Richard Branson Vs The Anti-Free-Speech Eco Loons

richard branson
Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for Free The Children

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has been taking flak from the eco loons.

His crime? Failing (so far at any rate) to censor the guest on this week’s Virgin podcast – an appalling, notorious climate change denier by the name of James Delingpole.

According to a finger-wagging article in the Guardian by one of the more obscure specimens in its vast menagerie of house eco prats – one Graham Readfern – this simply should not have been allowed.

Inviting a consistently wrong non-expert who once wrote that the “climate alarmist industry” should answer questions in the “defendant’s dock in a court of law, before a judge wearing a black cap [worn by UK judges when handing out death sentences]” hardly seems like a safe route to inclusiveness.

What never ceases to astonish me about the environmental movement is its shrill intolerance. Heaven forfend that both sides of the climate change argument should be aired freely so that people can make up their own minds where they stand.

No, as far as activists like Readfern are concerned, the correct response in these situations is a) aggressively to challenge the interviewer – Dominic Frisby – for even thinking of engaging with such disgraceful people and b) demand an explanation from Virgin.

Yet among Frisby’s previous guests on the podcast are three of the world’s most egregious purveyors of green bullshit – renewable energy entrepeneur and eco-crusader Jeremy Leggett; Australian alarmist-in-chief (and kangaroo dung expert) Tim Flannery; and disgraced Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed.

All three of them are discredited fools whose claims don’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny. But I’d certainly never call for any of them to be censored. Nor, I suspect, would anyone on my side of the climate change argument, however extreme their antipathy towards the shills, hucksters and troughers on the alarmist side.

In fact most of the time we love it when they speak – so everyone can see how stupid and wrong they are.


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