Is there a link between climate change denial and Euroscepticism?
I was interested to see the speakers list at a conference in Chicago doubting the danger of man made climate change. Among them were Tory Roger Helmer, Czech President Vaclav Klaus and the Telegraph journalist Christopher Booker. Apart from being climate change deniers, these men are united by another thing: namely their visceral hatred of the European Union.
There seems to be some correlation between Euroscepticism and climate change denial. Almost the only climate change deniers in the European Parliament are the hard-right of the Tory party – Roger Helmer and Dan Hannan - the entirety of UKIP and a handful of right-wing French and Czech MEPs. These members are also the most vocal Eurosceptics.
It is fascinating that there is a link between these matters. Off the top of my head, I can suggest a couple of theories:
Perhaps it is because tackling man-made climate change has emerged as an issue that cannot be tackled effectively by nation states, but where international or EU action is most effective. It may be that their opposition is not to tackling climate change, but because they worry that it will give the EU more legitimacy.
Another theory is that they are just naturally paranoid. In the same way that they believe the EU to be a massive conspiracy to destroy nation states and replace them with an all-powerful centralised super-state, perhaps they believe that tackling climate change is another attempt by wild-eyed left-wingers and environmentalists to bring capitalism to its knees.
Or, they don't really care about either issue - they just like to be in a controversial minority, against mainstream opinion, because they know this will get them attention and media coverage.
Maybe someone should write a university thesis about it.
Come to think about it, I wonder whether flat-earthers are also Eurosceptic? If so, I expect they will soon be given lavish coverage in some of our newspapers!