I was honoured to be invited to address the International Conference on Climate Change, currently underway in New York.
The ‘Manhattan Conference’, which takes place on March 9th/10th, brings together prominent scientists, commentators and political leaders from around the world who challenge the so-called “consensus” on climate change, and take a more realistic view. The Conference is organised by the US Heartland Institute (www.heartland.org), and follows on from their first very successful Manhattan Climate Conference in March 2008. The event is sub-titled “Climate Change: Was it ever a Crisis?” and will promote the increasingly widely-held view that recent modest increases in average global temperatures are entirely consistent with well-established, long-term, natural climate cycles, and have little or nothing to do with human activity or CO2 emissions. Prominent speakers includes Czech President Vaclav Klaus; Ross McKitrick, who debunked the IPCC’s “Hockey Stick” graph; Chris Horner, who wrote “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change”; Professors Fred Singer from the University of Virginia and Bob Carter from Australia; and Christopher Booker and Lord Monckton from the UK.
Increasing numbers of scientists around the world are starting to question the alarmist hypothesis, not least because for the last ten years global temperatures have been flat or declining. A recent report from Japan (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/25/japans-society-of-energy-and-resources-disses-the-ipcc-says-recent-climate-change-is-driven-by-natural-cycles-not-human-industrial-activity/) describes the use of computer climate models to predict long-term climate change as “akin to ancient astrology”.
I was asked by the Heartland Institute to review EU climate policies, and in particular the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, as I have served on the European parliament’s Climate Change Committee. The subject is timely, as the new US Obama administration is looking at similar Cap and Trade schemes. I will argue that the EU’s scheme is ill-conceived. It has been hugely expensive and damaging, adding to industry’s costs and creating a mountain of red tape, while doing little to curb emissions. It is failing in its own terms. If climate alarmism is misplaced, then the EU’s policy is entirely pointless and a vast waste of resources.
I am very proud to have been invited to this distinguished event to address the climate issue, and also to have taken a leading position in the international campaign to bring back a bit of common sense into climate policy. As economies face depression, we can ill afford to waste billions of pounds on speculative problems and media scare stories.