Climate-change sceptic MEP wrong on threat to planet, says city expert
A UNIVERSITY of Derby academic has accused Roger Helmer of “displaying very little understanding of climate change” as the Euro MP launches a billboard campaign on the issue.
Mr Helmer has condemned what he calls “climate hysteria” – the belief that human activity is causing global warming.
He is to set billboards up around the country questioning the validity and expense of climate change policies.
Dr Richard Pope, university reader in climate change, said Mr Helmer was probably correct regarding the “chaos” surrounding current climate change policies and the possibility of spending money unwisely.
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But he said: “I disagree with his climate speak as it is riddled with misconceptions.
“Mr Helmer suggests that a 0.7 degree rise is a well-established, long-term natural climate cycle. This simply is not the case. It is the greatest and steepest increase at any point in the last 600,000 years and is related to human-induced greenhouse gases, particularly C02 .
“Mr Helmer appears to appears to have misunderstood clear trends emerging from data. Perhaps rather than flying off to the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mr Helmer would have better spent his time improving his knowledge and current understanding of recent climate trends.”
Dr Pope thinks that generally current climate change policy is disorganised and underpinned by too little understanding.
He said: “It reflects the uncertainties in projecting medium to long-term climate change for the remainder of this century.”
Conservative politician Mr Helmer has long fought against policies which tackle greenhouse gas emissions or impose “green taxes” which fund measures to fight climate change.
The East Midlands MEP has organised seminars in the European Parliament on the issue.
He has also attended conferences in the UK and the USA and published books, a booklet and a DVD on the subject, entitled Straight Talking on Climate Change.
In May, the Derby Telegraph kicked off its 10:10 campaign to get businesses, households, schools and individuals to reduce their impact on the planet by cutting carbon emissions.
Dr Pope said: “The way forward is to create networks of initiatives like the 10:10 campaign.
“The start is changing people’s attitudes. Then they can put pressure on governments to introduce legislation to properly address these issues.