A lose-lose climate policy

A lose-lose climate policy

A lose-lose climate policy

Following a recent blog piece, one of my regular (and not always sympathetic) correspondents “Catalanbrian” raised a complaint that I hear all too often: that UKIP has ‘only one policy’ 

To be fair, another contributor, “Flyinthesky”, pointed out the obvious — that the EU is the over-riding policy that affects just about everything else, from the City of London to the remote hillsides of the Celtic fringes.

In any case, Catalanbrian is wrong in his own terms, as I pointed out to him.  Indeed I was rather affronted, as I have done a huge amount of work on     UKIPs’ energy policy (for which I am the spokesman).and I’m sorry to see it ignored in this cavalier fashion.  But Catalanbrian was not about to stand corrected.  He came back with: “Roger, your energy policy on which you state that you have spent a huge amount of time is unclear, unrealistic and is based on the premise that there is no climate change and that CO2 emissions are good for the planet! I am not too sure that that is a policy that can be taken seriously”.

Sorry, Catalanbrian, wrong again.  Our UKIP Energy Policy is a great deal clearer and more realistic than what passes for energy policy in Brussels and Westminster, and what’s more it would deliver the secure and affordable energy that we — and our economy — so desperately need.

Let’s take the global warming point first.  We have both theoretical and observational grounds for rejecting the IPCC paradigm.  The IPCC makes a very high estimate of climate sensitivity (the response of global temperatures to changes in CO2 concentrations), based on postulated positive feed-backs which cannot be proven and have not been demonstrated.  Many scientists, especially astronomers are arguing that the modest late 20th C warming was the result of an exceptional solar maximum, which now seems to be over and unlikely to be repeated any time soon.  Some of them are suggesting that we could now face a period of global cooling (as we did between 1945 and 75).  This again is unproven, but it rather undermines the idea of “a scientific consensus” in favour of AGW — which in any case was always based on highly suspect figures

But if we turn from hypotheses to real observational facts (which pace the IPCC, should be the basis of science) we see that real global temperatures have gone nowhere for 17 years, flatly contradicting the Warmist theories (flatly in both senses, now I come to think of it).  But what does the IPCC do when the facts challenge their computer models?  Why they stick by the computer models, of course!  Everyone knows that theories are more important than facts (especially when their reputations, their salaries and their grant funding depend on backing the theory).

But my point goes deeper than that.  Even if you accept the IPCC position, our current policies are deeply damaging and counter-productive.  The European Commission loves to set nice clear objectives for emissions reductions.  20% by 2020.  30% by 2030.  50% by 2050.  (Wonderful how the numbers fit together, isn’t it? We could call it “Numerical Alliteration”).  Maybe instead they should look at the impact on climate (under their own IPCC theory) as a result of their policies.  Not enough work has been done in this area, but what has been is deeply disheartening for green policy.  Bjorn Lomborg, using broadly the IPCC assumptions, found that US$120 billion spent by Germany on solar panels would by the end of this century delay the trajectory of global warming by a mere 37 hours  Given that the world hasn’t warmed in 17 years, we can say that a 37 hour delay in warming is effectively zero.   $120 billion for nothing.

EU policies are forcing the investment of trillions of €uros for activity which will have little or no effect on climate.  Realistically we can expect global CO2 emissions to keep rising for several decades.  If HRH Prince Charles was right that we have only a few years (or was it minutes?) to save the planet, we may as well give up now.

This is gesture politics writ large.  We politicians can tell the voters that “we’ve done something” about global warming.  Indeed we have.  We’ve squandered eye-watering sums of the voters’ money.   But we’ve had a trivial effect — if any — on the climate.

So green policies fail in their own terms.  We have done huge damage to our economies, and to our competitiveness, today, in the hope of a trivial mitigation of a highly speculative problem in many decades’ time.  At least the politicians responsible for today’s policies won’t be alive to see the failure of their plans, just as Rajendra K Pachauri of the IPCC may not be around to see the ultimate collapse of his theory.

But it gets worse.  In Brussels, the talk is of “carbon leakage”, which is a polite way of describing the massive migration of industries, investment and jobs out of the EU altogether, to other jurisdictions with lower energy prices and, in many cases, with lower standards (China, for example).  Indeed there are signs that the out-going EU Commission was starting to get the message, and starting to panic.  They wouldn’t listen to the sceptics, but they are forced to listen when large, energy-intensive businesses tell them that industry is moving out.  That’s why out-going Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani spoke of creating “an industrial massacre in Europe”.

This exodus of industry and investment is not merely damaging our economy, although that is bad enough.  By going to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards, it may well also increase emissions of CO2, and accelerate global warming (if you still think that’s what CO2 does).

So we have a current UK/EU policy which:

1        Damages our economy, undermines competitiveness, drives investment abroad

2        Fails to deliver in its own terms, or to have any significant effect on the environment

3        May arguably exacerbate the very problem it’s designed to solve.

Talk your way out of that one, Ed Davey.

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11 Responses to A lose-lose climate policy

  1. ian wragg says:

    Roger, Catalanbrian is a socialist Jock who is very pro EU and anti English. The EU is destroying our ability to compete in it’s overriding mission for conformity. The Brussels elite can only relax after the nation state has been destroyed and we have some kind of command economy as in the old USSR. Germany will of course supply all that is required with the remaining areas reverting to subsistence living.
    The LibLabCON is happy with this as it supports world government and Agenda 21. Common Purpose rule .OK.

    • catalanbrian says:

      You may wish to know that I am not a “Jock” and I am not anti English. Indeed I am English, and yes I am a socialist and I am pro EU, so you are, I suppose partly right.

  2. georgyporgie says:

    I also CERTAINLY HAVE socialist tendencies, having been a miners lad from the age of 15 to 23 and then working to the age of 61 with the CEGB/National Grid until my retirement.

    BUT UKIP and Roger Helmer are absolutely correct about carbon emissions and global warming/climate change !!!

    Hence my dilema, I am with UKIP and will vote UKIP for theirs and Rogers stance over climate change, and particularly the proliferation of useless wind-turbines, ruining our beautiful countryside for absolutely “NOTHING” and “NO OVERALL REDUCTION” IN “CARBON EMISSIONS !!!

    In fact, deploying any more wind turbines will result in increased carbon dioxide emissions from our current UK energy density levels !!!

    • Brin jenkins says:

      Georgy, I have social views, on roads, energy, public transport, the GPO, and water. These need to be publicly owned to stop our exploitation.

      Our money must be removed from the International cartel.

      As a Nationalist I also have no time for International business dominating the Globe.

      • Flyinthesky says:

        Brin, I’m in abit of a quandary on the public ownership situation. It has been historically illustrated time and again that successive governments could not satifactorily run a whelk stall let alone a national enterprise, I do agree however that they should be nationally owned and closely regulated by the public.
        Here again we fall foul of eu legislation: all our utilities have to be open to eu competition, the eu membership has picked clean the profitable areas of our utilities, Royal Mail being a prime example.
        We have a stupid state of affairs where EDF generates over 20% of our electricity, a company who one of the principal shareholders is the French government!
        No wonder they object to fracking, the last thing they want is the UK to have autonomy in energy.
        Most of “our” wind generating capacity is foreign owned, they’re not wind farmers they’re subsidy farmers.

      • Brin jenkins says:

        True enough, our Iron and Steel industry was wrecked by successive nationalisation and de-nationalisation.

        However I worry about the privatisation of the road network and what a mess has been made of Royal Mail.

      • Flyinthesky says:

        Brin, the core issue remains, we’re all well and good pontificating on what’s right and what isn’t, the absolute remains, it’s no longer “our” call. We remain dancing to someone else’s tune.
        The eu has persued, very smart, a policy of slowly slowly, almost imperceivable to the nations of the union, of putting pressure on toes, never stamping on them.
        The toes have been so slowly crushed that people think that’s how toes are. The quest is to make people realise they’ve been crippled and look for the corrective surgery.

  3. Brin jenkins says:

    There is another factor that the warming conspirators overlook in the quest for scientific confusion! The boiling point of water changes with barometric pressure, I know its not much but the sea is a vast reservoir holding CO2, so by their own reckoning such pressure changes would affect the CO2 levels just as temperature does.

    Such postulations do however cancel each other out, its colder water in winter, holding more co2, and also a lower pressure, releasing co2. A status quo, nothing changed of any significance. What else have they overlooked I wonder.

    May I recommend them to the KISS principle, Keep it simple Stupid! Accept that the Sun provides all that we are, and need.

  4. Derek says:

    Your guest blog by Anthony Thompson was a very interesting take on this issue. His calculation really brings out the futility of UK policy. We spend £100 billion to lower the surface temperature of the world by 0.0004 degrees Celsius. Nothing could be more futile. I only wish you could be in charge of our energy policy, Roger. Sadly I don’t think it is likely. I have re-blogged Anthony’s post on my own blog

  5. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Ed Davey is on a roll, likely the only one time. Paterson took a bullet for some dumb reason(s) along with Gove. The Tories and the allied brigade have a major threat facing them and are making largely the wrong decisions. Am hoping gullible voters, those that turn out that is, don’t go big time gullible…again.

  6. Mike Stallard says:

    All the climate change stuff was frightfully interesting and rather silly to me until the recent downpour when the water came up out of the ground to about two inches below our front and rear doors. It remained there and people who have lived here in the Fens 30 years or more have told me that they have never seen standing water on the grass outside our house before. In March, our next big town, we have had sewage running into people’s houses as the Wellstream overflowed.
    Well it’s climate change, you see. So we cannot really be bothered with all the drains in the Fens. What we need is leisure activities like rowing and boating on the rivers. Rivers should be allowed to grow beautiful marsh reeds and wiggle. The “pinch points” in the towns along the river ought to be protected and all the rest of the land flooded when necessary. It is only farm land after all and everyone knows that the farmers are stooges of Brussels.

    Summary: Climate Change is to blame for flooding. It makes a really good excuse when you get it very badly wrong. Then Mr Paterson gets replaced by a Minister who seems to know nothing about the countryside.

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