By the power of Technorati, I'm informed that somebody else has referenced my earlier post on Monbiot and Bellamy.
The blog's title and premise, "The Purpose of a System is What it Does" is interesting in general and in particular here.
Given that a given belief is a basis for collective support for a given position, denial appears to have the effect (and therefore the implicit purpose) of undermining this position. Thus AIDS denial undermines the credibility of some critical health campaigns, while climate change denial provides certain industrialists and politicians with an excuse to avoid taking action against global warming.
If the denial of glacial expansion served simply to undermine the position taken by Monbiot, myself and huge numbers of others, that Climate Change is real and dangerous; what then was Bellamy's motive?
While we know that the two have clashed before over wind turbines and other similar environmental issues, publishing a letter in New Scientist is a pretty round-about way of retaliation against Monbiot.
The scientist in Bellamy seems to be genuinely sceptical about the origin of observed climate changes and doesn't want to attack modern industrial practices without proof. That's commendable but furthering that aim by attacking the evidence which suggests that Global Warming exists and is having an effect on the Earth as a whole, is just lazy and dangerous. Especially for a man in his position.
In this case the real outcome of the denial is difficult to determine. Certainly it did not turn out the way Bellamy intended and it is that which I think is important.
When dealing with human systems, the intention of the person acting should always be taken into account because the "Does" can often lead far away from the intended "Purpose".