David Blackburn

It’s war!

It’s war!
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Politicians have to shout to be heard over the lurid tale of John Terry's bordello, but Ed Miliband’s fervour for climate change is sufficiently shrill. He has declared “war” on “sceptics”, who have been rather jaunty of late.

As Fraser noted yesterday, the press’ climate change narrative is shifting – scepticism, in its proper sense, is replacing blind subscription. In this context, Miliband’s comments are extraordinary. His intellectual complacency is irritating, his sanctimony nauseating and his hypocrisy palpable.

“It's right that there's rigour applied to all the reports about climate change, but I think it would be wrong that when a mistake is made it's somehow used to undermine the overwhelming picture that's there.

“There are a whole variety of people who are sceptical, but who they are is less important than what they are saying, and what they are saying is profoundly dangerous.

“Every¬thing we know about life is that we should obey the precautionary principle; to take what the sceptics say seriously would be a profound risk.”

Indeed, rigour and precaution were singularly lacking from the falsified IPCC and UEA research, which might better be described as dishonesty rather than ‘data errors’. Double standards undermine any analysis and should always be anathema to inquiry – a point that John Beddington, the government’s chief scientific advisor, made on Tuesday. Miliband is isolated, proselytising to the faithful about not “despairing” whilst caricaturing opponents as mad-eyed dissemblers. We should all pray together and pay our indulgences. If anything suggests that humanity’s environmental future must not be dictated by governments it is this.

I hold little doubt that the climate is changing and that man is probably at least partly responsible. But that is not to say that science and the global response to these questions are confirmed. Scrutiny is a fundamental facet of humanity, yet it is being actively discouraged. Ed Miliband has declared war on reason.