First of all, may I say that I am very glad to see that you’re still busy, speaking as one who voted and campaigned for you since about 1996. In the ideological and factional battleground that is the Labour Party, I have been proud to call myself a Blairite – that is standing for a liberal but muscular foreign policy, while using the fruits of free-market economics to improve the prospects for everyone in Britain for this century.
However, I have to fundamentally disagree with your recent Times article about dealing with climate change. I would side in this argument with Professor Phillip Stott, Lord Lawson of Balby and many on the sceptical side of the debate about Anthropogenic Global Warming. There is an off repeated phrase and statement about a scientific consensus or that the science is settled etc that is simply not true.
The Hadley Centre for Science, last year, released a report that unpredicted by their climate models the world had not warmed since 1998. Alternative research is beginning to suggest that not only are carbon dioxide emissions not responsible for the rise in temperature since the 19th Century but that instead this might be related to something called cosmic rays. If you feel that I am quite mad, please go to the links provided at the end of the email to see the scientific research. In sum, the theory about cosmic rays is that cosmic radiation stimulates cloud formation and that the solar wind affects the concentration of these rays; the stronger the solar wind, the less rays, therefore less cloud formation.
Furthermore, since the 15th or 16th Centuries, the concentrations of “sunspots”, areas of reverse polarity (if I remember correctly) on the Sun determining the strength or weakness of the solar wind have been directly matched with temperature records in history, matched by the ice core records. From the 14th century with the beginning of the little ice age to the later 17th century, the (overall) weaker solar wind could have been responsible for the massive drop in temperature and consequent smaller harvests and harsher climatic conditions around the globe.
The danger is that the domination of the industrial CO2 agenda blinds us to further aspects within this debate but worse that the Green agenda acts as a meta-narrative, if you will, a modern secular religion akin to Marxism that aims to sweep aside all debate by remaining in possession of a revealed truth: namely, that man has caused the planet to heat up and this will have potentially catastrophic consequences. I’m sorry to have to say this but the Stern Report was both dishonest and not worth the paper on which it was written. A much much better analysis can be found with Bjorn Lomberg and the Copenhagen Consensus and might I say, a profoundly saner one at that. Bjorn and I disagree about anthropogenic global warming but we agree that spending trillions of dollars to tackle global warming is not just wasteful at this present time but will do much greater harm to other more pressing causes at this moment in time.
For thirty million dollars a year (approx.) we could solve the problem of unreliable and dirty drinking water and save two million lives per year. The cost of Kyoto would be approximately one trillion dollars per year. The costs are not comparable. By even the IPCC’s reckoning, Kyoto will only delay global warming by no more than three to five years. So in other words, we will have spent all that money, diverted aid from needy causes for what? Five years grace?
It would be far far better to enable the third world nations to pull their peoples out of poverty, so as they will able in the future to adapt to adverse climate change.
I’m sorry, but it must the greatest act of political hubris to imagine that we can actually control climate predictably when the climate scientists only understand about seven percent of all the factors involved and furthermore to declare that we do understand climate to a degree required to control its future variations is actually non-scientific since it takes the current theories as irrevocably proven.
Anyhow, rant over…
Hope you are as heartened as I am about the progress in Iraq and movement towards a civil society.