Commentary

John Ashton speaks at the Met Office on climate change and politics

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John Ashton, one of E3G’s founding directors, recently gave a speech at the Met Office entitled “Climate Change and Politics: Surviving the Collision”.

In it he addressed scientists on the collision between the world of climate science and politics. Part of the speech is quoted below and the full speech is attached.

We have to make the prospect of moving rapidly to a low carbon growth model feel like an opportunity not a risk. It is a way out of the current economic crisis not a distraction from dealing with it or worse, an additional burden on an already overburdened economy: the view that still prevails among many economic policy establishments. We must make climate insecurity feel as pressing as it is in reality. We must build a political foundation for the transformation required.

Unless we do that, your community will remain as it is, if you will forgive me, wandering dazed at the side of the road, blinking in frustration, bewilderment and despair at the wreckage from that collision three and a half years ago, a collision between what you know we need to do and what the elites who lead us think is the limit of what we can do; the limit, as they see it, of the possible.

Just because this is now about politics not science does not mean for a moment that the voice of science is less important than it was before Copenhagen. How science uses its voice in the next phase will be critical.”

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