As Britain battens down the hatches for yet another cold spell, the Observer reports that most Conservative MPs, including six shadow cabinet members, have deep reservations about our climate change policies. Some simply reject man-made global warming. Others are doubtful, but believe we can’t prioritise the massive costs of climate mitigation in the face of our current economic problems. Both views are correct — it isn’t happening, and we can’t afford mitigation anyway. And the prevalence of sceptical views is very much in line with what I have found in private conversations.
Yet only a few MPs have spoken out. In today’s Conservative Party, it seems that it is easier to “come out” as a homosexual than to come out as a climate sceptic.
This must change. Global Warming theory is being shot to pieces as we watch. There is a real debate to be had. Indeed in a sense, the debate is over, and the public has made up its mind. After decades of research, and billions of dollars spent, we have been unable to establish a clear link between CO2 and temperature. In fact the correlation is rather poor. The current long, slow and unsteady increase in mean global temperatures started at least a century before the Industrial Revolution, and clearly represents a natural cyclical recovery from the extreme cold of the Little Ice Age in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Our current mitigation plans would inflict vast economic damage, and (even if you accept AGW theory) would make very little difference. They are bad policy, and bad politics. Large number of Conservative MPs, and a majority of Conservatives in the country, and of the public at large, just don’t buy it. It’s a vote loser. My impression is that a majority of our Conservative Group in the European parliament would tend to take a sceptical line, for what it’s worth.
The task now — clearly not in the weeks before an election, but soon afterwards — is to reconfigure our policy around energy security, not carbon emissions. They are not the same thing.
As I commented on the Observer/Guardian web-site: “The walls come tumbling down! The Great Climate Scam is over. We don’t believe it, and we won’t pay for it. The only problem now for the political parties is how to achieve an elegant climb-down”.