Belfast Telegraph

Nigel Lawson is flooding the airwaves with a lot of hot air about climate change

By Mark Steel

I wonder why Nigel Lawson was on the radio last week, telling us angrily that the floods in England had nothing to do with climate change.

One of Nigel's points to show that scientists can't prove global warming was that "only a couple of months ago the Met Office were predicting that this would be an unusually dry winter".

Apart from the fact that unpredictable storms fit in perfectly with theories of global warming, Nigel seems to have confused the International Panel on Climate Change with the woman who does the weather on the telly.

Presumably, when Sian Lloyd says: "This low pressure should clear up by Tuesday", he shouts back, "How dare you expect me to get those useless energy-saving light bulbs, you know nothing", which must be quite exhausting. If he'd had the time, he could have made other valid points, such as: "They know nothing about carbon emissions.

"Only last November they reckoned England would win The Ashes, so why should we take any notice of them?"

To be fair, Lawson has filled out his thoughts in other interviews.

For example, he told the Guardian that climate change didn't concern him, because "if you look around the world today there are countries that are very cold and countries that are very hot and you have to adapt".

So the reason we've been getting in a state is that we hadn't realised this cold/hot thing and, once we grasp that, we can get the Inuit to wrap up a bit and Arabs to stop riding camels while wearing a duvet, then no-one need ever recycle anything again.

Maybe Lawson's next book will explain that there can't be global warming as it's colder at night, which comes after the day, which means – if anything – that the planet's getting colder and that the sun doesn't have any human activity and that's even hotter than a hot day on Earth, so explain that.

But he did somehow find the space to say: "These floods are a wake-up call to abandon the crazy, costly policy of spending untold millions on useless wind turbines and solar panels."

At last someone's had the common sense to say what the rest of us were thinking.

Who hasn't watched these floods and thought, "It's those bloody wind turbines and solar panels that have caused all this".

The solar panels stop the water from draining, as rivers can't get through glass.

Then the wind turbines frighten the water, so it runs off and hides in living rooms in Somerset.

Other than this, it's hard to see how there's a connection, unless he's simply decided to use the issue to yell about something else that annoys him.

Tomorrow Nigel Farage can go on to say, "These floods are a wake-up call that if you let any more Bulgarians in, we'll all be living in canoes."

The puzzling part is that, among the scientists whose job is to study these matters, there is no disagreement that rising carbon emissions have altered the climate.

So continually debating it, as if both sides are equally valid, makes as much sense as saying: "Now for sport. In the Winter Olympics, the ski-jumping final takes place today, but first I'm going to talk to Bill, who says there can't be any ski- jumping because gravity doesn't exist."

But the people we should feel sorry for most are probably those in Government who seem perplexed as to why there are fewer flood defences than there were before.

Who would have thought that cutting something would mean that that thing might be reduced in any way?

No wonder so many people get confused.

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