Guest essay by Eric Worrall
“He’s making us all look like idiots” – are greens losing their grip in the EU? Greens are in shock that MEP Stuart Agnew of the climate skeptic United Kingdom Independence Party was selected to write a key European Union Parliament climate report.
Ukip MEP sparks outrage with report denying human role in climate change
Report blames climate change on cosmic ray fluctuations and sunspot activity, drawing derision from climate scientists
A European parliament report that blames climate change on cosmic ray fluctuations, sunspots and planetary gravitational pulls, is so hackneyed and ill-informed it would “make the dinosaurs blush,” climate scientists say.
The non-binding opinion written by Ukip MEP, John Stuart Agnew, has shocked EU lawmakers for its dismissal of climate science – and the support he received to write it from mainstream rightwing and liberal political blocs.
Green MEP Molly Scott Cato said their choice of Agnew, a Norfolk farmer, as parliamentary rapporteur by the agriculture committee, was a “truly scandalous” fiasco that illustrated a growing populist threat. A rapporteur is elected to shepherd EU proposals through the European parliament and, after negotiations with the European commission and EU states, into law.
It deletes the European commission’s proposals for funds to be spent on clean energy infrastructure, references to climate mitigation and obligations under the Paris agreement.
Agnew has long campaigned against what he terms “the global warming scam”. He has also drawn attention for claiming thousands of pounds in CAP payments for his Norfolk farm every month, according to his members’ declaration.
He told the Guardian that “I threw my hat in the ring to do this [report] fully expecting to be thrown out of court,” but that he then received wide support, “to my genuine astonishment”.
A spokesman for the European People’s Party said their backing for Agnew was due to bidding procedures and not an endorsement of his climate politics.
Click here to see a draft copy of the report. (if anyone can find a more up to date version please post in comments).
The following is a video of UKIP’s Stuart Agnew discussing his report in the European Parliament;
Agnew, who is a farmer by trade, was once a climate advocate. According to Agnew, for fifteen years he took the advice of the nearby University of East Anglia on what crops to plant, and most of those fifteen years experienced crop failures due to frosts which were no longer supposed to happen.
The Guardian’s recommended response to Agnew’s stir is the rather pathetic strategy of “refusing to debate”.