To: James Delingpole
Date: 25th January 2011
Subject: Dodgy science on the telly
Like you, I felt somewhat intellectually “tampered with” by Paul Nurse (“Science under Attack”, Horizon BBC 2, 24th January 2011), and I wondered if we should make some sort of common cause against the domination of faulty thinking of the scientific elite in the media.
As you know, I’m a fan of Climate Change Science, and everything I see, read and hear confirms the projections. In the end, you will come to believe, but the evidence for manmade Global Warming is not the source of my contention with the BBC today.
I disliked the incredibly scornful tone of the Genetically Modified research technologist, who when interviewed avoided the broader picture of the imposition of GM crops against the will of the people. He asked a question something like “…if GM crops are so bad, then why have millions of American farmers planted them ?…” and naturally, because you are a smart chap, you and I both know the real answer to that question.
It’s not the quality of the products that keep farmers hooked on GM, it’s the power of the sales force and the exclusivity contracts people sign up to. What people are really buying is not the GM seed but the herbicides, and Paul Nurse didn’t even touch on that subject (but if he had, he might have “interfered with” that, too).
Why is it that Paul Nurse could not distinguish between technology and science ? What blinkered him from separating the brute force of invention from the laboured acquisition of rigorous knowledge ?
Several top science advisers and commentators have made this mistake in the past, including John Beddington and Dick Taverne :-
So, James, can we stand shoulder-to-shoulder on opposing untested technologies ? Can we walk together under the same banner, protesting Frankenstein biofuels and gene poisoning ?
Can we find something to agree on, something to work together for ?
With my finest regards,