‘The greenest government yet’ claim is melting – a bit like our arctic sea ice

I blogged earlier about the irony of having a Justice Secretary who had backed a B&Bs owner discriminatory policy against a gay couple. I worry though that these concerns pale into insignificance in comparison to the new Environment Secretary.

Let me introduce Owen Paterson. He has quite a track record…

Just two weeks ago he called for an ‘ending to all energy subsidies’ and a ‘fast track exploration of shale gas’. Damien Carrington reported in the Guardian that Paterson has ‘spoken against wind farms’ and ‘supported aviation expansion’.

Sam Coates at the Times however went one step further saying

It doesn’t look good that he is an anti renewable, pro shale gas, pro aviation expansion sort of guy – but is it possible that David ‘I want the Greenest government ever’ Cameron has appointed a ‘sceptic on Climate Change’ to DEFRA?

This move comes just days after it was reported that climate change was occurring much faster than any of us had anticipated.

As Sam Coates at the Times commented though he has been welcomed by the one and only Lord Lawson  who commented:

I am very pleased to see in this reshuffle the promotion of Owen Paterson. Owen Paterson is little known to the British public because he has been Northern Ireland Secretary, so he is well known there, but really little known elsewhere. He is in fact one of the most able and promising young men or women around the Cabinet and therefore his promotion to Environment is extremely welcome….he is a man of reason and sense.”

This would be the same Lord Lawson who is the Chair of the think tank ‘Global Warming Policy Foundation’ and author of the book ‘An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming’.

Any hint that this government is/was or is going to be, ‘the greenest government yet’ is melting away – a bit like our arctic sea ice!


Filed under Climate Change, Politics

3 responses to “‘The greenest government yet’ claim is melting – a bit like our arctic sea ice

  1. Pingback: Owen Patterson, the UK Secretary of State for the Environment, on Any Questions | Youthpolicy.org

  2. Some extra snippets of info about Paterson:

    “Before embarking upon a political career, the environment secretary earned a living in the animal skin tanning industry. Paterson was the Managing Director of the Paterson family business British Leather Company. He was also the president of the European Tanners’ Confederation between 1996 and 1998.

    Paterson enjoys horse riding. He and his wife Rose have cantered across Turkmenistan and more recently Mongolia, in imitation of Genghis Khan. During a Commons debate on fox-hunting, Paterson evoked the Nazis’ ban on the sport: “No one gained in Germany then; no one will gain now.” Only ‘honest, decent people’ hunted, he said.

    Paterson is a renewable energies sceptic. In 2008, he called wind farms in his Shropshire constituency “a massive waste of consumers’ money.” This May he urged the cabinet to abandon all energy subsidies and hasten shale-gas exploration: “one unexpected and potentially huge windfall.”

    As shadow agriculture minister, he supported badger culling as a curb to bovine TB, despite revealing during the Commons debate that he had a “wonderful” orphaned badger as a childhood pet. ”



  3. Paterson is brother in law to Matt Ridley, of Rational Optimist fame. If we assume that Paterson has absorbed Ridley’s arguments, he will be a “lukewarmer”. He should be challenged to justify his hypothesis that CO2 will not have a large effect on climate through positive feedbacks. I have posted more here: http://greenerblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/is-environment-secretary-owen-paterson.


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