Nigel Lawson (deceased)

Nigel Lawson

Credentials

Background

Nigel Lawson, whose official title was Lord Lawson of Blaby, spent the majority of his professional career involved in British politics and journalism. In the early 1960s and 70s, Lawson served as an Editor or columnist for a number of newspapers including The Financial Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Spectator, The Evening Standard, and The Times.3Lord Lawson of Blaby,” www.parliament.uk. Archived October 13, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.is/AKk7x

Lawson died on April 4, 2023, at the age of 91.4Julia Langdon. “Nigel Lawson obituary,” The Guardian, April 4, 2023. Archived April 4, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/nHy8m

In 1974, Lawson was elected a member of parliament for the Conservative party where he held a seat until 1992. As a member of parliament, Lawson was eventually named Chancellor of the Exchequer—the highest economic and financial position in the British government—by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Lawson held this position from 1983-1989.5Lord Lawson of Blaby,” www.parliament.uk. Archived October 13, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.is/AKk7x

Lawson was a member of the House of Lords from 1992 until his retirement on December 31, 2022.6Christopher Hope. “Lord Lawson, Margaret Thatcher’s ‘revolutionary’ chancellor, calls time on parliamentary career,” The Telegraph, January 9, 2023. Archived January 9, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/cKSQs

Later in his career, Lawson contributed guest columns to world newspapers. He was the founder of The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a think-tank skeptical of the science behind anthropogenic (man-made) global warming as well as the policies that are being implemented to curb climate change. Even though Lawson had no professional credentials in the area of climate change, he was often described as an “expert” by the media. Lawson stepped down as GWPF chairman in January 2019, maintaining a position in the organisation as Honorary President.7Who we are,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived October 13, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.is/X4Tut 8Lord Lawson steps down from GWPF chairmanship,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, January 16, 2019. Archived January 16, 2019. Archive URLhttp://archive.fo/Fgpmb

According to an interview conducted by The Telegraph in 2008, Lawson stated he did not develop an informed interest in climate change until 2005 when he took part in a government committee exploring the economic factors involved in global warming.9Christopher Booker. “Lord Lawson claims climate change hysteria heralds a ‘new age of unreason’,” The Telegraph, April 6, 2008. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/CUWcf

Climate skepticism runs deep in the Lawson family. His son Dominic Lawson is a journalist for the British newspaper The Independent. Dominic Lawson has used his columns to question the science behind climate change and criticize the IPCC. Dominic Lawson is married to Rosa Monckton, the sister of the infamous climate denier Christopher Monckton.10Dominic Lawson: Fight climate change? Or stay competitive? I’m afraid these two aims are incompatible,” Independent, November 22, 2007. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/h4NHJ

Lawson was questioned in 2012 over his chairmanship of the Central European Trust (CET), an advisory firm which at the time listed oil and gas companies BP Amoco, Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Texaco and Total Fina Elf among its clients, and whose Polish offshoot, CET Polska, was working with Belchatow Power Plant, one of the largest coal-fired power stations in the world. Lawson responded that CET had not had “any oil company clients for many years” and that the only connection between it and CET Polska was “collaboration on an ad hoc basis”.11Damian Carrington. “Lord Lawson’s links to Europe’s colossal coal polluter,” The Guardian, March 6, 2012. Archived June 19, 2019. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/HXWA8

Stance on Climate Change

December 6, 2020

An article in The Daily Mail quoted an interview featuring Lawson, which appeared on YouTube channel Triggernometry, marketed as “the free speech YouTube show and podcast.” Lawson disputed the urgency of the threat of climate change, stating:12Jack Wright. “‘I’ve never been more depressed about the future’: Climate change sceptic Lord Lawson accuses Boris of initiating ‘absolutely mad’ Green Revolution to distract the public from the pandemic,” The Daily Mail, December 6, 2020. Archived January 4, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/6cA8c

 “I think that climate change is not a threat, it is happening very gently at a fraction of a degree per decade which is something we can perfectly well live with.” 

September, 2016

“I don’t question for a moment that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that, all things being equal, this will lead to warming of the atmosphere. And that it’s true that scientists differ greatly on how big the effect is, but there is huge agreement that there is some effect. 

But we account for less than two percent of global carbon emissions. And so it is crazy for us–we can’t do anything on our own–and if the rest of the world […] is not going to go down this route […] it’s not doing any good. 

I have long since come to the conclusion […] that [climate change] is an economic issue. […] My judgement is the most cost-effective way of dealing with it is through adaptation, and I believe that is perfectly do-able.”13Britain’s leading climate change sceptic Nigel Lawson says global warming is real,” Independent, September 14, 2016. Archived October 13, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at desmog. Archive URL: https://archive.is/4TwWE

2008

“Lawson agrees that there has been some global warming over the past hundred years and that increased man-made emissions of carbon dioxide are partly to blame. But he argues that natural causes are more important than commonly agreed and that the science of climate remains in its infancy.”14Allister Heath. “Pouring on Cold Water,” Literary Review, April, 2008. Archived July 23, 2011. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/86XJ7

Key Quotes

May 31, 2018

Lawson was criticised for hypocrisy after applying for French residency, despite being a leading figure in the UK‘s campaign for Brexit. He reportedly called the bureaucratic task “tiresome rather than serious”.

June 1, 2017

In a GWPF press release, Nigel Lawson suggested that the UK should follow the example of the U.S. after Donald Trump announced withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement:15(Press Release). “GWPF: Failure Of Paris Climate Deal Was Inevitable,” GWPF, June 1, 2017. 16Mat Hope. “How the UK’s Climate Science Deniers (and Government) Reacted to Trump’s Paris Agreement Withdrawal,” DeSmog UK, June 2, 2017.

US industry already enjoys a huge energy cost advantage over the UK and other EU countries, so the US move can only make things harder for us in Europe. The next government must take a long, hard, look at whether we can afford our own Climate Change Act any longer. It is clear that the costs imposed on British businesses and households are now entirely unsustainable,” Lawson said.

April, 2008

“Gradual and moderate warming brings benefits as well as incurring costs. These benefits and costs will not, of course, be felt uniformly throughout the world; the colder regions of the world will be more affected by the benefits, and the hotter regions by the costs. 

“But overall, it is far from clear that the inhabitants of the planet as a whole would suffer a significant net cost, or indeed any cost at all.”17Christopher Booker. “Lord Lawson claims climate change hysteria heralds a ‘new age of unreason’,” The Telegraph, April 6, 2008. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/CUWcf

Key Actions

December 6, 2020

An article in The Daily Mail quoted an interview featuring Lawson, which appeared on YouTube channel Triggernometry, marketed as “the free speech YouTube show and podcast.” Lawson criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to decarbonise the economy through a “Green Industrial Revolution,” stating: “I have never been more depressed about the future of this country. I hope the Government might come to its sense and abandon this plan, but it’s absolutely a commitment they’ve made so far, but it’s a suicidal commitment.”18Jack Wright. “‘I’ve never been more depressed about the future’: Climate change sceptic Lord Lawson accuses Boris of initiating ‘absolutely mad’ Green Revolution to distract the public from the pandemic,” The Daily Mail, December 6, 2020. Archived January 4, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/6cA8c

Lawson also disputed the efficiency of wind energy, a key element of the “Green Industrial Revolution,” stating: “The cost of moving from cheap and reliable energy to very expensive and unreliable energy is massive, and it’s crazy. The biggest thing Johnson wants to move to is wind, which is hugely expensive and very unreliable,” adding: “I think that climate change is not a threat, it is happening very gently at a fraction of a degree per decade which is something we can perfectly well live with.”

November 18, 2020

Lawson was quoted in The Telegraph referring to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 as “economically illiterate.” Lawson also reportedly stated that: “If the Government were trying to damage the economy they couldn’t be doing it better”, and “a programme to erect statues of Boris in every town and village in the land would also ‘create jobs’ but that doesn’t make it a sensible thing to do.”19James Cook, Alan Tovey. “Electric car bills set to drive energy prices higher,” The Telegraph, November 18, 2020. Archived November 23, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/bsBJQ

June 24, 2019

Lawson wrote a letter to MPs and Lords expressing his opposition to the “net zero” emissions target being discussed in Parliament that week and urging them to delay the change until an impact assessment had been conducted. Lawson claimed that the government’s climate advisers at the Committee on Climate Change had presented “wholly improbable forecasts of sharply falling global CO2 emissions” and that the new target would lead to “astonomical costs”. The letter was published online by the Global Warming Policy Forum.20Nigel Lawson. “Re: The Cost of a Net Zero Emissions Target,” Global Warming Policy Forum, June 24, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

January 16, 2019

Nigel Lawson stepped down as GWPF chairman, maintaining a position in the organisation as Honorary President. Lawson was replaced by Labour Lord Bernard Donoughue. It is unclear what Lawson’s involvement in the GWPF‘s campaigning wing, the Global Warming Policy Forum, will be in future.21Lord Lawson steps down from GWPF chairmanship,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, January 16, 2019. Archived January 16, 2019. Archive URLhttp://archive.fo/Fgpmb

April 09, 2018

Broadcast regulator Ofcom upheld a complaint by prominent scientist Brian Cox and Jim Al-Khalili and the UK‘s Green Party about an interview on the BBC‘s flagship cultural affairs radio show, the Today programme.  On the programme, Lawson said “all the experts say there hasn’t been” an increase in extreme weather events, and that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “concedes” this, and that, according to official figures, “during this past 10 years […] average world temperature has slightly declined,” the Guardian reported.22Mark Sweney. “BBC Radio 4 broke accuracy rules in Nigel Lawson climate change interview,” The Guardian, April 9, 2018. Archived April 14, 2018. Archive URL: https://archive.li/xeMeB

Ofcom’s ruling said: “Neither statement was correct, or sufficiently challenged during the interview or subsequently during the programme”. The regulator also expressed concern that the incident happened on the Today programme, which had previously launched an internal review after an interview with Lawson in 2014.23Adam Vaughan. “BBC rejects claim that climate sceptic Lord Lawson is being silenced,” The Guardian, July 9, 2014. Archived October 17, 2016. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/15igw

December 18, 2017

Media watchdog Ofcom announced it was launching an investigation into an interview with Lawson on the BBC‘s flagship cultural affairs radio show, the Today programme. Ofcom said it was “investigating whether this interview, which followed a similar interview in 2014, breached our rules on due accuracy and due impartiality.”24Ofcom to investigate BBC climate change interview,” BBC News, December 18, 2017. Archived February 25, 2018. Archive URL: http://archive.is/IX7fl

October 30, 2017

As reported at DeSmogUK and the Guardian, the BBC officially acknowledged that Nigel Lawson “should have been challenged” over the statements he made in his August 2017 appearance on the Today program.25Mat Hope. “Climate Science Denier ‘Should Have Been Challenged’, BBC Admits,” DeSmogUK, October 25, 2017. 26Damian Carrington. “BBC apologises over interview with climate denier Lord Lawson,” The Guardian, October 24, 2017. Archived October 30, 2017. Archive URL: https://archive.is/OGZwU

The BBC complaints units said that the interview had breached editorial guidelines and that Lawson’s claims “were, at the least, contestable and should have been challenged,” The Guardian reported.27Damian Carrington. “BBC apologises over interview with climate denier Lord Lawson,” The Guardian, October 24, 2017. Archived October 30, 2017. Archive URL: https://archive.is/OGZwU

Bob Ward, policy director of the Grantham Institute at the London School of Economics, told the Guardian: “There needs to be a shift in BBC policy so that these news programmes value due accuracy as much as due impartiality.

As well as taking account of the rights of marginal voices like Lord Lawson to be heard, the BBC should also take account of the harm that its audiences can experience from the broadcast of inaccurate information.”

August 10, 2017

Nigel Lawson appeared on BBC Radio 4 in a five-minute-long interview, asked to respond to an earlier interview with Al Gore where Gore had introduced his new film. Carbon Brief reported that Lawson, who has appeared on the program before, made several inaccurate claims during the interview.2810/08/2017,” BBC Radio 4. Archived August 14, 2017. Archived .mp3 on file at Desmog. (Lawson begins at 2:33:25).

According to the transcript, via Carbon Brief, Lawson claimed that England had some of the highest energy costs in the world:29Factcheck: Lord Lawson’s inaccurate claims about climate change on BBC Radio 4,” Carbon Brief, August 10, 2017. Archived August 14, 2017. Archive URL: https://archive.is/W75P2

Webb: What do you make of that point? That people like you, who have been saying the costs are too great, are now on the back foot, because the costs of doing what Al Gore wants us to do are fast reducing.

Lawson: Well, look, the point is not, just the costs – although we do have in this country, in England, one of the highest energy costs in the world, which is very hard on the poor and hard on business and industry, which is because of our absurd climate-driven energy policy. The energy in – renewable energy, so-called – is heavily subsidised, and, if they say it’s economic, well then, let’s get rid of the subsidies…[crosstalk]”

Carbon Brief noted that England has some of the lowest gas prices in the EU, based on data from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), as well as below-average domestic electricity prices.30Factcheck: Lord Lawson’s inaccurate claims about climate change on BBC Radio 4,” Carbon Brief, August 10, 2017. Archived August 14, 2017. Archive URL: https://archive.is/W75P2

Lawson disputed points on fossil fuel subsidies:

Webb: But the point Al Gore makes is that we subsidise all energy, including fossil fuels…[crosstalk]

Lawson: No, we don’t. That’s not true. We tax fossil fuel energy. Anyway, we subsidise renewable energy. But the main point is that the conventional energy is reliable and cheaper, and that is important. What is the reason for Al Gore, I listened to the interview you had with him, and he was talking complete nonsense. I’m not surprised that his new film bombed completely, it’s a complete fiasco…”

Lawson said that the section on Extreme weather in Al Gore’s interview was “nonsense”:31Factcheck: Lord Lawson’s inaccurate claims about climate change on BBC Radio 4,” Carbon Brief, August 10, 2017. Archived August 14, 2017. Archive URL: https://archive.is/W75P2

Webb: Which bit of [Gore’s interview] was nonsense?

Lawson: What?

Webb: Which bit…

Lawson: For example, he said that, er, there had been a growing increase, which had been continuing, in the extreme weather events. There hasn’t been. All the experts say there haven’t been. The IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is sort of the voice of the consensus, concedes that there has been no increase in extreme weather events. Extreme weather events have always happened. They come and go. And some kinds of extreme weather events of a particular time increase, whereas others, like tropical storms, diminish…

Climate Feedback also analyzed Lawson’s statements. With regards to his claims on extreme weather, they consulted Andreas Prein of the National Center for Atmospheric Research who said, “This is a false statement since the IPCC AR5 even states in its Summary for Policymakers that ‘Human influence has been detected […] in changes in some climate extremes’. […]” (View their full review of Lawson’s claim here.)32BBC Today airs false statements by Lord Lawson in the name of balance,” Climate Feedback, August 10, 2017. Archived August 14, 2017. Archive URL: https://archive.is/oZd4p 33Some extreme weather events are clearly becoming more common, in contrast to Lord Lawson’s claim,” Climate Feedback, August 10, 2017. Archived August 14, 2017. Archive URL: https://archive.is/VCsug

On the global temperature record, Lawson had this to say:

“And as for the temperature itself, it is striking, [Gore] made his previous film 10 years ago and—according, again, to the official figures—during this past 10 years, if anything, mean global temperature, average world temperature, has slightly declined.”

As DeSmog UK reported, the Global Warming Policy Foundation shared what it later admitted was an “erroneous” temperature dataset to support Lawson’s claim. GWPF later Tweeted that it was “happy to correct the record” and since removed the tweet after a request by climate scientist Ed Hawkins.34Kyla Mandel. “Climate Science Denial Group GWPF Admits It Used False Temperature Graph,” DeSmog UK, August 14, 2017.

May 2016

Lord John Krebs and a number of other scientists wrote an open letter to the editor of The Times, suggesting the paper has been influenced by Nigel Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation.35The Times accused of biased reporting, misrepresenting climate science,” ABC News, May 7, 2016. Archived September 19, 2016. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/VBzPW

“Two aspects are particularly concerning,” the letter to the editor reads. “The first is that neither the quality bar that broadsheet newspapers regularly apply to scientific evidence, nor the simple concept of balance, appear to exist in all of your paper’s reporting on climate change (although we note, for example, that your coverage at the close of the Paris climate summit was both balanced and comprehensive). The second concern is that many of the sub-standard news stories and opinion pieces appear to concern, in some way, GWPF. Whether any newspaper should involve itself repeatedly with any pressure group is a matter for debate; it would be deeply perturbing to find that a paper as eminent as The Times could allow a small NGO, particularly one whose sources of financing are unknown, a high degree of influence.”

Lord Krebs notes that their open letter was particularly a response to two articles in The Times, “one saying global warming isn’t happening, quoting an un-refereed study by a professor of statistics, and another one saying that the oceans aren’t getting more acid, reports in which the author was later quoted on the web as saying the article in The Times completely misrepresented his own scientific paper.”

Audio of the interview between John Krebs and Robyn Williams below:36The Times accused of biased reporting, misrepresenting climate science,” ABC News, May 7, 2016. Archived September 19, 2016. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/VBzPW

February 3, 2016

Nigel Lawson was named chairman of the Vote Leave campaign, reports The Guardian.37Nigel Lawson named chairman of Vote Leave campaign,” The Guardian, February 3, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.is/3Pr0I

“Vote Leave is competing with the rival group Leave.EU to be designated as the official Brexit campaign by the Electoral Commission,” The Guardian reported. Mills said: “We are delighted that Lord Lawson has agreed to provide leadership to the board as we prepare for the start of the referendum campaign.”

The Independent revealed that a number of inter-related groups, many with direct connections to the “Brexit” movement, all share a 55 Tufton Street address with the Global Warming Policy Foundation:38The address where Eurosceptics and climate change sceptics rub shoulders,” Independent, February 10, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.is/Dp4D4

  • Global Warming Policy Foundation
  • Global Vision
  • The European Foundation
  • Civitas
  • Taxpayers’ Alliance
  • Business for Britain
  • Big Brother Watch
  • UK2020

DeSmog UK tracked the connections between climate science deniers and those campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union, and created the interactive map below.39Kyla Mandel. “Mapped: The Cosy Climate-Euro Sceptic Bubble Pushing for Brexit and Less Climate Action,” DeSmog UK, June 13, 2106.

(Zoom in and out to see the web of relationships between the residents of 55 Tufton Street and its neighbours. Hover over the lines to see the type of relationship between the two entities, and click on the person or organisation’s name to find out more (this will open up a new tab where you can find out more information about all of this entity’s various relationships and stance on climate change):

December 2014

Nigel Lawson was a contributor to the book Climate Change: The Facts published by the Institute of Public Affairs and featuring “22 essays on the science, politics and economics of the climate change debate.” The Institute of Public Affairs, while not revealing most of its funders, is known to have received funding from mining magnate Gina Rinehart and at least one major tobacco company.40Institute of Public Affairs,” SourceWatch. Accessed May 27, 2015.

The book includes essays and articles from a range of climate change skeptics, with contributors including the following:

According to Editor Alan Moran in a post at Catallaxy Files blog on Climate Change: the facts 2014, Nigel Lawson “[E]xplores the dire economic implications of trying to cease the use of fossil fuels. He also demonstrates the trivial effects of the warming that is predicted and discounts their claimed negative effects, noting that sci­entific developments mean we are far less hostage to climate shifts than in previous eras.”41Alan Moran. “Climate Change: the facts 2014,” Catallaxy Files, December 16, 2014. Archived October 17, 2016. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/tCUVU

July 2014

Nigel Lawson accused the BBC of silencing the debate on global warming. He wrote his criticisms in an article in the Daily Mail titled “‘I’ve been banned by the BBC!’: Ex-Chancellor Lord Lawson, a passionate climate change sceptic, accuses BBC bosses of silencing debate on global warming.

In his article, Lawson wrote: “If there is to be a ban on non-scientists discussing climate change issues (which I do not, of course, support), this should in the best BBC tradition be an even-handed one. That is to say, they should also ban non-scientists such as energy secretary Ed Davey, Ed Miliband, Lord Deben (chairman of the government’s climate advisory committee), Lord Stern (former adviser to the government on the economics of climate change and development) and all the others who are regularly invited to appear.”42Nigel Lawson. “’I’ve been banned by the BBC!’: Ex-Chancellor Lord Lawson, a passionate climate change sceptic, accuses BBC bosses of silencing debate on global warming,” Daily Mail, July 9, 2014.

The Guardian reported how BBC rejected Lawson’s claims that BBC had been silencing the global warming debate. The BBC statement read:43Adam Vaughan. “BBC rejects claim that climate sceptic Lord Lawson is being silenced,” The Guardian, July 9, 2014. Archived October 17, 2016. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/15igw

“Nigel Lawson has not been banned and nor is there a ban on non-scientists discussing climate change. We have also not apologised for putting him on air. The BBC is absolutely committed to impartial and balanced coverage, whatever the subject, and would not bow to pressure from any quarter whatever the story. This ruling found a false balance was created in that the item implied Lord Lawson’s views on climate science were on the same footing as those of Sir Brian Hoskins.

“Our position continues to be that we accept that there is broad scientific agreement on climate change and we reflect this accordingly. We do however on occasion offer space to dissenting voices where appropriate as part of the BBC’s overall commitment to impartiality.”

March 1, 2010

Lawson was a witness before the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, along with GWPF Director Benny Peiser, at a hearing discussing an inquiry into the disclosure of data by the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (based on the incident popularly dubbed “climategate” by skeptics)44.The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia” (PDF), House of Commons science and Technology Committee, Eighth Report of Session 2009 – 10, Volume II: Oral and written evidence. Printed by the House of Commons, March 24, 2010.

October 2009

Nigel Lawson founded a climate change think tank, The Global Warming Policy Foundation where he currently serves as Chairman.45Who we are,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived October 13, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.is/X4Tut

The GWPF‘s initial mission was “to bring reason, integrity and balance to a debate that has become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly intolerant.”46Who we are,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived March 28, 2010. Archive URL:  https://archive.is/2fdlm

The GWPF‘s “Academic Advisory Council” is made up of a number of noted climate skeptics including Christopher Essex, Matt Ridley, Paul Reiter, Nir Shaviv, Philip Stott, Richard Tol, Benny Peiser (director), Freeman Dyson, Richard LindzenIan Plimer, and many others.47Academic Advisory Council,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived October 13, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.is/rDlCy 48Who we are: Dr. Benny Peiser,”The Global Warming Policy Foundation Archived October 13, 2016. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/3jDO9

Currently, Benny Peiser is the Director of the GWPF.49Who we are: Dr. Benny Peiser,”The Global Warming Policy Foundation Archived October 13, 2016. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/3jDO9

Peiser has long opposed mainstream science’s conclusions about anthropogenic global warming; in 2005 Peiser said he had data which refuted an article published in Science Magazine, claiming 100% of peer-reviewed research papers on climate change agreed with the scientific consensus of global warming.  Peiser later revealed he found only one paper that disagreed with the scientific consensus, and that paper was published by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.50Benny Peiser. Dr. Benny Peiser’s Letter to ‘Science’ and Its Rejection,” Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), May 4, 2005. Archived March 23, 2014. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/ySrLd 51Benny Peiser,” Profile at the Carbon Brief. Archived March 7, 2011. Archive URL: https://archive.is/Zyrbg

The GWPF chooses not to disclose its funding sources. However, it does state that does not “accept gifts from either energy companies or anyone with a significant interest in an energy company.”52Who we are,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived October 13, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.is/X4Tut

March 8, 2007

Lawson appeared on the Great Global Warming Swindle, a program broadcast on Channel 4 Television on March 8, 2007. According to Tyler Durkin, the writer and director of the program, “global warming is a hoax foisted upon an unsuspecting public by conspiratorial environmentalists.”53Juliette Hughes. “The truth is downright dirty,” The Age, June 2, 2007. Archived October 17, 2016. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/c4Gve

Channel 4 received over 265 complaints regarding the accuracy of Swindle, including complaints from The IPCC and Sir David King about how they were portrayed on the program.54Ofcom’s findings on The Great Global Warming Swindle,” The Guardian, July 22, 2008. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/eLtFz

Complaints included a 180+ page document (PDF) assembled by numerous writers, scientists, and two former chairs of the IPCC that accused the program of “displaying erroneous or artificially manipulated graphs, and presenting incorrect, misleading, or incomplete opinions and facts on the science of global warming and the related economics.”55“Complaint to Ofcom Regarding ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’” (PDF), ofcomswindlecomplaint.net. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

The document accuses Nigel Lawson, who is quoted on the program as saying that “there is such intolerance of any dissenting voice” against mainstream views on global warming, of inflating his credentials when he is described as an “expert” on climate science issues.

When Ofcom reviewed the complaints, they found that Channel 4 broke impartiality guidelines misrepresented statements by former British government scientist David King. Ofcom further found that the film unfairly treated the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and MIT professor Carl Wunsch.56Ofcom’s findings on The Great Global Warming Swindle,” The Guardian, July 22, 2008. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/eLtFz

Other “experts” who appeared on The Great Global Warming Swindle included Tim Ball, Ian Clark, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer.

December 21, 2006

In 2006, Lawson contributed to the article “The Stern Review: A Dual Critique” (PDF) published in the journal, World Economics. The article critiqued the findings of The Stern Review on The Economics of Climate Change.57The Stern Review: A Dual Critique” (PDF), World Economics Vol. 7 No. 4 (October – December 2006). Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

The Stern Review was a report commissioned by the British government, whose conclusions not only supported the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the science behind the theory of anthropogenic global warming, but also advocated immediate action to mitigate the serious global threat climate change poses. 

Other authors of “The Stern Review: A Dual Critique” include the high profile climate skeptics Richard Lindzen, Ross McKitrick, Chris de Freitas and Bob Carter.

July 27, 2005

Lawson was a member of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Select Committee when it launched a skeptical report on climate change released to coincide with the 2005 G8 conference.58Lords to G8: UK climate policies ‘wildly optimistic’,” EURACTIV, July 7, 2005. Archived April 20, 2013. Archive URLhttps://archive.is/dp5Aw

The report, titled “The Economics of Climate Change,” claims that there are “positive aspects to global warming” and describes how “the science of human-induced warming remains uncertain.” 

It is also critical of the IPCC, describing the UN as being “influenced by political considerations” with regards to climate change science. The report is adamant that the Kyoto Protocol “will make little difference to future rates of warming.”

Affiliations

Publications

According to a search of Google Scholar, Lawson has not published any work in the area of climate science. He is the author of Appeal to Reason : A cool look at global warming.

Other Resources

Resources

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