Response to UCS ‘Science, Dogma and Mark Lynas’

Response to UCS piece ‘Science, Dogma and Mark Lynas

This piece confirms my long-held opinion that the Union of Concerned Scientists is in dire need of a name change. I hold the UCS responsible for a significant proportion of modern-day global warming, thanks to its fiercely-held anti-nuclear ideology, which it has promoted via a dramatically unscientific campaign of fear for the last three decades, and which helped turn the US and other countries back towards coal dependency from the 1970s onwards.

Any scientists working for the UCS leave their credentials at the door. It is one of the most ideological of all the green groups, and the fact that the author of this piece takes issue with none other than the AAAS over the safety and efficacy of GMOs shows that it has no respect for scientific consensus in areas where real scientists conflict with its biases. The rest of the piece consists of personal attacks on me and a highly-skewed and selective scattering of references of the sort that any ‘climate denier’ would be proud of.

The fact that UCS moans about Andy Revkin and the media in general shows that they know they are losing the argument in wider society. They have given up arguing that GMOs are dangerous and scary, and instead nit-pick a couple of minor issues with my speech. They also insist that GM is unnecessary because conventional breeding is perfectly adequate, which betrays a complete disconnection with the scientific field of plant breeding and is a bit like saying that we don’t need forks because spoons are good enough for the job.

As I have said elsewhere, I feel strongly that NGOs like UCS taking anti-scientific positions on issues like nuclear and GMOs seriously undermines the credibility of their advocacy work on other environmental issues like climate change, where they do agree with the mainstream scientific position. They thereby undermine the wider effort against climate change in general, and probably serve to harm the environment overall. It is time for the UCS to confront the glaring inconsistency between supporting science in one area and opposing it in another.

I look forward to their opening up an honest and self-critical debate on this, rather than attacking others like myself who challenge green orthodoxy where it likely harms society and the environment.