Viscount Monckton, the ‘Lord of the climate sceptics’ has admitted that mankind is causing global warming.
By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent in Cancun
The British peer is in Cancun Mexico to ‘be a voice of reason in a sea of madness’ at the United Nations climate change talks.
In lucrative tours of the American lecture circuit and on prime time television, he is promoted as exposing ‘the myth’ of global warming.
However Lord Monckton admitted the world is warming as a result of mankind’s activities.
“Some warming is to be accepted as a result of our activities but on balance not very much,” he said.
In a bizarre press conference attended by a handful of journalists and a ‘climate sceptic activist’ dressed in a polar bear suit with a sign reading ‘I am fine’, Lord Monckton spoke out about his theories on climate change.
He said the science is so uncertain about the level of warming that it is ridiculous for the UN to try and stop temperature rise by reducing emissions.
He said the whole process was “undemocratic” because it would commit all countries to carbon reduction targets under the UN rather than sovereign governments.
“I think the world is in danger of throwing away its democracy, prosperity and freedom if it carelessly accepts what seems to me unresolved science and economics,” he added.
Instead he said the world should focus on adaptation to any changes in climate as they occur and in supplying electricity to the poorest communities.
“To try to stop this problem by cutting carbon is like King Canute trying to stop the tide,” he said.
Lord Monckton was introduced as the ‘Lord of the climate sceptics’ during the conference arranged by Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow(CFACT), a US free-market think tank, that has taken funds from oil companies in the past.
Dr Roy Spencer, a former scientist for Nasa who is now at the University of Alabama, also said the world is getting hotter but there is not yet enough knowledge of climate variability to say how much of the warming is man made.
After first insisting he was not sponsored by the fossil fuel lobby, he said it was irresponsible to force poor countries to shift to expensive technologies like solar and wind when there is still uncertainty about climate change.
“I believe in most of the science. That carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, that we are adding it to our atmosphere, that it will cause some warming. My difference is how the climate system will respond,” he said.
Earlier in the week Lord Monckton was forced to leave a high level business summit attended by Sir Richard Branson, after he claimed the organisers said it was only for people who believe in the fight to tackle climate change.
His arguments are dismissed by most scientists, who claim there is increasing evidence that global warming is already increasing extreme weather events and is in danger of causing further floods and drought.
Earlier this month Nasa confirmed that the last decade will be the hottest on record and a new analysis of peer-reviewed science by the Met Office warned the consequences of global warming could be worse than ever because of ‘feed backs’ like melting sea ice and die back of the Amazon rainforest.
The UK Government and other world leaders insist the most responsible way to deal with the issue to try to tackle climate change before it causes further damage and it is dangerous to ignore the problem.
The UN meeting in Cancun is the latest attempt to come to a global deal that will not only limit world emissions but set up a fund to help poor people adapt to climate change and stop deforestation.
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