Boris Johnson urged people not to write-off Piers Corbyn climate change conspiracy

COP26: Boris Johnson opens conference with reference to James Bond

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Mr Johnson addressed the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow on Monday, warning of the “tragedy” of humans’ impact on the planet. The Prime Minister spoke at the two-week UN conference, which is being hosted by the UK and involves delegates from some 200 countries. The Tory leader said: “The clock is ticking to the furious rhythm of hundreds of billions of pistons and turbines and furnaces and engines with which we are pumping carbon into the air faster and faster.”

He said the emissions are “quilting the earth in an invisible and suffocating blanket of CO2, raising the temperature of the planet with a speed and an abruptness that is entirely manmade”.

He added: “We know what the scientists tell us and we have learned not to ignore them.”

Yesterday Mr Johnson also hailed the first big deal agreed at COP26 to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.

Cutting down trees helps cause climate change because it reduces the amount of vegetation that can absorb CO2 – a warming greenhouse gas – from the atmosphere.

A total of 110 leaders made the commitment, which involves £14 billion in public and private funding.

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Despite Mr Johnson hailing the deal as “landmark”, unearthed comments show that the Prime Minister once appeared to be sceptical of the effect of CO2 on climate change.

In a column for the Daily Telegraph from 2013, while he was Mayor of London, Mr Johnson offered his backing to climate change sceptic Piers Corbyn.

He urged those in power to “take seriously” some of the claims put forward by alternative weather forecaster Mr Corbyn.

The activist, conspiracy theorist, ‘astrophysicist’ – and now anti-vaxxer – is the brother of former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Johnson wrote: “Now Piers has a very good record of forecasting the weather. He has been banging on about these cold winters.

“Like JMW Turner and the Aztecs he thinks we should be paying more attention to the Sun.

“According to Piers, global temperature depends not on concentrations of CO2 but on the mood of our celestial orb.”

Mr Johnson noted that Piers – who has been a regular speaker at climate change denial events – believed that Earth was cooling rather than warming.

He quoted the conspiracy theorist as saying: “There is every indication that we are at the beginning of a mini-ice age”.

The Prime Minister qualified his assertions that winters are getting colder by admitting his musings were mere “amateur meteorological observations”.

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However, Mr Johnson also said that Piers’ theories about a mini-ice age should be taken seriously.

He wrote: “Now I am not for a second saying that I am convinced Piers is right.

“And to all those scientists and environmentalists who will go wild with indignation on the publication of this article, I say, relax.

“I certainly support reducing CO2 by retrofitting homes and offices – not least since that reduces fuel bills. I want cleaner vehicles.

“I am speaking only as a layman who observes that there is plenty of snow in our winters these days, and who wonders whether it might be time for Government to start taking seriously the possibility — however remote — that Corbyn is right.

“If he is, that will have big implications for agriculture, tourism, transport, aviation policy and the economy as a whole.

“Of course, it still seems a bit nuts to talk of the encroachment of a mini-ice age.

“But it doesn’t seem as nuts as it did five years ago. I look at the snowy waste outside, and I have an open mind.”
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