UK Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom had to ask whether climate change was real

The first question she asked upon taking her new role in government reveals just how out-of-touch our politicians are with trusted science.

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Energy news website Drill or Drop took the opportunity to ask the recently appointed Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom about her views on fracking. Last week, Averil Macdonald, chairwoman of UKCOOG (UK Onshore Oil and Gas) said women are less likely to support fracking because they trust their gut. Responding to this claim, Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire, was dismissive, but revealed: “When I first came to this job one of my two questions was: ‘Is climate change real?’ and the other was ‘Is hydraulic fracturing safe?’ And on both of those questions I now am completely persuaded.”

The fact we still have politicians questioning the most fundamentally important challenge of our time shows the uphill battle we face as a country in tackling climate change successfully, especially as scientists call for us to become more alarmist with our concerns. And fracking has a whole host of problems such as causing earthquakes and contaminating water with carcinogens.

Although Leadsom's views on climate change prior to her post-election appointment are unknown, she is considering going ahead with the government's plans to cut subsidies to the renewable energy sector and has attacked Labour for signing up to an EU target of using 15 per cent of energy from renewable sources, despite being confident of the current Conservative government in being able to reach that target.

Emad Ahmed writes about science and gaming. He tweets @ThisIsEmad.

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