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Back page gossip from the 13 September issue of Research Europe

Hot flush UK Independence Party MEP Stuart Agnew has seized on the renewal of the EU’s LIFE environment programme to push his outré views on climate change. In a paper this summer he claimed that human emissions of gases including methane and carbon dioxide “have a negligible effect on our climate” and urged the European Commission to pay more attention to cosmic rays and gravitational fluctuations. Dave Reay, a carbon management researcher at the University of Edinburgh, told The Guardian: “The hackneyed, pseudo-scientific arguments here would make the dinosaurs blush.”

Cold snap The paper sparked a furore of commentary among politicians and the media, including claims that an ongoing rise of the far-right in European politics could fuel a linked surge of climate change denial. Agnew disputes such a link. “Allying these views to right-wing politics is absurd,” he told Research Europe. But with some MEPs now pledging not to share a platform with climate change deniers, it could be about to get frosty in the Parliament, especially with elections due in May 2019.

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