A Cambridge professor who advanced the novel theory that Big-Oil-funded death squads have been bumping off climate scientists has been rebuffed by Ipso – the newspaper standards watchdog formerly known as the Press Complaints Commission.
Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics at Cambridge University – and one of the “experts” who helped the Pope with his controversial encyclical on the environment, had complained to Ipso that his bizarre theory had been unfairly represented by a London Times journalist who had interviewed him.
According to the Times article, Wadhams had claimed that he was one of only four people in Britain who were “really leaders on ice thickness in the Arctic” – and that three of them were now dead, the result of mysterious accidents. Wadhams himself – or so he alleged – had only narrowly escaped being bumped off himself when the “driver of an unmarked lorry tried to push his car off the M25.
“If it was some kind of death squad, you don’t expect that with something like climate change. I know oil companies have been giving lots and lots of money to . . . climate change denialist organisations but you don’t expect them to kill people.”
Wadhams told Ipso that he made it clear in the interview that he did not believe any of this stuff.
However, the Ipso committee listened to the interview tape and found that not only had Wadhams introduced the murder theory to the conversation but that he had spent 20 minutes out of a total of 30 elaborating on it. It dismissed his complaint.
This is a setback for not only for the credibility of Wadhams but also that of the Pope, who used both his encyclical and his trip to the US to demand concerted global action on “climate change”.
But the Pope has been widely criticised for basing his views on the suspect science of a handful of dodgy, parti-pris “experts” with a record of behaving more like green activists than scientists.
As Christopher Booker has noted:
The Pope has been persuaded to take this dramatic step, it is alleged, by a series of papers from something called the “Pontifical Academy of Sciences”, which might sound vaguely impressive until we see who wrote them. They are like an A-list of the world’s most strident climate alarmists. Cambridge professor Peter Wadhams has been crying wolf over the melting of polar ice since time immemorial. Martin Rees is the astronomer who turned the Royal Society into little more than a hotbed of warmist propaganda. The “social scientist” Nancy Oreskes sprang to fame in 2004 for her analysis of 928 scientific papers, 75 per cent of which she claimed endorsed the case for man-made climate change. Only subsequently was it shown that the true figure was 2 per cent, while the vast majority of the papers did not mention it at all.
Once he was the doommonger of choice for any newspaper or green pressure group or huckster politician in need of a scare story about why the Arctic sea ice will very soon be a thing of the past, that it’s all our fault and that basically we’re doomed.
But he has been proved wrong so many times that even his former allies have deserted him.
Perhaps the Pope should have done a bit more research before enlisting people like Wadhams on his climate crusade. Or, perhaps better still he should have stuck to his own field of expertise and left climate change well alone.