I am just back from a short and rather hectic trip to France. During the time that we were away, I lived a happily news-starved existence, neither switching on a television nor looking at a newspaper, so there has been quite a lot of catching up to do. Much has happened.Of course the main event in the UK has been the local government elections, the results of which suggest that the political landscape has changed more radically than at any time during the last decade. For many voters the New Labour dream seems to have turned into an economic nightmare, but there is also evidence of more fundamental change in the attitudes of voters. They no longer believe in the stale certainties that the present government has offered them for so long.

What implications this change in attitudes may have for the global warming debate are still obscure, but one small morsel of information hidden among the psephological outpourings of the media may be indicative of things to come.

If the Conservative vote benefited form public concern about economic problems, surely it is reasonable to expect that the green vote would grow as a result of greater awareness of, and concern about, climate change. I have posted on previous occasions about the way opinion polls show that ordinary people are reluctant to buy into the climate hysteria that politicians, activists and the media are promoting: see here and here. I have also considered a very strange report from the IPPR called ‘Warm Words‘ that set the agenda on this subject for the present UK government back in 2006. Now there is more compelling evidence that people are far less convinced that humans are in control of the climate than might be expected.

The Green Party has failed to increase their share of the popular vote since the last local elections. Indeed in the wards that they contested last time round, their share of the vote, on average, has fallen. (ref: BBC). Of course this could be because the Green Party is still very much on the fringe of UK politics; voters who are concerned about ‘the environment’ might prefer to support a mainstream party with more influence. So where did voters who want immediate and radical action to reduce carbon emissions put their crosses on the ballot paper? The obvious choice would be the Liberal candidate, as this is the party with the greenest credentials among the three large parties. But this does not seem to have happened either; the Liberals flat-lined too.

Put bluntly, the democratic process is about politicians striving to represent the views and concerns of the majority; that is their only route to power. As the grey figures who shape party politics begin to sift through the fallout from last weeks elections, it would seem unlikely that these indicators will go unnoticed.

Tomorrow I’ll be considering more evidence that political attitudes towards global warming may be about to change.

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