Nigel Lawson gave an insightful address to the group who gathered for the Institute of Public Affair’s 2007 HV McKay Lecture in Sydney on Monday. He spoke on the politics and economics of climate change and commented:
“Is it really plausible that there is an ideal average world temperature, which by some happy chance has recently been visited on us, from which small departures in either direction would spell disaster? Moreover, while a sudden change would indeed be disruptive, what is at issue here is the prospect of a very gradual change over a hundred years and more.
In any case, average world temperature is simply a statistical artefact. The actual experienced temperature varies
enormously in different parts of the globe; and man, whose greatest quality is his adaptability, has successfully colonized most of it.
Two countries at different ends of the earth, both of which are generally considered to be economic success stories, are Finland and Singapore. The average annual temperature in Helsinki is less than 5ºC. That in Singapore is in excess of 27ºC — a difference of more than 22ºC. If man can successfully cope with that, it is not immediately apparent why he should not be able to adapt to a change of 3ºC, when he is given a hundred years in which to do so.”
The entire speech can be found and downloaded here: http://ipa.org.au/publications/publisting_detail.asp?pubid=695