The Politics of Global Warming

This article is a precis of a piece by Janet Daley, DT 12 Mar 07

I'm sceptical about the climate change campaign because its exponents remind me of the people I knew years ago. They behave like Marxists - their self-belief used as a justification for criticising or demonising those who have different views from their own.

I am not a scientist, and can't really weigh up the scientific evidence. But I can see that there are difficulties interpreting the data, and that the reasons for global warming are not as clear-cut as they want us to believe.

I used to be an academic, and I believe that intellectual progress can only come through argument and self - criticism. It is wrong for any group to attempt to suppress opposition to an argument or thesis. But "greenery" - the blaming of global warming on humans without a full debate - is not scholarship, it is politics, which is hardly renowned for its honesty. The discussion has been taken over by those who do not value free intellectual inquiry - or, for that matter, the truth.

Some of the dissident voices on climate change were featured on a recent Channel 4 documentary by Martin Durkin, "The Great Global Warming Swindle". Whether or not you were persuaded by their doubts, it was clear that McCarthyite persecution (including death threats) had been taking place. Hundreds of years after Galileo, we are still susceptible to those who want to suppress inconvenient intellectual opposition.

The Liberal Democrat spokesman, Chris Huhne, had not seen the programme, but wrote to Channel 4 executives advising them not to show it.

One respect in which the green lobby is unlike the Trotskyists of 30 years ago is that they do not care about the less well-off. Green taxes hit the lower paid disproportionately hard. The same logic applies to big business; they can get political credit whilst their smaller competitors are driven out of business by the cost of meeting new environmental rules.

One of the disturbing points in the Durkin programme was that some of the most backward areas of Africa are being told they must not exploit their oil reserves because of the damage their fossil fuel would do to the planet.

So - they would be prevented from having safe water supplies, irrigation, electric lighting, and all the other benefits they need so badly.

Before I hear politicians and others pontificating about what the poorest people in the world must give up, I want to hear as many arguments as possible about global warming and what causes it. Without proper debate, we will not get to the truth.

(paraphrased by ND, Mar 07)

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