But only in a Crecy (1346) way rather than an Agincourt (1415) way – which is to say we’ve got an awful long way to go before this war’s over.
Still, I do think we evil Climate Change Deniers can take heart from this characteristically incisive piece by Brian Micklethwait at the libertarian/classical liberal website Samizdata. (Hat tip: Richard North).
Micklethwait draws parallels between “climate change” and the Cold War.
Meanwhile, the AGW debate has arrived at the same position that the Cold War argument had arrived at in or around about 1970 to 1980. An informed minority of pro-economic-progress critics had won the academic argument against the pro-economic-derangement academics, and word of this victory was spreading. And a particular thing that happened then is starting to happen now, which is that even intelligent layman critics of the John Redwood (and Brian Micklethwait) variety are starting to understand the details of the argument better than even the very smartest of the pro-derangement scientists, of the sort who are still advising governments, or who are still receiving and still trying still to believe this advice.
Micklethwait is right. We sceptics have started to wipe the floor with our opponents in a way that just wasn’t possible twelve months ago. The “smoking gun” evidence kindly provided by the Climategate leakster has been a huge help of course. As too has Mother Nature (I call her Clima-tor). But the real boost has been the following wind provided by shifting public opinion.
As I know all too well from my own public speaking appearances, you perform SO much better if you know that your audience is half-way onside. And the public has had quite enough of Al Gore’s AGW scam, with polls on both sides of the Atlantic showing that only a minority now believe human emissions play a significant role in “Climate Change”.
The big problem now is not so much winning the intellectual argument but, as Dominic Lawson argues, persuading our political classes to take the blindest bit of notice. This wouldn’t be the first time that both Government and Opposition have been united in pursuing a completely wrong idea to its bitter end.
This is what happened in the general election of 1992, when the Conservative government and its Labour and Liberal Democrat opponents were united in the view that sterling should remain linked to the deutschmark via the exchange-rate mechanism (ERM). This had been forcing the unnecessary closure of thousands of businesses as Bank of England interest rates went up and up to maintain an exchange rate deemed morally virtuous by the entire political establishment — and, indeed, by every national newspaper.
I like that snarky little remark at the end about “every national newspaper”. Especially when written in a newspaper like The Sunday Times which, with the Times, has proved so nauseatingly biased towards glib, unthinking Warmism that it might almost be the Independent.
Lawson goes on:
Now, almost a generation later, we face another election in which the main parties are united in a single masochistic view: that the nation must cut its carbon emissions by 80% — this is what all but five MPs voted for in the Climate Change Act — to save not just ourselves but also the entire planet from global warming. For this to happen — to meet the terms of the act, I mean, not to “save the world” — the typical British family will have to pay thousands of pounds a year more in bills, since the cost of renewable energy is so much higher than that of oil, gas and coal.
All good points well made. But will such arguments make any difference? I can’t say I was desperately encouraged by a recent chat with a Cameroon MP who assured me that David Cameron remains as fanatically green as ever. The Cameroon began praising the razor intellect of the Tories’ environment spokesman Greg Clark who, the Cameroon said, was more than capable of discerning sense from nonsense. After all, the Cameroon said, even if Global Warming does prove to have been exaggerated, it remains paramount that Britain maintains her energy security.
Ah yes. That old chestnut. I don’t think anyone disagrees that we do need energy security. (And that having an actual energy policy would be quite nice, too). But if this is how the Tories are planning on spinning wind farms, solar power, a Severn barrage, and other environmentally-disastrous, pie-in-the-sky, eco-fascist nonsense we should be very wary. These inefficient, grotesquely expensive “alternative energy” sources will be no more useful in providing us with energy security than they will be in “combatting climate change.” They are, indeed, as Lawson warns, a disaster in the making:
The vast programme of wind turbines for which the bills are now coming in will not, by the way, avert the energy cut-offs declared last week by the national grid. Quite the opposite: as is often the case, the recent icy temperatures have been accompanied by negligible amounts of wind. If we had already decommissioned any of our fossil-fuel power stations and replaced them with wind power, we would now be facing a genuine civil emergency rather than merely inconvenience.