Thérèse Coffey: who is the new health secretary and what’s her plan for fixing the NHS?BMJ 2022; 378 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o2193 (Published 09 September 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o2193
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I found this analysis informative however one section confuses me. You mention Ms Coffeys opposition to abortion as she is a devout Roman Catholic and that as a smoker, she has voted against smoking bans. I might not agree with these views, but they are logical and consistent. What is not logical is why on (a warming) earth she has ‘generally voted against measures to prevent climate change’.
It is increasingly mystifying that anyone would deny human induced climate change. Neither the science nor our current lived experience would leave any doubt that the earth is warming and that the culprits are clear. Different opinions regarding solutions to this increasingly imperative problem are understandable (and possibly healthy) but to deny the existence of the problem itself is not.
The answer seems to lie in politics – those on the right tend to deny climate change, those on the left try to address it. I find this difficult to understand. Why has such an important issue become so polarised? Most would say the underlying link is money (or business or economics – if you want to dignify it with these alternative words). But this make no logical sense either as the major economic analysis, The Stern Review  concluded that the benefits of action on climate change far outweigh the costs of not acting. Many other economic analyses have reached the same conclusions.
This politicisation of such a major issue has becomes a gross distraction, the time and energy used in squabbling needs to be harnessed to look for solutions. Continued pumping of greenhouse gases from human activity into the earth atmosphere has been likened to sawing off the branch we are all sitting on. Why do some of us, including apparently our new heath secretary, simply call for a sharper saw?
1. Wise J. Therese Coffey: Who is the new health secretary and what’s her plan to fix the NHS?. BMJ 2022:378:o2193.
2. Stern N. The economics of climate change. American Economic Review. 98(2):1-37. May 2008. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.98.2.1
Competing interests: No competing interests