New Dawn of Truth

In oktober 2015 werd de ‘Onafhankelijke Commissie inzake Geoethiek’ opgericht. Initiatiefnemer is de Zweedse em. professor Nils-Axel Mörner, klimaatscepticus en voormalig directeur van de afdeling paleogeofysica en geodynamica van de universiteit van Stockholm.

Aan de oprichtingsverklaring ontleen ik het volgende:

The principles of ethics – to know what is right and what is wrong – are simple. They are deeply rooted in our cultural heritage and education and personal integrity. To live up to those principles is another thing: here we often fail badly. The ethical principles that refer to nature and natural sciences are covered by the term “Geoethics”.

We realize that ethical principles are often violated in Science as well as in Society and Politics. Increasingly, in connection with marketing and lobbying for large projects, ethical principles have become set aside. Backbiting, ‘book-burning’, career blighting, obstruction in publication and personal attacks have no place in science, where physical laws and observational facts must always be foremost. There are no goals that justify unfair means of fighting “dissidents”.

Therefore, there is an urgent need for an Independent Committee on Geoethics to promote ethical principles in the Earth and planetary sciences and their correct reflection in social and political life.

Inmiddels hebben zich vele tientallen vooraanstaande wetenschappers uit alle delen van de wereld bij het initiatief aangesloten. De Commissie zal zich voor het eerst publiek manifesteren in London met een conferentie, getiteld: ‘A Dawn of Truth.’

Aanvankelijk hadden de organisatoren een zaal gereserveerd bij het ‘University College’ in London. Maar dat instituut liet bij monde van Professor John Butterworth op het laatste moment weten dat de Commissie niet welkom was. En dus moest er naar een ander onderkomen worden gezocht. Gelukkig was dat snel gevonden: de nabij gelegen Conway Hall.

Het overkomt klimaatsceptici overigens wel meer dat verstokte aanhangers van de AGW-hypothese (AGW = ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’) hen de voet dwars zetten als zij academische manifestaties willen organiseren. Die hebben nogal eens een vreemde opvatting van academische vrijheid. Zo heeft de Belg Jean-Pascal van Ypersele – die zich in het verleden kandidaat heeft gesteld voor het voorzitterschap van het VN-klimaatpanel (IPCC), maar niet werd gekozen –  een aantal jaren geleden zijn invloed aangewend om een bijeenkomst van klimaatsceptici in Brussel bij de ‘Fondation Universitaire’ in Brussel te verhinderen. Ook daar moesten de deelnemers uitwijken naar een andere locatie.

Deze voorvallen zijn symptomatisch voor de ongemanierdheid waarmee sommige extremistische AGWers zich tegenover hun collega-wetenschappers menen te moeten gedragen.

Christopher Monckton maakte zich daar kwaad over en schreef er een ‘posting’ over voor WUWT onder de titel: ‘A threat from University College, London over a climate skeptic conference’. Ik pik er een aantal elementen uit.

University College, London, one of the constituent colleges of what was once a respectable and serious academic institution, has declared open, vicious war on academic freedom. In doing so, it has forfeited the right to be taken seriously as a seat of learning.

Last month Professor John Butterworth, the useless bureaucrat in charge of the College’s department of Physics and Astronomy, learned … that one of his faculty, Profess Athem Alsabti, had booked a lecture theatre for a conference on the forbidden topic of climate change on 8-9 September. …

This is what – to his eternal shame – he wrote to his distinguished academic colleague Professor Alsabti:

It has been brought to my attention that you have booked a room at University College, London, for an external conference in September for a rather fringe group discussing aspects of climate science.

If this event were to go ahead at UCL, it would generate a great deal of strong feeling, indeed it already has, as members of the UCL community are expressing concern to me that we are giving a platform to speakers who deny anthropogenic climate change while flying in the face of accepted scientific methods. I am sure you have no desire to bring UCL into disrepute, or to cause dissension in the UCL community, and I would encourage you to think about moving the event to a different venue, not on UCL premises.”

Aldus Butterworth.


The same day, Professor Alsabti, who felt menaced and degraded by this shameless and unprincipled bullying and harassment on the part of a senior academic who should have known better, canceled the booking.

Now, who are the members of this “rather fringe group” that might have caused the “UCL community” to go into the corner, turn its back to the room, suck its thumb and blub?

They include not only Professor Alsabti but also Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, who has published more refereed papers on sea-level rise than Professor Butterworth has had hot dinners; Professor Ole Humlum of the University of Oslo, who publishes a widely-circulated monthly data update on global temperatures and related matters; Professor Jan-Erik Solheim of Norway; members of the Swedish Polar Institute, of the Asociacion Rural de Paraguay; of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, of the U.S. Geological Survey; of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the former president of the Italian National Research Council; the Professor of Paleobotany at the Sapienza University, Rome; a world-leading physicist from the François Rabelais University in Tours; an analytical expert from the Laboratoire Analyse at the University of Paris; the brother of the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in the House of Commons; dozens of doctors of science; and a sprinkling of IPCC expert reviewers, including your humble servant.

If this is a “rather fringe group”, then the academic mainstream must – as many of us have long suspected – have been reduced to a thin, dreich, terrified, narrow, narrow-minded, insignificant trickle, confined deep within the gloomy and inspissate canyon of its own no doubt profitable but increasingly discredited prejudice. …

En zo gaat Monckton nog een tijdje door op de hem zo karakteristieke en amusante wijze.

Hij besluit:

Well, the London Climate Conference is going ahead notwithstanding Professor Butterworth’s intolerant and menacing attempt to stop us. It will begin at 9.00 am sharp on 8 September and 9 September 2016. Come to the Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. This will be the most high-powered academic conference on the climate question ever to have been held in Britain, and arguably in Europe too. …

Het programma van de conferentie is hier te vinden.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.