A reader writes to Mark Steyn:
Re Dr Mann and his obsession with the legitimacy of his work and stifling any and all dissent: When I was a student at University of Toronto in the 1970s, our president was J. Tuzo Wilson. Besides being an amiable person around campus he was also a man who didn’t mind tilting at the windmills of “settled science”.
In his case the field was plate tectonics, also known as continental drift. Along with several scholars, especially Alfred Wegener, Arthur Holmes and Samuel Carey, Dr. Wilson postulated the theory that the planet’s plates were moving and had done so for millions of years. The position of the continents today did not reflect their position over history.
Needless to say, the Dr. Manns and Al Gores of the day were having nothing of it.
Wegener was not a geologist, they pointed out. The German physicist Scheidigger was ripping the plate tectonics advocates in the 1950s. In one of the more supreme ironies, noted UK warmist and settled scientist David Attenborough (at university in the second half of the 1940s) noted the lack of acceptance for plate tectonics among the establishment at the time:
“I once asked one of my lecturers why he was not talking to us about continental drift and I was told, sneeringly, that if I could I prove there was a force that could move continents, then he might think about it. The idea was moonshine, I was informed.”
Apparently Attenborough has acquired a taste for other brands of moonshine since.