In the twenty-fifth IEA Current Controversies Paper, Russell Lewis, former Director of the Conservative Political Centre and former Acting General Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, argues that there are good reasons to challenge the case for political intervention to reduce carbon emissions.
This readable and entertaining introduction to the climate change debate suggests that government claims about the seriousness of global warming are suspect - they may be an excuse for mounting taxes and controls. They are also strikingly similar to the dire predictions of 40 years ago of an imminent ice age and to other past doom forecasts due to alleged overpopulation, depletion of food and fuel supplies, and chemical pollution.
There are serious doubts about the measurements, assumptions and predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with regard to global CO2 growth, temperature and the role of clouds. Indeed there is a strong case that the IPCC has overstated the effect of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on the climate and downplayed the influence of natural factors such as variations in solar output, El Niños and volcanic activity.
The empirical evidence used to support the global warming hypothesis has often been misleading, with ‘scare stories’ promoted in the media that are distortions of scientific reality. The high salience of the climate change issue reflects the fact that many special interests have much to gain from policies designed to reduce emissions through increased government intervention and world energy planning.
2007, Current Controversies 25
Climate Change Policy: Challenging the Activists by Colin Robinson et al.
Climate Alarmism Reconsidered by Robert L. Bradley Jr.
Climate Change: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom , edited by Julian Morris and with contributions from Robert Balling, Roger Bate, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, Deepak Lal and Thomas Gale Moore.
Global Greens, Global Governance by James Sheehan and Jeremy Rabkin
Climate change articles on the IEA blog