Today’s climate protests come in the same week that Boris Johnson unveiled a new Brexit deal that would trample environmental safeguards in a rush to strike a trade deal with Donald Trump.
It’s a sign that Boris Johnson does not take climate change all too seriously, but here are five times he went much further and denied it was happening at all.
1 He said climate science is “without foundation”
Less than four short years ago Johnson declared in his Telegraph column that man-made climate change is a “primitive fear” and “that fear – as far as I understand the science – is equally without foundation.” It wasn’t a one off: Johnson had previously said that “climate change is like a religion” in which “our new high priests are the environmentalists”.
2 He said there is “no evidence” of extreme weather
Johnson has even denied the effects of global warming, writing that “there is no evidence that the planet is suffering from the extreme weather patterns associated with climate change”. In the aftermath of 2004’s devastating Boxing Day Tsunami, Johnson was quick to point out that it “had nothing to do with global warming”, despite top scientists linking the disaster to rising sea levels.
3 He backed fracking over wind power
Johnson was so enthusiastic about fracking that he hailed it as “a miracle”, said the earthquakes it has been blamed for are normal and attacked the “mad denunciations” of critics he said “cannot bear a piece of unadulterated good news.” But when it comes to eco-friendly alternatives, it’s a different story: he claims there can be no justification for “crucifying our landscape with wind farms which, even when they are in motion, would barely pull the skin off a rice pudding.”
4 He said it was too cold for global warming
Perhaps Johnson’s weakest argument against global warming is that it’s just too chilly. In 2013 he wrote “I observe that something appears to be up with our winter weather, and to call it ‘warming’ is obviously to strain the language”, drawing on a baseless theory about a new Ice Age drawn up by Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers.
5 He told climate protestors to go to China, despite the UK missing its targets
Johnson attempted to bury his embarrassing history of climate denial earlier this year, but couldn’t resist telling Extinction Rebellion activists to relocate to China now the Tories have UK emissions under control. Unfortunately that’s another of Boris Johnson’s characteristic untruths: the government’s own climate watchdog has warned that the UK “is lagging behind what is needed to meet legally-binding emissions targets” and “has delivered only 1 of 25 critical policies needed to get emissions reductions back on track.”