A leading Israeli scientist has renounced the concept of man-made global warming at a lecture given to the British Technion Society, just days before world leaders meet to discuss ways to halt it.
Professor Giora Shaviv, professor of physics at the Technion, claimed that the accepted level of carbon dioxide in the air is wildly exaggerated.
Last week he gave the eighth Ron Arad lecture at the Royal College of Physicians, for the British Technion Society, which raises funds for Israel’s science university.
The lecture was given in the same week that leaked emails appeared to show leading scientists at University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit had manipulated data to exaggerate the impact of climate change.
Next week, 193 countries meet at the Copenhagen Conference to establish a global climate agreement for the period from 2012.
But Prof Shaviv said that though for years the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has claimed that an increase in carbon dioxide has led to an increase in temperature, in fact, the reverse is correct.
He argued that the movement of the sun affects temperature, which influences the levels of carbon dioxide, and that these levels have risen and fallen for centuries, even before mankind.
He said: “CO2 is not responsible for heating the earth, the cause is the activity of the sun which we cannot control.
“However we are responsible for our environment on earth, for the future of our grandchildren, and therefore, we should all still act responsibly.”
The lecture was attended by Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which was set up last week by former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Lawson to analyse global warming policies and its economic implications.
Dr Peiser, who was born in Haifa, said that too much money was being ploughed into climate change research and that politicians were stifling contentious research that opposed the commonly accepted views.
He said: “People talk about saving the world but no one crunches the figures. It has become an obsession and economic burden for many countries.
“There is a hysteria and exaggeration of the issue with people worrying that the end is nigh. People need to calm down. The reality is we haven’t got a clear idea what the climate is doing.
“Part of our agenda is that scientists like Professor Shaviv have to be allowed to research freely and without political pressure.”