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MP George Eustice says climate sceptics should be heard

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 27, 2013

By Graeme Demianyk

  • George Eustice

  • Climate change sceptic Lord Nigel Lawson

Comments (3)

Science questioning climate change should not be "rubbished or ridiculed", a Westcountry MP charged with devising energy policy for David Cameron has said.

George Eustice, Conservative MP for Camborne and Redruth, says he believes there is a link between carbon emissions and warming the planet, but argues "all perspectives" should be heard.

Climate change sceptics, such as former Chancellor Nigel Lawson, have raised a series of concerns over man-made climate change arguments and its impact, from claiming warming has stopped to contending governments are adopting punishing polices to adapt to and mitigate the threat.

The Exeter-based Met Office, a world-leading authority on changes to the climate, is adamant there is a long-term warming trend – and humans are largely responsible for the rise – and has said critics have their "head in the sand".

Cornwall MP Mr Eustice is soon to be part of an eight-strong team of Conservatives developing policy within No 10, and will advise on energy and climate change.

He said: "I am personally persuaded that there is a link between carbon emissions and climate change but it is essential that all perspectives in this argument are heard.

"I don't like the way that legitimate, yet contrarian scientific opinion on the issue has been rubbished or ridiculed. Sometimes those who believe in climate change have foolishly undermined their own case."

Conservative peer Lord Lawson, who established the Global Warming Policy Foundation, has accused climate scientists of "manipulating" records of global temperature and called for a "an open and reasoned debate" about climate change policies.

Mr Eustice, whose family run a farm near Hayle, West Cornwall, indicated his work will include a review of renewable energy subsidies.

Last year, more than 100 Tory MPs sent a letter to David Cameron arguing for a cut in support for onshore wind power.

Ministers have decided on a 10% cut to subsidies – which are paid for through household energy bills – against calls from Conservative backbenchers to slash support by 25%.

As the Wave Hub energy terminal falls in his constituency, Mr Eustice led the campaign to increase the level of subsidy given to wave and tidal power – which is far more immature than onshore wind – to give parity to Scotland, a rival to the Westcountry for green jobs.

Mr Eustice said: "One of the areas we will obviously want to examine is the balance between supporting research and development into improving green technology versus spending money on subsidising inefficient technologies.

"Energy taxes can exacerbate fuel poverty in the South West and we need to be very clear that these subsidies are being well spent."

The Cornwall MP, formerly David Cameron's Press aide, has raised concerns about the visual impact of wind turbines on the countryside and the impact of large solar energy farms on taking away farming land.

The family Trevaskis Farm has recently installed solar energy panels, and "every drop of energy they produce will be consumed on site" and will save over 20 tonnes of carbon emissions a year, the farm says on its Facebook page.

Mr Eustice said the panels, which will provide one-fifth of the farm's energy needs, are on a much smaller scale than industrial-sized solar schemes that route power back to the grid, which he has argued should face stricter planning controls.

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3 comments

  • MickLennard  |  May 28 2013, 2:35PM

    As a biologist, I visited the Arctic Research Institute in St Petersburg, Russia several years ago and had a conversation with their meteorologist about Global warming. I quote his words exactly, 'The contribution of human CO2 emissions to global temperature lies in the second place of decimals of a degree centigrade. They may reinforce natural warming, or mitigate natural cooling by a few hundredths of a degree, but they are not a driving force in our climate. So Mr Eustace is correct to say they have an influence, but we cannot control global temperatures with our CO2 emissions

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  • letigre  |  May 28 2013, 12:40PM

    Well said. The scary stuff is the power that lobbying groups of so called "environmentalists" have within our government. When did we stop listening to scientists and engineers and instead listen to uneducated scare mongers? Yes fossil fuels are finite but every technology has it's limitations and as ever it often comes down to basic maths. How can anyone think 1,790 wind turbines (500kw at 77m) in additional to the still required 895Mw gas turbine at Plympton makes any sense? There are no reports of reduced output from this station with every wind turbine that comes on line. These are taking away important areas of natural habitat from native species known to be in decline. Many BAP species are flagged as being present on sites of proposed wind turbines, this makes no difference and no one seems to care. For those in the region who don't think this an issue just check out the latest maps on the council website, the numbers on for planning are truly alarming. There are increasing noise nuisance reports being filed across the county and indeed country. Time for a sensible debate on energy. Please listen to the engineers on this one. Please also invest into R&D. This sector is vitally unfunded. Due to the low w/sqm output the future of energy in the uk is not onshore wind. We simply don't have the space for the numbers required. Climate change is happening, without doubt. But we need to adapt. We need investment into flood defenses and developing cheap and reliable energy, the chance of us going into a period of cooling are as great as the so called "Mediterranean climate" the uk was supposed to be enjoying by 2012. That clearly isn't happening, in fact we have just put the heating on, it's nearly June!

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  • johndavies  |  May 28 2013, 8:33AM

    ( "Climate change sceptics, such as former Chancellor Nigel Lawson, have raised a series of concerns over man-made climate change arguments and its impact, from claiming ( 1 ) warming has stopped to contending ( 2 ) governments are adopting punishing polices to adapt to and mitigate the threat." ) ( 1 ) True – No rise in global temperature for last 15yrs (source :-the Met Office) ( 2 ) True – By introducing compulsory levies to pay for in-effective & intermittent wind & solar even though they were advised it was the wrong approach & the wrong technology's to achieve their stated aims. The results of the draconian polices has been a dramatic rise in energy costs, putting people into fuel poverty & driving our manufacturing base abroad. *** ( "The Exeter-based Met Office, a world-leading authority on changes to the climate, is adamant there is a long-term warming trend – and humans are largely responsible for the rise – and has said critics have their "head in the sand". ) Of course there is a long-term warming trend; we are slowly coming out of the last ice age... Another 8-10,000yrs should do it. What do you think started melting the ice 11,000yrs ago (there was approx ¾ kM of it on top of where I'm sitting !!!) … the sun, that's what controls our climate – not some silly politicians with windmills. Given the Met Office's dismal record in predicting weather even a few months in advance why should we believe they can predict the climate 10 ,20 or 50 years in advance? They are no more accurate then the temple priests of ancient times reading the future in the entrails of sacrificial animals. *** ( "Conservative peer Lord Lawson, who established the Global Warming Policy Foundation, has accused climate scientists of "manipulating" records of global temperature and called for a "an open and reasoned debate" about climate change policies." ) I hate to agree with a Conservative peer, BUT climate scientists "manipulating" records is also true- from a very long list of discredited climate scientists, here's just a few - The Met Office's Hadley Center for Climate Research Prof Michael Mann - the hockey stick man Prof Bradley UM Prof Hughes UA Prof Keith Briffa UEA Caspar Ammann Rosanne D'Arrigo CU Prof Ian Jolliffe Prof Phil Jones UEA They have all manipulated data to fit the political agenda. It is a very dangerous world, when politics trump science.

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