Sortition Foundation answers criticism regarding the Herefordshire Climate Assembly

Tom Lord, the director of the Sortition Foundation, responds in a letter to the editor of the Hereford Times to an earlier letter to the editor claiming that the makeup of the Herefordshire Climate Assembly, whose members were selected by the Sortition Foundation, was biased.

This is how we chose Herefordshire Climate Assembly members

FRANK Myers raises concerns (Who are they? April 22) that participants in the Herefordshire Citizens’ Climate Assembly had preconceived ideas about climate change.

The reason that over 80 per cent of participants had preexisting concerns about climate change is simply because that reflects the broader population’s views at the time, according to national statistics gathered every three months.

This issue of the potential for some people to be more likely to sign up than others is exactly why we asked people about their existing opinion about climate change when registering.

We know that people who have an interest in a topic are likely to put themselves forward to talk about that topic. This is shown in our public report, available at [Corrected URL, the original URL which appears in the letter is incorrect, -YG].

Our recruitment and selection lottery process for citizens’ assemblies actually addresses this very issue by selecting a group of people in such a way that the group’s attitude towards climate change reflects the wider population’s attitudes (and the same for different ages, gender, and backgrounds, etc).

In this case, we explicitly set aside space for a fair number of people who were less concerned about climate change.

We do not have an organisational position on what should be done about climate change or any other topic – other than that we believe the most legitimate way we have as a society to make these kinds of complicated, difficult decisions is by a citizens’ assembly, which is why we do this work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: