Climate science has become a battleground since leaked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit reverberated across the world. Activists vandalise genetically modified food crops. Parents refuse to vaccinate their children from potentially fatal diseases because of one discredited piece of research.
Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel laureate cell biologist and the President of the Royal Society, wants to find out why science is suddenly under attack and how scientists have responded.
As part of this quest he meets some of the key protagonists; from the Professor at the heart of Climategate, to an HIV sufferer who denies that HIV causes AIDS and refuses to take any medication.
He spends a day as a science journalist on a national newspaper – and he visits the most secure and highly protected potato field in the UK.
He examines the science of climate change to ask why it is that public support for the concept of human induced climate change is falling. As he travels across the US and the UK he learns that the core problem is uncertainty – new discoveries often seem to complicate rather than simplify the science. And where there is uncertainty, in the public’s mind, there is room for doubt.
In the 21st century there is no automatic acceptance of a scientist’s word. They have to earn that trust. Paul wants to find out what scientists need to do to earn, and keep, the public’s trust.
It’s on tomorrow night at 8.30.
The loquacious Anthony Watts, radio weatherman in the USA and serial cherry picker, cites Christopher Booker’s review of the program.
Horizon’s “Science Under Attack” turned out to be yet another laborious bid by the BBC to defend the global warming orthodoxy…… Hours of film of climate-change “deniers” are cherrypicked for soundbites that can be shown, out of context, to make them look ridiculous…… Although Sir Paul presented himself as the champion of objective science, he frequently showed that, for all his expertise in cell biology, he knows little about climate…
The deniers looked ridiculous because they really were ridiculous. James Delingpole is a tosser! You don’t believe me? Watch the program.
James Delingpole – can be amusing…. But…
“James Delingpole is a libertarian conservative who writes brilliant books and brilliant articles, and is really great on TV, radio and the internet too.”
He says so himself.
Christopher Booker knows rather less about climate than Sir Paul Nurse, and not much more than I or the average guy in the pub…
To highlight the level of inaccuracy and falsehood in skeptical journalism the Guardian launched a prize in 2009 to be "presented to whoever crams as many misrepresentations, distortions and falsehoods into a single article, statement, lecture, film or interview about climate change". This was called the "Christopher Booker prize." The first nomination was inevitably Christopher Booker for an article about arctic sea ice with six errors in 900 words.
Not that the True Believers care a toss about that. Witness the continuing devotion by the likes of Alan Jones for the egregious and error-prone non-scientist Lord Monckton. (My June post also deals with him.)
So do watch. Be informed for a change. Too much of what you see and hear in the media is disinformation. This is not.
See The Independent’s review.