An audience with Sir David King
1st February, 2007
Sir David King is credited with bringing climate change to serious political attention. But he is also a campaign of GM crops. How does that square?
I will tell you what the outcomes will be, and I will tell George Monbiot as well, who doesn’t understand half of it
Sir David King has been Chief Scientific Adviser to the British Government since 2000. In 2002 he changed the world when he declared ‘climate change is a greater threat to civilisation than terrorism’. At a stroke, the threat of climate change started to be taken seriously by all but President George Bush. Latterly he played a substantive role in the writing of the Stern Review on The Economic Impact of Climate Change, which has debunked the economic argument against taking action, to avert what Sir David now describes as potential climate catastrophe.
So Sir David is a man who undoubtedly takes climate change seriously and is keeping it high on the political agenda, at home and abroad. But on the face of it there are inherent contradictions in Sir David’s role. How does fact-based science and politics mix, and how does wealth creation and science mix? These potential conflicts were highlighted late last year when the government gave the go-ahead for trials of genetically modified potato crops in the UK. Had the science, wealth creation possibilities or politics – or a combination of the three – led to the decision that flies in the face of public opposition?
Similarly, aiming for...
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