Magazine article The Spectator

'The Global Warming Concern Is over. Time for a Return to Sanity': A Spectator Debate

Magazine article The Spectator

'The Global Warming Concern Is over. Time for a Return to Sanity': A Spectator Debate

Article excerpt

Lord Lawson, the former chancellor, proposed the motion by addressing various myths promoted by the 'relics' of the opposition. The average temperature rise since fossil fuels were first used had been barely one degree Celsius, he said, and no warming had been observed this century. The cost of 'decarbonising' the economy, he added, would be catastrophic.

Oil was not about to run out and 'winnable gas' was available in ever greater abundance. Yet schoolchildren were being deliberately scared to death about global warming by their teachers. 'This is not just outrageous but wicked.'

Simon Singh, opposing, said that he was more willing to credit the 97 per cent of scientists who were worried about climate change than the campaigners and journalists opposed. Sceptical opinion was animated by a 'love of mavericks' even though 99 per cent of mavericks turn out to be wrong. 'Follow the smart money and the smart arguments.'

Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Manchester Blackley, accused Singh of making an authoritarian argument. 'In the 16th century he'd have been putting the case for the papacy against Galileo.'

He told us of a climate scientist who gave this response to a request from a sceptical opponent: 'Why should I send you data when you just want to find out what's wrong with it?' 'Finding out what's wrong with data, ' said Stringer, 'is the entire basis of science.' We should be wary of reacting to an unproven theory by lavishing funds on 'incredibly expensive technologies'.

Professor Tim Palmer, president of the Royal Meteorological Society, said that belief in climate change is not the issue. …

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