Climate science denier Matt Ridley delivered a lecture at the Royal Society last night. Despite assertions that the event would focus on climate policy, the speech was full of junk science.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) booked the room at the Royal Society for its annual lecture, delivered by Ridley – a well-known climate denier with a financial stake in the coal industry.
As the world’s oldest scientific institute, the Royal Society had come under internal pressure to cancel the booking as it was widely expected that the GWPF would use the opportunity to promote its unscientific views on climate change.
The Royal Society defended the decision to allow the event to proceed on the basis that the event would focus on climate change policy – an area it says is open for valid debate.
In the event, it was climate denialism as usual for the GWPF.
This is despite a clause in the Royal Society’s Terms and Conditions which states that “hire will be accepted only if the nature of the function is considered appropriate by The Royal Society and in sympathy with the ethos of the Royal Society and that the function is to promote science, technology, education or scholarship.”
The Royal Society did not respond to DeSmog UK’s request for comment in time for publishing.
Joanna Haigh, Royal Society fellow and council member, pointed out to DeSmog UK that while “Ridley claims not to dispute the science, he then disputes climate sensitivity estimates with selective citations”.
Another scientist associated with the Royal Society told DeSmog UK that Ridley’s lecture “rehashes many of the usual ‘sceptic’ tropes and straw men that have been rebutted again and again in the literature”.
They continued: “It is depressing that someone who has written so thoughtfully about genetics, should so completely misunderstand what the science is telling us.”
Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, told DeSmog UK:
“I think the text of his lecture posted on the GWPF’s website makes crystal clear the Royal Society was duped about the content of Ridley’s lecture, which misrepresents the science of climate change and appears to be contrary to the assurances that were given.
“I hope this means that the Royal Society will in future not be misled into providing a platform for the foundation’s campaign of misinformation.”
Main image: Lord Matt Ridley. Credit: IAB UK from Flickr. CC BY–NC–ND.