UK’s leading climate sceptic admits he’s driven by “ideological war”

NASA has announced that this year is the hottest year so far, just as climate scientists predicted it would be. This has been accompanied by the fastest decline in Arctic sea ice in satellite records, and other extreme weather events around the world, many of which were also predicted by climate scientists. It is against this backdrop that one of Britain’s most prominent climate change ‘sceptics’ has admitted he’s driven by “ideological war”.

NASA has announced that this year is the hottest year so far, just as climate scientists predicted it would be. This has been accompanied by the fastest decline in Arctic sea ice in satellite records, and other extreme weather events around the world, many of which were also predicted by climate scientists.

It is against this backdrop that one of Britain’s most prominent climate change ‘sceptics’ has admitted he’s driven by “ideological war”. Many of you will be familiar with James Delingpole, seen here with our prime minister in a former life. He now writes regularly for The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator.

Last week he was on the BBC advocating for the establishment of a British Tea Party Movement, but perhaps you’re more likely to remember him from his appearance in Channel 4’s “When Boris Met Davewhen he recalled his disappointment at not making it into “the Buller” (that’s the Bullingdon Club to you and me) like his old uni chums Boris and Dave.

Anyhow, this week Delingpole was given an award for his Telegraph blog posts about climate change by the Exxon-funded International Policy Network, a ‘free market think tank’ that is run by former Big Tobacco lobbyists. As the Telegraph’s comment editor described in a piece applauding him for winning, Delingpole’s blogs have:

“… made a huge international impact on the debate over global warming.”

They certainly have. But what’s interesting about Delingpole is that in a recent must-read blog post titled ‘Only the Tea Party can save us now’, he admits to his real motivation for homing in on the climate issue:

“As you all know, since Climategate I’ve been dedicating far more of my time than is healthy to exposing the great Global Warming scam. This is not because I’ve suddenly realised I’m a scientist manque who wants to spend the rest of his life obsessing about forcings, feedbacks and solar radiation.

“It’s because I understand that “Environmentalism” is but one strategically significant theatre in a much greater ideological war being waged across the world.

“It’s the same one Toby Young is fighting over education; the same one the likes of Rod Liddle, Andrew Gilligan, Nick Cohen and Mark Steyn are fighting over political Islam; the same one Melanie Phillips is fighting over Israel; the same one Douglas Murray is fighting on pretty much everything.

“And its ultimate outcome is at least as important as those of the ones we fought in 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.”

This is just the latest illustration of how the ‘climate change denial’ netroots is being motivated not by any real scientific questions but by right wing political ideology. Earlier this year Left Foot Forward exposed how the man who is perhaps the world’s most influential climate sceptic, Anthony Watts, was tweeting links to the neo-nazi British National Party.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.