Monday, May 22, 2023

Net Zero Watch: Lord Frost warns - Hurtling towards Net Zero at any cost will be a mistake


In this newsletter:

1) Lord Frost warns: Hurtling towards Net Zero at any cost will be a mistake
Daily Express, 20 May 2023
2) Mugged by reality: G7 leaders U-turn on fossil fuel subsidies

Reuters, 20 May 2023

3) Background: G-7 leaders favor LNG investment in U-turn on fossil fuels due to energy crisis
Bloomberg, 28 June 2022

4) King Charles backed these care homes for 40 years – now Net Zero is forcing them to close
The Daily Telegraph, 19 May 2023
5) Net Zero Britain: The death of the cheap European holiday
The Daily Telegraph, 20 May 2023
6) Ross Clark: Our worst suspicions have been confirmed. Net Zero will make us poorer
The Daily Telegraph, 19 May 2023
7) Climate alarmists claim they are being abused on Twitter since Elon Musk took over
Cowboy State Daily, 18 May 2023 
8) Princeton University Debate: Why Climate Change Is Not an Emergency
Princeton University Reunions
9) And finally: China overtakes Japan as world’s biggest exporter of automobiles
Car Scoops, 20 May 2023

Full details:

1) Lord Frost warns: Hurtling towards Net Zero at any cost will be a mistake
Daily Express, 20 May 2023
EXCLUSIVE: Lord Frost warns against "rushing at electrification of cars too fast" and the intense pressure to achieve net zero.

By Tim Newark

With 800,000 British car-making jobs on the line because we’re not making enough batteries for electric vehicles, leading motor manufacturers are demanding renegotiated trade rules with the EU to give us more time to catch up.

Lord Frost, Britain’s chief negotiator for Brexit from 2019 to 2021, is clear where the fault is.

“The underlying problem is that we’re rushing at electrification of cars far too fast for the technologies we’ve got,” he insists.

“What it shows is that the expectation we had in the trade agreement when we negotiated it was that things would have moved by 2024, and that is not true.”

Vauxhall’s parent company, Stellantis, told MPs earlier this week that it would be unable to keep a commitment to make electric vehicles in the UK without changes to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU.

From next year, under the agreement, 45 percent of an electric vehicle’s parts should originate in the UK or EU to qualify for tariff-free trade between the two.

Without meeting the requirements, cars made in the UK would face a 10 percent tariff if sold in the EU – ­rendering them uncompetitive. Electric car batteries are mainly sourced from Asia and can be up to 50 percent of a car’s value.

But it’s not only car manufacturing, Lord Frost believes, but that is also under intense pressure from the rush to achieve net zero – a government commitment to ensure the UK reduces its greenhouse gas emissions by 100 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Express, Lord Frost insists: “Everyone can see we’re not ready. The [electricity supply] grid is not ready, the costs are too high; all we’re doing is needlessly causing problems for our own industry.”

Not only that but the poorest are hit hardest by the transformation.

“We are told constantly that net zero 2050 is not only something that must be done, but it’s also something that’s going to be good for you and is going to increase economic growth and everyone’s going to be better off,” he says.

“I don’t think that is true. We are replacing a lot of perfectly good ways of generating electricity with gas and nuclear for bad ways of generating it with wind and solar, so why would you not expect costs to go up?

“If we’re requiring poor technologies like heat pumps to be installed then that’s going to hit the poorest worst. If it’s good technology, people will install it anyway.

“If it’s bad and expensive technology, the Government has got to make people do it.”

Once dubbed the “greatest Frost since the Great Frost of 1709” by Boris Johnson, the 58-year-old is considered by many Tories to be a leading voice of common sense and even a potential future party leader.

A ­former diplomat, civil servant and Minister for State, he will be giving the annual lecture next week at the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

He strongly believes the Government’s policy of net zero going too fast will cause considerable damage to the UK economy, making us all poorer, especially the less well-off.

Lord Frost does not dispute that climate change is happening. Nor is he repudiating the need for green policies to combat global warming.

“But that’s not the same as saying we’re in climate crisis or emergency, and it’s not the same as saying the only choice we have is to do net zero by 2050,” he says.

“Those are political choices – they’re not scientific choices. And with all political choices, you’ve got to weigh up the pros and cons; the costs against the benefits. And that’s what we’re not doing. You don’t have to deny science to say we need to look at the way we’re going about this and whether it makes sense.”

Lord Frost says what’s especially frustrating about this debate is that many people assume if you’re sceptical about net zero then you’re not interested in protecting the environment. “They’re not the same thing at all,” he insists.

“We all want a cleaner environment. That has nothing to do with the net zero ideology. When this country was first industrialising, the environment was much more polluted than it is now. What has enabled us to improve the environment is economic growth; more efficient ways of doing things. When we get richer, we can spend on clearing up pollution.”

With China set to dominate the electric car market in Europe, and the US supplying us with shale gas, the former minister is incensed we are making other countries richer while making ourselves poorer.

“It obviously makes no sense as a policy,” he says. “As a country, we’re [responsible for] about two per cent of global emissions. We could shut down the British economy tomorrow and it would make no difference to the nature of the problem.

“We are helping [China] by off-shoring our own production and making energy more expensive. We’re going along with that and making ourselves weaker. It makes no sense in a world that’s got more dangerous.”

Energy security has to be a prime concern for Britain, especially as we import so much of our energy from unreliable foreign nations.

“More than ever now, since the Ukraine War, we need an energy system that is productive,” says Frost. “One that we can rely on and we have control over. We’re going in the other direction. We’re installing unreliable technology that has to be backed up. The wind doesn’t blow all the time so you need a back-up to fill the gap. Well, why would that not be more expensive?

“Why not just have the back-up and forget about the wind farms? With our current state of technology, the idea that renewables are going to make us more secure seems to be a total fallacy.”

He stresses how it’s all the more frustrating when we know what the solution is.

“It’s gas, moving to nuclear – that’s the way of reducing emissions in a way that powers the economy,” Lord Frost adds.

“It isn’t reducing our capacity to produce energy, crushing the economy, and making people live in a different way. I don’t think people are going to put up with that.”

Lord Frost is exasperated by the current moratorium on shale gas exploration.

“We have so much shale gas in this country that we could be tapping. A shale gas facility that’s about the size of Parliament Square can produce the same amount of power as a wind farm 10 times the size of Hyde Park.

“This is not a disruptive technology unless your vision of the future is that we don’t have any industry. All of us politicians have to care about voters but I think, in the interest of the country, you have to take on the argument.”

There’s a suggestion that we have removed the shackles of the EU, only to replace them with net zero.

“Yes, a lot of the net zero legislation is inherited through the EU and it is now in our hands to change it, but we don’t seem anxious to do so,” Frost says.

"I think people have got captured by this ideology. They believe the messaging without thinking about it rigorously.”
Full interview 
2) Mugged by reality: G7 leaders U-turn on fossil fuel subsidies

HIROSHIMA, Japan, May 20 (Reuters) - The Group of Seven rich nations believe that publicly supported investment in the gas sector can be temporarily appropriate while countries are accelerating the phasing-out of their dependency on Russia, their communique said on Saturday.

"We stress the important role that increased deliveries of LNG can play, and acknowledge that investment in the sector can be appropriate in response to the current crisis and to address potential gas market shortfalls provoked by the crisis," the document said.
3) Background: G-7 leaders favor LNG investment in U-turn on fossil fuels due to energy crisis
Bloomberg, 28 June 2022
Investments in liquefied natural gas -- already booming as Europe seeks to cut its energy dependence on Russia -- are set to get another boost, even amid longstanding climate concerns.

Leaders from the Group of Seven, representing the world’s richest economies, on Tuesday supported temporary public investments in gas projects to help navigate an unprecedented energy crisis that’s contributing to inflation and leading to more coal use in power generation.

In a statement following their summit in the Bavarian Alps, the leaders stressed “the important role increased deliveries of LNG can play” and acknowledged that “investment in this sector is necessary in response to the current crisis.”

In Europe, where LNG projects have often faced opposition on environmental grounds, the support for more LNG financing marks a political U-turn. Governments now are backing some projects for the super-chilled fuel, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent prices soaring to record levels and forced nations to seek alternative suppliers.

More than 20 European LNG projects have been announced or accelerated since March, with the potential to replace about 80% of total imports from Russia in 2021, according to FTI Consulting.

Just a few years ago, gas was losing its appeal for rich nations as they intensified efforts to meet environmental obligations.

Full story
4) King Charles backed these care homes for 40 years – now Net Zero is forcing them to close
The Daily Telegraph, 19 May 2023


A care home charity backed by the King is being forced to shut down properties because of Government net zero rules.

Martin Green, chief executive of the country's leading social care body Care England, said on Friday that the Government had “slapped another fee” on chronically underfunded care homes by introducing legislation which will force providers to meet new energy efficiency standards at great cost.

He warned care providers across the country faced closure due to the prohibitive expense of installing more energy efficient double glazing, insulation and heating systems, expected to cost social care providers hundreds of thousands of pounds.

He said: “The Government needs to see that, without help, care homes will not be able to deliver on this without losing beds.”

It came as the 60-year-old care home provider Abbeyfield, of which the King has been a patron for more than 40 years, confirmed 43 of its homes face closure because of the unmanageable costs of improving their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating to C by 2030.

In a letter seen by this newspaper, residents were this week told an extensive review had concluded the cost of upgrading its properties under government net zero plans was “too great” for the charity to meet, saying it had identified a number of homes “which can no longer be operated sustainably”.

Residents of an Abbeyfield home in Cornwall told local news reporters it was “one of the worst things I have heard in my life” and that the prospect of losing their home was keeping them up a night, while a 76-year-old resident of a care home in Wiltshire said she “didn't know why this was happening”.

Charities have warned elderly residents’ lives were at risk, due to the shock of the prospect of losing their homes.

The upgrades are necessary because of the Government's efforts to meet its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Full story
5) Net Zero Britain: The death of the cheap European holiday
The Daily Telegraph, 20 May 2023

As family budgets hit breaking point, foreign travel is becoming out of reach

The era of cheap air travel is over, proclaimed Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary last year. How right he was. A week’s trip abroad to Europe in the summer holidays used to be standard fare for middle-class families.

A seven-night trip to Italy cost £616.68 per person on average last year, according to consumer group Which? This year that same trip would cost £757.53 – an increase of 23pc.

The travel industry was rocked by the pandemic more than any other sector and responded by tempting holiday makers abroad with cheap deals as restrictions began to lift. But now airlines, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and travel agents, who are also feeling the effects of soaring inflation, are clawing back the lost revenue.

“The days of flights for under £100 are long gone,” says travel consultant Lucy Allen. “During the pandemic, travel companies were offering such fantastic deals to get people to book, but those deals aren’t going to be around anymore.”

Seemingly within a year, travel has become prohibitively expensive for many families, whose budgets are already at breaking point from rapidly increasing utility bills and steep mortgage rates. The rise in fuel costs has made flights pricier, sky-high electricity bills have been passed on by accommodation providers, and a weak pound means Britons’ cash no longer goes as far as it once did.

Full story
6) Ross Clark: Our worst suspicions have been confirmed. Net Zero will make us poorer
The Daily Telegraph, 19 May 2023


The government's hydrogen plans will add £120 to our bills. But that's just the tip of the iceberg

What has happened to the idea that net zero will make us money? After much fanfare following the Skidmore Review at the start of the year, government ministers seem to have gone rather quiet on that claim. At the same time, a picture is emerging of just how much the government’s legally binding commitment to reach net zero by 2050 may actually cost.

The latest revelation that subsidising the government’s hydrogen plans could itself involve an extra £120 added to our annual bills will cause consternation among many homeowners, not least because those plans do not now seem to involve much likelihood of installing hydrogen boilers in homes. The hope was that hydrogen boilers might serve as a cheap, drop-in solution for replacing gas boilers. The government appears now to be more in favour of forcing heat pumps on us instead – a much more expensive option which costs between £7,000 and £14,000 even for a modest home – plus possibly a further £10,000 or so to make an old house well insulated enough for a heat pump to function properly.

In other words, we may find ourselves paying our £120 a year towards the government’s hydrogen strategy but not necessarily gaining any direct benefit from it. The hydrogen may be used to help decarbonise industries such as steel-making or as a means of storing energy to make up for the times when wind and solar energy are producing very little energy, but it seems that it won’t be powering our boilers or our cars. Hydrogen cars, by the way, seem to have gone the way of hydrogen boilers. For a while they promised to be an alternative to electric cars, but very few hydrogen pumps were ever installed, and some of those have since been removed. Electric cars, which cost half as much again to buy as petrol ones, are now the only show in the net zero town.

It always seemed to me that the idea net zero would save us money was preposterous, that voluntarily depriving ourselves of well-established technologies was going to cost a vast amount, and that the idea this was a great economic opportunity was flawed.

When MPs nodded the net zero commitment through the Commons in 2019 they did so despite warnings from Philip Hammond that it could cost the country around £1 trillion. Now these costs are becoming a little clearer, shouldn’t the matter of net zero be put back before the Commons? Or if MPs won’t have a vote, then give the rest of us a referendum before the bills really start landing on the nation’s doormats.

Ross Clark is author of Not Zero: How an Irrational Target Will Impoverish You, Help China and Won't Even Save the Planet
7) Climate alarmists claim they are being abused on Twitter since Elon Musk took over
Cowboy State Daily, 18 May 2023


Climate alarmists claim they are targets for abusive and hateful attacks as they try to fight “climate denial” on Twitter since Elon Musk took over the platform. Their Twitter feeds, however, suggest they dish it out pretty good themselves.

Climate scientists are claiming that changes at Twitter following Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media platform have unleashed a wave of unfair abuse directed at them.
The platform, they claim, is now flooded with “climate denial.” 
Dr. Mark Maslin, professor of Earth System Science at University College London, told The Guardian he’s been the target of “abuse and rude comments” on Twitter as a result of him challenging the position of “climate deniers.” 
Maslin also said that, prior to Musk taking over, he used to have meetings with a top Twitter executive to coordinate efforts to ensure that “trusted information” would be pushed to the top of feed rankings. That way, perspectives Maslin disagrees with would be less likely to be seen. 
Musk laid off that department head during a purge after he bought the platform. 
No Definitions And Examples
The Guardian article doesn’t explain exactly what “climate denial” is or provide any links to or screenshots of examples of what the scientists are calling abuse. 
The article quotes Maslin and other scientists referring to “climate denial.” The article headline refers to “climate crisis deniers,” which seems to imply that “climate denial” is also disputing if climate change is producing catastrophic outcomes. 
Cowboy State Daily reached out to Maslin to ask what he believes falls outside the realm of “trusted information” and if that includes perspectives he simply disagrees with as opposed to the promotion of perspectives that challenge established, indisputable science.
Maslin was also asked if thinks it’s appropriate for a social media platform to coordinate with activists on an issue to purge perspectives they don’t agree with. 
Maslin didn’t reply. 
Hateful Canard
Dr. Judith Curry, president and co-owner of Climate Forecast Application Network, told Cowboy State Daily the issue of climate denial is “a hateful canard” that’s applied to a range of ideas that aren’t approved by a circle of climate scientists. 
Before she moved into the private sector, Curry was a professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as chair of the program. She also was a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder. 
Curry is a moderate voice in the debate. In her latest book, “Climate Uncertainty and Risk,” she argues that climate change is an exceedingly complex issue, both in terms of the science and its impacts, as well as the policies aimed at addressing it. 
“We have mischaracterized climate risk by conflating the slow incremental risks from warming (such as sea level rise) and the risks from extreme weather that have little, if anything, to do with the warming,” Curry said. 
She said in our zeal to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions, we’re jeopardizing our energy supply, which will only cause more harm than good. 
Full story
8) Princeton University Debate: Why Climate Change Is Not an Emergency


Saturday 27 May 2023; 11:00am  - 12:30pm (Eastern US time) -- 16:00 - 17:30 (BST)

Alex Zarechnak ’68, principal officer, emeritus, MPR Associates
and Richard Golden ’91, TMF Manager.
William Happer *64, Cyrus Fogg Bracket Professor of Physics, emeritus;
Bruce Everett ’69, former professor at Tufts University and Georgetown School of Foreign Service
Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace.
Event Description:
Three nationally known experts on the physics, the environment and public policy related to climate change will discuss “Why Climate Change is Not an Emergency”.
The panelists will present a data-driven discussion, open to questions from the audience.  The panel will identify the popular drivers for urgent global climate action and present insight and information to help decision makers avoid some of the unrealistic and harmful public policies being considered such as net zero carbon by 2050.  The panel will discuss why eliminating fossil fuels in the next decades will not benefit the environment but will limit life-giving energy to humans world-wide.
This topic is timely since our global, national and University leaders are making important decisions to address the consequences of climate change predicted by elaborate computer models.  
This event will be streamed live on Saturday May 27 from 11 am to 12:30 pm from Princeton University during Reunions Weekend and can be viewed at: 
9) And finally: China overtakes Japan as world’s biggest exporter of automobiles
Car Scoops, 20 May 2023


Rising sales of electric vehicles, as well as the ability to continue dealing with Russia, helped China become the world’s biggest exporter of new vehicles in the first quarter of 2023. It overtook Japan to claim the title.
Despite losing the top spot, auto exports from the island nation grew six percent, as compared to the first quarter of 2022.

However, China’s automakers shipped 58 percent more vehicles out of the country in the first three months of 2023 than they did a year earlier, reports Nikkei Asia.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reports that the nation managed to export 1.07 million vehicles in all between January and March. In that same period, Japan exported 950,000 vehicles.

A major contributing factor to that growth was the nation’s automakers’ ability to sell vehicles in Russia. Japanese automakers joined companies from other countries politically aligned with the U.S. in pulling out of the market following its invasion of Ukraine. China’s did not, and their exports to the market tripled to 140,000 early this year.

The country’s electric expertise also helped propel its exports. Exports of Chinese EVs nearly doubled in the first quarter of the year to 380,000 units. As a result, they accounted for nearly 40 percent of all of its exports.

Full story

The London-based Net Zero Watch is a campaign group set up to highlight and discuss the serious implications of expensive and poorly considered climate change policies. The Net Zero Watch newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

No comments: