The Guardian’s environment editor, John Vidal, cannot resist a swipe at the IEA’s latest publication, Climate Change Policy: Challenging the Activists. Vidal doesn’t address any of the arguments in the book, but rather dismisses it as ‘tosh’ written by authors ‘most of whom must be over 70’.
To describe the book as ‘tosh’ is par for the course, even though it is not a very well informed comment given that like all IEA publications the book has undergone a rigorous process of academic peer-review, unlike the writings of Guardian journalists it might be said. But to dismiss the authors’ views on the basis of their age is astonishing.
This is a classic example of the argumentative strategy in which the personal characteristics of one’s opponent are attacked rather than their arguments. It is used by those who are not confident in the strength of their own arguments.
It is remarkable that a politically correct newspaper like the Guardian has published such explicit ageism. I’d be curious to know at what age John Vidal believes people’s views no longer count? Perhaps if the IEA had published a weaker book with younger authors the Guardian would be willing to engage with its arguments, but for those who are interested in serious analysis of these most important issues, rather than personal abuse, I highly recommend reading this new publication.