Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

UK Climate Conference: We're Toast!

Leonard Gilroy
February 3, 2005, 8:38am

For those of us that get a kick out of climate alarmism, it doesn't get any more entertaining than when hundreds of climate scientists gather in one spot for a Chicken Little pow-wow. And this week's conference on "Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change," held at the U.K. Meteorological Office in Exeter, England did not disappoint. The conference was organized by U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair and aimed to bolster Britain's efforts to make climate change a central issue during its Group of Eight (G8) and EU Presidencies this year. Predictably, the conferees have determined that the threats posed by global warming are worse than previously expected and that we already may be too far along to stop the looming global catastrophe. Think "The Day After Tomorrow," but slower and worse. Here's a sampling of the 'doom-and-gloom' headlines emanating from Exeter: You get the point. Given the seeming level of certainty among scientists in their apocalyptic pronouncements, I was a little surprised (not!) to run into this Agence France Presse article: It's convenient to ignore the high level of uncertainty and the shaky scientific foundation underlying most climate science, since it doesn't advance the political agenda of Tony Blair, the IPCC, or the environmental activist community-at-large. The Financial Post's Peter Foster nails the situation perfectly: Read the whole thing for a dose of climate common sense. The best line in Foster's piece: Exactly. UPDATE: Philip Stott at the excellent UK blog EnviroSpin Watch offers his take on the Exeter conference here. But even more interesting is his take on Tony Blair's motivations behind the hysterical conference: using the cloak of climate alarmism combined with public pressure on the Bush administration to do an end run around hard-core greens towards the end of reintroducing nuclear power and shifting focus from carbon emissions control to carbon sequestration. Both ideas are opposed by greens. If true, it's a politically shrewd strategy, though it's a shame that sound science and public discourse have to sustain damage in the process.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform

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