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
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
George Osborne appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, 5 July 2015  

George Osborne says benefits should be capped at £20,000 to meet average earnings – but working families take home £31,500

Ellie Mae O'Hagan
The BBC has agreed to fund the £650m annual cost of providing free television licences for the over-75s  

Osborne’s assault on the BBC is doing Murdoch’s dirty work

James Cusick James Cusick
Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created