According to the Press Association David Cameron has claimed today that the Conservatives are leading the way on climate change. He claimed credit for "pressurising" the Government into drafting the Climate Change Bill. "If it wasn't for our pressure the Government would not have put the Climate Change Bill in the Queen's Speech." Climate change is certainly now taking up a rainforest-destroying amount of space in the newspapers.
It chimed with a question posed to us by a journalist yesterday: "Remind me again - when exactly was it that climate change became a massive issue?". So using the power of intern slave labour we've plotted the number of times the phrase "climate change" came up on the lexis-nexis database of UK papers each month since the turn of the century. For the purposes of assessing what's occupying our national attention we have also plotted "competitiveness".
Climate change was already on the up before Cameron - starting to take off some time in 04. But the graph has certainly gone nuts since he became leader at the end of 05. Climate change now takes up about four times as much media space as competitiveness. It remains to be seen whether it will carry on though. What does this say about where we are as a country?