CCNet (Cambridge Conference Network), a network which aims to stimulate debate and disseminate information and research findings relating to risks to civilization from Near-Earth Object including comets, asteroids, and meteor streams and what it considers as doomsday scaremongering about the possible effects of climate change. It claims to offer "accuracy and reliability of the highest quality, built on reason and matter-of-factness" and to respond to a "low-spirited world subjugated by pessimists and prophets of doom".
CCNet was founded by Dr Benny Peiser from Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom and claims to have 7,000 subscribers including 1,000 researchers and hundreds of policy and law makers.
Peiser established the Cambridge Conference Network (CCNet) in 1997 to provide a platform for "the minority of people who are climate (change) sceptics or have doubts about the prevailing views."
Peiser acknowledges that he is "not a climate scientist" and has "never claimed to be one." His interest as a social anthropologist, is in "how climate change is portrayed as a potential disaster and how we respond to that."
Peiser argued that he is against alarmist, hysterical doomsday scenarios and catastrophic apocalyptic cult thinking but is not a "a climate-change sceptic (2008)." "Most scientists do seem to accept that there is an effect of CO2 on climate; the big question is how large and dangerous it will be in future. Personally, I'm also sceptical about the doomsday scenarios."
CCNet and Reclassification of Pluto's Status
American astrophysicist and science communicator, Neil deGrasse Tyson described (2008) the Cambridge Conference Network as a "widely read, UK-based Internet chat group" "moderated" by Benny Peiser with a primary interest in "open discussion of asteroids, comets, and their risk to life on Earth" but open to many other news subjects. In 2001 Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the New York's museum's Hayden Planetarium, displayed only eight (not nine) planets with Pluto reclassified as a dwarf planet. Tyson recounted the heated on-line debate on CCNet chat group following Peiser's renewed call for reclassification of Pluto's status. Peiser's entry, in which he posted articles from the AP and Boston Globe spawned from the New York Times's article entitled 'Pluto's Not a Planet? Only in New York'. Tyson's decision resulted in large amounts of hate mail, much of it from children.
Posts are available on the CCNet website up until July 2006.
- "Debate is an endangered species, says climate critic". Times Educational Supplement. Retrieved 2009-09-28.
- "CCNet homepage".
- Peiser B.J., Palmer T., Bailey M.E. (editors) (1998), Natural Catastrophes During Bronze Age Civilizations (Oxford: British Archaeological Reports). [The proceedings of the Cambridge conference.]
- Newman, Melanie (4 September 2008). "Debate is an endangered species, says climate critic". Times Higher Education Debate. Times Higher Education.
- Tyson, Neil deGrasse (19 January 2008). The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 194.
- The Colbert Report, August 17, 2006
- Change, Kenneth (22 January 2001). "Pluto's Not a Planet? Only in New York". New York Times.
- Peiser, Benny (31 January 2001). "CCNet Special: Renewed Call for Reclassification of Pluto's Status". CCNet.
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