Bishop's comments over climate change provoke heated response

By Agencies
29 May 2008

The Bishop of Chester has come under fire after suggesting that humans might not to blame for global warming, which he said would happen “come what may”.

Friends of the Earth condemned the comments by Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster, insisting scientists were united in their certainty that global temperatures were rising because of carbon dioxide emissions, reeports the Liverpool Daily Post.

The Bishop's comments came in the House of Lords during the 2nd Reading of the Energy Bill.

Dr Forster also said he welcomed "the prospect of a new generation of nuclear power stations."

He even went on to raise concerns that the Government's plans over nuclear power could end up discouraging investment in nuclear energy, which he suggested "would be regrettable."

But Friends of the Earth said everyone had a responsibility to “wake up to the threat posed by climate change”, adding: “The debate is over. The alarm bells are ringing.”

The Bishop of Chester said discussion about the causes of global warming was “still open”.

Describing himself as a “scientist in a previous incarnation”, Dr Forster said there was no consensus among climate scientists that “carbon dioxide levels are the key determinant”.

And he told peers: “Climate science is a notoriously imprecise area, because the phenomena under investigation are so large.

“That makes precision difficult to achieve.”

The bishop’s views are in stark contrast to many other bishops and members of the Church of England.

At the end of last year Christians of all denominations united in London and joined a national demonstration to demand that Britain's representatives at Bali lead by example over climate change, by cutting Britain's greenhouse gas emissions further and faster.

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