Monday, April 14, 2008

An Appeal to Reason

This is the name of a new book by Nigel Lawson, Chancellor of the Exchequer in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet. I have yet to read it, but from the reviews suspect it contains similar material to the lecture he gave to the Centre for Policy Studies in 2006. (I suggest a free download of this lecture from rather than spending £10 on the book.)

Billed by the Financial Times’ reviewer as “the climate heretic’s handbook,” it is (if the lecture is anything to go by) actually a lot less controversial than that. He cedes pretty much all the science, and has no exception to a reasonable carbon tax, but claims the best solution is to adapt. Adaptation is of course a major part of any strategy, since we know that there is not much we can do about climate change over the next two decades or so. Nicholas Stern’s review, which Lawson dismisses as “alarmist,” says that “adaptation policy is crucial.”

Perhaps more alarming are some of the reviews. That in the Sunday Times of London ( bemoans the fact that he concedes the science.

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