Face of the Day

The man in the photo, James Delingpole writes:

Meet Dr Phil Williamson: climate ‘scientist’; Breitbart-hater; sorely in need of a family size tube of Anusol to soothe the pain after his second failed attempt to close down free speech by trying to use press regulation laws to silence your humble correspondent.

Williamson – who is attached to the University of East Anglia, home of the Climategate emails – got very upset about some articles I’d written for Breitbart and the Spectator pouring scorn on his junk-scientific field, Ocean Acidification.

In my view Ocean Acidification is little more than a money-making scam for grant-troughing scientists who couldn’t find anything more productive to do with their semi-worthless environmental science degrees. The evidence that Ocean Acidification represents any kind of threat is threadbare – and getting flimsier by the day.

But if, like Williamson, you are being paid large sums of money to conduct a research programme into Ocean Acidification, you’ll obviously want to defend your mink-lined, gold-plated carriage on the climate change gravy train.

This blog also calls out politicians, businessmen and “scientists” for their BS.  And what happened to Dellingpole has – and is – happening to Whaleoil too.  

[Dr Phil Williamson] made a formal complaint about one of my articles to the UK press regulatory body IPSO. And to judge by the punchy tone of this piece he published in Nature before Christmas, he fully expected to win.

Tragically, though, he just lost.

After a long deliberation, IPSO has released its verdict and found that I had no case to answer. Williamson’s complaint was not upheld.

I’m trying hard to be modest here; I’m trying not to gloat. But I’m afraid the facts of the case just won’t allow me.

IPSO’s verdict represents a crushing defeat for the cause of climate alarmism.

Whaleoil used to be a member of OMSA, the New Zealand’s Internet’s publishers’ equivalent of the Press Council.  After years of not getting a single complaint, we suddenly found that our opponents had weaponised the complaints process.  No matter that we won all of them.  It was starting to weigh us down.  So we quit our membership.

But the thing that needs to be understood about these complaints is that they are not really designed to sift right from wrong, truth from untruth. Rather, as Mark Steyn says, the process is the punishment. That is, if you’re a publicly funded scientist on a generous grant with plenty of time on your hands in your cosy academic sinecure, then it’s no problem at all to while away a few days preparing your vexatious complaint to IPSO or the Press Complaints Commission. But if you’re the hapless journalist who has to prepare your defence, it’s a different story: you’re very busy, time is money, and the whole process is so grindingly tedious you’d almost rather lose then have to go through each pettifogging criticism, crossing every T and dotting every I. (That’s why I would have probably lost had it not been for the efforts of the brilliant and indefatigable Ben Pile who has much more of an appetite for kicking irritating, querulous, nitpicking academics into touch by beating them at their own game).

When that doesn’t work, they step it up and weaponise the courts.   The Three Troughketeers have done this.  They should know that their case has no merit.  But once again, it has caused a huge amount of time and financial pressure on a limited number of people.

The idea is to intimidate us into not speaking the truth.   It means that whenever someone gets a little too close for comfort, they’ll make a court case out of it.   Journalists and commentators will get the point and stop their public criticism.

Even worse, in the case of academics, they are using taxpayers’ money to do it.

Whaleoil is a pain in the arse.  A pain in many arses.  And you can be assured that anyone that lays a complaint will be motivated to try and stop us.  Dirty Politics didn’t work.  Hager didn’t work.  Even being frozen out by John Key didn’t work.

NOTHING will work.

Not as long as you stand with us and make sure we don’t get silenced by people with deep pockets.  Colin Craig and the Three Troughketeers don’t care about losing their cases.  In essence, it’s not their money, and it’s not really their time.  It’s an asymmetrical war.   But New Zealand courts are cottoning on to this technique, and I suspect that off the back of some of Whaleoil’s court cases, there will be new case law making it harder for individuals and academics to weaponise the court system simply to slow the critics down – or better – shut them up.

Thank goodness I did win, though – not so much for my own sake but for the far more important causes of freedom of speech, honest and open scientific enquiry and responsible use of taxpayers’ money.

And that’s what the outcome needs to be for Whaleoil as well.

Because our ability to tell the truth, to discuss our genuinely held beliefs in public, and to publish things that other people don’t want you to know is on the line.

They tried destroying our reputation.  Then our financial base.  Then our network.  Now they are attacking our time and our health.  Because when someone takes you to court, you have to respond.  Not doing so means you lose.

Just to obtain a strike out on a vexatious case so it will not even be heard costs around $40,000.  You can see how easy it is to weaponise the courts and silence critics that do not have the support base like Whaleoil does.   To Craig, $40,000 is pocket change.  To certain academics, $40,000 is not coming out of their pockets, and more likely from taxpayers’ funding in a larger sense.

But like Delingpole, we wouldn’t be here without help.   Our limited resources would have been seriously overwhelmed by now if it wasn’t for the support of a lot of people.  And you.


– James Delingpole, Breitbart


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