I've expressed scepticism about Global Warming before and been criticised for it. Part of the reason for this is that I'm known to be fairly right-wing and thus might be considered biased towards businesses whose profits come at the expense of the destruction of the environment. There is little I can do to reject this. I am not a corporation basher. I want businesses to create wealth and to prosper and I accept that some damage to the environment may be needed for this.
So perhaps readers might find it more interesting to read an attack on the theory of man-made Global Warming from someone who is a corporation basher, someone indeed whose views on most things are the polar opposite to mine (Iraq, Israel etc). Step forward Alexander Cockborn (brother of Patrick, who writes in the Independent). He is co-editor of a magazine called Counterpunch, which puts some of its content online. He's a long way to the left of me and indeed of most people. Here, for instance, he describes the rating agency Moodys as 'terrorists'!
It's therefore interesting that we both share intense scepticism about the theory of man-made Global Warming. In a recent book review on Spiked, he argues that the left's embrace of Global Warming alarmism is a consequence of:
"the decline of the left, and the decline of the left’s optimistic vision of altering the economic nature of things through a political programme. The left has bought into environmental catastrophism because it thinks that if it can persuade the world that there is indeed a catastrophe, then somehow the emergency response will lead to positive developments in terms of social and environmental justice."
Bingo! When the command economies of the former Soviet Union and its satellite states collapsed and their failure to match the living standards of the West was exposed, the left had to change the nature of its attack on capitalism. So from claiming that capitalism could not create and distribute wealth as effectively as socialism, many on the left switched to claiming that it did so too effectively - wrecking the planet in the endless quest to provide the proletiariat with bottled water, patio heaters and holidays on low-cost airlines.
Cockburn wants to save the left from this dangerous embrace and fears perhaps rightly, that Global Warming alarmism will be used by western corporations to cripple competition from developing countries - a terrible disaster for the poor. On this one issue at least, I am in complete agreement.