Parliament Debates the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

It appears that global warming scepticism is a cross party trait. Both Graham Stringer and Peter Lilley point out that the recent IPCC AR5 Summary for Policy Makers misrepresents the details in the main report. Unfortunately, the main stream media only report on the summary and many MPs only get to find out that way.

From Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton) (Lab)

As Professor Trewavas has said, there is not a scientist on the planet who can measure and distinguish between natural climate variation and anthropogenic climate variation, so we are in serious difficulty when we talk about the scientific basis of climate change. That has become an area of great controversy and enthusiasm from certain parties. I am—or at least I was—a scientist. As I have debated science in this place and elsewhere, I have come to the conclusion that science and politics are a bad mix, and that one tends to contaminate the other. Science is about the search for truth. Good scientists, if they are proved wrong, will shout, “Alleluia!” because they are pleased that the boundaries of knowledge have been pushed further. Politics is about winning the argument; it is about my side beating the other side.

Unfortunately, in the debate around climate change, some politicians and so-called non-governmental organisations have distorted the science and pushed arguments in a non-scientific way. A current example of that—it is not immediately to do with climate change although it could be—is the case of Professor Anne Glover, the former scientific adviser to the President of the European Commission. She has just failed to get her contract renewed because she took a view on genetically modified foods that Greenpeace and other groups did not like, and those groups lobbied to remove scientific advice from the Commission.

From Mr Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con)

The overheating [in the models] is serious, and it is not just during the period of the hiatus. Over the past 35 years, the models studied by the IPCC have collectively run an average of 15% too high. They are significantly in error. That, too, is something that I would have liked pointed out in the summary for policy makers, so that one would know, when talking about model estimates, that they have been consistently and significantly wrong for 35 years. But that was not pointed out.

Although I despair at the inputs of some of the other MPs in this debate it is good to see that there are voices of reason within the mother of parliaments.

Full detail here.


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