Lord Deben: Climate change science is 'akin to evidence linking cigarettes to cancer'

Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change warns some sceptics are being given too much coverage in the media

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The Independent Online

The Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change has blasted the media for expressing the views of climate change sceptics, arguing that the evidence for it is so strong it is akin to evidence suggesting smoking causes lung cancer.

Speaking to the Science and Technology Committee, Lord Deben warned some climate sceptics were being given too much coverage in the media, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

The former Conservative MP argued that certain aspects of climate change were worthy of debate, such as how destructive it can be to the planet. However, the science itself should be respected, he said.

“When you’re discussing the science of climate change, you really shouldn’t go off to Australia because you couldn’t find another person who had some scientific credentials to appear because you feel you’ve got to have that balance.

“I just think you’ve got to recognise that balance has to have some rationality within it.”

He did not name any climate sceptics who he felt were receiving too much coverage, asserting that his role should not involve "attacking individual people".

His comments came just a week after a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested extreme weather events could become more common as a consequence of a warming climate.

Rajenda Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC said his organisation’s latest report provided “unequivocal” evidence that since 1950 the atmosphere and oceans had warmed, and that scientists were now “95 per cent certain” that humans were the “dominant cause”.

Dr Pachauri warned that unless a price could be put on carbon emissions that was high enough to force power companies and manufacturers to reduce their fossil-fuel use, avoiding hugely damaging temperature increases would be difficult.