Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Help! Can anyone find a Tory blogger who believes that climate change is a real threat?

None of the top ten Conservative bloggers believes the theory that man-made global warming is an established fact; all ten reject David Cameron's view that the issue should be an urgent priority if the party were in government.

Party leader David Cameron has said that "the dangers of climate change are stark and very real. If we don't act now, and act quickly, we could face disaster".

The Tory blogs could hardly disagree more. The scale of the Tory netroots revolt over climate change is revealed by Next Left's survey of the climate change views of this year's top 10 Conservative blogs, as identified by Total Politics magazine's blog awards poll.

Indeed, Next Left can now declare that the unlikely winner of 'greenest top Tory blogger' is John Redwood MP, who had never previously been mistaken for Zac Goldsmith. Redwood's combines his own scepticism with the argument that it would be prudent to take some steps to adapt to possible negative consequences, while welcoming the benefits of global warming too. This would appear to mark Redwood out as a deep green when compared to his fellow Tory top bloggers.

Vocal complaints against the climate change orthodoxy and complaints that it crowds out dissenting views ironically dominates much of the climate change discussion on the major right-wing blog. Perhaps there is more than one kind of 'stifing consensus', though the Tory blogs range from different varieties of agnosticism to the absolute certainty that climate change is a fraud, expressed in rising backbench star Douglas Carswell MP's attack on a "lunatic consensus".

Pointing out the scale of climate scepticism among the online opinion formers on the right does not, of course, prove that they are wrong, or right. That is a matter of scientific evidence. (Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts). But, as a matter of politics, the lack of support for party policy from the most prominent netroots voices on this high profile issue suggests there will be vocal pressure from the party will be to play down the climate change issue.

Some will be deeply concerned about that; others will celebrate it.

Polling finds a strong majority of the British public do think global warming is real and man-made by a margin of 71% to 23%, .the level of Tory opposition to the idea appears to have a strong ideological component.

I am grateful to LibDem blogger Mark Reckons for flagging up his earlier post on this subject. And this post is dedicated to Tim Montgomerie for his willingness to take part in the Fabian fringe at Labour conference, where his argument that the party is far from convinced on climate change.

Climate change and the top Tory blogs

These are the top 10 Conservative blogs, in the Total Politics blog awards, and the reasons they give for being much more sceptical about climate change than David Cameron and the official party policy.

1. Iain Dale is not convinced that climate change is man made. Read a selection of climate posts here.


I used the phrase "preaching climate change religion bollocks" for a reason ... I dislike the messianic side of those like Gore who treat Climate Change as a pseudo religion which if you deign to question you're considered a nutter. I do question it, but I do it out of curiosity, not out of dogma. Let me make my position clear. I do believe climate change is taking place, but I have an open mind on the extent to which it is (if at all) man made. I am unconvinced by both the Stern Report and the IPCC report, which seems to change its evidence according to the conclusion. I am prepared to listen to the arguments of the climate change sceptics, just as I am to those I respect on the other side of the argument.


2. Probably the most influential Tory blogger is Tim Montgomerie, founder of Conservative Home which he co-edits with Jonathan Isaby. "Conservatives are concerned about the environment," he told the Fabian fringe meeting in Brighton. "Not climate change, but definitely the environment".

"I don't think the parliamentary party or the grassroots are convinced about climate change ... As someone who is very sceptical about what we can do about climate change, I think keeping the lights on will prevail", he said. ConservativeHome members' survey found that 86% of readers agreed with the statement that ""Within the next few years the average voter will be much more worried about the cost and availability of energy than they'll be worried about climate change."

The site has editorialised in favour of Nigel Lawson's scepticism on climate change, while running pieces from different perspectives, such as Nick Hurd in favour of party policy, and several pieces from Roger Helmer MEP who is campaigning for the party to declare climate change a media-driven frenzy.

3. Dizzy Thinks has expressed a neutral view on climate change, challenging 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". What I have never accepted is the argument that there is a "scientific consensus" on the subject and therefore I must accept it as true


Dizzy is an ex-Conservative party member. He is included because we have taken the top 10 Total Politics list, which would be widely accepted as the best known list, so that we can not be thought to have skewed the selection of top blogs.

(In any event, the number 11 blogger Donal Blaney thinks "the continued obsession with climate change at a time of economic meltdown is madness" and thinks the wet summer weather disproved the climate change hypothesis, and writes that "the earth is cooling, not warming").

4. Daniel Hannan MEP is sceptical about climate change, being among those to argue that problems in accurate weather forecasting cast doubt on climate science. He has, however, been less vocal on thse issues than his co-author and close collaborator Douglas Carswell MP.

5. Tory Bear mostly deals in political gossip but is a strong disbeliever, certain that climate change story is a lefty green myth. Blogged recently that the real inconvenient truth of the lack of evidence for hypothesis of global warming "is what most sensible people have been arguing for years".

6. Archbishop Cranmer focuses on the spiritual more than the temporal, but 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':


no amount of money is ever going to control solar activity, no matter how well-meaning the religious fervour which underpins the theory, or how sincere the fanatical zealots who propagate it. The notion of man-made global warming is a political agenda to deprive people of their liberty, property, and livelihoods.


7. John Redwood MP - has a cautious, and prudential view. He is sceptical about how much difference human emissions are making - noting


We do need to know more about cloud formation, water vapour, sun flares and spots and volcanic activity to be sure what is causing the phase of warming that started in 1975 after 35 years of cooling.

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. Meanwhile we are living in a period when things are warming up, so we should manage any unhelpful consequences of that and welcome the good effects it will have.


This makes him rather more open to the possibility of man-made global warming than most of the other blogs here, and he has written that "Prudence' nonetheless dictates that we should take action now to proect ourselves against the possible bad consequences of global warming.

Redwood has been present to participate in relatively few major Commons divisions on this issue, according to the public whip website.

8. Douglas Carswell MP has blogged about the "lunatic consensus on climate change", which suggests he thinks anybody who holds the 'mainstream' view of this issue, such as his own party leader, is literally mad.

Carswell is 110% convinced that Ian Plimer's "brilliant" book has debunked the climate change myth and should end the argument. And Carswell can not understand how anybody could criticise a book with so many footnotes!


I keep getting folk posting comments telling me how wrong he is. Not just wrong, but totally wrong, apparently. All his facts made up, some suggest. His opinions presented without supporting evidence.

In fact Plimer's book is one of the most heavily footnoted publications you'll find. One thing he doesn't seem short of is evidence to back up what he says.

Of course, none of those shouting about how wrong Plimer is seem to take the trouble to show how and why he is wrong. More often they link to another site that merely regurgitates the consensus on man-made climate change.


Not everyone agrees. But we have heard enough to award Douglas Carswell the hotly contested prize of being the strongest opponent of climate change theory among the top ten Tory blogs.

9. Letters from a Tory

This issue is not a major focus for the site: it does not feature in the site's Manifesto. Mark Reckons noted LFAT's challenge to the 'irritating nonsense' of climate camp protests but LFAT's challenge to Al Gore was based on the idea that EU coordination would be required to make a difference. (Though LFAT also favours UK withdrawal from the EU).

As that seemed inconclusive, Next Left sent an email to the author, and received a characteristically courteous reply:


This might sound strange, given my opinionated blogging, but I honestly have no idea what the hell is going on with climate change. You get the official line of '50 days to save the world' or whatever, and then you get the 'we've now got global cooling, everything's fine, the evidence is all rubbish and full of lies' side of the debate - and I have no idea what to make of it all ...

There are just so many opinions, so many sources of evidence, so many accusations, so many claims, so many politicians with their own agendas, so many pressure groups with their own agendas, so many cynical bloggers, so many climate change 'deniers', so many critics on both sides that I just don't know what to make of this issue.

I just feel that it's not worth having an opinion on climate change unless you spend months looking at this stuff and genuinely listening to both sides, and I just don't have the time or the resources to do that nor have I come across anyone who seems to have already achieved this.

Hope my complete failure to answer your question is helpful....


10. Burning Our Money 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.


Though leans towards the revisionists, writing of Channel 4's controversial "Great Global Warming Swindle"


It's well worth the hour and a quarter, if only to arm yourself against the BBC's next global warming scare story, or its reporting of the egregious polemics from the International Panel on Climate Change as fact, or even its everyday line that evil capitalists and 4x4 drivers are destroying the planet... Yes, of course it's almost certainly a lot more complicated than this doc suggests. But here we have a serious yet accessible counterweight to the uncritical hysteria we're constantly served up with elsewhere.


---

So there we have it. Ten out of ten, albeit to differing degrees.

The right-wing blog consensus is strengthened by the most prominent less party aligned blogs on the top 100 right-of-centre list. The top 10 includes three blogs not on the Conservative list, but they do not do anything to increase diversity of climate debate on the right: Guido Fawkes is campaigning for a recognition that solar activity, not carbon, causes climate change; The Spectator is championing Ian Plimer as "the man who has exposed the great climate change con trick"; while Devil's Kitchen is a committed critic of the AGW theory.

The Tory frontbench is not entirely without support on the Conservative blogs. Those who do want to see a sustained cross-party consensus on climate change might particularly wish success to Richard Willis, a Reading Conservative councillor who is number 20 on the Total Politics list, in his efforts to convince his party that Margaret Thatcher was a climate change pioneer, while several Tory modernisers can be found huddled at Platform 10, ranked 63rd on the Total Politics list, backing the 10:10 campaign as well as all women shortlists and other heresies against the Tory blogosphere worldview.

However, David Cameron's failure to carry the argument within the right may worry the Conservative leader. There is also evidence that Conservative councils have been least likely to sign up to the 10:10 campaign.


Cameron said this month "There is now widespread agreement about the nature and scale of the threat posed by climate change ... Of course, there will always be some who deny the science and the scope of the threat posed. They say ninety percent certainty is not good enough. But that is not a justification for inaction. I say to them, would you ask your children to live in a house which ninety percent of the experts told you was going to burn down?"

It may be an argument that he needs to take into his own party more often.

45 comments:

Stepney said...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

Guido Fawkes said...

Hmmm, right-wingers think anti-capitalist, hocus-pocus pseudo-science is bollocks.

Now over to the Vatican for an update on the Pope's theological views.

Mark Reckons said...

Great post Sunder. I was planning to do something similar at some point but you have saved me the bother!

Also, thanks for the links to my (much less detailed) post related to this.

I had an interesting chat with Zac Goldsmith about this very subject a few weeks ago when I met him and the view he expressed to me was that the Tory grass-roots are much more in tune with the leadership than the leading blogs.

James said...

Conservative bloggers don't believe in climate change because, to Tories, actions do not have consequences.

Julian Ware-Lane said...

Since it is MPs and candidates that are up for election (and very few Tory bloggers are either) shouldn't we find out what their stances are?

Robert said...

Who cares who bloody cares, look if I turn all my lights out do not use a car or do not put any CO2 into the air even farting into a bag and the disposing of it, Jesus the Asians are pumping out so much it will not make a blind bit of difference. you lot are using this to try and get the Tories on the back foot, let me tell you since labour came to power I'm more green now then ever, I cannot afford to warm my home or water the garden anymore because you lot have allowed firms to charge what they like.

The way this world is going perhaps it about time we allowed the world to end , we turn off everything and yesterday six jets flew low over my house then powered away, two with after burners we could taste the burnt fuel in the air. all that I 've tried to go green was wasted by these wankers playing silly fools.

Stuart White said...

Great piece of research, Sunder.

Re Guido's remark: ideologically-blinkered right-wingers refuse to accept overwhelming scientific evidence for climate change because there is no free market solution to the problem.

James said...

I just want an answer to one question: over the last few years has the sea warmed up or cooled down?

Thomas Byrne said...

No free market solutions? Seems as if the countries with the strongest property rights, having the best environmental records is bollocks then.

Nic said...

It scares me that there are so few real scientists in politics, and that these MPs who want to represent me are too stupid to admit they're clueless and go ask the experts.


>I just want an answer to one question: over the last few years has the sea warmed up or cooled down?

Mean sea temperatures have gone up. It's directly measurable by sea level as most of the rises we are seeing are due to nothing more than thermal expansion (even the skeptics don't argue that, the measurements are solid, and there's no explanation other than "it's getting hotter").

Christopher said...

James,

Here are the annual mean temperature change for the oceans.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A4.lrg.gif

It seems to show a pretty clear upward trend.

dizzy said...

I think my views should really be clarified here rather than the slightly out-of-context quote. My issue with the arguments about "climate change" are philosophical one about what we can know in relation to truth.

People like Miliband, Sunny Hundal etc uses phrases like "scientific consensus". That is ad populum argument and is fallacious. Lots of scientists agreeing on something does not make what they are agreeing on true. Likewise phrase like "the science is unequivocal" is fallacious and distinctly pseudoscientific in nature. Nothing in science is unequivocal. Even Dawkins accepts the possibility of the existence of God whilst simultaneously acknowledging it is not scientifically testable to prove it either way.

If climate change zealots simply changed their language and stopped implying there is absolute truth in science I would be happy. I'd still drive my 3l diesel though.

Paul said...

If it was an established fact, it wouldn't be a theory, would it. Or have I missed something?

Sunder Katwala said...

Dizzy,

Thanks for the comment. In terms of being out of context, I thought I was trying to be careful to report and quote everyone's view as accurately as possible - hence the length of the post - and to link to a relevant and representative post wherever I could find one. (And I did think that differentiated, say, your view and that of LFAT from, for example, that of Douglas Carswell or Tory Bear).

Nor have I tried to use emotive language (eg "denier"). I think that the bulk of the information in the post could easily be presented by one of the strongly sceptical blogs under the headline "Listen to your grassroots Mr Cameron" with only superficial changes in the write-through. (Douglad Carswell will, I am sure, believe it shows he is winning the argument):

Hence

"Pointing out the scale of climate scepticism among the online opinion formers on the right does not, of course, prove that they are wrong, or right. That is a matter of scientific evidence. (Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts). But, as a matter of politics, the lack of support for party policy from the most prominent netroots voices on this high profile issue suggests there will be vocal pressure from the party will be to play down the climate change issue.

Some will be deeply concerned about that; others will celebrate it".

I agree about epistemological scepticism. I think we can say we have the knowledge that Spurs (miserably) beat Everton last night, but not absolute certainty about the things we know.

Garkbit said...

The definition of "theory", for a start. Or do you also doubt the Theory of Gravity?

Sunder Katwala said...

dizzy

if, though, you do broadly support Cameron's position (or something getting close to it), while wanting to say there is room for scientific doubt, then I would be happy to give you the greenest top Tory blogger laurels, and relegate John Redwood to silver.

Stuart White said...

Re Thomas Byrne: the fact that countries with strong property rights have good environmental records does not entail or imply that there is a free market solution to climate change.

You need to beware of caricaturing people. Along with most people who recognise the reality of climate change, I do not doubt that markets and private property rights have, or can have, an important role to play in handling the problem, e.g., through suitably designed emissions trading systems and the like. I just think that there is also an important role for the state in setting up the regulatory framework and in ensuring that property rights themselves are distributed fairly, e.g., by endowing all people with tradable carbon emission rights.

Its that regulation and redistribution that the ideologically-blinkered right-winger cannot stomach. So rather than facing up to reality, they run off into denialism.

dizzy said...

To be perfectly honest Sunder, I don't really care about Cameron's position or anyone elses on the subject.

I have often argued on my blog though that if those in charge must consider it such a big issue they should take a positive incentivising approach to altering behaviour, not a "ban this, tax that" approach.

I'd happily drive an electric car if it performed like a petrol one and didn;t look stupid like G-Whizz. I wouldn't do it to feel all tree-huggingly hippy though, I'd do it for the instant torque. A telsa for example would be lovely if the price would come down.

Edward said...

For an examination of the sceptics' arguments see the very thorough:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

For the official US government view - and the Tories are great fans of the US, neh? - see:

http://www.globalchange.gov/

Even the US Dept of Defense is making plans for man-made climate change - right-wingers please note!

Qrystal said...

I think we'd all be better off if everyone just considered the following cases:

Case 1: Global warming IS due to increased CO2 emissions, but we do nothing to change our ways or try to slow it down.

Case 2: Global warming IS due to increased CO2 emissions, but we actually DO something to slow it down or reverse it.

Case 3: Global warming is NOT due to increased CO2 emissions, but we try and reduce our emissions anyways.

Case 4: Global warming is NOT due to increased CO2 emissions, and we do nothing about our emissions.

The result of DOING SOMETHING about emissions (Case 2 or 3), whether it's because of global warming or because we want to increase efficiency by reducing waste byproducts, is always good.

The result of NOT DOING ANYTHING about emissions is either a disaster building up slowly (Case 1) or, maybe, nothing (Case 4). But this is a definite gamble, and the consequences of being wrong are not pleasant to contemplate.

So can we please quit the bickering and just get to doing something to improve our environment?

Thomas Byrne said...

Stuart,

Am I right in thinking that America (and possibly the UK) still subsidise oil?

Old Holborn said...

I notice at PMQ's today a labour MP suggested that Tories were "climate change and holocaust deniers"

I did laugh. Then I ate a baby in my 4x4 whilst gassing a Jew.

Believe what you want. Charge me a penny for your beliefs and I'll drag you to hell.

bullionsInvestor said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Oriel boy said...

How exactly are "property rights" anything to do with the "free market"?

Tony Sharp said...

Oh dear, oh dear. Re-read your opening sentence Sunder and just stop and think about it for a moment:

"None of the top ten Conservative bloggers believes the theory that man-made global warming is an established fact,"

At least you have taken the trouble to explain why they do not treat climate change as an established fact, because it is nothing more than a theory as you have clumsily noted.

Tony Sharp said...

And before you label me as a 'denier', my reference above is to AGW (what you term man-made global warming). The climate has always changed and always will.

No evidence has ever been presented that proves as fact that man has affected caused warming. All that exist is a collection of theories. Even they are being discredited as CO2 increases and temperature decreases.

Sunder Katwala said...

Tony,

I agree the opening sentence is very clumsy and a bit daft. I think I rewrote it right at the end, and garbled it.

"None of the top ten Conservative bloggers believes the theory that man-made global warming is convincing" would have been much better".

But you won't find the word 'denier' in the post.

While I have every right to comment on what I think, I did try to report the views of the different bloggers in a fair way which they would themselves accept as accurate. (In the 1-10 section, I think I editorialise in a couple of sentences on Carswell, but everyone else is simply reported).

Dick Puddlecote said...

Isn't it telling that the more scientists question the 'accepted' science, and the more questions are asked, the more frantic the scaremongers become, and the more hysterical their claims.

It would kinda help if the IPCC would allow their raw data to be released without a dogged fight occasionally, too. After all, nothing to hide, nothing to fear, eh?

Caitlin said...

Zac Goldsmith has a blog. http://www.zacgoldsmith.com/default.asp?contentID=85

Caitlin said...

PS If you Google ' site:zacgoldsmith.com climate change ' then you'll see that he writes about the issue frequently. He is a Tory blogger and prominent environmentalist.

Climate change and the environment should not be a party-political issue. Let's try not to make it so.

Sunder Katwala said...

Caitlin

Thanks for comment. It seems from that that Zac Goldsmith doesn't have any idea what a blog is - that isn't one - though he occasionally contributes to an actual blog at Platform 10.

The post shows that all of the top 10 Conservative bloggers are climate change sceptics, using the Total Politics awards list. I did manage to dig out a couple of Tory bloggers not in the top 10 who aren't (Richard Willis and Platform 10) but it took some looking.

I am in favour of a cross-party consensus on addressing climate change. The post notes the party leader is in favour of the political cross-party consensus of seeing climate change as an urgent threat, and wishes luck to the small minority of Tory bloggers who wish to advocate maintaining that position.

But "let's not try to make it so" is (unfortunately) premature ... climate change appears to remain deeply contested within the Conservative Party (see the campaigns of elected representatives like Douglas Carswell MP, Roger Helmer MEP; the most prominent opinion formers, such as The Spectator and forums such as ConservativeHome; and the weak priority which most party activists give the issue (according to ConHome surveys).

But "let's try not to make it so" is also a good idea, if those who do want a consensus to address climate change could challenge that trend: David Cameron has done so in making it a high profile issue and taking a clear line - but he has tended to tell us that this proves his party has changed, which means he underestimates how far he seems to be from convincing a rather large chunk of it.

Alan Douglas said...

Your real question should be :

Help! Can anyone find a LEFTY bugger who can think ? Who can view BOTH sides of a discussion, rather that emote like headless chickens ?

Alan Douglas

Evan Price said...

Sunder,

A problem with the blogosphere is that it is self-selecting ... even comments are made by self-selecting commentators.

Whilst these blogs are popular - in terms of unique visitor numbers (and before Unity has a go at me, I know there are weaknesses in those numbers) - they tend to be written by people who write about a large number of issues and climate change is not their principle topic (or even one that they discuss very often). At a time when there are many other problems facing people on a daily basis that are of more immediate concern, this doesn't surprise me.

So where does that leave us - is it really indicative of Conservative grassroots thought what is written by a number of popular bloggers on a particular topic that they don't write about very often? Having been part of a recent election campaign for the Conservatives, I suspect that the party is not as obsessed by the internet and blogging as ConservativeHome would like them to be - and their claim to represent the 'grassroots' of the Conservative party is simply not credible when you read the comments by many who claim to be conservative but who clearly are not, from their comments, Conservatives!

GeoMEM said...

The title and the first paragraph are two completely different areas of discussion:
"Can anyone find a Tory blogger who believes that climate change is a real threat?"
This refers to Climate Change (which has always happened since the formation of the earth, and will always happen) being a threat (to humans I assume).

"None of the top ten Conservative bloggers believes the theory that man-made global warming is an established fact;"
This refers to the theory of man-made global warming. And it certainly IS NOT an established fact. It is based on appallingly bad science and in some cases fraudulent claims by pseudo-scientists.

These statements are entirely different and one does not necessarily imply the other. It's this sort of sloppy thinking that informs a lot of the Climate Change debate unfortunately.

How many MPs have actually got a Science degree (BSc, MSc or higher)? How many of them can critically analyse the peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals. Not many, therefore any blogs by them are scientifically worthless - this applies to any political flavour.

Sunder Katwala said...

Evan,

Thanks for the sensible and interesting contribution. The issue of keeping the blogosphere's influence in perspective is an interesting one. You make a good point, but it is just a new channel of the advocacy and pressure politics which has always had some impact in political debate inside parties.

I think the AWS debate does show how the blogs (ConHome) in particular can have an influence, because internal debate is more rapid, much more open and harder to control. Europe is another issue where this is an important feature of a real political tension.

ConHome use reader/activist polling in an effective way to claim legitimacy and project their findings into the media as what the "grassroots" think. If there are different more centrist or modernising forces at the grassroots not being represented by that, then they are not well organised or visible.

The leadership often tells journalists theirs is a top down project of a few convinced people at the centre .... that might be much harder than the mid-1990s ... or not ...

Sparrow said...

"Go ed" then, as Yozza used to say...

http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=99&c=1

Evan Price said...

Sunder,

One of the problems with the internet debates, especially those around controversial or hotly contested issues, is that the parties very often do not actually appear to engage with each other at all - they merely stand on their own ground shouting to the world about their particular take on a point and fail to actually listen to what others are saying ... the classic examples of this is the 'debate' about the promotion of women in the European elections and the 'debate' about grammar schools - both on Conservative Home.

An interesting analysis could be done with regard to aims and objectives of particular blogs.

With an individual's blog it is possible that you can discern what the agenda is - Paul Staines' agenda is, I think, avowedly 'anti-establishment' (at least in his own mind) and libertarian to a degree that is almost anarchistic - he will probably not agree in totality ...

With the blogs that have numerous contributors, the agenda may be less clear - Liberal Conspiracy for example is less easy to categorise - yes it is left leaning, but the inconsistency in positions can be quite provoking and interesting.

On the other hand Conservative Home and, yes, Next Left, have a particular axes to grind - and while they may use their sites in different ways, they do have a 'perspective' and often an 'agenda' which may not reflect the agenda that others, even in the parties that they are likely to be sympathetic to would necessarily agree with ...

That Conservative Home is keen to sell itself to the MSM as the voice of the grassroots is itself interesting - as I go round assoications I am not certain that they truly reflect the diversity of opinion that exists in that grassroots and I cannot tell you the number of times I am told, 'Yes, I read Conservative Home, but I would never contribute ...'

Derek Wall said...

So tory policy on climate change, is burn baby burn!

Very worrying, the Economist which is hardly green left like me has had some great and worrying material on climate change....however the Economist is the intelligent voice of the free market right, where as as the excellent research above shows the tory bloggers are just a little dumb.

Gavinspoint said...

Here is the great shame of all these hysterics wearing blinders:
They want to bankrupt the world so that it can not deal with real pollution.

"The idea that global warming is the most important problem facing the world is total nonsense and is doing a lot of harm. It distracts people's attention from much more serious problems."--Freeman Dyson

While they scream about Co2, an essential to life, they ignore REAL pollution:
http://www.chinahush.com/2009/10/21/amazing-pictures-pollution-in-china/

This can be controlled with help and money. But these babies do not understand the financial crisis and the limit of resources to fight real problems.

Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT, served on IPCC: “"One of the things the scientific community is pretty agreed on is those things will have virtually no impact on climate no matter what the models say. So the question is do you spend trillions of dollars to have no impact? And that seems like a no brainer.”

But, hey, go ahead and waste limited resources if it makes you feel better.
The REAL pollution that you ignore does not make me feel much respect at all for a bunch of robots programed with an endless, mindless mantra.

Hengist said...

Wasn't Carswell the chap who summoned up a mediaeval wind storm in "Night of the Demon"? One would of thought he would be the first to admit man's role (aided by the forces of darkness) in tampering with the weather.

Joseph said...

I don't see why this is political. If anthropogenic global warming isn't some kind of crisis, we should ignore everything the "Greens" say and if is is some kind of crisis, we can have anti-nuclear activists tried for treason for humanity. Either possibility agrees with a right-wing agenda.

I personally prefer the first (I had my heart set on ignoring everything those d@mn hippies said) but I'm willing to listen to contrary evidence.

Boy on a bike said...

Theory:

a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

contemplation or speculation

guess or conjecture

Yes, global warming is a theory. It is not a fact. Theories have to be rigorously tested by collecting and examining evidence. Theories are not proven by hysterical arm waving tofu munchers.

It is a fact that the climate changes, and that it has changed over hundreds of millions of years. It changed long before we arrived, and it will change long after we are gone.

Fact:

something that actually exists; reality; truth

a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true

RubberBaron said...

"Polling finds a strong majority of the British public do think global warming is real and man-made by a margin of 71% to 23%"

Talking of science, I see your 71% and raise you 41%: http://www.physorg.com/news177493814.html

It all depends which poll you want to use.

Skip MacLure said...

Could be that many conservative bloggers can write what they believe, rather than what the electorate want to hear (take note, Mr Cameron!). More people all the time are getting wise to the super scam of the 21st century, including many liberals. The left always push the point by making the "deniers" feel like a leper minority, their use of the word "consensus" making regular appearances. Well, this consensus is also phony, as this petition to the Senate demonstrates:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/02/160-physicists-send-letter-to-senate-regarding-aps-climate-position/

Ray Wilson said...

The fact that nobody really knows or understands the complex factors that are involved in climate change. Many people think it is CO2, but what if really it is the sun or something else. If someone would know it for sure, he would have indisputable proof. Ray's pv solar panels blog.