Daily Politics Soapbox: Johnny Ball on climate fears

Watch: Johnny Ball's film for Daily Politics, which is on BBC2 from 1130 GMT

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Each week, the Daily Politics offers a platform to a famous person to make a film with their personal views on a subject, before debating them in the studio. Here, former children's TV presenter Johnny Ball argues youngsters are being unnecessarily scared about the future of the planet.

How are your kids, your grandchildren, the next generation? Their potential is incredible.

In a few years' time, the world will be their oyster. So why are we filling their heads with doom and gloom?

I have a GCSE chemistry book where the first picture you come to is a boy wearing a mask to protect him from air pollution. And then the next 34 pages are just about pollutants in the atmosphere.

This is terrible way to introduce the subject of chemistry to young people.

Why, when everything about our lives is getting better by miles, are we giving our kids the impression that the world is becoming unravelled and may not be able to support life?

What is happening? What is this devastating threat to us all?

We've been told the temperature of the Earth has increased in the last century. In the 1960s, there was a dip, and now scientists are talking about a new ice age.

Johnny Ball archive pic Man of maths Johnny Ball says climate change figures just do not add up

We are told that in the last 50 years, since that dip, it has increased by 0.7C.

We know that every day the temperature changes by much more than that - up and down.

So why are we scaring our kids to death? Our modern technology is quite amazing.

Take communications for example. Everything, from mobile phones to iPads, gets better and better and cheaper.

Why? Because it's consumer-led and it is what people want. Not one decision in this industry is made by politicians, with their elbows being jogged by lobby groups.

Take a look at technology around energy policies that have been thrust upon us by politicians.

There are wind generators everywhere. And not one would be built without public subsidy.

Two new nuclear reactors on old sites, which produce no new CO2, will eclipse all the wind generators built and planned. But the wind generators are costing us a fortune.

I reckon they will end up costing every family half of their fuel bills and more, making every family and child in the country poorer by far. But to what effect?

All completely natural

All the efforts to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere are patently not working.

From my reading around the subject, only 4% of the CO2 that goes into the atmosphere is put there by man.

The rest is completely natural - the rain falls and washes it out again and so you have to have a carbon cycle to keep replenishing it. It's all completely natural.

In the GCSE Science Chemistry book, the Carbon Cycle gets a brief mention on page 125.

Every aspect of the technology we use to improve our lives and to lessen our impact on the world is improving commendably, and the future for our children is brighter than we can yet imagine.

And that is the message we should be delivering to every child.

Thank you for your comments, here is a selection:

"From my reading around the subject, only 4% of the CO2 that goes into the atmosphere is put there by man." - Johnny needs to do some reading around the subject, the above is complete piffle. All of the net increase in CO2 that has occurred in the past 150 or so years down to man. How are we to trust Johnny's opinion when he gets his scientific facts so badly wrong? Paul A

I absolutely agree with everything Johnny has said here and in addition to this, we are the only country in the world that has signed up to an Act (The climate change act) to ensure that unrealistic targets are met by 2050. I say, repeal the act and in one year alone this will recover 18 Billion sterling towards the deficit and help millions come out of fuel poverty. Nick

Well said, Johnny! Amazing that BBC has finally relented and allowed a dissenting voice to have its say in the climate debate. For far, far too long we have brow-beaten by the alarmists and rational, informed opinions such as Johnny Ball's have been silenced in a deliberate attempt to keep the agenda one-sided. Phil

Why is a reactionary science-denier like Johnny Ball allowed anywhere near children's education? Klaus

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