James Delingpole on Horizon - "It's not my job to sit down
and read peer reviewed papers"
Last night Horizon dealt with the climate sceptics. By and
large, the programme was encouragingly in-depth and thoughtful. It
appears to have been a project of Sir Paul Nurse, incoming head of
the Royal Society, and this bodes well for the RS - Nurse is
personable, clear and engaging, and obviously has an appetite to go
out and quietly and politely fight his corner.
Pre-show controversy had centred on UK sceptic blogger James
Delingpole, who allegedly complained he was 'intellectual raped' by
Nurse and the BBC. But while Nurse's own views on climate sceptics
came over pretty clearly in the programme, Delingpole doesn't
appear to have been set up. He manages to make himself look bad
without any help from Horizon.
The thing that tripped him up was a fairly straightforward and
relaxed line of questioning from Nurse about whether Delingpole -
who had just been decrying the use of consensus in science - would
submit to a consensus scientific opinion if he needed treating for
Delingpole's failure to address the question - "Um, shall we
talk about, shall we talk about climategate?" was not just a
terrible interview answer, it was also pretty mystifying. You'd
think a sceptic commentator who spends so much time producing
vitriolic rants against the scientific consensus would have
considered this line of argument, but apparently not. He also
didn't do himself any favours with "It is not my job to sit down
and read peer-reviewed [scientific] papers, because I simply
haven't got the time…" This is pretty damning self-indictment for
someone who claims to be a commentator on climate science.