Edward Davey is the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy & Climate. On Monday he gave a blistering speech at a Met Office Climate Services event held at London’s Institute of Physics.
He slammed the climate science deniers and those in the media who enable them:
Of course there will always be uncertainties within climate science and the need for research to continue….
We make progress by building on what we know, and questioning what we don’t.
But some sections of the press are giving an uncritical campaigning platform to individuals and lobby groups who reject outright the fact that climate change is a result of human activity.
Some who even deny the reality of climate change itself.
This is not the serious science of challenging, checking and probing.
This is destructive and loudly clamouring scepticism born of vested interest, nimbyism, publicity seeking contraversialism or sheer blinkered, dogmatic, political bloody-mindedness.
This tendency will seize upon the normal expression of scientific uncertainty and portray it as proof that all climate change policy is all hopelessly misguided – from pursuing renewable energy to emissions targets themselves.
By selectively misreading the evidence, they seek to suggest that climate change has stopped so we can all relax and burn all the dirty fuel we want without a care.
This is a superficially seductive message, but it is absolutely wrong and really quite dangerous.
The whole speech is worth reading, but the part on the science bears repeating:
The physics is clear: greenhouse gas emissions trapped in the atmosphere have direct consequences: increasing temperatures; less ice and snow; sea levels rising; more risk of extreme weather. To name but a few.
Forecasts of the rate at which the world will warm in the future may differ – but all the traffic is in one direction.
The decade between 2000 and 2010 was the warmest in the global temperature record – warmer than the 90s, which was warmer than the 80s, which was warmer than the 70s.
And if we continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at the rate we are now, this will continue and will get worse.
On emissions and on such greenhouse gas emissions, I agree with what Oxford’s Professor Myles Allan wrote last week in the Mail on Sunday:
“As almost everyone agrees, they still have to come down.”
And how do we know all this to be true?
To coin a phrase, “it’s the science, stupid.”
It’s what the evidence tells us.
It’s the science, stupid.