em></strong></a></li>

<li><a href="http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/01/19/testing-matt-ridleys-hypotheses-about-global-warming/"><strong><em>Testing Matt Ridley’s Hypotheses About Global Warming</em></strong></a></li>

<li><a href="http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2014/12/10/mat-ridley-anti-science-writer-climate-science-denialist/"><strong><em>Matt Ridley, Anti-Science Writer, Climate Science Denialist</em></strong></a></li>

Anyway, the Royal Society accidentally allowed the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which is an anti-science organization pretending to be a, well, a policy foundation of some sort, to book a talk by Matt Ripley. This was clearly an attempt to legitimize climate change denial. The real science community got wind of this, and objected. From Graham Readfearn:

The Royal Society is coming under internal pressure to cancel a booking on its premises made by climate science “sceptic” group the Global Warming Policy Foundation, DeSmogUK can reveal.

Several fellows and associates of the society – the world’s oldest scientific academy, founded in 1660 – are angry over an agreement to hire its premises to the GWPF for its 17 October annual lecture, to be delivered by Lord Matt Ridley.

DeSmogUK also understands some scientists intend to raise the issue at a meeting of the Royal Society’s governing council on 6 October, with a request to cancel the GWPF booking.

Well, they did. And the Royal Society thought about it and decided to allow the talk to continue.

And, we can get mad about that if we want, but I’m not. The Royal Society clearly made a mistake in making the booking, but this sort of mistake is one of the costs of at least trying to live in a world where the conversation over science can generally be an honest one, and nefarious shenanigans such as this booking by a fake think tank to have a fake expert talk about fake science circumvents that honest conversation.

I’m reminded of the time when Harvard’s Kennedy School of government accidentally booked Famous African Dictator Mobutu Sese Seku Kuku Kibombe of Zaire to give a talk as part of a series of world leaders talking about government. Not long after word of that got out, there was a move towards uninviting, but that is actually very difficult for an institution to do. That talk went forward, with protests, and Americans became suddenly much more aware of Mobutu and what he had been up to in the country formerly and currently known as the Congo. This actually helped with ongoing efforts to get the US Congress to cut ties with Mobutu (he had been a loyal mercenary extraordinary and plenipotentiary on behalf of the US for years, fighting the Libyans and other African bad guys …) but I digress. The point is, Mobutu’s talk at the Kennedy school ended up being an important nail driven into his eventual coffin.

DesmogUK’s Kyla Mandel now reports that the Royal Society will allow the talk to go forward, but promises that if the speaker throws science under the bus, there will be people watching and reporting.

When the Royal Society met to discuss the matter, there was general agreement that climate change was real, that Ridley was not a friend to the science, that they regretted giving the talk, etc. But they also felt that cancelling the talk would give more cachet to the cancelled speakers and his fake think tank than they deserved. Rather, they thought, let the talk go ahead and “If the GWPF uses this opportunity to misrepresent the scientific evidence it would undermine the legitimacy of its views on policy responses to climate change.”

Sounds very Minnesotan. Passive aggressive counter attack, that.

Mandel’s report has more details, go read it here.

I look forward to the debunking of the talk by Matt Ridley, the 5th Viscount of Coal. Or whatever he calls himself. His career as a respected science writer is pretty much over, but there’s always room for one more nail.

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113 thoughts on “Royal Society Puts Matt Ridley And His Friends On Notice

  1. Cancelling his talk would have handed the anti-science folks a monumental public relations win, so allowing it to proceed was a good move for that reason alone (and I’d say for others too).

    “Global Warming Policy Foundation, which is an anti-science organization pretending to be a, well, a policy foundation of some sort,

    Rather like the Heritage Foundation, the correct term to use is

    Dogma Center

    rather than “think tank” or “research institute”.

  2. The RS allowed the political lobby group peddling science misrepresentations to have its talk.

    How is that censorship?

    If they misrepresent the science and are subsequently corrected and even criticised for it, that is also not censorship.

    Stop lying.

  3. BBD:

    I was agreeing with the decision by RS not to censor – not saying that they did censor.

    Once again – I am not lying.

    Your inability to understand does not make me a liar.

  4. Ricka: “Censorship is not the way to go.”

    Who the bloody anal fuck said otherwise? The issue is denying the anti-science cult a platform to spew their pretentious lies.

  5. BBD: “The RS allowed the political lobby group peddling science misrepresentations to have its talk. How is that censorship?”

    Exactly. Ricka still have no idea what the word “censorship” means.

    The Royal Society may have been deceived when it approved the cult’s venue. It is like having the Centers for Disease Control host a anti-vaccination rally.

  6. RickA

    I was agreeing with the decision by RS not to censor – not saying that they did censor.

    Once again – I am not lying.

    Okay, I see that. Call it a pre-emptive strike then. See if you can manage a whole thread without descending into the usual dishonest rhetoric.

    Even mentioning the C-word was not a good start.

  7. As CEO he crashed Northern Rock which started the UK financial banking collapse, so I expect he will be talking next on monetary matters.

  8. Greg:

    If the talk had been cancelled because of the content of the talk it would have been censorship.

    In the United States, if a public university says no denier talks welcome here – that would be a 1st amendment violation because it would be censorship and content based censorship at that.

    What is your definition of censorship?

    1. Ricka: “If the talk had been cancelled because of the content of the talk it would have been censorship.”

      See what I mean?

  9. Here is the definition from Wikipedia:

    Censorship is the suppression of free speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship

  10. @RickA

    Withdrawal of the venue by the RS would not be censorship, as the GWPF are free to speak at any alternative venue which will have them. A venue is entitled to grant, and withdraw, access to any group it wishes and for whatever reason it decides.

    In other words; the right to free speech is a right to say what ever you like, but not in any venue you like. Geddit?

  11. RickA

    See if you can manage the rest of the thread without using the word liar.

    That depends entirely on how you behave. You can start earning brownie points by ceasing to play the victim.

  12. And you can stop yammering incessantly about the c-word. You’ve had your fun with word-placement games. It didn’t happen wrt the GWPF. Enough is enough.

    Pushing the c-meme into the discourse is borderline dishonest.

    First warning.

  13. RickA, you have soiled your reputation. Don’t blame others for that.

    Censorship is as you indicated: Suppression of free speech. Unwillingness to provide a venue for that speech does not constitute censorship, as it does nothing to suppress. It constitutes “unwillingness to support”. The ‘speakers’ are free to speak somewhere else, as John pointed out.

    If the RS were to muzzle GWPF through imprisonment, blackmail, etc., then you could cry “censorship”.

    We understand that you sometimes have trouble with issues that are legal, as well as scientific… Keep working at it RickA; you may figure it out yet.

  14. “I have a right to speak my mind” does not equate to “I have the right to make you listen to me”.

    It also does not equate to “I have the right to use your venue to issue my speech, thereby implying that you endorse my speech”.

    Calling that ‘censorship’ is disingenuous at best.

    1. Brain: “Calling that ‘censorship’ is disingenuous at best.”

      It is yest another excellent example of “bad faith dialog,” as Dr Mann and many others have mentioned. Ricka doesn’t give a shit about censorship— if he did he would be irate at Lamar Smith and others.

  15. Ricka: “Here is the definition from Wikipedia: Censorship is the suppression of free speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions.”

    Therefore censorship does not apply.

    Sheeeish. Do you ever read what you write?

  16. RickA argues in bad faith either because he is naturally self-centered, or because his legal training taught him to always argue that way.

    The entertaining thing is that he continues to believe that it will work for him with this audience. He’s either stuck on the same one-note shtick because he’s intellectually bankrupt, or he’s enamored with what works in a court of law and mistakenly thinks it applies to scientific law as well.

  17. RickA, first of all, that was not the United States, so the first amendment does not apply. Second, a public university in the US can disallow a talk that is not appropriate for the venue any time they want. They can say “no” to the initial idea, and later, they can say “whoops, ah, no” later if they realize they booked a Bigfoot expert to talk about zoology at the U’s natural history museum’s fund raiser.

    Nobody is telling the good Viscount that he can’t spew his damaging rhetoric. But they would be telling him that the Royal Society prefers to entertain science, and furthermore, that the initial premise of the talk had been misrepresented.

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with censorship.

  18. Here is an article talking about campus censhorship:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/i-was-disinvited-on-campus-1462313788

    FIRE has a disinvited database.

    Clearly campus censorship is censorship.

    Anytime an organization cancels a talk because of the content of that talk it is censorship.

    A book burning is a form of censorship even if only one copy of the book is burned.

    If a speech is given at 10 different locations, but censored at one location it is still censorship by the one location.

    I am very glad RS took the high road and didn’t censor this talk.

    1. Ricka: “Here is an article talking about campus censhorship:”

      Non sequitur. The subject is the Royal Society and the anti-science cult who is using the RS’s facilities to spew lies. Remember?

  19. Letting the talk go forward fits in nicely with a very British (though not confined to there) view of honour. They booked it so it must go ahead unless the booking group decide not to hold it. Nothing in their promise to let them hold it says anything about not holding them to factuality.

  20. #27 contains eight – count ’em – instances of the c-word even though all are agreed that the RS didn’t do it anyway. Oh, and a link to the WSJ, a rag with a truly shocking reputation for peddling right-wing misrepresentations.

    This shameless escalation of the word-placement game, complete with rubbish link, qualifies as dishonest rhetoric.

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzztttt!

    Game over, Rick. You lose.

  21. Clearly, RickA believes in the right (and righteousness) of yelling FIRE!!! in a crowded movie theater.

    Clearly, if the theater organization disallows this speech because of the content of that speech it is censorship.

    Clearly, RickA wants us to believe he’s too stupid to understand the legal definition of censorship…

  22. I burned an old paperback book to start a fire in my fireplace last night…

    RickA believes I committed an act of censorship.

  23. Brainstorms:

    It depends on why you burned the book.

    Did you burn it as a symbolic act to suppress speech?

    Or did you burn it as fuel to start your fire?

    The intent makes a difference for censorship.

    But I think you know that.

    1. ricka: “It depends on why you burned the book.”

      See what I mean? A fine example of what Dr Mann and others mentioned.

  24. I was responding to Greg.

    You were spamming this thread with dishonest bollocks about fake victimhood – a crude display of shamelessly dishonest rhetoric.

    You were warned not to do it but doubled down and got the promised kick in the backside. More fool you.

    1. BBD: “You were spamming this thread with dishonest bollocks about fake victimhood – a crude display of shamelessly dishonest rhetoric. “

      Yes. Ricka cannot and will not address the actual topic of the blog entry, so I tried to change the topic. He knows better than to try to attack the actual subject because it is too well defended by reality— he is desperate to change the subject to one that is not real and therefore not defended by anyone.

  25. The funny thing is I was agreeing with dean!

    If you would stop attacking me for agreeing with you the threads wouldn’t get derailed!

    Go back and read my comment #2 and imagine if dean had not called me a liar – I wonder what the thread would look like?

  26. BBD:

    I wasn’t spamming the thread.

    I was agreeing with dean and then defending myself from the erroneous allegation of being a liar.

    dean even agreed he was wrong – so nothing fake about it.

    You (dean, BBD, Brainstorms, desertphile and Wow) should stop with the personal attacks and just respond to the content of my posts.

    Most of the derailment comes from personal attacks – not disagreement on positions.

    Just saying.

  27. The intent makes a difference for censorship.

    Which is why you know that the RS would not be censoring the GWPF if it canceled their presentation at their venue.

    The intent is not to stop the GWPF from expressing its propaganda. The intent to prevent the false impression that the RS endorses its propaganda. There’s no suppression of speech in that intent.

    My 5th-grade neighbor kid can understand that. Are you smarter than a 5th-grader, RickA?

  28. I wasn’t spamming the thread.

    A lie.

    dean even agreed he was wrong – so nothing fake about it.

    No he didn’t. That’s another lie.

    Why don’t you just stop? You are your own worst enemy. If you cannot control your urge to lie, then be quiet.

  29. You see, RickA?

    Your reputation is like Trump and women.

    Or, Trump and African-Americans.

    Or, Trump and Hispanics.

    You’ve made a deliberate mess with a number of interest groups by groping and boasting and spreading untruthful propaganda aimed at glorifying your self-interest.

    And, like Trump, you’re shockingly slow to recognize that your approach does not work.

  30. A lie.
    dean even agreed he was wrong – so nothing fake about it.

    What the f**k? In my first post I said:

    Cancelling his talk would have handed the anti-science folks a monumental public relations win, so allowing it to proceed was a good move for that reason alone (and I’d say for others too).

    Nope, no mention of censorship.

    Later, at #25, I said this:

    Let the record show that I never used the word censorship in my post.

    I’m struggling to see where it was that I agreed that this had anything to do with censorship.

  31. You called me a liar.

    I corrected you and you agreed in #9 that I was not a liar.

    That is what I was talking about in #37.

    I didn’t mention censorship in #37.

    So I don’t know what you are talking about in #42.

  32. I think RickA is telling us we should go to his house, enter it, and say whatever we want for however long we want. He’ll not throw us out, because, well, that would be censorship, no?

  33. RickA

    You called me a liar.

    Incorrectly at #3; correctly at #39 and #43.

    Denying your peddling of the c-meme was only marginally more stupid than peddling it on this thread in the first place. Perhaps the fundamental issue here is that you are not nearly as smart as you think you are.

  34. Marco:

    Bad analogy.

    A better one would be that I INVITE you to come to my house to give a talk.

    But I find out what you are planning on talking about and disinvite you to my home.

    And yes – that is censorship because I am suppressing that particular talk based on its content..

    Lets turn it around so you can look at this issue from another angle.

    Say a church invites someone to talk during mass.

    The priest learns that the talk is going to be about evolution and disinvites the person from giving the talk because that priest doesn’t believe in evolution and doesn’t want his congregation to be exposed to it.

    That is censorship.

    It is an organisation banning speech based on its content.

    I think you few are protesting too much.

    Fortunately, the RS didn’t make this mistake, and decided against censorship. Bully for them.

  35. So, once again, we see somebody from a FoFu dogma stink tank desperately trying to get a toehold on legitimacy through a deceptive scheme. Somebody at the RS, either through ignorance or willful intent, has held open the doors of the halls of the world’s oldest scientific society to a group of idiot malefactors who don’t deserve a hearing at the local waste water treatment plant. Sad. Let’s hope it was nothing more complicated than a mistake by an overly eager or gullible gatekeeper, maybe a doddering old guy falling for a glitzy presentation package. Whatever the case, this failing, by the Royal Society, to properly vet the users of their facility , should prove to be good entertainment. Who knows, perhaps the skewering during Q&A will produce some history worthy quotations.

  36. RickA, et al,

    As usual, this is just silly bandwidth-wasting and troll-feeding about simple English.

    You can censor content, but you can’t censor a person.

    So, the priest would only be engaging in censorship if he allows the person to speak, but prevents him from discussing evolution, e.g. by turning off the microphone or something during the speech using a delay like they do on live interviews.

    CensorshipActual Content, get it? Not what you speculate about what the person might say.

    Sheesh…

  37. Who knows, perhaps the skewering during Q&A will produce some history worthy quotations.

    Trouble there is that it has been known for the presenters of Gish Gallops of counter-factual particulars to spin out to leave too little time for adequate counters. Ridley needs to be challenged as soon as he makes any point that is contrary to available evidence.

  38. I see that RickA is still using third-rate lawyer tactics that would make even an ambulence-chaser cringe…

    In the United States, if a public university says no denier talks welcome here – that would be a 1st amendment violation because it would be censorship and content based censorship at that.

    First Ammendement straw man aside (wrong jurisdiction), the Royal Society is not a public institution, and their headquarters at Carlton House Terrace is not a publicly-owned building. It’s a private organisation, on private premises no matter that some members of the public may occasionally be invited in, and as such the members of the Society would be well within their rights to decide who has the privilge of speaking in their venue. Such would be the rights of private organisations in most countries, whatever their understandings of “free speech”.

    I expect that their motto, Nullius in verba, will be foremost in their minds when Ridley speaks, and I expect and hope that there will be more than a few Fellows present to emphasise when Ridley is using only his own mealy-mouthed words unsupported by evidence.

    I wonder, RickA, would you insist that Ridley’s lecture be pubished if it was allowed to be delivered in Chatham House…?

    Frankly I would see this as a wonderful opportunity to have the Denialati commit their best arguments to the record, and thence for their claims to be roundly and soundly refuted in the oldest and most prestigous scientifc academy in the world. Depending on the amount of time dedicated to questions from the audience, and whether experts adroit in avoiding Gish Galloping are present, it could be quite an entertaining painting into the corner of Ridley’s participation in the GWPF’s bastardisation of science.

  39. Bernard J.

    Of course, I am aware that the 1st amendment doesn’t apply to the UK. That is why I said “In the United States” in my hypo.

    The 1st amendment applies to private organizations.

    For example the 1st amendment was held to apply to hollywood films.

    But of course my hypo was directed to a public university, which I think somewhat analogous to the RS. If you disagree, that is your right.

    Prior restraint applies to material prevented from being heard or printed, based on its content, by an organization.

    Not allowing a talk at a public university because some think it anti-science is content based prior restraint, because it prevents speech from being heard based on its content.

    I would not insist a lecture be published, however, once an invitation is extended for a talk, I would not censor it after I found out what its content would be.

    I congratulate the Royal Society for making the correct decision.

    I too look forward to the question and answer phase, and hope that a transcript is published.

    Of course, people like yourself would probably want an opportunity to review the transcript and suppress it if Ridley does to well with his answers.

    I am glad I live in the United States.

  40. FFS RickA

    Acknowledge to zebra that you had your head up your backside.

    Not doing so is the very definition of bad faith.

    Not to mention spamming this entire thread with irrelevant shite about something that did not happen.

    Playing the victim is another example of bad faith discourse.

  41. Bernard J

    Frankly I would see this as a wonderful opportunity to have the Denialati commit their best arguments to the record, and thence for their claims to be roundly and soundly refuted in the oldest and most prestigous scientifc academy in the world.

    If only refuting their bullshit were enough to put a stop to it. But that would require the GWPF – and every other refuted denier out there – to act in good faith.

    And not a single bloody one of them ever does.

  42. Trying to suppress what you consider to be anti-science speech is actually anti-science.

    And who is trying to suppress it?

    The talk is going ahead.

    You are a dishonest troll, aren’t you, RickA, with this endless and irrelevant blithering about suppression and censorship that never happened in the first place.

  43. BBD #59:

    No.

    Stop calling me a liar and I won’t be able to complain about actually being a victim of your false allegations.

  44. That, of course, is a matter of opinion.

    No, it isn’t. It’s a matter of fact and anyone persisting to claim otherwise in the face of overwhelming evidence is guilty of bad faith.

    You, for example.

    1. BBD: “No, it isn’t. It’s a matter of fact and anyone persisting to claim otherwise in the face of overwhelming evidence is guilty of bad faith. You, for example.”

      Yes, and he is still doing it— this blog entry has nothing to do with censorship, but RickAlternateReality is still trying to change the subject to censorship. He has no interest at all in the actual subject.

  45. Stop calling me a liar and I won’t be able to complain about actually being a victim of your false allegations.

    But you *are* a liar, and this thread proves it (once again).

    It’s too late for you now. Nobody has any patience with your endless display of bad faith any more.

  46. BBD #62:

    You ask who is trying to suppress it.

    Did you read the post?

    Greg quoted this “The Royal Society is coming under internal pressure to cancel a booking on its premises made by climate science “sceptic” group the Global Warming Policy Foundation, DeSmogUK can reveal.”

    The people who put pressure on RS to cancel the booking were trying to suppress speech.

    Thankfully, the RS didn’t succumb to this anti-science behavior!

  47. BBD:

    I am not a liar.

    I actually believe the things I say.

    You simply do not agree with them.

    In your childish worldview, anyone who disagrees with you is a liar.

  48. But the RS didn’t cancel the talk. And since the talk is going ahead, every single mention of the c-word on this thread barring the first at #3 is an extended exercise in bad faith, in playing the victim. So the *only* person distorting the truth here is you.

    Something very obvious to every single commenter here apart from you.

  49. #68 RickA states that he believes that it’s appropriate, acceptable, and sensical to simply make up any falsification one wishes, declare it to be so, and that one only has “to believe” in one’s falsehoods in order to legitimize them.

    If the rest of the sane world calls him out for childishly insisting that his lies are legitimate, he responds with accusations of “childish worldviews”.

    How Trumpian of you, RickA.

  50. In your childish worldview, anyone who disagrees with you is a liar.

    Another lie!

    Here are some earlier ones:

    I wasn’t spamming the thread.

    A lie. The talk is happening. There never was a need to fill an entire thread with the sound of the c-word.

    dean even agreed he was wrong

    A blatant lie about another commenter. Shocking bad faith. You are a disgrace, RickA.

  51. BBD #74:

    Can you read?

    Where did I say the talk was cancelled?

    I simply approved of the RS for not censoring the talk.

    It is others who wanted to nuance the definition of censorship – I simply responded.

    1. RickAlternateReality: “I simply approved of the RS for not censoring the talk”

      Good bloody grief. So, this morning many hundreds of millions of people and many tens of thousands of science organizations did not censor anyone— why did you not state you approve of their restraint also?

      Sheeeish.

  52. No one “nuanced” the definition of censorship; they merely explained it to you.

    You’ve been responding by distorting it & attempting to redefine it.

    Refusal to grant a venue and an (implied or actual) endorsement is NOT NOT NOT censorship.

    You do NOT get to redefine that, RickA.

  53. BBD:

    I went back and reviewed the thread and now realize I got you and dean mixed up somewhere during the thread.

    dean did not call me a liar – that was you.

    You were the one who admitted they were wrong to call me a liar – not dean.

    dean – I apologize for my mistake, and can assure you it was not intentional.

    So BBD – you called me a liar and then admitted you were wrong to do so.

    I think I have that straight now.

  54. Way too late, RickA.

    The core problem here is very simple. You spammed this thread rotted with the c-word for no reason at all and then lied about it:

    I wasn’t spamming the thread.

    And incredibly, you are still doing it now.

  55. I’ll cut you a break for apologizing, RickA. Thank you.

    (We’re not a bunch of meanies, after all. We simply insist on integrity.)

  56. Brainstorms:

    Thank you for accepting my apology on behalf of dean (grin).

    I am also not a meanie.

    For example, I do not name call.

    I do not call other posters stupid or liar or a monster, etc.

    Perhaps if you wish to aid in not being a meanie you could ramp down the name calling.

    Thank you in advance.

  57. BBD #82:

    Ah – proof by assertion.

    Desertphile #83:

    My comment #2 was my actual interest in the subject.

    It is all downhill from there.

  58. The Royal Society is not capable of, and has no interest in, censoring the GWPF:

    The RS would need to pass a law forbidding the GWPF from publicizing their propaganda; they lack the authority to pass such laws.

    The RS would need to somehow (?) blackmail the GWPF principals so that they will not publicize their propaganda; they are above such tactics (and likely lack any effective means for that anyway).

    The RS would need to kidnap or kill the GWPF principals so that they can not publicize their propaganda; give us a break!

    The Royal Society is not capable of, and has no interest in, censoring the GWPF. Refusing to endorse their nonsense by not lending their venue in NO WAY constitutes censorship in any form or definition.

  59. #86

    But if – just say – you are in the business of bad faith misrepresentation then all you need to to is make the entire thread about entirely non-existent censorship. And then deny that you are acting in bad faith.

  60. to book a talk by Matt Ripley – is this an ironic reference to the eponymous Ripley of the Alien franchise, or a simply typo

    I tend to agree with the view to let them talk – but heavily police it to ensure the genuine scientific spirit of honest enquiry is adhered to

  61. Brainstorms #86:

    Perhaps you like the ACLU definition of censorship better?

    “Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive,” happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. Censorship by the government is unconstitutional.”

    https://www.aclu.org/other/what-censorship

  62. “Perhaps by deleting slides with which you disagree?”

    Which nobody here has brought up – nobody but you, as an ancillary buttress to your assertion that people here are promoting censorship.

    Perhaps by ensuring that if a question/answer period follows the talk someone knowledgeable of the real science ask some serious questions and point out the disinformation and lies put forth by the speaker.

  63. Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive,” happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others.

    So when the right-wing science deniers and their sponsors in industry impose their misrepresentations of the scientific evidence on the rest of us, it is effectively a form of censorship. Where what is being censored is the scientific evidence and the implications arising from it and those doing the censoring are engaged in furthering their political and financial agendas.

  64. happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups

    1.) The RS not providing their venue is NOT imposing their “personal political or moral values on others.” You lose that argument.

    2.) The RS not providing their venue is NOT a “private pressure group”. You lose that argument, too.

    So, even by the ACLU’s definition, the unwillingness on the part of the RS to allow their venue to be used to spew falsehoods and propaganda under the guise of ‘science’ is NOT censorship.

    RickA, you have now LOST this argument. The court of appeals refuses to hear any further assertions from you.

  65. RickA,

    “suppression of words, images, or ideas”

    Yes, again, you give us a quote that validates what I said and contradicts you.

    Only Actual Content can be censored.

    Not allowing someone to speak is not censorship. Shutting down an opposition newspaper by the government because they sometimes publish unflattering articles is not even censorship.

    It is only censorship if they prevent a specific statement from being communicated, or even a specific word from being used.

    It isn’t censorship if you don’t invite an Evolutionary Biologist to teach Sunday School, because you don’t know what she is going to say– maybe she will not mention evolution but instead Praise Jesus. You can call it prejudice, but it isn’t censorship. Likewise not inviting a priest to speak to your biology class. Prejudice, not censorship.

  66. zebra:

    Only people speak words. If you suppress words, because of their content, you are censoring. If you disinvite someone from giving a talk because you do not want to hear the words that person will utter, you are censoring words – the words of that talk.

    Sorry – I just disagree with you.

    But it is ok if we disagree with each other.

  67. Brainstorms #96:

    I agree that:

    The RS is NOT a “private pressure group”.

    The group that tried unsuccessfully to pressure RS is the private pressure group. They wanted to suppress Ridley’s words – i.e. censor him from speaking about his topic.

  68. So, after the Ridley lecture which was mostly talking around an assemblage of IPCC and related graphs, is anyone offended?
    Seems to me that if you are upset, your effort is needed to counter the points you disagree with in the Court of Public Opinion.

    1. Well said Geoff, but it isn’t easy as the facts are plain and hard to dispute rationally.

      Hence the proliferation of irrationality, appeals to authority and ad hominems.

      Climate science it appears is now wholly a belief system.

  69. Geoff, his talk, of which I’ve seen the transcript, was appalling, full of lies.

    There are various debunkings out there. Ive not done one. I will eventually, when I get around to it, post on that, but for now I have more pressing matters than to deal with this crazy old man who loves his coal more than he loves his planet.

  70. Geoff, could you tell me what you thought of Ridley’s conspiracy theory that a paper was deliberately not submitted such as to keep it out of the IPCC AR5?

    Which was a bit weird(*), since Ridley responded to criticism of Bob Ward that he was well aware that the numbers out of that study had changed between 2012 and 2013, and thus *knew* they were still working on the data.

    (*) Well, weird for a rational person. For the Ridley’s of this world, holding at least two contradictory views at the same time is a necessity.

  71. One of Matt King Coal’s arguments is about global greening, which is a laughable concept, and is addressed in part and indirectly here:

    https://thinkprogress.org/new-study-shows-how-climate-change-is-already-reshaping-the-earth-ef9c83c97799#.xiuwzuy2c

    Dana Nuccitelli has addressed some of Matt King Coal’s key points in a blog post at The Guardian, here:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/oct/19/no-longer-taken-seriously-were-seeing-the-last-gasp-of-climate-denial-groups

    I address, along with Peter Sinclair, a number of Matt King Coal’s other statements in the past here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/11/30/matt-ridley-and-benny-peisers-misleading-guide-to-the-climate-debate/

  72. This thread is a cacaphony of name calling.

    I can understand that Matt Ridley threatens some dearly held positions, but has no one the wit to put up a reasoned and scientific response.

    I really do despair for the future of scientific debate

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