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Ed Davey on Sunday Politics

Ed Davey was given a pretty thorough interrogation by Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics today. Well worth a look, and probably due-a-line by line examination as well.

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Reader Comments (157)

Davey - body language fails all over the shop - and a carnival of lies delivered at quite a high blink rate.

Davey will be "back in the autumn to talk about the oceans...." - oh yeah?

Not fit to run a whelk stall etc...

If Davey does come back - I hope Brillo's deference evaporates completely - in all though, a fair interview job - especially at the BBC.

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:03 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Ross Lea

There was nothing wrong with your second question mate except that you tried to state what the cause Must be. You do not know and I do not know (even though we have a good idea) but we are damn sure it is not CO2 ^.^

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:11 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Nice one Andrew Neil. I liked when he didn’t just roll over and take the bull about the Cook 97% as gospel. It’s quite interesting that the supposed credibility that Obama adds to that paper is starting to look embarrassing, especially when Neil can simply name respected climate scientists who flat out call it crap with reasons. That should put the cat among the pigeons if anyone wanted to pretend there was real concern for science, but Davey had no response and just had to waffle on regardless.

Also like the simple undercut to Davey’s waffle in response to the observation of the plateau – Davey's listing ice melt, weather events and hiding temps in the sea is clearly a rehearsed triple mantra; but Neil, by simply showing that these same scientists are on record denying that the plateau was even happening, just takes the legs away from the mantra.

Let’s face it, to date the public have only seen the simple narrative of CO2 goes up, temperature goes up, but that narrative is now shown to be failing. So the precedence kinda shows how the observations in this “science” so far really need to fit a political narrative and so these “new” explanations are just more likely to be of the same quality of narrative shaping. ;)

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:12 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement


Your are quite right the last bit was a personal opinion based on my view of the evidence but I should have made it clear as such and not stated it as if it were a fact. If I use it again I leave the viewer to draw their own conclusions but the basic statement I can, so far, see no fault with.

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea


The problem with the precautionary principle is that it only deals with the risk of not acting, it never deals with the risks associated with the proposed actions.

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:17 PM | Registered CommenterDung

As far as the average viewer is concerned I think the situation is better than Stephen Richards describes.

Sadly this program gets very few viewers and thereby lies the problem as I described.

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Ed Davey keeps arguing the point that his highly expensive policies are "no-regret" policies.

So, one must assume that
- he has no regrets about increasing energy bills by £112 already.
- he has no regrets that 3.7 jobs are being lost for every one created in the UK as a whole.
- he has no regrets that the long-term impact of subsidising expensive "green" renewable energy projects will be a loss of 2 to 3 per cent GDP a year for around 20 years.

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:26 PM | Registered Commentermatthu

My apology to Prof. Bob Carter the title of his book is TAXING AIR and not TAXING THE AIR as I stated.

Kindle addition

I hope this does not break any rules ?

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

Steven Richards

On this issue I think I agree with Richard Drake because that program really was a landmark. I have no idea what the viewing figures are but Neil is a big hitter and other journalists will notice what he did.

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:30 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Ross Lea

Just say it like it is without foul language and you can not go wrong hehe

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:31 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Having slightly recovered from the illness brought on by watching the video clip, I have to agree that Andrew Neil did an excellent job. He has always been a sceptic, but he is also a businessman, political journalist and programme presenter, so we cannot expect him to become superman in all aspects of climate science. I wish more journalists would follow his lead.

The more I follow climate science (and there are interesting discussions on Judith Curry's blog) the more I realise that there is hardly any reliable and proven physics upon which it is based. There are lots of assumptions which are no doubt taught to new students as facts by the believers.

There is a problem with conducting experiments and I sympathise with that, but it seems to me that the science is now completely muddled with a mix of facts, assumptions, politically motivated assertions and downright misinformation, or lies if you prefer.

There really needs to be a step by step review of the whole subject, with nothing taken as gospel, to assess the evidence for and against every aspect. However, with the policy decisions, money and reputations at stake, this will never happen.

Climate science will remain a complete mess and the public attitude will almost literally depend on the weather. I can hear Davey claiming at some point that he acted upon the best scientific advice available. He will also say that while it is true that a few deniers disagreed with that advice, 97% of papers, etc. How depressing.

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I suggest that many (most?) commentators here have hopelessly misread this interview. Yes, Neil did a good job – especially by his focusing on the temperature “pause”. But was Davey as dreadful as many here seem to believe? I think not.

Try looking at the interview from the perspective of someone who thinks climate change may be an important issue – but is unsure and hasn’t so far had the time or perhaps the interest to consider it in any detail. And he sees Davey putting up a pretty impressive defence against an experienced, tough and obviously well informed interviewer. Davey looks relaxed, sure of his position and unfazed by Neil’s interruptions or by what would seem to be some perceptive and penetrating questions. Davey’s confidence re, for example, the position of the majority of scientists (an impressive sounding survey), re the reality of the “pause” (not unexpected and, in any case, offset by other evidence: oceans absorbing heat, melting ice caps, etc.), re the wisdom of taking fairly modest action now to combat what is almost certainly a real problem (the insurance analogy), etc. is impressive. Is it really likely that he’s got it all so wrong?

Of course, most of us here – CAGW anoraks – know that he has indeed got it all wrong and that any one of his assertions could be comprehensively destroyed. But none were. And that’s not Neil’s fault: to do so convincingly would – re just one of them – take longer than the 6 or so minutes allocated for the entire interview. Even that might be insufficient.

To my mind, it’s a perfect illustration of the futility of trying to attack warmists on the “science”. You cannot win: not because you’re wrong, but because you’re attacking on such well-prepared ground.

Far wiser to concentrate on their weak points. Two in particular: (1) the damage current policies are doing and are likely to do to our tottering economy and to ordinary people (especially the poor and vulnerable) and (2) in any case, the absurdity and pointlessness of the whole exercise given the UK’s tiny share of global CO2 emissions and especially the fantasy that the developing economies will suddenly (after 20 years of refusal) see the light and slow their (now faltering) economic expansion by reducing emissions.

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:34 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

If the natural variation can cause this pause in surface temperature warming, or it can cause all the heat to go into the Oceans, then how much of the warming in the 80s and 90s was natural variation the other way?

Logically, the excuse for now could explain all of the warming that has been attributed to CO2. At least there must be a reason why it hasn't caused most of it.

Pushing the Minister on whether he has challenged his scientific advisers on that particular question would highlight whether the Minister is governing or being governed.

Maybe next time...

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

Robin Guenier

I am in total agreement with your proposal to highlight the dangers and the futility of current policies but that can go hand in hand with attacking the science. As Richard Drake highlighted earlier, many journalists will have noticed this unheard of attitude by a BBC interviewer and that can only be good news :)

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:45 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Pesadia asks at Jul 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM

I know I keep saying this but it was evident in the video that Ed Davey is clinging to the precautionary principle to keep himself and his supporters on message. The same old false analagy used by Paul Nurse when he appeared talking to James delingpole just keeps popping uplike a bad penny.
I would like someone to create a comprehensive explanation showing just how ridiculous this argument really is. Somebody... please.

OK. My stab.
Precautionary Principle:

A man goes to the Doctor's for a routine check-up.

The Doctor says “You are very sick. We have no time for further tests. We must act now,”
“But I feel fine. I have no symptoms…”
“NOW! We must act now! I am an expert, a world renowned highly qualified medical practitioner. Do as I say,”
“OK. What must we do?”
“I’m just going to cut off your left leg, your right arm and your genitals”
“Come on, hurry up; arm, leg or whatever first? Oh, don’t worry I’ll do whatever I want”.
“Wait, can I have a second opinion?”
“No time.”
“But there’s no sign I’m sick. How about I get a second opinion as to whether there’s time for a second opinion?”
“NO! They are deniers! The ones who disagree with me… they’re paranoid you know... they believe in conspiracies and they are all paid by big business who want you dead… DENIERS!!!”

The Doctor pauses, and then says in his professional bedside manner, “There is no time. You must just trust and obey.”
“Trust and obey me.”

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

Dung @9:30 PM

"Neil is a big hitter and other journalists will notice what he did"

There's still a way to go before the faceless editorial teams at the BBC pay attention - the insular cult of PC-eco-ism is the official religion at the state broadcaster. They wouldn't dare trying to use Brillo as a sock puppet (it would be amusing to see them try) - but I don't think we'll see any change in the overall tone of output - with climate change invoked as the cause of just about everything and "renewables" given limitless gushing free PR.

Shame Mr. Neil didn't have enough time to eviscerate this buffoon about fracking - now that would have made for some fine sport.

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:58 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Robin Guenier: I have already said that, having been inspired by Neil's efforts today, restoring sanity has to be a team effort, both because of complexity (of science, policy and their interface) and of how little time we may have before forthcoming contracts for difference sign away our future prosperity.

Your points at the end are absolutely crucial but I don't at all think Neil was wrong to push on the standstill. The graph showing both % atmospheric CO2 - going up steadily - and temperature - with the standstill since 97 - will I think have been very striking for people that haven't seen it before. Some will take comfort in Davey's slickness, as you say, but others by now will suspect the slickness, especially when confronted with that graph. It's a team effort and I wouldn't want to underplay the importance of the arguments you raise. The point Dung just made is also important - Neil has pointed the way for other journalists. It's a team game at every level and in every way. And to see the moral courage and professionalism of one journalist doing what he can, very well, helps us all.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:01 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

As far as I know, Andrew Neil is a sort of independent, not a standard BBC Guardian clone. He is sceptical about the EU as well as climate change and the BBC have him on their books as a sort of token rebel. He is also clever, entertaining and lively, but his politics programme is not going to pull the crowds in, however good he is.

I agree with Robin Guenier. Davey is obviously well briefed and could easily impress the uninformed.

The energy policies are the indefensible insanity. it is a pity Andrew did not attack him on these.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

M Courtney

Whatever they say, nobody understands it all however there are facts that you can hang on to. A common strategy used to deflect the accusation that the current temperature plateau proves CO2 is not warming the planet is to fall back on statistics. We are told that the length of the current plateau is well within statistical error bars. This really needs to be stamped on because it is rubbish.
Statistics is a tool to examine and interpret facts, it can help you to understand what has happened in the past. However the effect of CO2 on global temperature (whatever that effect is) is a physical process and it should obey the laws of physics every day 24/7. If we add record amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere and it does not warm then there are four possibilities.
First that CO2 (at current atmospheric levels) is having no effect on temperature.
Second CO2 has an effect that is so small that it has no real effect on temperature.
Third CO2 just does not warm the planet.
Fourth regardless of whether CO2 affects temperature, there are other factors which control it.

If you think there are other possibilities then please shout hehe.

The IPCC stated that CO2 was the only possible cause of recent warming and that they had ruled out natural cycles. All of the scenarios I set out above are totally incompatible with the IPCC statements.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:11 PM | Registered CommenterDung

S Cat: I can't agree that Davey was well-briefed. There was superficial slickness. But if he was told to quote the 97% he was abysmally briefed. If Obama tweeted about the 97%, added in the word dangerous to climate change and was called on it publicly by Richard Betts then that is good briefing - by Richard I mean. The rest is deception. Don't dignify it with anything prettier.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:11 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I like the part where Andrew Neil says the cook study has been "substantially discredited...". Ed Davey was sweating bullets.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub: yep. As I was sayin'

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:15 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake


I think well briefed is the wrong description because as you point out, some of the stuff he came out with was pathetic. However he was certainly coached on how to answer difficult questions.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:27 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Appealing to the authority of Obama and Gordon Brown appointed John (blinder played-drinks on me) Beddington (professor of applied population biology and sustainability) was comical.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:27 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Richard Drake:

Watch it again. The man spoke fluently and with confidence. He was well briefed.

You and I and all the other regulars here know that he spoke a lot of insulting garbage. He was briefed to spout all that garbage and he was briefed well. His objective was to convince the punters that global warming is here, it is very dangerous, the pause is just a blip, 97 % .... and so on.

As I said, the uninformed public was probably quite impressed and may have been convinced.

The problem is that Davey, the former Government Chief Scientific advisor, the IPCC, Sir Paul Nurse of the Royal Society, the Met Office, 97% blah blah, all present the same garbage.

You know it and I know it, but the people who don't follow the handful of fairly specialist sceptical blogs tend to be influenced by the sheer weight of authoritative pronouncement.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

"Test Global Temperature Anomaly has not increased for 17 years but CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have increased at the same rate. Therefore by an empirical test the theory FAILS man-made CO2 emissions cannot be the MAIN cause."

This is quite problematic the way it is stated. There are a large number of effects that contribute to climate, most unquantified, and no doubt some of them not yet known. Some turn on and off, or vary wildly. The rise from 1980-2000 could be CO2 with everything else cancelling, or it could be CO2 contributed an even bigger amount and something else partially cancelled it, or it could be CO2 contributed a smaller amount and something else enhanced it. By the same argument, the same could be true of the standstill from 2000 onwards. CO2 might be warming things with something else cancelling it, or maybe CO2 isn't adding much and whatever caused the 1980-2000 rise simply stopped. We don't know. None of these things can be quantified that accurately, especially the "unknown unknowns".

The problem isn't that we know they're wrong, it's that they don't have any evidence to say they're right. That's a very different statement.

The way to approach it is to get the person you're talking to to explain how they know CO2 is causing warming, and if they use the rising temperature trend, then apply the same logic to the current pause.

At the least, you can claim it as proof that whatever other influences are contributing, they must be at least of comparable magnitude to the global warming trend (or they couldn't cancel it out), and then say that if natural variation is of comparable magnitude, it's at least possible the 1980-2000 rise was natural too.

It might be. It might not.

To be honest, it's a very iffy conclusion to try to defend that the 20th century warming isn't mostly AGW. Since a 40% rise in CO2 would be expected to yield about half the effect of doubling CO2, and a 0.6 C rise is about half of the 1.2 C per doubling that low-end sensitivity estimates give, you would have to be defending an *extremely* low sensitivity estimate to try to claim most of it wasn't AGW.

The "mostly AGW" statement has always been a con. It only asserts a climate sensitivity above about 0.6-0.8 C per doubling, which many lukewarmer sceptics would subscribe to anyway. But it gives the rhetorical effect of a consensus against sceptics because nobody realises what it actually means.

Of course, if sceptics started saying, "well actually, yes, it probably is mostly AGW", they'd seize on that to claim victory. So instead, you need to clarify with them exactly what "mostly AGW" means to them, first. Then you can argue with that, or it they say they're only talking about low sensitivity themselves, claim victory yourself. But there's no universal answer, and it's easier to come up with this stuff on blogs than it is in a live interview on TV or radio.

If you want to know what questions to ask, they you could do what I recommend to hopeful warmist 'climate communicators' that they do - find somebody who disagrees with you and has experience in the debate, ask them the question, and see what they say. You can't develop good questions in an echo chamber - you have to see what works in actual 'battle'.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterNullius in Verba

In reply to Dung at Jul 14, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Yep, I agree with all of that. This is in danger of becoming a back-slapping echo-chamber.

And my thoughts are a combination of options 2 and 4.
CO2 isn't that impactful and something else regulates the climate system.

But all I can demonstrate is point 2 - CO2 isn't that impactful.
The pause shows that is the case.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

Schrodinger's Cat

You know it and I know it, but the people who don't follow the handful of fairly specialist sceptical blogs tend to be influenced by the sheer weight of authoritative pronouncement.

I agree but Neil is better known than Davey ^.^

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:33 PM | Registered CommenterDung

S Cat:

the people who don't follow the handful of fairly specialist sceptical blogs tend to be influenced by the sheer weight of authoritative pronouncement.

They do? How do you explain these figures then?

The general public mostly also thinks it's garbage - mostly without having to watch such boring details. How do they come to this conclusion? Common sense? BS detectors? I dunno. I'm too intellectual to understand.

The problem is not those that wouldn't ever watch the Sunday Politics. It's the smug, elite media-spad-politicos who do. And today Andrew Neil politely but confidently drove his tank onto their lawn.

I say it's game on.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:35 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake


The "mostly AGW" statement has always been a con. It only asserts a climate sensitivity above about 0.6-0.8 C per doubling, which many lukewarmer sceptics would subscribe to anyway. But it gives the rhetorical effect of a consensus against sceptics because nobody realises what it actually means.

Yep. Thanks for spelling this out so clearly.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:45 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The trouble, Richard (D), is that "superficial slickness" is all that's required in a 6 minute interview. Sure, most of his comments were deception, but that's precisely the object: to deceive. And he does it pretty well - as S's Cat said, Davey "spoke fluently and with confidence".

And Shub: I don't know how you got the impression that Davey was "sweating bullets". Have another look: Neil makes his (devastating to you and me) observations and Davey looks at him calmly and levelly and totally ignores the issue. A professional job to my mind: those "smug, elite media-spad-politicos" will have been cheering him on.

In contrast, I very much doubt that he would have found it so easy to dismiss the recent observation by Su Wei (Chinese chief negotiator at a climate change negotiation a few weeks ago) that China could not impose caps on its rising emissions because it needed time to focus on economic growth (LINK). Our main focus should be this: given that attitude (by the world's biggest emitter) what's the point of UK policy?

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:48 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

I noticed Ed Davey floundering and resorting to met office briefing statements for Ice melt, and especially ocean heat content.

However, He insisted twice that the hadcrut4 data shown was only for land surfaces and not ocean temperatures - which is nonsense.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterClivebest

Robin: I think Nigel Lawson has achieved a terrific balance on this. In saying that I'm saying you're right and that Andrew Neil was too. But you are arguing for reinforcement in your area of the battle because that's where the enemy's weakest. I'm not in charge of the troop deployments but I'll put a good word in for you next time they ask me :)

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:56 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I think the other problem is that the field of CAGW and its so-called policy response is highly irrational. It's a great deal to do with emotions and with futile symbolic gestures, as Lindzen spelled out in the Oxford debate. For that reason we don't really know where the enemy will fold first. So we should try everything. And we should welcome what someone like Robin says, in that spirit.

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:01 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Pesadia: "I would like someone to create a comprehensive explanation showing just how ridiculous this argument [precautionary principle] really is. Somebody... please."

It is empty rhetoric and logically facetious. Taken to the reductio ad absurdum we can say with equal validity that the precautionary principle must be applied to the precautionary principle.

It gets us nowhere without real knowledge of the systems it is applied to.

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterRog Tallbloke

I don't disagree with you. Most people experienced the warming 30 years ago and noticed that it disappeared over the last 20 years. The so-called extreme weather is more or less the weather of the sixties. All of that makes them pretty sceptical.

However, Davey was trying to justify his rotten policies by arguing the precautionary principle and the massive weight of scientific evidence that warming would return. People tend to ignore that, partly because it doesn't fit with their perception as discussed above and partly because they have no scientific basis on which to get involved in challenging the so-called evidence. I think public opinion on that point is probably a shrug and who cares, the scientific stuff is boring anyway.

So public opinion is probably sceptical but tolerant of all the boffins and politicians doing what they have to do, given the alleged weight of scientific evidence. I think this tolerance will be short lived once the huge cost of energy and green taxation really kicks in, especially if warming is still absent.

These are just my thoughts on the matter, they are not based on anything more substantial. Also, I'm defining Joe Public as someone uninterested in the science and with no particular green or political agenda.

The splendid efforts of Delingpole, Rose, Neil and others are beginning to provide the public with more details on the controversial aspects of the science, but sadly these contributions are small compared to the regular diet of alarmism we see in the press and get from the BBC.

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Robin, I'm having to rely on an UKIP-edited Youtube version of the interview, so I'm sure there are parts missing. But on the whole, the needle has moved. By how much I don't know. A Neil was well-informed. He'd gone into all instances where "the pause" had come up for discussion, which I thought was an excellent thing. Then there was this graph with a rising trend and a plateau at the top, sitting on the screen for a good while. There were places where Davey stumbled and stammered. Then, there was a bit where Davey went on a Pascal's wager hymn recital. Again, not very impressive.

Yes, Davey had come in 'prepared'. But these are after-the-fact rationalizations. Their effectiveness is not as much as an original argument. The more you use rationalization, the more you weaken your own case. In any event, no one really cared about things like "ocean heat", "sea-level rise", and "Arctic ice" already. They are too abstract and goofy. And Davey was not permitted to ramble on and build a full 'body of evidence' from his tissue of lies - the story was never rounded out.

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:15 PM | Registered Commentershub

Yes, Davey was slick as some have said. But it was the sort of bog-standard slickness demonstrated by politicians on almost any subject, and which people in the UK have come so much to despise.

On the whole I think this interview has enhanced the sceptic cause because, as other posters have said, it may encourage others in the media to be more sceptical. One can't overstate the possible longer-term effect of that on public opinion. There are no rapid-acting silver bullets here, I think. So well done to Neill on this, as on various other subjects he has dealt with.

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterM.C. Tucker

I'm with Robin G on this. The discussion rather resembles a friendly but brisk debate on another thread recently about the uses of Parliamentary Questions.

It's horses for courses. The debate you might have at a scientific symposium is not the same as the one you have in Parliament, and neither is the same as the one you have in the mass media (as opposed to on a specialist blog).

Anthony Watts, with his background in television, understands this very well. He is capable of producing very skilled and detailed technical arguments on his blog. But, when being interviewed on radio or TV for a general audience, he picks two or three key points, puts them in plain language, and sticks to them. A good interviewer does the same, otherwise the audience just yawns and changes the channel.

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:19 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

There's a partial transcript now available at:

It's not yet complete and will need some corrections and tidying up; will finish it tomorrow.

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Haha - Andrew Neil sails through the retwardian initiation test.

Andrew Neil‏@afneil
@ret_ward Not You again! When idea of plateau emerged you didn't ask if it was true. You asked Phil Jones how to discredit it. Propagandist

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:28 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Just wrote to BBC R4 Today Programme.

Suggested that the wind is turning; where Andrew Neil has led Today should follow; the opposite to political activism is a bunch of people with better things to do with their time (No such org as Fathers4Injustice); global warmning extremists - the Harrabin Tendency - have been peddling eco-alarmism to the detriment of the public and it's time that some Young Turks at the Beeb brushed them aside.

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

According to the rather self-congratulatory Sunday Politics "attracts viewing figures of up to 1m". How I love journalistic rigour.

Probably quite an influential audience, though.

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Page

I dont think Ed Davey's obviously rehearsed defences cut any ice with the majority of the general public, who tend to treat most politicians now on a sliding scale of suspicion at the least, scorn at the norm and contempt at the worst anyway. Added to that is the unpopularity of the LibDems, particularly with the ex-Huhne DECC brief, rising energy bills and anger over wind farms. I also noticed that Davey is languishing near the bottom of the ministerial popularity ranking on ConHome recently.

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:44 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Robin, the biggest problem is telling everyone that the graph that was used all these years....doesn't matter anymore. It'll just make more people sceptical.

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:57 PM | Registered Commentershub

Ed Davey talking to Geoffrey Lean, Daily Telegraph 25 May 2012
“I have been a long-term believer in the (green) agenda,” he confirmed to me. “It was probably the main reason I ended up joining the Liberal Democrats.”
It began in his year between school and university, back in the mid-1980s, when he “really got into reading about green issues”. He was particularly influenced by Jonathon Porritt, now one of the leading campaigners against the Government’s nuclear programme, and green economist (now Professor) Paul Ekins. At Oxford, he “wasn’t in any political party” but joined “something called the Student Ecology Group”, changed its name “in my first bit of political spin” to Green Action, and introduced “recycling for the newspapers in the junior common rooms” and “campaigned on potholes to help cyclists”.
“A lot of my friends were Green Party members, but I never was because they were quite illiberal and deeply impractical. Most of them wanted to sit around talking about legalising pot, but I wanted to talk about green economics. I joined the Liberal Democrats because I thought they had the best and most practical and sensible green politics.”

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterQuercus

John Page

That lady (Political Editor of The Sunday Times; panellist on BBC Sunday Politics; Political Journalist of the Year) tweeted:-

Isabel Oakeshott‏@IsabelOakeshott12h
Ed Davey stands firm under phenomenal sustained fire from @afneil Gives impassioned evidence based defence of climate change measures

Its obvious where her sympathies lie.

Jul 15, 2013 at 12:03 AM | Registered CommenterPharos

Negative comments even on the LibDem vid blog

Jul 15, 2013 at 12:13 AM | Registered CommenterPharos

Sad to say but I am doubtful whether telling people that the impact of our efforts on "carbon reduction" will be negligible will have any effect.
That point has been made before. There was a TV debate a few months back which had input from Bjorn Lombourg. He stated something along the lines of the UK's proposals costing round £200bn for a reduction of a few hundredths of a degree at the end of the century. He also said that, for the EU as a whole, £2trn would cut temps by a tenth or two (if memory serves). That did not generate any follow-up that I have seen.
For my money a better illustration would be something like those graphics of the nuclear weapon count during the arms race. If the existing and planned coal plants of India and China were shown as columns of icons, the trivial effect of cutting a few in Europe would be obvious.

Jul 15, 2013 at 12:39 AM | Registered Commentermikeh

Typical example of a politicians mindset, thinks that this year's crap survey negates two decades of observational data.

Jul 15, 2013 at 12:41 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

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