Carbon Brief obtained the 11-slide presentation that persuaded UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson that climate change is real and driven by humans through a freedom of information (FOI) request. Boris Johnson acknowledged last year that he had been on a “road to Damascus” when it came to climate change and its causes, but that he had been persuaded since taking office.
“I had them [government scientists] go over everything, and if you look at the almost vertical kink upward in the temperature graph, the manmade climate change, it’s extremely difficult to argue,” she said “He made the remarks ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2021. “That was a pivotal event in my life.” Carbon Brief was able to trace out the presentation he was referring to using a FOI request, and then obtain the material. The presentation, provided by the government’s main scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance, had “fairly vanilla” slides, according to chief scientist at the Met Office Stephen Belcher, who Carbon Brief thinks was also there.
The slides – which can be viewed here – are as plain as they sound, and appear to lay out the fundamentals of climate change. There are slides depicting the global temperature differential from 1850 to 1900 and how it has climbed over time, as well as other maps depicting temperature increases since the 1960s (similar to the video by NASA below).
One slide compared the amount of ice lost in the recent decade to the size of the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France. Another depicted rising sea levels across the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister was shown the terms “flooding and sea-level rise,” “heatwaves, health and disease,” “wildfires,” and “biodiversity” on a slide titled “Impacts of a Warming World,” along with graphics to illustrate these concepts. Johnson was shown a graphic about climate tipping points at the end of the lecture, emphasizing the importance of acting quickly. As introductory as the climate change lecture was, it appears to have influenced the Prime Minister (at the time of writing), as seen by his past thoughts on the subject.
“As a species, we have become so blinded by conceit and self-love that we believe the fate of the planet is in our hands – when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behavior and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball around which we revolve.” “In 2013, he questioned human involvement in climate change in The Telegraph. “Its good news that the world has decided to decrease pollution and help people save money, but I’m convinced those global leaders were motivated by a primal dread that the current ambient warm weather is somehow caused by humanity,” says the author “In 2015, he stated more plainly.
“And that dread is also without foundation, as far as I understand the science.” There could be a variety of causes for my sweating playing ping-pong [in December], but none of them entail global warming.” Here are the slides that convinced a prime minister to rethink his mind.