Tag Archives: Hadley Centre

May 25th, 1990 – Margaret Thatcher opens the Hadley Centre

may251990“Many of us have been worried for some time now about the accumulating evidence of damage to the global environment and the consequences for life on Earth and for future generations. I spoke about this to the Royal Society in 1988 and to the United Nations General Assembly in November last year. Today, with the publication of the Report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, we have an authoritative early warning system, an agreed assessment from some three hundred of the world’s leading scientists on what is happening to the world’s climate—all this under your distinguished chairmanship, Dr. Houghton. I congratulate you on getting three hundred distinguished scientists to agree on a single report—you must be quite a chairman! It is a triumph for you today, both the Report and the opening of the new Centre for which you have obviously been very eager.

Your Report confirms that greenhouse gases are increasing substantially as a result of Man’s activities; that this will warm the Earth’s surface, with serious consequences for us all, and that these consequences are capable of prediction. We want to predict them more accurately and that is why we are opening this Centre today…. ”

According to the archivist the speech has an importance ranking of “minor.”

“The task of analysing global warming was vested in a group of 170 scientists. The group, chaired by the Met Office’s Dr Houghton, came under the umbrella of the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC). It published a 22-page ‘policymakers summary’ on May 25, the day on which Thatcher confirmed her belief in global warming and announced a British target for controlling emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.”
Thomas, D. (1990) The cracks in the greenhouse theory: Financial Times 3rd November

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

Jan 9, 2004: UK Chief Scientific Adviser lays into the Bush Administration

On 9th January, 2004 the BBC reported that Sir David King, the Chief Scientific Adviser to Her Majesty’s Government, expressed some undiplomatic thoughts on our cousins.

Context: The UK, ever keen to play Athens to the US’s Sparta, had been doing detailed and useful scientific work on climate change for a Long Time. It was a conservative PM, Margaret Thatcher, who’d opened the Hadley Centre in 1990. By January 2004 we’d all see Dubya in “action” for 3 years. Sir David King, for one, had had enough. In a BBC report he is quoted as having told the journal Science –

“As the world’s only remaining superpower, the United States is accustomed to leading internationally co-ordinated action…. But at present the US Government is failing to take up the challenge of global warming.

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

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Ah, the Science Policy battles, to which we shall return. Post-normal science, Weinberg‘s trans-science, you name it…