Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has made a speech critical of those who use the climate debate for political purposes. His approach should not surprise anyone: after all, he was on a similar tack last month against the climate sceptics elsewhere in the Coalition. There was therefore not a great deal of actual reporting of the event. But there was plenty of hot air.
The latter has been provided by a thoroughly unappealing double act from the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs, the lead role on this occasion taken by the loathsome Toby Young, taking a break from augmenting Michael “Oiky” Gove’s retinue of polecats, who asserted “Lib Dem Energy Secretary tells newspapers to stop publishing views of climate change sceptics”, which he did not.
Tobes underpins his argument with the classic false equivalence: those who follow the scientific and consensual position on the issue are assumed to be merely the same on one side as the chorus of abuse from the denialists on the other. Then he starts whingeing about the Guardian and the Independent, which means he inevitably arrives soon afterwards at the BBC.
The Corporation is roundly castigated for ceasing to give equal weight to both sides of the argument: that such a move would make all those years of painstaking research equivalent to the likes of Christopher Booker, who thinks that white asbestos is no more harmful than talcum powder, and that the Gestapo used a building in Den Haag which is only two years old, is not allowed to enter.
But never mind, Tobes has warmed up the audience for the follow-up, from James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole, who observes that Davey gave his speech at the Met Office (nothing gets past Del Boy): “we have a minister of the crown reproducing a string of complete untruths at a deeply discredited, eye-wateringly expensive, taxpayer-funded rip-off institution long past its sell-by date”.
How does Del demonstrate these “untruths”? Well, he doesn’t except by quoting Anthony Watts, and of course Himself Personally Now. Then he says “global warming paused in 1997”, but that would not explain why 1998 is one of the top ten warmest years ever – or that the other nine have occurred since then. But Del is convinced that “a period of solar minima” is upon us.
Then he plays the victimhood card, thus confirming Olbermann’s Dictum, in assuming that Ed Davey gives a stuff who Del Boy is. I mean, Del deserves to be heard: after all, he’s got the most succinct analysis of the speech. And that is? Er, he says it’s “utter bollocks”. At least he spared us the Jimmy Savile reference this time. But he persuaded nobody outside his jerking circle.
Still, it keeps him and Tobes busy and off the streets. Mustn’t grumble.