D is for diesel
Jul 27, 2015
Bishop Hill in Climate: WG3, Deben

In my Twitter feed yesterday came something entirely without precedent: a tweet from Lord Deben. This was something of a shock, as the noble lord has hitherto made it a matter of policy never to address me directly, leaving his followers in the slightly strange position of trying to work out who it is that he is insulting.

I assume that this was an error on his part.

He was responding to a tweet from someone who asked rather alarmingly:

Has blood on hands? claims he ignored warnings in favour of

And as one might expect, he denied everything:

It claims no such thing. Try reading the quote again!

So is this a case of a good man wronged? I have been sent a scan of the Sunday Times article in question and I reproduce here the second paragraph:

About 50,000 people die annually because of air pollution, yet many deaths might have been prevented had ministers heeded a 1993 report handed to the then environment secretary, John Gummer - now Lord Deben - warning that any increase in diesel could have just such a consequence.

I'm struggling to see anything in the article that might be the basis for Lord Deben's suggestion that it wasn't alleging that he bore the blame for the (alleged*) death toll. What can he have meant?

*I am highly suspicious of these figures.

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