Policies invoked in its name are grossly immoral.
Aug. 3, 2014 4:27 p.m. ET THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson, in an essay for Standpoint magazine in May adapted from a speech he gave to the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment at the University of Bath:
Throughout the ages, something deep in man's psyche has made him receptive to apocalyptic warnings that the end of the world is nigh. And almost all of us, whether we like it or not, are imbued with feelings of guilt and a sense of sin. How much less uncomfortable it is, how much more convenient, to divert attention away from our individual sins and reasons to feel guilty, and to sublimate them in collective guilt and collective sin.
Why does this matter? It matters, and matters a great deal, on two quite separate grounds. The first is that it has gone a long way towards ushering in a new age of unreason. It is a cruel irony that, while it was science which, more than anything else, was able by its great achievements, to establish the age of reason, it is all too many climate scientists and their hangers-on who have become the high priests of a new age of unreason.
But what moves me most is that the policies invoked in its name are grossly immoral. . . .
[T]he greatest immorality of all concerns the masses in the developing world. It is excellent that, in so many parts of the developing world—the so-called emerging economies—economic growth is now firmly on the march, as they belatedly put in place the sort of economic policy framework that brought prosperity to the Western world. Inevitably, they already account for, and will increasingly account for, the lion's share of global carbon emissions.
But, despite their success, there are still hundreds of millions of people in these countries in dire poverty, suffering all the ills that this brings, in terms of malnutrition, preventable disease, and premature death. Asking these countries to abandon the cheapest available sources of energy is, at the very least, asking them to delay the conquest of malnutrition, to perpetuate the incidence of preventable disease, and to increase the numbers of premature deaths.