A new poll has revealed that just 51% of MPs believe that it is an established fact that global warming is caused by human activities despite the majority of scientists supporting this. The survey revealed considerable difference of opinions among the political parties.
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The views of sceptical MPs is despite the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stating the climate scientists are 95% sure that global warming is manmade in a report. MPs on the Energy and Climate Change committee recently scrutinised the processes of the IPCC and concluded that its findings are “robust” and there is “no reason” to doubt is credibility.
The survey, commissioned by magazine PRWeek and conducted by Populus, questioned 119 MPs to establish their attitudes towards climate change and environmental issues.
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Whilst 73% of Labour MPs agree that manmade global warming is now an established fact, just 30% of conservatives agreed. In fact 53% of Tory MPs said they support the statement that “it has not yet been conclusively proved that climate change is manmade”. An additional 18% said they thought manmade climate change was “environmentalist propaganda”.
The views of the MPs don’t reflect that of the general population, with a poll showing that more people, 60%, believe that climate change is related to human activity. Despite this 80% do agree that the climate is changing but concerns around exaggeration were raised by almost a third of those questioned.
This view could be linked to a lack of awareness. A separate poll, published last month, found that there is a lack of effective communication between the scientific community and the public, with just one in nine people being aware of the strengthening consensus on manmade climate change.
The PRWeek poll also found that half of MPs think that climate change has slipped down the political agenda over the last five years but 68% believe more should be done to raise awareness of environmental issues.
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, described the findings as a “huge embarrassment” for prime minister David Cameron, who is preparing to attend a UN climate summit in New York later this month.
Speaking to the magazine, Sauven added, “There’s virtually no scientific argument left about whether manmade climate change exists, yet two thirds of Tory MPs are ready to ignore the science in the name of ideology.
“There’s no reason for the laws of physics to stop at the right of centre of British politics. Climate change is real and is happening – we’re all going to pay a price for our politicians’ failures to take it seriously.”
Photo: Clayton Fopp via Freeimages