Lord Lawson: Floods Are A Wake-Up Call To Focus On Resilience
There is “no evidence” that climate change is leading to more extreme weather, Lord Lawson has said, as he called on the Government to use the floods as a “wake-up call” to stop “littering the countryside” with wind turbines and solar panels.
Lord Lawson, the former Chancellor, said that the floods should spur the Government to decrease the amount of renewable energy projects in Britain.
Britain needs to have “cheap and reliable” forms of energy to ensure that the country is “resilent and robust to whatever nature throws at us”, Lord Lawson said.
His comments come after Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, attacked “head in the sand” Conservatives who question the science behind global warming.
Mr Davey will give a speech and will say that Conservatives who deny that human activity causes climate change are “ignorant” and contribute to “extreme weather events” like the recent flooding.
David Cameron has said he “very much suspects” that the flooding affecting Britain is linked to climate change, which is bringing more “abnormal weather events”.
But Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, has refused to endorse that position, and claimed in October that farmers would benefit from longer growing seasons. People get “very emotional” about the topic and should accept that the climate has been changing “for centuries”, he said.
Philip Hammond, the Transport Secretary, yesterday suggested that natural “solar rhythms” are contributing alongside human activity to climate change.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Lord Lawson said: “I don’t blame the climate scientists for not knowing. Climate and weather is quite extraordinarily complex and this is a new form of science. All I blame them for is pretending they know when they don’t.
“What we want to focus on is what we’re going to do. And I think this is a wake-up call. We need to abandon this crazy and costly policy of spending untold millions on littering the countryside with useless wind turbines and solar panels and moving from a sensible energy policy of having cheap and reliable forms of energy to a policy of having unreliable and costly energy. Give up that.
“What we want to focus on is making sure this country is really resilient and robust to whatever nature throws at us whether there’s a climate element or not.”
Sir Brian Hoskins, a member of the Committee on Climate Change, said that scientists “just don’t know whether the persistence of this event [the floods] is due to climate change or not”.
Asked if there is a link between the extreme weather hitting Britain and global warming, Sir Brian said: “There’s no simple and quick answer. We can’t say yes or no this climate change.
“However, there’s a number of reasons to think that such events are now more likely. One of those is that a warmer atmosphere that we have can contain more water…so a storm can wring that water out of the atmosphere and we’re seeing more heavy rainfall events around the world and certainly we’ve seen those here.”