Every now and then in this childish war of words that is the internet something gets given to you on a plate. A situation of such childlike ease for slapping someone down that you hardly want to take advantage of it. Shooting fish in a barrel seems complex, intellectual and intriguing by comparison.
Such an instance was when Delingpole decided to come out in favour of Homeopathy. The belief that if we take an active ingredient and water it down repeatedly to the extent that it cannot be in the water any longer and then take that water it can have an effect on us physically.
Now, on some aspects of his stance on Climate I agree with Delingpole. I am concerned by the politicisation of science, it’s dangerous and can harm society. There is sense in being careful when someone takes a scientific idea and decides that we all have to change the way we live because of it when there seems reasonable scientific contention about it. I was chatting over dinner with an editor at Nature and he agrees, science should be driven by scientists not by politicians or corporations with bags of money.
But in his scepticism of some aspects of mainstream science Delingpole seems liable to accept non-science. He seems to reason that because some aspects of mainstream science seem to be corrupted then all off beat science should be embraced in entirety.
The latest is Buteyko, the belief that breathing in a certain way can cure more than 150 ailments including AIDS, liver disease and radiation sickness. The guy who came up with it apparently had a panic attack, cured it with a certain breathing technique and came up with a method that is now enjoyed by that model of sanity and normalcy, the Prince of Wales (the one who talks to trees).
Buteyko is debunked thoroughly here.
So why does he do it? Why, when he’s got many people (and a few scat monkeys) on side about concern over genuine scientific considerations, does he come out in favour of this nonsense and destroys his own credibility?
There are two theories:
1. He’s actually a shill for his political mates, trying to bring opposition to climate science into further disrepute.
2. He gets off on smacking himself in the face.