This week, The Spectator writes Meet the man who has exposed the great climate change con trick:

James Delingpole talks to Professor Ian Plimer, the Australian geologist, whose new book shows that ‘anthropogenic global warming’ is a dangerous, ruinously expensive fiction, a ‘first-world luxury’ with no basis in scientific fact. Shame on the publishers who rejected the book.

‘The hypothesis that human activity can create global warming is extraordinary because it is contrary to validated knowledge from solar physics, astronomy, history, archaeology and geology,’ says Plimer, and while his thesis is not new, you’re unlikely to have heard it expressed with quite such vigour, certitude or wide-ranging scientific authority. Where fellow sceptics like Bjorn Lomborg or Lord Lawson of Blaby are prepared cautiously to endorse the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) more modest predictions, Plimer will cede no ground whatsoever. Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory, he argues, is the biggest, most dangerous and ruinously expensive con trick in history.

And as it happens, I just finished Nigel Lawson’s An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming. From the Afterword:

Much has happened over the year that has elapsed since this book was first published, and all of it has served only to reinforce its main thesis. That thesis, in a nutshell, was and remains the proposition that, even if the current majority view of the science of global warming is correct, the policy response we are told we must urgently adopt, of drastic curbs on global carbon dioxide emissions, makes no sense: it is both economically damaging and politically unattainable.

Lawson explains that, far from denying the science, he thinks it prudent to act as if it were correct, planning for adaptation. He does, however, touch on the science, showing that:

  • The science is neither certain nor settled.
  • Global warming is not happening right now.
  • Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

Now, I am not ready to take a position on climate science, nor to condemn climate alarmism as the new anti-capitalistic religion (as Lawson does), but it seems that a person concerned with the prosperity and well-being of humanity should take a critically rational look at the science and the suggested policy response. Lawson refers to a survey of climate scientists, two thirds of whom agreed that anthropogenic global warming is supported by the science, in which only 8% thought ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’ was ‘the most pressing issue facing humanity today’. Whether we should accept the present policy response must therefore be a question worthy of debate, even among mainstream climate scientists.

For a critique of the science, I suggest Jo Nova’s The Skeptics Handbook and The Manhattan Declaration. For alternative perspectives on the associated environmental question of resource depletion, I recommend these videos on the arithmetic of growth and this essay on Oil and the Doomers’ Dire Predictions. You may also enjoy this Climate Quiz.

If we are serious about human progress, about promoting prosperity for the world’s poor, we must be rational. Reason shows that the route to social progress is unhampered cooperation between independent, interdependent people. It would be better if governments got out of the way, if poor nations industrialized and if we anticipated spontaneous adaptation if and when necessary.


  1. northernheckler

    Nothing to do with this post, but I did buy “Bad Thoughts, a guide to clear thinking” — Jamie Whyte, on your recommendation and am about half way through.

    I’ll give you a final verdict when I’ve finished, but am finding it quite entertaining.

    Although I can find fault with many of his lines of argument, if all politicians and most voters gave half as much thought to their arguments as he does, we wouldn’t need political parties. I’ll finish it sometime this week

  2. Glad to be of service 🙂

    In other news, The Independent cheerfully reproduces the UN’s forecast of an early end to civilization:

    I have yet to read the report, but the news article suggests it smacks of the presupposition that society needs to be managed if it is to survive, a very old lie discussed before (search the site for Popper).