It strikes me that if people in Britain actually knew anything about their MEPs (Member of European Parliament) they might be a bit embarassed about some of the things that come out of their mouths. But seeing that the British often hand-select MEPs who don't think the European Union should exist at all, it shouldn't be surprising that they might say some things to offend.
The climate change plan has been the pride and joy of EC President Barroso, since he sees it as a sure-fire way for the EU to gain popularity. Many have pointed out that in order to restore the European public's trust and enthusiasm for the EU project, the union needs to highlight the areas in which union would do the most good. Since the economic arguments don't seem to be making much headway with the broader public (in fact it's been used as a main criticism of the EU, only protecting business interests and all that), the two areas which would be popular would be global warming and protecting the public from terrorism. Only a large block with a unitary policy could make real productive progress in either of these areas.
So you can imagine Barroso's dismay when he unveils his baby he's so proud of and gets lambasted by UK MEPs. Barroso couldn't have been pleased when UK Independence Party MEP Graham Booth declared:
"Climate change is precisely that! Climate changes - all the time! So what if Earth's climate decides to cool down instead of warm up? Will the "experts" then suggest that we must produce much more carbon dioxide to try and offset the cooling? Of course not - they are so committed to their present "Global Warmin g" prediction that that would NOT be an option. But, sadly, it looks as if that is what IS happening. IF Global Warming has been just a temporary blip and we are now heading relentlessly for the next (inevitable) Ice Age, any reductions in CO2 emissions will have precisely the OPPOSITE effect to that which is intended. And all the fancy calculations of carbon trading, the "benefits" of which are highly doubtful anyway, will be completely pointless.”
The above comes courtesy of the observation of the BBC's Mark Mardell, who points out that Conservative MEP Roger Helmer (and fierce EU critic) also doubts the existence of global warming.
As the EU becomes more and more involved in combating climate change, is the UK suddenly going to become very skeptical about whether global warming is really happening? After all if the EU thinks it is, then the idea must be being forced on the Brits by faceless bureaucrats!