Jug Suraiya, the Times of India’s self-appointed humorist and contrarian, takes a hatchet to climate science today. He complains that climate change is treated as an irrefutable “fact”. He claims that anyone who tries to question climate change is “immediately branded a destroyer of the planet, a dangerous heretic who should be burnt at the stake” and the “warmists” “will not tolerate sceptics any more than did the Spanish Inquisition”.
So what evidence does Mr Suraiya offer against the hypothesis of manmade climate change? None whatever! He resorts to citing “dissenters”, but names only two, whom he calls “the most notable” — but neither of them is a climate scientist. The first is a geologist, Ian Plimer: read about him and his error-riddled book here and here. And his response to being challenged on his facts by George Monbiot is here. And Mr Suraiya’s second authority is not a scientist at all, but a journalist, Christopher Booker.
Future climate-change deniers will now be able to cite a third authority, the eminent Indian humorist and contrarian, Mr Jug Suraiya. It is a form of proof by mutual reference.
So here are two things to understand, Mr Suraiya. First: man-made climate change is not an “irrefutable fact”. It is a hypothesis for which there is, at this point, an enormous amount of evidence compiled by climate scientists around the world. To refute the hypothesis, you need a significant amount of contrary evidence. Plimer’s book does not cut it.
Second: you allege that big money — “huge money”, in your words — is promoting the climate change hypothesis. In fact most climate scientists work at respected universities and government organisations, on public funding. If you want to follow the money, take a look at who is funding the deniers.