Graham Stringer MP is no Watermelon
In my recent posts, I examined Roger Scruton’s timely reminder that it is no accident that Conservatism and conservation sound so similar; Marcel Wissenburg’s attempt to claim that Liberalism is not the evil genius behind our environmental crisis; and Mary Mellor’s appeal for a reinvigorated form of Socialism to embrace sustainable development and environmental justice.
Along the way, yet again, I found myself sounding-off about the stupidity of James Delingpole’s argument that Environmentalism is Communism in disguise: If you think about it for even a millisecond, this is not only nonsensical; it is also an insult to anybody and everybody who is concerned about what we are doing to our environment but is not a socialist (i.e. including me).
However, Delingpole’s argument may hint at a more-likely reality, which is that all anti-Environmentalists may be Capitalists in disguise? It is certainly true that all the British MPs that are openly-sceptical about anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are right-wing Euro-sceptic members of the Conservative Party (and/or the equally right-wing Democratic Unionist Sammy Wilson). However, even this generalisation (to be examined tomorrow) is wrong because of the existence of anomalies like Graham Stringer…
Graham Stringer is a Labour MP who had a successful career as a chemist prior to entering Parliament in 1997. As the only notable sceptical Labour MP in Parliament, Stringer was also the only member of the Science and Technology Select Committee to distance himself from its decision to clear Professor Phil Jones (CRU) of any scientific malpractice.
Having interviewed chemist (and Labour MP) Graham Stringer, Bryan Appleyard wrote in the Sunday Times magazine (on 6 March 2011) that sceptical Labour MPs do exist; but they are unwilling to admit it publicly for fear of being seen as “politically incorrect” (i.e. claiming that scepticism has become socially unacceptable). Furthermore, Stringer appears to genuinely believe that the CRU/UEA scientists were guilty of trying to falsify or at least manipulate evidence to secure ongoing funding for their research and/or suit their supposed political agenda and/or [please add your preferred conspiracy theory here]…. However, as with everyone else convinced of this, Stringer has gone fishing for evidence of a conspiracy, wilfully taken the emails out of context, and is refusing to accept the perfectly reasonable explanation for their meaning (that is very clear when you put them back into that context). Anyone who argues otherwise is merely widening the scope of their preferred conspiracy theory (rather than accept reality).
Graham Stringer also features regularly on the website of the aptly-named Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). For example, in an article posted there in the wake of the 3 inquiries into the UEA/CRU email scandal, Stringer (who made it clear he felt all 3 inquiries were either a “white wash” or at very least “inadequate”) was quoted as concluding that:
“Vast amounts of money are going to be spent on climate change policy; it’s billions and eventually could be trillions. Knowing what is accurate and what is inaccurate is important. I view this as a Parliamentarian for one of the poorest constituencies in the country. Putting up the price of fuel for poor people on such a low level of evidence, hoping it will have the desired effect, is not acceptable. I need to know what’s going on…” (as quoted by the GWPF’s Andrew Orlowski).
From all of this, Stringer’s primary motivation appears to be an economic rationalist concern for his constituents (which would be entirely honourable if that was all it was). However, his entire thesis is also founded on belief that Climategate was an important revelation rather than a criminal act designed to sabotage international agreement to restrain our consumption of finite resources because of the affects that behaviour is having on the planet. In this respect, I will leave the final word to the SkepticalScience website:
“ The argument that Climategate reveals an international climate science conspiracy is not really a very skeptical one. It is skeptical in the weak sense of questioning authority, but it stops there. Unlike true skepticism, it doesn’t go on to objectively examine all the evidence and draw a conclusion based on that evidence. Instead, it cherry-picks suggestive emails, seeing everything as incontrovertible evidence of a conspiracy, and concludes all of mainstream climate science is guilty by association. This is not skepticism; this is conspiracy theory.” (‘What do the “Climategate” hacked CRU emails tell us?’)