Parliament’s cushy consensus over climate change is dead. In 2008, when the Climate Change Bill had its third reading in the Commons, only five MPs voted against. But with doomsday predictions failing to materialize, and the planet failing to warm, MPs are starting to get more skeptical.
On Tuesday, in a Commons Westminster Hall debate, the room was overwhelmingly hostile to the Act. One of those MPs who voted for it, David TC Davies, says that the evidence has made him change his mind:
I am sorry that I was not a member of the famous five who voted against the Act in 2008, but I hope I will now do something to put that right. I must confess that I was one of those who accepted the arguments that were made—I supported the Act when it was passed… I contend that, given what we now know about climate science, we have a strong argument for reconsidering the Act with a view to either revoking it completely or drastically amending it.
While the “famous five” in 2008 were exclusively Conservative, hostility to climate alarmists’ claims now crosses the political divide. Graham Stringer, a Labour MP, attacked some of the most notable “science” behind climate change legislation. He quoted Lord Oxburgh’s Independent Panel on the Climategate scandal that found that methodology used was “turning centuries of science on its head” and was not replicable. Mr Stringer said that what had happened “was not science but writing narrative”.
Sammy Wilson, a DUP politician, attacked the excessive costs that the Climate Change Act is imposing on consumers and business. “All reason and self-critical analysis go out of the window when people address this subject,” he said.
Peter Lilley called for the Act to be scrapped, to much vocal support:
The Act is not just the most expensive, impractically ambitious and uncertainly based piece of legislation that I have ever known; it is unique in being legally binding and unilateral. No other country has followed us down that route. Since we went down that route, Canada and Japan have resiled from Kyoto, and Australia has just abandoned its carbon tax. It is time we looked critically at the Act, repealed or revised it, and do not allow ourselves to be slavishly, legally bound to continue doing something that no longer accords with the evidence or goes along with what the rest of the world is doing.
But one MP, Alan Whitehead, seemed flabbergasted by the views of his Parliamentary colleagues. “I really do not know where to start…”
“That’s cos you’ve been stuffed!” interjected Tory Philip Davies, to widespread amusement.