Green tax on fossil fuels 'unwarranted': Right-wingers attack 'greenhouse' view

SCEPTICS of the greenhouse effect, who want the Government to ignore advice on limiting carbon dioxide emissions, fire another shot at the scientific consensus today.

A carbon tax to limit man- made emissions of greenhouse gases is unwarranted and unnecessary and will only damage the economy, says Roger Bate, director of the environment unit at the Institute of Economic Affairs, a right-wing think tank.

Writing in the journal Chemistry and Industry, Mr Bate says: 'All climatologists agree that the greenhouse effect is real, whereas the enhanced greenhouse effect, or global warming, is a contestable theory which has yet to be proved. The two are often confused so that the public assume that disaster is imminent and only immediate action can save us.'

He adds: 'Given the very large uncertainties involved in making forecasts (climatic or economic), we should be sceptical of any theory that leads to restructuring the way we live our lives.'

At the Rio summit in 1992, government officials decided to limit emissions of carbon dioxide to 1990 levels by 2000. A tax on fossil fuel - a carbon tax - has been suggested as one way to meet targets. Mr Bate writes: 'Clearly, the science is far from conclusive, but in the name of global warming, we are being threatened with carbon taxes. In the UK, value- added tax on fuel was, at least partially, proposed as a carbon- decreasing measure.'

The Institute of Economic Affairs recently published a report - co-authored by Mr Bate - questioning the scientific predictions about the enhanced greenhouse effect. The authors argued that governments should do nothing to tackle climate change.

Scientists such as Sir John Hougton, who co-chairs a scientific working party of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, condemned the institute's report as 'uninformed' and said its conclusions did nothing to change the consensus among 300 leading climate researchers.

John Woods, director of marine and atmospheric sciences at the Natural Environment Research Council and a contributor to the IPCC report on the greenhouse effect, said although it was difficult to predict the outcome of the enhanced greenhouse effect, it was clear that man-made greenhouse gases would trap more solar heat.

'What remains uncertain is the detailed climate consequences of that. One would be very foolhardy to dismiss the possibility of change in the climate due to the greenhouse effect. To say 'do nothing' would be bad advice to policymakers.'

Leading article, page 13

News
David Beckham
peopleFootballer joins No campaign
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
film
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
News
newsIn short, yes
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

Arts and Entertainment
art
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

QA Manual Tester - Agile

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Bursar/Business Manager

£70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Experienced bursar or business...

Secondary School Teachers in Ipswich

Competitive & Flexible: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are l...

Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Qualified and/or experienced te...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories