Marr: I’m sick of people saying climate change isn't happening – just go outside today

18 July 2022, 18:06 | Updated: 18 July 2022, 18:41

Andrew Marr's powerful attack on those dismissing climate crisis

By Daisy Stephens

Andrew Marr has hit out at "pallid, shadowy old businessmen and lazy, ignorant hacks and sleazy lobbyists" who say climate change is not real, challenging them to go outside now as the UK faces a blistering heatwave.

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"As this contest to be the next prime minister goes on, there must be lots of you wishing you could intervene – say something - heckle - break into their bubble and force them to listen," Andrew said.

"Well, today, with awesome timing, the planet did just that, heckling the Tory party by sending temperatures in London up to an unbearable 37 degrees, just as their leadership hustings on climate change were taking place.

"Of course, given that the various candidates had to say they were jolly concerned, they were very keen on hitting Britain's net zero emission target by 2050 and all the rest of it.

"But - do we believe them? There are powerful and influential forces who want to water down Britain's commitments, ditch green levies, extend deadlines, widen loopholes.

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"Michael Hintze, a billionaire Australian donor who backs the Global Warming Policy Foundation, an organisation campaigning against net zero, has given money both to Kemi Badenoch and to Penny Mordaunt.

"In her opening speech to be Tory leader, Badenoch said the net zero targets had been 'set up with no thought to the industries in the poorest parts of the country', and that would 'displace emissions to other countries', what she called 'unilateral economic disarmament'.

"She didn’t mean it as a compliment.

"Penny Mordaunt, who has also taken money from Terence Mordaunt of the same anti-net zero foundation - is he a relative? - and an endorsement from the motoring lobbyist Howard Cox, was criticised by the House of Lords committee for watering down carbon emission targets in her trade deal with Australia, getting rid of key language about climate policy in it and striking a deal which would lead to more deforestation.

"Now, I'm a tolerant and gentle person.

"But climate change is happening - and it's making me hot under the collar.

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"More extreme weather is all around us. You can feel it on the street, on the side of your cheek right now.

"And in the winter, there will be - surprise, surprise - more flooding and wilder storms.

"This, like the loss of polar ice, underwater reefs, habitats and innumerable beautiful, useful species which cannot be replaced, is agreed to be happening by all the most respected scientific institutions in the world.

"No one can say they haven't been warned. And I for one have had enough of being told by pallid, shadowy old businessmen and lazy, ignorant hacks and sleazy lobbyists - who aren't real scientists, any of them - that the science is wrong, and that what is happening, isn’t happening - enough.

"And if this poison is being injected into the already-undemocratic game of choosing a new prime minister, then it needs to be called out, and flushed out - right now.

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"We need real leaders in this country, who can tell us the truth clearly and then help us to do what needs to be done.

"The world’s climate is just too important to be negotiated about behind the scenes.

"And if you don't believe me go outside, why don’t you, and have a brisk walk right now."

Andrew Marr details why you should care about Tory leadership contest

In his opening monologue earlier in his show, Andrew said: "On a broiling hot day the fight to be Britain's next prime minister descended into complicated, frantic and devious haggling between the rival camps.

"In the Commons Boris Johnson gave a final, rumbustious and entirely unapologetic defence of his record.

"Behind the scenes he's going everything he can to stop Rishi Sunak, his former chancellor, winning the race.

"But who can stop Rishi?

"Me, says Liz. Me, says Penny. Me, says Kemi.

"And their supporters and their detractors trade the votes of MPs as if they’re just furniture on casters to be rolled around Westminster, and they trade horrible stories which I can't tell you this evening, apart from anything else, because they are mostly defamatory.

"And… so what?

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"Should you, in this intolerable heat, pay any attention, at all, to the nonsense?

"Good question, but the answer is, you should, because out of this strange ruck of people will emerge a new leader of the country.

"And that person will determine, among other things, how seriously we in Britain take the climate emergency we are all feeling in our homes and on the streets, this sweltering evening."