UKIP pledges to ban climate change lessons in schools
16 Jan 2014
Derek Clark MEP (Image: Euro Realist Newsletter)

Derek Clark MEP (Image: Euro Realist Newsletter/Wikimedia Commons)

The UK Independence Party has promised it will ban the teaching of climate change in schools, if elected in May next year.

The party’s 2010 manifesto included a pledge to ban Al Gore’s Oscar-winning global warming documentary  An Inconvenient Truth from schools.

But this week UKIP Education spokesman MEP Derek Clark has said the party will go even further. Clark told Index on Censorship:

We will still ban Al Gore’s video for use in schools if I’ve got anything to do with it. I will not have much opposition within the party. It is, of course, not just this video which needs banning; all teaching of global warming being caused in any way by carbon dioxide emissions must also be banned. It just is not happening.”

Dr Nick Eyre, Jackson Senior Research Fellow in Energy at the ECI and Oriel College Oxford and Co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre, said of the proposal: “It is anti-scientific nonsense – as well as a worryingly repressive approach to education. The very strong link between climate change and anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions is overwhelmingly accepted by the global scientific community, and has been for at least 25 years.”

A recent IPCC report shows that scientists believe with 95% certainty that humans are the “dominant cause” of global warming. A 2013 study by UK Energy Research Centre, however, showed that 46% believe that climate change is ‘partly caused by human activity’, 22% believe that climate change is ‘mainly caused by human activity’ and another 6% believe that climate change is ‘entirely caused by human activity’. In total 74% of those surveyed believed that human activity is responsible for climate change.

This article was posted on 15 Jan 2014 at

An earlier version of this article stated: “95% of scientists believe that humans are the ‘dominate cause’ of global warming.” It has been edited to: “scientists’ believe with 95% certainty that humans are the ‘dominate cause’ of global warming.

This article was amended to include the total number of people in the UK Energy Research Centre study who believe that human activity is responsible for climate change.

22 responses to “UKIP pledges to ban climate change lessons in schools”

  1. Ian Rivlin says:

    It matters not whether 1% or 100% of “scientists” express an opinion. All that matters are the measurements and facts.
    Fact 1) The IPCC foretold high levels of warming in 1997. This has proved incorrect
    Fact 2) The lack of warming (for 17 years) has been explained as heat going into the deep ocean. – This is pure speculation. If it’s that obvious, how come they only suggested this after the projected warming didn’t materialise.
    Fact 3) It is glaringly obvious that if warming occurs the AGW brigade will shout out “We told you so!” – If warming doesn’t occur, another fudge factor will be introduced to explain the anomaly. This will be accepted with absolute equanimity by gullible AGW Apostle drones. (“Useful Idiots” as incorrectly ascribed to Lenin’s description of delusional progressive intellectuals, sympathetic to Russian communism.

  2. Erik says:

    How can those who believe in the IPCC explain the data from MetOffice that the global temperature was stable from 1997 to 2013, while at the same time the IPCC model predicted up to one degree C increase? During the same period, carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel went up by 40%. How come the IPCC has not reflected on this total miss?

    • Julia says:

      Have you seen the IPCC graphs? Temperature rise goes exactly alongside carbon emissions. Since 1950 it has rocketed above the parameters that have contained it for thousands of years. The time lag of its effects means we have not really experienced them yet, but these rise ex potentially and if we don’t stop using fossil fuels in today’s amounts we will have no chance of surviving on this planet! I have studied this at Pennsylvania Uni and 98%of scientific evidence support it is disastrous for our children to ignore?
      Anyway when we have the technology to creat clean, sustainable energy why pollute this earth any more? Unless you have shares in oil and gas of course?

      • Thostids says:

        The word is “exponential”.
        Your suggestion that there is a “time-lag” between CO2 level and temperature rise is not what was previously alleged. You are simply saying “you’re all doomed….unless you do what we say”.
        Anyway, have you made up your mind which gas you’re blaming? It used to be Methane; it’ll be the death of us, all those cows farting. Or shall we humans have to be rated for CO2 production? Like cars?
        Your call for nice clean power is here already. It’s called Nuclear.

    • Kevin MacDonald says:

      How can those who believe in the IPCC explain the data from MetOffice that the global temperature was stable from 1997 to 2013

      It wasn’t stable, the rate of warming in surface temperatures slowed, per Cowtan and Way, to 0.113°C per decade and the reasons for this are increasingly well understood; decreases in solar activity, increases in anthropogenic aerosol emissions and unusually strong trade winds forcing much of the heat absorbed by the Pacific into the deep rather than it being radiated back into the atmosphere. These are short term effects, for example; 2014 is looking increasingly likely to be a strong El Nino year and this would see much of the heat stored in the Pacific returned to the atmosphere.

      while at the same time the IPCC model predicted up to one degree C increase?

      The IPCC didn’t make any predictions for temperature rises by 2013, models lack the temporal precision for that. They did predict 0.7°C to 1.5°C by 2030 which, if we assume a linear rise (and there’s no reason we should, I only do so for simplicity), would translate to a range of 0.4°C and 0.85°C by the end of 2013. Again per Cowtan and Way, 2013 was 0.44°C; within range.

  3. Richard says:

    Good, I’m glad UKIP have announced this policy. If they are so unbelievably ignorant about climate change then it’s safe to assume they are equally ignorant about all their other policies. I assume that this chap can provide evidence to back up his opinion? What next? Shall we have an equally stupid policy announcement about evolution? Gravity? Flat earth?

    I would like to suggest that all politicians must pass an exam about the scientific method before they ever get a sniff of power then perhaps they might stop making such galatically stupid comments.

  4. Tom Wilde says:

    As a long time UKIP supporter I find Derek Clarks’ reported remarks absolutely appalling. Certainly there are two sides to the climate change debate; I am in favour of both sides being mentioned in science classes. I find it hard to believe that UKIP actually wants to ban a widely-supported scientific theory from being taught. I would be most grateful if the authors of this article could post a reference to Derek Clark’s comments. I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else on the internet and would appreciate knowing where and when he made this statement. Thanks!

  5. R James says:

    Very sensible. Climate change can be taught if it’s done honestly. AGW can be taught as an unsubstantiated theory only. Get rid of the alarmist lies and nonsense, and tell it like it is. No more of the “97% of scientists….” rubbish (which we now know to be false). Just stick to the facts.

    Paul, your point about the IPCC is very valid. Even it’s statement about 95% confidence that humans etc had no statistical validity. It was a figure guessed at by politicians and used is a statistical context – gross abuse of its position. The IPCC should be disbanded for such irresponsible behavour. It’s full of this kind if practice – that’s why so many scientists will have no more to do with it.

    • Paul says:

      “Even it’s statement about 95% confidence that humans etc had no statistical validity”

      Strawman alert. It isn’t a statistical statement but is intended to remove ambiguity. Put another way it is extremely unlikely humans are not the dominant cause of climate change – that’s the horse you are backing. Glad you mention the 97% figure as that is a poll of scientists and is only false in the fantasy world of science deniers.

      • R James says:

        The 97% quoted normally comes from a student’s MSc thesis. The Doran Survey just refers to this thesis. Out of 10,256 enquiries, 3,146 responded. Break this down to 75 out of 77 who were considered experts, and we get the 97%. 96% of those who responded were from the North America. The two significant questions asked were

        1. “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?” – Of course the expected answer is “increased”, as we came out of the Little Ice Age. (Only 90% answered this way)

        2. “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures”? – most scientists accept a contribution to warming, and many would call it significant (in statistical terms, this just means it can be detected, independent of whether it’s a problem or not. This scored 82%.

        This 82% wasn’t enough to be convincing, so they selected a subset of respondents, where 75 out of 77 gave the answer they wanted, and there’s the magical 97% (why did they sent this survey to thousands of scientists, if they intended to ignore their replies if they weren’t what they wanted?)

        So tell me, Paul, is this the sort of research that you’re comfortable with?

        Are seriously telling me that you aren’t aware of the scientists that have abandoned the IPCC, and publically spoken out about its abuse of science? You can start with

        • Dave says:

          Nope, the 97% comes from many independent sources, one of which is here:

          This one is a peer-reviewed meta-study of the abstracts of 12,000 peer-reviewed studies on climate change. Of the studies that take a position on global warming, 97% said that humans are the cause.

          This is the sort of research I’m comfortable with.

          All of the other studies I have seen that have been conducted with similar levels of rigour have all determined the same result: 97% of climate scientists support the fact that humans are the dominant cause of climate change. The levels of support are significantly lower the less climate-science expertise the individual has but even amongst the general public the support is still in the majority.

          With regards to your WND story, you should read this:

          Your 31,000 scientists is approximately 0.3 per cent of the group they were drawn from.

    • Paul says:

      by the way, I forgot to point out that you are taking Derek Clark’s extremist views one step further by gagging the IPCC and therefore scientists by saying “IPCC should be disbanded”.

      Your statement “many scientists will have no more to do with it (the IPCC)” is a fabrication of course.

      • R James says:

        You surely cant be serious. There’s a bunch of scientists who have abandoned the IPCC, and gone public on its abuse of scientific process. Didn’t I previously refer you to this site for details? More here

        I’m surprised that you use skeptical science as your information source. It’s a blog site run by John Cook, who has been caught out fabricating quotes. The purpose of this site is to attack those who question the hypothesis of anthropogenic warming, rather than present a balanced view. It’s best to find less biased references.

        • Dave says:

          I think the second half of this comment was directed at me as I am the one who referenced Skeptical Science, not Paul.

          Calling what John did “fabricating quotes” is misleading. What he did was paraphrase a quote and leave the quote marks around the paraphrasing. When it was pointed out to him, he removed the quote marks where it was possible to do so.

          John Cook (and the others who contribute to Skeptical Science) are actual climate scientists, unlike Marc Morano. They have data and peer-reviewed papers to back up their claims. You don’t have to take them at their word, you can verify everything with other climate scientists. (At least, 97% of them.) It’s interesting that you haven’t tried to claim that any of the science is misleading or fabricated, just a couple of quotes from deniers, although I’m sure you will.

          When it comes to twisting the truth, saying that Dr. Kiminori Itoh or Dr Vincent Gray “will have no more to do with it (the IPCC)” is misleading. They have just as much to do with it today as they ever did. They both requested draft copies of upcoming reports and provided critiques of them. Anyone can do this. No credentials are required. They will probably do so again in the future. They were not asked to do this by the IPCC and they did not work for the IPCC. Some of the scientists listed on that page actually did work for the IPCC and one of them is actually a climate scientist, but most of them did not and are not.

          The WND writes that evolution doesn’t happen, that Obama isn’t American, that Obama isn’t the president, that prayer is effective and that vaccinations are bad. I’ll leave the reader to judge how that affects the reliability of their climate change stories.

          And back on the topic of this story (censorship), they are known to delete comments they don’t agree with.

  6. Addison says:

    Way to go Paul, splitting semantic hairs on the deck of the Titanic!

    • Paul says:

      As Les Rose says science isn’t conducted by poll but by evidence and that is why it is important people understand what the IPCC is about – scientific assessment.

  7. Les Rose says:

    Good point Paul. What matters is evidence. The opinions of scientists count for nothing, all that matters is the knowledge they have uncovered. UKIP of course would not recognise evidence if it bit them on the bottom. Not that they differ much from most politicians of course.

  8. Green investments and green jobs are stupid socialistic ideas that deviate resources from more profitable investments and more productive jobs. Climate change is heliogenic, not anthropogenic! Basil Venitis, [email protected],, @Venitis

    The Roman Catholic Church is selling indulgences, the Orthodox Church is selling absolution certificates (συγχωροχάρτια – synchorochartia), and the European Commission is selling pollution allowances!

    Climate scare is the hottest hoax on Earth! People tend to confuse environment protection with climate control. We have to take care of our rivers, lakes, seas, forests, and air. But humans cannot control the climate. Rabblerousers have been for a long time searching for a simple and sufficiently threatening catastrophe that could justify the implementation of kleptocratic ambitions. After having tried various alternative ideas, they came up with the idea of dangerous, man-made global warming. This concept was formulated despite the absence of reliable data.

    A freakish commercial of Greenpeace shows an angry child accusing all adults of destroying his future with global warming! Thousands of drones benefit directly from the global warming scare, at the expense of the ordinary consumer. Environmental organizations globally, such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Defense Fund, have raked in billions of dollars. Government subsidies for useless mitigation schemes are skyrocketing. Emission trading programs are at two hundred billion euros a year level, with large fees paid to brokers, those who operate the scams, and kleptocrats. Many people have discovered they can benefit from climate scares and have formed an entrenched alliance with mafiosi and kleptocrats.

  9. Paul says:

    “A recent IPCC report shows that 95 per cent of scientists believe that humans are the ‘dominant cause’ of global warming.”

    That is poorly worded. The IPCC is not a poll of scientists but an assessment of the latest scietific research. The IPCC have 95 per cent confidence that humans are the ‘dominant cause’ of global warming.

    • R James says:

      The IPCC is more specifically an assessment of research that supports its cause.It has been known to reject research that it doesn’t like, for reasons such as it was too late to include. It’s quite selective. The 95% it refers to has no statistical basis. It’s an abuse of statistical terminology – not unusual when summaries are written by politicians instead of scientists.

      • Mishka says:

        Stop derailing the argument. The point here is the fact that the mouthbreathing UKIP want to ban something they don’t personally agree with.
        Not unsual when UKIP bases its policies on personal opinion rather than facts.