Professor Sir David King, the British government's former top scientific adviser, is no stranger to controversy.

 

He ruffled feathers on both sides of the Atlantic in 2004 when he described climate change as a more serious threat to the world than terrorism.

 

Earlier this year, he said the Iraq war may come to be seen as the world first’s “resource war”, based on oil rather than weapons of mass destruction.

 

Now the South African-born academic risks putting more politicians' noses out of joint.

 

In a speech in Oxford this week, King accused Gordon Brown of talking tough on climate change, but failing to follow his words up with action, mainly due to a lack of public money.