Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Britain's Climate Madness or something else......

I always worry when I see that dreaded phrase "outstanding economist" just before an anti-climate change essay.

Ruth Lea has been given that accolade ahead of her essay on why she believes "Britain Leads The World In Global Warming Madness" and that Britain has a "dangerously flawed energy policy".

You will not be surprised to know that Ruth would consider herself, I am sure, to the right on any regular political spectrum.

The essay is always worth reading for balance but is entirely depressing. She even quotes the famous "modest warming may be economically beneficial". For who exactly? Possibly not your average farmer in Bangladesh.

Guest Essay: Britain’s Climate Madness [Global Warming Politics]

On June 26, 2008, the Prime Minister unveiled his Government’s renewable energy strategy for building a “low carbon economy”. This will involve the building of 7,000 wind turbines (3,000 at sea, and 4,000 on land) by 2020, expand other renewable energy, such as micro-generation, tidal- and wave-power, and will require £100bn of investment from the private sector (heavily subsidised by the consumer). Nuclear power will also be encouraged. The centre piece of the strategy is the planned expansion of wind turbines, which are almost universally disliked by those who have to live near to them. But, aesthetics aside, the strategy is unworkable, expensive, and irresponsible.

This is where is gets predictably depressing. Given my recent penchant for all things apocalyptic I need to include the following paragraphs. The right wing never seem to stop. The more the economy suffers the more often we will see essays of this type. My will to refute is draining away under the barrage.

The Bill is predicated first on the assumptions that ‘global warming’ is “dangerous” and is unquestionably mainly caused by anthropogenic carbon emissions. These assumptions are, of course, inherent in the work of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which provided the quasi-scientific background for the path-breaking Kyoto Protocol of 1997. Secondly, they rely on Lord Nicholas Stern’s report, based on the IPCC’s apocalyptic projections of a frizzling planet, exhorting us to spend now to prevent this fate, or to fry and/or drown later.(4) Woe betide any foolish soul who dares to speak out against this orthodoxy.

But the notion that there is a scientific consensus on this matter is simply not true. Many scientists, though they risk their funding and the wrath of the Royal Society, are prepared to acknowledge that the sun has an infinitely greater role to play than humankind in climate change. Moreover, climate change in the form of modest warming is likely to be, on balance, economically beneficial. And, inconveniently for the doomsayers, there has been no ‘global warming’ for a decade.


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