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

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.


Director, Sortition Foundation