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Rupert Wyndham ponders the wanton hypocrisy of Paul Nurse and The Royal Society

Rupert Wyndham is an eloquent treasure. For those who have not already seen this (and I’ve received many emails about it) — Enjoy! — His turn of phrase is something to behold: the damning indictments carefully understated, yet laid bare. That the Royal Society President has been reduced to ad hominem attacks “… demonstrates more clearly than anything else the loss of dignity it has endured and depths of corruption to which it has been reduced under your stewardship and those of your two predecessors. “

  — Jo

The Royal Society in better days: Boyle, Newton, Franklin, Jenner, Babbage, Wallace, Lister, Rutherford, Hodgkin, Shackleton. (From The stamp collection).


31 March 2013

Sir Paul Nurse, President, The Royal Society

6-9 Carlton House Terrace

London SW1Y 5AG


Dear Sir Paul Nurse,

Your reply to Lord Lawson dated 8 March has come to hand. It goes without saying that I make no claim to be responding on his behalf; he is more than capable of doing that for himself. Your letter, however, is such a singular juxtaposition of barely suppressed personal antipathy (malice even), blatant mendacity and shameless evasion, especially coming from a person in your position, that comment seems warranted.

Nigel Lawson’s letter never “implied that you should not be commenting on climate science” sic. Only a wilfully distorted reading of the words written could possibly have placed such a construction on them. The point of emphasis very plainly was and is that there is no excuse for wanton misrepresentation, either generally or personally. You are then provided with a specific example, which the writer unequivocally and in terms describes as “a lie”. He is, of course, quite right, is he not? And, if he is, what then are you?

You write that you ‘understand very well the importance of reliable observation, experiment and consistent rational argument’ sic. Good, and so you should! After all, to borrow Prof. Lindzen’s elegant and succinct definition, “Science is the continuing and opposing dialectic between theory and observation”. In principle, nothing in science is ever “settled”, so long the contra-scientific contention of anthropogenic global warming consensus proselytisers, conspicuously amongst them The Royal Society. Against this backdrop and of your assurance in particular, perhaps you would care then to explain why such propagandists:

With respect to the fifth of these bullet points (and there could have been many more), let me add that I speak from experience. Prior to 1 August 2007, the RS, on its website, carried a section headed “Share Your Views”. It comprised about six topics, one of which was putative climate change. On 1 August, the entire section was pulled……………. I have reason to believe because of awkward questions being posed in a number of contributions posted by myself. Now, though I say it myself, this was pretty impressive for, to be sure, here was an admittedly interested but, still, an untrained layman occasioning the demise of an entire section hitherto sanctioned and encouraged by the mighty RS! A hard copy of the complete exchanges can be supplied; would you like one?

In passing, from the RS, I personally was the recipient of this rather heart rending little bleat:

 “Yes, WE have caused global warming”. And yes, in scarlet!


And you claim to respect the importance of rational debate. Well, well!

Furthermore, contrary to your baseless suggestion, at least to my knowledge, there have never been any GWPF ad hominem attacks on persons who disagree with it/them. Such, on the other hand, constitute the default tactic of, as far as can be detected, all those of your claimed persuasion. Indeed, an increasing public perception of pointless impoverishment wrought by fraudulent science has concomitantly increased the shrill desperation of its proponents, to the extent that dishonourable epithets such as ‘denier’, ‘contrarian’, ‘nay-sayer’ now stand as amongst the more moderate “personal attacks” favoured by AGW cult fundamentalists.

The impertinence implicit in your suggestion that the GWPF may not have access to climate science advice of the highest calibre is in keeping with the thrust of your letter as a whole. It is also equally wide of the mark. The distinction between their climate specialists and those favoured by the RS, however, lies in the objectivity which the former bring to the task of  assessing possibly dangerous climate change in contrast, that is, to the edifying displays of integrity in, say, the climategate emails and pronouncements of the IPCC – and let’s not overlook, within only the last few days, the work of such paladins of scientific rectitude as Messrs. Marcot et al 2013 with yet another dodgy hockey stick. The allusion, I’m sure, is familiar to you.

And finally, of course, we must not neglect a (perhaps the) key suggestion in your letter, namely that relating to the issue of GWPF funding. This is now, and has ever been, the one routine constant running through all warmist rants and diatribes. That it should be repeated by the President of The Royal Society demonstrates more clearly than anything else the loss of dignity it has endured and depths of corruption to which it has been reduced under your stewardship and those of your two predecessors. At this point, be it noted also that what is sauce for the goose is likewise sauce for the gander. No? But then, in your book, hypocrisy, no doubt, is the tribute that vice must reluctantly but unavoidably render to virtue.

Well, anyway, I can provide you with at least a partial answer. In small measure some of their funding has come from me and, dare I suggest, many like me. And no, I have no connections with ‘big oil’, ‘big gas’ or the Koch brothers! I do, however, have a deep seated prejudice against bogus science, scientific charlatans, self-serving and dishonest politicians and brazen chicanery.

Yours sincerely,


R.C.E. Wyndham


Cc: Prime Minister     Mr. E. Miliband MP          Mr. N. Clegg MP       Mr. E. Davey MP      Lord Lawson       As the spirit moves

PS For illumination as well as entertainment: Address of the President of the Royal Society to their Lordships of the Admiralty, 20 November 1817:

“It will, without doubt, have come to your Lordships’ knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the circumpolar regions, by which the severity of the cold……………….in an impenetrable barrier of ice, has during the last two years greatly abated. This affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened………………………………


The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday  from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.

 Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far North as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

 Soundings to 3,100 metres show the Gulf Stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have completely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the Eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have so far never ventured so far North, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that, due to the ice melt, the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.”

[bolding by Jo — She wonders is this the earliest form of scientific global warming alarmism?]


November 2, 1922 – as reported by AP and published in The Washington Post.

h/t Paul, Keith, Neville… with thanks to Rupert.

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