Lord Lawson has become the most influential and respected climate denier in the world with the launch of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Our inaugural series charts his remarkable return to the political stage.
Lawson was chancellor to Margaret Thatcher during the neoliberal free market revolution of the 1980s and personally orchestrated the creation of Britain’s privatised coal, oil and gas industries.
The Tory grandee is well known for being shrewd, secretive and willing to inspire unpopularity. His resignation as chancellor began the collapse of Thatcher’s power and led to the Lawson Boom with runaway inflation, soaring house prices and increasingly chaotic financial markets.
Now in his 80s, Lawson has returned from an idyllic retirement in the south of France, where his fame had been eclipsed by his celebrity chef daughter Nigella, to become the de facto leader of Britain’s climate deniers.
His message then was that we cannot buck the market. His message now is that we cannot hope to stop climate change. Those who benefitted from financial deregulation believe he still serves their interests.
Those millions who suffered from the mass unemployment that followed his chancellorship, those trapped by the ever-expanding housing bubble, and those concerned about the impact on the environment both nationally and internationally are much more wary.
In our “long read” inaugural series, DeSmog UK tells the unauthorised inside story of Lawson’s remarkable return to the political stage, and asks what motivated this grandfather to sacrifice his golden sunset years to become embroiled in the climate wars. Catch up now.
Photo: Financial Times via Flickr