Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Margaret Thatcher on climate (2)

In her 11 pages devoted to global warming in Statecraft she traces the development of her views and analyses the evidence.   She emphasised repeatedly that the science was uncertain.  Then she railed against the alarmists, such as Al Gore, who had gone all apocalyptic without any firm basis in science.  Her recognition of the limits and uncertainty of science in this area, and her smoking out unscientific alarmism looks very impressive from a present day perspective.   

Let me give you a flavour from the 11 pages as she analyses the (then) current state of the arguments.
  • 'Firstly, is the climate actually warming?. . . But the facts are in some doubt. . .'  (depends on the time period being analysed)
  • 'Secondly, is carbon dioxide responsible for whatever global warming has occurred? Here too the uncertainties are formidable. . .
  • 'Thirdly, is human activity. . . responsible for the production of carbon dioxide which has contributed to any global warming?  . . . The facts are unclear. . .'
Her conclusions:
  1. We should be suspicious of plans for global regulation that all too clearly fit in with other preconceived agendas.
  2. We should demand of politicians that they apply the same criteria of common sense and a sense of proportion to their pronouncements on the environment as to anything else.
  3. We must never forget that although prosperity brings problems is also permits solutions - and less prosperity, fewer solutions.
  4. All decisions must be made on the basis of the best science whose conclusions have been properly evaluated.
Cautious scepticism.

Previous post is here.

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