Nigel Lawson

Nigel Lawson

 Credentials

Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Christ Church, Oxford.

 Background

Nigel Lawson, recently named Lord Lawson of Blaby, has spent the majority of his professional career involved in British politics and journalism. [1]

Between 1961 and 1970 Lawson served as an editor for The Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator

In 1974 Lawson was elected a member of parliament for the Conservative party.  He held his seat until 1992.  As a member of parliament, Lawson was eventually named Chancellor of the Exchequer—the highest economic and financial position in the British government—by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.  Lawson held this position from 1983-1989.

Currently Lawson contributes guest columns to world newspapers. He is the founder of The Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think-tank skeptical of the science behind anthropogenic (man-made) global warming as well as the policies that are being implemented to curb climate change.

Even though Lawson has no professional credentials in the area of climate change, and is relatively new to the conversation, he has managed to emerge as an “expert” voice on the subject in the media.

According to an interview conducted by The Telegraph in 2008, Lawson states he did not develop an informed interest in climate change until 2005 when he took part in a government committee exploring the economic factors involved in global warming. [2]

Climate skepticism runs deep in the Lawson family.  His son Dominic Lawson is a journalist for the British newspaper The IndependentDominic Lawson has used his columns to question the science behind climate change and criticize the IPCC

Dominic Lawson is married to Rosa Monckton, the sister of the infamous climate denier Christopher Monckton.

Stance on Climate Change

“Lawson agrees that there has been some global warming over the past hundred years and that increased man-made emissions of carbon dioxide are partly to blame. But he argues that natural causes are more important than commonly agreed and that the science of climate remains in its infancy.” [3]

Key Quotes

“Gradual and moderate warming brings benefits as well as incurring costs. These benefits and costs will not, of course, be felt uniformly throughout the world; the colder regions of the world will be more affected by the benefits, and the hotter regions by the costs.

“But overall, it is far from clear that the inhabitants of the planet as a whole would suffer a significant net cost, or indeed any cost at all.” [Christopher Booker. [2]

Key Deeds

2009

Nigel Lawson founded a climate-change think-tank, The Global Warming Policy Foundation.  The GWPF's mission “is to bring reason, integrity and balance to a debate that has become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly intolerant.” [4]

The GWPF is littered with noted climate skeptics including Benny Peiser, Freeman Dyson, Richard Lindzen and Ian Plimer

Currently, Benny Peiser is the Director of the GWPF. Peiser has long opposed mainstream science's conclusions about anthropogenic global warming; in 2005 Peiser said he had data which refuted an article published in Science Magazine, claiming 100% of peer-reviewed research papers on climate change agreed with the scientific consensus of global warming.  Peiser later revealed he found only one paper that disagreed with the scientific consensus, and that paper was published by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

The GWPF chooses not to disclose its funding sources. However, it does state that does not “accept gifts from either energy companies or anyone with a significant interest in an energy company.”

March 8, 2007

Lawson appeared on the Great Global Warming Swindle, a program broadcast on Channel 4 Television on March 8, 2007. According to Tyler Durkin, the writer and director of the program, “global warming is a hoax foisted upon an unsuspecting public by conspiratorial environmentalists.”  [5]

Channel 4 received over 265 complaints regarding the accuracy of Swindle, including complaints from The IPCC and Sir David King about how they were portrayed on the program. [6]

Complaints included a 180+ page document (PDF) assembled by numerous writers, scientists, and two former chairs of the IPCC that accused the program of “displaying erroneous or artificially manipulated graphs, and presenting incorrect, misleading, or incomplete opinions and facts on the science of global warming and the related economics.” [7]

The document accuses Nigel Lawson, who is quoted on the program as saying that “there is such intolerance of any dissenting voice” against mainstream views on global warming, of inflating his credentials when he is described as an “expert” on climate science issues.

When Ofcom reviewed the complaints, they found that Channel 4 broke impartiality guidelines misrepresented statements by former British government scientist David King.  Ofcom further found that the film unfairly treated the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and MIT professor Carl Wunsch.

Other “experts” who appeared on The Great Global Warming Swindle included Tim Ball, Ian Clark, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer.

December 21, 2006

In 2006, Lawson contributed to the article “The Stern Review: A Dual Critique” (PDF) published in the journal, World Economics. The article critiqued the findings of The Stern Review on The Economics of Climate Change

The Stern Review was a report commissioned by the British government, whose conclusions not only supported the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the science behind the theory of anthropogenic global warming, but also advocated immediate action to mitigate the serious global threat climate change poses. 

Other authors of “The Stern Review: A Dual Critique” include the high profile climate skeptics Richard Lindzen, Ross McKitrick, Chris de Freitas and Bob Carter.

July 27, 2005

Lawson was a member of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Select Committee when it launched a skeptical report on climate change released to coincide with the 2005 G8 conference. [8]

The report, titled “The Economics of Climate Change,” claims that there are “positive aspects to global warming” and describes how “the science of human-induced warming remains uncertain.” 

It is also critical of the IPCC, describing the UN as being “influenced by political considerations” with regards to climate change science. The report is adamant that the Kyoto Protocol “will make little difference to future rates of warming.”

 Affiliations

 Publications

According to a search of Google Scholar, Lawson has not published any work in the area of climate science.

He is the author of Appeal to Reason : A cool look at global warming.

 Resources

  1. Lord Lawson of Blaby,” www.parliament.uk. Accessed January, 2012.

  2. Christopher Booker. “Lord Lawson claims climate change hysteria heralds a 'new age of unreason',” The Telegraph, April 6, 2008.

  3. Allister Heath. “Pouring on Cold Water,” Literary Review, April, 2008.

  4. The GWPF: History and Mission,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation, November 19, 2009.

  5. Juliette Hughes. “The truth is downright dirty,” The Age, June 2, 2007.

  6. Ofcom's findings on The Great Global Warming Swindle,” The Guardian, July 22, 2008.

  7. “Complaint to Ofcom Regarding 'The Great Global Warming Swindle',” (PDF), ofcomswindlecomplaint.net.

  8. Lords to G8: UK climate policies 'wildly optimistic',” euractiv.com, July 7, 2005.

  9. Board of Trustees,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Accessed January, 2012.

  10. Nigel Lawson,” Wikipedia entry.

  11. Robin McKie. “Talk About Hot Air,” The Observer, April 20, 2008.

[x]

Atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, the main contributor to global warming, are set to rise again in 2014 – reaching a record high of 40 billion tonnes, according to a new report.

The latest annual update of the Global Carbon Budget (GCB) shows that the projected rise of 2.5 per cent in burning fossil fuels and cement production this year follows a 2.3 per cent increase in 2013, a then record high of 36 billion tonnes.

The GCB said the 2013 emissions...

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