John's argument is that people without 'relevant' qualifications don't have the right to criticise people who do. I sent the letter below to the IT, which didn't get published:
The interesting thing is that no letters on this Opinion piece have shown up, which considering how provocative and inaccurate it is makes one wonder what goes on in the mind of the editor. It;'s a bit like the truly crazy report on the "Spirit of Ireland" scheme, which never got discussed on the letters page either despite being an announcement that coastal valleys all around Ireland were to be dammed and filled with Sea Water by vast shoals of windwills.
The title of John Gibbons opinion piece 'Climate change doubter with PhD only in spin' (April 30) directly challenges the validity of Bjorn Lomburg's academic qualifications, yet nowhere in his article does he substantiate the serious allegation made in the article's title that Mr Lomburg is lying about his 1994 Phd in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen.
The fact that Mr. Lomburg does not hold a Gibbons-Approved qualification in climate science is not relevant and does not deny him or anyone else the right to question the reasons for climate change. I would be very surprised if the staff of your newspaper included anyone with postgraduate qualifications in Creationism, Canon Law or Eugenics, but thankfully that does not prevent your writers from casting a critical eye over such disciplines.
Carl Sagan once said that 'Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence'. The exteme sensitivity to criticism that climate scientists display, along with their documented use of dubious sources of information means that their evidence is indeed extraordinary, but for all the wrong reasons.