Saturday, December 05, 2009

Gordon Brown attacks 'flat-earth' climate change sceptics

Gordon Brown has condemned Saudi Arabian and American Republican sceptics of climate change as being "flat Earth" cynics.

Sceptics in the UK and the US have moved to capitalise on a series of hacked emails from climate change scientists at the University of East Anglia, claiming they show attempts to hide information that does not support the case for human activity causing rising temperatures.

On the eve of the Copenhagen summit, Saudi Arabia and Republican members of the US Congress have used the emails to claim the need for urgent action to cut carbon emissions has been undermined.

But tonight the prime minister, his environment secretary, Ed Miliband, and Ed Markey, the man who co-authored the US climate change bill, joined forces to condemn the sceptics.

"With only days to go before Copenhagen we mustn't be distracted by the behind-the-times, anti-science, flat-earth climate sceptics," Brown told the Guardian. "We know the science. We know what we must do. We must now act and close the 5bn-tonne gap. That will seal the deal."

Denying this problem until it's too big to fix appears to be an obsession - nay, a religion - amongst the far right.

Ed Miliband recently launched an attack on Nigel Lawson, the ex-Thatcherite Chancellor, for decrying climate change.
"It is profoundly irresponsible for people like Nigel Lawson, who has held high office, and David Davis to be doing what they are doing. It is very dangerous. People sabotaging the [Copenhagen] process deserve the name saboteur," Miliband said. "There are interests who do not want an agreement at Copenhagen. Anyone who comes forward at this moment and starts saying 'we can stick our heads in the sand' is irresponsible."
David Davis went as far as to claim that the leaked emails seemed to show leading scientists "conspiring to rig the figures to support their theories". Oh, how the right wing have come to love their conspiracy theories.

David Cameron continues to try to rebuild his party's image and lose the anti-green reputation of the Tories, but with people like Lawson and Davis coming across as members of the flat Earth society, you can see that Cameron has his work cut out for him.

Indeed, the top ten Tory bloggers in the UK all disagree with the stance Cameron is taking towards climate change.

All of the top 10 Tory bloggers either doubt or dismiss the scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity, according to a survey of the views of top Conservative thinkers on the web. The views run counter to David Cameron's focus on environment issues and will deal a blow to his hopes of changing the Tory party's anti-green image.

All 10 bloggers, including MPs, MEPS and key Tory thinkers, reject or question the view that climate change is caused by humans, and many disagree with their leader that addressing it should be an urgent policy priority if they win power.

I don't quite understand how denying something which, in the scientific world, is almost universally accepted, has become such a defining principle to so many on the far right, but it undeniably has.

John Redwood went as far as to say recently that the better weather produced by global warming would be a good thing for tourism and outside sports. I'm not making that up, that's really the argument he put forward.

It's hard to take these nutcases remotely seriously. They are cranks and oddballs. And if they are that out of kilter on global warming, why should anyone trust them with the economy?

Brown was right to call them out as the Luddites which they are.

Click here for full article.

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