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Fox and Ward talk Nurse

I'll keep posting links to interesting reactions on the Paul Nurse programme. I'm certainly still finding them interesting. This one is by the Science Media Centre's Fiona Fox, with the first comment coming from her colleague Bob Ward.

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Reader Comments (27)

Bob Ward, in his response says: "To claim that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas is to promote a demonstrable falsehood". If climate scepticism was all about that, I think I'd agree with him. Talk about distortion to support an argument!

Feb 2, 2011 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan

Good heavens, I agree with Bob Ward:

But one of the key points he successfully, and rightly, made was that some of the most influential voices in the debates over GM, climate chnage, AIDS, etc misrepresent or ignore scientific evidence for ideological or political reasons. There is no law against this in a democracy, even if it does not benefit the public interest.

He's right - Hansen, Gore, himself....

Feb 2, 2011 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

I liked Fiona's article. Bob's comment was laughable. But then I don't mind that as he makes an excellent cartoon character.

Feb 2, 2011 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

He must have typed that in what, 3 milliseconds?

Feb 2, 2011 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub Niggurath

"For Nurse, the scientific method - testable hypothesis, observation, reason, evidence - has delivered amazing benefits for the world"

If only Climate Science followed the scientific method.

Feb 2, 2011 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBuck

Bob Ward saying there is no law against being scientifically wrong. Well that's not what he was arguing a few years ago.

He said that 'free speech' was ludricous!!!!!

Feb 2, 2011 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBob's Spin

@Bob's Spin:

I think the reason he said there was no law, was he was implying that perhaps there should be one introduced...

Feb 2, 2011 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterCopner

Fiona Fox - Fiona Foster - Devine Hoax - fake phone calls.

Feb 2, 2011 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Bob Ward's comment is a complete joke. I can't understand why this guy is retained by his employers as he talks such a load of drivel. For example:

"But the laws of physics are not just a point of view. To claim that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas is to promote a demonstrable falsehood, not just a point of view. To claim that the Earth has not warmed over the last 50 years is to promote a demonstrable falsehood, not just a point of view."

What a strawman argument! Those who criticize CAGW fanaticism and the Bob Ward propaganda campaign don't deny those things; they don't think these claims are points of view either.

Why not play the game properly, Bob? Here is a mere point of view: that most of the warming over the past 50 years is anthropogenic. And the following is not a demonstrable falsehood: that most of the warming over the last 50 years is natural variability.

Notice, thus, that Bob Ward can't make a properly framed argument, just the strawman type.

Feb 2, 2011 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

Buck, I agree and posted a comment quoting that climate science doesn't follow the scientific method.

Josh, is another Bob Ward cartoon in the offing?

Feb 2, 2011 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Phillip, I think there should be...

Feb 2, 2011 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

"In sharp contrast to some scientists I know"

I would be grateful if she could publish a list of those scientists who wish to "silence critics". These individuals deserve to be known to the wider world.

Feb 2, 2011 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMr Monzonite

thanks for link. i like the picture in their bbc college of journalism banner. prosthero and ariel from broadcasting house. the essence of the bbc.

Feb 2, 2011 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered Commentermark

I am sure that Bob Ward's courses on keyboarding skills are well attended. I'm not sure why he comments on CAGW issues, though. (Possibly he is employed by big oil to undermine the CAGW cause.)

Feb 2, 2011 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Bob Ward: "But the laws of physics are not just a point of view. To claim that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas is to promote a demonstrable falsehood, not just a point of view."

This sort of argumentation is both extremely frustrating and at the same time fascinating. I'm always left asking myself: Do these types really think this is what is being claimed, or are they deliberately distorting? One the one hand I cannot comprehend that anyone having spent just half a thought studying the arguments would think thus, on the other hand I cannot imagine that anyone, in writing, using their real name, would be so shamelessly dishonest. What on earth is going on...

Feb 2, 2011 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterpax

don't be silly ZT

Bob Ward works for the Grantham Institute. He is the attack dog of CAGW advocacy..the Guardians favourite

Feb 2, 2011 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

How very Bob

Apparently some editors are unable or unwilling to filter out these 'points of view', even though they are demonstrably inaccurate and misleading (and therefore breaches of media regulations), so scientists have to be much more active and vigorous in pointing out these misrepresentations.

ie report the message the way the Bob wants or you'll be reported to the authorities for re-education. I suspect there may be much disagreement about which scientists pov are demonstrably inaccurate or misleading though. I am looking forward to the new active, vigorous misrepresentations that are likely to arrive from some climate scientists, if they take the Bob's advice. It should prove amusing. Anyone know if the SMC posse were invited to Lisbon for the reconciliation meeting?

Feb 2, 2011 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

The gauntlet is down!

'Show me one peer-reviewed paper that has ruled out natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.'

Feb 2, 2011 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

I seem to remember... Bob Ward and Fiona Fox were members together of some Communist group, some years back... then it looks to me like they got into positions of influentialism - Bob Ward was "senior manager, policy communication" for The Royal Society shortly before he engaged in a fascinating email spat with "Great GW Swindle" Martin Durkin

Feb 2, 2011 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucy Skywalker

I can't believe ex-marxist PR babe Fiona.......

....and her SMC colleague rottweiler Bob have to resort to orchestrated glove puppeteering to get themselves noticed.

That's the way to do it!

Feb 2, 2011 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Brilliant, Foxgoose. Fiona hits the policeman over the head while Bob makes off with the sausages.

Feb 2, 2011 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Do these types really think this is what is being claimed, or are they deliberately distorting?

The latter. They can't refute the main sceptic points, so they focus on ones they can refute, even though nobody's making them.

Feb 2, 2011 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

"her SMC colleague rottweiler Bob "

Surely not!

Jeremy Grantham's little attack Chihuahua Bobby, more like it.

More pathetic (and emetic) than scary!

Feb 2, 2011 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Foxgoose: "ex-marxist"

Do you have chapter and verse for the 'ex-' bit?

The link you provide only claims that she is no longer a leading member of the RCP and the Sunday Times interview does not report a loss of faith.

Feb 2, 2011 at 9:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles


While I agree that Bob Ward and his kind are deliberately concentrating on weak arguments so as to avoid having to answer more sensible ones, we must remember that the nuttier wing of the skeptics are make ridiculous claims about, for example, thermodynamics and radiation. See, for example, the "Slaying the Sky Dragon" threads at Climate Etc. and the Blackboard. Scary.

Feb 2, 2011 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Foxgoose: "ex-marxist"

Do you have chapter and verse for the 'ex-' bit?

Here are some bio articles on Ms Fox (who has also appeared in these hallowed pages from time to time).,3604,181819,00.html

The last article, by non other than Moonbat himself, traces the rise of the Fox sisters through the labyrinthine intricacies of radical politics and is probably incomprehensible except to connoisseurs of the genre.

My take one it was twofold:-

1. People of a radical disposition are disturbed individuals who fight like ferrets in a sack and don't really know what they believe in.

2. Some, like Fiona, use their radical politics as a convenient vehicle for relentless self advancement.

The scary thing is - how much of public life and discourse these vain, disturbed individuals manage to control.

Feb 2, 2011 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose


Thanks for the response and the links. I'd read the first three before but reread them in search of evidence that FF is now an ex-marxist (as opposed to continuing to be a marxist of some kind). I couldn't find any there. The Moonbat article is a gem and he does, in effect, claim that she belongs to a group of former trots who have "swung around 180 degrees". From his perspective, that would put her in BNP territory, I guess. But I really doubt that Moonbat is any more reliable on this topic than he is on any other. So I'm none the wiser.

I was prompted to enquire by watching an interview with Stanley Kurtz. Kurtz has dug up lots of archival evidence that BO was a socialist (in the US sense -- one who subscribes to SDS doctrine, essentially) before he entered formal politics. Kurtz's interviewer asks whether BO is still a socialist as opposed to a left-liberal (again, in the US sense of 'liberal') and Kurtz argues that there is evidence to suggest that he is.

Unsurprisingly, I agree with your concluding comments.

Feb 3, 2011 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles

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