At a conference in March at London's Westminster University, panelists openly debated the world's Big Boogieman: Global Warming.
A crusading author from Australia, Tim Flannery, foresees the "darkest of dark ages, leading to the establishment of an Earth Commission for Thermostatic Control," writes Daniel Nelson in OneWorldUK.
That sounds like a "carbon dictatorship" might need to take over, "backed by military force, to control emissions," observed Professor John Keane of Westminster, labeling Flannery's views "wooly."
Other speakers at the meeting were "less convinced of the need for drastic action," Nelson reported.
"A big but manageable problem," was the assessment of Dr. Neil Strachan, an economist. "It will cost us a lot but we can afford it"-- 1/2 percent of gross domestic product for Britain. "Because uncertainty surrounded the subject," Strachan favored sequential decision-making "to avoid massive expenditures that might turn out to be unnecessary."
Another economics scholar, Dr. David Henderson, dumped on the whole proposition advanced by what he termed "climate crusaders." He said that the Stern report (a 700-page tome on global warming released by the British government last fall) on the economics of climate change "failed to take account of uncertainties and lack of knowledge, overstated the probably cost of climate change, underestimated the cost of ambitious mitigation policies and tilted to unwarranted alarmism."
Moreover, he described the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change--but not its scientists--as "not up to the mark, professionally."
The good news is, whereas on this side of the pond it's considered apostasy to question tenets of the global warming faith, in the Mother Country they still have room for public debate.
An anonymous American observer of the Westminster report believes the U. S. trial lawyer community could be behind much of the GW craze here, gearing up for class-action suits against large-scale producers of carbon emissions, much as they did against Big Tobacco. Hmm. Upon consideration, that may not be so far-fetched.
"Most industries are targets, especially utilities and transportation companies from trucking companies to General Motors," the observer noted.
Now there's a real Boogieman.-- Mike Davis