With the appointment of Owen Paterson as Secretary of State for DEFRA, the Tories demonstrate that far from being the “Greenest Government Ever”, they are blazing their path of pure disdain for Environmental protection.
Owen Paterson, MP for North Shropshire, is one of the last relics in the denial game, a climate sceptic. Witness the recent press release by DEFRA as published in Damian Carrington’s blog for the Guardian on 7 September.
“Defra is responsible for a range of issues affecting the environment and the rural economy. One of these issues is the impact of climate change and the Secretary of State is committed to exploring and developing the response required by Government, business and communities.”
As if it still needs to be proven that we have experienced a rise in global temperature as the result of our greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project, conducted by Professor Muller, through examination of 1.6 billion termperature records from 36,000 weather stations around the world, dating back to 1753, the Earth’s temperature has risen .9°C since 1950 due to human activity. The IPCC has also determined irrefutably that there has been a global rise in the Earth’s temperature due to the anthropogenic release of greenhouse gases. This statement from DEFRA is a frightening indication of what is yet to come in UK environment policy.
Apparently Environment secretary Paterson is also in favour of fracking, an extreme form of shale gas extraction that emits large amounts of methane into the air by flaring. Methane has eight times the greenhouse gas concentration of carbon dioxide. No wonder he conveniently choses to ignore the science for the sake of pursuing his purely slash and burn environmental tactics. According to the Tyndall Centre, shale gas extraction pollutes the water table. Fracking is a technique that injects chemicals into the ground and creates fissures in the earth through high pressure drilling.His appointment casts a black cloud over environmental protection.