Rise Of The Global Warming Skeptics In Britain

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union wasn’t just a huge blow to eurofiles, it was a blow to the global warming goals pushed by liberals and environmentalists.

The U.K.’s new government, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, is already eliminating Britain’s energy and climate bureaucracy by merging it with the government’s business department. May has also appointed former London Mayor Boris Johnson as her foreign secretary.

Johnson, a noted global warming skeptic and leader of the campaign to leave the EU, will now represent Britain on the international stage, including at negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In other words, Brexit has brought about a rise of global warming skeptics.

May’s government is expected to sharply reverse the Conservative Party’s “green” image under former Prime Minister David Cameron. Cameron largely went along with global warming policies pushed by the EU and UN, but Johnson’s appointment could signal more change.

Former Environment Secretary Amber Rudd, who’s no skeptic, was moved from the now defunct department to become May’s home secretary, which means she will oversee internal affairs and the country’s immigration policies.

Britain’s exit has already complicated the UN global warming deal agreed to in Paris last year. The former UNFCCC head said the deal may need to be “recalibrated” because of the U.K.’s exit from the EU, but was positive the deal itself would not fall apart.

Indeed, in the weeks running up to Brexit, liberal news outlets regularly ran stories claiming Brexit would make Britain’s environment worse, or make it harder for Europe — and the world — to address global warming. After the vote happened, environmentalists said it was a “red alert” for the environment.

One liberal writer even went so far as to argue global warming caused Brexit — in today’s world it would be surprising if no one at least tried to connect the two.

Environmentalists wouldn’t have been so worried about Brexit if it wasn’t being pushed by politicians skeptical of global warming. The Toronto Sun’s Lorrie Goldstein noted Brexit leaders like “Conservative MP Michael Gove… Nigel Lawson of the Global Warming Policy Foundation and Conservative MP and former environment minister Owen Paterson, are climate skeptics.”

“I am sure that those global leaders (who drafted the Paris treaty) were driven by a primitive fear that the present ambient warm weather is somehow caused by humanity. And that fear — as far as I understand the science — is equally without foundation,” Johnson wrote in a 2015 op-ed, according to the Sun.

Brexit supporters were also largely skeptical of the green movement’s agenda, especially after decades of high energy bills and rising green taxes.

Conservative pollster Lord Michael Ashcroft surveyed 12,369 Brits voting in Thursday’s referendum and found 69 percent of those who voted to leave the EU saw the “green movement” as a “force for ill.” Some 62 percent of those voting to stay saw environmentalists as a “force for good.”

“By large majorities, voters who saw multiculturalism, feminism, the Green movement, globalisation and immigration as forces for good voted to remain in the EU; those who saw them as a force for ill voted by even larger majorities to leave,” Ashcroft wrote.

“The decision by the British people to leave the European Union will have significant and long-term implications for energy and climate policies,” Dr. Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, said in June.

“But perhaps the most important aspect of the EU referendum has been the astonishing self-determination and scepticism of the British people in face of an unprecedented fear campaign,” Peiser said.

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Tags : benny peiser boris johnson brexit energy global warming policy forum theresa may united kingdom united nations
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