Saturday 15 June 2019

Lukewarm about climate change

In the 1980s I detested Margaret Thatcher and in the 1990s disliked the Thatcherites. That's why I sort of accepted John Major's arguments in favour of the Maastricht Treaty. 

Naturally I am ashamed of this mistake but I also find that, nice though Ken Clarke and Rory Stewart are, they have very mistaken opinions on a huge number of things. While 'the bastards' as John Major called his three opponents in the Cabinet, are right about many things. 

Lord (Peter) Lilley was one of those three, along with John Redwood and Michael Portillo, who, a Lib Dem friend recently said to me, would make a good Prime Minister now. 

Peter Lilley was among just five MPs to vote against the Climate Change Act in the House of Commons in 2008. He says in the most recent Spectator podcast that climate change is happening, human activity contributes to it, but its effect will be to raise world temperatures by half a degree, which is negligible. The melting of the polar ice caps is a huge thing, but is not expected to happen for millenia.

More confessions. I looked down on him partly because he read physics at Cambridge. I should certainly not have done so - being a scientist enables him to understand climate (not much) change.

The Book of Revelations says that because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth, but this need not apply to climate change theories. Lord Lilley calls himself a lukewarmist and that seems a sensible position.

He worked out that the Climate Change Bill had benefits calculated at £52 billion while the costs would be at least £95 billion. He said:

“I wasn’t voting against the science. I’ve never disputed the science at all. I remember thinking, 'here’s no point in hanging around the chamber and seeing this humiliating result come out’, so I went out to have a drink in the bar, and on the way I looked out the window and it was snowing in October.

“And so I went back and called a point of order – which is quite difficult to do during a debate, you have to put on a top hat and other fancy things, but the speaker let me do so – and I pointed out to the house that we were passing a measure on the belief that the world was getting warmer and it was snowing in October in London for the first time in 74 years.

“Immediately, I was told that extreme cold is a symptom of global warming. I thought that this was proof enough that this was an unfalsifiable proposition. If things can heat up and cool down and both of them prove that it’s heating up, you know you can prove anything!”

In 2018, after ten years of the Climate Change Act 2008, he said:

“I decided to vote against the Climate Change Act when I read the Impact Assessment which showed that the potential cost was twice the prospective benefit. Ten years later the costs are coming home to roost and the benefits remain illusory.”

Catholics are free to disagree with the Pope on very many things and certainly on science, where the Church has no authority or expertise and a very bad track record (think Galileo). The Pope, I am sorry to say, seems to be as completely wrong about climate change as is he about migrants (politics is also outside his remit). 

Theresa May's attempt, without cabinet approval, to bind the UK to ending carbon emissions is as bad as the rest of her malign legacy. 

A politician told me that Ken Clarke's vice was "arrogance, which he hides by bonhomie". Theresa May's is vanity, which she hides by dullness and a pretence of piety.

Tim Montgomerie speaks for me when he says in Conservative Home:

"This presents a final test for those ministers who sit around the top table in government and especially to those who are still in the leadership race. Will they finally stand up to Mrs May? The next leader and his Cabinet (and we know it will now be a “he”) should decide how billions of hard-earned taxpayers’ money should be spent. Even if they agree with May’s spending priorities they should benefit from announcing them. And if they don’t agree with the priorities they deserve better than a lame duck PM half-emptying the fiscal cupboard before they even get there."
If only one of the candidates to succeed her would dissociate himself from the climate change illusion.

1 comment:

  1. One of the Left’s greatest accomplishments is turning support for an overtly political issue—global warming—into philanthropy. Dozens of massive foundations pour hundreds of millions of dollars each year into “climate resilience” and “climate justice” causes in America.

    But one funder, the mysterious Oak Foundation, does so with little to no American oversight. Ensconced in the alpine city of Geneva, Switzerland, this mega-funder quietly spends its millions on activist groups which push climate change policies in the developing world and encourage cities to sue the oil and gas industry over supposed global warming-related damages.

    According to the online service FoundationSearch, Oak’s American arm—the San Francisco-based Oak Foundation USA—paid out $430 million in grants between 1999 and 2016. These grants run the gamut of issue areas with a particular emphasis on environmentalist and social justice causes.

    One of the Oak Foundation’s areas of focus is funding climate change activism. The group has funded Greenpeace, the World Resources Institute, Environmental Law Institute, World Wildlife Fund, and other eco-activist groups to support the 2015 Paris Climate Accords and push global warming policies.