I thought it worth excerpting Lord Lawson’s conclusions in a separate post, because they are so sound and so important:
The first is that the governments of Europe, fired in many cases by anti- Americanism (never underestimate the extent to which distaste for President Bush has fuelled the anti-global warming movement), may get so carried away by their rhetoric as to impose measures which do serious harm to their economies. That is a particular danger at the present time in this country. No doubt, when the people come to suffer the results they will insist on a change of policy, or else vote the offending government out of office. But it would be better to avoid the damage in the first place.
The second, and more fundamental, danger is that the global salvationist movement is profoundly hostile to capitalism and the market economy. There are already increasing calls for green protectionism – for the imposition of trade restrictions against those countries which fail to agree to curb their carbon dioxide emissions. Given the fact that the only way in which the world’s poor will ever be able to escape from their poverty is by embracing capitalism and the global market economy, this is not good news.
But the third danger is even more profound. Today we are very conscious of the threat we face from the supreme intolerance of Islamic fundamentalism. It could not be a worse time to abandon our own traditions of reason and tolerance, and to embrace instead the irrationality and intolerance of ecofundamentalism, where reasoned questioning of its mantras is regarded as a form of blasphemy. There is no greater threat to the people of this planet than the retreat from reason we see all around us today.
Tetigisti acu, your Lordship.