Sunday, Aug 31, 2008
As the estimated cost of measures proposed by politicians to “combat global warming” soars ever higher – such as the International Energy Council’s $45 trillion – “fighting climate change” has become the single most expensive item on the world’s political agenda.
As Senators Obama and McCain vie with the leaders of the European Union to promise 50, 60, even 80 per cent cuts in “carbon emissions”, it is clear that to realise even half their imaginary targets would necessitate a dramatic change in how we all live, and a drastic reduction in living standards.
All this makes it rather important to know just why our politicians have come to believe that global warming is the most serious challenge confronting mankind, and just how reliable is the evidence for the theory on which their policies are based.
(Article continues below)
By far the most influential player in putting climate change at the top of the global agenda has been the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chan ge (IPCC), set up in 1988, not least on the initiative of the Thatcher government. (This was why the first chairman of its scientific working group was Sir John Houghton, then the head of the UK’s Meteorological Office.)
Through a succession of reports and international conferences, it was the IPCC which led to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, soon to have an even more ambitious successor, to be agreed in Copenhagen next year.
The common view of the IPCC is that it consists of 2,500 of the world’s leading scientists who, after carefully weighing all the evidence, have arrived at a “consensus” that world temperatures are rising disastrously, and that the only plausible cause has been rising levels of CO2 and other man-made greenhouse gases.
In fact, as has become ever more apparent over the past 20 years –not least thanks to the evidence of a succession of scientists who have participated in the IPCC itself – the reality of this curious body could scarcely be more different.
This article was posted: Sunday, August 31, 2008 at 3:27 am