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.