After the deluge – Britain’s new politics of climate change


Jonathon Porritt 20th February 2014

Jonathon Porritt has been an environmental campaigner since 1974, and is still hard at it nearly 40 years on. His latest book is The World we Made.

This article was first published on Jonathon Porritt’s blog under the title ‘The New Politics of Climate Change

Jonathon Porritt 20th February 2014Floods, giant waves and billions of pounds of destruction to the UK’s homes, businesses and key national infrastructure could revolutionise climate politics, writes Jonathon Porritt. But no thanks to the increasingly pathetic BBC!

Listening to mad old Tory say climate change doesn’t exist always reminds me that many such wanted to surrender to Hitler on Day One.

There is now a distinct possibility that the recent flooding and extreme weather will transform the politics of climate change here in the UK.

That may seem like a pretty dodgy prediction – given that the polls would seem to indicate, right now, that around 50% of people in the UK are still not persuaded that today’s weather is directly linked to climate change.

That remains the case, I suspect, partly because the immediate debate about that potential linkage has been so lamentable.

And I’m not just getting at those parts of the UK media whose grasp of science is completely obscured by their ideological world view – including most of our right-wing newspapers.

The real disappointment for me has been the BBC

For the most part, in the early weeks, the BBC clearly discouraged any discussion about climate change: stick to the stunning visuals and increasingly horrendous personal stories.

And then they spiced it up with a bit of blame-game politics, but no attempt was made to step back and reflect on what that told us about the complex weather / climate relationship.

And then, after all that soft-shoe shuffling, the BBC’s ‘flagship’ Today Programme tees up a quite ludicrous debate between Nigel Lawson (former Chancellor of the Exchequer, political street-fighter and spinner, and notorious climate denier as front-man for a shady ‘think-tank’ called The Global Warming Policy Foundation) and Brian Hoskins (brilliant, gentle climate scientist who knows little about the dark arts of the media, let alone dealing with the likes of Lawson).

….(read more)

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

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