A letter to the Foreign Secretary
Nov 4, 2015
Bishop Hill in Bureaucrats

Reader Alex Henney sends a copy of a letter that he has recently sent to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. It concerns our representative in Paris, Sir David King.

Dear Mr. Hammond,

Professor King and the Paris Conference of Parties

I write to object on several grounds to Professor King being UK climate representative at Paris.

The attached paper “The scientific flaws of the Committee on Climate Change and the expensive consequences” shows there is no need for significant concern about climate change.

Professor King knows very little about climate science and has a track record of naïve alarmism, if not semi hysteria:-

The book he co-authored “The Hot Topic” has numerous errors in it which are baseless scares:-

Professor King is – or was – supposed to be a scientist.  He should therefore be aware of Richard Feynman’s observation:-

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, if it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”.

The recently published report “Extreme weather and resilience of the global food system” is a waste of taxpayer’s money.  In the foreword King states “we know the climate is changing”, which is a truism, “and weather records are being broken all the time”, which is nonsense.  I am not going to waste my time criticising more of this stuff beyond observing that with an increase in population there could well be an increased risk to food supplies, but this is nothing to do with the weather. We have been here before starting with Malthus, on to the Club of Rome and the hysterics of Paul Ehrlich.  (That said we should not be complacent).

There is a negligible chance that any agreement will be reached at Paris. The US Energy Information Administration has just published a briefing note on India’s coal plans, attached.  Russia has stated it is not going to play, while China will go through a charade of words for the benefit of Obama.

As a citizen and taxpayer I take strong exception to Professor King representing me.  His track record shows that he does not know what he is talking about, lacks judgment of reality, and appears to be intolerant of other’s views.

I copy this letter to Mrs. Rudd and to Professor King.


Yours sincerely,




Extracts from Illarionov’s press conference on 8/7/2004

“These papers [presented by King and his team] differed dramatically from what is usually offered at international congresses and conferences.  Simultaneously, they revealed an absolute – and I stress, absolute – inability to answer questions concerning the alleged professional activities of the authors of these papers.  Not only the ten questions that were published nine months ago, but not a single question asked during this two-day seminar by participants in the seminar, both Russian and foreign, were answered…

The British participants insisted on introducing censorship during the holding of this seminar.  The chief science adviser to the British government, Mr. King, demanded in the form of an ultimatum at the beginning of yesterday that the program of the seminar be changed and he presented an ultimatum demanding that about two-thirds of the participants not be given the floor…Mr. King spoke about “undesirable” scientists and undesirable participants in the seminar.  He declared that if the old program was preserved, he would not take part in the seminar and walk out taking along with him all the other British participants.  He has prepared his own program which he proposed, it is available here and my colleagues can simply distribute Mr. King’s hand-written program to change the program prepared by the Russian Academy of Sciences…”

“Other attempts were made to disrupt the seminar.  At least four times during the course of the seminar ugly scenes were staged that prevented the seminar from proceeding normally.  As a result we lost at least four hours of working time in order to try to solve these problems.  During these events Mr. King cited his conversations with the office of the British Prime Minister and had got clearance for such actions.

And thirdly, when the more or less normal work of the seminar was restored and when the opportunity for discussion presented itself, where questions on professional topics were asked, and being unable to answer these questions, Mr. King and other members of the delegation, turned to flight, as happened this morning, when Mr. King, in an unprecedented incident, cut short his answer to a question in mid-sentence realising that he was unable to answer it and left the seminar room.

It is not for us to give an assessment to what happened, but in our opinion the reputation of British science, the reputation of the British government, and the reputation of the title “Sir” has sustained heavy damage.”

The transcript of the press conference was referenced in Booker’s book end note p137.


[1] Source pp114-116 The Real Global Disaster, Christopher Booker.

[2] Professor Reiter is a world leading specialist in mosquito-borne diseases.  He resigned from involvement in AR3 because the IPCC insisted on claiming that global warming would encourage the spread of malaria.  In AR5 the IPCC backed down stating “The many findings described above make it clear a vast body of scientific examination and research contradict the claim that malaria will expand across the globe and intensify as a result of CO2-induced warming.”  Unlike Professor King, Professor Reiter takes care to ensure he knows what he is talking about.  I did check with Professor Reiter about this episode and he confirmed it.  In a letter to Nature he drew an analogy between the behavior of the “climate establishment and Lysenkoism, an illusion that became accepted as reality despite all contrary evidence, because it was continually affirmed at meetings and by the media.”

[3] Volume 2: Report, HL12-2, 6 July 2005, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeconaf/12/12i.pdf

[4] See figure 3 in Carter’s book “Climate: The Counter Consensus”.

Article originally appeared on (http://www.bishop-hill.net/).
See website for complete article licensing information.