Maggie the warmist?
The Greens’s Frog Blog linked this morning to a video suggesting (among other things) that the science-trained Margaret Thatcher would deride the views of her former science adviser Christopher Monckton because, unlike him, she was a warmist.
The implication of this, of course, was that being science-trained herself she would clearly repudiate Monckton’s sallies against warmist nonsense. The evidence presented for this was a number of speeches made by Maggie back in the 80s, before she left office.
And, since the 2007 film The Great Global Warming Swindle also made much of Thatcher being the prime mover in setting up the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organisation upon whom the world’s governments now lean so heavily when implementing environmental shackles on their producers, I figured—since the eighties are a long time ago, and an awful lot of carbon has gone under the bridge since then—it would be interesting to see what Thatcher’s views are now.
Fortunately, that is not too difficult since her 2002 book, Statecraft “devotes ten pages to the subject of ‘Hot Air and Global Warming,’ which Iain Murray at the Property & Environment Research Center (PERC) comments on here:
“Thatcher is quite clear [in her book] that she feels things have gone in the wrong direction since former British ambassador to the United Nations-turned-global-warming- campaigner Sir Crispin Tickell convinced her to tell the Royal Society, "it is possible . . . we have unwittingly begun a massive experiment with the system of this planet itself." She notes that the doomsters' favorite subject today is climate change, which "provides a marvelous excuse for worldwide, supra-national socialism" (449).
“Thatcher's critics might claim that she has--to use a fashionable term--flip-flopped on the issue, but that is not necessarily the case.
“First, she stresses that she was initially skeptical of the arguments about global warming, although she thought they deserved to be treated seriously. She points out that there was "rather little scientific advice available to political leaders from those experts who were doubtful of the global warming thesis" (451). However, by 1990, she had begun to recognize that the issue was being used as a Trojan horse by anti-capitalist forces. That is why she took pains in her Royal Society speech in 1990 to state: "Whatever international action we agree upon to deal with environmental problems, we must enable our economies to grow and develop, because without growth you cannot generate the wealth required to pay for the protection of the environment" (452).
“In fact, Thatcher makes it clear that she regards global warming less as an "environmental" threat and more as a challenge to human ingenuity that should be grouped with challenges such as AIDS, animal health, and genetically modified foods. In her estimation,"‘All require first-rate research, mature evaluation and then the appropriate response. But no more than these does climate change mean the end of the world; and it must not either mean the end of free-enterprise capitalism.’ (457)…. Thatcher's environmentalism is founded on Edmund Burke's conservative view of our inheritance as being worth defending. Yet that view is tempered by her classical liberal belief that human wealth and progress are crucial.”
Which, to be fair, is a far more important point than whether or not she would support Christopher Monckton, but enough nonetheless to be fairly clear that she would.