Britain's Green Tea Party
Published in: Daily Mail
Chris Huhne, the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has indulged in some more LibDem juvenile name-calling by likening the Tories to the US Tea Party (they should be so lucky) in order to brand his Coalition partners as wacky hard-right extremists (this is what in LibDem circles passes for the doctrine of collective Cabinet responsibility). It is of course Huhne himself who, of all the Coalition ministers, most qualifies for the title of Secretary of State for Fanaticism and Ideological Idiocy.
For Huhne is the UK political leader of the Green Tea Party, otherwise known as anthropogenic global warming zealots. No matter that the ‘science’ underlying the AGW theory has been overwhelmingly shown to be intrinsically flawed, sloppy or blatantly corrupt. No matter that claim after claim made by the AGW proponents has been shown to be false (the latest demarche involves the prestigious Times Atlas of the World, which was discovered to have exaggerated the effects of climate change when Cambridge university scientists pointed out that its map showing the apparent disappearance of 115,830 sq miles of ice from Greenland had no basis in science and was contradicted by recent satellite images).
No matter that there is in fact no reputable evidence to suggest that the world is about to fry and that mankind is responsible. A few days ago, the latest in a long line of distinguished scientists finally said he’d had enough of this anti-scientific nonsense when Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever resigned as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, condemning the Society’s official stand on global warming:
‘In 2007, the APS adopted an official statement that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities were changing the atmosphere in ways that affected the Earth's climate.
‘ “The evidence is incontrovertible: global warming is occurring,” the APS stated. “If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” ’
‘Giaever, an 82-year-old Norwegian, sent an e-mail to APS official Kate Kirby announcing his abrupt resignation. He said he “cannot live with the statement “on global warming, and said that global temperature had been “amazingly stable”.’
But hey, what do evidence or reason matter to a zealot riding the fashionable zeitgeist? Huhne’s energy policy is geared around combating climate change through reducing dependence on fossil fuels by increasing the use of renewable, ‘low carbon’ green energy sources and systems.
Leave aside for the moment the argument that the whole AGW theory is a scam and a fraud of epic dimensions. The fact is that there is precious little man can do to affect the climate, one of the most complex eco-systems in the whole of nature; and furthermore even less that can be done by Britain, which is responsible for only a tiny fraction of global carbon production.
Yet despite all these macro and the micro objections Huhne – backed by the Prime Minister who turned the Tories green as a PR strategy -- is subjecting Britain to a policy which is loading green taxes onto consumers, crippling businesses and potentially destroying thousands of jobs. And all this when the British economy is refusing to grow and there are serious fears of a double-dip recession.
Nor is this madness confined to Britain. It seems to be becoming a bit of a speciality for cultures in steep decline which obviously want to obtain that little bit of extra push finally to send them over the edge of the cliff. Worried that the EU is going bankrupt, free-falling under the burdens of chronic debt, high unemployment, dying populations and the terminal blow of the Euro? Well never fear! The EU is now the world leader in Green Energy Transition. As Andrew McKillop, a former energy expert at the European Commission writes, this strategy is currently mired in an extraordinary absence of realism and coherence:
‘The policy set driving Europe’s green energy transition plan and programmes is incoherent, relying heavily on unsure and scientifically disputed claims that global warming is a crisis, as well as energy security, job creation and environmental concerns.
‘Current goals and strategies are in most cases neither sustainable nor rational... Presently we have a lose-lose context for all players except financial, and for them and as ever, this is short term gain only. Overall costs for achieving any specific level of green energy development are massively raised by this lose-lose context, which can only drive a general loss of credibility for green energy.'
Meanwhile other aspects of the sustainable energy revolution in the UK are also looking a bit... well, green round the gills. Huhne says he wants to help people save money on their energy bills. Bless! Time to promote those energy efficient solar panels which cut out the nasty capitalist middle-man by going straight to the sun? Alas, turns out that solar panels aren’t so hot after all:
‘A trial of the Coalition’s £3 billion “green deal”, under which householders can take out government-backed loans of up to £10,000 to improve energy efficiency, showed that in some cases bills rose despite the measures.
‘... It states: “A limited number reported they had checked their bill savings or checked the amount of electricity the solar panels were generating and the actuals were less than the predicted.” ’
Oh dear. Well, what about the Coalition’s exciting flagship £1.2 million ‘retrofit’ scheme under which householders are offered a package of free energy-efficiency improvements?
Alas, research suggests that this scheme could fail to meet national carbon reduction targets, leaving a 26 per cent ‘carbon black hole’ (some confusion of scientific terms here, surely?):
‘Research from Affinity Sutton shows social landlords undertaking the government’s green deal face a multi-million pound funding gap and will fall far short of the target to cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
‘Trialling three packages of energy efficiency works - a low (£6,500), medium (£10,000) and high (£25,000) package - on 102 homes in different locations, Future Fit found that the low package, which is indicative of the amount the green deal will spend on each home, achieved only an 18 per cent cut in carbon emissions.
‘For each home there was a funding gap of around £3,000 between the net cost of the works and the value of the energy savings.
‘In addition, the report found just 4.8 per cent of the 800 residents approached took up the offer of free energy improvement works initially. The low response rate suggests residents are not interested in retrofit work.’
‘Not interested’, eh? Tsk tsk! If these householders aren’t careful, they’ll soon find that they too are being targeted as Tea Party types and demonised as enemies of humanity. That’s what happens when people think for themselves these days and realise that the emperor really does have no clothes – particularly if those clothes are green.