Once upon a time there was a British newspaper that believed in free markets and limited government. Not any more. The Economist now favours “re-wiring” the world’s economy, through carbon taxes, regulation, subsidies, pricing, and other government interventions.
This all to “stop the planet from overheating” and so avoid the “chaos” and “turmoil” of “science-related” climate “catastrophe” caused by global warming. The issue of the magazine for 19th to 25th September thus echoes Time of the last week of July, according to which 2020 is the “defining year for the planet’, with “one last chance” to pull back from the “brink of global catastrophe”.
With half the said planet up in arms about “fake news”, it’s odd that fake news about “climate change” is somehow permissible and so widespread. Like so many other news outlets, The Economist tells its readers that there is a “scientific consensus on global warming”. This claim ranks alongside the old advertisement that nine out of ten film stars used Lux toilet soap.
Almost a year ago, 500 climate scientists sent a declaration to the United Nations to the effect that there was no climate emergency. Earlier this year 700 said the same thing in a “World Climate Declaration” and last month another 200 added their names to that list of sceptics. Plenty of others have for years been questioning the supposed “consensus”, a hard fact of which The Economist cannot be ignorant.
The magazine blames “unchecked” climate change for “devastating droughts, famine, floods, mass dislocation”, and for making the weather more “extreme”. The climate is shifting from “stable to less so” and “the weather is certain to keep getting worse”. Firms that decarbonise and go green may help “save the planet”. And, of course, “scientists’ warnings about seemingly distant disasters should be heeded”.
Which scientists would those be? Obviously not all those who have cited mountains of evidence to the effect that the climate has never been “stable” and that there is nothing out of the ordinary happening right now. The Economist quotes Joe Biden as proclaiming the “undeniable, accelerating, and punishing reality of climate change”. Yet the Global Warming Policy Foundation recently published an analysis of official American data in which Paul Homewood demonstrates that the American climate “is in most ways less extreme than it used to be”.