WHAT do Peter Lilley, Andrew Tyrie, Philip Davies Christopher Chope and I have in common?
We were the only MPs to vote against the 2008 Climate Change Bill, which is to say we had by then considered all the evidence and found it wanting.
For years we have endured insults.
Behind the scenes Fiona Bruce, normally the most courteous of broadcasters, called me a “flat-earther” to my face.
Others branded us “deniers” as if we were disputing the holocaust. The Al Gore film was accorded the status of Holy Writ. David Bellamy lost his job. Doubting scientists were scorned.
Nigel Lawson found it difficult to get his book An Appeal To Reason published.
In short there was an orthodoxy which was enforced with all the rigour of communism or fascism or, for that matter, the Spanish Inquisition. Dissenters must not be heard and global warming became a religion.
The following extract comes The Guardian article Lord Deben: Thatcherite turned green warrior defends Climate Act by Fiona Harvey....Some Tory MPs have taken to booing and jeering every time the Climate Change Act is mentioned in the Commons. A growing section of the party would like the Committee on Climate Change to be scrapped and the act repealed.
Their hero is climate sceptic Peter Lilley, a former cabinet colleague of Deben's under John Major, and recently appointed to the select committee on energy and climate change, where he will play a key role in recommending changes to legislation. Lilley's appointment is seen as a bridgehead for his fellow rightwingers to attack the act and all green policies. Their campaign got a further boost when Osborne's father-in-law was recorded saying the chancellor was opposing the "absurd" climate targets. Another rightwing Tory, the junior energy minister John Hayes, has prompted a series of rows with the secretary of state, the Lib Dem Ed Davey, over wind energy....click source for full report from Fiona Harvey
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London, 4 September: As the cost of government measures to combat climate change hit households and businesses, a new study published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation casts grave doubts on the validity of the “Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change” which the government relies on to justify its policies.
The substantial study, by Peter Lilley MP, is the most thorough analysis of the Stern Review so far undertaken. It takes the IPCC’s view of the science of global warming as given, but points out that Stern’s economic conclusions contradict the views of most of the world’s leading environmental economists and even the economic conclusions of the IPCC itself. The study also catalogues a series of errors and distortions in the Stern Review “any one of which would have caused it to fail peer review”.
Because Stern’s conclusions endorsed policies adopted by both government and opposition and its highly tendentious assumptions were not explicit, it was initially accepted without public scrutiny.
The new study shows the Stern Review to depend critically on “selective choice of facts, unusual economic assumptions and a propagandist narrative – which would never have passed peer review”.
Describing it as “policy based evidence”, Peter Lilley argues the government can no longer rely on it to justify expenditure of many billions of pounds and calls for a return return instead to “evidence based policies”.
It's a good question, as the right wing of the Conservative party in the UK is acting as a dangerous and expensive drag on the developing green economy, but it's worth getting some perspective before grappling with the issue. Only three of 600 or so MPs voted against the climate change act, which enshrined the UK's carbon cuts in law. All three main parties in the UK back action on climate change, and every government and science academy on Earth does the same.
So the problem is a fringe one. About 10% of UK citizens think climate change poses no threat, but those people are twice as likely to be Conservative voters, and twice as likely to be male and over 65 years old. Nonetheless, this fringe exert an influence beyond their numbers, assisted by the right-wing press.
The problem is that global environmental problems require global action, which means co-operation if there are to be no free-riders. That implies international treaties and regulations, which to some on the right equate with communism.
Climate change presents a significant long-term risk to the UK and international environment and economy. However, some on the political right are suspicious of taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some are hostile to the climate science. Others worry that action to protect the environment is just a cover for more radical, anti-capitalist political aims. Another strand challenges the economics behind some of the policy measures being taken, and fear they threaten economic growth unnecessarily and may even undermine green aims.