An Appeal to Reason - A Cool Look at Global Warming
We recommend the book 'An Appeal to Reason' by Nigel Lawson (Lord Lawson of Blaby). Don't get sucked into the current hysteria about climate change without thinking or reading this book.
Lord Lawson was the keynote speaker at an investment conference held by Blackpool investment company HPS, to which we were invited.
The first speaker was Lord Lawson. Surprisingly, the first half of his one hour speech was about global warming and climate change. In this he mentioned his book, which we promptly ordered from Amazon, and read.
I can remember Nigel Lawson as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and have to admit that my impression of him at the time was vaguely negative on the slightly spurious grounds that he looked slightly scruffy especially in comparison to the immaculately coutured Margaret Thatcher, and can remember wondering why the government at the time failed to employ image consultants.
This said, I hope I approached his investment lecture with an open mind.
It turned out that he was far more sceptical of the global warming industry than I was of him.
I was tremendously impressed by his talk. He was able to tell us that he had read the many lengthy reports by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in full, as well as other material such as the Stern Report. Although these conclude that global warming appears to be happening, forecast to continue, and that human activity contributes, it also appears that the summaries which are also issued with each report (Summary for Policymakers) draw conclusions which are significantly different from those in the full reports.
He appears to view global warming as a form of mass hysteria, which may have arisen partly in the absence of religious and other beliefs.
We are almost always impressed by individuals who are prepared to take an independent line of thought, and to argue against the overwhelming majority. In our view this requires considerable courage, and therefore deserves respect. Some contrary thinkers are, of course, lunatics, but we believe that Lawson is anything but.
Many scientific and literary critics have attacked and denounced Lawson's views and book. We believe Lawson is substantially correct, and that the majority are wrong.
Global Warming Industry
Partly influenced by Lawson, we believe that there is now a "Global Warming Industry", with many companies, politicians, climate scientists, and others jumping on the bandwagon. Political leaders such as Gordon Brown and Barack Obama may have been genuinely convinced by the GW lobby, and appear to be enthusiastically trying to make a reputation for themselves for saving the world. Al Gore's film, while entertaining, appears to be deeply flawed.
Adapt not Prevent
One of Lawson's conclusions was that there would be benefits for many colder countries in addition to the much quoted costs for hotter ones, but that the benefits are largely ignored by the GW lobby.
His other significant advice was that adaptation, as humans and other successful species have always done, its to adapt rather than to try to oppose, fight or repel global warming.
We should also think of Climate Change rather than Global Warming.
Go Ahead and Invest
In the second half of his speech, Lawson said that he was sure there would be money to be made from Global Warming, and investment opportunities following from this.
We already were sceptical about global warming, but had not read the mass of scientific evidence. We largely agree with most of Lawson's arguments and conclusions. We also expect that the vast majority of people will continue to be suckered into believing in Global Warming, and most dissenters to be steamrollered into submission by the vast mass and inertia the industry appears to have gathered.
We think it is like the dotcom bubble, housing bubble, banking and credit crises. These were good examples of mass hysteria, and although many people have now belatedly realised this, there are still many asking how we got into each of those particular messes.
This page has been partially a review of Lawson's book, and partly our own input. To repeat what we say in the opening paragraph of this page, get a copy of the book and read it, preferably with an open mind.
We would also caution against holding any substantial investment portfolio based on Global Warming as a long term investment. There probably are big profits to be made, but get in and get out before this particular investment bubble bursts.
Simple Investment Advice - Buy Low and Sell High
June 2006 Price Adjustment Creates Perfect Buying Opportunity
Front Cover of An Appeal to Reason
Bullion Coin Selector Page