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The Tories should not have signed up to Corbyn’s alarmist climate ‘emergency’–Charles Moore

November 23, 2019

By Paul Homewood



A very good article by Charles Moore today:


You have already been told that Jeremy Corbyn’s new Labour general election manifesto closely resembles Michael Foot’s manifesto of 1983, when Labour crashed to its biggest-ever postwar defeat.

You have been told right. Mr Corbyn, one must remember, is rather old. He came into Parliament in that election and has dreamed ever since of revenge on Margaret Thatcher. Labour is using the phrase “irreversible shift” in this campaign. It deliberately echoes Mr Corbyn’s hero, Tony Benn, who spoke of an “irreversible shift in the balance of power and wealth in favour of working people and their families”. By “working people and their families”, Benn/Corbyn meant/mean “the state”.

There are two important differences between 1983 and now, however. The first concerns climate change, a subject not mentioned then. Shakespeare’s Macbeth speaks of “making the green one red”. Mr Corbyn is trying to make the red one green. His project for state control of the economy in 2019 appears under the title of “A Green Industrial Revolution”. This makes it more enticing to young voters than all that old-fashioned stuff about the commanding heights of industry.

The other important difference is that, in 1983, the Conservatives offered a clear, confident approach which overwhelmed the Labour one. This time, on all green subjects, they do not. They have accepted the alarmist premises of the other side.

On May 1 this year, Parliament voted, without a division, to declare a “climate emergency”, on a motion tabled by Mr Corbyn. The then environment secretary, Michael Gove, agreed that there was a climate emergency, but said he did not like the idea of declaring one. The Tory Government put up no fight.

An emergency has legal meaning. The Civil Contingencies Act of 2004 defines it as “a situation or series of events that threatens or causes serious damage to human welfare, the environment or security in the United Kingdom”, and the Cabinet Office applies this to “no-notice or short-notice emergencies requiring UK central government engagement”. With an emergency Act go emergency powers by which the Government can remove normal freedoms.

This, in effect, is what Mr Corbyn proposes to do. Yet the Tories, though they repudiate him, go into this election signed up to the idea that the end of the world is nigh. When they make arrangements to prevent this (“zero carbon”) by 2050, they look weak beside the zealots who want to move even faster. It should be 2030, shouts Labour (with a get-out clause slipped in to please its carbon-emitting trade union backers). The Tories won’t kill new petrol cars till 2040, whereas Labour will do it by 2030. And so on.

Early in this election campaign, I emerged from Sloane Square Tube station to be presented with a Conservative Party leaflet proudly announcing that “Kensington & Chelsea Council has declared a Climate Emergency”. I gave the same hollow laugh as in the Eighties when Mr Corbyn’s own borough of Islington declared itself a nuclear-free zone. The politics of posturing has triumphed.

The Labour manifesto contains a long list of stupefyingly expensive and intrusive green actions – a windfall tax on oil firms (where is the “windfall” when their chief source of income is under unprecedented attack?), a £250 billion green transformation fund, a delisting of all naughty CO2‑producing companies from the London Stock Exchange, a carbon-neutralising of “almost all of the UK’s 27 million homes”, the nationalisation of all energy “supply arms”, 3 per cent of GDP to be spent on green research and development by 2030, “one million well-paid, unionised green jobs”, and attacks on taxis and private hire.

Just as the Leave campaign put £350 million a week for the NHS on the side of a bus, the Labour manifesto writes “100 per cent electric” on the picture of the back of a bus which heads its transport section. It even promises “enough solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches”. I propose to spin this as a green attempt to suppress our national game.

All of the above spell doom to prosperity, choice and affordable, reliable energy supply. But the thing to focus on is the ideology underneath. Here are the key sentences that disclose the Labour manifesto’s underlying beliefs: “2019 saw the blossoming of a global movement calling on politicians to wake up and act on the climate and environmental emergency. Labour welcomed that movement and, as a government in waiting, we have turned its demands into detailed, credible plans for real change.”

The global movement is not named. It is Extinction Rebellion (XR). Its doctrines and origins are detailed in a pamphlet published earlier this year by Policy Exchange, Extremism Rebellion. XR is the classic child (“child” is the right word: think how the movement exploits Greta Thunberg) of protest as a way of life. Not only is it anti-Western and anti-capitalist, XR is also a sort of death cult. It protests at extinction, yet is in love with death for the cause.

Listen to online talks by one of its two founders, Dr Gail Bradbrook. Punctuated by pauses – “Let’s just breathe, while we can” – Dr Bradbrook teaches that “hope is the creature of privilege”. Good people should “grieve” instead. She calls for a few hundred “upstanders” who will sacrifice themselves, thus moving millions to act, because “so much in humanity is about emotion” rather than arguments. “It feels really different when you break the law, especially when you get away with it.” Thus will the righteous few take power and save the planet through “world government to introduce world mobilisation”.

XR’s co-founder is Roger Hallam. Like Dr Bradbrook, he thinks that “emotionality is the only way you can get people to do something”. In the same week as Labour’s manifesto launch, he gave an interview to the leading German paper, Die Zeit. In it, he accused the Germans of overplaying the Holocaust. He dismissed it as “just another f—ery in human history”.

Mr Hallam later half-apologised by admitting the “unimaginable suffering” of the Jews, but went on to justify himself. “It is happening again, on a far greater scale and in plain sight. The global north is pumping lethal levels of CO2 into the atmosphere and simultaneously erecting ever greater barriers to immigration, turning whole regions of the world into death zones… We are allowing our governments to willingly, and in full knowledge of the science, engage in genocide of our young people and those in the global south by refusing to take emergency action to reduce carbon emissions.”

That is a good summary of XR’s attitudes – their extremism, “emotionality” and hatred of our civilisation. It explains why those fine people trying to get to work at Canning Town Tube station pulled them off the train roof. Yet this extremism, emotionality and hatred are what Mr Corbyn’s Labour calls “a blossoming”, and what no political parties, even the Tories, dare challenge at their roots.

Climate change is indeed a serious matter, but not an emergency. Its dangers can be mitigated. If you think that, and that steady economic growth is not to be thrown away on undatable speculation about catastrophe, or out of crazy guilt about climate “genocide”, no mainstream party speaks for you at this election.

Just now, politicians think there are lots of votes in green panic. They will learn too late that they are exaggerating. Mr Corbyn’s XR apocalypse is even more of a phantasm than Mr Foot’s fear of nuclear holocaust which had him so roundly beaten in 1983. Yet no one in power dare say so.

  1. Keitho permalink
    November 23, 2019 11:55 am

    XR is going to be the cause of the general public turning its collective back on the CAGW hoax. With any luck this will result in science getting back to its real job of enquiry rather than activism.

    • Douglas Brodie permalink
      November 23, 2019 12:56 pm

      You may well be right that it takes nutters like Extinction Rebellion and the Labour Party’s full-on support for extreme climate change measures to bring the general public to realise it’s all nonsense.

      The UN IPCC brought this about when they published their scaremongering 1.5 degrees special report a year ago calling for totally infeasible global decarbonisation targets (45% by 2030, net 100% by 2050) as the supposed solution to their invented climate crisis.

      Let the fightback begin:

  2. November 23, 2019 11:57 am

    And all of this based on a fake climate model of radiative feedback applied by astronomers, who had no clear understanding of meteorology and how air mass movement processes on a rotating terrestrial planet create the greenhouse effect.

  3. swan101 permalink
    November 23, 2019 12:10 pm

    Reblogged this on ECO-ENERGY DATABASE and commented:
    How achingly true………

  4. Bloke down the pub permalink
    November 23, 2019 12:23 pm

    Strange how one of the few people in public life who make the case against cagw is Corbyn’s brother, Piers.

    • chaswarnertoo permalink
      November 26, 2019 11:57 am

      Piers is the one with the brains. 1st in astrophysics at IC. The piss stained tramp got 2 Es at A level, with every advantage….

  5. November 23, 2019 12:26 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  6. Stonyground permalink
    November 23, 2019 12:27 pm

    “Climate change is indeed a serious matter.”

    No it really isn’t, it isn’t a matter at all, not in the slightest. I’ve been a sceptic for twenty years now, twenty years ago I was confident that in twenty years time I would be proved right. Now that I have been proved right and not a single prediction from the experts has come to pass, why am I constantly having to listen to this cack from people who have been proved wrong?

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      November 23, 2019 12:39 pm

      It’s just that they haven’t been proved right — yet. And if we aren’t very careful, by the time they have been conclusively proved wrong it will be too late.

      Re-activating abandoned oil wells, gas fields and nuclear power stations could prove tricky!

      • Stonyground permalink
        November 23, 2019 5:08 pm

        Really Mike, you really don’t think that the sceptics have been proven right yet? Twenty years ago these people were predicting a total meltdown at the poles leading to sea level rises that would leave millions of displaced people. England would have a Mediterranean climate. The polar ice is still there, the UK climate is a tiny bit milder but basically the same as it ever was. Now, perfectly unremarkable weather events are being claimed to be unprecedented and then blamed on climate change. This is what the climate charlatans have been reduced to doing.

    • NeilC permalink
      November 23, 2019 1:53 pm

      There has been no statistically significnt change in the UK to temperatures, relative humidity, wind speed, rainfall volume or duration, pressure or sunshine. There is no climate emergency.

      It is such a shame there is not one politcal party with the guts to denounce the biggest scam in history.

      • Rowland P permalink
        November 23, 2019 3:56 pm

        UKIP still exists and has the policy of repealing the Climate Change Act. It will rise from the ashes given sufficient support. It has the best manifesto covering other issues.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        November 23, 2019 5:07 pm

        Yes, if ever there was a time for a ‘leader’ to become a fence-sitter (btw: how DOES a leader show leadership when he waits to see how the people he is supposed to be leading tell him what his leadership stance is? He’d have been bloody useless on D-Day going up the beaches.) now is that time. But as Moore points out, having defined Climate as an ‘Emergency’ the Government can use extra powers that are relevant only in an ’emergency’ situation. It’s no wonder that the left see this as an opportunity.

    • dennisambler permalink
      November 23, 2019 4:59 pm


  7. November 23, 2019 1:13 pm

    At a recent meeting of the local council, they discussed what their response to the ‘climate emergency’ should be. Taking their lead from another council that was planting more trees they resolved to do the same. This is probably a typical response, where they are rightly skeptical of the MSM rubbish, but feel they have to be seen to do something.

  8. Douglas Brodie permalink
    November 23, 2019 1:52 pm

    As Paul says, we could do with some politicians like this Australian MP:

    “There is no climate emergency, there is just a series of fake, hysterical claims. How many fake claims can we take in this debate. Their only tactic is to push forwards little kids carrying placards and screaming “How dare you”. That is not argument, it’s not evidence, they are not facts.

    What we have is not a climate emergency but a reality emergency, an intelligence emergency, an observable-truth emergency where people want to use ideology and fake claims to try and scare the world about something that is not true.”

  9. Vernon E permalink
    November 23, 2019 2:55 pm

    Sorry Keitho et al, this isn’t the end of it nor anywhere near. There is not a single institution nor corporate body that hasn’t been hypnotised by this bollocks. Don’t forget that for two thousand years the entire western world taken in by the idea of a man who was of a virgin birth and could walk on water. There’s a long, long way to go yet.

  10. November 23, 2019 3:31 pm

    There is not a single piece of evidence to justify a “climate emergency”. Just keep asking the idiots to show you the evidence. Just keep repeating that “climate change” is the biggest ever scam. There are plenty of ordinary people out there who are very sceptical of the “climate emergency”.

  11. November 23, 2019 5:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    Great article. Why more people don’t get this baffles me.

  12. jack broughton permalink
    November 23, 2019 7:12 pm

    Was talking to a number of people who have little interest in climate science yesterday. After their immediate shock that I said that it was total junk-science, several expressed doubts but most questioned how could the BBC / ITV and newspapers be so wrong?? I do not like conspiracy theories and took the line that history is ignored (or modified to match the claims), and that the believers are truly converted to their cause and have managed to censor most criticism. However, I would like to find a simpler approach to explain the gross misinformation to people who are not very likely to search for the facts.

  13. November 23, 2019 8:47 pm

    To me it’s like the school bullies have won.
    .. Britain would actually be moving forward doing to stuff improve humanity and the actual environment , if we weren’t wasting so much time in this cultism, in this FakeGreenlalaland.
    .. Those Fishlake and Bardney floods happened cos the EA didn’t do enough preparation cos they are busy doing other stuff like Climate Conferences.

  14. November 23, 2019 9:00 pm

    Why is he now “Boris the bottler”
    the man with no backbone ?
    Has the Deepstate got some serious kompromat on him ?

  15. Alan Haile permalink
    November 24, 2019 8:25 am

    I wish there were an organisation to counter XR, who would swing into action whenever they were having a blockade of London or wherever – people who would go and dismantle their barriers etc. I would join them and I am sure there are many like me.

  16. Phil permalink
    November 24, 2019 12:20 pm

    The Charles Moore article perhaps required there to be a “balancing” piece attacking energy consumption, which there was in the Business section of that day’s paper entitled “How strange: your bingeing is killing the planet”, by Hasan Chowdhury. This piece argued that streamed video material is using vast amounts of energy (apparently as much as a country like Chile.) Two things struck me in addition to the points about it assuming CAGW and comparisons with China and India: there is something hypocritical about this being in the Saturday Telegraph especially, which comes with various supplements, unwanted by me and I suspect many others, most of which are in effect advertisements for foreign holidays, which surely involve a lot of carbon emissions. The other is a possible conflict of interest: channels like Youtube offer news, comment and cultural streaming in competition with newspapers as well as for example the BBC. (As an aside about another supposedly right of centre publication,The “Spectator” had a cartoon recently, the punch line being along the lines of “Why use your brain cells when you can set up your own channel on Youtube.” Well, I prefer for example Tony Heller’s excellent videos on Youtube to anything in the Spectator.)

  17. Gerry, England permalink
    November 24, 2019 1:54 pm

    Worth remembering that Johnson is a proven serial liar and that he could just be lying once again in the belief that green crap is what people want to hear. If he wins he can dump it especially as he will be up to his neck with the one thing hardly mentioned which is Brexit and our future relationship with the EU.

  18. November 24, 2019 2:40 pm

    I guess that they thought it will appeal to naive 18 and 19 year olds while hoping that nothing will ever happen so there will be no cost.

  19. Bertie permalink
    November 25, 2019 9:48 am

    Somewhat predictably, today’s letters’ page had this (edited by me to cut out praise for XR) reaction to the article from a brainwashed correspondent:
    “Charles Moore risks confusing an understandable frustration at Extinction Rebellion’s activities with the facts behind the group’s concern. [..] as with many other campaigns labelled as ‘extreme’ over the years, including civil rights and women’s liberation, most people will eventually come to realise they [i.e. XR] have right on their side. We have wrecked this planet and it sorely needs fixing.
    To tackle this problem, we need to look beyond tribal politics, and I salute the Government for acknowledging there is a crisis.
    Colin Burrows, Richmond, Surrey.”

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