Skip to content

Royal Society Release

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:

Greenpeace co-founder asks UK’s Royal Society to stop playing political blame game on global warming

September 21, 2006, Vancouver – Greenpeace co-founder and former leader Dr. Patrick Moore said the United Kingdom’s Royal Society should stop playing a political blame game on global warming and retract its recent letter that smacks of a repressive and anti-intellectual attitude.

“It appears to be the policy of the Royal Society to stifle dissent and silence anyone who may have doubts about the connection between global warming and human activity,” said Dr. Moore, Chairman and Chief Scientist of Vancouver, Canada-based Greenspirit Strategies Ltd.

“That kind of repression seems more suited to the Inquisition than to a modern, respected scientific body,” said Moore.

In a letter dated September 4 and published this week in a London newspaper, the Royal Society’s Bob Ward accused ExxonMobil of misleading the public by daring to question the link between human activity and increases in global temperatures.

Dr. Moore responded today in an open letter sent to the Royal Society: “Certainly the Royal Society would agree there is no scientific proof of causation between the human-induced increase in atmospheric CO2 and the recent global warming trend, a trend that has been evident for about 500 years, long before the human-induced increase in CO2 was evident.

“While I may agree with certain statements made by the IPCC, surely you and the Royal Society would respect my right to disagree with other statements or at least to call them into question.”

Dr. Moore writes further, “I am sure the Royal Society is aware of the difference between an hypothesis and a theory. It is clear the contention that human-induced CO2 emissions and rising CO2 levels in the global atmosphere are the cause of the present global warming trend is an hypothesis that has not yet been elevated to the level of a proven theory. Causation has not been demonstrated in any conclusive way.

Dr. Moore also notes in the letter that while the Royal Society likes to quote from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the IPCC itself admits its conclusions are uncertain.

“The Royal Society needs to retract its anti-intellectual and heavy-handed letter to ExxonMobil, and allow reasoned scientific debate on this issue,” said Dr. Moore.

Dr. Moore said he is speaking out on this issue because “the last thing the world needs, in the midst of a warming trend, is for the Royal Society to cast a chill over science.”

Dr. Moore and his firm Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. have no links, financial or otherwise, to ExxonMobil.

-30-

For more information: Dr. Patrick Moore or Jeremy Twigg – 604-681-4122 orwww.GreenspiritStrategies.com

OPEN LETTER:

Bob Ward
Senior Manager
Policy Communication
The Royal Society
6-9 Carlton House Terrace
London, England SW1Y 5AG

September 21, 2006

Dear Mr. Bob Ward,

I am in receipt of a copy of your letter to ExxonMobil in which you accuse them of misleading the public on the science of climate change.

I would be pleased to have your qualifications in science and to know how you have decided the question of human causation of global warming has been conclusively determined.

While I may agree with certain statements made by the IPCC, surely you and the Royal Society would respect my right to disagree with other statements or at least to call them into question.

You cite the IPCC as the authority yet surely you are aware that science does not work by committee or by “consensus.”

Certainly the Royal Society would agree there is no scientific proof of causation between the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 and the recent global warming trend, a trend that has been evident for about 500 years, long before human-caused increase in CO2 was evident.

I am sure the Royal Society is aware of the difference between an hypothesis and a theory. It is clear the contention that human-induced CO2 emissions and rising CO2 levels in the global atmosphere are the cause of the present global warming trend is an hypothesis that has not yet been elevated to the level of a proven theory. Causation has not been demonstrated in any conclusive way.

This is no doubt why the authors of the IPCC report use the word “likely” in their concluding statement “most of the global warming over the past 50 years is likely due to the increase in greenhouse gases.”

Even more important, it is a fundamental precept in science that rigorous objection to “consensus” be encouraged in order to avoid “politically correct” conclusions that stifle dissent and intellectual exploration.

I say shame on the Royal Society—one of the world’s top science bodies—for allowing such a political “blame” letter to be sent. The correspondence smacks of a repressive and anti-intellectual attitude that can only harm our efforts to understand the true nature of climate change, both non-human and human in origin.

Please retract this letter and instead encourage debate and dialogue on this most important subject for the future of humankind and the environment

Sincerely,

Patrick Moore, PhD

An advisor to government and industry, Dr. Patrick Moore is a co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, and chair and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. in Vancouver, Canada.
www.GreenspiritStrategies.com

Comments are closed.