An Open Letter to Professor Michael Merrifield of Nottingham University



Dear Michael,

Thank you for responding to my recent blog (see below).

We could no doubt try each other’s patience with a long correspondence, which I prefer not to do.  Nevertheless, some of your points need a clear answer.

First of all, it is hardly a hallmark of serious debate when you dismiss your opponents as “buffoons”, and repeatedly refer to contrary opinions as “silly”.  Sarcasm and abuse do not constitute a substantive, academic or scientific argument.

Of course I do not claim to be a scientist.  I have a Cambridge maths degree, but I spent most of my career in international marketing and general management.  However in 1999 I was elected to the European Parliament, and have remained an MEP ever since – sixteen plus years.  As a politician, I am frequently called upon to make voting (and policy) decisions about technical subjects in which I am not hugely qualified.  This is the job of elected politicians, whether you like it or not.

I have been engaged in the climate debate for around ten years, and during that time, I have discussed it with many scientists (and economists and others) from countries across Europe and the USA.  I consider it a critical issue, because of the huge economic damage it is doing in Europe.  Even if you are right about AGW (and of course I don’t think you are), the policies we are pursuing to “save the planet” are simply not working.  In the EU, we are not cutting emissions – we are merely exporting them.  And as I hope you would agree, a ton of COemitted in Shanghai has exactly the same effect on the planet as a ton of CO2 emitted in Sheffield.

In the course of my enquiries into the climate issue, I have met rather a large number (dozens at least) of highly qualified scientists, who profoundly disagree with you and with the IPCC.  Several of them have actually been reviewers on IPCC panels – and have the Nobel lapel pin to prove it.  One said rather plaintively “The IPCC accepts my corrections to its punctuation –  but not to its science”.  Another had to threaten legal action to have his name removed from a section of an IPCC report with which he profoundly disagreed.

I asked in my previous blog, but now I ask again: do you think that all these highly qualified scientists are “buffoons”?  Do you think their opinions are silly?  Should you not be a little more open-minded, and see whether they may perhaps have a better grasp of the subject than (say) Michael Mann, with his highly suspect work on his “Hockey Stick”?

Then you say “You are demonstrably not interested in science”.  Sorry, but again, Michael, you are way off beam.  As a schoolboy I was very keen on your own subject, and read every book in the local library about astronomy.  I was fascinated by the “Continuous Creation” vs. Big Bang debate (I once had tutorials an office next door to Professor Fred Hoyle), and I rather regretted the triumph of the Big Bang – continuous creation seemed so much more satisfying intellectually.

In later life, I took a keen interest in evolutionary biology, and read (as a layman) a great deal about it.  I also have some interest in the history of the subject, to the extent that I went on a cruise in the Galapagos that set out to follow the route of Darwin’s visit there.

I also know enough about science to know that it is never “settled”, and that unlike politics, it is not determined by opinion polls and majorities.  You will recall the anecdote about Einstein, where a journalist told him that a hundred prominent physicists disagreed with him.  He replied “If I were wrong, one would be enough”.  You must be aware that much of climate science depends on computer models, and that the predictions of those models have been consistently undershot by reality.

You may also be aware that the IPCC itself reports that the models predict a hot-spot in the tropics between 5 and 10 kms high in the atmosphere – but that observation clearly shows that no such hot-spot exists.

The IPCC used to say that the climate sensitivity of CO2 was around 3oC per doubling.  Now I understand they are saying “between 1.5o and 4.5o“.  This is of course a huge range, and would dramatically affect the outcome a few decades hence.  Yet politicians are still talking, absurdly, about “targeting 2oC”, and telling us that the emissions limits under discussion in Paris would result in a warming of 2.7oC – an absurd pretension to accuracy when the IPCC offers such a broad range of sensitivity estimates (and many scientists believe the true figure could be <1oC).

I am particularly amused by your reference to my “lack of interest in science”, since the response of the usual suspects – the Warmists who pour scorn on my views on social media – clearly did not even recognise that the radiative forcing effect of CO2 is governed by a logarithmic relationship.

Those who disparaged my disregard of “the science” clearly knew a great deal less about it than I did.

I notice that your standard of scientific debate is simply to refer the other party to your favourite web-site.  In the same spirit, I suggest you could usefully spend some time with;;;, and of course and

With kind regards.  ROGER HELMER MEP


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50 Responses to An Open Letter to Professor Michael Merrifield of Nottingham University

  1. B Hough says:

    A Some rich people wish to make even more money by growing bio-fuel plants.
    this they were doing by destroying the rain forests and planting rape seed.

    B This could be seen by some people including Prince Charles as affecting
    the climate because these forests are “The Lungs of the World” and were
    being destroyed at an alarming rate.

    C These rich people then passed the blame supported by influenced scientists
    onto industy and the ordinary person, ie motor car emissions etc.

    D They persuaded motorists to go for diesel cars with a view to selling their
    bio-fuels in place of normal diesel (less polluting)

    E A big help to protect against `climate change` would be wind turbines
    built I believe by German industry and installed all over the globe.

    F These turbines installed at sea and on land in groups known as wind-farms
    created lots of turbulence and caused changes in local weather conditions.

    G This was conveniently blamed on climate change and created a need for
    more wind farms to counteract this, also rivers, in the UK were not dredged
    as they had been for years causing flooding, I assume this has been the
    same problem in other parts of the world that suffer flooding!
    Of course all put down to climate change, so the saga goes on.

    H In flood discussion river dredging is never mentioned, our local river is
    down to half width in some places and is obviously silted and has just
    burst it`s banks.

    I I see that now hydrogen and electric vehicles are being designed the
    diesel cars are being blamed again!!

  2. Patricia says:

    Excellent comment! Very well done! I hope you will share any response you receive too.

    Best Patricia Crossley

    • B Hough says:

      I seem to be the only one who mentions the rain forests, I haven`t seen much about them from the Paris conference either.
      Was my teacher wrong to tell us that they were the lungs of the world?

  3. Flyinthesky says:

    You missed a bit Roger, “we are merely exporting them. And as I hope you would agree, a ton of CO2 emitted in Shanghai has exactly the same effect on the planet as a ton of CO2 emitted in Sheffield.”
    Indeed but I would aver, in arbitrary figures, that an exported production of one ton of Co2 from the UK would equate to 1.25 tons generated in the far east. The impetus is on productivity not environmental emissions.
    People like him get to feel good about themselves while actually achieving a negative result. Buffoon seems to fit perfectly. That may be childish but you cannot rationalise discussion with such people if any of your prepositions contradict their near religious beliefs. The lunacy is these people are running the show.

  4. John Corby says:

    It is rather a shame that our efforts to convince the warmists of the flaws in their arguments are largely wasted. Warmists fall into two camps: those who are “of the faith” and reject any assault on their deeply held beliefs and those who understand the true purpose of the CAGW scam.

    The CAGW premise that a few degrees of warming will cause catastrophic flooding due to polar ice melting is easily countered by observing that the mean annual temperature in polar regions is substantially below 0degC and will remain so unless the world warms by a lot more than projected by IPCC models. I offered this argument to a warmist and was countered by “it doesn’t work like that”. At that point I determined to stop banging my head against an impenetrable wall. I have a degree in Physics although I learned that ice only melts above 0degC in high school. I don’t care if 97% of scientists hold a contrary view.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      I agree with you on consensus often not being a force for good John, and I have my own reservations on the Carbon Theory, I just love the stuff and think it’s one of our most useful element with its strong attraction to other materials, probably the best filters for water we know of use carbon.

      On the ice and a one degree temp increase, if the planet’s temperature had risen by this amount, the climatic ice field size would move its boundaries just a little more towards the poles surely? Has a warmist suggested otherwise and water changes its state differently around the Poles?

      I do know that binary ice (Kids Slush Ice drinks) remains fluid to a great deal lower temperature as it gives up its heat, a patent for using this material was granted to a pal who invented a fire fighting system for pumping binary ice, it used only one third of the volume putting out a fire three time more quickly, and it reduced heat exhaustion of crews. It has not been taken up however by any of firefighting services.

      I saw a demonstration of this in Exter put on by the Fire Service and University Fluid Thermal Dynamics dept some 7-8 years ago.

  5. omanuel says:

    May I take this opportunity to ask Professor Merrifield to scan a short document on unreported events at Konan, Korea in AUG-SEPT 1945 that changed the course of world history?

    Click to access STALINS_SCIENCE.pdf

    Is that why Professor Merrifield will not, and cannot find any other main-stream scientist to:

    1. Publicly admit, or
    2. Publicly deny that

    precise experimental measurements and observations from the Nuclear and Spaces provide irrefutable evidence the Sun is the Creator & Sustainer of every atom, life and planet in the solar system?

    These data are in the paper, “Solar energy”, cited in the above link.

    • omanuel says:

      The above post was forwarded to Professor Merrifield’s email as a challenge before noticing a typo.

      In the next-to-last paragraph, replace “Nuclear and Spaces” with “Nuclear and Space Ages

      • omanuel says:

        Still no reply from Professor Merrifield.

        Is this Physics Professor also afraid to

        1. Publicly admit, or
        2. Publicly deny that

        precise experimental measurements and observations from the Nuclear and Space Ages provide irrefutable evidence the Sun is the Creator & Sustainer of every atom, life and planet in the solar system?

        I again invite Professor Merrifield to open the paper, “Solar energy,” go to the first figure (Fig 1a) and tell the audience here how he explains the precise data. Then go to Fig 1b and do the same, etc.

  6. catweazle666 says:

    “I asked in my previous blog, but now I ask again: do you think that all these highly qualified scientists are “buffoons”? “

    Almost certainly he does, they disagree with him so in his narrow world view they must be.

    In my experience of academics, it is normal for them to use far stronger insults than “buffoon” against fellow members of the academic profession who do not agree precisely with whatever theories and hypotheses they adhere to, an academic catfight will exceed in its levels of invective and vituperation one in almost any other field of human endeavour, they make cage fighters look like Mother Theresa

    This behaviour is particularly noticeable amongst the less proficient and secure of their number.

  7. ian wragg says:

    Much as we feel sorry for the people of Cumbria I think an in depth investigation should be carried out as to why the floods.
    We have been brainwashed by buffoons like Merrifield to believe the earth was warming and Britain would become arid. I remember watching a gardening programme on BBC, telling us to plant tropical Mediterranean type plants and grasses to cope with the heat. Subsequently we had 3 of the coldest winters in living memory and then 2 of the wettest summers.
    We are now being told that the earth is 1.7 degree warmer than pre industrial revolution which makes me wonder about the instruments used in the 17th century.
    Nothing they predict happens but everything that happens is due to climate change.
    These are nothing more than snake oil salesman who believe in world government, pity the BRICS aren’t playing ball.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Just have to agree, observation is everything.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Flooding has been encouraged by an active neglect, if that’s the way to describe those who took over river and drainage management’s behaviour?

      A well known Cornish potter has been flooded out several times since relocating to the Somerset Levels from St Ives in the 60’s. I understood the Dutch drainage valve install a couple of hundred years ago was buried under 13 ft of silt in the River Parrot. In the last week in spite of heavy rain there has been no problems on the Parrot it was cleared of more than 20 feet of neglected silt and is now functioning again. I wish I could say the fired culprits were ashamed and sorry but it seems not, no one was sacked over this destruction.

      • catweazle666 says:

        There was an “expert” from the Ministry of Climate Truth or whatever they call it on Radio 4 yesterday asserting that dredging of rivers had been discontinued because it had been “proved” not to be a cost-effective method of reducing flooding.

      • B Hough says:

        As catweazle666 quotes, it would not be “cost effective” to dredge rivers.
        Coucils and the government decide to save money by not dredging, the sufferers can claim on their insurers and all is well, a bonus! we can blame climate change.
        Over the past year when i saw a report of flooding and unusual weather conditions in some remote place I checked on the net only to find, surprise, surprise, that there were winfarms somewhere in the area.
        One point I would like an engineer to clear up for me.
        If a windfarm is out at sea. say on the cumbria coast.
        And a storm is in the vicinity, can the turbines draw the storm towards the land? Then when the rain falls the undredged rivers do the rest.
        I think the insurance companies should sue the government.
        And what about the poor peoplw who have no cover?
        I have seen pictures of the turulence behind the turbines aqnd there is one heck of a lot!

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Look at the skeptical science site that he linked to, particularly the arguments. If you read the comments to the individual arguments you will see a bit of loose language in response. The type that attempts to shrink your thinking….to theirs and only theirs! On the prime MoD research sites that I worked and related research was not conducted in that way. Don’t be slack mouthed with the language!

      There are people appearing there that are struggling with the breadth and depth of this planets environmental behaviour. There are site advisors(?)….those that are extremely sure and tend to force their view. Some of it is disrespectful I think. The site as a result is a bloody awful mess.

      It gets a bit that way at WUWT, but thats not set up with a gaggle of in-house advisor’s(?) who have to flash their badges on a special “team” page.

    • Michael Merrifield says:

      Thank you, Brin.

  8. Ian Terry says:

    Roger. Very well said and how true.

    Computers are as only as good as what goes in and if you have a bias then that is what comes out.

    Observation just like perception is all there is, but the 97% are too busy focusing on their computer screens.

    Scientists like politicians that are fully paid up members to the church of AGW ignore all the other elements that have such a devastating effect on all this green crap. Destruction of scenery, real jobs, house prices wildlife etc etc etc. Do they ever listen or care? As in Little Britain ” the computer says no”

    I remember the halycon days when you did not have computers and calculators and e-mail and you applied good old common sense to whatever career path you chose. The 97% will never admit they are wrong because like all those earning mega bucks out of this whole scan they have too much to lose. But the wheels turn round and just like FIFA they will eventually be found out for what they really are.

  9. David says:

    Jeremy Corbyns brother is of the same opinion as you Roger re warming, quite a surprise.

    • Indeed. Piers is a sound chap on climate. Not all socialists are Warmists! Indeed if you look on my website gallery, I think you’ll find a photograph of Piers and me at the Paris Climate Challenge event last Thursday.

  10. David says:

    Remember the sea level monitoring devices, which had sunk into the ground, & the sea which had not risen.

  11. The bit that got me was the word Buffoon.
    If that is the level to which Professors ware reduced today then I despair!
    But a courteous and carefully presented response works wonders!

  12. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Light hearted stuff…sort of?

    DARTH TRUMP – Auralnauts


  13. Good response, Roger, but I think you are probably wasting your time with the “Professor”. He will defend his belief in his Thermoggedonist cult and ignore anything that calls it into question. After all, allegiance to the cult is what puts the bacon on his table (or more probably, the Tofu on his table).
    Credibility? He don’t need no steeenkin’ credibility!

  14. Michael Merrifield says:

    Sorry Roger, as you may have gathered, I have stopped interacting with you on Twitter, so was unaware of this post until directed to it by someone else.

    I don’t know whether your question was intended for hyperbolic rhetorical effect, but let me take it at face value. I don’t know what all denialists’ motivations are, and wouldn’t presume to attribute a single motive to all — that’s as silly as claiming that everyone carrying out research that accepts the conventional view only does so because they are motivated by grant greed. I would guess, though, that there are a fairly wide range of reasons stretching from sincere researchers whose work really does objectively indicate that climate change is not induced by humans (yes, there is such contradictory evidence, as there is in any interesting science, as, for example, some cosmologists found in support of steady-state cosmology, even at the point where the evidence for a Big Bang was becoming overwhelming), through those who just enjoy being counter-establishment, to those who have spotted a nice little niche where they can get oil companies to pay them a comfortable living for saying what is expected, to those so driven by a particular political ideology that confirmation bias ensures that they only see what they want to see, to the truly weird and wonderful who enjoy convincing themselves that they are doing science when they really aren’t. The only clue to where on that spectrum an individual lies comes from looking at their responses across a range of issues, and their behaviour in different circumstances. In your case, for example, I have witnessed enough of your sometimes bizarre pronouncements and the dubious things you get up to while serving as my elected representative to have reached my own conclusion.

    • catweazle666 says:

      Michael Merrifield: “I don’t know what all denialists’ motivations are…”

      Still conflating AGW scepticism with Holocaust denial and neo-Nazism I see, you arrogant, ignorant, abusive little man.

      I’ll be interested to see how you handle it in five years – say ten at the most – when it turns out that Mother Nature is the biggest “denialist” of the lot.

      • Michael Merrifield says:

        denialist. Noun. a person who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence.

        So, no, no conflation on my part, just yours.

        “you arrogant, ignorant, abusive little man” he says, entirely non-abusively.

        As for the actual point you make, you have a bit of a no-lose bet there, don’t you? Because if temperatures do continue to rise, you’ll simply say “see, told you that we weren’t going to be able to stop it.”

      • Caratacus says:

        Michael – I would have a lot more sympathy with Warble Gloamists if their efforts were as equally dedicated to planning for the inevitable effects of climate change as they are to making us all feel as though we were individually responsible for some unutterable human catastrophe. If we are to see sea-levels rise – do something about it … arguing about a degree here or there is patently a diversion and does not address the problem Mr. & Mrs. Smith have when their house is inundated due to p***-poor local planning. If we are to see increased rainfall or drought DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. And I don’t mean beggaring about with ‘carbon-capture’ or trying to persuade emerging economies to be a bit careful in the future. Plan for these things because, it would seem, they are on their inexorable way no matter how many illustrious professors seek to bend the ear of utterly venal politicians who advance any cause that does not interfere with their own comfort. Handwringing, chucking blame hither and yon and allowing cynical governments to invent and raise taxes which do nothing to address the problem is not the way forward. Flood defences, intelligent food production and distribution, clean water for all, reliable energy production – these are the things which need intelligent minds to plan for. But that’s not quite as exciting as building bird-chopping windmills, or planting squalid and inefficient (if un-subsidised) solar gathering fields on soil which should be put to food production is it?

        I’d better stop now as my language is threatening to drop to that of a three-badge stoker but believe me when I say that Mr. Helmer seems to be a tad nearer the pulse of thinking souls in this country than you appear to be. But what do I know? Educated only to A-level standard (1971) and apart from a yellow stripe for swimming a width in 1959, I can only cite a lifetime’s experience dealing with excitable and knowledgeable fools with an axe to grind.

      • catweazle666 says:

        So we can add to arrogant, ignorant and abusive disingenuous, tending to mendacity.

        You are utilising the same spurious logic that is used by Jew-haters to pretend that the term “antisemite” relates equally to all other races in the Middle East, even though it has acquired a specific meaning with relation to Jews.

        I am sure that you are well aware that when related to the debate on climate science the terms “denier” and “denialist” are accepted to have acquired specific, abusive connotations.

        Here is just one of the many quotes to be found with a quick search of the Internet.

        Both sides in the debate over global warming are known for calling their opposition all kinds of derisive names. Perhaps the worst is “denier” to describe those who allegedly deny that global warming is “real.” The echoes of Holocaust denial are indeed offensive, particularly because the debate over global warming often conflates science with social science.

        Even the Associated Press has advised that the term “denier” is unacceptable.

        Please don’t try to deny that you are very well aware of that.

        That is just one of many references, of course.

        Because if temperatures do continue to rise, you’ll simply say “see, told you that we weren’t going to be able to stop it.”

        Temperatures are currently not rising, in fact ceased when the ~60 year cycle that appears to correlate with the North Atlantic Oscillation and which is superimposed on the ~1,000 year cycle responsible for the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm periods entered a negative phase ~2000, and will remain in this negative phase until ~2030. This will become increasingly apparent over the next few years until even science denialists such as yourself are forced to recognise it.

        And then you will say “see, all our work has saved the World!”

      • B Hough says:

        Why do people like the prof never seem to jump on the peoplw who are destroying the rain forests, I heard the other evenings news that it is the size of a football pitch every second!!
        A few years ago Prince Charles gave a brilliant speech against these people, now he blames the waqr in Syria, who `got onto him?`

      • catweazle666 says:

        B Hough: “Why do people like the prof never seem to jump on the peoplw who are destroying the rain forests”

        Because they know which their bread is buttered of course.

        Why else?

      • catalanbrian says:

        I think that calling somebody an “arrogant, ignorant abusive little man”, apart from being incredibly impolite, is an indicator of a person who realises that he has lost the argument and thus has to turn to abuse. Very sad really.

      • Michael Merrifield says:

        Thank you for referring me to the style amendment from the Associated press. I note that it says “those who reject climate science say the phrase denier has the pejorative ring of Holocaust denier.” Since i do not reject climate science, I do not make that association. As I said, any conflation is yours, not mine.

        As for temperatures not rising any more, what an amazing coincidence, then, that the warmest year in modern times was 2014. That is, until it is beaten in a few weeks time by 2015.

      • catweazle666 says:


        You expect the likes of Merryfield to actually get out there and DO something, when he can sit in his ivory tower and pontificate?

        No chance!

      • Michael Merrifield says:

        Not much time for ivory towers, I am afraid, what with teaching and research and running a physics department. I do, however, usually take the time to make sure I show the courtesy of spelling people’s names correctly. Or at least I do if they show me the courtesy of not hurling abuse from behind a pseudonym.

      • catweazle666 says:

        “Or at least I do if they show me the courtesy of not hurling abuse from behind a pseudonym.”

        But not enough courtesy to prevent you deliberately implying that they are akin to neo-Nazis or Holocaust deniers because they have the damn gall not to agree with your understanding of a highly contentious field of science – and when called out on it attempting to deny your intention to insult.

      • Michael Merrifield says:

        According to the link you posted to “educate” me, that is your inference, not my implication.

      • catweazle666 says:


        You’re in a hole.

        Stop digging.

      • Michael Merrifield says:

        As spot on with that judgement as pretty much every other assertion you have made.

      • catweazle666 says:

        Ah, you want a clown dance AKA Post-Modern Mamba do you, Professor?

        Like this?

        Or are you just one of those who can’t bear not to have the last word?

    • catalanbrian says:

      I have been reading the various posts on here where you have suffered a considerable amount of unnecessary abuse from people who think that they know everything. I have also tried to put the other view, the sensible view, the view that you have put forward and I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to educate a turd, so generally I have given up trying to make the alternative argument on this blog. Roger Helmer’s views are odd enough anyway, but they are considerably less lunatic than most of his followers here. And he is considerably more polite!

    • omanuel says:

      Professor Merrifield:

      Please address here, in public, these precise experimental data and observations from the Nuclear and Space Ages that indicate the Sun is the Creator & Sustainer of every atom, life and planet in the solar system.

      Click to access Solar_Energy.pdf

  15. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Old Holborn ‏@Holbornlolz 6h 6 hours ago

    Old Holborn Retweeted Agence France-Presse

    I confidently predict “raising taxes” will be number 1 on the “results” list.
    We’re being farmed.

    Agence France-Presse @AFP
    #BREAKING: Final draft agreement at climate talks pushed back to Saturday: official
    59 retweets 35 likes

    And as we are very aware the taxes (fines) will not be used for adequate adaptation. It’ll run out the same as FIFA and to some extent already has.

    BBC Jeremy Vine show today…all pro AGW. No evidence presented, just scare stories about the Marshall Islands going under and somebody on about us using computers and iPhones. All very emotional cr*p!

  16. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Jobs for the boys & girls here. Revealing in its absolute weakness.

    Final text released
    A pdf of the Adoption of the Paris Agreement can be read in full here.

    Click to access l09.pdf

    17. Notes with concern that the estimated aggregate greenhouse gas emission levels in
    2025 and 2030 resulting from the intended nationally determined contributions do not fall
    within least-cost 2 ˚C scenarios but rather lead to a projected level of 55 gigatonnes in
    2030, and also notes that much greater emission reduction efforts will be required than
    those associated with the intended nationally determined contributions in order to hold the
    increase in the global average temperature to below 2 ˚C above pre-industrial levels by
    reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes or to 1.5 ˚C above pre-industrial levels by reducing to
    a level to be identified in the special report referred to in paragraph 21 below;

  17. I did not vote for Roger, but I think that as our elected representative he deserves some respect, and I have some sympathy with his view that the global warming story has been exaggerated.

    So I am sorry to see a senior professor at my own university indulging in childish name-calling. There are many reasons for not doing so. Apart from the basic issue of courtesy towards the democratically elected, there is the fact that if you behave in this way others will return the compliment, as Catweazle has done here, and you end up either in a pointless exchange of insults or an equally pointless discussion of language.

    Here’s another reason. Mike says he doesn’t know why people are sceptical about climate change and continues with “I would guess…”. If he is genuinely interested in this question he could read my paper published earlier this year on exactly this subject. If he did so, he would learn that one of the factors that can act as a trigger for setting people on the path to the sceptical side is the “arrogant or dismissive tone, or hostility toward those who disagreed with them” employed by many on his side of the debate.

    • Michael Merrifield says:

      If you check, you will see that I respond to those who make honest inquiries with politeness, even on this blog; I only tend to mock those who repeatedly make daft assertions, such as claiming that the fact that it gets cold during a solar eclipse has some bearing on uncovering the primary causes of climate change. Such folk clearly have no interest in actually engaging in meaningful discussion, so I am hardly likely to be making their minds up at this point.

      Apart from expressing my personal view, another reason not to engage too politely with those who consistently peddle nonsense is that by doing so their “arguments” are given undue credence as being worthy of such a balanced debate. I note that your paper does not even mention the issue of false balance in exploring why some people believe the anti-establishment view. It’s almost as if you had an agenda of your own, too. After all, “some sympathy with his view that the global warming story has been exaggerated” isn’t quite an even-handed description of the views you espouse (, is it?

      • catweazle666 says:

        “I only tend to mock those who repeatedly make daft assertions”

        I had made no assertions whatsoever when you knowingly conflated me with a Holocaust denier.

        Stop making stuff up.

  18. catalanbrian says:

    I think that it was you, Catweazle, rather than Professor Merrifield ,who made the rather bizarre assertion that he had, by referring to you as a denier suggested that you were a holocaust denier, when it was abundantly clear that he was referring to you as being a climate change denier. Clearly there is something wrong with your understanding of clearly written English, or perhaps you are just an “arrogant, ignorant abusive little man” who is alarmingly argumentative. I expect your neighbours don’t often bother chatting to you for fear of a torrent of abuse.

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