Anthony Mangnall MP’s cynical silence on climate change

1.5 degrees C Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Global average temperatures in 2023 exceeded 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, conditions never before experienced by human civilisation. 

Though crossing this iconic milestone for one year doesn’t mean that average warming has yet reached that point, it was only in 2018 that UN climate experts, the IPCC, predicted that we wouldn’t reach 1.5°C until around 2040. The IPCC’s processes are inherently conservative, with the need for all 195 nations to approve their output, including oil states like the UK. The result is that climate change is developing faster than we’ve been told it would.

15,000 climate scientists around the world recently signed a paper saying they are “afraid of the uncharted territory that we have now entered” and warning of no less than “economic and social collapse” without emergency action. This is staggeringly bold language for normally reserved scientists.

Against this alarming backdrop, I reviewed my Conservative MP’s newsletters and posts for the last year. I was dismayed by his almost total silence on climate change, the gravest threat humanity has ever faced. When he does touch on the subject, instead of responsibly informing the public about the science, he plays cynical political games. Either that, or he genuinely is an anti-science, climate-denier. A particularly low point was his Facebook post of 10 November 2023, in which he responded to criticism from multiple quarters about the Government’s recent deferral of key climate policies by writing: “never let the fearmongers win”. 

It is staggeringly reckless to dismiss experts as fearmongers. Experts like Prof Dave Reay, Executive Director of Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, who said that

“This rolling back on emissions cuts for short-term political gain will undermine the transition to net zero and with it the future opportunities, prosperity and safety of the entire country.”

Or former Vice President Al Gore who even went as far as accusing the UK Government of being:

in the pocket of fossil fuels”. 

Division and disinformation are the last thing we need if we are to rise to the challenge of modernising our economy by switching to clean energy. Mr Mangnall appears to care more about playing to the gallery in a bid to protect his own career than in the future prosperity of our country. This man does not deserve to remain in post, and I will be doing everything I can to ensure he is voted out at the general election.

If you share my view, please help by signing up with South Devon Primary, the new initiative to select a single opposition candidate to unite behind at the next general election. We will be hosting Town Hall Q&As in the first 2 weeks of March where you can question the Green, Labour and Lib Dem candidates, and then vote on which you think is best-placed to defeat Mr Mangnall.

This is a new kind of organised tactical voting, where the community together decides fairly which progressive candidate to back. And it means a real chance of a change from the Conservatives in South Devon (Totnes) for the first time in 100 years—an opportunity to elect an MP who puts people and planet before party and career.