Ealing Conservative candidate questions climate change

The threat to the UK economy isn’t from tackling climate change – it’s from climate change itself


Ealing Central and Acton was a new constituency when Conservative Angie Bray won it with a slim majority of 3,716 in 2010. This year the race looks even closer, and that’s why the hall was absolutely packed when Bray turned up to a hustings earlier in the campaign.

I know Angie from her time as an Assembly member and my time as deputy mayor. As the Conservative group’s spokesperson on the congestion charge, Bray fought tooth and nail against our measure to reduce the number of cars idling in traffic in central London, even though it resulted in a 16 per cent reduction in CO2 upon implementation. She has continued this tack in parliament, even voting against plans to require private sector landlords to make their rented properties more energy efficient.

So I shouldn’t have been so surprised by what Angie said at the hustings.

Asked about the threat posed by climate change, Bray said that nobody could really predict the impact because ‘the science keeps changing’. That sounds like climate change denial to me.

What she was willing to predict, however, was that being a global leader on climate change would actually threaten the UK economy.

“It’s really important,” Bray said, “that we don’t go out so far ahead of the others – as some urge us to do – that we actually end up less competitive.”

She also warned that tackling climate mean means “less money made by the Treasury, less money to spend on the things we want public money spent on.”

Bray has it backwards. Expanding green industries, such as the secondary materials economy, could potentially create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the UK. Adaptation to climate change itself presents new business opportunities as well.

Bray says that being a leader poses a threat to the economy, but actually being a global leader in green industries offers the best chance for their success. The First Mover advantage of going ‘so far ahead of the others’ offers a real opportunity for the UK.

The threat to the UK economy isn’t from tackling climate change – it’s from climate change itself. There is a huge cost to inaction. Research from Nicholas Stern at the LSE, for instance, suggests that a global temperature rise of 18 degrees (from pre-industrial levels) would lead to a halving of global GDP.

Unfortunately, Bray can’t see the opportunity. In fact, she only sees the threat – just not the right one.

In contrast, Labour’s candidate Dr. Rupa Huq is no stranger to the science. She offers a common sense approach to addressing the important issues, including climate change. That’s why I hope she is able to overturn that slim majority tomorrow.

Nicky Gavron is a member of the London Assembly and a former deputy mayor of London

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26 Responses to “Ealing Conservative candidate questions climate change”

  1. damon

    We can’t allow any deniers to have a view can we?
    Everyone has to sing from the same hymn sheet or else.

    ”Are you now or have you ever been a climate contrarian?”

  2. Terry dyerden

    I am labour and also a sceptic with part PhD in sustainability

  3. Cole

    Oh the poor deniers are being persecuted. Usual right wing victimhood complex.

    Of course this is now a settled issue, except amongst a minority of loons. Scientists – the people who actually know about this stuff – are almost unanimous on the subject.

  4. Gerschwin

    ‘Nicholas Stern at the LSE, for instance, suggests that a global temperature rise of 18 degrees (from pre-industrial levels) would lead to a halving of global GDP.’ No kidding. And let me guess, a global rise of 100 degrees means we’ll all dieeeee!!! Doesn’t mean any of it will actually happen. Which of course it won’t because climate change is a complete load of cobblers made up by the usual anti-capitalist losers who think they’ve found something with which to attack multinationals. You haven’t and the likes of Shell, BP etc will always win.

  5. Gerschwin

    It’s not remotely a settled issue. You heard of China? India? USA? It’s only settled among bien pensant lefties with soft social studies degrees from former Polytechnics who long ago surrendered the ability to self-think. People…like you!

  6. steroflex

    Personally I wish I was a real scientist like patchy Pachauri (Degree in Railway Science) or the people in UEA who are real climatologists who know how to send e mails, or the historical meteorologist who invented the hockey stick which forgot to mention the mediaeval warm period or Al Gore who told a little fibbie about the ice in the Arctic following the sun’s little burps or the fact that windmills don’t go round when the wind doesn’t turn them or the fact that solar thingies do not work when the sun doesn’t shine in winter or at night.
    But I am just an ignorant person who has to read it up on Watts up with that.
    But – hey – he is a denier too!
    PS Already business is flooding out of Europe with the high electricity prices. Do get some candles for when you put the lights out. The Big Oil will no doubt get the blame. Again.

  7. steroflex

    Terry – hang you head in shame!

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    So you’re ignorant and read paid propaganda. Right.

  9. Leon Wolfeson

    That evil, evil science.

  10. Leon Wolfeson

    Oh right, things won’t happen because you don’t believe in them.

    Shell and BP don’t agree, and their investments show that.

    Thanks, though, anti-capitalist loser.

  11. Leon Wolfeson

    You don’t like the science, right, so you deny it, as you claim that only by ignoring science you can think, as you engage in PC bigotry against most of the population.

  12. Leon Wolfeson

    Which paper would you cite?

    (There is, of course,a VERY small community of actual *sceptics*…)

  13. Leon Wolfeson

    Moreso than on things like, oh, evolution in fact.

    (We’re talking 97% vs 98%, mind you)

  14. Terence Cain

    I’m a Labour supporter too, and I think that CO2 has approximately zero effect on temperature. We’re not all Tory reactionaries, though socialists are in a definite minority WRT this.

  15. damon

    Its not about science, it’s how we deal with the inevitable climate change.
    Hot places might have to be abandoned, but maybe we could move people to Antarctica.

  16. JohnRich

    Good to see that some Tories have some good old common sense and not getting dragged into the politically correct net that the left try to construct around pseudo-science issues like so-called ‘climate change’.

  17. sarntcrip

    TORIES STILL IN POCKETS OF PETRO CHEM LOBBYignoring the evidence of well n excess of 99% of climate scientists same old regressive little englander childishness

  18. sarntcrip

    they would wouldn’t they

  19. Leon Wolfeson

    Oh, a Tory propaganda bot. Translating…

    “Good to see that some Tories are in the pockets of the coal and oil industry, and not getting dragged into using evidence and science, rather being politically correct and blaming the left, constructing their pseudo-science rather than deal with real science like the very real AGCC,”

  20. Leon Wolfeson

    So you’re blindly anti-science, but support a party which doesn’t share your views. And then you claim to be a socialist? Heh.

  21. Leon Wolfeson

    So… science doesn’t matter to you. You’ll just go ahead and cause the climate change, and the poor can pay for it.

    And you’ll move people to a frozen wasteland, never mind the wars as people migrate from hot places. That’s….either naive or silly.

  22. Eddy Boyband

    Man bear pig will kill us all……….we are doomed……………………..

  23. damon

    Silly? Me? You cannot be serious.

  24. Leon Wolfeson

    Oh no, you diktat my whims, great White Christian Male.

    Ooooor you could just read what I said.

  25. Cole

    A bit thick, aren’t you?

  26. Terence Cain

    No. I’m not anti-science.
    There are certainly people in the Labour Party who do share my views, but I don’t suppose for one minute that they’d share them with an aggressive conformity policeman such as yourself.

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