A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

UK climate-change politics.....

Now, I can't often, as 'EnviroSpin' regulars know, stomach The ["We're All Doomed!"] Independent, but today the newspaper carries two articles which it is very much worthwhile your deconstructing and comparing, for they reveal, perhaps inadvertently, much about the politics of climate change in the UK.

The first piece is under the byline of Tony Blair, the British PM, himself, and those who know what I have been writing about Blair and climate change over the last few months might recognise one or two of the phrases and arguments employed: 'Tony Blair: "We must do more to beat climate change"' (The Independent, November 19).

It is especially important for visitors from across 'The Pond' to deconstruct Blair's measured words carefully. Above all, one must note the studied rejection of Greenpeace's arguments, the (new) acknowledgment about the importance of clean coal (predicted, of course, on this blog), and the essentially international approach.

Alice, Tweedledum and TweedledeeBy contrast, the second article, which is by the newspaper's Political Editor, exposes the sheer political opportunism and ill-thought out 'Greenism' of the Conservatives (a shame on Cameron, Yeo, Letwin, and Vaizey): 'Cameron could cash in on Labour failures, says aide' (The Independent, November 19). I predict this could backfire. [Right: Cameron (Tweedledum) and Yeo (Tweedledee) rattled by the 'Green' legacy of Mrs T! Tenniel's immortal picture: the image is in the public domain and it is taken from Wikipedia's article on 'Tweedledum and Tweedledee'.]

Of course, as one of the leaders in UK climate-change ecohype, The Independent is delighted to be able to try to play off one against the other to force more extreme policies and statements.

But Blair, yet again, demonstrates that he alone understands the true nature of the international game, with his comments on coal, and, above all, with his recognition - for the first time publicly, I think - of how unimportant the UK is in energy and emission terms:
"...Even if the UK achieves every emissions target we set ourselves, we will have tackled a mere 2 per cent of the problem. That is why international action and consensus is so important..."

Just so. Watch this space - the home UK politics are turning out to be fun. Time to go Through the Looking Glass.

Philip, increasingly fascinated by the machinations of climate-change politics in the UK. 'Science' is no longer the game at all; we are now in a political Blunderland, with the Conservatives playing Tweedledum and Tweedledee. But to important matters - the football results.....

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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