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Playing the man not the ball

Read this before deleting...
Anjana Ahuj

The e-mail, sent by its director Martin Livermore, alerted me to the “Frazer Institute Independent Summary for Policymakers (sic)”. This, Livermore stated, was “an alternative, unbiased view of the state of climate change science, for comparison with the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers”.

He was referring to the Fraser Institute, a Canadian free-market think-tank that has received money from ExxonMobil (the SA has not). This institute, like so many others that have pocketed the ExxonMobil shilling, disputes the scientific consensus that mankind is warming the planet. Which led me to ponder who Martin Livermore is, and what his organisation stands for....

According to www.sourcewatch.org , Ascham Associates was founded by one Martin Livermore, who boasts a 25-year record of working for such companies as DuPont and Unilever. Can a person previously involved in “managing major food ingredients R&D programmes” really claim a lofty neutrality on such environmental topics as GM foods?

As luck would have it, we can glean Livermore’s views on just this topic in letters of his published in The Guardian (“Genetic modification is a valuable tool which can be used to produce more desirable environmental outcomes”) and the Ascham Associates website, which dismisses the precautionary principle as “of no help in rational decision-making”.

Reader, I hit “delete”. .

Philosophy 103: Introduction to Logic
Argumentum Ad Hominem

Abstract: The argument concerning the attack of a person's character or circumstances is characterized and shown to be sometimes persuasive but normally fallacious.

Comments

As I posted over there under comments, irrespective of any agreement or disagreement concerning the issue of anthropogenic global warming, I wonder if this article is science (or anything) appropriate for The Times.

In particular, I found the following barely worthy of the name "ad hominem":

"It came from the Scientific Alliance (SA), an organisation located in the St John’s Innovation Centre in Cambridge. I assumed that it was connected with Cambridge University (it is not)."

Best regards

"Can a person previously involved in “managing major food ingredients R&D programmes” really claim a lofty neutrality on such environmental topics as GM foods?"

Can an environmental activist?
I do believe there might be a slight difference in the level of knowledge in the subject though.

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