Local Transport Today

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Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

Local Transport Today and Transit are professional transport magazines in the United Kingdom with a generally high editorial standard except for a highly skeptical view on climate change by the editor, Andrew Forster

Climate change skepticism

Editorial view

  • Andrew Forster (Editor: Local Transport Today): "Failure at Copenhagen will be greeted with understandable despair by those people who have been convinced by the doomladen prophecies of numerous climate scientists, many journalists, most political leaders, and all ‘green’ pressure groups. But before heading for the cliffs it is worth reflecting for a moment on a question posed in these pages last year by climate policy analyst Benny Peiser: Would the debate at Copenhagen be different if global temperatures were rising rapidly? Almost certainly. But average global temperature isn’t rising and hasn’t for a few years. The world’s leaders may not admit it publicly but perhaps they are no longer quite so sure that this a planetary ‘emergency’." Andrew Forster Sept 2009. [1]

Contributions regularly quote the views of climate skeptics:-

  • Paul Biggs ('environment spokesman' for the Association of British Drivers and climate skeptic) "Yes, climate change is happening; it always has and always will, even in Australia. But a recent raft of papers and the World Meteorological Organisation have failed to link global warming and hurricanes. And the Gulf Stream scare is dead."[4]
  • Nigel Lawson "The world’s political leaders, not least President Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, are in a state of severe, almost clinical, denial'.[5]
  • Ross McKitrick "Lindzen says climate models vastly overestimate temperature changes resulting from increases in CO2. All other things being equal, Lindzen says a doubling of CO2 should result in a global mean warming of just 1 degree C"[6]
  • Benny Peiser (social anthropolist from Liverpool John Moores University) and climate skeptic: “My own view is the international community is completely deadlocked on the idea of concrete, legally binding targets. It will be delayed indefinitely in my view". [7]
  • Roger Pielke Jr. “Given the magnitude of the challenge and the pace of action, it would not be too strong a conclusion to suggest that the Climate Change Act has failed even before it has gotten started,” says Roger Pielke Jr, of the Centre for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado. “It seems likely that the Climate Change Act will have to be revisited by Parliament or simply ignored by policy-makers.”[8]
  • Roger A. Pielke Sr "Roger Pielke Snr of the University of Colorado, Boulder, says recent observations of surface air and tropospheric temperatures and upper ocean heat content all fail to show the warming predicted by the climate models used by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)"[9]
  • The 8 January 2010 edition of Local Transport Today contained an editorial article ('Copenhagen ‘fiasco’ hits behaviour change agenda') which quoted Peiser: The party-political consensus on climate change is unlikely to survive the General Election as both Labour and the Tories are confronted by a growing public backlash against green taxes and rising fuel bills and Nigel Lawson The world’s political leaders, not least President Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, are in a state of severe, almost clinical, denial.[5] letters were published from Abrams ('Emails should be a major blow for transport-climate policy agenda')[10] and Biggs ('Five reasons why those ‘leaked’ climate emails are significant').[11]

Reader rebuttal

  • "Your editorial comment ‘Climate tide is turning’ (LTT25 Sep) was as shocking for its factual inaccuracies as its one-sided examination of one of the more serious issues facing humankind. The world is not warming according to LTT. According to the BBC, a media organisation that is under more pressure than LTT seems to be to present facts objectively, over the last 100 years the average global surface temperature has risen by about 0.74°C. Eleven of the 12 hottest years recorded so far have all taken place since 1995" Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive, Living Streets Oct 2009[12]
  • "The tragedy is that in the best tradition of his (in all other respects) excellent and exemplary editorship, Andrew has cleverly identified an important question: what impact on Britain’s low carbon and transport policy will a failure to get an international agreement at Copenhagen in December bring? But the treatment of this question is irreparably harmed by its entanglement with the scientific question of whether global temperature “has stopped rising” and the strongly implied wishful thinking that this means we can soon stop worrying about the “doomladen prophecies of numerous climate scientists” and end the era of “extraordinary moral angst about travel itself” Harry George, London Oct 2009.[13]
  • "Judging by your interview with Benny Peiser (LTT 14 Nov) he is falling into a familiar trap. He may well be right in his doubts about the extent to which ordinary people will readily change their lifestyles and right about the political realities involved in persuading them to do so. But the fact that change is difficult does not mean that the underlying problem will go away. This confusion means that instead of recognising the authoritative message of the Met Office on climate change he seeks comfort in misleading stories about warming having slowed." Jonathan Tyler, Principal , Passenger Transport Networks, York. November 2008[14]
  • "Benny Peiser’s views on climate change and the economics of tackling it are fundamentally misplaced, at least as far as transport is concerned. Many of the measures that will reduce CO2 emissions from transport have a good economic case and will contribute to meeting other transport goals as well. The Metropolitan Transport Research Unit research, which you feature in the same issue and which we sponsored, has a large number of examples" Stephen Joseph Executive director, Campaign for Better Transport, London Nov 2008[15]
  • "Is Elvis alive? One person says that he spoke to him just recently, others say that he is alive and under a witness protection scheme, others that he was the 'mysterious figure' seen leaving Memphis the day after his funeral. Most of us, however, would look to the coroner's records office and conclude that he was dead. Is climate change real and might the continued unchecked release of greenhouse gasses lead to catastrophic climate change? Well some people think that it is a conspiracy based on ideological or financial motives but I prefer to rely on organisations such as the United Nations, the US National Academy of Science and the UK government's former chief scientist". Peter Miller June 2008[16]

Contact details

Andrew Forster
Apollo House
359 Kennington Lane
London SE11 5QY
Phone: 0845 270 7875
Email: ed.ltt AT landor.co.uk
Website: http://www.transportxtra.com

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Andrew Forster (Issue 529 September 25, 2009). "Climate tide is turning". TransportXtra.
  2. Government-Backed Propaganda Campaign Steps Up A Gear As Teachers Face Environmental Indoctrination. Association of British Drivers. Retrieved on 2010-01-11.
  3. Results 1 - 10 of about 159 from transportxtra.com for Bernard abrams. Google. Retrieved on 2010-01-11.
  4. Paul Biggs (Issue 472, July 5, 2007). "New Scientist doesn't tell the full story about climate change". TransportXtra.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Copenhagen ‘fiasco’ hits behaviour change agenda. Local Transport Today (2010-01-08). Retrieved on 2010-01-11.
  6. "Cosmic rays and concerns about modelling". TransportXtra (Issue 462, February 26, 2007).
  7. "UN deadlock puts strain on UK’s transport and climate agenda". TransportXtra (Issue 529 25 September 2009).
  8. UK’s Climate Change Act ‘completely naive’. TransportXtra (Issue 525 July 31, 2009).
  9. "Reliance on models 'could undermine CO2 policies'". TransportXtra (Issue 491, April 3, 2008).
  10. Emails should be a major blow for transport-climate policy agenda (2010-01-08). Retrieved on 2010-01-11.
  11. Five reasons why those ‘leaked’ climate emails are significant. Local Transport Today (2010-01-08). Retrieved on 2010-01-11.
  12. Tony Armstrong (Issue 530 October 9, 2009). "Climate change is happening and man’s CO2 emissions are to blame". TransportXtra.
  13. Harry George (Issue 531, October 23, 2009). "Transport and global warming: question the politics, not the science". TransportXtra.
  14. Jonathan Tyler (Issue 508 November 28, 2008). "The world won’t cope if everyone adopts out high mobility lifestyles". TransportXtra.
  15. Stephen Joseph (Issue 508, November 28, 2008). "There are lots of ways in which transport’s CO2 emissions can be cut". TransportXtra.
  16. Peter Miller (Issue 496, June 12, 2008). How could anyone still doubt catastrophic climate change?. TransportXtra.

External resources