A polite British debate took place recently by email between two members of the House of Lords who disagree about the dangers of climate change. Indeed, they disagree about the IPCC report which both claim to rely on! Roger Pielke, Jr. publishes the correspondence of The Rt. Hon. Lord (Peter) Lilley and the Rt. Hon. Lord (Richard) Benyon.
Their exchange stemmed from a brief dispute in the House of Lords, including these statements:
Lord Lilley: “We should take into account the science, as prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC], which is summarised in table 12.12 of Working Group I. It says that, though of course the temperature is expected to rise [even] if we follow the most extreme scenarios . . . there is not expected to be, nor is there any sign so far of, any increase in droughts, floods, landslides or fires.”
Lord Benyon: “While I respect my noble friend in so many ways, I feel I will listen in this case to members of the Royal Society and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, because they are the guardians of knowledge on this.”
Says Pielke: “In this brief exchange, Lord Lilley and Lord Benyon are each citing the IPCC, but it is clear they are talking past each other.”
The lords carry the debate on in their emails, which are public. If the technical discussion is a bit hard-going, be sure to see Pielke’s link to his own comments this summer on the same working group paper: “What the IPCC Actually Says About Extreme Weather: I Promise, You’ll Be Utterly Shocked.”