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The Wickedness Of Global-Warming Alarmism

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Creation and the Heart of Man by Fr. Michael Butler and Andrew Morriss
Creation and the Heart of Man by Fr. Michael Butler and Andrew Morriss

Is global warming irrational? Is it bad science? Yes, to both says Nigel Lawson, a member of the U.K. House of Lords and chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. However, Lawson takes it one step further; he calls global-warming alarmism “wicked.”

In a lengthy piece at National Review Online, Lawson first details being threatened by those who insist on the “facts” of global-warming. However, he insists that – at least professionally – he has nothing to lose at this point, so he proceeds to disassemble the arguments for global-warming. Is there climate change? Indeed, says Lawson, there is:

The climate changes all the time, in different and unpredictable (certainly unpredicted) ways, and indeed often in different ways in different parts of the world. It always has done this and no doubt it always will. The issue is whether that is a cause for alarm — and not just moderate alarm. According to the alarmists it is the greatest threat facing humankind today: far worse than any of the manifold evils we see around the globe that stem from what the pope called “man’s inhumanity to man.”

He calls global-warming a “belief system” and evaluates it as such. He tackles the greenhouse effect, the question of increased CO2 in the atmosphere, whether or not the planet really is warmer (and if so, is that a problem?) and the question of whether or not we can legitimately do anything about global-warming, if it indeed exists.

By way of conclusion, Lawson also presents the case that it is all well and good for the relatively-rich Western world to pontificate about getting rid of fossil fuels, creating alternative (yet expensive) resources and technologies, but those in the developing world can’t afford to make such extreme changes.

The greatest immorality of all concerns the masses in the developing world. It is excellent that, in so many parts of the developing world — the so-called emerging economies — economic growth is now firmly on the march, as they belatedly put in place the sort of economic-policy framework that brought prosperity to the Western world. Inevitably, they already account for, and will increasingly account for, the lion’s share of global carbon emissions.

But, despite their success, there are still hundreds of millions of people in these countries in dire poverty, suffering all the ills that this brings, in terms of malnutrition, preventable disease, and premature death. Asking these countries to abandon the cheapest available sources of energy is, at the very least, asking them to delay the conquest of malnutrition, to perpetuate the incidence of preventable disease, and to increase the numbers of premature deaths.

Read A Wicked Orthodoxy” at National Review Online.

Also, join the Acton Institute Thursday, May 8 for Creation and the Heart of Man with Fr. Michael Butler and Andrew P. Morriss, an Acton Lecture Series.

Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.


  • Nigel is a British Politician with an educational background in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He has a long history of promoting his Global Warming Denial agenda. It is important to note that he has no scientific background – including no demonstrable knowledge of climatology. As typical with politicians, he is only interested in promoting his own political agenda.

  • billyd1953

    Carbon dioxide and water in the atmosphere naturally absorb some of the heat energy of the earth (that it receives from the sun) before it can escape back into space. This keeps our global temperatures in a comfort zone for life. However, when we artificially disturb this balance by adding more CO2, this causes our atmosphere to retain additional energy. This heats up the earth. For this not to happen there would need to be a negative feedback mechanism associated with the warming that would help reverse it or balance it out. Such mechanisms are quite conceivable and probably happen to some extent, unfortunately, the feedback mechanisms that we actually see happening are primarily of the positive type, which means that the added warming is feeding back to cause even more warming. Such phenomena as melting polar ice and methane release from thawing tundra are examples of this. The basic scientific concepts of global warming via greenhouse gas emissions are well established and date back nearly 200 years. They did not originate in recent decades and do not involve Al Gore, liberals, or political conspiracies. They are routine science. They are not even remotely in doubt scientifically. If denialists don’t think all this added CO2 is warming the earth, then at the very least they should propose what magic is allegedly happening to prevent this. When you retain additional heat energy from the sun the earth warms. Why is this considered to be so shocking and unbelievable and why does it elicit conspiracy theories, etc.?