David Cameron may or may not be preparing for a major cabinet reshuffle following the Euro and Local Elections – and my favourite blog fodder Secretary of State against the Environment Owen Paterson may or may not be looking to show how much he is on top of his brief, following the floods debacle.
He really doesn’t help himself though does he?
Anti-fracking campaigner Vanessa Vine sought his views on agriculture and climate change at the South of England show last week. Here’s her transcript.
Did Opatz have a dream of a panglossian future – a wonderful balmy warm Britain under climate change – days of wine and roses, warm beer, sunny sunday afternoons at the village cricket ground? The sound of willow on leather (he is a leather man after all)….
No – he’s been listening to his brother in law Viscount Matt Ridley “the rational optimist” who Paterson regularly turns to for advice eg on GMOs. Note Ridley’s irrational outbursts.
Ridley claims, based on no evidence whatsoever, that climate change will lead to a better world where crops yields increase. Ridley, trained as a geneticist and strongly pro GMO, dreams of new varieties of maize that can take advantage of the warming climate and be grown in ever new places. Great – the crop that is the most environmentally damaging one in Britain (and I would suggest probably Europe), being genetically modified to be grown in more places. That sounds like a good answer.
But wait a minute – Government Scientists at the Rothamsted agricultural research station, have concluded the opposite, that cereal yields will drop dramatically in light of climate change. This is because of predicted extremes of drought, flood, winter warmth and so on, creating stresses that cause crop death. No panglossian vision of warm beer here. And predicted? Or is this what we are now observing?
So – will Paterson finally start listening to his own scientists, or continue to follow his aristocrate bruv in law? Cameron may be taking an interest in his decision
In some ways at least UKIP are honest in their lunacy.
UKIP’s Screaming “Lord” Monckton at the Doha climate summit dressed as a Qatari giving out climate change denial leaflets. Shortly afterwards he was thrown out of Qatar, presumably for bringing fossil fuels into disrepute.
I didn’t know about Monckton of Arabia. It’s so bizarre that I can’t think of a useful comment, except having a feeling of worried embarrassment. Has M of A become less bonkers recently by any chance?
Scary thing is he’s got a particular (also bonkers) following in the US. Is seen as respectable.
Just about sums up this government… The Environment \minister trying to sell Climate Change as a benefit! Our economic system is killing us and nobody wants it to change. MHO is that a crash is inevitable!
If Paterson is replaced, all we can hope for is a better informed Secretary of State who listens to advice that he/she is given by professionals and scientists in the last 12 months of this dreadful coalition government. I’m not optimistic though, which is very much against my nature!
Repeating everything Matt Ridley tells him loses Paterson so much credibility. On Question Time last week (with C Lucas) he restated his calculation of how my windmills needed to generate all British power requirements. It’s painful that people listen to this deceit. Lucas didn’t get time to show him up.y
Thanks Mike. I am still half expecting Paterson to jump ship to UKIP, though others reckon he will stay in the Tory tent and fight from the right. Is all this posturing in preparation for a leadership bid I wonder?
The Beeb are hopeless – I have given up on QT.