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18th Sep, 2021

Controversial climate tweet prompts concerns over deputy leader role

Catherine Thompson 24th Aug, 2018 Updated: 28th Aug, 2018

CONTROVERSIAL tweets about global warming from a Warwickshire council chief over have prompted a heated response.

Warwickshire County Council deputy leader Peter Butlin’s belief that climate change is not ‘man made’ has been questioned by the county’s green party leader Jonathan Chilvers who fears his view could have an impact on future decision making.

A tweet from a blogging climate change sceptic said older people were less likely to believe in the ‘global warming scam’ unlike the younger generation who were ‘brainwashed’ in school, to which Coun Butlin replied older people who did believe in global warming did not have the excuse of being ‘young and misguided’.

And in reply to criticism from Warwickshire residents Coun Butlin wrote: “I have yet to see real evidence that man’s CO2 emissions are a climate driver.

“As for does climate change exist? Of course it does, the climate has always changed. There is evidence going back thousands of years to support that.”

Coun Chilvers said his council colleague’s views were a concern since, as the county’s finance portfolio holder he ‘held the purse strings’, and the council had a policy to reduce CO2 emissions and responsibility for transport projects and flooding.

He added: ““Councils need to play an increasingly important role if we are to adapt to climate change especially on issues like flooding. Yet Warwickshire council has a deputy leader who doesn’t think it exists and seems to think climate scientists are making it up to keep their jobs.

“We need our leaders to make good evidence based decisions for the future not spread half baked theories from a dark corner of the internet.”

Coun Butlin was reluctant to comment but was adamant his beliefs did not impact on council decisions.

He said: “It’s my personal view and nothing to do with my role at the council.

“In my role as councillor I’ve championed the use of electric cars, I’ve championed recycling, and helped on a lot of environmental issues.”

Council leader Izzi Seccombe told the BBC while she did not agree with her deputy’s views, all councillors were entitled to their opinions and it was ‘the nature of politics’.

The beliefs echo those of President Donald Trump who declared global-warming as ‘fake news’ and last year pulled the US out the Paris agreement – which aims to reduce greenhouse emission.

Around three per cent of scientists believe humans are not to blame for global warming, instead believing it is caused by natural forces.

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