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27 September 2017

This MP on the male-dominated science committee is very busy – attacking climate change

He wants everything to be properly represented. 

By Jason Murugesu

When the first eight members of the Science and Technology select committee were announced earlier in September, there was outcry over the fact that none were women

Since that media storm, a woman (the Conservative MP Vicky Ford) has now been elected – making the balance a much more even nine to one. 

Having weathered that controversy, the select committee can now get back to business outside of the media spotlight. Step forward: Graham Stringer. 

The Labour Brexiteer is a climate change sceptic who has somehow presumably found the time between reassuring scientists their post-EU funding will be just fine to pen a 1,200 word op-ed in The Daily Mail. In it, he bashes the “eco justice warriors wallowing in their phoney moral superiority”.

The subject of Stringer’s ire is a new study by scientists from the University of Oxford, and published in Nature Geoscience. The study found that (*spoiler alert*) new computer-based climate models are more accurate than old ones.

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This, according to Stringer, proves that his longheld scepticism is vindicated. 

“Research should be founded on critical analysis of the evidence, not on wishful thinking or enforcement of a political ideology,” he declares. “A vital new report that shows how the apocalyptic predictions of the green lobby have been exaggerated.” He hopes for a return to “environmental sanity in place of the current dangerous green fundamentalism”.

Stringer, incidentally, is a trustee of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation which lobbies against policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For some reason, this fact must have been cut out due to the word count. 

So what does Stringer want? An apology, it seems. He attacks the “eco justice warriors” for showing “no sign of humility”.

Our venerable select committee member  is clearly hurt by the way the media has represented him, saying that he does not “accept this accusation that he somehow misrepresents science”. He adds: “I actually have a degree in chemistry from Sheffield University, and before I became a full-time politician I worked as an analytical chemist in the plastics industry.”

The Daily Mail later published a 140-word letter by Professor Allen, the author of the study Stringer cites. In it, he states “Graham Stringer MP misrepresents our study” and “It is not right to suggest our results reduce the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions”. It seems the misrepresented member of an unrepresentative committee turns out to be something of a misrepresenter himself.