19 December 1997

Mr Richard Addis, Editor, The Express Newspaper

The news from Kyoto, Japan, as the global climate conference moves to its end, is depressing, as you might have expected. Instead of displaying intellectual rigour and honesty, the proceedings have confirmed - rather like the latest scare about beef – the all too obvious dangers of passive science. Despite its claims to inclusivity, this United Nations jamboree has been dedicated to one viewpoint only.

Anyone who did not accept the doomsayers’ alarm was unwelcome. The possibility that global warming is a myth, and that we are simply experiencing one of the transitory temperature rises the planet has always undergone, has not been considered.

Kyoto is based on a big lie. There is no scientific consensus on this issue. Probably more astrophysicists and climatologists now dispute the global warming theory than accept it. They are supported by reliable satellite data which indicates that, far from warming, the globe is actually cooling. And as it has done so, levels of so-called "greenhouse gasses" in the atmosphere, in particular carbon dioxide, have been at their highest. Yet these are said to be responsible for the alleged warming.

Ever contemptuous of the hard scientific evidence, the hot-earthers at Kyoto have tried to hammer out regulations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

But though reducing such emissions is irrelevant in regard to climate, it could prove hugely costly for the citizens of the planet; above all for the billions who toil at subsistence level in the underdeveloped world. Their best hope lies at the very technological advance that limits on carbon dioxide emissions would prevent.

Economists warn that limits would also reduce productivity, and thus growth, in the industrialised world. With governments desperate to cut unemployment and improve health provision, they are unlikely to find this self-imposed burden attractive. We all want a clean world. Alas, the hot air from Kyoto is not going to produce it.

Reply to Richard Addis

View Contributors