Reform UK Party taken apart over inaccurate and bizarre climate science denial video

"Man catastrophically fails GCSE biology”

The leader of Nigel Farage’s Reform UK Party has been rinsed over a video he posted on X in which he attempts to “challenge the climate change nonsense” by making a scientifically false claim which viewers have argued a primary school pupil could debunk.

In what has been described as a bizarre and “eye-watering stupid” 41 second climate denial rant, leader of the right-wing populist political party, Richard Tice, attempts to claim that C02 is “plant food” and therefore “not a problem”.

 “C02, people make out that it’s some sort of poison,” says Tice in the video. “It’s not. It’s plant food. It’s responsible for photosynthesis, without which we get no plants, no food, we all die. You’ve got to challenge the mainstream narrative on this.”

Scientists have proven how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increases by 50% due to human activities in less than 200 years, and that C02 in the atmosphere is responsible for warming the planet, therefore causing climate change.

Viewers were quick to add a bit of context in the community notes under the video on X, which read: “CO2 is not regarded as a toxic pollutant and this has never been a part of the scientific case for reducing our emissions. Although the proportion of atmospheric CO2 is small, its effect on climate is well understood and backed up by an overwhelming scientific consensus.”

Though Tice’s scientific illiteracy is also amusing, there is of course a huge danger in his spread of disinformation, as ‘Tice’s take’ on the climate attempts to legitimise further the continued drilling for new gas and oil.

This is particularly revealing when you look at the funders to Nigel Farage’s Reform Party, which received a total of £135,000 from climate science deniers and fossil fuel interests in 2023.

While all of Reform’s funders in 2023 were found to have oil and gas investments or ties to climate science denial, as revealed by the climate disinformation site DeSmog, helping to put Tice’s video into context.

As one X user wrote: “Richard Tice is a property developer with a degree in construction economics and quantity surveying …. the notion that he knows more about climate change than the overwhelming consensus of scientists and science is bunkum.”

Green Party politician, Tom Scott wrote on X: “Just to put Richard Tice’s eye-wateringly stupid climate science denial rant into context: *All* the funders of the Reform UK Party in 2023 have major oil & gas investments or ties to climate science denial.”

Or as one scientist responded: “Man catastrophically fails GCSE biology.”

In an attempt to delegitimise the importance of C02 in the atmosphere, Tice goes on to say in the video how the chemical compound makes up 0.04% of 1% in the atmosphere, which he then compared to “one limb” in Wembley Stadium full of 100,000 people.

Which a math biologist also debunks: “In this wild video, Richard Tice makes lots of scientifically unsupported claims. Without doubt my favourite is that 0.04% is like “one limb on one person in Wembley Stadium of 100,000 people” I’ve no idea where the “one limb” thing comes from, but 0.04% of 100,000 is 40.”

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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