As the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – a body comprising thousands of the world’s most distinguished experts on climate change – publishes the first volume of it 5th Assessment report, the denial lobby have been slinging mud thick and fast. It is difficult not to feel overwhelmed. Thankfully, Chair of the Global Warming Policy Foundation Nigel Lawson has done us all a tremendous service by packing every climate myth he can think of into one snappy, fifteen-hundred-word Telegraph article.
It’s odd that a “scientifically neutral”, “policy-focused”, “educational charity” like Lawson’s GWPF should produce such regular, off-the-wall tirades against mainstream science. Odder still that Lawson should attack the IPCC’s policy proposals – when it hasn’t made any. Its latest report examines only the “physical science” of climate change; its policy options report is not due until April. Even then, it will make no recommendations, because it never does: the IPCC’s mandate is to be “policy-neutral”. Still, Lawson need not concern himself with such trivia. The image of the IPCC in his readers’ minds does his work for him.
Most of his claims are tediously predictable, bog-standard climate denial myths. The most outrageous, however, are new (even if many seem to have been cribbed from Canadian photographer and crank Donna Laframboise). Lawson plagiarises a fabrication; rewrites history; inverts facts; promotes outlandish conspiracy theories; and fabricates figures. It is an object lesson in the denial lobby’s methods: flagrant lying passed off as reasoned debate. In what follows, I examine several of his most extraordinary claims in more detail. Continue reading