By Professor Joyce Tait
Caroline Lucas, MP and Leader of the Green Party, took part in Friday's Any Questions on BBC Radio 4 (Listen here). In her response to a
question on whether climate change is man-made - in the context of the IPCC report - she seemed to have rediscovered a faith in science as a basis for policy decision making.
A few choice soundbites:
"This is a rigorous, robust piece of research, compelling"
"We can now put aside the question of whether the science is right ...98% of scientists say that it is ...We should get on and start talking about what we're going to do about it"
"It is a concern that even as the science becomes more certain, the public opinion is more confused. That is something we absolutely have to address head-on"
"I was quite shocked...At the 1 o'clock news ...A large amount of time was given over to someone who was bringing the science into doubt."
"We shouldn't only talk in terms of uncertainty but also talk in terms of risk - when you say the word uncertain people think in terms of ignorant..."
Many of us have been frustrated by the Green Party’s steadfast rejection of scientific evidence of safety and efficacy of GM crops, using the same tactics Caroline Lucas is now condemning. So should we expect to see a U-turn, with the Green Party calling for us to address head-on the need to benefit from growing GM crops in Europe, and condemning those who seek to confuse public opinion in the face of robust and compelling science?
Let's not hold our collective breath. When it suites their ideology we can still expect to see green politics engaging in what another MP Ed Davey called the 'corruption of public understanding of science for political ends'.