We’re not cutting emissions .. we’re just exporting them


I’ve spent best part of ten years arguing against the theory of man-made climate change – and had great fun doing so.  There are powerful arguments to say that mankind has little impact on climate – not least the obvious point that the slight warming over the last hundred years is exactly comparable to repeated warmings that have occurred every thousand years or so throughout the current Interglacial (and arguably for much longer).

In response, the Warmists merely appeal to authority – which is no basis for doing science.  They parrot the canard (sorry about the mixed avian metaphors) that “97% of scientists agree”, despite that fraudulent claim having been comprehensively and repeatedly debunked.  One can have hours of fun debating the issue, but sadly the closed minds stay closed, and no progress is made.

I’m finding that a different line of argument gains more traction.  It goes like this: “I don’t care whether you believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming or not.  Even if you’re right about it, the fact is that our current ‘green’ policies  are doing more harm than good.  They are failing to cut global CO2 emissions – indeed they may be increasing them – and at the same time they are doing massive economic damage, leaving us less well placed, economically, to do the sort of adaptation that would be needed if you were right about climate change”.

My good friend and former colleague Eija-Riitta Korhola was a Finnish MEP for my first fifteen years in the parliament, from 1999 to 2014, and she still revisits us from time to time.  At a recent meeting of the European Energy Forum, she spoke with typical courage and clarity: “We’re not cutting emissions – we’re merely exporting them”.

The picture above shows Eija-Riitta and me, with a copy of her recent PhD Thesis “Climate Change as a Political Process: The Rise and Fall of the Kyoto Protocol”

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the argument, so I’ll put it briefly.  Our green aspirations have led to very high energy prices, making European economies uncompetitive,  We are driving energy-intensive industries – steel, aluminium, glass, chemicals, cement, petroleum refining – out of the EU altogether, taking their jobs and their investment with them,.  Frequently they go to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards, where they produce more CO2 per unit of output.  Sources in the steel industry claim that a ton of steel made in Shanghai produces twice as much CO2 as the same ton of steel made in Sheffield.  And we have a British government DECC report confirming that imported refined petroleum products imply 35% higher emissions than those refined at home.

Matt Ridley makes essentially the same point: “Wind makes electricity expensive and unreliable, and doesn’t cut emissions”.

When will the establishment get the message?  Wars aside, renewable energy represents probably the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of mankind.

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6 Responses to We’re not cutting emissions .. we’re just exporting them

  1. Ex-expat Colin says:

    “The main environmental problems are caused by overpopulation, poorly planned land-use and over-exploitation of natural resources”.

    Nigeria…as pumped by the BBC World Service (Lagos) Head Office last night. Stated, climate change programme developed as a run up and support to the Paris COP, complete with pidgin english. Children singing lots about climate change, de-forestation and multiply population up to 170 million PDQ. Land is being washed away by the same amount of rain as in the past, but concentrated here and there. 1mtr deep trench become 50 mtrs deep. Desertification on top of that. Please send enormous cheque(s) asap. And/or open the borders…oh, we already did!

    Harrabin at it as well:

  2. Flyinthesky says:

    “We’re not cutting emissions – we’re merely exporting them”. The thing she missed is “and increasing them”

  3. The strangest thing of all is the behaviour of the working man’s party here. You would have thought, perhaps, that the left, being the party of the working man, would be leading the charge for workers’ rights. The closure of aluminium, then steel, now coal fired power stations has thrown a lot of very good and devoted men onto the dole.
    So where is the Labour Party? Mr Miliband introduced the Bill in the first place. Then Mr Cameron (the workers’ friend) amplified it. The dear old (Socialist?) EU gold plated it for us.
    All think of themselves as caring and sensible representatives of the people.
    It is all so sad to see men in their 50s being dismissed for no reason that they can understand. And neither can I.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Once the unions had destroyed industry they moved on, their jobs were well done. Jack Straw started his political career as the leader of the Communist Students Union at Uni. Who thought to mention this in his later political life? Prescot it was reportedly sacked after striking his skipper on board ship whilst in the Merchant Navy. He then got involved with the Seamans Union, now we no longer have a fleet. Job well done again he has destroyed Local Government in Tony Blair’s regime by imposing political central controls and taxation.

      Forget left and right wing, its Nationalism and Internationalism akka Communism.

  4. Richard111 says:

    I’ve just heard on the BBC news parts of Scotland and South East England are at -5 centigrade!
    There is no wind or sun. Hope there are no power failures or people are going to die.

  5. Brin Jenkins says:

    Just done a google to find the UK’s total wind turbine capacity, it an incredible 13 + G watts. Funny how it never seems to achieve even 6 Gw input to our grid, and often falls below 2-3 Gw. All that wasted capacity that’s never achieved with the wrong sorts of wind. Have we spent wisely?

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