I watched BBC One’s Saturday Morning Live, which included James Delingpole discussing the Pope’s Encyclical Letter. I think you can watch the episode here. What it seemed to illustrate, to me, was both the allure of articulate confidence and why you don’t debate science.
Delingpole was certain that climate change has played no role in the recent migrant crisis. I don’t know if it has, but I also don’t know if it hasn’t. He’s certain that climate change is simply a natural process; not partly natural, just natural. Typically scientists are not nearly as certain about such topics as Delingpole appears to be. That’s why debating science is not the norm. If your goal is to gain some understanding, how can you do so if one party is willing to make confident assertions? Especially, if this – as is the case with Delingpole – is coming from a position of obvious ignorance.
Of course, one positive to take from this is that if Delingpole is the best that the BBC can get, they really are scraping the bottom of the barrel. One suggestion I would make is that the BBC aim to ensure that those who they invite to talk about a complex topic, like climate science, at least have a modicum of actual expertise in that subject. If they did so, that would immediately eliminate the likes of Delingpole. Of course, it might make such segments less interesting, but I’d certainly favour being informative over being controversial.
This is probably an opportune time to include, again, the discussion between James Delingpole and Paul Nurse, in which Delingpole illustrated that he really isn’t a scientist, and doesn’t have a particularly good understanding of science, or the scientific method.