LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Scientists not all quite so eminent

AFTER a bad start to 2023 and in need of a good laugh to cheer me up, lo and behold along comes Clive Phillips’ letter of January 12 about his 1,100 eminent scientists and their declaration.

The World Climate Declaration, as it is called, is apparently the 2022 rehash of the publications that have for several years been issued annually by the fossil fuel funded anti-climate change organisation named Clintel. Published on the internet by journalist and associate Marcel Crok, it appears to have been compiled mainly by Professor Guus Berkhout, a retired geophysicist previously working for Shell (oh what a surprise!).

The Nobel Prizewinner named in the listed signatories is Ivar Giaever, winner in 1973 of a quarter share in a Nobel prize for his work on superconductors and quantum physics, but with no known expertise in climatology.

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The remainder of the 1,100 signatories is reportedly comprised of eight Shell executives (another surprise?), 230 engineers from the oil, gas and coal industries, roughly similar numbers of scientists and geophysicists from the oil industry (what did Clive Phillips write about a year ago about scientists saying what they are paid to?), and about 20 per cent of the total number, oil lobbyists. The remaining few signatories are a mixture of engineers, medical doctors etc, and apparently fishermen and airline pilots, but on the whole very few of the “eminent scientists” we were told it was signed by and from whom we could expect an impartial examination.

One thing is impressive however, and that is the World Climate Declaration’s connection to the afterlife. I mean, of course, the revelation that at the time of signing no less than six of the signatories to the declaration were already dead.

On review, given the background and income sources of the signatories to this “declaration”, and that the chosen careers of almost all of them are totally dependent on the destructive dominance of the coal, oil and gas industries, I am surprised that the distortion of truth and misinformation that it contains is not far greater than it is.

As to the rest of Clive’s letter, the convolutions of the first column are too great to be dealt with in this letter, except for the deeply insulting inference that money intended for Ukraine’s war with Russia goes straight into Zelenskyy’s pockets. Also, I’m sure that the people in famine stricken Western Africa will be glad of your assurance that the drought-created crop failures are a myth, that yields have increased, and that they are not dying of starvation after all.

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In addition, for the hope of good news next week, how about persuading your oil and gas puppet masters that you are so proud to follow to hand their excess profits accumulated in 2022 back to the people so that we can all have a comfortable winter.  

Charles David Foulstone,

Rotherham Green Party

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