May 12, 2007


Watch out, Nigella: dad's back in town: Nigel Lawson may be in idyllic semi-retirement in France - but, as he tells William Keegan, he still has the stomach for a battle over climate change that could keep him in the headlines alongside his celebrity offspring (William Keegan, May 13, 2007, The Observer)

The industrialist Sir Derek Hornby once related the following exchange: he was having a drink with Lord Lawson when his friend asked: 'Derek, you've got famous children, haven't you?' Hornby replied: 'Yes, I suppose I have - and a famous son-in-law.' (Sir Derek is the father of novelist Nick Hornby and father-in-law to novelist Robert Harris.)

Lawson pondered this, then asked: 'Do you find that people are more interested in your children than you?' (Lawson is the father of celebrity cook Nigella and journalist Dominic.)

Hornby considered. 'Yes, I suppose I do. It's rather nice, really.'

'So do I - and I was Chancellor of the Exchequer,' replied Lawson senior, with a twinkle in his eye.

Time moves on. Lord Lawson of Blaby, Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1983 to 1989, and before that a distinguished journalist on the Financial Times, the Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator (which he edited), is back in the news.

Lawson's contrarian stand on global warming has attracted much attention. His position is also more subtle than sometimes made out: he is quite happy to have fun by pointing out how often the scientific consensus of previous centuries was overturned by subsequent events and discoveries. But the gravamen of his attack is not so much his questioning of the science - Lawson is not in the George W Bush denial camp - as his scepticism about the conventional view as to what the response should be.

Um, that is the Bush camp.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 12, 2007 11:22 PM

I saw something recently that collected administration statements over the years regarding global warming with subsequent articles about how the administration "now admits" or something like that. The press just immediately forget and don't bother to look up the administration's actual statements on the topic. Just what is he on about with that "denial" comment?

Posted by: RC at May 13, 2007 1:26 AM

Standard leftist methodology. Saying so makes it so. Words trump reality, so when you utter the words that become reality.

Posted by: ray at May 13, 2007 10:59 AM

You can't defend the the indefensible. If you find yourself in that position, the only thing you can do is change the subject. Anti-anti-communism changes the subject to the anti-communist's personal life, waistline, great-grandfather's politics, whatever. Global warmers tend to change the subject from the massive holes in their position to points that are not in dispute. These points are easy to defend, since they aren't under attack.

For example, Bjorn Lomborg was attacked as a denier of the climate models. In fact, he completely accepted the climate models as his starting point, and used the output of the climate models to calculate that the Kyoto treaty would have no significant effect. His conclusion was, in fact, inarguable. So the warmers defended the models, showing that Lomborg had not said anything to discredit the models. Which he had indeed not done. Duh.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at May 13, 2007 4:04 PM

Actually, do any of you guys know the blog post I refer to above? I'm trying to find it without luck.

Posted by: RC at May 13, 2007 7:48 PM