British climate sceptics launch campaign to overturn green targets
Climate sceptics, including a number of high profile Tory backbenchers, are launching a campaign to overturn the Coalition's green targets. Climate Sense, a loose affiliation of `climate sceptic groups', are calling for the Climate Act, that commits the UK to cutting greenhouse gases by 80 per cent by 2050 to be repealed.
Philip Foster, a retired Church of England Reverend who is leading the campaign, said the legislation will cost taxpayers œ480bn over the next 40 years because of the cost of new technologies like wind farms.
He said Tory backbenchers John Redwood, David Davies and Christopher Chope have agreed to attend the launch of `Climate Fools Day' in the House of Commons. Labour MP Graham Stringer, who is a member of the Science and Technology Committee, also supports the campaign. Johnny Ball the television presenter is expected to attend the launch.
"There is no evidence that human input has anything to do with global temperatures," Rev Foster said. "Therefore we should not be wasting any money on climate change through things like this legislation."
The group, made up of Copenhagen Climate Challenge, Weather Action and the Campaign Against Carbon Capitalism, have also written a letter to the Prince of Wales on behalf of climate sceptics. It asks the Prince, who has accused sceptics of "peddling pseudo science", to prove climate change is happening and is signed by 166 scientists including David Bellamy.
However Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, said the group misunderstood the point of science, which is to disprove theories.
He said the UK legislation was overwhelmingly backed by Parliament and is leading the world. "Nobody thinks climate change is not a problem. The discussion has moved on to what is the best way of tackling the problem and making a transition to low carbon growth," he said. "These guys are a remnant group of dinosaurs trying to argue something while frankly the public and political debate has moved on."
The ten challenges sceptics have asked 'supporters of the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused climate change' to prove:
1. Variations in global climate in the last hundred years are significantly outside the natural range experienced in previous centuries.
2. Humanity's emissions of carbon dioxide and other `greenhouse gases' (GHG) are having a dangerous impact on global climate.
3. Computer-based models can meaningfully replicate the impact of all of the natural factors that may significantly influence climate.
4. Sea levels are rising dangerously at a rate that has accelerated with increasing human GHG emissions, thereby threatening small islands and coastal communities.
5. The incidences of malaria and other infectious diseases are now increasing due to recent climate changes;
6. Human society and natural ecosystems cannot adapt to foreseeable climate change as they have done in the past.
7. Worldwide glacier retreat, and sea ice melting in polar regions, is unusual and related to increases in human GHG emissions.
8. Polar bears and other Arctic and Antarctic wildlife are unable to adapt to anticipated local climate change effects, independent of the causes of those changes.
9. Hurricanes, other tropical cyclones and associated extreme weather events are increasing in severity and frequency.
10. Data recorded by ground-based stations are a reliable indicator of global surface temperature trends.