Alistair Darling's enthusiasm for building roads and airport runways is to be curbed by new measures forcing the transport secretary to take into account Britain's international commitment to tackling climate change.
His attitude towards aviation has been condemned by the royal commission on environmental pollution, which said plans for new runways showed "little sign of having recognized" the atmospheric havoc wreaked by aircraft.
His new commitment to Kyoto targets will renew pressure on the government to consider an extra tax on airline tickets to slow the popularity of lowcost flights.
The Kyoto Protocols mean real cuts in people's standards of living. Just about every activity uses energy of some kind and most of that creates carbon dioxide. In order to meet the goals, the world will have to scale back to pre-1990 levels of everything. And that's just the first step.
Is any of this needed? Is Global Warming real?
Not according to this.
Whatever the experts say about the howling gales, thunder and lightning we've had over the past two days, of one thing we can be certain. Someone, somewhere - and there is every chance it will be a politician or an environmentalist - will blame the weather on global warming.
But they will be 100 per cent wrong. Global warming - at least the modern nightmare version - is a myth. I am sure of it and so are a growing number of scientists. But what is really worrying is that the world's politicians and policy makers are not.
What about all of those "concerned scientists? It turns out that there are large groups of scientists on the other side too.
Let me quote from a petition produced by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, which has been signed by over 18,000 scientists who are totally opposed to the Kyoto Protocol, which committed the world's leading industrial nations to cut their production of greenhouse gasses from fossil fuels.
They say: 'Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in minor greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide are in error and do not conform to experimental knowledge.'
Even the scientists responsible for the IPCC's (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) claims have been discredited and have backed off of the "hockey stick" chart that proved Global Warming.
"The IPCC claims that human activities are responsible for nearly all the earth's recorded warming during the past two centuries," said NCPA Adjunct Scholar David Legates, the report's author and director of the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware. "Yet the primary assessment they use as support appears to be more junk science than solid evidence."
At issue is what is commonly referred to as the "hockey stick" -- a widely circulated image that depicts a 700-year period where temperatures remained relatively constant followed by the last 100-plus years where temperatures have shot upwards. The "hockey stick," created by researchers Michael Mann of the University of Virginia and Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia, is used by the IPCC and environmental activists as proof of human-induced global warming.
-- Mann published a retraction in the June 2004 issue of Geophysical Research, in which he admits underestimating the temperature variations indicated by the proxy data by more than one-third since 1400, which accounts for why he missed the Little Ice Age. Strangely, Mann still argues this considerable error doesn't impact his conclusions.
Even if global warming was real, what would life be like? It turns out it would be a lot like your back yard.
In one of the clearest demonstrations yet of how a warmer world can affect our ecosystem, scientists have discovered that the heat of towns and cities keeps the leaves on trees for an extra two weeks a year. Spring in the urban jungle arrives seven days earlier on average than in the surrounding countryside and autumn is delayed by up to eight days, a research team at Boston university has found.
Hardly the end of the world.