Ed Davey seemed to forget today that the public is very capable of forming its own opinion and has grown cynical of politicians’ platitudes on contentious issues (who can forget the now Lord Deben during the BSE crisis?). His words, well publicised ahead of the speech, are likely to backfire. It’s too late. The people want to make up their own minds. They don’t want to be told what to think. For example, my car had a few problems last week. I can’t remember how the conversation in the garage turned to climate change, but the subject was met with derision. It is clear the man-in-the-street can see the cause for what it is – pure politics.
Not only that, but much of the criticism aimed at stifling sceptics is actually hypocritical, if naively so on his part.
“… some sections of the press are giving an uncritical campaigning platform to individuals and lobby groups.”
That’s an odd thing for Davey to say on several levels. To begin with, it’s a charge that could be made equally well by climate change sceptics about the Guardian and the Independent.
Indeed. He concludes:
If Ed Davey really believes that the truth is on his side in this debate, he should encourage his opponents to air their views in public as often as possible, not criticise “some sections of the press” for giving them a platform.
Bishop Hill also points out the hypocrisy:
It’s funny to read the specific terms of the rant that Davey’s speechwriters have crafted for him. As readers at BH know, ministers in DECC meet two kinds of people only: energy giants and green campaigners. Both these groups are of course are massive vested interests and the latter are the publicity seekers par excellence. So it takes the kind of chutzpah in which those ministers specialise for Davey to label his critics in this way. Particularly as he is going to deliver his speech at a meeting attended by a bunch of those same vested interests.
Commenter ZT at Bishop Hill (Jun 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM) aptly coined the term “ecochaff”. Good one. Pity for believers that it’s unlikely to deflect the flack the ‘consensus’ is getting these days.