Jeremy Clarkson walks back previous climate change dismissal as ‘a joke’

TV presenter has learned more about natural processes since working on ‘Clarkson’s Farm’

Nicole Vassell
Saturday 27 April 2024 13:59 BST
Clarkson's Farm season 3 trailer

Jeremy Clarkson has taken a u-turn on his previous comments disregarding climate change after seeing its effects on farm life.

The former Top Gear host runs a 1000-acre site named Diddly Squat in the Cotswolds – a project documented in the Prime Video series, Clarkson’s Farm.

Though Clarkson, 64, has owned the site since 2008, he only began managing it in 2019 after the farmer who previously maintained the land retired.

In a new interview with The Guardian, the Grand Tour star enthusiastically discussed some of the natural processes that affect farming, such as changing levels of rain and snowfall.

Clarkson has previously been criticised for dismissing climate change concerns. In 2022, he inferred that global warming had ended after some days of unusually hot weather, which resulted in the death of his farm’s “big pig”.

When asked about previous remarks dismissing climate change, Clarkson stated that it was merely an element of his brash, car-loving TV persona.

“That was part of the caricature,” he told journalist Charlotte Edwardes. “It was a joke.”

After mocking the voice he used to use on Top Gear, Clarkson added: “Now you think, ‘Jesus Christ, my neighbours over there, they’ve had to replant everything because it’s all drowned.’ I can’t believe it’s not dominating the news agenda… Oh no, wait, it is.”

Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson (Getty Images)

Despite expressing more acceptance of the role of climate change on the natural world, the TV personality also noted that he’d refuse a role as a climate tsar if offered as he disagrees with politics as an effective measure to assist with environmental issues.

“I won’t drive a Tesla,” he said, referring to the electric vehicle. “I’ve got probably 10 cars, all with V8 engines. I don’t think electric cars solve anything. Science is going to be needed here, not politics. Science will solve it eventually. Always does.”

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Elsewhere in the interview, published on Saturday (27 April), Clarkson also offered a fresh take on the climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg (EPA)

In 2021, he faced backlash after writing in a column for The Sunday Times that he didn’t “get” the phenomenon that surrounded her, and claimed the then-18-year-old needed “a smacked bottom”.

When asked if he still “hated” Thunberg, Clarkson said: “Well, I’m not going to be lectured by someone who’s never been to school.”

Every summer, Clarkson tells A-level students on X/Twitter not to worry about their results. Although he maintained that school doesn’t matter, he continued: “You need to learn something. You could say, The School of Life, but she hasn’t been to that either.”

Season three of Clarkson’s Farm begins on Prime Video on 3 May.

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