The Corner

More Really Inconvenient Truths

Strangely echoing the titles of both my last book (great for your Kindle!) and the book of my first boss in D.C., Britain’s Global Warming Policy Foundation has released a new report entitled “The Really Inconvenient Truth Or ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’.”

What makes this report especially interesting is that its author is Lord Turnbull. Not only was Lord Turnbull the United Kingdom’s Cabinet Secretary from 2002 to 2005 (the most senior civil servant in the land, working intimately with then–Prime Minister Tony Blair) but he was also Permanent Secretary (head of department) at both Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Department of the Environment. Indeed, he was head of the Environment Department when the Kyoto Treaty was negotiated. This gives him unique insight at the highest level of government into the politics, economics, and science of global warming. Al Gore could only dream of having this experience.

Lord Turnbull concludes:

The Really Inconvenient Truth is that the propositions of the IPCC [Intergovenmental Panel on Climate Change] do not bear the weight of certainty with which they are expressed. However, the purpose of the paper is not to argue that there is another truth which should become the new consensus, but to point out the doubts that exist about the IPCC viewpoint and serious flaws in its procedures. It is also to question why the UK Government has placed such heavy bets on one particular source of advice.

Even if the IPCC scenarios were correct, the impacts are frequently selective and exaggerated.  The economic policy choices being made will not minimize the cost of mitigation.  The paper concludes with a call for more humility from scientists, more rational reflection from politicians, and more challenge from our parliamentarians.

Let us hope governments listen to his lordship now as much as they did when he was advising them full-time.

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