Climate Skeptic Anti-Tax Politician Funds Billboards with Tax Money

roger helmer climate skeptic billboard photo

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When climate skeptic Lord Monckton crashed a business lunch in Cancun, there was much speculation as to where other high profile skeptics were hiding out. Yet Monckton won't be the only one at the talks—Roger Helmer, a British Member of the European Parliament, is there too. But not before he has spent thousands of pounds of tax payer money to set up giant billboards warning of the dangers of going green. The trouble is, Helmer is also a member of the TaxPayer's Alliance—a group that aggressively fights wasteful use of tax payers' money. Reporting in The Guardian, Leo Hicks tells us that Helmer's skeptic billboard campaign was accompanied by a press release that declared that the posters were unable to be erected on time due to cold weather, which apparently highlighted the claim that "green policies are probably unnecessary", despite the fact that there is nothing contradictory between severe cold snaps and a warming climate. Helmer's own website offers up a YouTube video laying out the usual climate skeptic talking points—including the apparent existence of a (now debunked) consensus about global cooling in the 1970s.

Helmer also chooses to suggest that a growing number of scientists are rejecting the "climate orthodoxy", citing a recent Scientific American online poll that was actively targeted by skeptic groups as evidence to back up these claims. (See a survey of scientists working in climate science for a flipside to that particular argument.)

Of course, I am sure there will be those that will argue that Government money is spent all the time on promoting action to fight climate change, so Helmer is just redressing the balance. The trouble is, as Hicks' article shows, he is hard pushed to find support—even among his own group of Conservative MEPs, which leaves these posters representing little more than the man's own personal views. It would be interesting to know what the TaxPayer's Alliance makes of such spending.

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