Saturday, 13 March 2010

ROYAL FAMILY SPLIT ON GLOBAL WARMING?

I have been handed a copy of the correspondence below, in which it is clear that HRH Prince Philip had personally asked that Ian Plimer, the renowned Geologist and well known climate sceptic author, be invited to give the Annual Prince Philip Lecture, only to find that he is later pressured into rescinding the invitation. The excuse given - "as I am sure you are aware, members of the Royal Family need to be scrupulous in avoiding any appearance of advocating or supporting a particular political stance", seems rather disingenuous, as Prince Charles has very publicly taken a stance personally on a number of politically sensitive matters, notably on climate change where he is a well known alarmist.

This is the highest profile example yet of pressure being applied to prevent any alternative to the 'official stance' being publicised.

Here is a copy of the correspondence:

From: Matthew Taylor
Date: 6 March 2010 4:24:18 AM
To: Ian Plimer
Cc: Alex Lucas , Mairi Ryan

Subject: RE: Invitation to Professor Plimer to give Annual RSA
President's Lecture: 5 May 2010

Dear Professor Plimer

I am afraid I am writing to you with some disappointing news
regarding the Prince Philip Annual Lecture on 5 May.
As you well know, the debate around climate change has recently
become highly politically charged, both globally and especially in
your home country. Equally, as I am sure you are aware, members of
the Royal Family need to be scrupulous in avoiding any appearance
of advocating or supporting a particular political stance. The
RSA's charitable status also requires us to maintain absolute
political independence in our programme of events and research events.

After discussion with Buckingham Palace, it is therefore with great
regret that we must withdraw your invitation to give this year's
Prince Philip Lecture. The Duke of Edinburgh is personally
disappointed as he read your book with great interest and was
looking forward to hearing you speak, but I know that you will
recognise that the now highly controversial debate surrounding this
issue would make it inevitable that he was seen to be taking a
particular position.

We recognise that you may have already begun preparations for your
visit, so if you have incurred any expenses, please let us have a
copy and we would be happy to make reparation.

With sincere apologies,

Yours sincerely

Matthew Taylor

Chief Executive
RSA, 8 John Adam Street
London, WC2N 6EZ
+44 (0)20 7451 6883

-----Original Message-----

From: Ian Plimer [mailto:ian.plimer@adelaide.edu.au]
Sent: Wednesday, 23 December 2009 00:22
To: Matthew Taylor
Subject: Re: Invitation to Professor Plimer to give Annual RSA
President's Lecture: 5 May 2010

Dear Mr Taylor,

Thank you for the kind invitation which I accept.

Kind regards,

Ian Plimer

On 23/12/2009, at 5:10 AM, Matthew Taylor wrote:

Dear Professor Plimer

I am writing on behalf of His Royal Highness The Duke of
Edinburgh, President of the RSA (Royal Society for the
Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), to invite you
to give the 2010 RSA President's Lecture.

For over 250 years the RSA has been a cradle of enlightenment
thinking and a force for social progress. Our approach is multi-
disciplinary and politically independent and combines cutting edge
research and policy development with practical action.
We encourage public discourse and critical debate by providing
platforms for leading experts to share new ideas on contemporary
issues. The annual President's Lecture is a key event in our
prestigious programme of public events.

With recognition of your expertise in the geological and
technological sciences, His Royal Highness has requested that we
invite you to talk about the issues raised in your book 'Heaven
and Earth - Global Warming: The Missing Science'. His Royal
Highness will chair the proceedings.

The date for the President's Lecture has been confirmed with
Buckingham Palace as Wednesday 5 May 2010, starting at 6pm. I do
hope this will fit in with your existing diary commitments.

The event will take place in the RSA's historic Great Room
Auditorium, which seats 200. The audience will be made up of RSA
Fellow members and other informed and influential guests including
key representatives from the media, government, policy-makers,
NGOs, business and academe.

Please note we will be pleased to cover reasonable travel and
accommodation expenses for your trip to the UK.
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing
from you at your earliest convenience. I will of course be pleased
to let you have further information on the event if required.

Yours sincerely

Matthew Taylor
Chief Executive
RSA, 8 John Adam Street
London, WC2N 6EZ
+44 (0)20 7451 6883

The RSA combines thought leadership with social innovation to
further human progress. Building on our 250 year history as a
beacon for enlightenment values, we undertake influential and
varied research projects and host the UK's most ambitious free
lecture series. Our work is supported by 27,000 Fellows, an
international network of influencers and innovators from every
field and background.

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