The Guardian goes all po-faced

The Heartland Institute, a conservative US think-tank with a particular interest in climate change, has published a series of posters advertising its May 2012 Climate Conference in Chicago. 

The posters feature some of those who have argued the case for global warming — including Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber; Charles Manson; and Fidel Castro.  And the Guardian is so upset, it’s almost funny.  My old nemesis Leo Hickman has had a real go about it.    As usual, I notice that his blog piece consists mainly of quotations (including, of course, quotations from me), welded together by a thin mortar of originality.  I don’t know how he gets paid for it.

I have to say that I don’t think these posters are in very good taste, and if I were running Heartland, I shouldn’t have run the posters.  But they’ve certainly got some attention.  And given that some Warmists have proposed (apparently with straight faces) that climate sceptics should be subjected to Nuremburg-style trials for crimes against humanity, maybe they should not be surprised to get some robust views back in return.

I saw a recent report suggesting that the health impacts of climate mitigation policies were likely to result in more deaths than could conceivably be caused by any reasonably foreseeable global warming.  How come?  Because our climate policies force up the price of energy, and undermine competitiveness and prosperity.  They drive jobs, and industries, and investment off-shore.  They create poverty, and the fact is that poverty kills people.  Pensioners who can’t afford their heating bills actually die of hypothermia.  Excess deaths from cold in winter greatly exceed excess deaths from heat in summer.

We often hear that “climate change impacts the poor most”.  But in truth, it’s our climate policies that do most damage to the poor.  In the third world, an electricity supply is the first, vital step out of absolute poverty.  An electric cooker relieves the respiratory diseases caused by burning wood indoors for cooking (and relieves the deforestation, and the daily hike to find fuel).  Electricity allows radios to bring information, allows students to study after dark, allows food and vaccines to be refrigerated.  A diesel generator could make all the difference — but the Greens campaign against fossil fuels.

Find the report at

So it may well be that climate alarmism will indeed claim many more lives than Charles Manson.  Of course I don’t claim any moral equivalence.  Manson was utterly evil, while many climate alarmists are sincere, though sincerely wrong (and many others, naming no names, are in it for the money and for tenure and reputation and salary and publications and the huge incomes to be made from a host of climate-related activities — like carbon trading).

So I can agree with Leo Hickman that the posters are in pretty poor taste.  But I can’t agree with a constituent who asked me to use my speech in Chicago to condemn the posters.  I’m going to speak about the science and the politics of global warming, and I’ll leave the discussion of the posters to the Guardian.

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11 Responses to The Guardian goes all po-faced

  1. Mike Spilligan says:

    The “warmists” immediately ignored the 1,332,000 times ( yes, I made that up, but I guess it’s far too low) that they’ve insulted the thinking, rational, non-gullible people who have not been swayed by their weak assertions, half-truths and downright lies. Heartland was wrong; but I forgive them, understanding their utter frustration.

  2. Peter Lilley MP’s recent speech is worth hearing – the Climate Change Act is all cost with no benefits.

  3. J Allen says:

    Wow – a right-winger who cares about poor people! But only for the convenience of a weak argument…

    • rfhmep says:

      You’re missing the point, J Allen. Socialists talk about poverty, but their policies only make everyone poor (and less free). Classical liberal economic policies, on the other hand, generate wealth and provide jobs, income and prosperity.

      • J Bowers says:

        How’d that work out in 2008? Not very well, I heard. I think you’ll find most have had enough of wingnut extremist economic ideologies.

  4. David C says:

    Don’t expect any apologies from the greens for deaths due to climate change policies. We’re still waiting for some sign of remorse for the many millions of deaths due to the increase in malaria caused by the DDT panic.

  5. For some years people like yourself and Christopher Booker have been warning about the dangers of relying on windmills for electricity. I went past the South Yorkshire power stations this week and saw them belching smoke and steam out into the atmosphere. It must be really easy to condemn them if you are a warmist.
    But as a poor person, I notice my wife struggling with the bills and the Greens, many of them on much higher standards of living than me, insisting that the bills go even higher. I also note that when they have succeeded in shutting the power stations, that I shall (as I was in the 1970s) be in the dark again. No computers, no industry, no street lights. No food. No heating (there was a coal fire in the 1970s.)
    And, of course, the Greens will be sitting there being smug while we freeze.

  6. Roger Helmer MEP says:

    Dear J Bowers: The whole world (more or less) is dramatically richer now than it was thirty years ago. That’s down to classical liberal economics (was Adam Smith a “wingnut”?). And all you can do is point to the odd bump in the road.

  7. J Bowers says:

    Roger Helmer, the top 1% are hugely richer than they were thirty years ago, and the middle classes are getting well and truly stuffed. I suggest you learn how to compensate for outliers. This is the first time in US history that parents have left their offspring poorer and less well educated. I guess that’s what you get for being told deregulation was causing a financial collapse, and responding by calling for more deregulation. Well done Alan Greenspan. The failed neoliberal experiment has done a fine job at redistributing the wealth, for sure.

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