Tuesday, August 17, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: Concerns grow that UN climate summit may end in failure


In message to Biden & Boris China puts coal and growth ahead of climate

In this newsletter:

1) Concerns grow that UN climate summit may end in failure
Global Warming Policy Forum, 13 August 2021
2) Prince Charles to address COP26 amid concerns it may end in failure
The Times, 13 August 2021

3) China puts growth ahead of climate with surge in coal-powered power stations and steel mills
Financial Times, 13 August 2021
4) Asia coal demand surge vs the IPCC: A reality check
Reuters, 12 August 2021
5) Green journalism and the failure to question
Global Warming Policy Forum, 13 August 2021

6) Road to Glasgow paved with good intent but mired in muddy science
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 14 August 2021
7) Rod Liddle: Why do the poor always pick up the bill to be green?
The Sun, 12 August 2021

8) And finally: The problem with climate change politics
Alasdair Macleod, Goldmoney, 12 August 2021

Full details:

1) Concerns grow that UN climate summit may end in failure
Global Warming Policy Forum, 13 August 2021

As seasoned observers of dozens of UN climate summits we have been warning for some time that emerging nations’ inexorable rejection of Joe Biden’s and Boris Johnson’s Net Zero demands are threatening to turn Cop26 into Flop26.


The Times now reports that there are growing fears among ministers that the UN climate conference in Glasgow later this year may end in failure with officials blaming an incompetent COP26 team: “Several government sources said the UK’s preparations for Cop26 compared poorly to previous events.”
Meanwhile most G20 countries are desisting to make any new emissions pledges, holding their cards close to their vests. These are clear signs that emerging and developing nations regard Western threats of a carbon border tax as a hostile act that would be countered by retaliation.
Boris Johnson now finds himself between a rock and a hard place. He has been badly advised by diplomatic amateurs blinded by green ideology. There are no easy ways out of this mess of his own making. A Western retreat leading to another damp squib and a non-committal COP communique is now the most likely outcome.
2) Prince Charles to address COP26 amid concerns it may end in failure
The Times, 13 August 2021
The Prince of Wales will address Cop26, it emerged yesterday, amid concerns that the UN climate conference in November may end in failure.
The government hopes his presence at the pivotal event will help to secure a global deal that keeps alive hopes of limiting global warming to 1.5C.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted this week that the 1.5C limit, above which impacts of climate change would rapidly escalate, would be reached within two decades even in the most optimistic scenario. But it said immediate, rapid and sustained emissions cuts could bring global warming back under the limit in the second half of the century.
The Times understands that the prince will attend Cop26 in Glasgow in person. His address is expected during the “world leaders summit” at the start of the two-week conference.
The prince attended Cop21 in Paris in 2015 when he said climate change was the greatest threat facing humanity.
Boris Johnson’s hopes of making Cop26 a success depend on the willingness of other major economies to follow the UK by making ambitious new commitments on climate change.
Alok Sharma, the cabinet minister leading preparations for Cop26, expressed disappointment on Monday that only eight of the G20 countries had submitted more ambitious climate targets, as they are expected to do every five years under the Paris agreement.
China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Australia are among the countries yet to do so.
Pete Betts, the UK and EU’s lead negotiator at Cop21 in Paris, said it was vital that China, responsible for 27 per cent of global emissions, came forward with an enhanced target.
The prime minister is facing pressure from all sides over Cop26. Green lobby groups are demanding that he set out details of how Britain will hit net zero emissions by 2050, while a group of about 30 Tory MPs are increasingly concerned about the impact on the cost of living for their constituents.
Allegra Stratton, the government’s spokeswoman for Cop26, faced criticism after suggesting people should not rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher as one of a number of “green steps”. The prime minister has also been dragged into the debate over how the UK will replace gas boilers.
Several government sources said the UK’s preparations for Cop26 compared poorly to previous events.

Rachel Kyte, a former UN climate envoy, told Politico:
“The host country was deploying its entire cabinet on the same talking points in a coherent strategy and it was being led by the head of state or the head of government, who was personally involved.”
While Johnson is expected to take an increasingly high-profile role as the summit approaches, one Whitehall source feared it would be too late.
“The hard yards should have already been done,” they said.
3) China puts growth ahead of climate with surge in coal-powered power stations and steel mills
Financial Times, 13 August 2021
China’s expansion of coal-powered steel mills accelerated sharply in the first half of 2021, exposing the government’s reluctance to sacrifice industry-fuelled growth to achieve its climate goals.

Analysis of Chinese government approvals by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, a Finland-based advocacy group, found that 18 steelmaking blast furnaces and 43 coal-fired power plants were announced in the first half of this year. 

As steel prices surged, 35m tonnes of coal-dependent ironmaking capacity was announced in the first half of 2021, more than in all of 2020, CREA found.

If built, the combined coal and steel projects would emit about 150m tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the total emissions of the Netherlands.

The increase in blast furnace approval suggested that the “steelmakers haven’t gotten the memo yet” on carbon emission reduction, Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at CREA, said. The sector will probably miss a 2020 target of limiting output in 2021 to the same level as last year.

Because steelmaking is the second-largest source of China’s carbon emissions, “I don’t see the maths for getting to carbon peak by 2030 without a 30 per cent reduction from steel”. The most plausible way for that to happen, he said, was by reducing output.

President Xi Jinping has pledged that China will reach peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2060. But climate activists are concerned that this ambition is not reflected as clear targets in authoritative economic planning documents.

In a sign of the leadership’s caution towards restraining polluting industries, the Communist party’s Politburo this month warned against “campaign-style” efforts by local governments to reduce emissions.

Steel prices plummeted after it was announced that Tangshan, a big steel producing hub 180km east of Beijing, was expected to reduce limits on output.

The curbs on production were imposed this year after industrial pollution overshadowed the annual meeting of China’s national legislature in March.

Separate analysis by Greenpeace released this month showed that the majority of government-directed stimulus after coronavirus lockdowns was directed towards traditional infrastructure projects, which are a big driver of pollution.

Up to 90 per cent of Covid-19 relief national bonds went towards general infrastructure, while 60 per cent of new municipal bonds were spent on infrastructure such as construction, compared with 15 per cent on green, sustainable or low-carbon projects, Greenpeace analysis of disclosures found.

A summer of widespread power rationing caused by surging demand has added to Beijing’s hesitance to cut back on coal-fired generators, after local governments in manufacturing hubs such as Guangdong ordered factories to reduce operating hours to avoid shortages.

In recent weeks, the worst relapse of coronavirus cases, caused by the rapid spread of the Delta variant, since the virus first emerged in Wuhan has also started to weigh on growth.

“With the latest outbreak now threatening setbacks for the economy, we can expect more construction stimulus to offset that,” Myllyvirta said. “The conundrum of growth versus emissions goals is not going away as soon as we had hoped.”
4) Asia coal demand surge vs the IPCC: A reality check
Reuters, 12 August 2021

The latest U.N. report makes it clear that coal must exit global energy systems if there is to be any chance of avoiding severe climate disruptions.

The problem is that for much of Asia, it’s still the go-to fuel in periods of high demand, and this doesn’t appear to be changing at anything like the required pace.

The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released on Aug. 9 put the blame for weather extremes on human activity, and said rapid action was needed to limit the damage.

“This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet,” said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, adding the report is a “code red for humanity.”
The blunt warnings of the IPCC could not stand in starker contrast to the reality of surging coal demand in Asia, the world’s top producing, consuming and seaborne market for the polluting fuel.
Coal demand, and prices, have been stoked by a recovery in power generation as the region’s economies emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and as warm temperatures boost the use of air-conditioning.
While this is likely a short-term situation, Asia is still the epicentre for the construction of new coal-fired generators, with several countries including China and India currently building massive capacity and advancing plans to build even more.
And even where coal-fired generation plans have been cancelled or postponed, the alternative is more often than not to switch to natural gas, often in the form of energy-intensive liquefied natural gas (LNG), rather than renewables such as wind, solar and battery storage.

The scale of the problem in Asia can be seen in the recent volumes of seaborne coal in the region.
A total of 80.32 million tonnes of all grades of coal was discharged at Asian ports in July, according to vessel-tracking and port data from Refinitiv.
This was up from 80.16 million in June and 78.58 million in May, and was the strongest month since January, when winter demand was at its peak.
The total for the three months to July was 240.06 million tonnes, up 7.8% from the 222.79 million for the same three months in 2020.
That extra 17.27 million tonnes of demand in the three months to July helps explain why coal prices have been on a tear in recent weeks....
China has been leading the current demand surge for coal, partly as a result of closing some domestic mines for safety checks.
China, the world’s biggest producer, consumer and importer of coal, brought in 30.18 million tonnes in July, a seven-month high, according to official data.
Data from commodity analysts Kpler also showed strong gains in imports in Japan, the region’s third-biggest buyer, with 15.39 million tonnes arriving in July, the most since January.
Fourth-ranked South Korea imported 11.62 million tonnes in July, the most since December 2019, while number five Taiwan brought in 6.78 million, the highest since September 2020, according to Kpler.
Only India among major importers saw a decline in July, with the world’s second-biggest buyer importing 15.32 million tonnes, the lowest since July last year, as the South Asian nation battled a new outbreak of the coronavirus.
While coal demand in Asia is being driven by short-term factors that may ease in coming months, the longer-term picture is likely to prove incompatible with the IPCC report.

Despite making longer-term commitments to net-zero carbon emissions, several Asian countries are still pursuing large coal-fired building programmes.
China has 96.7 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired generation currently under construction, according to data from the Global Energy Monitor.
To put that figure in perspective, the amount China is building exceeds the coal generation currently operating in every other country in the world, except for India and the United States.
Japan has 6 GW of coal-fired power under construction, while South Korea has 7.3 GW being built, Bangladesh has 4.1 GW and Pakistan 3.3 GW.
Asian countries with large domestic coal mining sectors are also ploughing ahead with new plants, with Indonesia currently building 11.8 GW of capacity and India 34.4 GW.
Given that coal-fired power plants would normally expect to operate for at least 40 years, it’s clear that Asia is a long way from heeding the IPCC’s call for action.
5) Green journalism and the failure to question
Global Warming Policy Forum, 13 August 2021

If Net Zero crashes and burns, the press will have only themselves to blame


The passengers on the global warming bandwagon are worried. With the big climate conference in Glasgow at the end of the year getting ever closer, it now looks very much as if the big emitting nations are not going to sign up to a Net Zero agreement, and that the Prime Minister will be left with a humiliating failure on his hands.

It’s not just the conference that is in jeopardy. The government’s whole Net Zero agenda looks increasingly threatened, as Conservative MPs look nervously at the costs, and wonder what it might do to their chances of reelection.
If it goes all go pear-shaped, the journalists and commentators who have been promoting the decarbonisation agenda for years have only themselves to blame. It has been clear to anyone who took the time to question the narrative that the aims were impractical, the figures presented were implausible, and that it was only a matter of time before there was a public backlash.
However, questioning things seems to nowadays be only a peripheral part of journalists’ job descriptions, particularly those on the climate and energy beat.
Today’s Times’ leader, and James Kirkup’s recent article in the Spectator, both on the subject of net zero, are cases in point.
Both authors have clearly been briefed that the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has estimated the cost of decarbonising the economy at £1.4 trillion. Unfortunately, that is wrong. The OBR has not prepared any estimate of the cost – it simply relays the figure prepared by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). Similarly, the Treasury, currently engaged on its review of the Net Zero project, is not actually assessing the bill to be paid either; it too accepts the CCC’s figures on trust.

This is a problem, because the CCC – beset as it is with extraordinary conflicts of interest – is the last organisation you’d entrust with coming up with reliable figures. And if you had any doubt, you only need to consider the tens of thousands of pounds it has spent on lawyers in order to keep the calculations underlying its estimate secret to realise that there really is a problem.

Even simple arithmetic shows the CCC estimate is entirely implausible. Twenty million homes needing heat pumps at £12,000 a time adds up to a cost of hundreds of billions of pounds. Most of them will need major insulation works too, at a cost running to tens of thousands of pounds each. That’s half of your £1.4 trillion gone already.
More arithmetic reveals further problems.
The Times claims that electric cars will be cheaper than petrol and diesel by 2025. Really? To deliver that, you’d need to deliver price reductions of £2500 per year. But in recent years, the EV cost premium has hardly come down at all, and indeed looks as if it may even start to grow, because of upward pressure on battery prices.

Still, the Times does rather better than James Kirkup, who makes some wild and entirely unsubstantiated claims about the cost of renewables. Onshore wind down 40%? Reviews of the financial accounts of onshore windfarms reveals no such decline, nor indeed any decline at all. Offshore wind down a third? Even if that were true (it isn’t), that would still leave it several times more expensive than traditional power sources, leaving consumers facing sustained electricity price rises, and ultimately being priced off the roads and left unable to afford to heat their homes.

To be fair, there is a wrinkle with offshore windfarms, in that several have signed agreements to supply the grid at very low prices. But as the International Renewable Energy Agency notes, these kinds of deals may merely be part of a long-term pricing strategy, and should not be taken as representative of the underlying costs; in other words, that we will just end up paying more later. That suggestion is borne out by the financial accounts of the UK’s offshore windfarms, which show that costs remain very high, and are at best falling only slightly.

These issues are of vital importance to the UK economy, because if costs are not coming down then the CCC’s estimate of the cost of delivering net zero is understated, possibly by several trillion pounds. It’s a pity then, that journalists opining on net zero have mostly ignored them.
Before I finish, it’s worth raising one final example of a failure to question, this time from the Spectator article.
In closing his piece, James Kirkup relays some official estimates of the financial disaster that potentially besets us: the OBR, he notes, has said that national debt could rise to 289 percent (presumably of GDP) if we do nothing about climate change. But here we see again that the pronouncements of officialdom can get you into trouble, or at least if you fail to question them. That’s because the choice is not between doing nothing and trying to change the weather by installing windfarms. There is a third choice: adapt.

Consider this: the biggest cost of global warming is supposed to come about through sea level rise, and here the cost of doing nothing will undoubtedly be very high – one study said we could face a bill of 11% of GDP every year.

But as the seas, rising 2–3 mm per year, started to overtop the sea walls, would we really do nothing, and let our homes be swamped and our children drown? Or would we improve our sea defences? The cost in that case has also been estimated, and is a thousand times smaller than doing nothing. Moreover, such a bill will be readily affordable in the future because of the world’s growing wealth.

The environmentalists and the renewables industry have done well to obscure the painful truth about the decarbonisation agenda from the public. The media have managed to turn a collective blind eye. But times have changed, and the costs can no longer be hidden. If, as seems likely, Net Zero crashes and burns, and all that money is wasted,  they will have nobody to blame but themselves.

6) Road to Glasgow paved with good intent but mired in muddy science
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 14 August 2021
Biden, like Macron and Johnson, is facing the political reality that voters won’t put up with a steady rise in the cost of fuels.
Three months out from the Glasgow climate summit there are plenty of lessons for Scott Morrison in how Boris Johnson’s Britain is handling the transition to net-zero emissions by 2050.
An early adopter and leading advocate for action on climate change, Britain is a global poster child for high ambition.

As host of the Glasgow conference, Britain has rolled out a suite of new policies and bans while wagging its finger at Australia for its coal-dependent ways.

In the wake of the IPCC update of climate science earlier this week, Johnson said his COP26 agenda in Glasgow would include agreement for the developed world to “kick the coal habit entirely by 2030 and the developing world by 2040”.
He wants the world to follow the UK lead and abandon fossil fuel internal combustion engine machines and for rich nations to recommit to supporting the rest of the planet to go green with funds of $US100bn a year.
But as the costs of the low-­carbon transition mount at home, Johnson’s vision is starting to collide with financial and political reality. A plan to ban gas boilers by 2035 in favour of expensive heat pumps has provoked a popular ­revolt. And Alok Sharma, the nation’s climate change tsar, who wants to mandate electric vehicles, is being called out for driving a ­diesel-powered car himself.
The front page of conservative newspaper The Sunday Telegraph last week declared “PM’s push for net zero plunged into chaos”.
It said Treasury costings of the UK’s green transition have been delayed amid wrangling in Whitehall over how to achieve the target without disproportionately “clobbering” the finances of working class families, and plunging the country into hundreds of billions of pounds of further debt.
MPs from across northern ­England have gone public to warn Johnson the so-called “Red Wall” seats, won by the Tories from ­Labour at the last election, are at risk of being lost because of the cost pressures of climate action.
The pushback mirrors the political divide between city elites and rural/mining/industrial communities in Australia that have split the ALP and helped to deliver government to Scott Morrison at the last election. The same pressures ignited the yellow vest protest movement in France, which has made President Emmanuel Macron wary of EU attempts to extend the carbon market there to a broader range of goods.
In the US, President Joe Biden, is simultaneously calling for greater cuts to global emissions while calling on Saudi Arabia and its oil-producing allies to unleash more crude onto global markets, stressing the importance of “affordable energy”.
Biden, like Macron and Johnson, is facing the political reality that voters won’t put up with a steady rise in the cost of fuels.
As business and finance markets agitate for a green deal, a ­farcical two-year legal wrangle to make public the costings of the UK’s net zero by 2050 transition is reaching a climax.

The Information Tribunal has ordered the Committee on Climate Change to publish the calculations behind its claim that the British economy can be decarbonised at modest cost.

Before spending two years in court, the CCC said producing the costings would take too much time and effort.

Faced with demands for disclosure, it argued that it had erased and overwritten the relevant information by the time of the freedom of information request, just six weeks after the publication of the Net Zero report.

The applicant, well known contrarian Andrew Montford, said that by arguing it had overwritten and erased the spreadsheet data, the CCC had essentially admitted that its internal processes were a shambles.

“This is not a competent organisation and parliament needs to investigate as a matter of urgency,” Montford said.
“If they can’t even manage simple matters of data retention, what hope is there that they can prepare a plausible costing of a multi-­trillion pound project such as the decarbonisation of the British economy?”
During the case, the CCC revealed that its costing does not include any estimate for spending in 2020-2049, but only considered the residual amounts in 2050, after the bulk of the transition.
Montford said this was not made clear to the MPs when they agreed to bring the Net Zero target into law, and it is likely therefore that MPs were misled.
The Information Tribunal has ordered the CCC to hand over the spreadsheets within 35 days.
Rejecting pleas for privacy, the tribunal said it was “clear that any errors in the calculations that led to the CCC’s conclusions, which in turn led to the legislative change, have the potential to have a very significant impact on the lives and finances of large numbers of people, on the spending of large sums of public money, and on the policies of the UK government over the next 30 years.”
The tribunal decision was delivered on the eve of the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change update into the science of climate change, AR6.
The report is the justification on which trillions of dollars are being spent on the green transition around the world. The report does not include any costings of the measures needed or make any ­attempt at a cost-benefit analysis.
Rather, it says scientific understanding that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are causing global average surface temperatures to rise is more certain than it was at the time of the last report in 2014.
AR6 says it is “unequivocal” that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. It says human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe.
The report says warming since the start of the industrial revolution has been 1.07C and the best estimate of warming if greenhouse gases are allowed to double in the atmosphere is 3C.
It says the Paris Agreement’s more aspirational target to limit future warming to 1.5C will likely be exceeded on an annual basis in a little over a decade. Without action, the actual Paris Agreement threshold of 2C will be breached in coming decades. But there is still a chance to meet even the lower ­target if the world can agree to ­decarbonise to net-zero emissions by 2050.
“The bottom line is the AR6 lops off the fat tail of very extreme/alarming outcomes,” US climate scientist Dr Judith Curry told Inquirer. “In chapter one, they do admit that there is growing evidence that SSP5-8.5 (the most extreme scenario) is implausible.

“They also drop the upper end of the likely range for climate sensitivity to 4C but I think raising the lower bound to 2.5C is weakly justified.
“The AR6 focuses more on extreme events, but at the end of the day they don’t come up with much: heatwaves, agricultural and ecological drought, wildfires, and a slight increase in the proportion of major hurricanes – although the total number of hurricanes looks to be declining.
“They also refer to the climate model simulations as ‘possible climate futures’, which is better than passing these off as projections.”
Not everyone agrees with the AR6 findings, of course. A new peer-reviewed paper challenges the selection of models used by the IPCC to discount the impact of solar variation on Earth’s climate.
It finds that the IPCC may have been premature in their conclusion that recent climate change is mostly caused by human greenhouse gas emissions. The paper by 23 experts in the fields of solar physics and climate science from 14 different countries is published in the journal Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The paper carries out an analysis of the 16 most prominent published solar output datasets, including those used by the IPCC.
The study found that scientists come to opposite conclusions about the causes of recent climate change depending on which datasets they consider.
The group says using a high variability dataset used by the team in charge of NASA’s ACRIM sun-monitoring satellites implies that most, if not all, of the long-term temperature changes are due to natural factors.
Lead author Dr Ronan Connolly, from the Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences, says the findings are inconvenient to a scientific consensus. “I fear that by effectively only considering the datasets and studies that support their chosen narrative, the IPCC have seriously hampered scientific progress into genuinely understanding the causes of recent and future climate change,” Connolly said.
Nonetheless, the consensus narrative has certainly won the day with campaigners who are using images of wild weather events to push their cause for speedy action.
In Australia, a collection of pressure groups including ACF, the Wilderness Society, Get Up and the Australia Institute took out full-page advertisements in newspapers this week to push for action.
They said on its current path the nation would not reach net-zero climate pollution until 2170.
“The science shows we need to reduce climate pollution by 75 per cent by 2030,” the group said.
“We call on the federal government to commit to much stronger targets and policies to slash ­climate pollution this decade,” it added.
It is politics not science that will determine what happens at Glasgow. Finding a way to bring the whole world together to take action is the key that has eluded the negotiations throughout the IPCC process.
The fact is that without cuts to emissions from developing as well as developed countries, the target laid out in the carbon budget in AR6 to limit future temperature rises have no prospect of being achieved.
Out of total annual global emissions from fossil fuels of 36.4bn tonnes, China is the world’s biggest emitter at 10.2bn. Then comes the US with 5.4bn tonnes, the EU with 2.9bn, India 2.6bn, Russia 2.4bn and Japan 1.3bn.
There is a high potential that the Glasgow meeting will end in disappointment in the same way that Copenhagen did in 2009 with developed and developing worlds unable to agree.
Australia will take part in Glasgow in good faith but is realistic about what can be achieved.
The lessons of what is possible must be retained, particularly when it comes to demands for a speedy achievement of a net-zero emissions world.
7) Rod Liddle: Why do the poor always pick up the bill to be green?
The Sun, 12 August 2021
THE Government is determined to make you get rid of your perfectly decent gas boiler and buy a special “green” contraption that costs up to ten times as much. And doesn’t generate much electricity.

I think the sort of thing they have in mind is powered by elves. They run around in a giant hamster wheel which you have to buy. You have to pay for the elves, too. Plus pensions.

And you’re not even allowed to kick them when they slow down. That’s banned under Elf and Safety legislation.

The new carbon neutral Elf Generating System (EGS) will save the planet. And it will produce just enough electricity to let the elves run around with a light on.

It’s either that or a heat pump. This magical device costs upwards of £10,000 and it takes up a hell of a lot of room. It isn’t remotely practical for most British houses. There isn’t the space, for a start. And it is exorbitantly expensive.

Conservative politicians wave their hands and say: “Don’t worry, they’ll come down in price . . . eventually.”

Yeah sure. From £10,000 to £9,500 maybe. If we’re lucky.

Oh, and some heat pumps don’t work when the temperature drops. It’ll keep you nice and hot in summer, though.

And so our poorest people are suddenly going to have to fork out a third of the national average wage, in one go, when their gas or oil boilers are working perfectly well.

The Government is trying to show that it takes climate change seriously. And it takes its target of 2050 for reaching “net zero” carbon emissions seriously.

Fine. We all know that climate change is happening. We all know the dangers it poses.

But too often it is the poorest people in the country who have to bear the brunt of our desperate wish to be “clean”.


If Boris is really serious about reducing emissions, and taking the public with him, he will have to ensure that the average citizen isn’t bankrupted in his name when it’s time to replace the boiler.

Already a bunch of Conservative MPs are cutting up nasty about the whole business. These are the “red wall” Tories, who won their seats from Labour in the north of the country.

These MPs know that Boris’s plans — scribbled down on a beer mat, I suspect — could be politically ruinous for them and their party.

“Vote Tory and spend £10,000 on a heating system that doesn’t work very well.” Has a certain ring to it, as an election slogan, no?

The UK is well down the list of polluting countries, both overall and per capita. China is easily the world’s biggest polluter overall.


But per person some of the worst-performing countries are the most right-on: Canada, Australia, the US, the Netherlands, Germany and New Zealand.

It hardly seems right that the poorest people in the UK will be asked to shoulder more of a burden than those living in the richest countries in the world.

If we’re going to bank on these new forms of heating, the Government needs to invest in the technology, so that it becomes affordable for everybody.

The cost of the hardship should, in the end, be borne by the country as a whole.

And maybe look at those dates again, Boris. Unless you want those red wall seats to be red once again.

8) And finally: The problem with climate change politics
Alasdair Macleod, Goldmoney, 12 August 2021
Climate change bears all the hallmarks of a state-sponsored crisis, useful to shift attention from other political failures. But the absence of financial accountability which characterises government actions also introduces behavioural errors.
The absence of a profit motive in any state action exposes the relationship between governments and their electors to psychological factors. We all know that governments use propaganda and other tools to manage crowd psychology and influence their electorates. What is less understood is that governments themselves are misled by a crowd psychology in its own ranks which contributes to policy failure.
This article does not question the climate change debate itself. Instead, it examines the debate in the context of the psychology driving it. The release of government-sponsored propaganda on climate change in the form of a unanimous IPCC report predicting the end of the world as we know it is the latest example of a political and bureaucratic phenomenon, making the timing of this article apposite.
Western economies have moved on from free markets to the point where they hardly exist in the true meaning of the phrase. Yet the state continually claims that it is free markets that fail, not government.
The reason governments fail in economic terms is that economic calculation is never part of their brief, and nor can it be. By economic calculation, we mean taking positive actions aimed at a profitable outcome. To survive and prosper, businesses and individuals must do this all the time — the only exception being when they can rely on the state to underwrite their failures, which is why established businesses encourage statist regulation to place hurdles in the way of upstart competitors. And why at an individual level there is a ready demand for state welfare.
But political objectives cannot involve profit and therefore economic calculation. Instead of economic calculation, a responsible state can only manage its tax revenues efficiently to minimise its impact on the producers in the economy and to achieve affordable social outcomes in the context of a realistic consensus. The problem is deciding where the line is drawn between what is reasonable and what is not. It is also the line that determines who in the distant future will go down in history as a statesman or as a political flaneur.
Political objectives in the narrowest sense were the focus in America until the days of President Hoover, who broadened the political mandate into interventionism, followed by the modern-day hero for socialist economists, Franklin D Roosevelt. Nearly a century of increasing socialistic intervention since Hoover has led us into a socio-political system whose dubious achievements are not much more than monetary debasement and the repeated failure of statist ambitions.
It’s not just America; it’s all advanced nations. Regular readers of Goldmoney articles will be aware of the inflationary consequences of promoting neo-Keynesian interventionism and to where it all leads. But over the last thirty years and more we have seen the same state-sponsoring of self-serving scientists in fields other than just economics. Especially relevant today is climate change, because this highly politicised topic is now determining the course of capital investment in the commercial sector instead of profitable objectives.
Scientists, with no experience of climatology have been jumping on the global warming bandwagon for decades, milking state funds allocated for research aimed at proving that homo stultus is responsible for global warming. And when that didn’t arrive on frequently predicted schedules, global warming was renamed climate change.

Time for a reality check
It is time for a reality check, because on flimsy evidence climate policy is becoming overtly economically destructive, more so than any other statist intervention, outside monetary policy, in peacetime. The following quote from the popular Guido Fawkes website sums it up well:
The UN has been predicting planetary disaster for decades, usually scheduled to happen in about a decade’s time. In 1972 – half a century ago – Maurice Strong, the first UN Environment Programme director warned that the world “had just 10 years to avoid catastrophe”.
In 1982 his successor, Mostafa Tolba, the then head of the UN Environment Programme told the world that it had just 18 years before “an environmental catastrophe as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust”. Yet 2000 came and went and we just partied like it was 1999…
As sea levels would rise, we were told that the Maldives islands would be under water over a decade ago, they’re building more luxury hotels. We were told the source of the great Ganges River in the Himalayas, the glaciers, would have melted long ago. The great Ganges River still flows, and the glaciers are still there. The Australian Great Barrier reef would be dead, it is alive and thriving.
We were told by the UN Food Programme in the sixties that Earth could not feed a growing population and that the future was bleak with much of humanity facing starvation. The earth’s population has more than doubled since the sixties with fewer people in absolute poverty…
Before Maurice Strong, predictions that the end is nigh were generally confined to lunatics bearing placards, believers in predictions contained in the Book of Revelations, and leftist CND marchers. Now it is eco-warriors.
Full post

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

No comments: