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Climate of fear

I've had some correspondence over the last few days with a well-known writer. We've been discussing people who might want to review my book, but it has not been an easy task.  I thought his comments on this problem were illuminating and I'm reproducing them here (with permission). As you will see, as well as not being able to name my correspondent, I have had to redact a name from the quote as well to protect the identity of the person named. Here's what my contact said when asked for suggestions for reviewers:

Asked for names of potential writers, I feel like an early Lutheran asked to identify his fellow readers of English bibles and knowing that Sir Thomas Gore, sorry More, is reading my letters and tightening his thumbscrews in Chelsea. In other words, like you, I know lots of people who are on side privately but daren't say so publicly. The other day I bumped into ************** at an event and said something about his global warming views (sceptical) and he froze and said `I don't do that stuff now - people would not touch me if I did'.

What can one say to that? I now live in a country where people are afraid to state their opinions on a scientific question. They will have their livelihoods taken away from them if they do.

I sometimes have to pinch myself to ensure that this really is happening and I'm not just living in a bad dream.




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Reader Comments (35)


Some suggestions

Christopher Monckton
Benny Peiser
Clive James
David Henderson
Prof Ian Plimer
Lord Leach
Fraser Nelson
James Delingpole
Samuel Brittain
Lord Lawson



Dec 6, 2009 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Maynard

The problem is that no one seems to be in the neutral corner. The guys in the first comment, along with Christopher Booker, James Delinquentpole, etc, would no doubt be happy to review your book but you're preaching to the converted there. Nothing they say about your book would change many minds as it would just be what you'd expect to hear. If you give the book to cli-maxers to review then it will get rubbished regardless of how accurate and persuasive it might be to an independent mind. We (sceptics) have to reach out to those who haven't yet made up their minds. Don't ask me how we do that, though.

I'm a journalist with a Scottish paper, by the way, and would be happy to review your book. As they say at Tesco, every little helps.

Dec 6, 2009 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterKertesz

Other reviewers

Andew Bolt
Prof John Brignell
Prof Philip Stott
Richard North
Harold Ambler

Best regards,


Dec 6, 2009 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterPerry Debell

Just had a thought. What about Richard Littlejohn at the Mail? I haven't noticed him taking a stance on the global warming issue - yet.

Dec 6, 2009 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterKertesz

See Al Gore's response to Climategate here

Dec 6, 2009 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterTony Swash

Jeremy Clarkson would appeal to the man in the street.

Dec 6, 2009 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Until now "climate" has been great for 'slacktivists' - you don't need to do anything or pay any money - you just need to mumble your way through the hymns and you get to sit with the cool kids.

What could be more hip and socially responsible than joining with others to save the planet ?

Recently there has been a sea change as some of the realities and costs loom on the horizon. ClimateGate may even be a tipping point as people see with their own eyes that the whole thing is a crock.

Dec 6, 2009 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

That's why you're struggling to find prominent people to go public. This is why I blog under a nom d'ordinateur - i may need a freelance gig at the council one day and it only takes one enviro nutter to scupper your chance.

Dec 6, 2009 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

I'll do it, if you think a review from an SF writer might be worthwhile.

Dec 6, 2009 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeal Asher

It's the way things have been moving for a decade at least. Look at the uproar regarding Jan Moir? Can't say anything that could be construed as homophobic, indeed, it will soon be illegal. Dittto religion. Ditto some political views. For most of this past decade I seem to have been banging on about the injustice of BNP members being fired from public sector jobs if their political views become public; for this I have been roundly abused. But I warned that if we tolerate this, "in a good cause", the removal of rights to free speech and free association for people we dislike, then soon it might be us - any of us - in the firing line.

And so it is proving to be. Britain is in a lot of trouble - our media and poltical establishment are hopelessly intwined, and hopelessly entranced by leftwing ideals of political correctness. Every day they decide another opinion is forbidden. Every day an inch of freedom is lost. Look back 20 years, can you imagine *any* topics raised on the ten o clock news, that you'd have to watch your opinions on at work the next day, in case someone decided you're transgressed? Now it's practically all constrained...

We have led the world in many areas, I think we're leading in this too; world-wide, free speech will come to be seen as too dangerous. The blogs are going to be lined up after Copenhagen as public enemies.

Time for everyone to realise something: under socialism, under all left-wing governments - even those that claim to embrace the market or any other half baked fakery they spout - free speech and free beliefs are *always* imperilled. These ideologies cannot beat any reasoned argument, so the arguments are prohibited. David Milliband calls us "saboteurs". Good. I think I am.

Dec 6, 2009 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrankFisher

Oh and Bishop Hill, try Viscount Monckton for a review - he's got a hell of a profile state-side.

Dec 6, 2009 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrankFisher

Climate of denial also: "He (Al Gore) claimed that the scientific consensus around climate change “continues to grow from strength to strength”. He added: “The naysayers are in a sunset phase with a spectacular climax just before they subside from view. This is a race between common sense and unreality.”

See the The Times

I don't like politicians quoting from the Bible (Psalm 84 v. 8) in order to further their own cause.

Dec 6, 2009 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlberto


Dec 6, 2009 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterukipwebmaster

"I don't like politicians quoting from the Bible (Psalm 84 v. 8) in order to further their own cause."

Al Gore's grandpa was a backwoods preacher, and Al Gore was a divinity school drop-out.
For Al and many others, this is quite literally their new religion, an end-of-the-world faith.

Dec 6, 2009 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

Maybe Bjorn Lomborg or Tom Fuller for a review? They have AGW views, just not catastrophic AGW. Either of the Pielke's as well.

Dec 6, 2009 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrey

I'll be glad to review your book for you, for our in-house journal The American. My own take on climategate, by the way, is here:

Dec 6, 2009 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterKenneth P. Green

well that

(the original comment from His Grace re the pressure)

would certainly explain the lack of serious enquiry by the MSM. More specifically the delay by the BBC chap could be worth an investigation in its own right.

Dec 6, 2009 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterHysteria

I have been directing people I know to the "Casper and the Jesus Paper" and the "Yamal Implosion" postings here. I suspect that a few will be pre-ordering the book as well - as will I when the Mrs approves the Crimbo list ;-)

Dec 6, 2009 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris

PS (I hit post before I finished)

I suspect it could creep into some lists on Amazon and elsewhere as long as the word gets out. As Delingpole puts it, it could just before uber-viral.

Well, here's hoping.

Dec 6, 2009 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris

Bish - the answer is in the question.

Get bloggers to review it online. I'll write a review for a high-traffic political blog.

Dec 6, 2009 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

I'd be happy to review your book if you think it would be useful.

Dec 6, 2009 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom Fuller

Can I suggest you contact Peter Taylor who wrote 'Chill I ended up reviewing his book for Ecos and also introduced a thread on it over at Harmless Sky.

He might have an insght into who to approach.

Not sure that an objective reviewer would be as effective as a high profile reviewer, but you do then run the risk of being immediately demonised if you went for someone like Monckton (good though he might be)


Dec 6, 2009 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

I fear that we are in the ultimate fight for freedom, all freedoms, not just the freedom of speech. For a long time I have resisted the very idea of a "conspiracy" to force a Global Socialist Government on the World but now, more and more, that does look to be the case.
Whether it has been by design, or just a convenient polarisation, the whole AGW idea has produced such division that there are no neutrals. To say one is neutral is to be cast into the camp of the Flat Earthers. People are no longer allowed a debate.
You could ask someone like Prince Charles, who is one of the righteous saviors of the Planet but who just might decide he has a sufficient sense of "duty" to consider the other side of the argument. He might not be convinced by what you have written but he would probably feel he should give a neutral review.
Failing that it has to be the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Dalai Llama.
Very best wishes to you, and I have pre-ordered.


Dec 6, 2009 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterOld Crow

Patrick, you say:
For Al and many others, this is quite literally their new religion, an end-of-the-world faith.

Anyone old enough will remember, during the 1950’s and 60’s, every High Street in the land had its Sandwich-board Sage pronouncing ‘The end of the world is nigh!’ Some were even bold (or stupid) enough to give the precise date when Armageddon would occur.

Most rational and reasonable folk consigned these people to the realms of psychedelic fantasy and history has supported this sensible assessment. Despite all the hype and hysteria promulgated by the AGW Alarmists, history will prove them to be the modern Sandwich-board Sages and show we are right to ignore their frenzied screeching.

Dec 6, 2009 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterYertizz

Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions - the thread was really aimed at giving everyone a chance to vent their feelings at the attack of freedom of speech, but it seems churlish to spurn all these suggestions.

I'm sure the book will get good play on the internet - I think that's a reasonable assumption now. It's breaking out into the mainstream that's the issue now. For that reason I'm thinking about a newspaper columnist or someone with a significant public profile, but not someone who can be brushed aside as a denier. The game has changed now and I hope this is an opportunity for someone, perhaps with no known views on AGW, to stand up and say "there's a problem here".

I'm intrigued by Clarkson as an idea. Perhaps not neutral enough, but the profile is right. Anyone know him?

Dec 6, 2009 at 7:40 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


Could you contact me by email please.


Dec 6, 2009 at 7:53 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I haven't the first notion of what his views are, but why not ask Stephen Hawking? If he were appallled by what you reveal, you'd be headlines around the globe.

Dec 6, 2009 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Do you have a publisher in mind yet? You might consider approaching someone like HarperCollins in the US. They don't seem particularly intimidated by the political elite and might be interested in publishing your work. They recently published Sarah Palin's book and helped with a "ghost writer", which I assume most of the elitist publishers would not have touched with two ten-foot poles connected end-to-end. It has turned into a great commercial success for them with it going into 2 million copies ordered for printing and over a million copies sold to date.

This is a very hot topic write now and they might be the sort of publisher that would be willing to capitalize on such a project that this time and might be able to suggest reviewers beyond those familiar with the technobabble who could offer some guidance to make your work more accessible to the masses.

NOTE: I have no association whatsoever with that publisher. It was simply an idea that came to mind.

Dec 6, 2009 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered Commentercrosspatch

"This is a very hot topic write now" and "right" now too!

Dec 6, 2009 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered Commentercrosspatch

The CRU climatologists clearly believed they were playing a much larger game than science: they were the good shepherds, leading you and me out of the dark. The same top-down, authoritarian attitude can be found in mainstream media, and in many politicians and governments. This is not a good development for those of us who believe in liberal democracy.

See "Climategate: The good shepherds":

Dec 7, 2009 at 3:03 AM | Unregistered Commentervulgar moralist


The problem with the big publishers is getting a foot in the door. Most of them will only deal with literary agents and the agents don't seem to "get it".

Dec 7, 2009 at 8:54 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

If you are looking for a reviewer who can help you get into the mainstream, I would suggest you look at some main stream names - Terry Wogan seems to be a good start. Carol Vorderman is another. For more political clout, how about Jeremy Paxman? I once bought a book because his review was quoted on the cover!
I would also look at the US rather than the UK. While the UK is where the noise, is, its the US where the money is. Consider trying Jay Leno - he is a more sensible Jeremy Clarkson type.

While I understand that its easy to name people. and much harder to actually get them to say yes without a nice big cheque for access - you need to think outside the box to ensure you are not lost in the thousands of books which end up in the Works by March!

Dec 7, 2009 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterF0ul

May I suggest that you check out Charlie Vietch's Youtube site for the perfect Antidote
to the current Insanity engulfing us all. Not only hilarious but VERY seriously relevent
to ALL current events!

The "Love Police" have arrived! May I suggest ,Like Charlie , that we repeat Out Loud all the Insane Messages right back at them?

Dec 7, 2009 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobroy

I suggest you contact John Coleman, one of the founders of the Weather Channel here in the U.S. He is currently a weatherman at San Diego's KUSI-TV.

You may be interested in reading his opinion on AGW published back in January at:

Dec 8, 2009 at 7:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterStu in SDGO

P.S. His email address is

Dec 8, 2009 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterStu in SDGO

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