mean budgeting machine Lord Nigel Lawson is back in the news, still resolutely
sceptical but, for a change, not about climate science. He’s returned to his
old stamping ground, the European Union, and is now being resolutely sceptical
about that. These
two positions, climate scepticism and euroscepticism, are complementary.
About 80% of environmental legislation
protecting our wildlife, water, air and climate comes from Europe. For example,
Europe imposes the air quality limits which several British cities have been in
breach of for the last five years, at a cost of around 175,000 British lives so far.
you were convinced that it was economically desirable to allow corporations
total freedom to pollute, it would naturally follow that you would oppose both
EU legislation and the potential limits on CO2 emissions which climate science
probably the UK’s most prominent climate sceptic and eurosceptic - joins Ukip, the UK’s most Eurosceptic party which
is also the only large political party to deny climate science, with famous
members such as their former spokesman on climate issues and deputy leader,
Lord Monckton (possibly the most prominent UK climate sceptic on the global
there’s our old friend the one-trick wind-farm whinger, the Telegraph’s number
two climate sceptic James Delingpole, also a fanatical UKIP cheerleader and
brother and son to UKIP candidates. Latest blog title: ‘Lord Lawson's right: of
course we should quit the EU’.
Telegraph’s number one climate sceptic, Christopher Booker, has written several
book-length attacks on the EU in collaboration with Richard North. North also
publishes his climate scepticism on a blog entitled – wait for it – EU
notable climate sceptics include Roger Helmer MEP, science-denying Eurosceptic
who recently left the Conservative party to become UKIP’s climate change
spokesman, and Godfrey Bloom MEP.
rails against action on climate change whilst spending £2,000 of European
taxpayers’ money a month on a "climate and environment researcher"
who is, of course, a climate sceptic blogger. In his spare time, Bloom is an
enthusiastic supporter of his local hunt and international state-sponsored
terrorism in which Greenpeace
campaigners are killed.
open about climate scepticism isn’t very fashionable in the UK’s main three
parliamentary parties. But arch-Eurosceptic Peter Lilley, one of only five MPs
to oppose the 2008 climate change act and a key figure in our Energygate
investigation, appears to have had a bit of a resurgence. He's now in the prime
minister’s policy unit (while
apparently briefing against him). John Redwood and John Hayes also fit
neatly into the pattern.
point here is not that climate sceptics tend to be Eurosceptics, but that the
climate sceptic high-command and the supreme council of Euroscepticism are the
prominent UK climate sceptic is either a published Eurosceptic, a leading
member of a Eurosceptic party, or both.
has an explanation
for this in his latest blog:
Euroscepticism and climate scepticism often go hand in hand,
first because many of the very worst, most destructive environmental policies
(such as the commitment to "decarbonise" the economy which led to
Bryony Worthington's 2008 Climate Change Act) are originally dreamed up by EU
apparatchiks. And second because to express such views in public life requires
a fearless, cussed, contra mundum
temperament, the product of an intellectual self-confidence and independence
many, if not most of our craven political class lack.
scepticism, but I rather doubt that we’re dealing with a disparate group of
fiercely independent free thinkers who just happened, en masse but entirely
independently, to be the only people to spot the flaws in the European model
and become the leading voices against European integration, and then a few
years later just happened, en masse but entirely independently, to be the only
people to spot the supposed flaws in climate models and become the leading
voices against action to limit emissions.
explanation is clearly dishonest. For the truth,
we need to turn to Telegraph journalist James Delingpole:
It’s because I understand that
“Environmentalism” is but one strategically significant theatre in a much
greater ideological war being waged across the world. It’s the same
one Toby Young is fighting over education; the same one the likes of Rod
Liddle, Andrew Gilligan, Nick Cohen and Mark Steyn are fighting over political
Islam; the same one Melanie Phillips is fighting over Israel; the same one
Douglas Murray is fighting on pretty much everything.
apparently it’s not a public debate about the reliability of climate science
after all. It is, in the minds of Delingpole and his allies, "but one
strategically significant theatre in an ideological war".
sceptics haven’t looked at the problem and decided it isn’t really there.
They’ve looked at the solution - regulation of corporate power and restrictions
on emissions - and decided it isn’t ideologically acceptable. And as it’s the
only solution on the table, they have to pretend there is no problem to solve.
‘ideological war’ isn’t a right versus left battle. This is shown by the large
majority of right wingers, including most of the cabinet, who are cautious of
new restrictions on economic activity, but are not prepared to accuse the entire
scientific community of being party to history’s greatest conspiracy.
The ideology driving this ‘war’ is not conservatism, but
neo-conservatism, the only ideology since the second world war to consciously
and deliberately go to war against reality.
Ron Suskind of the New York Times recorded a conversation he
had at the White House which explains, to some degree, what’s going on here:
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we
call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who
"believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible
reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore,"
"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own
reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll
act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's
how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be
left to just study what we do."
The ‘aide’ was allegedly Karl Rove, otherwise known as Bush’s brain.
Finally, some judicious study of discernible
reality from Lord Deben, former Secretary of State for the Environment and
chairman of the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher:
I agree about sceptics. They are people who allow their desire for a world
that does not exist to become their rational understanding of the world we live
in. Eurosceptics can't understand that we live 22 miles off the coast of
France, and we either get on with our neighbours and work together or we can't
solve the problems which face us mutually.
Half our air pollution is blown over
from them, and half we produce is blown over to them. How can you possibly have
an environmental policy except on a European basis? Just as Eurosceptics refuse
to accept the geographical, political, cultural, religious, and historic facts
of life, so the climate sceptics deny the scientific realities.
I'm all for
being prudential, careful and suspicious of simplistic solutions - that's good
business sense. Scepticism, on the other hand, is corrosive, damaging, and
always leads to mistaken solutions.
Incidentally, for those readers who believe that Britain is the only
country in Europe which actually bothers to implement EU directives – our
government is currently promising to rectify this problem and meet the 2008 air
quality standards no later than 2025. Up ‘til then, our government will try to
ignore the law, because what’s the point of being in government if you have to
obey the law?
And for those readers who believe that we’re the only country who are
honest about whether we implement them or not, as opposed to those
untrustworthy continentals who agree to everything and then try to fudge the
data, here’s Boris’s solution
to London’s toxic pollution problem – spread glue on the roads in the immediate
vicinity of the air quality monitoring stations to stick the pollution to the