Rupert Read’s letter to Peter Edwards of the GWPF

Dear Professor Edwards, 

I am writing to you in regards to your position as a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. As you will know Steve Baker recently left that role and I am hoping to persuade you to also step down. 

I am an associate professor, working at a university. My field is philosophy although I have been campaigning on environmental issues for most of my life and, in recent times, I have been able to combine the two.  

I see you worked for many years as a chemist in the energy sector. It must have been unimaginable to you when you started your career that renewable energy would be as cheap as it is now compared with other sources. 

I know you’ve said in the past you worry that renewables will not cut it in terms of humankind’s future energy needs. If that is still the case, I would invite you, with your expertise and experience, to review recent trends in the sector as well as findings of the recent IPCC reports, if you haven’t already. The scientific consensus is now that fossil fuels are causing global heating and that a transition to renewables as soon as possible is highly recommended. 

As I am sure you know the role of a trustee in Britain is to: “…be the ‘guardians of purpose’, making sure that all decisions put the needs of the beneficiaries first. It is also to safeguard the charity’s assets, both physical assets, including property, and intangible ones, such as its reputation.” 

My feeling is that we are also all ‘guardians of the future’. In fact I wrote a book, Parents for a Future – How loving our children can prevent climate collapse, which is a call to action for present and future generations. It stresses that if we care for our own children (or in my case children of family and friends) we are committed to caring for children far into the future – and, as a result, must act now. I get the feeling that you care and want to secure the future for the next generation and those that hopefully follow.

I know you think the GWPF can be a forum to encourage scrutiny and debate but you will be aware that it is so often called a science denial group that it doesn’t bother refuting that description. I am sure you will also be aware that earlier this year it was called out for accepting money from fossil fuels billionaires. 

At present it is also the subject of a charity commission complaint. If that fails the people behind the complaint are likely to take it to court. Are you really prepared to support the GWPF through all this, even at the risk of your own good name?  

This is a personal letter hoping to persuade you to step down from your role. But because I believe the climate issue is such a pressing one, it is also going to be published on the Writers Rebel website on Thursday (October 13th). I believe everyone needs to know what the GWPF is and the work it is doing. 

If you would like to talk or respond, either publicly or privately, I am more than happy to connect.  

Yours sincerely, 

Prof. Rupert Read.

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