Subject: Fact or opinion or fiction at the Spectator Debate
Dear Dr. Peiser,
I am writing to ask how you support a statement you are said to have made at the recent Spectator Debate at the Royal Geographical Society. I rely on Andrew Montford’s account , who writes:
“Benny Peiser's talk was the one that intrigued me. He essentially argued that the science is irrelevant - that the public have made their minds up and that they vote out any party that pushes the green line too far. He also noted that they have moved on to other issues, such as the economy.”
I don’t mean to argue with your opinion, but I do ask commentators to distinguish between their own opinion and what is an accepted fact. I suggest that the statement “the public have made their minds up” whilst appearing as fact by way of completeness is unsupportable and is ergo opinion . There has been no referendum in this country, nor anywhere in the world (to my knowledge) to support such a statement. In order for the the public have made their minds up a proposition needs to have been put to them and the matter needs to have been considered. In a democracy there is always some formal way of assessing the public’s will, a plebiscite resulting in a counting of votes. No such formality has ever been attempted on this issue and the statement attributed to you appears to usurp the vox populus and bypass the democratic process.
I would be very grateful if you could affirm that your statement is not fact but your own opinion and offer anything else in support of this statement.