The truth about climate change?

The Prime Minister made the announcement in the presence of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, in whose country the long-awaited UN Climate Change summit will open tomorrow.

We can imagine the hard work put in by countless officials before consensus could have been reached on such a subject in such an august forum as a CHOGM. And the Commonwealth is now looking forward to a follow-up deal in Copenhagen by the end of the two-week summit, a deal that will save the planet from man-made destruction.

How ironic is it then that, only three days after the CHOGM ended, Britain’s Daily Express carried the blaring front-page headline, THE BIG CLIMATE CHANGE ‘FRAUD’. The accompanying story, written by the paper’s Environment Editor John Ingham, also had the sub-headline, “We are not to blame says top scientist…It’s a con to raise tax.”

Now, we all know that all scientific ideas have their supporters as well as those who do not believe. And this is not the first time that we have heard from global warming and climate change doubters. But somehow, this story seems different.

In his first paragraph, Mr Ingham said the scientific consensus that mankind has caused climate change was rocked yesterday by what Professor Ian Plimer, a leading academic, called a “load of hot air underpinned by fraud.” Professor Plimer condemned the climate change lobby as “climate comrades” keeping the “gravy train” going.

In a controversial talk to a London audience, he said governments were treating the public like “fools” and using climate change to increase taxes. He stated that carbon dioxide has had no impact on temperature and that recent warming was part of the natural cycle of climate, stretching over billions of years.

He added: “Climates always change. They always have and they always will. They are driven by a number of factors that are random and cyclical.” He explained that climate change was caused by natural events such as volcanic eruptions, the shifting of the earth’s orbit and cosmic radiation.

He said: “Carbon dioxide levels have been up to 1,000 times higher in the past and cannot be driving global warming now.

In the past, we have had rapid and significant climate change, with temperature changes greater than anything we are measuring today. They are driven by processes that have been going on since the beginning of time.”

He cited periods of warming during the Roman Empire and in the Middle Ages — when Vikings grew crops on Greenland — and cooler phases such as the Dark Ages and the Little Ice Age from 1300 to 1850. And he predicted that the next phase would cool the planet.

Professor Plimer, of Adelaide and Melbourne Universities, is an expert in mining geology. His comments came days after a scandal in climate change research emerged through the leak of e-mails from the world-leading Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

The e-mails appeared to show that scientists had been massaging data to prove that global warming was taking place.

They were seized upon by sceptics who claimed that one-email included an admittance that robust data to prove the world was warming up simply didn’t exist and that data which did not support global warming were deliberately suppressed.

The journalist Christopher Booker has recently written a book on what he said he had no hesitation in calling the most alarming story he has ever reported in all his years as a journalist.

He is not alarmed at global warming. What alarms him is how the belief that the world has to fight the threat of global warming has crept to the top of the political agenda.

We have seen this at the Port-of-Spain CHOGM and will see it again in Copenhagen during the next two weeks where 20,000 politicians, officials, scientists, environmental activists and assorted hangers-on have gathered to discuss a new treaty to decide just what measures we shall all have to accept to keep the threat at bay.

To place the significance of what is alarming Mr Booker into context, let me just say that the British Parliament has already passed, virtually unopposed, what was far and away the most expensive new law ever put before it.

On the Government’s own figures, the Climate Change Act is going to cost Britain ?18billion a year or ?720 for every household in the country every year from now to 2050.

Yet, astonishingly, scarcely a single MP questioned the need for such a law. Only three voted against it.

An editorial in the Daily Express last Wednesday sums it up this way. It said in part: “With two weeks of brainwashing about to be unleashed upon the world at Copenhagen, Professor Plimer was right to attack the disgraceful massaging of data by scientists determined to make the facts fit their story of drastic man-made temperature change.”


"The truth about climate change?"

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