Leading article: Cameron's climate conundrum

Share
Related Topics

In a way, the revolt in the Conservative Party against the conventional science of global warming redounds to David Cameron's credit. That so many prominent people in his party disagree with the leader's policy underlines his courage in defying the instincts of so many of his followers.

David Davis, who writes for The Independent today, is no longer a member of the shadow cabinet, but his doubts about his party's environmental policies are shared privately by many of those who are still members. Nor can Nigel Lawson, a former chancellor of the exchequer whose advice on economic subjects Mr Cameron values, be dismissed as a fringe obsessive.

The truth is that Mr Cameron has a fight on his hands. When he was filmed with huskies on a glacier long ago, his party was quiescent, willing after three defeats to pay any price for a leader that could win. But next week's Copenhagen summit has brought the issue to the fore, and the furore over leaked emails from the University of East Anglia has brought the Tory party's internet wing out in a rash.

The Independent professes itself rather baffled by climate-change sceptics. As with most conspiracy theories, the conspiracy theorists have failed to ask the one obvious question: Why? Why would more than 90 per cent of climate scientists invent the idea of global warming? But there are a lot of sceptics about, and they are over-represented among Conservatives.

That is why it is so significant that Mr Cameron has made green policies central to his modernisation of the party. We accept his sincerity on this issue, and admire his courage and willingness to stand firm against his party. The Tory party's opposition to a new runway at Heathrow is important. Beyond that, however, there remains a marshmallow quality to Mr Cameron's preparation for a genuinely green government.

The Labour Government under Gordon Brown, from a very lacklustre start, has begun to rise to the challenge of Copenhagen. How the prime-minister-in-waiting handles the challenge to his authority and develops his policies on climate change over the next six months is vital in informing the decision that the voters of Britain will soon be called upon to make.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Games Developer - HTML5

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With extensive experience and a...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£26000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Product Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to on-going expansion, this leading provid...

Recruitment Genius: Shift Leaders - Front of House Staff - Full Time and Part Time

£6 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a family ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Jeremy Corbyn could be about to pull off a shock victory over the mainstream candidates Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall   

Every club should be like Labour – you can’t join as a new member unless you’re already a member

Mark Steel
The biggest task facing Labour is to re-think the party's economic argument, and then engage in battle with George Osborne and his policies  

There's a mainstream alternative to George Osborne's economics

John Healey
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works