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Lord Donoughue: Labour Must Ditch Its Climate Change Obsession

December 7, 2016

By Paul Homewood




From GWPF:


In 2008, I was one of the many members of both houses who unquestioningly voted for Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act, with its legal commitments to rapidly decarbonise the British economy. The measure was not properly costed (now forecast at upwards of £360bn by 2050). I had not studied the Bill. This seemed a noble, if eye-wateringly ambitious, project: to ‘save the planet’. Who could object to that?

I decided to study climate change. The more I explored it, the more I began to question what was being claimed by the evangelical climate change movement, and especially how the Labour party was responding. I was also intrigued by the growth of the ‘save the planet’ movement, in a period when Marxism and Christianity were falling further into discredit.

People on the liberal left of politics often now lacked a motivating belief. Climate change offered to fill that faith void. It was an easy political ‘good’, providing policy objectives linked to fashionable green environmentalism around which ‘well intentioned’ people, reading the Guardian and listening to the BBC, can unite.

It also appealed to what is now helpfully termed ‘virtue signalling’, whereby declared support for some good cause by the well intentioned is a clear signal of moral righteousness, even superiority. The trouble is, as Anthony Crosland once said, “good intentions often lead to bad policies”.

My initial conclusions are simple: that the climate is indeed changing – it always has; that the planet is in an upward warming cycle – as it has been several times, before cooling again; and that carbon emissions do have a relationship with global warming – though the degree of this sensitivity has not been conclusively established. So I am certainly not a ‘denier’, like some nasty neo-Nazi denying the clearly proven Holocaust.

But those are not the real questions which should concern policymakers. They are whether the globe is warming at an unprecedented rate, which will accelerate and seriously damage our planet. And whether carbon emissions, if responsible, can be controlled by political action to limit or reverse those alleged new trends.

Observational evidence so far gives no answers to those questions which justify the alarmist predictions. Factually, our global temperature has increased by only some 0.8°C since proper official records began nearly 140 years ago – and has seen virtually no further warming at all this century. Alarmists proclaim that 2016 is our ‘hottest year’ (implying ‘ever’). But those 140 years of a warming cycle are a mere drop in the ocean of climate history.

The prediction for a scorching planet later this century is based on computer model forecasting. It may happen, but there is no evidence for it. These model forecasts, published in the UN IPCC reports for 20 years, show ranges of predicted temperature growth for this century – none of which have so far happened. Our temperatures have been below the most cautious forecast.

Many predictions of specific environmental damage from warming have not emerged. Polar bears have not disappeared, but are at a recent peak number. The Arctic is melting, but parts of the Antarctic are icing over. Ocean levels are rising, as they have for centuries, but not at alarming levels.

Claimed ‘weather extremes’ have no proven basis. Mass migration is not caused by climate change; it is linked to war and relative poverty. The dogmatic claim that a ‘universal consensus among scientists’ supports the alarmist observations has not survived factual scrutiny. Beware climate scaremongering.

Further influencing me in this debate has been the aggressive and ad hominem style shown by many climate change arguers. Anyone questioning their case on factual or financial grounds risks abuse. Being radical Labour (63 years’ membership), I resist bullying orthodoxies.

I also ask who pays for this expensive policy of precipitately decarbonising our energy economy – and is it working? The current programme is paid for disproportionately by our poorer working people through their inflated energy bills. These green taxes are punitively regressive. 47% of the recent large increase in domestic energy costs is due to green taxes – and those levies are scheduled to rocket by 2020.

The sacked steelworkers at Redcar and Port Talbot are also paying the price: made redundant partly because of the green taxes on their energy costs (double that on their European competitors) rendering them uncompetitive. Their jobs are taken by factories in Asia with few, if any, green taxes – and high carbon emissions!

It seems odd that Labour pursues climate policies whose costs fall most heavily on those who traditionally supported Labour. No wonder some of the Labour vote has left to Ukip and Brexit.

The reasons are complex, but the obsession of Labour’s recent liberal leadership with elitist issues such as climate change is one of them. Polls show that climate change ranks very low among the concerns of working people. Job security, frozen pay, immigration and housing shortages concern them far more.

Labour needs to reposition on climate change. It should not ignore it; if evidence shows dangerous warming developing, we should make proportionate responses. We have time for that. But the ‘insurance’ case is not convincing. The price currently being imposed is not justified by the evidential risk.

Anyway, dangerous climate change will be countered only on a fully international level, including the main emitters, China, India and the US. With Trump in power, they may do little. Indeed they are opening more coal-fired generators than we ever had to close. There is no sense in the UK damaging its economy and its consumers with high energy costs in pursuit of some fanciful ‘moral leadership’ of the world, when we emit less than 2% of global carbon anyway. That is fatuous ‘virtue-signalling’.

Meanwhile, Labour could reconstruct a sensible climate policy, based on the evidence as it develops. Adopt practical measures which are desirable anyway: better coastal defences and use of floodplains, greater energy efficiency, the use of efficient renewables (not silly and expensive windmills), the use of small nuclear plants and the extraction of cheap and relatively clean shale gas from our bonanza reserves.

We should retreat from the punitive 2008 legal emissions targets and accept that an energy efficient economy is crucial to the wellbeing of the British people. The costs of sensible climate adaption should rest on progressive direct taxation.

Labour should make a realistic appraisal of the climate situation and get back in touch with its natural support among working people.

Lord Donoughue is a Labour peer, and a former farming minister and senior No.10 policy adviser

  1. December 7, 2016 11:26 am

    He’s going to get a smacking from the zealots…..nobody likes their lies & stupidity exposed.

    • Edmonton Al permalink
      December 7, 2016 1:11 pm

      It took him 8 years to figure out that CAGW is a scam and fraud.

      • Roger Cole permalink
        December 7, 2016 3:26 pm

        What would you expect? He IS Labourite after all!

      • December 9, 2016 2:12 pm

        There are many who will never figure that out….

  2. December 7, 2016 11:28 am

    A brilliant summary from an experienced and wise man. Thanks for posting it.

    • Edmonton Al permalink
      December 7, 2016 1:12 pm

      this was misplaced … sory.
      It took him 8 years to figure out that CAGW is a scam and fraud.

      • December 7, 2016 2:30 pm

        I don’t criticize any one who wakes up to this scam. He spoke however as a true politician that limited the backlash from the ” noble ” climate change committee.
        He will get a smacking from the zealots anyway.

  3. December 7, 2016 11:34 am

    Sorry that should read –

    “I had not studied the Bill.”

    that’s the stupidity of politics
    vote for something you know nothing about, no scrutiny, no due diligence & get paid handsomely for it.

    He’s going to get a smacking from the zealots…..nobody likes their lies & stupidity exposed.

    • Steve Crook permalink
      December 7, 2016 11:43 am

      In fairness to him, he probably made the assumption that the people responsible for the bill *had* studied climate change and decided the bill was an appropriate (and affordable) response to the threat we face. In any event, he voted with the overwhelming majority of MPs, so it must have been the right thing to do 🙂

      That said, after the fiasco of the 2nd Iraq war and the missing WMD, you’d have thought he might have had some pause for thought.

      We should all praise a repentant sinner. Now, perhaps we can get him to see just how parlous the state of our energy supply is…

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      December 7, 2016 1:51 pm

      1SaveEnergy: The arrogance of MPs who feel all they have to do is follow the herd – or the Whips, in most cases, means they rarely bone up on any subject. Most famously, Ken Clarke admitted he had not read the Masstricht (sp?) treaty before voting for it.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        December 7, 2016 2:09 pm

        I think the classis quote was ‘Having signed the Maastricht Treaty shouldn’t somebody read it’. In the excellent ‘The Great Deception’ new ministers were often shocked to find that at the EU Council of ministers their job was just to sign stuff, not read it. When they started to read the documents some Sir Humphrey came along to stop them.

  4. Ex-expat Colin permalink
    December 7, 2016 11:38 am

    “I had not studied the Bill”.

    FFS!! There is a need for a reparations list because many people and the UK have lost over this huge piece of stupidity.

    Labour…poverty for all and at every opportunity.

  5. NeilC permalink
    December 7, 2016 11:39 am

    Well knock me down with a feather. A politician who has “studied” climate change and come to the conclusion that there isn’t evidence of catastophic climate change.

    He also suggests the Climate Change Act 2008 is detremental to the well being of a strong UK.

    Thank you Lord Donoughue, sense at last.

  6. December 7, 2016 11:48 am

    A true Grandee with the interests of the country at heart, well said sir.

  7. Dung permalink
    December 7, 2016 11:53 am

    I agree with john (wherever cabanyal is!)
    The story of Lord Donoughue is not unusual, in fact it is probably how we all got to where we are today, however this story comes from someone different. His Lordship is a senior Labour figure, who is not evangelical about his views at all, in fact he comes over as a quite humble man who is trying to warn people not browbeat them. It is an approach that will work if Labour has the brains to grasp it. UKIP need to focus on both Brexit and Climate Change!

  8. December 7, 2016 12:08 pm

    Labour is doomed by its peculiar obsessions, not just climate change and worship of renewable energy, but also environmental fundamentalism in agriculture (any episode of the BBC Countryfile programme reveals this agenda), and extreme concern for the Human Rights of foreigners, all of these things cost money and impoverish the poor.

    But, the alliance of so-called “progressives”, that emerged to some extent in the Richmond by-election, may be a game-changer.

  9. Robert Fairless permalink
    December 7, 2016 12:33 pm

    The Climate Change Act, 2008, is a folly on a grand scale; it is based on faulty science and deceptions. It is the most expensive, stupid Act of Parliament ever passed by an ignorant House of Commons. Only five MPs voted against it and the rest of the over 600 voted into legislation impossible to achieve nonsense. The effects have ruined our Energy Industry to the point of bankruptcy and certainly, without huge (billions) of government subsidies it would all grind to a halt. Bearing in mind the government has no money of its own, it is the tax payer who is paying for it. In addition every household of every working man and women is faced with a direct tax on every bill which the electricity companies are forced to collect on behalf of the government. It matters not whether you are rich or poor, old or young, employed or not, there is no escape. At least with income tax you have to earn something before you pay. When you look at the details of the ACT you will have to conclude that it has been devise by incurable lunatics. All coal fired power stations closed down (before replacements), subsidies to force compliance and closures, unbelievable subsidies for wind turbines and the like, even when not producing, huge payments to owners of diesel generators in case the rest fails whether switched on or not. Forests destroyed to produce wood pellets for biomass. And all this is just the tip of the iceberg but the fact remains that many thousands are employed in the most expensive and wasteful Government Department ever created. The future is black and dark; to achieve the law which Parliament passed millions of wind turbines would have to be erected on every spare bit of land and sea and petrol and diesel vehicles would have to be banned etc. etc., The future is bleak indeed!

    • AlecM permalink
      December 7, 2016 1:00 pm

      But the Committee on Climate Change, a front for Carbon Traders and Eugenists, want to destroy the British Economy and accelerate the death of ~45 million UK citizens to enrich the Globalist bank owners. Remember; the CO2-AGW fraud, thought up in 1975 at the ‘Endangered Atmosphere’ conference, started with R D Cess in 1976 who claimed ‘OLR (-18 deg C)’/mean surface radiant exitance (+15 deg C) was Earth’s radiant emissivity.

      This was scientific nonsense – you must use identical emission temperatures. It also created imaginary 33 K GHE and 40% extra energy. The 1976 GISS 1-D modelling paper used to back up Cess claimed ‘negative convection’ offsets he extra energy. Negative convection does not exist, admitted to an AIP interviewer 24 years later by Hansen, a co-author of GISS’ 1976 paper, but he claimed 3-D models are fine.

      The Met Office created that fake physics, based on incorrect cloud aerosol physics from Sagan, Pollack and Hansen – the 3-D models are based on the same science fraud, just better hidden. In 1979 the US Charney Report set in stone these frauds. We need to jail scientists.who have admitted their fraud ‘pour encourager les autres’. Met Office technicians have anticipated this move by quietly dumping their own fake physics……….

    • Dave Ward permalink
      December 7, 2016 1:38 pm

      “Bearing in mind the government has no money of its own, it is the tax payer who is paying for it”

      What a shame more people don’t remember that vitally important fact.

  10. December 7, 2016 12:46 pm

    While the cracks are beginning to appear in the “believers” armour, they still control all the UK meja and it is only the common sense of the common man that is holding them back from their de-industrialising ambitions.

    Trump has done the world a massive service by saying loud and clear that he does not believe in climate change: the only significant world politician to ever do so, (not counting nigel naturally).

  11. William Baird permalink
    December 7, 2016 1:15 pm

    At last a wise and sensible labour politiician. Well done.

  12. John Palmer permalink
    December 7, 2016 1:26 pm

    Yet another brick OUT of the wall.
    Bring on the bulldozers soon!

  13. December 7, 2016 1:32 pm

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Good advice but unlikely to be heeded any time soon.

    Lord D: ‘I decided to study climate change. The more I explored it, the more I began to question what was being claimed by the evangelical climate change movement’

    Funny how often people who look into the real details react like that.

  14. BLACK PEARL permalink
    December 7, 2016 2:16 pm

    What human caused Climate Change isnt real ?
    Next your going to tell me Santa Claus is a figment as well !

    Pull the other one…….

  15. December 7, 2016 2:53 pm

    The thing is, his statement won’t make any difference at all. Is it all over the MSM? Has the BBC shouted it from the rooftops or is the BBC still obsessed with promoting catastrophic climate change and renewable energy?

    • David Richardson permalink
      December 7, 2016 4:55 pm

      Well Phillip – Oh! of course that was rhetorical wasn’t it?

  16. HotScot permalink
    December 7, 2016 5:26 pm

    Don’t believe a word this scheming old b’sard says, this is what he’s really interested in:

    “It seems odd that Labour pursues climate policies whose costs fall most heavily on those who traditionally supported Labour. No wonder some of the Labour vote has left to Ukip and Brexit.”

    Donoughue is only interested in his precious Labour party. He can feel the winds of change, UKIP with a positive stance against the green blob and their GW nonsense by condemning it as a scam; the subject considered almost irrelevant by everyone and their dog because jobs, health, education and even internet access are considered more important than climate change. In a list of 16 criteria, in an online United Nations poll, 10M people across the globe voted climate change a poor last, yes, behind internet access. And yes, you can vote!

    This man took 8 years to change his mind on climate change because he was waiting to see which way the market was moving. We can be fairly certain now that the unpicking of this global scam has surely begun in earnest.

    However, it is with no thanks to Donoughue, where the hell has he been? It’s all very well turning up to the party, but it’s considered rude to turn up when the last dance is underway.

  17. Steve Borodin permalink
    December 7, 2016 6:46 pm

    Trump and Donoughue seem to have seen the light. Better late than never. They make a fine pair. Labour have always been the party with their hands in the pockets of the poor and tears in their eyes whilst they trouser the proceeds. What’s new?

  18. December 8, 2016 12:26 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  19. Alex Emodi permalink
    December 8, 2016 10:09 am

    I think his position sums up how many politicians are now starting to reconsider the whole climate change legislation that Britain has legislated itself into. We are heading towards blackouts at a frightening pace while massively and unnecessarily increasing our energy costs. No other Haroon is doing this.

    Regards, Alex

    Dr Alex Emodi Director, Commercial and Logistics, M: + 44 (0) 7900 896 747

    Sent from my iPhone


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