Looking at the vexed issue of climate change as a matter of ‘science’ alone is a mistake. Environmental policy has been constructed on an anti-capitalist basis which views the free market to be essentially destructive. This flawed perspective has had terrible consequences for both people and the environment.

The fashionable view has been that the world is getting much worse, and that the West is to blame. It follows that this is the fault of ‘Anglo-Saxon Capitalism’ and those dastardly ‘neoliberals’. Tragically, this mantra is often repeated, thriving on our tendency to focus on the negative rather than the positive.

Apparently 55 per cent of those with university degrees now think the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has increased in the past 30 years, compared with only 12 per cent who think it has gone down. The truth is, according to all the most significant indicators, that the world is becoming a much better place. The number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than a billion since 1990, at an average of 137,000 every day, according to Oxford University’s Our World in Data project. As the world has become richer, literacy has improved, vaccination rates have gone up, child mortality has gone down, and the number of deaths from natural disasters has fallen dramatically.

But the extraordinary successes of free markets and open societies are so often overlooked, perhaps because some of the key insights of economics are so unintuitive. Instead, an emotional kind of politics is on the rise. A growing number of academics, willingly or otherwise, have lent intellectual credence to the Post Modern movement by attacking the idea of objective truth, promoting a moral relativism that has been accepted by many. The resulting lack of cultural self-confidence has made us more inward-looking and pessimistic, and the rise of identity politics must be seen in this context. Reason-based arguments are disappearing and being replaced by emotional and divisive rhetoric.

This helps to explain why legitimate concerns with current environmental policies are drowned out by a chorus of highly politicised climate activists, who shout ‘denier’ whenever decarbonisation policies are criticised. It can end up in a shouting match that is really just a performance by two players to two separate audiences. Rarely is there any shared recognition of objectives or values. This is the true denial, because ultimately all those engaged in this debate want what they think is best for the planet, for people, and for wildlife.

The field of climate science is almost unique in scientific inquiry in that so many of its members have become political spokespeople who think that the scientific knowledge they have allows them to dictate Government policies. Albeit, the symbiotic relationship between politicians and climate scientists means that their interests are often difficult to differentiate.

A shared position is that carbon dioxide is the prime environmental concern, but this means other important environmental and social interests are routinely ignored. This can be seen, for example, in worsening air pollution due to diesel vehicles, which were promoted and incentivised because they had lower CO2 emissions. So too in rushed efforts to improve energy efficiency, which in the case of Grenfell Tower tragically took precedence over the safety of those living in the flats. It is an obscenity that in Britain today the very rich receive vast subsidies to heat their homes with large biomass burners, while many poor people are forced to choose between cooking and eating.



The consequences of climate policies for those living in the developing world can be even more severe. More than a billion people across the world still lack access to cheap and reliable electricity, a basic requirement of a functioning economy. This scarcity means hundreds of millions are forced to burn wood to keep warm, thus further contributing to deforestation. In the process, they are breathing in harmful fumes. The World Bank has warned that the number relying on solid fuels to cook and heat their homes will remain unchanged until 2030. At the same time, the bank refuses to finance coal-fired power stations, which in many cases will be the cheapest and most effective way to reduce abject energy poverty. In the meantime, 4.3million people are dying prematurely every year from illnesses caused by the inefficient use of solid fuels for cooking.

The realisation that the world is nonetheless improving rapidly has led rational optimists to a very different response to climate change, and one that comes without these harmful consequences. Economic growth and its associated technological progress has been the primary determinant of better health, better protection from natural disasters, and happier lives. Real world evidence demonstrates that improving economic outcomes will have a far greater benefit than any from attempted temperature reductions.

A better response to climate change must consider that a country’s wealth largely determines its exposure to climate and weather-related risks. This is not about trying to ‘weaken’ efforts to tackle climate change, but precisely the opposite. It is about responding in a way that is fairer to people and the environment both now and in the future, and more effective at reducing those risks.

  • Aaron D Highside

    It should be renamed the climate ‘industry’.

    • Tom B

      Well said its all about money funding the latest fasionable cause .

    • Reborn

      Interestingly, the leading proponents, notably, Gore are extraordinarily wealthy,
      have several homes, several cars, often private jets.
      The bag carriers fly to international conferences in desirable places & all agree that
      us commoners must not fly or drive private cars. Mainly, because we get too near their rural retreats when holidaying.
      One of the worst offenders is a man who has a five million pound ski lodge in
      Switzerland. In order not to be a hypocrite, I’m sure he visits it by train & bicycle
      rather than flying first class.

    • Labour_is_bunk

      I remarked a while back there are several of these “cottage industries” now. Perhaps the latest one is “gender”.

  • Colkitto03

    I’m not surprised that 55% of graduates are so uninformed.

    The recent trump Tax plans were presented to two groups of students at the same college in the USA. With the first group, the plans were falsely presented as being Democratic tax policy and were enthusiastically received and admired by nearly all the students.
    The second group were presented the exact same policy plans but this time honestly conveyed as belonging to Trump. They were found to be deeply unpopular and deemed very unfair by a high majority of the Students.

    In decades to come these people will be spouting forth on climate change and capitalism. Subjects they will have given no critical thought to.

    • Tom B

      Just shows you how it’s all about perception , not reason and facts .

  • ancientpopeye

    Reasoned debate is impossible with the idolatry of the belief that climate change is man made.

  • noix

    Interesting statistic about the university educated holding erroneous beliefs. This could be a good counter argument to the remoaners.
    I notice also another scientist with a computer model talking about a mini ice age. One wonders how the freezing masses will react should this occur.

  • Waggler

    Capitalists succeed by creating more successful customers.

    …while creating more successful employees and other stakeholders.

    Wise investors choose socially responsible opportunities such as these while the state raises taxes to maintain the law and our infrastructure.

    What’s not to like?

  • Tom B

    Hate to point out the obvious but when facts are replaced with feelings one can only blame the feminisation of our society , just look at #belive the victim adopted by our police . Logic and reason (male traits) are being replaced with feelings .

  • The most dangerous thing you can do when considering how to deal with a problem is let the socialists/progressives near it; they will distort, twist and obfuscate the facts in any way they can in order to advance top-down, socialistic governance as the solution to the problem. They are not above creating the “perfect” problem in the first place, to push their agenda, which could very well be the case with AGW.

    • Bik Byro

      The most dangerous thing you can do when considering how to deal with a problem is let religious people deal with it, because they get their instructions from a fake imaginary entity.

      • Robin Horbury

        How very clever you are Mr Byro, that you can so deftly and eruditely throw out the baby with the bath water!

        • Bik Byro

          Thank you for your appreciation.

      • Hope you had a merry Christmas Bik, although I’m sure being the logically coherent atheist you think you are, you refuse to do Christmas since it is based on a Christian event!

        Regarding your irrelevant, cheap-shot of a comment, I find it highly ironic that you copy my comment but arbitrarily change the bits you don’t like to suit your prejudices – exactly as atheists like you do with moral values and the Christian Scriptures! Since atheism cannot justify objective moral values you steal ours…anyway, my guiding moral principle here is that of respect for the life, labour and property of others based on the command of the God of the universe Himself. What’s yours and how do you justify it?

        By the way, your snide insinuations aside, I completely agree that “religious people” should not be in charge of “dealing with it” because this would be a violation of other people’s property rights!

        • Bik Byro

          I did Yuletide, thank you very much – drinking, eating feasts and having good times with friends and family.
          My moral principles come from within and an innate sense of what is the right thing to do in a certain situation. It’s not exactly as if the bible is consistent – eg thou shalt not kill, must turn the other cheek, unless it’s war and then it’s totally fine.

          I could turn the argument on its head and ask if you have to go elsewhere to be told what is the right thing to do to your fellow man, what kind of hollow person does that make you that you don’t already have it inside you?

          And a Happy Christmas to you and I hope you had a good one. Although I don’t “do” organised religion, I would put Christianity a lot higher than most other world faiths. At least Christians don’t believe you have to mutilate your baby’s genitals to make god happy and they don’t insist on suicide bombing people that don’t want to turn the clock back to the middle ages.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Moral principles cannot come from within, innate or otherwise. If they did there would be no crime or anti-social behaviours.

          • Well that’s a far more civil response; it’s nice to actually hear a little bit about what you actually believe, rather than have to read through the usual mocking parroting of comments you don’t like.

            Just to clarify, saying that your “moral values come from within” as an “innate sense” is false if you believe in atheism. There is no way to get to objective moral values from a purposeless cosmic accident as atheism claims humans are. What you mistake as an “innate sense” of right and wrong is most likely just the result of your upbringing – which since you are a Westerner, is based on Judeo-Christian values and culture, hence my claim that you are stealing Christian moral values but that you have no logical foundation to support them! Tribes in Papua New Guinea had an “innate sense” that cannibalism was perfectly moral and Hitler believed exterminating what he believed to be inferior races was morally right.

            Your point about the Bible “not being consistent” is false and due to your ignorance of the Bible and atheism’s exploitation of this ignorance, but it is irrelevant to my argument so I won’t deal with it here. Even if the Bible were inconsistent, all that is needed to justify objective morality is a theistic universe. The key point is not that atheists are immoral but that morality as you understand it is logically impossible without God. By admitting there is good and evil, you are admitting that God must exist!

      • Colonel Mustard

        Nah, Seriously Christian is right, it’s lefties and progressives. Much more dangerous to the good ordering of society than the dealings of “religious people”, which you seem to have an obsessive complex about from your childhood.

        • Bik Byro

          As it’s Christmas I’m going to agree with you – now you mention it, lefties are more dangerous.
          But as for my “obsessive complex” as you call it, it does not stem from childhood at all, it stems from relatively recent times when I found myself visiting a children’s cancer ward and I could not logically reconcile the innocent suffering I witnessed there regularly with a caring and powerful god.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Agreeing with me because it’s Christmas is both irrational and a tacit admission of religious influence.

            As for a “caring and powerful” God may I suggest that you Google “Why does God allow suffering” and fill your boots with the propositions and debate you will find.

          • Bik Byro

            Not irrational, just a friendly gesture. You don’t have to be Christian to celebrate the time of year known as “Christmas” any more than you have to be a Witch to have a pumpkin lantern and celebrate Halloween.

            And I’ve already done that googling and found only hollow apologists and weak excuses that didn’t cut the – pardon the pun – mustard. The most logical answer – “because god doesn’t actually exist” solves the question swiftly, decisively, logically and without any tortuous complications.

    • Robert Jones

      Don’t hedge your bets, it definitely IS the case with AGW!

  • Ravenscar

    Quite apart from the unconscionable waste of spending £$€trillions to combat a chimera.

    The appalling conclusion, in realization that, other than lining the pockets of many an investment banker and various green charlatans (think Dale Vince), NGO’s, politicians et al Gore, impoverishing the consumer and taxapayer of the west, all of these green ‘solutions’ have the precise effect of the square root of jack sh*7.

  • Reborn

    To my intense pleasure Sky News last night carried a story, I only saw it as text, that stated roughly this
    “UK & Russian scientists are forecasting that due to solar activity, the UK will become colder over the next couple of decades & the Thames will be frozen over again by 2030”
    Obviously there always has been climate change. The deniers are those who claim that this is not the case & it is down to human activity over the last century.
    Calling us “deniers” is deeply offensive & rather like David Irving calling us Holocaust deniers because we accept historical facts, and he doesn’t.

    • Sean Toddington

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. The research you are referring to was presented in 2015, so Sky seem to have their fingers on the pulse as ever.

      Professor Valentina Zharkova at Northumbria University cautions that her mathematical research cannot be used as proof that there will be a mini ice age this time around, not least because of global warming.

      “I hope global warning will be overridden by this effect, giving humankind and the Earth 30 years to sort out our pollution,” she said.

      • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        So, essentially, a “temporary transitory cooling trend overriding the longer-range trend towards warming” to account for why things will be remaining approximately the same overall. By the time it is discovered that it indeed is no such animal, the money will have been spent. Neat trick if you can pull it off.

    • JabbaPapa

      It’s hard to predict next week’s weather, let alone the weather of the 2030s !!!

      I find it quite ironic that you appear to think that these dubious climate predictions might somehow disprove those other dubious climate predictions.

    • Tethys

      Temperatures have been increasing through a 35 year period of already declining solar activity….
      Sources:
      NASA GISS
      Krivova et al
      World Radiation Center.

  • Stinky Britches

    The catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is the greatest money making scam of my lifetime. P.T. Barnum is looking down, roaring with laughter and approval; Mafia bosses are slapping their foreheads in frustration and exclaiming “dammit! Why didn’t we think of that?”; politicians are gleefully robbing the poor to pay the rich, cloaked in a glitteringly green veneer of eco self-righteousness, hypocrisy and cant. Lovely jubbly!

  • Professor Valentina Zharkova at Northumbria University has predicted that her mathematical model shows that we could be heading towards a new ice age, but considers it possible that it could be offset by global warming.
    Is she still in her post? Hasn’t she been fired or threatened by her fellow academics for such outrageous views?

    • norman’s nonsense

      stating the truth is heresy today

  • Bosanova

    The question is very simple. How many of today’s lives are you prepared to sacrifice through higher food and energy bills (the winter kills you see) in order to, just maybe (but we really cannot know – models innit?), save some lives of future generations?
    That is what the eco choices boil down to. I can’t spend money hoping for some future benefit without automatically sacrificing some of my welfare today.

  • Dodgy Geezer

    …A better response to climate change must consider that a country’s wealth largely determines its exposure to climate and weather-related risks. This is not about trying to ‘weaken’ efforts to tackle climate change, but precisely the opposite. …

    Perhaps I could inject a bit of sense into this article?

    We have been measuring ‘climate change’ in detail for the past 50-odd years. We have known for about a hundred years that the climate changes in cycles. There are millennial-length swings between ice ages and inter-glacials. There are swings over several hundred years between warm periods like the MWP and the Little Ice Age in the 1800s. And there are small ripples of warmth and cold on about a 60-year cycle.

    There are many other cyclical changes, no doubt, but these seem to be the three main ones which are widely accepted. The well-known 11-year sunspot cycle is often examined to determine its influence on world temperature, but there does not seem to be an obvious direct one. Any consideration of world climate/temperature needs to begin with an appreciation of these cycles, and where we are in their periods.

    The ice-age/interglacial cycle has a sawtooth shape – starting from the depths of an ice age it warms continuously until some tipping-point is reached, whereupon it drops rapidly into an ice-age again. So in an interglacial, expect a natural background of low-level continuous warming.,

    We have been coming out of the 1800s Little Ice Age for some 200 years now, and possibly peaking? So expect to see a natural increase in temperature since the 1800s superimposed on the ice-age increase.

    Finally, the 60 year cycle was at a low in the 1970s. That was when people were wondering why it was getting so cold, and whether a new ice-age was coming. Since then, the cycle has started to climb again, and probably peaked about 2010. That, imposed on the aforementioned climbs, is where we get the ‘rapid recent warming’ scare.

    Expect it to get colder over the next 20 years or so, and then increase in temperature a bit more. Nothing to do with CO2, and everything to do with natural cycles whose causes we really do not fully understand at present….

    • norman’s nonsense

      Milankovitch Cycles

    • JabbaPapa

      Nothing that you have written constitutes a refutation of the claims about anthropogenic global warming.

      • Dodgy Geezer

        I don’t need to. The claims have not come true – they have refuted themselves.

        • JabbaPapa

          The glaciers — those that are left that is — seem not to support your suggestion, nor the fact that sea levels have already risen.

  • JabbaPapa

    There is both a scientific and a political side to the whole climate debate, but the real problem is that for far too many people, their “understanding” of the science is predicated by some political prejudice.

    There are only two central questions though.

    1) Is global warming occurring yes or no ?

    2) If so, then is it politically and technically possible for mankind to mitigate its effects ?

    The question of whether such global warming might be anthropogenic or not is actually quite secondary, and of mainly scientific, not political interest.

    highly politicised climate activists, who shout ‘denier’ whenever decarbonisation policies are criticised. It can end up in a shouting match that is really just a performance by two players to two separate audiences. Rarely is there any shared recognition of objectives or values. This is the true denial, because ultimately all those engaged in this debate want what they think is best for the planet, for people, and for wildlife.

    There are both denialist and warmist fanatics — and the extremists at either end of the spectrum should just be ignored.

    diesel vehicles, which were promoted and incentivised because

    … it meant that the oil producing countries and the petroleum multinationals could sell most of their diesel instead of having to suffer much of it ending up as toxic waste.

  • Malcolm Parkin

    That is an excellent article. Global Warming or Climate Change, or whatever it will be called as the ground shifts, is a straight scam promoted by the anti-capitalists as a means of destroying the West, not merely evening the score as it were. The Cultural Marxists are also in there, using the hapless greens as a dimwit but willing tool to rebuild society in their perverted mode.
    If only half the green crackpot schemes – such as electric cars – come to fruition, it will cause economic ruination. The greens are supported by a bandwagon of pseudo scientists for whom it is a good living, plus organisations such as the WWF, whose highly paid executives see it as a welcome change of direction for their tired animal charity project.

  • Tethys

    If it comes to be written, I suspect GWPF will find itself on the wrong side of history in seeking to politicise an intrinsically neutral issue.

    Whilst the article contains grains of truth, it is a partial, simplistic, and misleading piece as may expected from a political lobbying organisation.

    Whilst economic progress clearly benefits most of humanity in many and various ways, it is of itself already bound up in science and technology and yet carries with it the problems it now seeks to deny.

    The author of the article, Harry Wilkinson is listed as a staffer for Lord Lawson of Blaby, who admitted making incorrect and misleading statements on a national radio interview in August 2017 regarding ‘global warming’ ….that according to him the world climate had not warmed at all n the last 10 years.

    Make no mistake – Scientific Scepticism is a good thing, but scepticism of Science itself is a very different and dangerous one.

    The populist movement against Science, truth and reality emanates from America, and is neatly summed up in this borrowed quote from (Dana1981)

    “People are very good at finding ways to believe what we want to believe. Climate change is the perfect example – acceptance of climate science among Americans is strongly related to political ideology. This has exposed humanity’s potentially fatal flaw. Denying an existential threat threatens our existence.
    But that’s exactly what many ideological conservatives do. Partisan polarization over climate change has steadily grown over the past two decades. This change can largely be traced to the increasingly fractured and partisan media environment that has created an echo chamber in which people can wrap themselves in the comfort of “alternative facts” (a.k.a spin and lies) that affirm their worldviews. We’ve become too good at fooling ourselves into believing falsehoods, which has ushered in a dangerous “post-truth” era, with no better example than the subject of climate change”

    Not withstanding the above, it remains correct that

    * CO2 is a ‘greenhouse gas’
    * Anthropogenic CO2 emissions are increasing

    2 truths which alone point to positive action in view of the potential consequence in any businesslike risk assessment.

    • Jacdan59

      What a load of waffle and misdirection which concentrates on attacking the messengers not critiquing the points made and facts quoted. All to conclude two truths which no one disputes!

      Though in respect to increasing CO2 emissions, it should be noted that many developed countries have reduced their CO2 emissions, and the overall increase in emissions is mainly down to developing countries which have made little or no commitment to reduce future emissions.

      The writer, Tethys, like many climate activists the article points to, assumes that those two truths are sufficient to justify their advised action of global decarbonisation, to avoid ‘potential consequences’, which are always claimed by activists to be disasterous.

      The writer totally misses the point of the article which is essentially that even if you do believe the projected negative consequences of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, the decarbonisation costs to humanity, and particularly the poor, are rarely considered.

      Climate activists avoid considering the economic and social costs of decarbonisation against the economic and social benefits of mitigating against climate change and severe weather events both natural and anthropogenic.

      They also do not consider how thriving economies and moving the world’s population out of severe poverty with the provision of cheap and reliable energy, is more likely to produce hastened technicological advances.

      Such advances as we have seen over the last 50 years, benefit the world’s poor and will also provide us with the ability to effectively mitigate against adverse climate change and severe weather events.

      Using best technology rather than subsidising and rewarding the introduction of inefficient energy production which continues to deforrest the globe, will minimise our impact on the global environment and encourage the development of more efficient energy sources.

      Irrational activists find it hard to acknowledge that there are also many benefits of a warmer world which should be balanced against the projective negatives.

      The climate periods known by all scientists as ‘climate optimums’, most recently the Medieval, Roman and Minoan Warm Periods, where global temperatures were equal to or higher than current temperatures, were periods of great human advancement.

      Humans advanced with reduced disease, longer growing seasons, thriving livestock and the luxury of more time and resources to spend on developing philosophy, the arts and technology.

      It is the toxic environment which has been created by the climate activists, which has caused a rational, globally respected economist in Dr Bjorn Lomborg, who has never disputed the UN IPCC conclusions about global warming, to be branded a ‘climate denier’. He is referred to as a denier simply because, after a great deal of research, he concludes that the IPCC recommendations on how to deal with global warming are not the most efficient. In fact they are too costly and harmful.

      The world needs to step back from the climate tribalism and do a much better analysis of the best, and most efficient and socially responsible way of addressing future climate change and severe weather events.

      There are far too many losers under the current UN IPCC recommendations, and most of those losers are the world’s poor. That makes the current recommended approach morally irresponsible.

  • jjs

    And don’t even get me going on how many died from lack of DDT. Now they want to to plunge the developing world back into poverty by eliminating cheap energy, eliminating GMO’s and eliminating roundup. That is not science, Green is a cult of death and misery.