Science and Environment

The Open Manifesto: Science and Environment

While the scientific establishment is central in pushing the evidence-based approach, it has not always been so insistent on openness (although there are many variations between scientific disciplines). We will ask the Research Councils and major learned societies to consider insisting that the raw research data always be published with every peer reviewed paper, except in the case of those medical papers where publication of the raw data would infringe patient confidentiality. (This exception should not be extended to any notion of protecting commercial confidentiality).

We will conduct an urgent, public review of the science behind climate change using only publicly-available datasets.

We will not use terms like “scientifically-proven fact” which display ignorance of the way science works, and we will instruct all government information departments to avoid then. Scientific predictions are never better than a range of outcomes with different probabilities. We will ask a panel of scientific and media advisers to develop a training programme for all departments so that scientific information can be presented clearly, honestly and rationally, and we will require all ministers and relevant departmental staff to attend this training.

If, as we expect, our review panel confirms the urgency of the climate change problem, we will introduce an immediate programme of carbon taxation. The carbon tax, which will be assessed at £50 per tonne of carbon rising by 10% per annum, will be imposed on all fossil fuels and on all imported goods according to their embodied energy. The tax will be hypothecated and used to pay the coupon on issues of a Carbon Bond, which will be used to pay for:

  • a major programme of home insulation grants, concentrating first on the homes of the elderly and those on low incomes, aiming to create zero-energy homes;
  • building large offshore wind, wave and tidal installations, for subsequent sale to the private sector;
  • smart meters and flexible demand pricing schemes for electricity;
  • Research and development towards mitigation policies, since we are almost certainly too late to stop some climate change.

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