An open letter to Owen Paterson, the new environment secretary

Saturday, September 8, 2012 - 15:30 in Earth & Climate

David Cameron reshuffled his cabinet last week, putting Owen Paterson in charge of the green brief. Here the Observer's science editor explains why he has grave misgivings – for the country and for the planet as a wholeDear OwenWelcome to your new job as secretary of state for the environment. I predict an interesting spell in office – for you certainly come with unusual credentials. You have virtually no record of making environmental pronouncements of any consequence or for showing concerns about ecological or climatic issues. You say you loathe wind turbines, a source of renewable energy on which Britain was supposed to be becoming reliant, while it is also said that you are a proponent of fracking, the extraction of shale gas, a process that would cause major increases in UK carbon emissions.For good measure you arrive at your new post with the strong endorsement of Britain's chief climate...

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