British Lord Stings Senators Rockefeller and Snowe: 'Uphold Free Speech or Resign'

Dec 18, 2006, 00:00 ET from Center for Science and Public Policy

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Lord Monckton, Viscount of
 Brenchley, has sent an open letter to Senators Rockefeller (D-WV) and Snowe
 (R-Maine) in response to their recent open letter telling the CEO of
 ExxonMobil to cease funding climate-skeptic scientists.
 (http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/20061212_monckton.pdf).
     Lord Monckton, former policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret
 Thatcher, writes: "You defy every tenet of democracy when you invite
 ExxonMobil to deny itself the right to provide information to 'senior
 elected and appointed government officials' who disagree with your
 opinion."
     In what The Charleston (WV) Daily Mail has called "an intemperate
 attempt to squelch debate with a hint of political consequences," Senators
 Rockefeller and Snowe released an open letter dated October 30 to
 ExxonMobil CEO, Rex Tillerson, insisting he end Exxon's funding of a
 "climate change denial campaign." The Senators labeled scientists with whom
 they disagree as "deniers," a term usually directed at "Holocaust deniers."
 Some voices on the political left have called for the arrest and
 prosecution of skeptical scientists. The British Foreign Secretary has said
 skeptics should be treated like advocates of Islamic terror and must be
 denied access to the media.
     Responds Lord Monckton, "Sceptics and those who have the courage to
 support them are actually helpful in getting the science right. They do
 not, as you improperly suggest, 'obfuscate' the issue: they assist in
 clarifying it by challenging weaknesses in the 'consensus' argument and
 they compel necessary corrections ... "
     Lord Monckton's Churchillian reproof continues, "You acknowledge the
 effectiveness of the climate sceptics. In so doing, you pay a compliment to
 the courage of those free-thinking scientists who continue to research
 climate change independently despite the likelihood of refusal of
 publication in journals that have taken preconceived positions; the hate
 mail and vilification from ignorant environmentalists; and the threat of
 loss of tenure in institutions of learning which no longer make any
 pretence to uphold or cherish academic freedom."
     Of Britain's Royal Society, a State-funded scientific body which, like
 the Senators, has publicly leaned on ExxonMobil, Lord Monckton said, "The
 Society's long-standing funding by taxpayers does not ensure any greater
 purity of motive or rigour of thought than industrial funding of scientists
 who dare to question whether 'climate change' will do any harm."
     To the Senators' comparison of ExxonMobil's funding of climate sceptics
 with tobacco-industry funding of research denying the link between smoking
 and lung cancer, Lord Monckton counters, "Your comparison of Exxon's
 funding of sceptical scientists and groups with the former antics of the
 tobacco industry is unjustifiable and unworthy of any credible elected
 representatives. Either withdraw that monstrous comparison forthwith, or
 resign so as not to pollute the office you hold."
     Concludes Lord Monckton, "I challenge you to withdraw or resign because
 your letter is the latest in what appears to be an
 internationally-coordinated series of maladroit and malevolent attempts to
 silence the voices of scientists and others who have sound grounds, rooted
 firmly in the peer- reviewed scientific literature, to question what you
 would have us believe is the unanimous agreement of scientists worldwide
 that global warming will lead to what you excitedly but unjustifiably call
 'disastrous' and 'calamitous' consequences."
 
 

SOURCE Center for Science and Public Policy
    WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Lord Monckton, Viscount of
 Brenchley, has sent an open letter to Senators Rockefeller (D-WV) and Snowe
 (R-Maine) in response to their recent open letter telling the CEO of
 ExxonMobil to cease funding climate-skeptic scientists.
 (http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/20061212_monckton.pdf).
     Lord Monckton, former policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret
 Thatcher, writes: "You defy every tenet of democracy when you invite
 ExxonMobil to deny itself the right to provide information to 'senior
 elected and appointed government officials' who disagree with your
 opinion."
     In what The Charleston (WV) Daily Mail has called "an intemperate
 attempt to squelch debate with a hint of political consequences," Senators
 Rockefeller and Snowe released an open letter dated October 30 to
 ExxonMobil CEO, Rex Tillerson, insisting he end Exxon's funding of a
 "climate change denial campaign." The Senators labeled scientists with whom
 they disagree as "deniers," a term usually directed at "Holocaust deniers."
 Some voices on the political left have called for the arrest and
 prosecution of skeptical scientists. The British Foreign Secretary has said
 skeptics should be treated like advocates of Islamic terror and must be
 denied access to the media.
     Responds Lord Monckton, "Sceptics and those who have the courage to
 support them are actually helpful in getting the science right. They do
 not, as you improperly suggest, 'obfuscate' the issue: they assist in
 clarifying it by challenging weaknesses in the 'consensus' argument and
 they compel necessary corrections ... "
     Lord Monckton's Churchillian reproof continues, "You acknowledge the
 effectiveness of the climate sceptics. In so doing, you pay a compliment to
 the courage of those free-thinking scientists who continue to research
 climate change independently despite the likelihood of refusal of
 publication in journals that have taken preconceived positions; the hate
 mail and vilification from ignorant environmentalists; and the threat of
 loss of tenure in institutions of learning which no longer make any
 pretence to uphold or cherish academic freedom."
     Of Britain's Royal Society, a State-funded scientific body which, like
 the Senators, has publicly leaned on ExxonMobil, Lord Monckton said, "The
 Society's long-standing funding by taxpayers does not ensure any greater
 purity of motive or rigour of thought than industrial funding of scientists
 who dare to question whether 'climate change' will do any harm."
     To the Senators' comparison of ExxonMobil's funding of climate sceptics
 with tobacco-industry funding of research denying the link between smoking
 and lung cancer, Lord Monckton counters, "Your comparison of Exxon's
 funding of sceptical scientists and groups with the former antics of the
 tobacco industry is unjustifiable and unworthy of any credible elected
 representatives. Either withdraw that monstrous comparison forthwith, or
 resign so as not to pollute the office you hold."
     Concludes Lord Monckton, "I challenge you to withdraw or resign because
 your letter is the latest in what appears to be an
 internationally-coordinated series of maladroit and malevolent attempts to
 silence the voices of scientists and others who have sound grounds, rooted
 firmly in the peer- reviewed scientific literature, to question what you
 would have us believe is the unanimous agreement of scientists worldwide
 that global warming will lead to what you excitedly but unjustifiably call
 'disastrous' and 'calamitous' consequences."
 
 SOURCE Center for Science and Public Policy