Many were puzzled recently by the narrowing of the the Tories’ lead in the polls after New Year. This also coincided with President Obama’s decline in the polls. A common link is the meltdown of the climate scare campaign, precipitated by the devastating leak of e-mails from East Anglia University. See this excellent and comprehensive account in the Weekly Standard.
Both David Cameron and Barack Obama have enjoyed miraculous success in the polls over the past two years, and this has been partly due to their populist commitment to “do something” about climate change. Indeed, it seems that the ‘political consensus’ – nowadays much more important than any ‘scientific consensus’, is such that no politician could have survived the last two years without towing a similar line.
Inspiration can however be drawn from The Liberal Party of Australia – whose views seem much more like the proper liberals of yesteryear than the ‘liberals’ we have in the UK or US. They have been through a hefty struggle on the issue of climate change over the last two years. That struggle reached its climax in February this year when Malcolm Turnbull was ousted as leader by a hardcore climate change skeptic, Tony Abbott, because he insisted on helping the Labor Party push contentious Cap-and-Trade legislation through the Senate. Clearly, Turnbull had gone so far toward appeasing the politically correct climate change lobby that he neglected his own party’s base.
As far as Cameron is concerned, he needs to take notice. Now more than ever, it is politically possible for him to distance himself from the typical collectivist position on climate change, which has dragged him away from the base of his party. Seeing as the scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change is no longer as sound as it once seemed, there is clearly an opportunity to take a skeptical position that is both frank and honest, as those in the Australian Liberal Party have shown they can do.