The Corner

How Wrong Can a Minister and a Vice President Be?

Tony Blair has appointed his rising star, David Milliband, to be the new Environment Secretary. Young Mr Milliband was at Oxford at the same time I was and was shamefully parachuted into my home constituency of South Shields to give him a “safe seat.” As he is young and thrusting, he has a Ministerial blog. His first entry as Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs contains three blinding errors. Strangely enough they all have something to do with Al Gore.

First, he says that Gore held his first hearing on global warming in the Senate in 1980. Nope. Gore was in the House then, and as far as I am aware did not hold any hearings on the subject. He did hold a famous hearing at the height of summer in 1988. Perhaps that’s what the boy wonder is thinking of.

Second, he repeats Gore’s canard about the Chinese character for crisis including the character for opportunity. An Englishman’s Castle has the straight dope on that; perhaps Derb would like to comment further?

Finally, riding Gore’s hobby horse, he suggests that we can “halt climate change.” The first thing you learn about the climate is that it is always changing. Expressing a desire to “halt climate change” strikes one as at the best quixotic, at worst megalomaniacal. As The Englishman says, at least King Canute knew he was doomed to failure when he showed his flatterers he could not command the waves. That’s the truth, inconvenient as it may be to Gore’s agenda.

If Tony Blair is going to survive, he needs to do better than relying on people who take Al Gore’s writings as gospel.

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