Rupert Read teaches philosophy at the University of East Anglia, chairs the Green House thinktank and was “Green Party 2015 MP-Candidate for Cambridge.”
He was twittering the other day:
BBC Radio wanted to have me on today to debate a climate-denier in the context of the drought/heatwave. I said NO. I told them it was a disgrace that they still give climate-deniers airtime at a time like this. I won’t be part of such charades any longer. Please RT if you agree.
Miles King asked: “who were they putting up as a denier Rupert?”
And Rupert replied: “Don’t know, don’t care. It’s time to draw a hard line in the sand, as the tide rises…”
Mat Hope joined in asking for more information as he’s going to write it up at DeSmog Blog, and Mark Maslin, professor at UCL and author of Global Warming: A Very Short Introduction, piped up lending his support:
I agree with you. I have not done an interview with SkyNews since they set me up during Copenhagen – they only told me as I sat down for the interview!
After more supportive tweets, Rupert signed off:
Worry not; because of getting 22000 RTs for this tweet, I will have a platform in the Guardian on Friday. A bigger fish than Radio Cambs.
Bigger and fishier.
A philosopher, think tank chairman, politician, and would-be M.P. who won’t debate with people he disagrees with would seem to be somewhat handicapped in his professional activities. Luckily Rupert has KommentMachtFrei where he is free to express his wilting lily opinions without fear of contradiction. His Guardian article is headlined “I won’t go on the BBC if it supplies climate change deniers as ‘balance’” and in it Rupert really lets himself go:
… this Wednesday, when I was rung up by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and asked to come on air to debate with a climate change denier, something in me broke, and rebelled… I turned it down. I told it that I will no longer be part of such charades. I said that the BBC should be ashamed of its nonsensical idea of “balance” … From a public service broadcaster, this is simply not good enough… I will no longer put up with the absurd notion that a straight debate about the science can be justified… BBC Cambridgeshire is based in Cambridge, the science capital of the UK. I expected better from it… In August 2018, this is unacceptable and it seems that quite a lot of people agree with me.. [followed by a link to the Twitter thread.]
In the comments thread below the article someone suggested that he really should have gone on the show in order to demolish the arguments of the denier. Rupert replied: “No! Shan’t!” stamped his foot and had to have his nappy changed by Guardian Environment Editor Damian Carrington.
[Cliscep Ed: Why do you always have to ruin a perfectly decent article with infantile toilet humour?]
The radio programme in question is a three hour talk and music spot on Radio Cambridgeshire and can be found here.
Dr Emily Shuckburgh and Chris Smith the Naked Scientist are both interviewed at length during the first forty minutes. If a denier was interviewed, it must have been for less than thirty seconds, because I zapped through the whole three hours looking for the beast. Doesn’t Rupert know they only come out at night, and turn to stone in the cold (or warm) light of day?