Introducing the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe (ADDE)
Here in Strasbourg and Brussels, we’ve formed an alliance of like-minded parties from across the EU (including some member-states not yet represented in our EFDD Group). I stress that this is simply an alliance of parties, not a pan-European party. We as UKIP want no part in creating new EU institutions, and we wouldn’t dream of sailing under any kind of pan-European party flag.
But we can benefit by working with others across the EU who share our vision of free, democratic and independent nation-states, trading and cooperating together, but not bound by supra-national institutions.
And as it happens, we can also access EU funding to support our work. In the past there has been some discussion within the party about the propriety of using these funds, so let me make a couple of points clear. First, if we didn’t use this money, it would not be returned to nation-states or to tax-payers. Second, it would actually go to pan-European parties like the EPP (Christian Democrats) and the PSE (socialists) who would use it to promote their vision of an integrated, federalist Europe.
So by setting up the ADDE we are not only accessing funds to promote our agenda — we are also denying those funds to the bad guys. I believe that this is profoundly worthwhile. We are in a position to undertake (for example) opinion surveys, and independent economic studies, which are hugely helpful in making the Eurosceptic case.
Expect announcements shortly based on our recent opinion polling on the EU’s current policy towards Turkey. And meantime, visit the ADDE website.
Taking the climate debate to Paris
On Thursday December 3rd I went to Paris (on my way home from Brussels) to speak at a fringe meeting around the UN’s COP21 Climate Conference. Called “Paris Climate Challenge“, and organised by the redoubtable Philip Foster, it brought together a number of prominent climate sceptics. I was joined on the platform by my good colleague and Agriculture Spokesman Stuart Agnew MEP (Eastern Region), who described the problems he had faced, and the losses he had incurred in his farming business, as a result of decisions made to respond to “Global Warming” — before he realised there were problems with the theory.
I spoke about the fact that whatever we think about man-made climate change, the policies we are adopting will make no difference to atmospheric CO2 levels. Here in the EU we are not cutting emissions — we are merely exporting them. But we are of course undermining competitiveness and doing huge damage to European economies.
My comments on my blog attracted the usual torrent of ill-informed abuse from critics (see “The Ignorance of the Warmists“), as well as an attack from someone who should know better, Professor Michael Merrifield of the University of Nottingham. He seems to make a virtue of toeing the Warmist line (and perhaps wisely, as this seems these days to be a condition of academic advancement). As a consequence, I felt moved to respond: see my blog post “Academic Trolling” and my Open Letter to the good Professor.
Hottest Year on Record?
We are already hearing Alarmist claims that 2015 is “the hottest year on record” — although as I write it has several weeks to run (and the claims emerged in November). Of course we should not be too surprised or concerned if it did indeed prove to be the warmest year on record. It is uncontroversial that we have seen a slight warming trend ever since the depths of the Little Ice Age (LIA), and that trend may have a while to run before we reach the peak of the current 21st century warming (which I believe to be entirely natural and cyclical).
If we are indeed in a 200-year warming trend, we should expect a series of “warmest years on record” (since the records don’t extend back before the trough of the LIA). But 2015 is not set to be such a year, according to Dr. Roy W Spencer.
Roy W. Spencer received his Ph.D. in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. Before becoming a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001, he was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. Dr. Spencer’s work with NASA continues as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming.
Dr. Spencer writes: “Way back in June, John Christy and I called 2015 as being the warmest year on record…in the surface thermometer data. Given the strong El Nino in progress, on top of the official thermometer data warming trend, this seemed pretty obvious. Of course, everyone has their opinions regarding how good the thermometer temperature trends are, with periodic adjustments that almost always make the present warmer or the past colder. But I’m not going there today… Instead, I’m going to talk about our only truly global dataset: the satellite data. With the Nov 2015 data now in, it’s pretty clear that in our UAH analysis 2015 will only be the 3rd warmest year since the satellite record began in 1979”. So now you know.
COP21: The Outcome
My Brief Speech on the outcome of COP21 (Dec 15th) in Strasbourg