Talk:Philip Stott

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Bob - Despite your beavering away, there is so much wrong with this new revision that one does not know quite where to begin! I was thus tempted to delete it entirely and to replace it with the last version. You simply cannot grasp the subtleties of Stott's position. At some point, when I have time, your piece will thus have to be thorougly re-edited. Your attemps to smear by association are just, frankly, appalling. Three points, however, must be stressed now. He has never given an interview to Monsanto - that was taken by them from another source completely. Please redit. Secondly, he is absolutely anti-tobacco in all forms, including secondary smoking, and recently said so publically on a major British TV show. Please again remove any assertion that says or hints otherwise. Thirdly, he is not anti-organic - indeed, he is pro organic, pro GM, and pro-many forms of conventional agriculture, believing strongly in the widest possible agricultural 'tool box'.

Frankly, I really do not know what you are about. Stott has never had any funding from any industry or corporation whatsoever and has actually rejected offers on principle. Why is he even on this site? I thought you were against disinformation? Thanks.

Philip Stott himself has commented on his SourceWatch article. To keep his comments distinct from remarks and editorial contributions made by others, I have given his comments their own page, with links pointing to it from both the main article and this talk page. He is of course free to edit it further if he chooses, but I advise other SourceWatchns to refrain from doing so.

Also, I would like to repeat my invitation for Philip Stott to register under his own name if he wishes to contribute to the SourceWatch. It only takes a moment, and we don't ask for any personal information. You have the option of entering an email address if you wish, but we don't display it or give it out publicly. Including it when you register would enable people to contact you through the website without you having to reveal your email address to them.

There are also a couple of advantages to registering. For one thing, registered users get their own user pages, where they can post any information about themselves that they wish, as well as a couple of other features that make it easier to track revisions to articles and communicate with other users.

And welcome to SourceWatch!

--Sheldon Rampton 23:27 11 Dec 2003 (EST)

Philip - I am happy to leave your comments but have deleted them from the article page -- there is no need to have them in both locations. I'll review your comments and re-edit shortly and will post an additional note on the talk page. -- Bob


Since Stott arrived and un-cloaked his intrepid defender, it is probalbly appropriate to add that Stott's colleague is not the only other critical contributor adding to this talk page. And for anyone who cares and doesn't already know, there are more than one regular visitors to this site who contribute sharp-edged, independant minded thoughts, and who seem to recognize that a U.S. Democrat affinity holds together the identifiable core group of site regulars.


I have made a number of amendments to the article based on the comments directly from Philip Stott (some of which were points previously made by an anonymous user that I and others weren't prepared to accept without some evidence). (Stott's original comments are included though some required no response).

(a) I am indeed passionately anti-tobacco, and I have stated this recently on British television. The science on this, in my opinion, has been clear for a long time. I have also personally never smoked since a teenage affectation with a cigar when I was a foolish 18 years old! I believe the export of cigarettes to the developing world to be an evil process;

I'm happy to accept that and have amended the text. I had attempted to check this a few days ago but - as you point out - your publicly listed e-mail address doesn't work.

(b) I have never received funding from any business or corporation. Nor would I! (My wife is somewhat sad about this);

I'm happy to accept that too but - and correct me if I'm wrong - I can't see anywhere in the article where it says you do.

(c) I have never, to my knowledge, given an interview to Monsanto;

The interview in question was posted to the Agriculture Online section of the Monsanto UK website. I mistakenly took this as a dedicated section of Monsanto's site given when it is in fact Monsanto republishing an article from the US magazine, Agriculture Online. The error was mine and has been corrected in the article.

(g) My analysis of the construct of 'rain forest' is a classic postmodernist and linguistic deconstruction (you seem to have missed the linguistic point completely);

Fair point but it is one that I was aware of and planned to return to (along with some of the other claims about rainforests that warrant attention).

(i) I will write for any reasonable outlet, left or right, if they do not edit my views and try to mould them to their own beliefs - this does not mean I am a Trotskyist-Socialist-Right Wing-Libertarian-Authoritarian or anything else. I stopped writing for Tech Central Station precisely because I thought it too 'American' for my output. You really must stop trying to 'tar' people by association;

What appears in the article is a factual listing of where your work appears.

(i) Indeed, I have always voted Labour (except when I foolishly voted Liberal on a couple of occasions). I have never voted for a right-wing party, nor am I likely to do so;

I'm happy to accept that and have amended the text slightly to reflect your comments.

There were also two earlier comments from user 81.** worth responding to beyond what is covered above

1. "he is not anti-organic" - Correct me if I'm wrong - but I can't see that Stott is described anywhere in the article as being "anti-organic".

2. "Stott has never had any funding from any industry or corporation whatsoever …Why is he even on this site?". I'm happy to accept Philip's statement that he does not and has not been funded by companies etc. However, the purpose of SourceWatch is broader than only being confined to industry funded groups and individuals.

I also tidied up a few other bits of formatting, reworked the subheads etc --bob

Philip - On thinking about it I'd be interested in tracking down the British TV interview you mentioned that you had done recently where you discussed tobacco -- was it BBC? and if so when? with thanks -- bob

Thanks, Bob. You have done a pretty good job. I have just spent 30 minutes tidying it all up a little and making it reflect just that little bit more fairly what I really believe and argue. I might add many more references when I have a moment - you have only found a very small portion of my output and are missing a lot of what I (rightly or wrongly) regard as my better stuff. Although no fan of NGIN (not because of their attacks on me personally) but because of their essentially ad personam approach in general, I have let that stand.

So let's leave it now. Time for us all to go and do something far more useful - like getting a life!

Cheers and thanks again for all your interest. Philip.


Dear Philip,

While minor editorial changes don't require explanation on a talk page it is better that - especially on controversial pages - reasons for major modifications and deletions are set out. In this way it is more time efficient for everyone so that the reasoning behind a change can be assessed and either accepted or further modified.

Some of the changes you have made are minor editorial changes that improve the article or factual additions. However, others are significant and modify or delete significant information. Others, while accepted, are more appropriate in direct quotes and attributed to you.


1. I have reinstated the original paragraph summarising your views on GE, sustainability and rainforests. Your revision significantly softened the summary of your description to the point where it does not match the unqualified nature of the views you advocate. I have opted for the use of 'rainforests' rather than the less common 'rain forests'. I shifted the deconstruction point to refer to your work on rainforests only. The section in the article on sustainability referred to one opinion column, which I think is less substantial than your IEA paper on rainforests. Maybe you have published other work on sustainability but I don't know of it.

2. I put the reason for no longer writing for Tech Central Station in quotes and attributed the location to SourceWatch - otherwise later readers won't know where to find them.

3. I'll return to the Scientific Alliance section and insert their own self-description in quotes rather than leave the current paraphrased version which makes it sound like 'rational science' is a term adopted by the other contributors to this page.

4. I reinstated the original quotation from the New Statesman article. (And yes I still have to put that reference in). This is only quoting what was written in the original article. Lest readers interpret the 'anti-environmentalist' comment as being criticism of both environmentalism and environmentalists personally I have shifted the 'ad personam' comment after the quote from your letter to the editor.

5. I check BBC TV The Politics Show site and the only reference that comes up on your name is "South: Climate change, what does it mean?" broadcast Wednesday, 10 September, 2003. There is no reference there to your views on tobacco. It is possible it was in the interview but not the broadcast or there might have been another story missing from their archive. Was it the September 10 story you were referring to?

6. I re-instated the reference to your lack of response to the comment in the New Statesman article about lack of climate science qualifications. [1]. This was a substantial and unwarranted deletion. It is a fair and accurate comment since in neither your letter to the editor of the New Statesman or your posting to SourceWatch do you claim to have climate science qualifications. It is reasonable to draw his to the attention of readers so that they can take that point into consideration when evaluating your views on climate change.

7. ESEF: There are a few points here; I have deleted the original addition about you not authoring the release and made clear in a later paragraph that the release was issued by ESEF not you. This improves readability and keeps it accurate. While I'm happy to accept you didn't "write" the release I'm sure you would have checked it before allowing it to be issued in your name.

The deletion on the ESEF self-description I consider unwarranted. It is important that readers get a brief snapshot of what ESEF did without having to go to the ESEF page unless they really want more detailed information. Equally the comments in the release on your views of the UK situation are accurate and pertinent.

The deletion of the brief par explaining the origins of ESEF is also fair and accurate contextual information. It is in brackets which makes clear that it is considered an aside but still useful information for those readers reading the page as a stand alone article.

There may be other points but I'll have to return to them at another time.

Philip, I appreciate that there are probably many other papers/articles you have authored many probably in hard copy rather than on-line. Perhaps you could post a listing at some point to your own site.

Cheers -- bob


Thanks Bob. I have accepted many of your changes, but I have: (a) reinstated my original opening paragraph which encapsulates my beliefs exactly (your change does not) and (b) I will never in a hundred years accept your attempt to link me in any way whatsoever with smoking and tobacco (even in parentheses), which I loathe and oppose 100%. This is one of my deep, gut core positions, along with anti-racism! The tobacco lobbyists make me sick. I am sorry to have to say that this is the one part of your approach at Dysinfopedia that I find unacceptable! In the main what you do is moderately fair - this is not. Please think again - you must not try to smear people by long-distance association (and, I might add, in this case by totally unknown association). It is *morally* unacceptable, and I take this site to be primarily about morality. Thanks. (By the way, you have the correct 'The Politics Show' and it was indeed in the interview and discussion, where one of my protagonists also tried hard to link critical views on climate change with tobacco. I jumped, as here, immediately to my (and others) defence.)

I do appreciate your efforts (though I am not sure it is worth it! I am neither that interesting nor important) But I am insistent that this page will reflect my genuine views (or, at the least, not distort them too much). I am perhaps a difficult animal for you to deal with here at Dysinfopedia - a left wing, totally non-corporate, and, I hope, totally independent academic doesn't quite fit your sets of pre-determined moulds, does it?

Cheers, and have a good weekend. Philip.

I've made a few edits here but have avoided trying resolve the question of how to deal with ESEF's tobacco industry origins. I'll leave that to be worked out between Philip and Bob and whoever else wants to contribute. My opinion on the matter is that some mention of ESEF's tobacco origins would be appropriate in the context of making it clear that ESEF is a corporate-backed organization with a history of criticizing health and environmental measures that its sponsors opposed. However, any such mention should also make it clear that Stott has not been involved with the tobacco industry and does not support its positions.

By way of analogy, the American Council on Science and Health is also strongly critical of tobacco, even though it has consorted with tobacco apologists such as Jacob Sullum and Steven J. Milloy. It is possible for people to agree on some things and disagree on others. On the other hand, ESEF shouldn't be allowed to get away with presenting itself as simply an organization that "challenges the misuse of science," when its own history of allegiance to the tobacco industry is itself an abuse of science.

One possible formulation might be to simply a clause characterizing ESEF as "an industry-backed organization" without specifying the tobacco industry in particular. ESEF's tobacco background is described in the ESEF article, so people can presumably find it there. If so, however, some of ESEF's description of itself as an organization that "challenges the misuse of science" should probably also be removed from the Stott article. This isn't an article about ESEF, it's an article about Philip Stott.

--Sheldon Rampton 22:11 14 Dec 2003 (EST)

_________________________ Hi Sheldon, You make the crucial point. This is an article about poor old me and not about ESEF. You also wrote: "On the other hand, ESEF shouldn't be allowed to get away with presenting itself as simply an organization that "challenges the misuse of science," when its own history of allegiance to the tobacco industry is itself an abuse of science." But that is surely for your separate ESEF entry and for them to challenge, not me - it should *not* appear on a page about yours truly. I would, of course, accept a simple link to your totally separate ESEF entry to facilitate readers moving about your site. That's just normal web site practice. Cheers, Philip.

The edits by were Philip Stott himself - he posted a note on the user page to that effect. I'll also add a (pers comm) into the text of the article at the appropriate locations so the source of the statements is clear. --Bob Burton 15:45, 4 Oct 2005 (EDT)