Science & Technology
A climate of fear
TV science celebrity Johnny Ball has used the Manchester Science Festival to attack UK environmentalists for ‘scaremongering’ about climate change which he says is putting kids off science at school. Is he right? What do you think?
Johnny, who went to Bolton Grammar School as a youngster, delivers his controversial views in his speech as part of the Manchester Science Festival (22 – 28 Oct).
Talking to BBC Radio Manchester, Johnny Ball said: “We are throwing science out of the window with our fears about climate change. I’m so anti-environmental teaching in education as it is not rational, it is fear-generated and uncertain. It just puts young people off going into science education.
“We have to stop scaremongering about climate change. We pollute less and are more energy efficient than we have ever been. People are running around in circles trying to prove that something is happening, and this alarmism very often does more harm than good.”
Johnny Ball said that he agreed that mankind was putting a huge strain on the earth’s resource. But he added: "Science can help us relieve that strain, by improving technology from the top and tempering our human impact through greater efficiency. In fact, that is precisely what is happening.
"In just 15 years, power station generators are 62% more efficient and cars are over 80% greener. Modern nuclear power, which is at this moment provides 30% of Europe’s energy and 60% of it’s Non CO2 energy, now squeezes eight times as much energy out of fuel than 20 years ago, yet UK environmentalists are anti-nuclear, which is totally illogical, if they wish to cut atmospheric CO2."
He added: "The science curriculum is too thin for kids to really get their feet wet in science and we need to find other ways to tackle that. Science festivals like this, with hands-on demonstrations, do such a great service."
Johnny Ball will speak about the history of science in the North West at the Museum of Science and Industry on 24 October at 11.30 and 14:30
last updated: 24/10/07
Have Your Say
Is the green lobby 'scaremongering'? Or are climate fears justified?