Two respected scientists – not climate specialists, but at the same time not the sort to gob off at without adequate preparation – attempted recently to engage in a private critical dialogue with Martin Durkin, maker of the Great Global Warming Swindle documentary shown recently on UK television. One, Armand Leroi, is a geneticist who was planning to cooperate with Durkin on a film about race. The other, Simon Singh, is a mathematician and outstanding popular science writer.
According to leaked email correspondence published on Thursday of this week in The Times, Leroi challenged Durkin over his use of some ‘fragile’ data on solar activity and global temperatures published by my old boss Eigil Friis-Christensen back in 1991.
Leroi: “To put this bluntly: the data that you showed in your programme were . . . wrong in several different ways.”
Durkin: “You’re a big daft cock.”
After being urged by Singh to grow up and engage in civilised debate, Durkin expanded on his phallic thesis:
Durkin: “The BBC is now a force for bigotry and intolerance … Since 1940 we have had four decades of cooling, three of warming, and the last decade when temperature has been doing nothing.
Why have we not heard this in the hours and hours of shit programming on global warming shoved down our throats by the BBC?
“Never mind an irresponsible bit of film-making. Go and f*** yourself.”
Needless to say, Leroi is now having second thoughts about working with Durkin on the programme about race. Durkin has since apologised for his intemperate language, claiming “It is so unlike me.”
Actually, Durkin’s little tirade is entirely in character, and he has before flown off the handle when criticised. And not just in private company. Durkin and his political associates in the RCP/LM crowd may be media-savvy, but wind them up and they are liable to a massive sense of humour failure. They then rant and rave like the ultra-leftists they have always been, current pseudo-libertarian language notwithstanding.
Update: I should point out that Simon Singh is a trustee of Sense about Science, a lobby organisation which is a subsidiary of the RCP/LM group of which Durkin is a member. Sense about Science is behind today’s headline BBC news featuring two eminent climatologists warning of the dangers of over-hyping anthropogenic climate change. This is a most curious twist. While I agree with the message the climatologists are attempting to convey, I have to wonder about the agenda of their promoters.