Lord Turnbull - who served Tony Blair as Cabinet Secretary from 2002 to 2005 - accused MPs and civil servants of failing to challenge the 'climate change consensus'
Politicians and Whitehall mandarins are pandering to global warming 'alarmists' and consigning Britain to a future of inflated fuel bills and economic misery, the former head of the Civil Service warned last night.

He suggested that by blindly following the green agenda, the Government had hit hard-working families with a range of costly policies.

Lord Turnbull also pointed out that 'by and large humanity has prospered in the warmer periods'.

'It is regrettable that the UK Parliament has proved so trusting and uncritical of the (global warming) narrative and so reluctant to question the economic costs being imposed in pursuit of decarbonisation,' he said.

'I am also disappointed that so many of my former colleagues in the civil service seem so ready to go along unquestioningly with the consensus.

'From our politicians we need open-mindedness, more rationality, less emotion and less religiosity; and an end to alarmist propaganda and to attempts to frighten us and our children.

'And we want them to pay more attention to the national interest and less to being global evangelists.'

Last month Energy Secretary Chris Huhne committed the UK to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and by cutting emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

However, David Cameron's climate advisers warn the move to a low carbon economy will cost one per cent of GDP - £13billion a year in economic growth.

The targets are the toughest of any country in the world.

Do activists across the world have too much say? Lord Turnbull pointed out that 'by and large humanity has prospered in the warmer periods'

The Government is committed to meeting its carbon targets by boosting home energy efficiency, installing £7billion worth of smart electricity metres and creating 10,000 wind turbines over the next decade.

The cost of the wind farms is being added to household bills.

Lord Turnbull's unprecedented assault comes in a report The Really Inconvenient Truth for the sceptical think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation.
In it, he describes the Government's expansion of wind power as folly and warns that Britain was rushing too quickly into a costly low carbon future.

He condemned Britain's self-imposed legally binding climate change targets as 'unilateralism' at a time when other countries are doing very little.

'The UK, producing only two to three per cent of world CO2 emissions can have only a minimal effect on the global warming outcome,' he said.

Chris Huhne has committed the UK to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2025

He singles out the Conservative Party for its 'uncritical adoption of the green agenda' as a way to help them escape 'the nasty party image'.

Much of his anger is reserved for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - the influential UN body of scientists which argues man-made carbon dioxide is most likely cause of global warming.

Lord Turnbull accepts that global temperatures have been rising for the past 150 years and that some of that increase was caused by rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

However, he claims there is still 'huge controversy' about the role of the of the sun, cosmic rays, clouds and oceans in climate change.

Lord Turnbull, who began his career as an economist and is now a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation set up by Lord Lawson, said the IPCC made too many dramatic claims.

'There has been a consistent pattern of cherry-picking, exaggeration, highlighting of extremes and failure to acknowledge beneficial effects,' he said.

On the IPCC's work on the impacts of climate change, he declared: 'This is where their work is at its shabbiest; lots of dramatic claims about sea levels, melting glaciers, ice, crop yields, extinction of species eg polar bears.' He denounced the senior scientists who have become 'campaigners, trying to close down debate'.

Lord Turnbull accepted that temperatures across the globe have risen for a century and a half

Dr Bob Ward, a climate change policy expert at the London School of Economics, said Lord Turnbull's paper was 'riddled with basic scientific errors'.

'He misunderstands the science and the nature of risk,' he said. 'No one denies that there is uncertainty in the future impacts of climate change. But because the impacts are potentially so huge and economically damaging, if we wait until we are sure it will be too late to do anything about it.'

In 2007 Lord Turnbull accused Gordon Brown of 'Stalinist ruthlessness'. He has also been outspoken in his criticism of former civil service colleagues.