Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Debating climate change with idiots

I see that Peter Cranie was invited to share a sofa with Nick Griffin on North West TV the other night. Quite rightly he turned down the opportunity to give the little fuhrer a cuddle and a kiss whilst he denied that climate change is happening.

Peter explains his reasons eloquently here. Sadly the BBC went ahead with the show and replaced Peter with a hapless Lib Dem (35 and 48 minutes in) who decided raising their profile by debating Nick Griffin was a bit of a lark.

The fact is the climate change debate we need to be having is what are we going to do about it? How do we reduce our emissions? Can we get international agreements? What measures do we need to take to prepare ourselves for climate chaos? What obligation do rich nations have to poor nations who do not have the funds to prepare for a changing climate?

These vital questions are being derailed by a bunch of Flat Earthers who want to question whether anything is happening at all. This discuss was put to bed ten years ago or more. Climate change is not a communist conspiracy to raise taxes but a living reality that we must address.

Giving these people credibility by allowing the debate to be dictated by them is ludicrous. There are sensible people who disagree with greens who are worth debating, of course, but Griffin is someone who seeks to hold us back from action at the very moment that this attitude constitutes criminally irresponsible behaviour.

I'm really proud of Peter for turning down the BBC's offer of air time and I can only hope that at some point the media grows up and starts allowing us to have the debates on climate change that really matter, not the potty bullshit the deniers come out with.


Simon Grover said...

If we are trying to:

1. Convince the public to support measures to combat man-made climate change,
2. Pressurise politicians into bringing in such measures,
and 3. Invite sceptics/deniers to support these measures even if they don't support the science,

Then we should try to avoid debating the science (let's leave that to the scientists).

Instead we should be talking about the precautionary principle: if it seems likely or even reasonably possible that catastrophic climate change is round the corner and that we can do something about it, let us act.

Let us act in a way that would be good for us and the planet anyway. If MMCC turns out to be a myth, no harm has been done.

People don't have to be convinced by the science in order to support action against MMCC.

And we should remember to talk about the many other aspects of sustainability, all of which make it necessary for us to reduce our exploitation of the planet.

ModernityBlog said...

Appalling, the Beeb has lost all editorial common sense when it comes to the BNP.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Quite agree, Jim. Up at City Hall a couple of us have been pondering - what do you do when you have to share a platform with the BNP?

Simon13 said...

I'm not sure what I think about this, I can really see the merits of both sides of the 'no platform' debate.

But just to play devil's advocate...

Wouldn't it have been better if Peter Cranie had wiped the floor with Griffin rather than the 'happless' Lib Dem guy not doing that well?

It's a shame that the beeb give people like Griffin airtime but when they've already taken the decision that they will wouldn't it be better to debate them?

What do you think of Caroline Lucas debating Roger Helmer in Total Politcs (

Jim Jepps said...

Thanks for the Total Politics link, interesting. I think it depends what she thought the debate was. Debating a Tory on climate change is fine - I'm all for debating different views, but she may not have known that she would up against someone who was such an out and out denier.

I do know she's refused to debate Munkton, again quite correctly I think, because she wasn't going to give his views legitimacy they just do not deserve.

Part of the tactic is to put pressure on the Beeb et al to host real debates on climate not these staged farces with anti-science loons. It certainly does work in the long run although you have to put up with LD's making your case for in the short term sometimes.

That's one of the reasons I really respect Peter for this decision because he is sacrificing something in order to stick to his principles.

That does not mean we shouldn't re-assess no platform but in these particular examples I'm convinced these were the right decisions.