Tim Blair has posted emails from Ted Lapkin and Andrew Bolt who object to a couple of my posts. Blair fails to provide links to the posts so that readers can determine whether Lapkin and Bolt have accurately described what happened.
In November 2003, I argued in the pages of Quadrant magazine that the environmental movement is moral culpable for the deaths of 2 million Africans killed each year by malaria. In mid-February 2005, a left-wing blogger named Tim Lambert (Deltoid) accused me, and others, of participation in what he described as “The Great DDT Hoax”. Without going into all the gory details, the crux of the issue deals with the decision by Sri Lanka to cease using DDT during the mid-1960s.
My post showed, using multiple sources, that Sri Lanka did not stop using DDT in the mid 60s. They suspended the anti-malaria spraying in 1963 and resumed it in 1969. Agricultural use continued through the 60s. I suggested that Lapkin had been taken in by the hoax, not that he had orchestrated it.
I remonstrated with Lambert in an email communication that I stipulated was for private consumption only, citing segments from my Quadrant piece that made his accusation factually unsustainable. But Lambert avoided the substance of my counter-argument like the plague. Instead, Lambert cut and pasted to his website the introductory portion of my email that expressed my desire to resolve this issue amicably rather than litigiously.
I did not find Lapkin’s argument persuasive and told him so. Nonetheless, I offered to post his email so my readers could decide for themselves. At the end (not the beginning) of his email Lapkin threatened me with legal action:
I would very much prefer, if possible, to keep things on an informal basis rather than a legal one. Thus this whole misunderstanding can be cleared up by a retraction and apology on your blog. In that event I would see no need to pursue matters further.
He clearly threatened legal action unless I retracted.
Lambert accused me of threatening him, using my supposedly menacing verbiage as an excuse to disregard my explicit request that my email missive should remain in the private domain. And of course, through the gambit of playing the victim card, Lambert was able to sidestep my factual rebuttal of his hoax claim. How convenient.
I was able to sidestep his “rebuttal” because he refused to make it public. I really wanted to make it public but respected Lapkin’s wish that it be kept private.
In light of Tim Lambert’s past behaviour, I have no confidence that he would not tamper with any comment that I submitted to his site. In order to ensure that my response to Lambert appeared in unaltered form, I appealed to the good offices of Tim Blair who kindly offered to feature my riposte on his weblog.
There are thousands of comments on my blog. My past behaviour clearly shows that I don’t tamper with comments. And I already had his comment—if I wanted to, I could have tampered with it and posted it.
And we get to the end of Lapkin’s email without him sharing his “factual rebuttal” of my post.
Next up, Andrew Bolt, who is responding to this post:
In particular, can you explain why, among your other deceits and misrepresentations, you said this:
Andrew Bolt, writing in the Melbourne Herald Sun offers this conclusive disproof of global warming: “Melbourne last week had its coldest February day on record, and its wettest day, which should surprise those still naive enough to believe our green gurus.”
I ask because I actually argued the very opposite in the article you quote, as you must have known. Hint: read its concluding paragraph, which states:
Of course, one bit of wild weather in our ever-changing climate doesn’t disprove the holy theory of global warming. But nor should green groups claim the odd cold snap proves it, either …”
Got it? You say I claim to offer a conclusive disproof. I in fact write that this “doesn’t disprove”. Is that simple enough for you?
Bolt’s sarcasm detector needs adjusting. I think it is quite obvious from my post that I did not believe that Bolt’s argument was a “conclusive disproof” of global warming. In fact, I described it as “lame”. When I called it “conclusive disproof” I was sarcastically implying that it was nothing remotely like that. Nowhere did I say that Bolt regarded his argument as “conclusive disproof”. To avoid further misunderstanding I have modified the post to remove the sarcasm and apologize to Andrew Bolt for writing something that could be misunderstood.