Didn’t Cameron just appoint a sceptic to DEFRA?

...inquires a commenter in the Obama and Romney on GW post. Well, its a reasonable question. This would be Owen Paterson who the FT calls a "known climate change sceptic", although it isn't clear to me quite why. The Graun doesn't like OP. The first piece of evidence is Paterson is on the record as describing wind farms as "clearly a massive waste of consumers' money". Now allow me to point out the obvious: deciding that you don't believe in GW because it implies govt action, and you don't like govt action, is illogical, captain. Deciding that GW is wrong because you don't like windfarms is nonsense. But the converse is also true: deciding that someone is a sceptic because they don't like windfarms is also nonsense. If ending energy subsidies makes you a sceptic, why then so am I - I want a carbon tax instead.

Case unproven so far.

OTOH, according to Aunty, he is the brother-in-law of Matt Ridley - who, I'm astonished to discover, I haven't slagged off. Weird. But anyway, blood will out.


More like this

It's not really my concern but I happened to be idle when James Randerson tweeted a question about this:

I found this old article from 2007, with a quote from Paterson suggesting he accepts climate science:

"Paterson said: “With Dual-Fuel™ technology the transport industry already has a major weapon in the battle against climate change. I will continue to champion their work and offer my support to this revolutionary company.”

Of course, he could be doing a Mitt Romney. Who knows.

One would also need to check whether he's responsible for the E, the F or the RA. There's a two-thirds chance is views would be irrelevant/ (Unless you reckon RA is the natural enemy of E anyway.....)

By Ian Kemmish (not verified) on 07 Sep 2012 #permalink

Oh, please, don't hold anyone accountable for their brothers-in-law. Especially in view of "blood will out" really doesn't apply in that case.

Actually, the Graun piece is just asking for a straight statement on GW from OP, in the same manner that John Hayes put one out when he was accused of being a denier because of his stance on wind farms.

So not sure they dislike him any more than any of the rest of the current incumbents.

Anyway, I doubt he'll be arguing for them to carbon tax his fast tracked shale gas. ;)

Nigel Lawson, father of Dominic Lawson who is married to Rosamond Mary Monckton who is younger sister of (you know the rest).

In the absence of knowing but the presence of deliberately left guessing, I know what I think of Paterson's views until he says categorically that he disagrees with 5th Viscount Ridley. People can agree to anything to keep the peace over a family dinner; just look at the Idso brood.

At least Ridley is enough of a technophile to consider his lands more attractive fodder for hydrofracking than strip mining .

@bill conolley: again, you are on the wrong track: global warming is just a political agenda led by al gore and his pupils to make more money. so-called global warming is a fake as there are no proven scientific facts supporting this odd speculation. quite on the contrary, temperature recordings are done in a catastrophic way with an incrediby high error margin (please have a look at surfacestations.org), altrimetric sea level data are artificially elevated by wrong and manipulative "correction" measures, etc. etc.

in summary,"global anthropogenic warming" is a unique and vast scientific fraud and shoulb be juridicially investigated for massive misuse of taxpayers' money.

i hope the next administration will stop all funds for the ipcc.

On another thread I proposed Kai is a poe. I would like to retract that suggestion.

Marco - not sure I agree. Admittedly the reference to adipose tissue is missing. However there is a 'juridicially' reference (which could be taken to refer to the outcome of NZ court case).

I also wonder which administration he is referring to -- in my understanding only the One World Government could stop all funds for the IPCC.

By Martin Vermeer (not verified) on 10 Sep 2012 #permalink

Taking his time to come out with a statement. Must be a lot of back and forth between the spin doctors and civil servants over this one. Its certainly not a question that is going to go away.

Re your post - indeed. You may not have seen this article below by THE SCIENCE EDITOR of The Observer (Sunday edition of The Guardian for non-UK persons). It says something about The Guardian coverage of climate that McKie wrote such a letter, and to the Minister of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, hardly the frontline ministry in managing the UK's contribution to fighting climate change, that being, oddly enough, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change.

This passage is my favourite:

'later this century .... As central Europe and much of Asia scorches, millions of starving people will reach our shores. Our country will be turned into a military outpost dedicated to keeping them out, a point recently raised by Professor Stephen Emmott, who has observed that senior army officers have recently become a common sight at climate conferences. If nothing else, this suggests that the military sees the dangers we face, even if politicians like you do not.' That's the science editor of a serious national newspaper writing to the Minister not in charge of climate. My word.


[Its an odd letter. More grandstanding than a real letter. Only the advice to go talk to some climate scientists is really sensible -W]

By Roddy Campbell (not verified) on 10 Sep 2012 #permalink

I have more of a problem than kindly dismissing it as grandstanding, which is that if the Editor is such a dyed-in-the-wool catastrophist, and seemingly has no sense of how extreme he comes across, what effect does this have on Observer / Guardian coverage (and less importantly it's not exactly good for politics if the Guardian insists on a non-wife-beating admission from every politician, and even questions who their wife's sister's husband is.)

Re consulting climate scientists - he's got DECC and IPCC and his environment and agricultural scientists in his department for his brief, which is minimally climate-related in reality.

And I'm not sure I'd take much advice from someone who wrote a letter like that anyway - ok, I wouldn't take any.

Anyway, your brief and excellent point that opposing windfarms cannot make one a climate change and impact sceptic (any more than Monbiot supporting nuclear makes him a rabid anti-environment capitalist) says it all.

By Roddy Campbell (not verified) on 11 Sep 2012 #permalink

The Observer really is an odd paper, and a lot further removed from the Guardian than many Sundays are from their Dailies (one famous example is their polar opposite views to the Iraq war). Though it was well reported that even others have disagreements - The Sun & NOTW used tohave fallings out under various editors, for example.

The Observer has had a dodgy science line for years (it's MMR coverage was nearly as bad as the Mail's or Private Eye's at times), and it has often been lambasted by the Guardian (eg Goldacre and Monbiot have both had goes at times). So I wouldn't read much into either paper's thoughts based on what the other writes.

Anyway, it was the FT that first said he was a well known "climate change skeptic", so they're the ones to kick it all off. I'd be asking for proof from them, not he people who simply asked him for clarification - which wouldn't really be too hard to come up with - "I accept the findings of the IPCC" would even fit in a twitter post. ;-)