100 reasons why “vote blue, go green” won’t work

The European Foundation set out "100 reasons why climate change is natural and not manmade". Left Foot Forward has 100 reasons why "vote blue, go green" won't work.

This week a briefing by the European Foundation setting out “100 reasons why climate change is natural and not manmade” was covered by the Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, and Conservative Home. In homage, Left Foot Forward sets out 100 reasons why “vote blue, go green” won’t work.

    Tory grandees and MPs

  1. David Cameron describes himself as a “Lawsonian“. Tory grandee Lord Nigel Lawson has written that “I have no idea whether the majority scientific view (and it is far from a consensus) is correct.”
  2. He also said, “There is a strong moral argument (to keep emitting) … for the developing world, the overriding priority has to be the fastest feasible rate of economic development, which means, inter alia, using the cheapest available form of energy: carbon-based energy.”
  3. In the same article: “A warmer climate brings benefits as well as disadvantages. Even if there is a net disadvantage, which is uncertain, it is far less than the economic cost (let alone the human cost) of decarbonisation.”
  4. Lawson recently set up a new think tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, described by John Prescott as a “petrol tank“.
  5. Tory grandee Peter Lilley, tipped to return to the Cabinet if Cameron wins, was one of only five MPs to vote against the 2008 Climate Change Act.
  6. Earlier this month Lilley said, “Scientists would rather change facts than their theories”
  7. He has also said, “There is an irrefutable scientific process [on global warming]. I just think its effects tend to be exaggerated.”
  8. Just yesterday, writing in the Wall Street Journal, Lilley dismissed the scientific consensus on climate change as “groupthink“.
  9. Lilley is also a paid non-executive director of Tethys Petroleum Limited – a giant oil and gas exploration company.
  10. The Tethys website also states that Lilley was an election observer for the 2005 Kazakhstan presidential elections, which is handy given that Tethys is “proud to be the first non-Kazakh oil and gas company listed on the new RFCA exchange in Almaty”. In 2005, the Times reported that Lilley’s British team were accused of a “Kazakh poll whitewash.”
  11. Christopher Chope MP was the 2nd of only five MPs to vote against the Climate Change Act.
  12. Talking about his opposition to the second reading of the Bill, Chope said: “When the history books are written in 2050, people will ask why only five people voted against Second Reading of the ludicrous measure.”
  13. Philip Davies was the third MP to vote against the Climate Change Act.
  14. Davies told the Commons, “We appear to have gone down a road whereby people’s ability to exercise free speech on certain subjects is being undermined, and there is no greater example of that at the moment than climate change.”
  15. Andrew Tyrie was the fourth MP to vote against the Climate Change Act.
  16. Tyrie said, “This Bill combines some of the characteristics of both the poll tax and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, except on a much grander scale. Either it will be implemented, in which case, like the poll tax, it could be as economically unworkable as it would be politically suicidal, or it will not, in which case, like the Dangerous Dogs Act, it will turn out to be yet another exercise in gesture politics.”
  17. Ann Widdecombe was the fifth MP to vote against the Climate Change Act.
  18. This summer Widdecombe told Total Politics magazine, “It so happens that I know that an awful lot of people in our party – and by that I mean a lot – are deeply unhappy with the way that we’ve signed up apparently quite blindly to the climate change agenda.”
  19. During the debate, John Maples MP said, “I do not believe that the science is anything like as settled as the proponents of the Bill are making out. In fact, the scientists hedge their predictions with an awful lot of qualifications and maybes that those who invoke them often omit.”
  20. Maples abstained from the vote.
  21. Bill Cash MP is the Chair of the European Foundation which wrote the hilarious report offering a 100 reasons why “global warming was natural and manmade”
  22. Andrew Rosindell MP is the European Foundation’s International Director
  23. The advisory board of the European Foundation includes Shadow Cabinet member Oliver Letwin.
  24. Iain Duncan Smith MP, tipped for a return to the front bench if the Conservatives win the election, is also on the board.
  25. David Davis MP is another advisory board member.
  26. Davis recently wrote in the Independent that, “the planet appears to have been cooling, not warming, in the last decade.”
  27. Graham Brady MP is also on the European Foundation advisory board
  28. Brady recently said, “There is some room for debate about why the climate is changing and the best ways of tackling it. “
  29. Other European Foundation advisory board members include Angela Browning MP
  30. … David Heathcoat-Amory MP
  31. … Bernard Jenkin MP
  32. … Owen Paterson MP
  33. … John Whittingdale MP
  34. … Richard Shepherd MP
  35. … Sir Peter Tapsell MP
  36. And Tory donor Lord McAlpine of West Green
  37. Not to mention former Conservative MP, Howard Flight
  38. And, of course, Roger Helmer MEP
  39. Indeed, the problem of climate scepticism and denial among Conservative MPs is so severe that according to the Green Alliance “a third of Tory MPs who responded to a ComRes survey, released in July [2008], questioned the existence of climate change and its link to human activity.”
  40. Prospective candidates

  41. On his blog, Conservative candidate for the safe Conservative seat of Wycombe, Steve Baker, cites the infamous Spectator cover featuring climate denier, Ian Plimer, as well as quoting Lord Lawson. He goes on: “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.”
  42. Leeds North East candidate, Matthew Lobley, uses his blog to say “The interesting subject is carbon dioxide (CO2). This gas, regularly referred to as a ‘pollutant’ is, of course, the stuff that makes our plants grow. The concern held by many scientists is when it becomes more predominant in our atmosphere.”
  43. David Morris, candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale addressed a recent Heysham Against Turbines meeting. He boasts on his website that he, “has had experience in fighting land based applications including the recently rejected Hutton Roof Windfarm.”
  44. Problems in Europe

  45. In the European Parliament, Conservative MEP and blogger Daniel Hannan voted against a European Parliament motion, which was consistent with Tory party policy. It stated that the Copenhagen talks should agree to an 80 per cent cut in emissions by 2050.
  46. Roger Helmer MEP also voted against the motion.
  47. Helmer recently hosted a “climate sceptics” conference in Brussels, which featured Nigel Lawson’s protege Benny Peiser.
  48. Helmer has accused Lord Nick Stern as being “the pin-up economist of the climate hysteria movement.”
  49. Helmer recently accused the Church of England of having “abandoned religious faith entirely and taken up the new religion of climate alarmism instead”.
  50. Hannan and Helmer would not even vote in favour of an amendment which stated that the “Copenhagen agreement should bind the parties to mandatory reductions and provide for sanctions at international level for non-compliance, their form remaining to be defined.”
  51. 11 Polish members of Cameron’s European Conservatives and Reformists voted against the final European Parliament motion including controversial ECR leader Michal Kaminski
  52. Indeed, not a single member of the Law and Justice Party voted in favour of the motion.
  53. Of course that’s because Kaminski’s Law and Justice Party deny the existence of man-made climate change.
  54. Three members of the Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party, all in the ECR, also voted against the motion.
  55. One of them, Ivo Strejcek, has said: “Policies relating to climate change are based to a large extent on alarmist ideologies. The evidence for climate change is controversial. Hypotheses blaming man for this change are also, to say the least, disputable. Man is seen as a creature who is harmful to the environment without making a beneficial contribution. I do not share this view.”
  56. Another who abstained, Hynek Fajmon, said: “The Earth’s climate has changed, is changing and will change regardless of whether or not we want it to. This will not be influenced in any way by the absurd undertakings which the EU is imposing on itself in this area.”
  57. Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, who founded the Civic Democratic Party, is regarded as the most senior climate sceptic in Europe. He has said, “Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so.”
  58. The sole Belgian member of the ECR, Derk Jan Eppink, voted against the European Parliament motion.
  59. Eppink’s party’s manifesto (p.28) in the recent European elections stated that: “Europe has seen ice ages when there were fewer humans, and no industry. Some scientists argue that global warming is caused by solar activity, not humans. In short: we do not know. An effective environmental policy is hindered by a theological debate about climate change where a form of eco-fundamentalism prevails.”
  60. Philippe Lamberts MEP, co-spokesperson for the European Greens, is concerned by Cameron’s grouping: “He claims to be very strong on climate change and he is linking with people who deny that there is climate change in the first place. So I’d like to understand the move.”
  61. Reinhart Buetifkofer MEP and former party leader of the German Alliance 90 / The Greens made similar comments: “The fact that the British tories and some other groups have chosen to take a more eurosceptic and orgainse apart from the pro-European Conservative forces adds a new division to the EP, makes the EP less able to move with great force and great unanimity, and therefore they will weaken the European position in Copenhagen.”
  62. Also in the European Parliament, Conservative MEP Giles Chichester said: “Many are not convinced about global warming and argue that warnings of the melting of Polar ice packs and future rises in sea levels are not borne out by the scientific evidence. Others point to our wet, humid summers and local flooding as a foretaste of the increasing effects of climate change. The majority are, like me, confused by messages of doom from experts who issue statements based upon the latest climate predictions of their computer programmes. These are always prefaced by words such as should, could or may, thus emphasising by the vagueness of the language the inadequate foundations of their research.”
  63. And Conservative MEP Nirj Deva allowed his email address to be used by his Chief of Staff to send a propaganda video claiming “there is no such thing as man-made climate change” to all members of the European Parliament.
  64. Problems with wind farms

  65. Shadow Business Secretary told a Policy Exchange audience that “those few wild and open spaces that we have left in Britain should not be used for wind turbines.” He subsequently retracted the statement after pressure from central office. But he is not alone.
  66. Shadow Cabinet member Andrew Lansley campaigned against a wind farm next to his constituency.
  67. Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly joined the campaign.
  68. Cllr Phillip Swales of Huntingdon said the distances between the turbines was such that all eight would affect Toseland Hall and not just the four nearest to it. He said he lived within two miles of a wind farm in the fens and even at that distance found it “obtrusive”.
  69. Cllr Jeff Dutton said: “I believe all wind farms are a blot on the landscape, a carbuncle on the landscape.”
  70. Cllr Terry Clough told the meeting: “This is the sort of countryside where we do not want these alien things.”
  71. Andrew Turner, the Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, has a “history of campaigning against wind farms on the island.”
  72. South Wales West Conservative AM Alun Cairns said many local people had been against the development of a wind farm in the Bristol channel which was scrapped.
  73. Peter Luff MP has introduced a bill limiting the distance that turbines could be built from houses.
  74. Douglas Carswell wrote on November 17th, “Big corporations, in receipt of large subsidies creamed off your electricity bill, put forward plans to industrialise the local landscape. Their monster turbines are opposed by elected officials at every level – from parish, district and county council, to Parliament. Yet somehow it goes ahead all the same. Permission is acquired by bulldozing through local opinion. “
  75. And then to drive the point home a week later: “Another victory for big government and big corporations against local people; the Earls Hall wind turbines outside Clacton have been given the go-ahead. Please don’t call it planning consent. 410 foot-high monster turbines will now be erected less than a thousand yards from people’s homes – despite the fact that it was opposed at district, county and Parliamentary level. The industrialisation of the English countryside continues despite the opposition of those who live in it. “
  76. In total, Tory-controlled councils have rejected “more than 60 per cent” of wind farm applications.
  77. Other policy problems

  78. The Green Alliance said in their 2008 report ‘Fit for the future‘, “Despite Conservative support for green taxes the party has failed to put forward any significant green tax proposals over the past year.”
  79. Their new ‘green housing’ policy has been unpicked for its flaky economics and cost assumptions.
  80. David Cameron made only two references to “climate change” in his conference speech this year.
  81. Indeed, Cameron made only one speech on the environment in 2009.
  82. Although that’s better than 2008 when the only speech he made on the environment was 566 words on ‘flexible funding for greener local travel‘.
  83. Tory bloggers

  84. Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home told the Week in Westminster, “In terms of issues that I know if I post on on Conservative Home that I’ll get lots of comments and very excited comments, [climate change] is right their at the top in terms of worrying about the implications of a Conservative government pursuing this agenda in a very dramatic way.”
  85. On the same day he elaborated on his view and set out how “climate change has the potential to divide the Conservative Party in the same way that Europe has divided us in the past.”
  86. Montgomerie’s Conservative Home is in good company as one of the top ten Tory bloggers, exposed by Next Left, who deny the existence of man-made climate change.
  87. Iain Dale, for example, recently reprinted an inaccurate Mail on Sunday article about climate science.
  88. The others are Dizzy Thinks who challenges the idea that the peer reviewed evidence favours the consensus view: “Before someone screams that I’m a “climate change denier”, I’m not. However, I’m also not a “climate change believer”.
  89. Daniel Hannan MEP is 4th on the Next Left list. He is sceptical about climate change, being among those to argue that problems in accurate weather forecasting cast doubt on climate science.
  90. On December 2nd, Hannan wrote: “So where do I stand? With Peter Lilley, I suppose. I think the world is warming (I especially dislike the phase “climate change denial”: no one, as far as I’m aware, is positing climate stasis). And it may well be that human activity is playing some part in the process, although probably not to the degree claimed by some climate change professionals.”
  91. Tory Bear is 5th. He recently published a blog titled “Confessions of a Climate Change Denier
  92. Archbishop Cranmer is 6th. According to Next Left he “is a strong sceptic about the ‘religion of climate change‘, expressing high praise for Northern Ireland environment minister Sammy Wilson’s halting of a UK-wide advertising campaign on the grounds that it was ‘insidious propaganda’.
  93. John Redwood MP is 7th and is sceptical about how much difference human emissions are making. He said, “I have always thought we should remain sceptical about all scientific theories, for that is the way that science advances by constantly submitting theories to test.”
  94. Douglas Carswell MP is 8th and has blogged about the “lunatic consensus on climate change“. Sunder Katwala said this “suggests he thinks anybody who holds the ‘mainstream’ view of this issue, such as his own party leader, is literally mad.” Indeed, it’s worth setting out some more of his claims.
  95. On November 16th, Carswell wrote: “At the weekend, I dared to mention on my blog that most people don’t believe climate change is man-made, citing an opinion poll published in the Times, no less. When I was a member of Friends of the Earth, I did believe human CO2 emissions were responsible for global warming. It’s just that the facts seem to have changed. And so I’ve changed my mind.”
  96. And then on December 7th: “Things were much warmer than today during the Middle Ages … These changes in the climate happened well before industrialisation … I went on to say there’s good scientific evidence that it’s not human activity that’s primarily changing the climate now, either … In what sense is it environmentally friendly to actively promote the wind turbine industrialisation of our countryside?”
  97. And earlier this week: “People like Blair want us to commit multiple £billions to tackling something we may neither cause, nor be able to alter … It’s deemed environmentally-friendly to industrialise our countryside by covering it with wind turbines … Progressive politicians support regressive surcharges on families’ utility bills in order to put large subsidies onto the balance sheet to big corporations.”
  98. Letters from a Tory is 9th. He emailed Next Left outlining that, “This might sound strange, given my opinionated blogging, but I honestly have no idea what the hell is going on with climate change.”
  99. Burning Our Money is 10th and is a declared agnostic/sceptic about climate change: “On global warming, Tyler likes to characterise himself as an agnostic. Which means he can see the planet is warming, but is unconvinced anyone really understands why.”
  100. Conservative voters

  101. The Institute of Public Policy Research found that Conservative voters oppose a global fund to help poor countries adapt to climate change by net -23 per cent. Net support among Labour and Liberal Democrat voters was +30 per cent.
  102. The same poll found that only +5 per cent of Conservative supporters agreed rather than disagreed that “climate change is the biggest challenge the planet faces” compared to +43 per cent for Labour and +44 per cent for Liberal Democrat supporters.
  103. A YouGov survey for Left Foot Forward found net -25 per cent of Conservative supporters oppose “higher taxes, such as on petrol and flights, if similar taxes were applied in all other developed countries”. There was net support for green taxes among Labour supporters (+11 per cent) and Liberal Democrats (+17 per cent).
  104. The same poll found that Conservative supporters only agree with investing more in renewable energy by +3 per cent compared to +45 per cent for Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters.
  105. The poll also found that climate change is a top four issue for just 10 per cent of Conservative party supporters.
  106. And of course

  107. David Cameron famously cycled to work with his car following behind with his briefcase.
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