"I like the idea science tells us something, and we have to agree," said John Robertson (Lab, Glasgow North West) - surely a candidate for Quote of the Year in any year. Robertson was speaking at the select committee's enquiry into the into the IPCC's latest climate report
Politicians want a strong, simple story of "certainty". As one British civil servant wrote to a leading climate scientist in 2009:
I can’t overstate the HUGE amount of political interest in the project as a message that the Government can give on climate change to help them tell their story. They want the story to be a very strong one and don’t want to be made to look foolish.
In other words, scientists were being asked to perform a propaganda function, while the politicians retained the luxury of passing the buck.