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: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Tony Abbott: A man most Australian women would like to pat on the back...iron in hand

Caroline Garnar
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea performs in California  

Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting

Yomi Adegoke
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there