James Delingpole is a Daily Telegraph journalist and blogger well-known in Britain for effectively opposing climate change hysteria. As far as I know it was he who coined the phrase "climategate" when e-mails were made public showing that some scientists attempted to manipulate data and suppress papers of critics. He is also solid on recognizing the financial interest that governments have to keep us all afraid of "catastrophic, imminent, man-made climate change."
Like many conservatives however, Delingpole was, until very shortly, a staunch supporter of military interventionism. Which is why he has had strong reservations about Ron Paul. On August 17th, Delingpole wrote a piece titled "President Perry or President Bachman? It's the only question remaining." In it he says he supports Perry because "he is sound on AGW [anthropogenic global warming]." This is Perry's quote Delingpole based his judgment on:
"I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized," Perry answered. "I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we're seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climates change. They've been changing ever since the earth was formed."
This is what I wrote Delingpole on the same day in response to his post:
I admire your fight against climate hysteria. But on the issue of the US president, I think you’re wrong. Short reason: There are lots more Ron-Paul-supporters now than there were four years ago. Whoever has “got” Ron Paul will not vote for phoneys ever again. And from the point of view of an RP-supporter, both Perry and Bachmann are phoneys. Therefore, if RP is not nominated, his supporters’ votes will be missing in the end count. Obama will continue to be president.
You may say RP will never be nominated and you may be right. That does not however contradict my above statement.
Perry’s quote on climate change is just talk. There is no actual commitment. I can detect a few loopholes. There is nothing stopping him from saying one day: “Oh yeah, I said that, but now the scientists have convinced me otherwise.” What is his record on climate change voting BTW? He supported Al Gore in 1988.
Compare Perry’s rather waffling statement with this rock-solid, market-based approach by Ron Paul, who has a proven record of voting exactly what he says he will, and has done so for thirty years consistently: “I can't support government "investment" in alternative sources either, for this is not investment at all.”
Delingpole later that day added an update to his post:
I've decided I don't like this blog post much. I agree with all the stuff about Perry but unfortunately I wrote the headline first, then changed my mind when I wrote the piece, but couldn't change the headline because it was already in the system waiting to go because I accidentally pressed the send button. T0 be honest, I'm still much, much more excited about the possibility that Paul Ryan might still stand. And yes, I'm not ruling out Ron Paul either — though I have serious reservations about his foreign policy positions.
So imagine my surprise when on September 3rd I received this message from James:
Robert, you could be right. I’m coming round to Paul. He’s the only candidate who seems to have principles.
As he had written he had "serious reservations" about Paul's foreign policy positions, I sent him two more e-mails. One with a link to Tom Woods' great recent speech in LA, where Tom describes movingly how he, as a conservative, started to question US foreign policy, and another with a recent YouTube titled "Veterans for Ron Paul."
Yesterday, Delingpole wrote a piece in the Telegraph blog on the other Republican candidate from Texas. It has the title: "Ron Paul is right. Military adventurism is a luxury we can no longer afford." Picking up from Paul's remark in yesterday's debate about the cost of air conditioning for the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq, Delingpole writes:
We can all come up with plenty of good reasons as to why the world is a healthier, happier, safer place when America (and its allies in the free West) are out there spreading democracy, keeping peace, defending freedom and so on. Unfortunately, we are moving out of the Age of Ought (as in “We ought to do this because it’s the right thing to do”) into the Age of Can’t (as in “Sorry, but we can’t ruddy afford it any more.”).
So Delingpole is not yet buying the libertarian argument that international interventionism is harmful overall even if you can "afford it." However, his most recent post is a significant step away from his previous stance. And the fact that he comes out in full support for Ron Paul is very encouraging.
Robert Groezinger [send him mail] has an MSc in economics and is a freelance tutor, translator and journalist. He is of German-English descent, was born and raised in Germany and now lives in England. He regularly writes for the German libertarian magazine “eigentmlich frei.”