‘Climate extinction, emergency everything’ is ‘un-evidenced’ says Isle of Wight council leader, Dave Stewart

Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Dave Stewart, says he’s “done some research” on the IPCC special climate emergency report but believes the ‘climate extinction, emergency everything’ position is “un-evidenced”.

Dave Stewart

During March’s Scrutiny Committee (catch up here) Cllr Michael Lilley raised the issue of the IPCC special report on climate change (see below for details) and the prospect of the Isle of Wight council joining others around the world by declaring a ‘climate emergency’.

What is the IPCC?
The IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is a United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.

Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the objective of the IPCC is to provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC reports are also a key input into international climate change negotiations.

The IPCC is an organization of governments that are members of the United Nations or WMO. The IPCC currently has 195 members.

Read more about the IPCC on their Website

He explained how the subject was being discussed in many councils and local authorities around the country, as well as people taking action on the Isle of Wight (see details of the Extinction Rebellion rally in January that attracted 200 residents and the one earlier this month that attracted 300).

Indeed since that meeting, Portsmouth City Council have declared a climate emergency.

Lilley: Seeking reassurance
Cllr Lilley acknowledged the reference in the Leader’s update that the IWC are putting together an environment policy, but he asked for reassurance that officers are looking at the IPCC report on climate change (see more here) and taking on board what other authorities are doing, “particularly as the Island is expecting be awarded UNESCO Biosphere status later this year,” he said.

Stewart: “I don’t know if it’s an emergency”
Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Cllr Dave Stewart, said they had been inundated with lots emails and “various things”.

He said,

“I personally have done some research on that particular report and I’ve also done some research on an awful lot of other reports.

“The reality of life is, it depends where you stand and I will be one of those who says our climate is deteriorating in some areas because the evidence is pretty clear.

“On the other hand I don’t know if it’s an emergency that’s going to hit in tomorrow morning, because I haven’t seen the evidence of that. So I’m very much in the learning phase.”

Stewart: Emergency is “un-evidenced to me”
He went on to say,

“I don’t hold with the ‘climate extinction, emergency everything’, because for me that is an un-evidenced position.”

Adding that “there’s lots of evidence for lots of things”, but that “we’re mindful of it”.

He finished by saying,

“I don’t like some of the terminology I’ve seen about war and fighting and everything else.

“I like to think here on the Island we’re sensible people and know where we live and look at the information we get and come to a considered position. That’s where I sit.”

IPCC special report on climate change
Full details of the special report by the IPCC on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, first released in October 2018, can be found on the dedicated Website.

The report states the world only has 12 years to limit global warming or the consequences for the planet will be impossible to tackle.

Greta Thunberg is this week addressing the UK Parliament with the same message she gave to the United Nations,

“Our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago.

“I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic…and act as if the house was on fire. Because it is.”

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30 Comments on "‘Climate extinction, emergency everything’ is ‘un-evidenced’ says Isle of Wight council leader, Dave Stewart"

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Rupert Besley
Dear, oh dear, Mr Stewart. Where to begin? If a child, alas, runs out into a busy road from behind a parked car, it may not have seen the bus coming its way. The child may have been too small to see over the car or may not have known in which direction first to look or it may not have had a proper understanding of momentum… Read more »
Greta Thunberg is 16; she is a naive autistic child diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), depression and selective mutism, who knows little about anything including climate science . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greta_Thunberg Typically of someone of her age & mental condition, she sees everything in stark black and white terms with no balance and no nuance. The way she is being used is tantamount to child abuse; &… Read more »
Rupert Besley
As a general rule, I make it my business not to respond to comments from people who do not have the courage to post in their own name but hide behind pseudonyms. On this occasion I will break my own rule, as I find your comments (deliberately provocative, I guess) offensive, being deeply unpleasant opinions on the person, without having anything to do with the issue of… Read more »

“But, even if there were truth in all that you claim”

It’s public domain; read this –


Not my opinion, but from her own lips at a TED talk Nov 18

Rupert Besley
You report that Greta Thunberg ‘knows little about anything, including climate science.’ For all I know, these were her own exact words. I’ve not checked, but am perfectly happy to take your word for it. It’s what anyone with intelligence and understanding of the complexity of difficult issues would say. Albert Einstein said this of himself: ‘All I have is the stubbornness of a mule; no, that’s… Read more »
Rupert Besley

(Whoops, eyesight gone again. Medical, not ‘medicsl’.)

Steve Goodman
Greta, unlike Dave who gives the impression of just doing what he is told by tory central office, is a leader. Actually a world class leader, partly because she still sees herself only as a participant – and what a participant; one our current Prime Minister was too scared to meet yesterday. At least our current Environment Secretary was prepared to praise her when he joined all… Read more »
Steve Goodman
Steve Goodman
In addition to showing Sir David’s presentation of the facts last Thursday (April 18th) the BBC also showed the linked 2009 film The Age Of Stupid (BBC4). Both broadcasts, and much more easily available evidence, are still available to grown-ups and children including “learning phase” doubting Dave. While Dave dithers the problem only worsens and becomes more urgent and expensive. If we are lucky our leaders will… Read more »

Very Trumpesque (I can now better imagine how 50 per cent of Americans feel!).


Darcy – you took the words right out of my mouth….

Benny C

Excellent manifesto speech. No more research required on this individual. Time to vote this man out and well away from any sort of position of authority. He can ‘learn’ about climate change in his own time. We all did, many years ago. Blackgang could offer him a job – Dave the Dinosaur. The costume would fit perfectly.

Alternative Perspective

Dave Stewart has done some research!



I tried google translate and an enigma machine and I still don’t know what DC Dave is saying!


@ saveenergy. Greta Thunberg is16 and can succinctly articulate her message in a second language. Dave Stewart is old enough to know better and has trouble articulating anything in his own language particularly on climate change.

It is ironic that this Easter while all the extinction rebellion protests we going on and Cllr Stewart was researching, in the small print of the news we were told that it was the hottest Easter ever, with wildfires burning up north. That was preceded by the warmest February on record (and even then fires up north); which was preceded last year by, I think, the longest… Read more »
It is ironic that this Easter was NOT a record… Easter temperature Record. 1949 the highest Easter temperature recorded = 85F (29.4C ) Camden on Easter Saturday April 16th , which is also the highest April temperature on record in the UK. 1893 temperatures reached 84F (28.9°C) in Cambridge on the 20th April https://digital.nmla.metoffice.gov.uk/digitalFile_3e966701-f0d2-4565-838c-a58548ebe149/ 2019 : highest temperature recorded over the weekend was 77.9F (25.5°C) at Gosport… Read more »
Wildfires all over the world, hurricanes increasing in magnitude, drought, increasing temperatures year on year, escalating levels of CO2 and methane, the arctic ice about to disappear in the next few years(sea level rises happening as a result). Wildlife populations down 60% in the last 40 years, insect life depleting rapidly. We know the facts, we know it is man made. We have specialists on the Island… Read more »
Steve Goodman

Our citizen’s services postcode lottery today produces a relevant council comparison:

Oxford City Council is to be the first UK local authority to establish a citizens assembly to help address the issue of climate change, and consider the measures that should be taken in Oxford.

Link to follow.

@ truth You say …“listen to people who have extensive experience in their respective fields” Yes, why don’t you ?? Please get your ‘data’ from science… NOT from BBC, Newspapers or School kids. From your post – • “the arctic ice about to disappear in the next few years(sea level rises happening as a result).” No; you must have missed the class on primary physics; the arctic… Read more »
Mark L Francis
It is extremely unlikely that humans will become extinct as there are 7 billion of us and we could quite easily lose 6 billion and not be endangered. The point is that 6 billion dead people is not something we would wish to plan for. Chances are the casualties are likely to be poor whilst the causers of the catastrophe are likely to be the rich –… Read more »

When the trucks stop running (https://www.amazon.com/When-Trucks-Stop-Running-Transportation/dp/3319263730) and we are caught in all our technology traps (A James Burke classic, we were “forced” to watch this documentary in our engineering ethics class and is probably the only thing I remember: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPcZ_5uCldg) the cannibals won’t care if you are rich or poor.


Wow, I find it totally incredible that Dave Stewart is so out of touch with both reality and a large number of Isle of Wight residents.

As one other commentator says ‘Where to begin?’

Dammit, I might half agree with Dave on this. I really tried not to – I don’t think he’s an expert on this. He seems to be saying there is global warming, it is manmade, we should do something about it. Not everyone is convinced about the tipping point of 12 years and catastrophe. What I have seen is council’s declaring an emergency and then carrying on… Read more »
iain mckie
Major problems in climate policy originate from the demarcation between Annex B and non Annex B countries (creating a huge financial advantage for China and India to ramp up production of CFCs to gain carbon credits) and the Base year of 1990 which gave a massive incentive for Russia and Ukraine to sell Assigned Amount Units. The UK and Germany also took a competitive advantage from the… Read more »
We’ve had so many ‘Climate Emergencys’ in the past, we may as well add another to the collection, at least it will give the paranoid something tangible to be paranoid about. I can remember the 1960s ‘Snowball Earth/Ice Age’ Climate Emergency; predicted by Prof James Hanson (the same man who then gave us ‘Global Warming’). The year 2009 was a bad time for global warming predictions. That… Read more »

Anyone who looks around can see that we’re trashing the planet at an accelerated rate.


Councillor Stewart has the absolute right to take an “informed” view.
There is much propoganda spouted out about climate change and even scientists admit to not knowing. Obviously we want to prevent a global catastrophe and anything we do that may help should be done sooner rather than later.