Radio 4 labelled “ignorant” and “irresponsible” for giving airtime to climate change sceptic Lord Lawson

The ex-Chancellor dismissed Al Gore's environmental concerns as "clap trap" on the BBC radio show – and Brian Cox is one of many angry about his inclusion in the show

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Radio 4 is facing criticism for airing an interview with Lord Nigel Lawson in which the former Chancellor took to the airwaves to deny former US Vice President Al Gore’s warnings about the effect of climate change.

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The past Conservative minister was heard on the Today show giving a response to environmentalist Gore, who was interviewed to publicise An Inconvenient Sequel, his film promoting environmental responsibility.

In the interest of editorial balance, climate change denier Lawson was then interviewed, taking the opportunity to dismiss Gore’s concerns with the environment as “clap trap” and accuse the filmmaker of diverting attention away from “other issues”. 

Lawson said: “I’ve heard what Al Gore has to say and it’s the same old clap trap. People often fail to change and he says he hasn’t changed, he’s like the man who goes around saying ‘the end of the world is nigh’ with a big placard.

“To begin with you might be a little bit scared but after ten years of him doing that and the end of the world isn’t nigh, then you think ‘maybe we should forget that and concentrate on real problems like North Korea’, like world poverty, like disease and all these other issues which we should be diverting our attention to.

“International terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, these are real problems. The world is not short of problems and to devote resources and energy to non-problems is really ridiculous.”

However, many were unhappy with Lawson’s inclusion in the argument, with figures such as Professor Brian Cox and Green Party politician Natalie Bennett suggesting the science about climate change was too conclusive to offer any meaningful debate.

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Was Radio 4’s Today show right to bring Lawson on in the interest of balance and free speech? Or should the BBC refuse to entertain the views of climate change deniers? Lets us know where you stand in the comment section below.