Green policies drive up emissions

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It’s the holiday season.  So a web-site called “Science2.0” has come up with a helpful list of twelve ways to respond to those infuriating climate change deniers that you’re likely to meet in the bar while on holiday. Not the top holiday problem on everyone’s list, but I guess they’re trying to help.  Even though I’ve yet to meet anyone who denies that the climate changes.

There is all the usual tendentious stuff about junk science and tabloid slogans.  They recycle the old “97% of scientists” myth that has been comprehensively rebutted.  But they come up with one point that perhaps justifies a response.  Author Will Grant suggests: Ask them this: “What’s worse, the majority of climate change scientists being wrong but we act anyway, or climate change deniers being wrong and we don’t?”

Well, Will, there is a powerful case that even if the IPCC is right, which looks increasingly unlikely, the actions which are proposed in response are futile, counter-productive and economically damaging.

This is for a variety of reasons.  Of course insurance is a good thing.  But if the premiums cost more than the risk involved, insurance makes no sense.  Now of course we have the Stern report – insisting that “the cost of inaction is greater than the cost of mitigation”, but the Stern report is shot through with schoolboy howlers that a first-year economics student could rip apart.  Most serious studies of the economic impact of climate change (even assuming there might be a problem) indicate that the costs of mitigation greatly exceed any realistic potential cost of inaction.

The other problem with (attempts at) mitigation is that it requires massive front-loaded investment, before confirmation of the problem has time to come through.  Apply discounted cash flow, and the effective cost in fifty or a hundred years time (when according to the orthodoxy we might need it) is astronomic.  That is why there is such a cogent case for a wait-and-see policy accompanied by adaptation as-and-when, rather than futile attempts at up-front mitigation.  This is the case so cogently put by Lord Lawson in his 2008 book “An Appeal to Reason”.

The next problem for Mr. Grant is that the “renewables” which are a large part of the “solution” proposed by the Warmists actually reduce emissions much less than widely believed, especially when you take account of inefficiencies in the necessary conventional back-up (run intermittently) and the layers of subsidy needed not only for land-owners and operators, but also to make an economic case for back-up run inefficiently.

In the UK, over-dependence on renewables is threatening security of supply, and forcing the government to contract with commercial enterprises which have diesel generators, to make those generators available as needed to fill in the gaps.  This is perversity on a grand scale — to reduce CO2 emissions, we are forced to depend on diesel generators!

Meantime there are reportedly 1200 new coal-fired power stations in the global pipeline. Emissions will continue rising for the foreseeable future no matter what we in the UK (or the EU) do.  And successive climate conferences utterly fail to find the Holy Grail of a global agreement.

But there is a more fundamental reason why our efforts are fruitless (and arguably counter-productive).  In Brussels, they call it “carbon leakage”, and it results directly from the eye-watering energy prices that are undermining European competitiveness.  This is a polite euphemism for driving energy-intensive businesses off-shore — often to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards, where emissions per unit of production may be much higher.  Steel industry insiders tell me that a ton of steel made in China is likely to generate twice the emissions as the same ton made in Germany, for example.

We are driving these businesses out of the UK, and of the EU, altogether, taking their jobs and their investment with them.  And we may well be increasing emissions in the process.  We are destroying our economies, mortgaging our grandchildren, driving households and pensioners into fuel poverty, merely for the sake of green gestures and modish posturing.  And if the IPCC is right about global warming, we may well be making matters worse rather than better.

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20 Responses to Green policies drive up emissions

  1. tallbloke says:

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Roger Helmer MEP points out soe of the fallacies in the ‘precautionary principle’ as applied to ‘climate change’.

  2. Brin Jenkins says:

    Exactly Roger, counter productive measures like the iniquitous Carbon Tax never reward our industries for cutting back in any way, its always the big stick and never any encouraging carrots.

    Buying credits might make a few greenies feel warm inside, but what happens to the money? It will always be spent alongside foreign aid and overseas development income to buy manufactured goods including cars and fuel. Even if the Low Carbon economy recipients manufacture themselves it will always produce more carbon than here where we are taxed on it.

    We are only converting low carbon economies to carbon producers, and making us into a third World Post Industrial Society.

  3. bumper says:

    At this point in time we have a demand of 40.22 GW electricity.
    Wind is providing 1.83GW out of an installed capacity of 12GW or 4.5 % of demand.
    Wind is generating at 15.25% of its capacity due to lack of wind. This is the coldest day of the winter so far,

  4. Brin Jenkins says:

    I think that you have covered it well Bumper. Wind has too many drawbacks to be of any real use, unless we work with the wind when its blowing, or develop economical ways to store energy that really work.

    Feeding it into a grid that must balance or shed load is Mickey Mouse logic without the humour.

  5. Keitho says:

    In the meantime the Great Green Behemoth rolls on without care or caution. Until the MSM understands that AGW is a political and economic nonsense the ordinary guy won’t make a peep till it’s too late.

  6. omanuel says:

    Roger, the global climate scam will not end until the “Red Matrix of Deceit” is abandoned by the geophysicists Stalin recruited in 1945 to “save the world” from nuclear annihilation by forbidding public knowledge of the energy that destroyed Hiroshima.

    Unfortunately, world leaders and leaders of the scientific community are themselves now trapped in the “Red Matrix of Deceit” – unable to respond to precise experimental data that falsify their standard models of nuclei and stars – and afraid to admit that they deceived the public for the past sixty-nine years (2014 – 1945 = 69 yrs) for research grants and awards.

  7. Fras Albert says:


    Richard Tol’s recent essay has a strong point to make,/b>

    A fifth* of official development aid is now diverted to climate policy. Money that used to be spent on strengthening the rule of law, better education for girls, and improved health care, for instance, is now used to plug methane leaks and destroy hydrofluorocarbons.

    Personally, I find climate activists capacity for self-deceit beyond belief

    *source OECD-DAC

  8. tapestry says:

    Global warming and carbon are a bit of Aunt Sally. Easy meat. Fracking is not going to help Britain either. Banned in Germany, France, China, New York State and soon Holland. Wise up on fracking and GMOs and who knows, I might even think about voting UKIP. Green means understanding what glyphosate is doing to humanity in time, stopping GMO Round-Up ready corn production , and seeing why NYS is banning fracking to protect human health. Get into the game, Roger, or shrivel on the touchline.

  9. Pingback: Green policies drive up emissions | Roger Helmer MEP | Cranky Old Crow

  10. Ian Terry says:

    Roger. Change will only happen when the Climate Change Act is dutifully resigned to the dust bins of British UK Government cock ups. What I along with a hell of a lot of people do not seem to be getting are the right messages from Nigel. He won’t get in bed with Cameron but may do with Milliband. Well that does prompt the question ” who passed the act in the first place?”

    If it happens that there will be a rainbow government I cannot face the future with Herr Salmond further screwing up the governing of the country. Overall the UK has 1000s of anti turbine, solar, bio mass energy policy supporters and they need to be perceived to being listened to. It is a captive market. High/bad energy prices and policies are the start to so much that is wrong with the country at the moment. It is not just about immigration and getting out of Europe. It is the everyday things that make life so bad for all communities. High energy prices, foodbanks and poor health of the population they are all areas that have to be tackled PDQ and at the moment I do not hear any party championing their cause.

    With the comments about fracking I have lost the plot. It doesn’t seem to have hurt the USA. With all the new coal stations being built acroos the world to try and drive down energy security and prices across the world, why is it that it is always the good old UK who are the last to catch the bus?

  11. Gras Albert says:

    I don’t know how you can sleep at night Tapestry

    GM crops don’t kill kids; opposing them does

    I bumped into the German biologist Ingo Potrykus watching harlequin ducks in the harbour before breakfast. Shared enthusiasm for bird watching broke the ice.

    I knew of him, of course. He had been on the cover of Time magazine for potentially solving one of the world’s great humanitarian challenges. Four years before, with his colleague Peter Beyer, he had added three genes to the 30,000 in rice to help to prevent vitamin A deficiency, one of the most preventable causes of morbidity and mortality in poor countries with rice-dominated diets. They had done it for nothing, persuading companies to waive their patents, so that they could give the rice seeds away free. It was a purely humanitarian impulse.

    Had Ingo or I known that ten years later this rice would still not be available to the poor, that a systematic campaign of denigration against it by the behemoths of the environmental movement, especially Greenpeace, would be consuming lawyers’ fees while perhaps 20 million children had died in the meantime through vitamin A deficiency, he and I would have felt sick with horror that morning.

    The agri-business Syngenta improved Professor Potrykus’s “golden rice” by adding two genes instead of three (one from maize, one from a common soil bacterium) until it produced good yields while providing 60 per cent of a child’s vitamin A daily requirements from only 50 grams of rice. So for all those poor people who couldn’t afford, and would never be offered, supplements, who had nowhere to grow spinach, but who lived largely on rice, simply substituting golden rice for normal rice would save lives.

    Again and again, remedying nutrient deficiency comes top when humanitarian priorities are ranked according to cost benefit analyses. The World Health Organisation estimates that 170 million to 230 million children and 20 million pregnant women are vitamin-A deficient and, as it weakens the immune system, that 1.9 million to 2.7 milllion die of it each year, more than from Aids, TB and malaria.

    So many deaths, so few to blame…

  12. manicbeancounter says:

    The whole article seems to be based on a defense mechanism, so that beliefs do not need to be challenged. Rather than accept their is a continuum of possible options it is polar opposites. For instance
    1. Expert scientists against those prejudiced people in denial.
    2. There is either catastrophic anthropogenic global warming or nothing. There is no possibility of a a trivial impact.
    3. Policy to solve the problem is obvious. In the real world, that does not happen. Simply diagnosing a disease does not point to a cure. Nor has recognizing poverty and famine point to any easy cure.
    4. Having a policy does not mean it will work. For instance, the UK has about 1.5% of global emissions. The UK or the EU working alone to reduce emissions will do either nothing, or next-to-nothing to reduce the any warming problem.
    5. Even if there is a clear problem and a clear, workable policy enacted, poor implementation can impose additional costs, and poor returns. Money can be wasted.
    Applying the precautionary principle to policy would lead one use Lord Lawson’s wait and see approach.

  13. kew says:

    Hi, Mr Helmer. Have a few policy ideas that could go along way for ukip. 1) Currently many supermarkets are afraid of giving wasted food to charity (to those who would not be able to afford the products anyway). The waste is enormous. This is happening because of fear of liability. All is needed is, like the american system,a law of ‘acting in good faith’ removes pressure of liability. Infact, it might be sensible to make it law that wasted food and products by large chain supermarkets must go to some kind of charity (within fair limits).

    Also, on the issue of climate change, i am no expert. But i reason this: 3% CO2 emissions emitted by humans in compared to natural sources. Most of the planet outside the west isn’t going to accept reducing carbon emissions, and further more those that do won’t reduce as much they think. We’re left with figures of less than 1% (speculation)… the money that costs this must be enormous. HOWEVER, if we offer putting a small amount of cash towards saving the rain forest- we could help save natural habitats, areas of scientific interest and obviously maintain ecological stability (<what ever that means).

    Such policy ideas seem sensible to me, as for little cost and effort, It helps promote a 'human side' to UKIP which will surprise many (as i am sure many policies in the long anticipated manifesto already will).

    Also, i understand it is one of ukips campaigns tactics to talk to voters in a way we understand (common sense). However, i do feel many people need to be shown that UKIP are INTELLIGENT, and therefore it is necessary to talk like a politician sometimes too.
    We must leave the EU at near any reasonable cost!

  14. matthu says:

    Good article in The Independent. Lost of good quotes from Roger Helmer.

    Let’s hope a few of the other mainstream media outlets pick up on this.

    There’s been a slowdown rather than a pause in global warming. Such slowdowns (and accelerations) have happened before and are explicable,” said Joanna Haigh, professor of atmospheric physics at Imperial College London.

    I wonder when journalists will think of asking Joanna Haigh about the accepted explanation of the pause?

  15. ivor ward says:

    If CO2 is a problem then nuclear power is the only solution. As electricity generation only accounts for about 20% of our energy consumption we would need to replace all road transport fuels with emission free electric vehicles. i.e. centrally generated nuclear power and charging points everywhere. We would have to replace all our current gas heating requirements with emission free electric heating from centrally generated nuclear power. We do not have the ability to run aircraft from anything other than paraffin but we could convert all our shipping to nuclear power and all our rail transport to electricity. These measures would save a total of about 70% of our emissions as we would still need to load balance with despatchable gas power stations. So we know the solution to the supposed problem yet what makes the green blob self flagellate, wet it’s knickers and tear it’s hair out more than anything else? Yup. Safe, continuous, reliable, emission free nuclear power. In France, where they actually frequently generate more than their requirement in nuclear power and sell it to us and others, the insane socialist green coalition is talking about closing nuclear power stations and building wind follies. Les nutjobs, to use the French.
    Until the Green blob acknowledges the only solution to their supposed climate change problem they have no legitimacy and show that they are just far left political dogmatists who hope to ride on the back of global warming to their imagined nirvana and crush all the corpses of the poor that lie dead in their path,

  16. Brin Jenkins says:

    Funnily enough Blair said that Nuc was the only option around the time he ceased to be our PM!

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