Naming names
Mar 11, 2014
Bishop Hill in Climate: Parliament, Climate: Sceptics

There was a fascinating exchange at the Energy and Climate Change Committee this morning when Graham Stringer asked Gregory Barker about the climate consensus. Barker opined (10:58) that

...the number of people who are refusing to accept that the climate is changing or that man has a role in that are diminishing and are given disproportionate airtime in the media.

Pressed to identify the people involved, Barker seemed to back down on the insinuation of his remarks a few seconds earlier that those involved were some kind of refuseniks:

I think some of the people that deny the very science of climate, who represent a perfectly valid opinion and by no means are...there are scientific voices that have that view...but I think when it's presented as a 50:50 - either, or -...

Stringer pressed him again to identify individuals, a question that seemed to produce a retreat and an advance from Barker, almost in the same breath, this time on the question of whether these wicked people were getting too much media attention:

I wouldn't say that they are giving undue would be invidious to name individuals...but I do think the climate coverage tends to over-represent the climate sceptic opinion when it is discussing the science.

Before moving on to say that the debate should be on responses to climate change.

Later on, Peter Lilley pressed him again (11:19) for names and was told, for his pains, that Barker didn't want to "make it about personalities".

It's probably possible to name every single sceptic who has appeared in the UK media since 2009. The list would take in Lawson, Peiser, Ridley, Lilley, Stringer and myself and perhaps a few others. I'm reckon I can come up with evidence that every single one of those named accepts that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.

I think it's fair to say then that there are some ministers within the Department of Energy and Climate Change who are cynically mispresenting the facts.

But I wouldn't want to name them. I wouldn't want to make this about individuals.

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