Nigel Lawson takes some time out to remind us that beneath the wind-turbine, ikea lightbulb and huskie enviro-spin of DC, those Tories retain a deep vein of hostility towards solving the looming environmental crisis that faces the planet.
While most people have reacted to Stern’s warning that we must act now not later to curb carbon emissions by thinking about how best to reduce those emissions, Nigel starts by trying to rubbish Stern. “If scaremongering seems a trifle harsh, I should point out that, as a good civil servant, he was simply doing his masters’ bidding,” he asserts.
Although he recognises that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that it has increased in the atmosphere, he asks what this means for the future of global warming and concludes that, “the only honest answer is that we don’t know.”
He then meanders through the well trodden path taken by the “man-made global warming deniers“, now widely discredited among scientists. The trip takes in the “medieval warm period”, vineyards on Hadrian’s wall and ice fairs on the Thames.
The best way to deal with this cyclical global warming, he argues, is not to cut emissions but rather, the “most important part of the answer to the question of what we should do about the threat of global warming: adapt to it.”
Nevermind that rising sea levels could see 15% of Bangladesh engulfed by the ocean. They can receive “international assistance” for dikes.
So why is everyone so worried about this crisis then? Simple, “Throughout the ages something deep in man’s psyche has made him receptive to apocalyptic warnings: “the end of the world is nigh”.
These fears are being played on by the “new priests” who are scientists, of course. Scientists are the clerics of the “new religion is eco-fundamentalism.”
Furthermore, “the new religion of eco-fundamentalism does present dangers on at least three levels.” And those are the danger of “anti-Americanism” causing measure to be implemented that damage the economy (green taxes), that it might cause hostility to the “market economy” and, even worse, to give in to “ecofundamentalism” is to give up reason and tolerance, similar to Islamic fundamentalism.
Yes, the former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer thinks that there is equivalence between people who campaign to stop global warming like Friends of the Earth and the 9/11 bombers, the Taliban, Richard Reid and the July 7th bombers.
In his own words:
Today we are very conscious of the threat we face from the supreme intolerance of Islamic fundamentalism. It could not be a worse time to abandon our own traditions of reason and tolerance, and to embrace instead the irrationality and intolerance of ecofundamentalism