Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Friday, 12 July 2013


The more you learn, the more you realise how little you know. Apparently Socrates was the first to utter these insightful words. It certainly seems to me to be true about the weather.

Some years ago, we were told that we were entering (and causing) a critical period of global warming. In European countries the reduction of carbon use became our highest priority.  This year it emerged that the planet stopped getting warmer some years ago. Confusion.

Forecasters told us in June that we are to expect a very wet summer and then a few weeks later they sprung a heat wave on us which has arrived in stunning fashion this week. Make your minds up guys!

The lesson is surely that in our climate predicting the weather is a mug's game and all the technology and learning in the world does not seem to make it any better. Perhaps if the Met Office had moved to Plymouth and not Exeter, their predictions might have been more accurate.

A study of history indicates that climate change has always been with us. Our ability to predict the seasons much less to control or influence the weather is extremely limited.  I have had correspondence recently with several local man-made climate change enthusiasts and I consistently ask them for the empirical evidence that we are causing this alleged global warming and the only answer I ever get is a referral to the writings of various scientists. As I point out, that is not evidence, it is simply opinion. Opinion, even scientific opinion, goes through fashions and is subject to change.

I should think that at least two-thirds of my constituents and half of all Tory MPs consider that the case for man -made climate change has not been made. So why are we so slavishly following the prevailing opinion and imposing so many green taxes on us all? If we are creating it what is the point of European countries stifling our economies with so much green tape and yet the gas- guzzlers of USA, India and China carry on regardless.

It is obviously important to care for our planet and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. But this must be done (collectively) at a rate and at a price we can afford.

Personally, until I see some evidence and until the Met office get better at predicting the weather this month let alone this century, I shall remain a sceptic.

posted by Gary @ 10:21