UEA Philosophy Teacher Rebels Against Publicly Debating Climate “Deniers”

Rupert Read

UEA Philosophy Reader Rupert Read. By RamaOwn work, CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

University of East Anglia Philosophy teacher Rupert Read is outraged that the government funded BBC would invite a climate “denier” to appear on the same show as himself.

I won’t go on the BBC if it supplies climate change deniers as ‘balance’

Rupert Read
Thu 2 Aug 2018 22.16 AEST

Like most Greens, I typically jump at opportunities to go on air. Pretty much any opportunity: BBC national radio, BBC TV, Channel 4, Sky – I’ve done them all over the years, for good or ill. Even when, as is not infrequently the case, the deck is somewhat stacked against me, or the timing inadequate for anything more than a soundbite, or the question up for debate less than ideal.

But this Wednesday, when I was rung up by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and asked to come on air to debate with a climate change denier, something in me broke, and rebelled. Really? I thought. This summer, of all times?

So, for almost the first time in my life, I turned it down. I told it that I will no longer be part of such charades. I said that the BBC should be ashamed of its nonsensical idea of “balance”, when the scientific debate is as settled as the “debate” about whether smoking causes cancer. By giving climate change deniers a full platform, producers make their position seem infinitely more reasonable than it is. (This contributes to the spread of misinformation and miseducation around climate change that fuels the inaction producing the long emergency we are facing.)

From a public service broadcaster, this is simply not good enough.

In the end, the broadcast went ahead without me. Much of it wasn’t bad. The scientists interviewed were excellent. But the framing of the debate was awful, and framing is everything, so far as the message that most listeners receive is concerned. The presenter introduced the segment by asking, “Is climate change real?” The journalist doing vox pops bombarded ordinary people with canards such as, “Maybe it’s just a natural cycle?” And, of course, a climate change denier was given a huge and undeserved platform on an equal basis to his opponent.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/02/bbc-climate-change-deniers-balance

How UEA – a philosopher who refuses to debate.

186 thoughts on “UEA Philosophy Teacher Rebels Against Publicly Debating Climate “Deniers”

  1. From his Wikipedia link…

    “Read studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Balliol College, Oxford,[2] before undertaking postgraduate studies in the United States at Princeton University and Rutgers University (where he gained his doctorate). Influenced by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy, his PhD involved “a Wittgensteinian exploration of the relationship between Kripke’s ‘quus’ problem and Nelson Goodman’s ‘grue’ problem.”[2]

    He is Reader in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, specialising in philosophy of language, philosophy of science, and environmental philosophy, previously having taught at Manchester.[2] He has contributed to many books, including, in 2002, Kuhn: Philosopher of Scientific Revolution, on the work of Thomas Kuhn, and, in 2005, Film As Philosophy: Essays in Cinema After Wittgenstein And Cavell. His book Philosophy for Life: Applying Philosophy in Politics and Culture, was released in July 2007.[4]

    Read was one of five contributors, including Dr Nassim Nicholas Taleb, to a paper entitled “The Precautionary Principle (with Application to the Genetic Modification of Organisms)”.[5]”

    What is environmental philosophy?

    • Environmental philosophy:
      What does a graph really mean?
      Is data real or just a perspective?
      questions of that ilk

      • “How dare the BBC allow my beliefs to be questioned”.. I guess this guy would be one of those lecturers who’s so pants only those who join his cult can pass his classes.

        • “Rupert Read”
          Like most Greens, I typically jump at opportunities to go on air. Pretty much any opportunity: BBC national radio, BBC TV, Channel 4, Sky – I’ve done them all over the years, for good or ill. Even when, as is not infrequently the case, 1) the deck is somewhat stacked against me, or 2) the timing inadequate for anything more than a soundbite, or 3) the question up for debate less than ideal.

          Given his projected 3 reasons for not attending any particular event I must choose his third as the main one.

          He MUST see his viewpoint as something far less than ideal and unconvincing to win the “Debate”. Otherwise I don’t see any reason to pass up an opportunity to educate any skeptic and show them the errors of their ways…Unless his argument is without substance.

          Perhaps he is just a Stand-up-philosopher

        • Climate change is not a belief or a cult. It’s a fact. It is proved by science. So yes, if you’re teaching environmental philosophy, those who get the facts wrong should fail.

      • Environmental philosophy:

        Is a debate a debate if there is only one side?
        Is a debate over when one side refuses to take par by declaring that they have “won”.

        Does anyone care if this toss-pot activist academic takes part in a discussion on parochial radio show?

        • How does one rationalize taking grant money to do a study when the conclusion is already written?

          • Conclusion are always there, it just takes a philosopher to tease any one of them from the noise!

            Just like the sculptor and the rock. same rock, different sculptor and get a different sculpture. That is the state of science these days.

            Plus, what a philosopher has to do with climate change is beyond me, only a philosopher could answer that. And no-one would understand anyways.

      • Environmental philosophy is philosophy that spontaneously self-generated and now evolves via random mutations and environmental pressures into something grand and wonderful.

    • Taleb’s papers on the precautionary principle are stinkers. The precautionary principle works in a small number of situations with very specific characteristics. Climate change is not one of them, neither is GMOs.

      • The precautionary principle was invented by Greens when the science and cost-benefit analyses went against their feeble ideas.

        • Correction: the precautionary principle was invented by careful engineers. It was picked up (not adopted, not admired, not understood, not invented) by political extremists who were looking for ways to sell their otherwise unpalatable demands for an unelected international bureaucracy to be placed in charge of energy policy, mining policy, housing policy, education, transport policy, water policy and air quality management policy. It saves the neo-Marxists the gore of a revolution. (Blood is so icky.)

          Because their proposal is such a stinker and results in the infantilization of the entire population of the planet (exempting only them and their running dogs) they needed some mechanism that might ‘force’ everyone to accept their quaint, sci-fi-rooted propositions. The precautionary principle, having not understood it, seemed like a good idea at the time.

          The downside for them, now that a lot of people have been introduced to it outside the confines of systems engineering, is it will inevitably be applied to them – the radical Greens.

          Each time a barking mad radical Green proposal flies out of the air into the public discussion space, it will be clasped, put on hold, and deep-frozen for careful examination, based on the precautionary principle that demands we do nothing rather than accept any vain imagining or ponderous, baseless proposition that ends with the phrase, “…so, give me money and power and stop asking questions.”

          Debate? What’s to debate? He’s right. Is there any use in debating philosophers who haven’t a clue about what they pretend to comprehend? How is this guy’s mathematical ability? Does he understand the difference between convection and radiation? Does he understand feedbacks? If he understood these things he would leap at the opportunity to show in a public debate, all the wisdom and skill current in the field of the philosophy of climate change. There is, after all, nothing so powerful as a field of study that begins and ends in words.


          On this rare occasion, in view of the last sentence, and applying the precautionary principle correctly, I add:

    • What is environmental philosophy?
      It is a misspelling of philosophistry
      Definition of philosophistry – Shallow philosophy; sophistry passing as philosophy

    • What is environmental philosophy?

      This mind numbing gross stupidity.

      when the scientific debate is as settled as the “debate” about whether smoking causes cancer. By giving climate change deniers a full platform, producers make their position seem infinitely more reasonable than it is.

      • I agree, Gary. “When the scientific debate is as settked as the debate about whether smoking causes cancer” then this pretentious a**hole might have a case.
        Until then he can put his theories to the test in open debate.
        The big puzzle is why anybody with the requisite number of brain cells thought inviting a philosopher to debate a scientific subject made an iota of sense.
        Or why anyone claiming to be a thinking human being would run away from the opportunity to argue his beliefs. Unless of course they are just “beliefs” and he only believes because those nice guys down the road at CRU said it was so.

        • Yeah i got 2 down votes for high lighting that garbage,……..

          Theres atleast 2 proper [snip] around here.

        • Perhaps the gimcrackery specialists at BBC or those who are of like minds at the New York Times should invite this dork to debate the merits of the Keynesian multiplier as an effective device for governments stimulating real economic growth, don’t you reckon? Or Perhaps they could arrange for a debate between Paul Krugman and Larry Kudlow. Tickets, anyone?

          Since Earth’s open oceans have an albedo of about .04 (4% reflectance) and oceans cover about 71% of Earth’s surface, what is the process and the path and the wavelengths by which all of that energy that is being absorbed by the oceans gets released back to space?

    • Patrick MJD:
      Environmental philosophy
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Jump to navigationJump to search
      Environmental philosophy is a branch of philosophy that is concerned with the natural environment and humans’ place within it.[1] It asks crucial questions about human environmental relations such as “What do we mean when we talk about nature?” “What is the value of the natural, that is non-human environment to us, or in itself?” “How should we respond to environmental challenges such as environmental degradation, pollution and climate change?” “How can we best understand the relationship between the natural world and human technology and development?” and “What is our place in the natural world?” As such, it uniquely positions itself as a field set to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century. Environmental philosophy includes environmental ethics, environmental aesthetics, ecofeminism, environmental hermeneutics, and environmental theology.[2] Some of the main areas of interest for environmental philosophers are:

      Marco Casagrande Sandworm, Beaufort04 Triennial of Contemporary Art, Wenduine, Belgium 2012
      Defining environment and nature
      How to value the environment
      Moral status of animals and plants
      Endangered species
      Environmentalism and Deep Ecology
      Aesthetic value of nature
      Restoration of nature
      Consideration of future generations[1]

      • “environmental aesthetics,”
        “How to value the environment”
        “Aesthetic value of nature”
        “Restoration of nature”

        So they advocate the demolition of wind turbines then, obviously.

    • Basically…..I’d LOVE to join the discussion…….but my COMMENT is stuck
      IF and WHEN it passes muster …….I would like to add these comments to it :
      IT appears to offer to society an explanation of “who we are and how we got
      here and what the hell we are supposed to do to survive here
      WITHOUT disrupting anything , especially ECOFEMINISTS ,
      because it’s ALWAYS MEN who get to do the hard ,dirty and dangerous work,
      so , naturally , MEN are ALWAYS at fault !!
      THIS is the NATURAL EXPLANATION for us and everything !!
      IF it’s good……then it’s MOTHER NATURE at work……..IF it’s NOT then it’s
      those (expletive!! ) MEN mucking EVERYTHING UP again !”
      Evidence : There it is , Stuck in his throat !!
      “Lived experience ! ” “Utterly infallible , in depth research and analysis ! ”
      It would make you LAUGH if it wasn’t taken so seriously !!
      and NOT a bloody word of sense in the whole confounded lot !
      OUROBOROS exemplified ……a Dragon slowly eating itself !!!For eternity !!
      When I last looked…..”WE” arrived here because we
      IT WAS A JOINT VENTURE ! Some sort of a “primitive” equality perhaps !???
      They say familiarity breeds contempt , but then
      it breeds everything else as well !!

      • Trevor, for the love of tap dancing Rosie O’Donnell… Please, dear boy, STOP using all caps!
        this is a site for gentlemen/women… wait… is it gentlepeople now? I digress.

        Please. Dear friend… type like someone having a conversation, not an emotionally immature whackadoo

          • As do I. Which is a shame, because I think you have made some good points, but my mind can’t overcome the assault to my vision. This isn’t a flame war, we’re actually having a discussion, and you could be more a part of it by (greatly) reducing the all caps. I agree it’s frustrating not having access to bold or italics (is there a new primer up yet to show me how to do it on the new server?) but too much all caps just chases readers away.

          • I was not aware that html codes could not be used on this site.
            Have a nice day!

          • I use caps sometimes, but I try to use them sparingly – ALL caps works to deemphasize the emphasis.

    • “environmental philosophy” is the oxymoron that makes “military intelligence” seem like a tautology.

    • ‘What is environmental philosophy?’

      It is the practice of forcing empirical reality through the prism of one’s beliefs.

    • books, including, in 2002, Kuhn: Philosopher of Scientific Revolution, on the work of Thomas Kuhn,…

      I’ve been re-reading Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” He uses equivocal language and describes science incorrectly. Kuhn, in short, was wrong.

      I can see, on this re-reading, why post-modernists love Kuhn’s rendition so and have elevated it into canon.

      Kuhn’s description of science does not allow a distinction between Einstein and Aquinas. All of science is implicitly rendered as fashion and opinion.

      Kuhn is a god-send for post-modern social determinists.

      • you got it! that makes at least 2 who do…lol he’s just another berzerkley guru.
        now howbow popper’s mysticism?
        carlos castaneda marks, for me, the hard left turn of caliphornia’s academic standards.
        dunno if you remember- his phd thesis in anthropology was found to be fiction.
        it was embraced as science.

    • I also studied PPE at Oxford, quite likely at the same time as Read. Please don’t judge us all because of this bozo. The fact that he contributed to a paper on the Precautionary Principle is also disappointing. It’s an idiot principle that blocks progress. For that reason, I developed an alternative: The Proactionary Principle.

    • Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a classically trained, philosopher/mathematician/author of Christian Lebanese descent, reads books in several languages, and specializes in the probability of rare events with potentially catastrophic impact on society, describing how little prepared society actually is to deal with such events because of man’s bias toward normality, actuarial calculations of normality and statistical normal distribution curves that minimize both the frequency and severity of “fat tail” events that albeit rare occur on a regular basis throughout the history of economics, geology, meteorology, astronomy, paleoclimatology, politics, terrorism etc. His book The Black Swan popularized the name of such events now used in the media, most often the financial press. NNT defined a Black Swan as unpredictable, having a massive impact, and after the fact human nature concocts an explanation that making it appear less random and more predictable than it actually is. He is an innovative thinker in the field of investment risk management who recommended a “dumb bell” approach to portfolio management with the majority of assets invested in safe and highly liquid investments and a small proportion in hedge instruments that would dramatically increase in value if financial catastrophe should occur, which he described along with much else in his book Anti-Fragile. Anti-Fragile, defined as the true opposite of fragility, the present state of our economy and society due its inability to cope with change, volatility, and risk, the Incompleteness of Knowledge, is a step beyond the robust and resilient. The robust merely recovers back to baseline post disaster; whereas the Anti fragile thrives on change and risk and uncertainty taking advantage of them. He has written about the logical rigor of scientific disconfirmation, “If I spot a black swan I can be quite certain that “all swans are white” is wrong. But even if I’ve never seen a black swan, I can never hold that statement to be true. Rephrasing it again: since one small observation can disprove a statement, while millions can hardly confirm it, disconfirmation or rejection is more rigorous than confirmation or acceptance.” NNT Antifragile. 2012.
      My note: For humanity acceptance is easier than rejection. He became a writer and a flaneur after making his fortune working for Wall St employing ideas related to financial risk. His most recent book Skin in the Game is a book of political/financial ethics that there should be a symmetry between risk and reward and that political corruption at the highest echelons of our society has bestowed great rewards on those who have taken no real risk but instead have transferred the risk to society at large. To my recollection his thoughts about AGW are veiled in the books that I’ve read. His collaboration with Mr Read aligns with the scathing criticism of the use of GMO in agriculture that appears in his last book.

    • With the exception of Taleb ( a classical liberal), his interests are mainly in thinkers (Wittgenstein, Kuhn etc.) whose ideas support collectivism, totalitarianism and anti-individualism. Taleb went wrong on AGW due to his mistaking white swans (natural variance) for ‘The Black Swan’ (or catastrophe, and also the name of his rather fine book). A mistake anyone can make.

      ‘Environmental Philosophy’ is may be a reference to the kinds of thinking Anna Bramwell discusses in her books. Unfortunately, the ideas she analyses are frequently those of the world’s first Green government in the 1930s, that is, the Third Reich.

    • Indeed, the whole ‘denier’ idea has nothing to do with science, its home is found in politics or religion. But that is such a popular idea with the climate ‘science ‘community tells us a great deal about the relationships between that community and the practice of science .

    • What we are is sceptics. That is the normal and correct ‘philosophical’ approach to science. I neither believe nor disbelieve in Global Warming as such. Climate change is a pretty meaningless term as that has been happening constantly since the beginning of time.
      AGW theory is utterly unproved and the grand predictions that are regularly made about it never, ever come about. Additionally, the worst prognostications are not even supported by the hypothesis. Finally, the prescriptive measures to correct this non-problem are worse than even the predicted calamities.
      Philosophy is about the most valueless “discipline” in the academic universe. They’re still arguing about the same stuff the Greeks were 2000 years ago. The philosophy is “settled”. Laughable twit.

      • The reason the term “Climate Change” was created was that it isa heads I win tails you lose expression, if the climate system warms, it’sClimate Change, if the climate system cools, it’s Climate Change, either way it’s all mankind’s fault!

        • Here is the rejoinder I use when presented with the phrase “Climate Change”:

          May I please ask you to define the phrase “climate change”? In your mind, what exactly does that mean?
          Is “climate change” what has occurred to Earth’s biosphere over the last 200 years, or the last 2 billion years, or what will happen in the future 1,000 years?
          Is climate change something only caused by humans, or is it due—in whole or in large part—to natural processes?
          Is climate change alarming at any level, say Earth’s average temperature increasing by 0.1 C per century, or is there a certain quantifiable rate in any parameter “x” whereby “change” starts happening (e.g., >3 C warming per century, or >100 ppm CO2 increase per century)?
          What are the full set of metrics that are to be monitored for defining “climate change”?
          And what is the ideal climate at which humans should be satisfied such that no further change, upward or downward, is acceptable? Is that state in the past, now, or in the future?
          And is there a, ahem, consensus among Earth’s population—from Eskimos to Polynesians to Sahara desert nomads—that the “ideal-climate-that-should-nevermore-change” is agreed upon?
          In summary:
          “If you can’t define something you have no formal rational way of knowing that it exists. Neither can you really tell anyone else what it is. There is, in fact, no formal difference between inability to define and stupidity.” — Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

  2. I guess he is merely philosophically opposed to debate. It couldn’t be that he could be shown to be incorrect anywhere in his assumptions; could it?

    • How could a philosopher debate a scientist anyway? Denier or otherwise. He wouldn’t have a clue about details, he’d be smashed at every turn no matter who he was up against.

  3. “I won’t go on the BBC if it supplies climate change deniers as ‘balance’”
    by Rupert Read

    Here we have Rupert Read who teaches philosophy at the University of East Anglia and chairs the Green House think-tank, explaining why he refused an invitation to discuss climate change on the BBC because it was with a so-called “denier.”

    The big joke here is that after refusing to go on air to put his point of view he is now making a formal complaint to the BBC “because the BBC cannot defend the practice of allowing a climate change denier to speak unopposed.”

    This is the level of stupidity of the climate hysterics.
    This is their level of debating skills.
    Still, what can we expect from the University of East Anglia?

    • Perhaps he’s the modern day Chicken Licken. He certainly seems to have grasped the chicken part.

      And not forgetting this is the university of East Anglia. Could it be he’s spent too much time hanging around with those in their Climate Research Unit?

        • That was ‘finger lickin” chicken —- By the box or by the bucket or by the barrel —-But then they discontinued fried chicken livers which were the favorite pieces for some people, so they no longer have a consensus agreement on the finger lickiin’ thing. There are now a lot of deniers running around the barn yard.

          More recently: Chicken Licken is a South African fast-food fried chicken restaurant chain. The company had an 80% share of South Africa’s fast food market in 2010, tying with McDonald’s. According to a case study.

          • Mark,

            You must not have gotten the memo: some 87.3% (or maybe it’s 97%; I can’t remember, and I’ve lost my copy of the memo … ) of all statistics are made up on the spot … … … … …

    • ‘ I said that the BBC should be ashamed of its nonsensical idea of “balance” ‘

      I obviously don’t listen to BBC here in the States, but I get the impression that sceptics hardly EVER get air time, and certainly NEVER without a “Green” also appearing.

      So I’d ask the good Professor, what number of appearances of those who don’t share your beliefs would be “reasonable”?

      Speak up. I thought I heard you say zero!

    • Just read through this Michel – thanks.
      Dear me, what an absolute pile of pseudo-intellectual excrement. The sad thing is – and it’s the same if you read Lewandowski, Oreskes etc, it never once occurs to these authors that a “climate denier” might have a strong, reasonable, technical or scientific case for his/her stance. The warmists’ “truth” is unquestionable, it seems.

      • Yeah, click of the author’s name and see what other articles he has written Seems obsessed with anti-semitism, holocaust denial Jewish Labour Party , Jeremy anti-jewish Corbyn, etc etc. Of course in the jewish run Guardian he gets free reign.

        The one case of being in denial he does not cover is the one where Arctic Ocean is not ice free, global warming is not running anywhere and the wheels are falling off the climate bandwagon.

        • The Guardian isn’t ‘Jewish run’, and never has been. Whatever that means, anyway!

          The key thing about the ‘climate denial’ claim that differentiates it from some of the others is that there is no specific thing that the ‘deniers’ are said to be denying. The others are pretty much binary.

          In the case of the Holocaust, the claim is that it never happened. In the case of vaccination I am not sure of the specifics, but the upshot is, don’t do it.

          In the case of climate, we have a very wide range of beliefs, where skepticism about any of them is stigmatized as denial. As an example, if you accept that CO2 causes warming, that the warming is dangerous and emissions should be globally dramatically lowered, but think that neither Paris nor wind turbines will do this, you will be called a ‘denier’.

          If you doubt that the present warm and dry European summer is evidence for something vaguely callled ‘climate change’, you will be called a denier.

          But these, and similar gradations of opinion, are part of a wide spectrum of arguable views of the state of climate science. As are, for instance, differing views of climate sensitivity or natural variation’s contribution to recent warming.

          This is just a science which is still developing and changing/ The accusation of ‘denial’ is the assertion that there is something, though its never specified exactly what, that is certain, and which only the stupid, uninformed of venal can refuse assent to.

          By contrast with vaccination my impression is that anti-vaxx regards any and all vaccination as ineffective or dangerous. Those who deny the Holocaust seem to claim that it never happened, the camps were not killing camps etc. Both of these examples are cases where the details may be in contention still – is a given vaccine actually safe and effective, for instance. The numbers of the dead in a given episode may be uncertain and argued about. But the phenomenon, that in general vaccination works, or that there were millions of people shot and gassed, these are not open to question, and it seems to be this that the deniers dispute.

          The effort with climate science is to rush to fixed judgment too soon, by assimilating all skepticm about any aspect of what the speaker claims to have found in climate science to these other fields of denial.

          It has an interesting parallel to the precautionary principle argument, which is basically an attempt to justify dramatic and expensive policies which have no scientific justification, by arguing that in this case you don’t need one.

    • This article from Grauniad is quite frankly very scary! The people who write this kind of pseudo-intellectual crap live in cloud cuckoo land. This kind of stuff is just a few steps from the incitement that sociopaths of the worst kind need to justify all manner of draconian measures to censure and “re-educate” those who have deviated from the true and righteous path. We live in dangerous times!

    • 160 mentions of ‘denial’ (which includes the terms denialist etc.). 7 of ‘denier’ and 6 of ‘deny’ in that article. That’s not journalism, it’s brainwashing.

      “…….who are we as a species? Do we all (the odd sociopath aside) share a common moral foundation? ” (my emphasis).

      Possibly the stupidest statement I have ever seen. One doesn’t have to be a sociopath to have different morals to another.

      It goes on, compounding the stupidity, “How do we relate to people whose desires are starkly different from our own?”

      Like who? The “odd” sociopath? Or are the rest of us who don’t share Mr. Kahn-Harris’ particular moral compass all sociopaths?

      Is it moral to eat a cat, dog or rat? Not in the UK, but in China, it’s quite acceptable. Horse anyone? Our French cousins celebrate eating them!

      Is it moral in the western world to have sex under 16 years old? No, of course not. Yet the female anatomy is designed to emit signals of fertility from as young as 12 years old. And in some cultures, that’s evidence enough for marriage. So how does Mr. Kahn-Harris deal with that dilemma? By tarring these people as sociopaths, that’s how. Imagine that, entire cultures sociopathic yet he dismisses it with “Do we all (the odd sociopath aside)”.

      Did nature make this happen, or perhaps God? Are western moral standards, therefore, at odds with nature/God and numerous other countries/cultures? I’m prepared to bet there are numerous cultures out there who consider western morals reprehensible.

      Dear Lord (not that I’m a believer) this is the type of distorted logic we “deniers” must tolerate.

      This article is typical of the leftist, elitist crap that thou shalt do as I say, not as I do.
      [Snip] I hate socialism!

        • ThomasJK

          As we have no point of reference, e.g. an off world culture, I don’t think there’s there’s an answer to that.

  4. If you stick your fingers in your ears and hum loudly, the other side goes away and you win. Used to work in the playground every time.

    • In my experience, those who refuse to debate are the ones who know they can’t win a debate.

      EDIT: Those who are confident in their abilities and data, are usually eager to debate. Anywhere. Anytime.

  5. University of East Anglia. University of East Anglia.
    Where have I heard that name before. Oh yes! now I remember. And no wonder he doesn’t want to debate with “deniers”.

  6. It seems that many believers are exhausted. We need to double down and apply even more pressure.

    • The True Believers in CAGW seem to be walking around with that vacant, disoriented thousand-yard stare. It’s the body language of losers.

  7. Rational intelligent people debate those with whom they disagree using evidence to support their case. Bigoted ignoramuses just scream ‘unfair’ and rely on abuse. Guess, Mr Read, which category you fall into.

  8. Just when you thought that the sheer, squirming embarrassment of being an academic associated with the University of East Anglia could not get any worse along comes this self-regarding twerp. This is what happens when arrogance meets ignorance. Natural cycles? No,no, they’re just canards. For all those folk who have a different viewpoint to CAGW sceptics and have the guts to come on here and fight your corner, what do they think of this behaviour? Nick Stokes, you’re not afraid to mix it at Anthony’s place, what’s your view on all this?

    • As a former academic who taught in UEA’s School of Environmental Science I am in no way ashamed of having done so. You have a rather large tar brush.

      • Your response has no meaning if you do not include where you stand on the debate, Alan.
        Are you saying you do not deserve John’s criticism because you disavow CAGW? Or, are you saying you are proud member of the group that calls out “denier” to those of us asking for evidence of CAGW?


    • Factualism vs. Denialism? If there should ever be a “winner” just what, exactly, will they have won and will the victory be worthwhile?

    • Mr Read is signaling his virtue. Having lost the scientific debate but seized the moral high ground along with the rest of the CAGW herd, whose company he is obviously reluctant to leave or to anger or to disappoint, assured in the correctness of his belief by the constant drone of Left wing media and academic bias, ignoring the flaws of confirmation bias, ignorant of the rigors of scientific disconfirmation, like a general marshaling an ever weaker force to put in the field, he is on the defensive, setting the rules of engagement and molding the battle field to suit his objectives, by denying others the chance to puncture his ego and force him into a full retreat and confront the humiliation of having to admit that he and his elitist environmentist friends might be wrong.

  9. So why is a philosophy professor being asked by the BBC to discuss science issues in the first place? And why does he think he is more qualified than a scientist who is also a Denier? I also love the self-importance – I have denied the BBC and the public the benefit of my brilliance, now they shall suffer!

    I had a look at the original twitter thread, and it is full of strawmen and idiocies. Will the BBC put flat-earthers on to “balance” arguments was a typical comment. That and insulting actual scientists like MAtt Ridely.

    Still, the more Greenies who refuse to go on the BBC the better

  10. Rupert Read us a prime Cnut*

    He teaches the ‘Philosophy of Climate Change’ and a more unpleasant piece of excrement was never wiped off a rural shoe.

    like Michael Mann, he too sports a vanity beardlet.

    It is no surprise he refused to appear with anyone who has an ounce of integrity or intelligence. He wouldn’t want the public humiliation.

    * the king who attempted to use human commands to hold back the incoming tides.

    • Leo Smith

      King Canute didn’t attempt to hold the sea back. The point of the demonstration to his courtiers was to enlighten them that even a man as great and powerful as him couldn’t stop the tide coming in.

  11. Personally I don’t debate science with those that gave it up as a subject as early as they could because it was too difficult.

  12. He admitted it himself: He is a Green, not a Philosopher.
    Not only should he not appear on the BBC, he should be removed from any philosophy teaching duties.

    Reasonable people might also ask why on earth he gets invitations from the BBC in the first place, but we already know the answer to that: The BBC is also not true to its charter and has Greenpeace representatives on speed-dial.

  13. Email sent to this “philosopher” who refuses debate.
    Obviously he is unconvinced by the strength of his own debating skill.

  14. I hate to admit this but the only way that this hoax will crumble is either a mini ice age hits us, or that at one point only 10% are alarmists. By that time the other 90% of the population will have heard THE BOY CRY WOLF ONCE TOO OFTEN. The insidious thing about this is the alarmist side will always be able to claim that an extreme weather event was caused by climate change ; in other words global warming. So we must call them out on this at every point whenever someone says that there are more extreme weather events now than before . The stats say NO but we have to keep hammering that point across.

    • A mini ice age would still be co2, only they would suddenly have discovered ”their mistake” in their radiative model.

    • Not necessarily a mini ice age. I think a cooling period similar to the one in 50s/60s/70s will do the trick, and that will happen next, imo. A flat 20-year trend, then 30-year… Arctic sea ice incrase…

          • Weren’t you paying attention? NOW it’s the SKEPTICS AND REPUBLICANS that came up with that change!
            At this point, they’re rewriting history as it suits them.
            Just think of the overall damage to society on that alone.

    • I’m sure they’ll be able to find a way to claim that a mini ice age is consistent with global warming, and be able to provide model outputs to ‘prove’ it.

  15. All rise. The court is in session.

    The prosecutor’s office will now state the case for the plaintiff.

    We the citizens of the world charge that man standing over there, Mr. CO2 to be guilty of crimes upon humanity. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh and other cries throughout the courtroom.

    What have I done? cries out Mr. CO2

    You have caused catastrophic warming, and all hell has broken loose across the planet with the ice caps melting and with storms and other extreme weather events now battering humanity mercilessly. How do you plead?

    NOT GUILTY Your Honour.

    Will the lead prosecutor lay before the court evidence of the charges?

    We shall. Your Honour.

    At your honour’s convenience we should like to present the 32,458 papers that have been published on all aspects of global warming and since we have a 97% consensus that means that 31,484 papers have confirmed that global warming exists and that that man over there Mr. CO2 caused it.

    Gasppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp.A large gasp from the courtroom.

    You don’t expect me to read all of these papers do you?

    No Your Honour but if it pleases the court, we can bring in a computer hookup to the court and run one of our climate computer simulation models (GCM’s) that PROVE what the studies are saying.

    And how would a computer model do that?

    Well Your Honour, almost all of the above 31,484 papers used computer models to justify their conclusions that Mr. CO2 will cause catastrophic climate change if he isn’t stopped..

    I see what you mean.

    If it also pleases the court we would also like to call witnesses for the prosecution.


    I call Dr. James Hansen, an eminent climate scientist and possibly one could call him the most famous climate scientist of all time, and a 5 times arrested political prisoner to the stand.

    Mr Hansen Do you swear ………………blah blah blah……………………..

    I do.

    Mr Hansen . How many scientific papers have you published sir?

    Approximately 190.

    Were they all peer reviewed?

    Of course.

    Would you retract anything you have ever said or published?

    I stand by every word.

    In your opinion, what is the fate of humanity in light of Mr. CO2’s actions?

    I am afraid it is too late. The following are my most famous quotes on this. Many of them; I said more than 10 years ago.

    “The climate dice are now loaded. Some seasons still will be cooler than the long-term average, but the perceptive person should notice that the frequency of unusually warm extremes is increasing. It is the extremes that have the most impact on people and other life on the planet.”

    “Imagine a giant asteroid on a direct collision course with Earth. That is the equivalent of what we face now with climate change, yet we dither.”

    “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilisation developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO₂ will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm [parts per million] to at most 350 ppm… If the present overshoot of this target CO₂ is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects.”

    “We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”

    “We are on the precipice of climate system tipping points beyond which there is no redemption.”

    “It would be immoral to leave young people with a climate system spiraling out of control.”

    “Global warming has already triggered a sea level rise that could reach from 6 metres (19.69 ft) to 25 metres (27.34 yards).”

    “What we are doing to the future of our children, and the other species on the planet, is a clear moral issue.”

    “How long have we got? We have to stabilize emissions of carbon dioxide within a decade, or temperatures will warm by more than one degree… We don’t have much time left.”

    “Planet Earth, creation, the world in which civilization developed, the world with climate patterns that we know and stable shorelines, is in imminent peril.”

    “Global warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening.”

    “Only in the last few years did the science crystallize, revealing the urgency – our planet really is in peril. If we do not change course soon, we will hand our children a situation that is out of their control.”

    “The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”

    “If we fail to act, we will end up with a different planet.”

    “The climate system is being pushed hard enough that change will become obvious to the man in the street in the next decade.”

    “We have at most ten years – not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions… We are near a tipping point, a point of no return, beyond which the built in momentum and feedbacks will carry us to levels of climate change with staggering consequences for humanity and all of the residents of this planet.”

    “As you get more global warming, you should see an increase in the extremes of the hydrological cycle – droughts and floods and heavy precipitation.”

    “Adding CO2 to the air is like throwing another blanket on the bed.”

    “The five warmest years over the last century occurred in the last eight years.”

    “What has become clear from the science is that we cannot burn all of the fossil fuels without creating a very different planet.”

    “We have to, in the next ten years, begin to decrease the rate of carbon dioxide emissions and then flatten it out. If that doesn’t happen in ten years, we’re going to be passing certain tipping points. If the ice sheets begin to disintegrate, what can you do about it? You can’t tie a rope around an ice sheet.”

    Does the defendant’s lawyer wish to cross examine Mr. Hansen?

    We do Your Honour .

    Mr Hansen, How many predictions have you made about the planet that had specific consequences with deadline dates attached to them?

    I don’t remember.

    Well then let us refresh your memory.


    There seems too many to count but may we round it off to around 20 failed predictions with 0 correct ones?

    BUT that’s not the point. Our civilization is at stake.

    YES Mr. Hansen, our civilization is indeed at stake but not for the reasons you think. No further questions Your Honour

    The witness may stand down.

    Does the prosecution have any more witnesses to call?

    No Your Honour. The evidence is all in the papers and computer models.

    Does the defendant have any witnesses on his behalf?

    Well Your Honour, we wanted to call Dr. Michael Mann as a hostile witness but he said that he doesn’t play hockey and he refused.

    I don’t understand the last comment.

    Your Honour, It was a reference to the infamous hockey stick graph that he created. It is in some of those 31,484 papers before you.

    I hope the defendant doesnt expect me to read all those papers.

    No Your Honour. They were all pal reviewed anyway and almost all of them relied on computer climate models.

    Your Honour The defendant would like to call the 125 or so computer climate models to the stand all as hostile witnesses.

    But they aren’t human. They are just computer code.

    Well Your Honour We could recall Dr. Hansen and he could substitute for the computer models.

    The court agrees.

    Dr. Hansen is hereby recalled to the stand.

    Mr Hansen Do you swear ………………blah blah blah……………………..

    I do.

    Mr. Hansen Isn’t it true that the computer models have not had 1 publicly available accurate temperature prediction about the future including your Scenario C in 1988?


    Yes Mr. Hansen

    Your Honour the computer climate models are still only a work in progress and the ICPP has been quoted in its 3rd assessment report as saying “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPs Did I say that?

    I would like to retract that statement.

    Too late Dr. Hansen . May the court stenographer verify that what Dr. Hansen has said be entered into the court record.

    Does the prosecution wish to cross examine Dr. Hansen?

    No we do not Your Honour.

    Your Honour, the defense would like to call one more witness to the stand?

    Mr CO2. Do you swear ………………blah blah blah……………………..

    I do.

    Mr CO2 In your defense would you outline for the court why you are NOT GUILTY.

    Well I’m a humble molecule. To quote WIKI

    “I am linear and centrosymmetric. The carbon–oxygen bond length is 116.3 pm, noticeably shorter than the bond length of a C–O single bond and even shorter than most other C–O multiply-bonded functional groups. Since I am centrosymmetric, I have no electrical dipole. Consequently, only two vibrational bands are observed in the IR spectrum – an antisymmetric stretching mode at 2349 cm−1 and a degenerate pair of bending modes at 667 cm−1. There is also a symmetric stretching mode at 1388 cm−1 which is only observed in the Raman spectrum.”

    So it is true that I do absorb LWIR, but I am outnumbered in the atmosphere. I am only 410 ppm. Every pico second those damn N2 and O2 molecules are always colliding with me and causing me to lose my photons. And convection is always carrying me to the top of the atmosphere where any energy I have is released into the colder temperatures. 30% of me gets recycled to the oceans and the land surface every year anyway so I don’t stay long. Besides even though mankind adds me to the equivalent of 3.3ppm only 1.5 ppm of me is net addition every year to the atmosphere.

    Millions of years ago I was as much as 8000 ppm and nobody died because of me. Besides I am in every pop drink(kids love me) and hundreds of other industrial processes. Plants need me to survive and you Your Honour are breathing me out right now.

    I am???????????

    Yes your Honour this stuffy court room is probably 2000 ppm right now.

    And the oceans need me and the rocks too . I have lots of friends.

    BUT the mean EPA in the US got the law to call me a pollutant. I haven’t polluted anything. The ice caps are only repeating their cycles of melting and cooling every 60 to 100 years and there havent been any more extreme weather events now than there ever was. The oceans have a ph of over 8 which is nowhere near to being acidic because it is a log scale. the coral reefs arent dying off and there are more polar bears than there ever were. I could go on and on about every scare story ever invented by the alarmists has been refuted but I dont want to bore you with the details.
    The temperature you see outside can vary 20 C in one day, easy. And even the IPCC says that I only caused the temperature to go up 0.8 C in a century. It wasn’t me Your Honour. I didn’t do it. There has never been a century in the earth’s history where the climate hasn’t changed that much. It changes all the time. If you dismiss the case against me Your Honour, I will secretly tell you what causes climate change.

    I don’t do deals in my courtroom Mr CO2.

    Sorry Your Honour


    Well the last thing I will say your Honour is that I think this is one big conspiracy against me by the climate scientists. Think of it this way Your Honour. If we didnt have to worry about the future climate and if there was nothing we could do to change it , why would we need climate scientists? It is in their best interests to put fear into every child’s heart by teaching them in school that they will drown in rising seas or burn up in the rising heat. This fear you see is what keeps the funding going. Why, your Honour, the climate change scandal is now a trillion and a half $ industry in the world?

    It issssssssssssss?

    Yes Your Honour. There is lots of money at stake here. One final thought your Honour. They want to jail my friend Mr. Methane too, because all the worlds cows by farting contribute to green house gas release and they say Mr. Methane is 20 times more dangerous than me.

    Don’t believe it Your Honour. We are innocent.

    Does the prosecution want to cross examine Mr. CO2?

    No. Your Honour we can’t find any fault with Mr CO2’s testimony but that doesnt mean our models are wrong.

    Any more witnesses?

    No Your Honour
    I will hear your closing statements next time.
    The court is adjourned.

    [Long, but well-written. Thank you, .mod]

    • Alan Tomalty

      Only two observations and they are most certainly not criticisms:

      1. It is my experience that once sworn in during a court case, the swearing in isn’t repeated. The judge usually reminds the witness they are still under oath if they are recalled. At least in the UK.

      2. The defence failed to ask the defendant whether there was, in those 31,484 papers, a single one which empirically demonstrates that CO2 causes global warming.

      The answer, obviously, would be “no, the evidence against me is all conjecture, assumption and circumstantial”.

      I enjoyed reading it and it was a lot of work.

      • The oath for Hansen and Mann should be, ” Do you promise to continue to lie in the manner which you have maintained throughout your entire career”? Just so we know where we stand!

  16. Seeing as this post is also about the BBC and global-warming, this delightful little nugget is not off-topic:

    “Middle-class” cocaine users have been accused by police and politicians of fuelling crime. But who actually uses the drug?

    The problem, says the UK’s most senior police officer, is a group of middle-class people who worry about “global warming and fair trade… but think there is no harm in taking a bit of cocaine”.

    Chuckle. I’ll bet someone at the BBC is rather displeased with the person who let that slip through. The author had better watch out for their career.

  17. First things first. How comes philosophy is now a science ? Quote a philosophical unit in the MKS system ? Some sort of vector geometry ?
    Quite normal that a philosopher comes to expect action without reaction. Nuff’said.

  18. As an expat East Anglian, every time reports of this ilk surface I am filled with embarrassment.
    When the emails from UEA surfaced I expected that the rigor of my native region and its funded University would be polished and beyond reproach.
    About that time solar collectors were being advocated for foggy Norfolk.
    Were this academic so sure of his position, all he need do is demolish the ‘denier’.
    After all, that is the Jesuitical way.
    Alternatively he may have lighted upon the Socratic method and asked leading questions to discern truth.
    Examples could be
    If we in GB shut down all our carbon [sic] emitting infrastructure for a year, by how much would that cut projected global warming by 2100?
    State the answer in degrees centigrade with error margin.

    Which Western developed country has most reduced its carbon footprint, say, since Trump got elected,by the greatest margin?

    Per capita, which country has the biggest carbon footprint?
    2Timor Leste.

    Per capita, which country has the highest GDP and lowest infant mortality rate?
    2Timor Leste.

    Since CO2 is a well mixed gas that blankets the Earth the CO2 hypothesis predicts
    1A tropospheric hot spot
    2 The Antarctic continent warming.
    A Has the hot spot been observed, if so by whom and when?
    B Which parts of Antarctica are warming?
    Are they related to geothermal heat?


    • You seem to forget that CO2 causes volcanoes according to these guys. They have done studies and CO2 increase and volcanoes happen at the same time. What other proof do you need???

  19. UEA home of CRU and climategate .
    The odd thing is he fails to explain outside his unquestioning belief in AGW , what ‘expertise ‘ he would bring to a review of AGW , his background would suggest all he can offer is ‘word play ‘ his own attitude suggest ironically his has no ability to take a philosophical approach , given this requires he very type of questioning he rejects . And it appears his little faith in even his own abilities.
    So the point of asking him on the show was what ?
    A local guy whose known has a hard-core green and is ‘good with words ‘
    But it comes as no surprise to find that he will not debate with people whose views are different, that is after all very much the way climate ‘science ‘ is done and after all ‘why should I show you the data you only want to find something wrong with it ‘

  20. and since when?? would a philosopher BE the person to speak on Climate matters anyway?

  21. “The future of life on earth depends on convincing skeptics that we’re right, and I refuse to engage in a discussion with them.”

  22. The strategy is to refuse to engage skeptics in a debate, pretending that there is nothing to discuss. Whatever. We’ve had an extensive public debate and the alarmist side has lost. We’re not de-carbonizing the global economy, and neither are we enacting wealth transfers of hundreds of billions of dollars.

  23. Humans cannot pass off untruths, he knows he cannot coherently explain his position/thinking and hence why he bailed out.
    A good result, of sorts.

    What is really needed though is for him to leave the bosom of the bureaucracy.
    I would definitely assert that legions of non-productive folks like these are what ultimately destroy civilisations – NOT Climate Change as is what *supposedly* happened to all previous attempts at building/maintaining civilisations.
    No. Attempting to support all these hangers-on and their crony friends destroyed the farmland surrounding The Settlement, THAT changed the climate.
    The crops & plants stopped growing because they exhausted their dirt. Witness Roman ports now several miles inland because of all the silt they created while this fellow’s counterparts in Rome enjoyed free food/housing/circus tickets/prostitutes etc – all at the expense of the tax paying Plebs.

    And who are the people asserting that Climate Change killed off the Romans, Phoenicians, Rapa-Nui, Himyar etc etc if not THE very group of people he is a member of.

    But he won’t bail out – not least as he is on a salary of twice the national average and looking forward to a rock solid pension at least equal to national average pay and also index linked.
    Comfortable or what.
    *There* is the magnifier, the positive loop-gain that turns an otherwise stable system into an unstable positively fed-back system that can only end as a train-wreck.
    And how many new universities did Tony Blair create – the graduates of which are lucky now to find jobs flipping burgers. *His* students in all probability.
    How many overpaid self seekers like these are now locked into the system?
    Just as many senior & middle managers did when the Health Service was told to make some cost-savings a few years ago. They held a gun to the heads of their patients and thus locked themselves into rock-solid positions, entirely un-sackable and doubled their ££ take-home to boot.
    And see yesterday how an interest-rate rise actually resulted in the value of the GBP falling off a cliff – exactly the opposite of what *should* have happened.

    Don’t tell me – the Climate Changed.

  24. My complaint to BBC: What does a UEA or UAE philosopher know about the science, or these post normal days, even philosophy. Dang right he turned tail! A Dеиуег willing to debate at least has a thoughtful take.

  25. “I won’t go on the BBC if it supplies climate change deniers as ‘balance’”

    Which translates as “If I go on, I know I’ll get ripped to shreds by a skeptic who knows their sh1t, and do no amount of damage to the casue”

  26. Rupert Read: “Cargo Cult Climate Scientist”
    (Un) Philosopher Prof. Rupert Read exemplifies “Cargo Cult (Climate) Science”. By refusing to debate the issues Read is exposed as believing that global climate models so poorly predict objective facts that he dare not debate the models vs evidence. Instead he descends to illogical ad hominem attacks, trying to persuade by rhetorical shenanigans.
    Contrast Physics Noble Laureate Richard Feynman’s high standard of upholding the scientific method in Cargo Cult Science” 1974 Caltech. Feynman shows the necessity of thoroughly examining ALL competing models against the evidence to find the strongest most reliable physics based model (rather than curve fitting).
    Robert Bradley Jr. further details the these issues in ‘Climate Denier’: Imprecise, Fallacious And Hateful

  27. Is U of East Anglia prestigious in GB? I never heard of it until its hockey stick scandal.

    • No, it is a dump. It is 269 in the World ranking. I’ve only been there once and I thought it was full of pretentious 3rd raters.

      It is known as the “University of Easy Access”

  28. “NorwegianSceptic” (accurately) describes “Dr Read” as “What a complete and utter Moron!!!”

    I used to regularly find myself screaming at the local newspaper every time he wrote in. Despite that, I took a number of screenshots, and here is (thanks to OCR) the content of one of his missives from November 2015, with the initial bolded text being the letter title, as provided by the editor:

    We ought to be scared stiff of what is clearly a climate crisis

    DR RUPERT READ, Philosophy Department, School of Philosophy, Politics and Languages, UEA, Norwich.

    I teach at UEA, alongside some of the world‘s leading climate scientists. One of my fellow academics at UEA, until he left for a new post in London, was the eminent climate scientist Prof Mike Hulme, who warns against using terms such as “catastrophe” in describing the potential future impacts of man- made climate change because he is concerned the use of such alarming terms may disempower people. Now, I agree that it is absolutely not enough to scare people. I agree one needs to emphasise how the changes needed to stop man-made climate change are in themselves life- improving. And I agree one needs to ensure people don’t think the mountain is too big to climb. But, by sticking to talking of “climate change“ rather than of “climate crisis” and “potential climate catastrophe”, one is playing the same game as the more subtle and intelligent of the climate- deniers. One ends up speaking their language. ’ Steven Poole has shown this in his important book Unspeak. Poole documents how the term “climate change” became the term of choice for the Saudis, for the US oil companies, for the Republicans, displacing “global warming”. Because, as leading Republican pollster Frank Luntz put it, in a secret document that was leaked “‘Climate change’ is less frightening than ‘global warming.” Luntz wants us all to stay cool- headed over “climate change”, a goal he shares with Mike Hulme. I, by contrast, think we ought to be mad as hell, and scared stiff. Already in places such as Bangladesh and Ethiopia, and even in the United States, the climate crisis is biting and killing. The mega storm that hit our coasts here in East Anglia a couple of years ago, followed by the great floods in the south-west and the south, was a harbinger of what climate chaos has in store for us unless we stop it. To do this it is vital we change the language surrounding the climate crisis, especially pertinent given the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. My proposal is straightforward. “Climate change” is an Orwellian euphemism, and should be dropped. To use that term is still to be in denial. We should speak honestly We should speak of “climate crisis”, “global over-heating”, and the risk of “‘climate catastrophe”. For those interested in learning more about the effects of global over-heating, Cinema City Norwich is screening important documentaries in the series Years of Living Dangerously every Sunday from now to November 22 from 10.15am to ll.45am.

    • sticking to talking of “climate change“ rather than of “climate crisis” and “potential climate catastrophe”, one is playing the same game as the more subtle and intelligent of the climate- deniers. One ends up speaking their language.
      Now I’ve heard everything!!

      Sceptics (and Republicans) invented the term “Climate Change”, and did so because it was less alarming than Global Warming!!?!
      Has he never heard of Ross Gelbspan? .. or his mentor Al Gore?

      He believes semantics, changing the meaning of words in the middle of the game is a right wing tactic?
      Boy, has he swallowed the Kool-ade!

      • You’ve almost got to admire the sheer gall – the total lack of shame. They coin all these phrases and then turn around and claim skeptics did.
        I don’t think he’s SWALLOWED the Kool-aid – I think he’s mixing it up himself.

  29. Censoring, no-platforming, or otherwise refusing to engage with the other side gives them more legitimacy, not less. The allure of forbidden fruit. The claims of persecution. The justification for becoming even more hardline and extreme in their position. You give them all of these things.

    • I remember before their “Climate” days, EAU was regularly raked over the coals by the Monty Python troupe.

    • It used to be said that Norwich had exchanged a second-rate golf course for a third-rate University.

  30. If the framing is “everything” then I guess they don’t need him anyway. He’s not very philosophical, is he? Maybe asking was charity on the part of the BBC. He doesn’t actually sound very bright.

  31. Wow. I keep saying things like ‘pompous elitist’ but it still amazes me. Every time.
    I suppose it’s encouraging, in a way, that this stuff still outrageous me.

  32. Those who do not want to consult or debate (which are different activities) should relinquish the platform to those who wish to do so. If the alarmists run away, the skeptics should be given the platform to show what is true instead of speculate about what is not.

    So be it. “Just so” stories about the climate are not preferable to facts and logical analysis.

  33. I’m watching/waiting for the time to come whereas the left wing nutcases adopt the cry that ‘it was a vast right wing conspiracy’ that caused/allowed their bizarre actions to be widely broadcast that portrayed them to be bizarre nutcases. They will demand reparations. So goes their circle reasoning.

    • The ability to rationalize themselves into the moral high ground is nearly super-natural.

  34. New fields await us: environmental philosophy; environmental justice; environmental sociology; environmental mathematics; environmental political science; environmental economics; environmental medicine, dentistry, psychiatry; environmental humanities….the possibilities are endless

    • You laugh, but it’s coming for you.

      Post-modernism and so-called intersectionality have destroyed the scholarship and standards in the Humanities and soft sciences in universities across the western world.

      They’re coming for STEM. They’re at the door.

  35. Couldn’t Ben Santer be called a type of denier for changing round the conclusions in the IPCC 1995 report that there was NO evidence of human activity on climate change to that there WAS evidence of human activity on climate change?
    Refusing to debate climate change gives the impression that one is not completely au fait with the facts/details, and runs the risk that one might end up losing the debate.

  36. “By giving climate change deniers a full platform, producers make their position seem infinitely more reasonable than it is. (This contributes to the spread of misinformation and miseducation around climate change that fuels the inaction producing the long emergency we are facing.)”

    This guy is just another triggered leftist snowflake going along with the current anti-fake news movement.

    Twitter, FB, google, and all of the “fake news fix” activities going on or that are planned to happen are all part of the elites plan to be in control of what we read and hence, why we think.

    Reminds me of an article I read that quoted Bill Clinton pining for the old days when we all got our news from the 3 major networks.
    Ponder this next time you hear leftist gush over diversity… Diversity to dems excludes diversity in news outlets.

  37. “Because I said so” may be a sufficient defense for a tyrant, but it is an insult to science.

  38. ‘Deck stacked against you’ Lol! Good one. Historically it’s been a string of biased hit pieces against skeptics. Occasionally a real skeptic who knows his stuff slips though their tight audience controls and you get a situation like the one where Suzuki got destroyed but they’re few and far between.
    We need a real debate with top skeptical scientists who bring up the important points like the missing Tropospheric hot spot which destroys the CAGW hypothesis right off the bat, the ERBE satellite-measured increase in Outgoing Longwave radiation with increased surface warming, the temperature rise slowdown since 98 (including the pause), the Vostok ice core CO2 lag of 800 years, the MWP etc.
    I’ve seen a debate with Lindzen et all where they failed to bring up these points properly and it allowed the opponents to spout their normal ‘consensus’ rhetoric.

    • You mean it destroys the holly grail RGE right off the bat.

      And shunts the lukewarm gravy train into the buffers,

      ”We need a real debate with top skeptical scientists who bring up the important points like the missing Tropospheric hot spot which destroys the CAGW hypothesis right off the bat,”

  39. WELL, we all here know that only Climatologists can speak about climate-change, what’s with a philosopher speaking on this subject ??

  40. Look on the bright side. He might have followed those other two Oxford PPE graduates David Cameron and Ed Miliband into Parliament.

  41. If only critical thinking was taught to everyone as teenagers, folks like this would have zero traction with John Q. Public and be totally ignored.

    • Instead they’re taught an ersatz version that assures them they think critically as long as they think the ‘correct’ thoughts, i.e. what their activist teachers tell them.

  42. Perhaps this is a new mainstream opinion of Rupert Reed from the new member of the New York Times editorial board, Sarah Jeong:

    Dumbass fucking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants
    — sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) November 29, 2014

    these are inconvenient truths but we should thoroughly examine them instead of giving into the PC lie that white people don’t smell bad
    — sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) December 24, 2014

    the science is indisputable pic.twitter.com/th39vKR40g
    — sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) December 24, 2014


    Personally, I don’t think I smell bad when I’m wet! But then I never asked a dog.

    • The Left keeps going a little more crazy every day.

      I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised because Trump is destroying their socialist agenda every day.

      • Every day that TDS is on full display is another rock on the avalanche that’s going to hit them come midterms.

  43. Really?
    “If we get more momentum behind the idea of refusing to participate, it will force a change of coverage methods by the BBC, which experts have been calling for for years. For if we all refuse to debate with the climate change deniers on public platforms, and press the BBC to catch up with the 21st century, it will be forced to change its ways, because the BBC cannot defend the practice of allowing a climate change denier to speak unopposed.”
    All BBC will have to do is publicly invite the Greens, and if they refuse, the BBC will have done due diligence. Failure to debate is not an excuse. Maybe the commentators can take the place of the PHDs on the panel and make a realistic challenge. Right.
    Maybe if the BBC commentators also refuse to take part… well they’ll be replaced.
    If everyone stops talking about climate change, maybe that will make it go away.
    Go ahead. Hold your breath till you turn blue.

  44. So much for ‘I may be wrong and you may be right, but together we may find the truth’. (K R Popper). The complaint about the ‘deck is….stacked against me’ is rich. Surely this is the time ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going, no?

    Ah, no. The idea of ‘balance’ is ‘nonsensical’. This is a scientific debate, and we all know how settled science is from tobacco, which takes on negative weight when burned and gains phlogiston in the process, thus causing cancer. ‘Framing’ is everything, even though Trump won with the ‘wrong type of framing’ (to say the least!) and continues to pile on the votes.

    We deniers should take comfort from this man’s whinging. Trump shows how very childish and feeble the rulers are, and collapse like cards even while issuing death threats.

    Rupert – ‘Roop’ – is another reed which breaks easily in the wind. More fool him if he believes the ever-sympathetic BBC is gonna do him down. Can’t find his way out of the nursery? He can’t even see the door! Poor sod.

    O Aristotle! Thou shouldst be living at this time! ‘The Great Souled Man’? Whither?

  45. Don’t care, never heard of him.

    I do know that only people who either know they cant win or are too lazy to even try are the only ones who will refuse a public debate. Being a green, you can be sure he is pretty much scientifically illiterate on the topic as a whole and fresh from the echo chamber

    In this case, he knows he cant win, so complains and stamps his feet, becomes obstinate.

    To date, still no explicit evidence CO2 drives observed warming, after all this time. It leaves people like Schmidt to tactics of tweeting “wow” at his own dodgy analyses and Mann claiming weather is “”climate change” in real-time” 😀

    He would be easily defeated in a debate.
    Q1 What do we know we dont know or understand well relating to climate
    A: We don’t understand or know A LOT about the system(historically\currently\in future).

    the answer invariably and logically leads to the second question
    Q2 How then can you be certain at all?
    A: we can’t

    A philosopher would have to follow the same conclusion. So a philosopher like the above would both know he cant be certain at all, nor can anyone else, and yet still believe he and others are certain with good reason.


  46. What an undemocratic idiot. He knew that if he debated his views with one of the millions of people that do not accept his own views, he would have lost the debate. AGW fanatics could never stand the heat of a true scientific questioning of their views.

  47. I also hope the BBC put him in their black book, and never invite him again to talk or debate on any subject.

  48. “the scientific debate is as settled as the “debate” about whether smoking causes cancer.”

    AGW is settled, but not CAGW. CAGW is what skeptics are bridling at. But Warmists almost always implicitly portray skeptics as disbelieving in AGW, which they don’t—they are lukewarmers. For Prof. Read to engage in this strawman tactic is surprising in a philosopher, who should be familiar with argumentative / logical fallacies.

  49. How UEA philosopher refused to debate –


    You should not talk about what you can not talk about.


    University of East Anglia Philosophy teacher Rupert Read could not talk about

    what for he has no concepts.



  50. To get clear, his mama knows – what he can’t talk about is not a philosophy issue.

    It’s just – he can’t talk about.

  51. Any scientific topic with the word philosophy in the preface is bound to include mostly long-winded discourses that do not clarify anything about the topic. Read calls upon the Precautionary Principle as does the IPCC to justify precipitous actions to mitigate vaguely-defined and uncertain catastrophic threats to the planet and the population. The fundamental problem is the flagrant misapplication of the Precautionary Principle.

    The IPCC analysis of low-probability, high-consequence events is demonstrably flawed, and decisions made from that analysis would be the wrong ones. Based on a mathematically correct analysis of low-probability, high-consequence events, a decision to maintain the status quo until the science is right is the right decision.

    Probability distributions have two tails. A correct analysis must consider the entire distribution, not just the extreme high-value tail. The IPCC’s findings ignore the low-probability, high consequence cooling event. Temperature databases and GCMs are not sufficiently robust to reliably estimate whether, long-term temperatures will be hot or cold. The best estimate now of a probability distribution for a mean global temperature is a rectangular distribution; all temperatures from lowest to highest have the same probability.

    The adverse consequences of a warming earth are no greater than the adverse consequences of a cooling earth. Policies appropriate for the warming case would be diametrically opposite to those appropriate for the cooling case. The cold case might call for spreading soot on the polar ice masses, and the cold case might call for increasing the content of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Under this reality, promulgating environmental regulations with too little information is illogical and likely disastrous for the humanity. The likely damage from acting on the wrong premise, a warming or a cooling planet, nullifies arguments for either action until the science is right. The goal of climate research should be to successfully predict global mean temperatures within a range of values that is narrow enough to prudently guide public policy decisions. That cannot be done now.

    The IPCC has failed miserably in the communication of degree of uncertainty and its effect on different policy responses. At best, current technology can only predict future temperatures within a wide range of values, which is not sufficient to warrant spending trillions of dollars going down the wrong road.
    Philosophical responses of “on the one hand” or “on the other hand” are of no use whatever. Only fundamental science properly applied can determine when action is warranted.

    • Tom K correction: “The cold case might call for spreading soot on the polar ice masses, and the cold case might call for increasing the content of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere” should read “The cold case might call for spreading soot on the polar ice masses, and the HOT case might call for increasing the content of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

  52. A UEA “philosopher” not only refusing to debate, but in essence calling for censorship.

    One has to carefully read Mr. Read.

  53. I just love the punch line at the end;

    “In the end, the broadcast went ahead without me.”

    Without, Rupert. Without.

    Ever considered that your view just isn’t that important?

    • It would be like a doctor refusing to debate anti-vaxxers. A doctors “view” is much more important, but such debates are silly.

      The best debates are when the debaters are experts, otherwise you get one huge Gish Gallop.

      • The wonderful thing about our modern era is the ability to educate oneself on just about any topic. Information is cheap and easy to access…so almost anyone can become an “expert” of sorts.

        In the specific case of doctors vs anti-vaxxers, this is just silly. Doctors engage anti-vaxxers all the time. They actively do so because they understand the stakes and understand that many people might be lured into a false belief that could hurt everyone. It’s pure fantasy to think they don’t. And pure insanity to say they shouldn’t.

        Sheesh. Your posts (so, so many of them today!) are even more incoherent than normal.

        Climate scientists’ refusal to debate is an aberration never before seen. The many thoughtful, erudite, and sophisticated arguments against the overly simplistic control knob theory should be treated with the respect they deserve, especially when the request by alarmists is to hand enormous power to the government (in the form of regulating a basic building block of life). That “climate scientists” refuse to engage is a sign of their inherently weak position, and leads many keen observers of this issue to assume that it’s out of fear of being exposed.


  54. If he doesn’t see the need to debate he must be nearly perfect. Congratulations sir! You clearly consider yourself so much better than us mere mortals that debate (the sharing of ideas) is either unnecessary or immoral.

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