Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson has said that global warming, if it is happening, will likely bring benefits to the developing world, and branded green policies as “grossly immoral”. In an article for Standpoint magazine’s May issue, Lord Lawson condemns the green movement for trying to stifle economic growth in the world’s poorest countries, and says that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will likely encourage plant growth, thus increasing crop yields across the world.
Lord Lawson, who founded the Global Warming Policy Institute, says that the recent IPCC report on climate change is highly flawed as it takes no account of the beneficial effects of increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
Not only does it ignore the fact that bio-engineering will make crops more resistant to high temperatures, Lord Lawson explains:
“…it takes no account whatever of another effect of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, and one which is more certain and better documented than the warming effect. Namely, the stimulus to plant growth: what the scientists call the “fertilisation effect”. Over the past 30 years or so, the earth has become observably greener, and this has even affected most parts of the Sahel. It is generally agreed that a major contributor to this has been the growth in atmospheric CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels.”
In other words, carbon dioxide is good for plant growth and must therefore have a positive effect on crops and food for livestock.
“This should not come as a surprise. Biologists have always known that carbon dioxide is essential for plant growth, and of course without plants there would be very little animal life, and no human life, on the planet.”
Far from being “dirty”, Lawson explains, carbon dioxide has far more positive effects than negative effects, and has received an unfairly bad press:
“The climate alarmists have done their best to obscure this basic scientific truth by insisting on describing carbon emissions as “pollution” — which, whether or not they warm the planet they most certainly are not — and deliberately mislabelling forms of energy which produce these emissions as “dirty”.
“Compared with the likely benefits to both human health and food production from CO2-induced global warming, the possible disadvantages from, say, a slight increase in either the frequency or the intensity of extreme weather events is very small beer.”
Speaking of the negative effects of green policy, Lord Lawson condemns governmental initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, which have only served to harm the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
“…what moves me most is that the policies invoked in its name are grossly immoral. We have, in the UK, devised the most blatant transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich — and I am slightly surprised that it is so strongly supported by those who consider themselves to be the tribunes of the people and politically on the Left. I refer to our system of heavily subsidising wealthy landlords to have wind farms on their land, so that the poor can be supplied with one of the most expensive forms of electricity known to man.”
What makes it worse is that there is no conceivable way these policies can work, given that the developing world is still pumping out carbon dioxide at record levels. Also, seeing as burning fossil fuels is by the cheapest way for the developing countries to grow economically, thus reducing absolute poverty, removing them would be grossly immoral:
“…the greatest immorality of all concerns the masses in the developing world. It is excellent that, in so many parts of the developing world — the so-called emerging economies — economic growth is now firmly on the march, as they belatedly put in place the sort of economic policy framework that brought prosperity to the Western world. Inevitably, they already account for, and will increasingly account for, the lion’s share of global carbon emissions.
So the green industry and the climate alarmists, ironically for people who are mostly on the Left, are doing more harm to the world’s poor than greenhouse gas emissions, or big industry, ever could. Lord Lawson concludes:
“Global warming orthodoxy is not merely irrational. It is wicked.”