Climate Change Act

REPORT: WHAT'S WRONG WITH STERN?

read more 

PETER LILLEY VS NICK STERN: ANOTHER REBUTTAL Read here

  • Date: 10/01/13 

Last week, Peter Lilley MP sent this letter to the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in response to a complaint about Lilley’s GWPF report What is Wrong with the Stern Report?


REPEAL THE ACT! CAMPAIGN POSTERS AND FLYERS ARE HERE

SUPPORT FOR REPEAL IS INCREASING

4 leading think tanks call for repeal of the

Climate Change Act 

Download a copy of HERE and send it to your MP

Peter Lilley MP explains why he voted against the Climate Change Act, because it is all costs with no benefits

 

 


The Climate Change Act Reconsidered 

Prof Richard S. Lindzen

Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Seminar

(Global Warming: How to approach the science) held at the House of Commons Committee Room 14 Westminster, London on the 22nd February 2012

Part one

(Full seminar slides HERE)

 

Richard Lindzen: Response To The Critique Of My House Of Commons Lecture  HERE

 

A write up in The Independent by Simon Carr 

Is catastrophic global warming, like the Millennium Bug, a mistake? HERE

 

Here is how Professor Lindzen began his speech, which was organised on behalf of the Campaign To Repeal the Climate Change Act:

"Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should.  The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.”

The Climate Change Act Reconsidered

MIT Prof Richard S. Lindzen Seminar

(Global Warming: How to approach the science) held at the House of Commons Committee Room 14 Westminster, London on the 22nd February 2012

Part two

THE  Q & A SESSION

TRANSCRIPT HERE

"CLIMATE CHANGE ACT RECONSIDERED" 

30 NOVEMBER 2011 HOUSE OF COMMONS COMMITTEE ROOM 14

 

 

Chairperson: Dr Philip Stott, Emeritus Professor of Biogeography at SOAS the University of London, and was Editor-in Chief of the International Journal of Biogeography. 

Speakers:

Ruth Lea, former Economic Adviser and Director of Arbuthnot Banking Group and Director of Global Vision. She was a Governor of the London School of Economics. Ruth will speak on the impact of the Climate Change Act (including the Renewables Directive) on energy prices, manufacturing and business.

Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist (winner of the Hayek prize), will speak on the potential for shale gas. 

Prof Ian Plimer is Australia‘s best-known geologist and author of Heaven and Earth, Global warming: the missing science and How to get expelled from School: a guide to climate change for pupils parents and punters. 

Donna Laframboise, journalist and author of The Delinquent Teenager who was mistaken for the world‘s top climate expert - an in depth investigation into the IPCC.



THE CLIMATE CHANGE ACT IS A TAX ON EVERYTHING

 

The Climate Change Act is having huge social and economic consequences, which MPs can no longer ignore. 

 The EU's and UK's climate and energy policies are too expensive, too ambitious, too complex - and ineffective.  The government's blind faith in drastically reducing CO2 emissions and liberalising energy markets will profit only a select group of companies and officials at the expense of everyone else. MPs would do well to rethink these policies - before the public rises up in anger.

Under the UK’s Climate Change Act the government is currently legally committed to cutting emissions by 35 per cent by 2022 and 50 per cent by 2025. In contrast, the EU is only committed to cutting emissions 20 per cent by 2020, and while the UK and a number of other countries are lobbying Brussels for this target to be increased to 30 per cent several member states remain resistant to any change. 

At the Conservative Party Conference the Chancellor George Osborne expressed concerns that the climate and energy policy is:

 “piling costs on the energy bills of households and companies” and argued that the government should not adopt green targets that damage the business sector.

“We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business,” he said. “So let’s at the very least resolve that we’re going to cut our carbon emissions no slower but also no faster than our fellow countries in Europe.”

He also stressed, "the UK accounts for less than two per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 40 per cent from the US and China, warning that if the UK attempts to cut emissions too quickly carbon intensive businesses will simply migrate overseas.”

Reports also indicate that fuel poverty will kill 2,700 people in the UK this winter, more than were killed in the twin towers terrorist attacks and more than the UK’s road deaths. 

Skyrocketing energy bills have forced 6 million households in fuel poverty and the proposed Carbon Floor Price will increase this number to 12 million - that is 1 in 4 households. Recent reports indicate that the ‘Green Deal’ will not work to alleviate this serious problem.

The NHS spends 850 million a year on cold related illnesses.

Food manufactures have warned us that soaring energy costs are increasing food prices.

UK food producers currently face energy bills that are 10% higher than rivals in Germany  and the gap is set to widen to 15% in April 2013, when the government introduces the Carbon Floor Price - these cost will be passed on to the consumer.

Air travel is becoming increasingly unaffordable. The UK has the highest flight tax in the world. UK charges are 8.5 times more than the average in the rest of Europe. City analysts estimate that the cost for airlines of joining the ETS will be around €1bn this year and €10.4bn in total between now and the end of 2020. By then, it will cost airlines some €3bn annually. The new green taxes will inevitably increase the cost for airlines and much of this will be passed on to passengers.

It is time to repeal the Climate Change Act. 

 

WHAT IS THE CLIMATE CHANGE ACT 2008?


The UK is unique in being the only country in the world that has introduced a long-term legally binding framework to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in an attempt to stop the climate from changing. The Climate Change Bill was introduced into Parliament on 14 November 2007 and received Royal Assent on 26 November 2008.

This Act provides a legal framework for ensuring that Government meets its commitments to stop the climate from changing.

The Act requires that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are reduced by at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. The 2050 target was raised to 80% from 60% following recommendations set out by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) in a
letter to Secretary of State Ed Miliband in October 2008.

The Act also introduces legally binding carbon dioxide budgets, which will set a ceiling on the levels of greenhouse gases that can be emitted into the atmosphere. The CCC’s first report “Building a low-carbon economy” advised on the level of these budgets for the first three five year periods.

The CCC monitors and reports back to Parliament annually on progress made by Government in meeting carbon budgets.

The Climate Change Act 2008 also established the Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) as a body to advise the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) on climate risks in the UK.

Under the Climate Change Act 2008 the Government has the power to require public authorities and statutory undertakers (including the utilities) to report on how they have assessed the risks of climate change to their work, and what they are doing to address these risks.

 

 SUMMARY OF TWO KEY AIMS OF THE ACT:

improve carbon management, helping the transition towards a low-carbon economy in the UK

demonstrate UK leadership internationally, signalling we are committed to taking our share of responsibility for reducing global emissions in the context of developing negotiations on a post-2012 global agreement at Copenhagen in December 2009. 

See full list of aims here




A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE BILL



A young English literature graduate and environmental activist Bryony Worthington (now Baroness Worthington) employed by Friends of the Earth originally came up the idea of having national carbon dioxide (CO2) budgets for Britain to stop the climate from changing. Friends of the Earth took up this idea and called for a Climate Change Bill, with CO2 budgets and reductions targets. 

Thus the “Big Ask” campaign was launched in 2005 and led by Tony Juniper, who was at that time the director of Friends of the Earth, and Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

For further information on the history of the “Big Ask” campaign, and the Draft Climate Change Bill, which originally called for a 3% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, see here

You may remember that this campaign used extremely alarmist propaganda videos based upon many false claims made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC to get the public and MPs to sign up and support a Climate Change Bill. [See a list of False Alarms here]

After all of the recent climate science scandals from the Climategate emails ‘hide the decline’ in the rate of global warming scandal, to the fact that the IPCC based claims about ‘Disappearing Mountain Ice’ on a student dissertation and magazine article, and that the Himalayan glaciers melt down by 2035 was just another scientific blunder of which they are now many, many more. (See Channel 4 News Report) Knowing all this, it is impossible to believe that such a campaign for a Climate Change Bill would gain any support today.

Reportedly, 130,000 people supported the "Big Ask"campaign, (some have argued that this total reflects the number of Radiohead fans in the UK - Radiohead, by the way, has sold over 30 million records worldwide).   In fact this number may just represent the rank and file supporters of environmentalist NGO groups in the UK, which have been active over the last 50 years largely funded by Green Foundations and the British taxpayer [See video here]. Either way, 130,000 is a tiny minority of the UK's 62 million population.

 

GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF ENVIRONMENTALIST NGOs DISTORT POLICYMAKING IN FAVOUR OF NARROW POLITICAL ELITES  

 

Here is the Executive Summary from a report by the Taxpayers’ Alliance on 'Taxpayer Funded Environmentalism': Read full PDF report here: 

The funding of lobbying and political campaigning by government bodies has a number of negative effects: 

  • It distorts policymaking in favour of the interests and ideological preoccupations of narrow political elites.
  • It slows adjustments in the direction of policy in reaction to new evidence or circumstances 
  • It increases political apathy among the public. 
  • Taxpayers are forced to fund views they may seriously disagree with.

The Government has taken some important strides towards making public spending more transparent and addressing the issue of taxpayer funded campaigning and lobbying.  They need to go further and end taxpayer funded politics.

 

Examples of taxpayer funded environmentalism: see video here


The World Wildlife Fund WWF £1,002,68

Friends of the Earth £800,602

Women’s Environmental Network £38,734

Climate Action Network Europe £231,188

Green Alliance £55,424


 

 

THE PUBLIC REJECTED THE 10:10 CAMPAIGN


The failure of the 10:10 campaign, launched in 2009 by environmental activist Fanny Armstrong, is further evidence that the public does not support the rapid shift to a low-carbon dioxide economy. The 10:10 campaign asked the UK and developed world to cut its carbon emissions by 10% by the end of 2010 to “avoid passing the tipping point” - after 2 years of campaigning, and full support from politicians and the media, only 77,171 people in the UK signed up to this campaign.  And just 14,000 green activists wrote letters to David Cameron in support of increasing Britain's CO2 budgets. Clearly there is a disconnect between the people, parliament and environmental NGOs.

According to Ben Pile:

"NGOs have been co-opted by governments and politicians for two reasons. The first is that supposition that NGOs can make government policies appear to be responsive to needs, be they social or environmental. The ‘ethical’ stamp of approval from self-appointed activists thereby gain some semblance of legitimacy: ‘it doesn’t matter that nobody is voting for us, we’re saving the planet’. The second is a supposition that NGOs can help to reconnect the gap between politicians and the public.

But NGOs are neither democratic nor accountable. Their influence is not legitimate. But there’s worse news for Miliband. The idea that NGOs can mobilise popular support is a proven failure. Back in 2009, Miliband, conscious of the fact that the government’s climate policies lacked democratic legitimacy, asked the environmental movement to come up with some bodies:

"When you think about all the big historic movements, from the suffragettes, to anti-apartheid, to sexual equality in the 1960s, all the big political movements had popular mobilization. Maybe it’s an odd thing for someone in government to say, but I just think there’s a real opportunity and a need here." [See Ed & Franny video here]

The result was a shambles. Miliband grew closer to the Age of Stupid director, Franny Armstrong, who established the 10:10 campaign and the couple made many public appearances together in which she’d hector him about not taking climate seriously enough, and he’d whinge that there wasn’t enough support. What Miliband hadn’t noticed is just how totally the 10:10 campaign was incapable of generating public support. For starters, the message of Age of Stupid is profoundly anti-popular, and expresses contempt for the unwashed, ever-consuming masses and their desires for more, better, faster, cheaper. This was epitomised in their attempts to ‘connect’ with the public with an advert depicting the violent and bloody murder of individuals — including children — who didn’t appear to be taking the climate message seriously. Climate sceptics, for all the rumours that oil companies give $millions to ‘deniers’ to ‘distort’ the public perception of the climate debate could not have created anything that so succinctly captured the nastiest side of the environmental movement and its character.

The 10:10 campaign’s ill-judged attempt to ‘communicate’ across the divide demonstrated that NGOs serve as outsourced government departments." (Climate Resistance)


HOW THE £18.3 BILLION PER YEAR CLIMATE CHANGE BILL WAS DRAFTED IN JUST 3 MONTHS WITH LITTLE OR NO SCRUTINY 


 

See video here how this major piece of legislation - the most costly Act ever to be put through Parliament - which will cost us £18.3 billion a year for the next 40 years - was drafted in just 3 months with little or no scrutiny and then rapidly pushed through parliament.  Even Baroness Worthington admits that:

"basically, we were able to outwit them [the Treasury] a little bit by moving quickly so that was another element that led to it being successful." 

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT EXTRACT 

 Baroness Byrony Worthington: 

"We were a team of I think about eight of us working full time - tasked with preparing a draft bill, and not just a fairly large bill, but also in a quite short period of time. David Miliband was convinced he was going to be reshuffled off to another department. So he wanted action fast. So he said: "I want this bill in three months.”  So the lawyers all said, "No, no, no... you can’t get a bill done in three months.  It will take six or may be a year.” And we said, “Well, we’ve only got three months so let’s try it.  

And that speed was another key factor, that looking back on it was really important, because one thing that Whitehall is very good at doing is producing huge amounts of documents, and papers, and concepts, and notes, but if you are moving fast often if you bombard people with huge amounts of information they will usually find a couple of things that they object to and then you have to have a process of negotiation on those one or two issues as opposed to the minute of every single clause, every single policy.   

So we were fortunate in away that, because... let’s not pretend that the Government was united in wanting this.  The Department of the Environment was very in favour, DFID was in favour, FCO was pretty much in favour, but certainly the Treasury thought this was a terrible idea and the Department of Business thought it was a terrible idea and largely because they felt the UK acting alone would be really detrimental to our competitiveness.  And here we were proposing a self-imposed target that was going to last until 2050.  And it would introduce costs and force businesses to move overseas...and the world was going to end, according to the Treasury.  And we kept saying, “We don’t think that’s true.  It’s all very moderate, very manageable and it’s important, because we have got to show leadership,” and it was. 

So we ended up arguing with the Treasury more on the principle than on the detail. Because we were moving so fast, that they had may be one or two policy people covering our brief. Whereas, we had a team of lawyers, and us and all our special advisors. And we were - basically, we were able to outwit them a little bit by moving quickly so that was another element that led to it being successful."   

Ed Miliband, who as Minister of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the previous UK Labour government, was responsible for introducing the 2008 Climate Change Act, and for making Bryony Worthington a Labour peer in the House of Lords. 

Baroness Bryony Worthington is also the founder of Sandbag which is a campaigning organisation currently focused on emissions trading. A fellow director of Sandbag is Mike Mason who is also the Managing Director of Climate Care, a carbon offsetting organisation.  

Both Tony Juniper and Baroness Byrony Worthington are board members of the 10:10 campaign which produced this 'Splattergate' video see here

(Incidentally, there was money to be made at COP15 Copenhagen. These three climate scaremongers are clearly in it for the money and self-promotion. Just see how Franny Armstrong, Tony Juniper and Thom Yorke all engaged in a bit of live self-promotion during COP 15 Copenhagen. Franny sells her film, Tony tells us that he is a Green Party candidate and Thom has a new album. See more


 

WHAT IS THE STERN REVIEW?

 

Economics Professor Colin Robinson - The Stern Review and Climate Change Policy from Institute of Economic Affairs on Vimeo.

Download free copy: IEA Climate Change Policy: Challenging the Activists 

 

 

 

Climate Alarmism Reconsidered 

A robust examination and critique of statist solutions to energy and environmental problems.

IEA free copy here  application/pdf icondownload full publication

 

Bradley sets out to prove the following:

There is no danger that the world will ever run out of
fossil fuels; as supplies of cheap natural gas and oil
grow short, superabundant hydrocarbons such as
heavy oil and tar sands stand ready.

 

Pollution from fossil fuel use is steadily declining and
poses little threat to human health. 

 

A moderately warmer and wetter world from either
natural or man-made causes promises more benefits
than costs.

 

Renewable fuels – such as wind and solar – are not
able to supply more than a tiny share of the energy
now produced by fossil fuels.

See also:

Climate Change Policy: Challenging the Activists by Colin Robinson et al.

Global Warming False Alarms by Russell Lewis.

Climate Change: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom , edited by Julian Morris and with contributions from Robert Balling, Roger Bate, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, Deepak Lal and Thomas Gale Moore.

Climate change articles on the IEA blog.

 


The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is a 700-page report released for the British government on October 30, 2006 by economist Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and also chair of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) at Leeds University and LSE. In short, the Stern Review is the economic report used to justified the need for the Climate Change Act. Its main argument speculated on the possible effect of global warming on the world economy. Although not the first economic report on climate change, it is significant as the largest and most widely known and discussed report of its kind.[1]

The Review states that climate change is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen, presenting a unique challenge for economics.[2]The Review provides prescriptions including environmental taxes to minimize the economic and social disruptions. The Stern Review's main conclusion is that the benefits of strong, early action on climate change far outweigh the costs of not acting.[3] The Review points to the potential impacts of climate change on water resources, food production, health, and the environment.

According to the Review, without action, the overall costs of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global gross domestic product (GDP) each year, now and forever. Including a wider range of risks and impacts could increase this to 20% of GDP or more.

The Review proposes that one per cent of global GDP per annum is required to be invested in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change. In June 2008, Stern increased the estimate for the annual cost of achieving stabilisation between 500 and 550 ppm CO2e to 2% of GDP to account for faster than expected climate change[4]

 

CRITICISM OF THE STERN REVIEW ON THE ECONOMICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

 

There has been a mixed reaction to the Stern Review from economists. Several economists have been critical of the Review,[5][6] for example, a paper by Byatt et al. (2006) describes the Review as "deeply flawed".[7]

Some economists have argued that the Stern Review overestimates the present value of the costs of climate change, and underestimates the costs of emission reduction. Other critics have argued that the economic cost of the proposals put forward by Stern would be severe, or that the scientific consensus view on global warming, on which Stern relied, is incorrect.

Soon after publication of the Stern Review, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Nigel Lawson gave a lecture at the Centre for Policy Studies, briefly criticising the Review and warning of what he called "eco-fundamentalism".[8] In 2008, Lawson gave evidence before the House of CommonsTreasury Select Committee, criticising the Review. [9]

 

IEA Climate Change Debate - Nigel Lawson from Institute of Economic Affairs on Vimeo.

 

 

Lord Nigel Lawson was, and still is, highly critical of the costs of climate change legislation and stated that:


“If I had to sum up the Stern Review in a single word I would say that it is fraudulent...another dodgy dossier.” See video here and here.


Lord Lawson also stated in his book An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming, see here.  “... one country in the world has decided to buck the trend, and intensify its commitment to cutting back, unilaterally, its carbon emissions. That country is the United Kingdom, with the passage of the Climate Change Act. This may well go down in history as the most absurd piece of legislation any British parliament has ever passed.” (p.114) 

In 2009 Ed Miliband and Lord Lawson also debated the costly climate change policy on the Daily Politics Show here.  

Lord Lawson is also the Chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation see here.

In an article in the Daily Telegraph (2006), Ruth Lea, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, questions the scientific consensus on climate change on which the Stern Review is based. She says that "authorities on climate science say that the climate system is far too complex for modest reductions in one of the thousands of factors involved in climate change (i.e., carbon emissions) to have a predictable effect in magnitude, or even direction." Lea questions the long-term economic projections made in the Review, commenting that economic forecasts for just two or three years ahead are usually wrong. Lea goes on to describe the problem of drawing conclusions from combining scientific and economic models as "monumentally complex", and doubts whether the international cooperation on climate change, as argued for in the Review, is really possible. In conclusion, Lea says that the real motive behind the Review is to justify increased tax on fuels. [10]



Environmental writer Bjørn Lomborg criticised the Stern Review in OpinionJournal:

Mr. Stern's core argument that the price of inaction would be extraordinary and the cost of action modest [...] falls apart when one actually reads the 700-page tome. Despite using many good references, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is selective and its conclusion flawed. Its fear-mongering arguments have been sensationalized, which is ultimately only likely to make the world worse off. [11]

Reason magazine's science correspondent Ronald Bailey describes the "destructive character" of the Stern Review's policy proposals, saying that, "Surely it is reasonable to argue that if one wants to help future generations deal with climate change, the best policies would be those that encouraged economic growth. This would endow future generations with the wealth and superior technologies that could be used to handle whatever comes at them including climate change. [...] So hurrying the process of switching from carbon-based fuels along by boosting energy costs means that humanity will have to delay buying other good things such as clean water, better sanitation, more and better food, and more education."[12]

Commenting on the Review's suggested increases in environmental tax, the British Chambers of Commerce have pointed to the dangers to business of additional taxation.[13] The Business, a British magazine, reported that cost estimates for reducing emissions in the Stern Review are wrong. This is based on a leaked United Nations report obtained by the magazine, which says that mitigating climate change could cost up to 5% of global gross domestic product.[14] Journalist Fraser Nelson argues that “if the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change figures are right, they open up the possibility that the British proposals would cost as much as they save, making them redundant.”

Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute, a US libertarian think-tank, criticized Stern's conclusion, taking a calculation by himself. [15]

Stern’s investment advice makes sense only if you think that warming will hammer GDP by 10% a year. You don’t gain much at all from emission cuts, however, if you think GDP will only drop by 5% a year if we do nothing. And if you think warming will only cost the global economy 2% of GDP every year, [...] then Stern’s investment advice is [sheer] lunacy. 

In the BBC radio programme The Investigation, a number of economists and scientists argued that Stern assumptions in the Review are far more pessimistic than those made by most experts in the field, and that the Review's conclusions are at odds with the mainstream view (Cox and Vadon, 2007).[16]

Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, challenged the Labour Government in 2008 to provide an opportunity for full public scrutiny of the costs and benefits of the Climate Change Act.
 
He said:

“Revised figures which showed a massive increase in the projected costs of the measure were sneaked out recently without any publicity whatsoever."
 

“I have written to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, asking him to explain the truly remarkable increase in costs and to justify the thinking behind the astonishing change in expected benefits. I have yet to receive a reply."
 

“By the government’s own figures, this measure could cost every household in the country between£16,000 and £20,000. That’s a lot of money and everyone should expect clarity and openness about why it’s being spent."
 
“So far, the government seems unwilling or unable to debate this very important matter.”
See a copy of Peter Lilley’s letter to Ed Miliband here.  
 

Peter Lilley MP was also interviewed on Russia Today about the Climategate “hide the decline” in temperature e-mail scandal and also mentioned his concerns about the UKs Climate Change Act here.

Philip Davies MP  has also expressed his opposition to the Climate Change Act  here

This is a transcript of Philip Davies' main points:

“...I was one of the five MPs that voted against the Climate Change Bill in parliament.  Whether climate change is happening or not - they used to call it global warming - but we haven’t had any of that for 15 years, so they call it climate change.  

But, since it’s not really a question of is global warming happening or not. Or whether it’s man-made or not. In many respects, the point is unilateral action is absolutely pointless. The UK is responsible for less than 2 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. China’s carbon emissions increase each year by more than the UKs total.  So us spending £400 billion, as the Government say it will cost to implement the Climate Change Bill, is spitting in the wind.  

By definition global warming must, and can only be tackled globally, so us doing things by ourselves won’t make any difference and the idea that if we do something, everybody else will follow suit was blown out of the water at Copenhagen.  So no the Government shouldn’t be doing more, they should be doing less.”


 

 WHAT HAPPENED AT COP 15 COPENHAGEN IN 2009?

 

One of the key aims on the Climate Change Act was to "demonstrate UK leadership internationally" and to get a "global agreement at Copenhagen in December 2009." This failed. Other nations are not prepared to sign up to an agreement to reduce their CO2 emissions, make energy more expensive, and put job and their economies at risk.

 

 

ED MILIBAND'S FAILURE AT COP 15 COPENHAGEN IN 2009 MEANS THE KEY AIM OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE ACT HAS NOT BEEN MET - BRITAIN'S 'GO IT ALONE' CO2 EMISSIONS CUTS ARE POINTLESS

 

 

 

WHAT HAPPENED AT COP 16 CANCUN?

AGAIN THE USA, INDIA AND CHINA - THE LARGEST CO2 EMITTERS WILL NOT SIGN UP TO CUTS IN CO2

 

 

Also see these highly critical reports on the Government's climate and energy policy:


Lord Turnbull: The Really Inconvenient Truth

Former Cabinet Secretary Questions Blind Faith In Climate Alarmism

pdf For the full report click here

 

Gordon Hughes: The Myth Of Green Jobs

Professor Hughes' report on the myth of green jobs. 

pdf For the full report click here

 

BACK TO REALITY: BRITAIN PUTS CLIMATE POLICY ON THE BACK BURNER



RECENT POLL DATA


In 2010 a GALLUP Poll of the UK found that 43% of the public do not think global warming posed a threat to them and their family.

   

GALLUP Poll UK  22 April 2011

Temperature rise is a part of global warming or climate change.  Do you think rising temperatures are... ?

A result of natural causes 39%

A result of human activities 37%

Both 18%

Don’t know/Refused 3%

Not aware of global warming 3%


Climate Change Survey CATI Fieldwork : February 3rd-4th 2010

Q2. Climate change and global warming

It is now an established scientific fact that climate change is largely man-made. 34%

There is a widespread theory that climate change is man-made but this has not yet been conclusively proved. 50%

Man-made climate change is environmental propaganda for which there is little or no real evidence. 14%

Don’t know. 2%


Q.3 Would you say that, in general, the risks of climate change and its possible consequences proportionately, or do you think they have been exaggerated?

Understated 25%

Exaggerated 36%

Don’t know 4%


Just 25% of the British public agree with low-carbon energy 

Q10. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement:

“It is vital to stick to Government plans for creating a low-carbon power industry even if it means higher bills.

SUM: Agree 25%

Strongly agree 4%
Somewhat agree 21%
Neither agree nor disagree 29%
Strongly disagree 13%

SUM: Disagree 42%

(Populus Poll June 2011)


 

We can see from these poll results that the general public is increasingly sceptical about global warming and has, quite rightly, rejected the sick minded alarmist propaganda and exaggerated claims of the environmentalist movement.  See video examples of this hereherehere and here 

We strongly argue, that the Climate Change Bill was never truly democratically tested, by being included in a party political manifesto.  If it had been the Climate Change Bill would have been rejected in favour of economic growth, as can be seen from this recent survey "a third of Britons would foster economic growth even at the risk of damaging the environment". (Angus Reid Public Opinion

Further evidence for the lack of public support for decarbonisation came in June this year when just 25% of the British public said they agreed with low-carbon energy (Energy Poll Populus 12 June 2011) There is no mass support for environmentalism or decarbonising the economy.

In addition to this evidence, the Green Alliance has just produced a report which concludes local councils are not concerned about carbon dioxide budgets and targets in fact:

“climate change work has narrowed, is very weak or absent in 65 per cent of local authorities.”

We conclude, there is no support from civil society for the Climate Change Act's unilateral decarbonisation policy madness. (See report:"Is localism delivering for climate change?" here)

 

Another recent report finds Britons more concerned with keeping warm than worrying about the environment  (The Independent 7 November 2011)

Britain's carbon emissions grew faster than the economy last year for the first time since 1996, as a cash-strapped population relegated the environment down its league of concerns and spent more money keeping warm, according to a new report.

The rise in Britain's so-called carbon intensity increases the danger that the country will miss legally binding targets on reducing emissions, warns PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the consultancy behind the report.

Leo Johnson, partner for sustainability and climate change at PwC, said: "Our analysis points unambiguously towards one conclusion, that we are at the limits of what is achievable in terms of carbon reduction.

"The G20 economies have moved from travelling too slowly in the right direction to travelling in the wrong direction. The results call into question the likelihood of global decarbonisation ever happening rapidly enough to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius," Mr Johnson added.

Experts calculate that limiting global warming to 2 degrees would require a 4.8 per cent decrease in carbon intensity every year until 2050 – meaning that emissions need to grow by 4.8 per cent less than the economy every year over that period.

However, global emissions jumped by 5.8 per cent in 2010, while gross domestic product (GDP) increased by just 5.1 per cent in 2010 – resulting in a 0.6 per cent rise in carbon intensity.

The UK recorded the third highest increase in carbon intensity among the G20 group of leading economies last year, as hard-up consumers and companies increasingly dropped green considerations in the pursuit of the cheapest, short-term option. Furthermore, the year was sandwiched between two bitterly cold winters, leaving people with no option but to turn up their heating.

Jonathan Grant, director of sustainability and climate change at PwC, said:

"When money is tight people's attention goes elsewhere and it becomes harder to implement high-cost, low-carbon technologies."

"Many people have higher priorities than climate change right now, it is probably fair to say." 

(Read more here)

 

CHANCELLOR ARGUES GREEN TAXES ARE A JOB KILLER

 

Chancellor hints he could water down UK’s ambitious carbon targets

(Monday, 03 October 2011 James Murray, The Guardian)

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference on Monday, the Chancellor accused environmental regulations of:

 “piling costs on the energy bills of households and companies” and argued that the government should not adopt green targets that damage the business sector.

“We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business,” he said. “So let’s at the very least resolve that we’re going to cut our carbon emissions no slower but also no faster than our fellow countries in Europe.”

He also stressed the UK accounts for less than two per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 40 per cent from the US and China, warning that if the UK attempts to cut emissions too quickly carbon intensive businesses will simply migrate overseas.”

Under the UK’s Climate Change Act the government is currently legally committed to cutting emissions by 35 per cent by 2022 and 50 per cent by 2025. In contrast, the EU is only committed to cutting emissions 20 per cent by 2020, and while the UK and a number of other countries are lobbying Brussels for this target to be increased to 30 per cent several member states remain resistant to any change.” (Full story)

 

IRELAND SAYS NO TO CLIMATE CHANGE BILL:

Hogan shifts policy on climate change as Bill 'not a priority'

A RADICAL shift in policy on climate change is to be outlined by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan today, when he announces that a climate change Bill is not a priority. Read more here

 

THE CLIMATE CHANGE ACT HAS INCREASED FUEL POVERTY

 

  • 5.5 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS LIVE IN FUEL POVERTY

 

  • 27,000 EXCESS WINTER DEATHS LAST YEAR

 

  • 2,700 DEATHS EXPECTED THIS YEAR AS DIRECT RESULT OF FUEL POVERTY - MORE THAN THE 2,606 DEATHS IN THE TWIN TOWERS TERRORIST ATTACKS OR UK ROAD DEATHS!

 

  • 12 MILLION HOUSESHOLDS WILL BE PUSHED INTO FUEL POVERTY - THAT'S 1 IN 4 - WITH THE PROPOSED CARBON FLOOR PRICE


According to Channel 4 News, an interim independent report predicts that 2,700 people will die this winter as a consequence of fuel poverty, a figure greater than the number killed in traffic accidents each year.


A report from Ben Pile: Fuel poverty is a direct consequence of the UK’s energy policies. The government and others have argued otherwise, and blamed ‘the market’ for rising prices. But this isn’t good enough. The market does not exist in a vacuum; it exists in a world dominated by politicians who aren’t making energy a priority, and who were aware of the effect of their policies on energy prices long ago. Rather than allowing R&D and investment in energy where it is needed, politicians have given incentives to more expensive forms of production, and allowed price to coerce people into reducing their energy consumption. This is not about how much of any fuel or electricity bill is ’caused’ by a given policy, as is possible with a tax. The point is about what happens when you see energy itself as a problem, rather than make the provision of of cheap, abundant energy a political priority, if not merely possible. This is about what happens when policy-makers roll over at the merest whiff of an environmental NGO’s campaign, if governments past and present weren’t already begging them for policy ideas.

Of the 27,000 ‘excess deaths’ that occur each winter when compared to deaths which occur in the summer, 10% of them can be attributed to fuel poverty, says the Hill Report published yesterday by DECC itself.

If I’m right, and these deaths are caused by the UK’s climate and energy policies, then that effect should be compared to what the policies that caused it were intended to achieve.

As discussed in the previous post, the WHO’s World Health Report 2002 attributed 150,000 deaths a year to climate change in ‘high mortality developing countries’ (HMDCs). (Actually the figure is 148,000, but they rounded it up in the press releases).

The HDMCs are listed as the countries belonging to groups AFR-D, AFR-E, AMR-D, EMR-D, SEAR-D. Or, for those who are interested: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Togo, Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Maldives, Myanmar, and Nepal.

According to this Wikipedia page (apologies for using Wikipedia, but, dammit, it is useful sometimes) those countries have a combined population of 2,792,190,752. So that means, taking the WHO’s word for it, the 148,000 deaths caused by climate change amounted to one death in every 18,866 people living in HMDCs.

Now, the UK’s population is 62,435,709, and 2,700 people died in the UK last year as a result of fuel poverty. In other words, on in every 23,124 people in the UK died last year, because of fuel poverty, caused by the UK’s climate change and energy policies.

What else can we conclude, but that climate change policy is as dangerous as climate change? In fact it is more dangerous, because those deaths occurred in the developed world. Imagine, then, what effect climate change policies are having in the developing world — the HMDCs.

Curiously enough for a report commissioned by the DECC, the Hill Fuel Poverty Review of doesn’t meaningfully discuss the possibility that the 2,700 deaths it attributes to energy poverty can thus be attributed to the shortcomings of policy-makers and their policies. It doesn’t consider that existing policies may have been the cause of fuel poverty. It concludes…

This Chapter has looked at the underlying causes of fuel poverty and who they most affect, as well as energy use. The main findings, summarised in more detail after each section, are:
• Poorer households live in smaller dwellings, reducing potential energy bills. Social housing is also more energy efficient than private housing. Being off the gas grid is a major factor increasing energy costs. Within tenures, energy efficiency (SAP rating) is not strongly linked to income.
• Those on low incomes are least likely to be on the cheapest, direct debit, tariffs. Where customers with prepayment meters have switched supplier following a doorstep sale, almost as many
switched to a worse as to a better deal.
• The net effect of government policies on different income groups will depend on how the interventions financed by some of those policies are distributed. On assumptions made by DECC in 2010, the net effect would be a loss on average for low-income households, tending to increase fuel poverty. Whether this actually occurs depends on decisions yet to be taken.
• We do not know what temperatures households are now living at. Data on actual energy use suggest that even better-off households do not live at the temperatures assumed in modelling fuel
poverty. However, the poorest tenth of households appear to be living at lower temperatures than contemporary norms.

The report concludes… (My emphasis)…

The issue of fuel poverty also ties in strongly with the urgent need to tackle climate change, as part of which a priority is to improve energy efficiency standards in UK homes in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But climate change policy delivery is made more difficult by the existence of fuel poverty. If the price mechanism is used to encourage carbon reduction, some low-income householders face disproportionate costs, but the capital investment needed to bring about efficiency improvements and carbon savings is beyond them. If carbon emissions from these households are to be reduced, assistance will be needed. Once made, interventions should have a sustained impact on the costs they face and then in a combination of warmer homes and their own carbon reductions.

How can the UK government only now be commissioning reports which state the obvious? How did it fail to anticipate that rising energy costs would cause harm to people? Why did it not consider the human cost of its policies before rushing them through parliament? Why did it not think to consider mitigating the effects of fuel poverty before creating the problem of increasing fuel poverty? Why should we think that the government’s attempts to intervene to mitigate the effects of fuel poverty will be any less damaging than their attempt to mitigate climate change?

Expect more intervention and more policies. Expect more fuel poverty. Expect more deaths.

Meanwhile, as was established in the previous post, there are 10% fewer cases of malaria — one of the main diseases that the WHO believed to be exacerbated by climate change — now than when the data for the WHO 2002 report was compiled. It seemed unlikely that the 150,000 deaths were attributed to climate change safely before we discovered that malaria rates were in decline. Now it seems even less likely. Climate change policies really are worse than climate change.

 

THE CLIMATE CHANGE ACT RECONSIDERED

 

Leading energy policy experts openly question the climate and energy policy. See recent comments during The Economist debate here from Robert L. Bradley Jr  (Founder and chief executive officer, Institute for Energy Research) 11 November 2011:  

Recent observations of the earth's climate system suggest that we are on a path towards less, rather than more, global warming.  

"In many countries and in the EU itself climate and energy policies and programmes are already being adjusted or abandoned. This includes … reduced plans and incentives for massive offshore wind farm development, delays in investments in large-scale electricity grids and interconnections, including so-called smart grid projects, and reduced subsidies and lower feed-in tariffs for solar and wind power."

Andrew MacKillop, "Europe’s Green Energy Chaos", European Energy Review, October 31st, 2011

Europe is reaching the economic and political limits of subsidising renewable energy. Government-engineered price inflation is straining the commoners, and state budgets are in deficit. The environment is also being compromised by the infrastructure required for dilute, intermittent energy. The only clear winners are the crony capitalists, the rent-seekers, who run their businesses on special government favour. Remember Enron, which in the 1990s set out to become the world's leading renewable-energy company?

Despite the failed experiment in forced energy transformation, the affirmative engages in a post-modernistic narrative about how a massive scale-up of wind and solar power will magically bring affordability and reliability. But you cannot make up by volume what is lost per unit. Other alternatives, such as gas and nuclear, are worth evaluating in place of wind and solar from even a climate-alarmist perspective.

The physics of energy is controlling. The stock of the sun's energy over many millions of years (carbon-based energy) is overwhelmingly superior to the dilute energy flows directly or indirectly generated by the sun. What W.S. Jevons surmised in the 19th century, the subject of opening statement, remains relevant.

A new environmental standard?
There is a joke making the rounds. "When is an environmentalist not an environmentalist?" The answer: "When it comes to renewable energy."

Why? Because substituting wind and solar for fossil fuels to any significant degree coats vast surface areas with machinery and infrastructure. The growing grassroots backlash in the United States and in Britain against industrial wind parks (and controversy over solar parks in the western United States) is indicative that renewable energy is reaching its environmental limits, not only its fiscal limits.

In Hard Green: Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists (Basic Books, 1999), Peter Huber calls for a new environmental energy standard:

"The greenest fuels are the ones that contain the most energy per pound of material that must be mined, trucked, pumped, piped, and burnt. [In contrast], extracting comparable amounts of energy from the surface would entail truly monstrous environmental disruption … The greenest possible strategy is to mine and to bury, to fly and to tunnel, to search high and low, where the life mostly isn't, and so to leave the edge, the space in the middle, living and green." (pp. 105, 108)

This gets back to relative energy density. The economic advantage of oil, gas and coal translates into a less-is-more advantage in important environmental dimensions.

Climate alarmism reconsidered
"Environmentalists against climate alarmism" should be a new movement given the practical problems of renewables. The intellectual arguments against climate pessimism are there.

A growing amount of observational evidence—as opposed to (problematic) model-based determination—is pointing to low-end values for climate sensitivity to anthropogenic greenhouse gases. The rate of rise in the global average temperature (both at the surface and in the lower atmosphere) in recent decades—a time during which the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases have grown by two-thirds—has consistently fallen beneath climate model projections (Santer et al., 2011). In fact, for nearly the past decade and a half, global temperatures have not risen at all (Brohan et al., 2006, and updates; Mears and Wentz, 2009, and updates).

While much research is currently being undertaken to better understand the reasons behind the earth’s recent warming, it would seem that a higher-than-expected climate sensitivity is not among them. A low-climate sensitivity can also been inferred from recent work on cloud behaviour (eg,Spencer and Braswell, 2010; Lindzen and Choi, 2011), paleoclimate studies (eg, Chylek and Lohmann, 2008) and ocean circulation (eg,Swanson and Tsonis, 2009), while other research erodes the possibility of a higher-than-expected climate sensitivity (eg, Annan and Hargreaves, 2009; Frank et al., 2010; Lemoine, 2010).

Although the final answer remains elusive, recent observations of the earth's climate system suggest that we are on a path towards less, rather than more, global warming—and that the case for climate alarmism is fading.

The above balance of evidence is good news for economics and the environment given the physical nature of energy in the light of societal needs for material sustenance and prosperity.

 

STOP THE CARBON FLOOR PRICE

TaxPayers' Alliance says carbon floor price will:

  • Increase total global greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Threaten tens of thousands of jobs as activity contracts in the UK 
  • Raise significantly less tax revenue than expected as major firms move energy intensive industry abroad 

New research by the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) finds that, as well as increasing domestic energy prices, the carbon floor price threatens energy intensive industries whose costs will rise in Britain while their competitors' costs in the rest of Europe fall, and tens of thousands of jobs are at stake. Some companies have made it clear that the rise in costs threatens billions in new investment, or even the ability to keep major plants open.

Click here to read the full report

The policy could devastate British industry by undermining competitiveness:

  • For some major industries – such as steel or chlor-alkali – energy represents between a quarter and well over half of total costs. Any substantial increase in those costs, particularly compared to our key industrial competitors, will make it impossible for them to compete in the UK.
  • The largest energy consumers already pay up to 10 to 25 per cent more than in Germany, and 60 to 75 per cent more than in France. The carbon floor price alone will add another 10 per cent to their energy costs by 2020, while reducing costs for their competitors. The burden is exacerbated as the carbon price floor has not been accompanied by a ceiling, which means industry still faces the possibility of damaging price spikes.

That will have a number of consequences:

  • The carbon floor price will increase total global emissions as emissions are exported to other countries where production is less efficient, and it does not cut the overall cap on European emissions.
  • Jobs will be threatened. For example, Tata Steel employs around 20,000 people. Three to four times as many jobs may be at stake with suppliers and contractors. And should that activity contract there would undoubtedly also be job losses in the wider economy. Overall employment in energy intensive industrieshas been estimated at 225,000.
  • Revenue from the new tax could be offset by reductions in revenue if major firms in energy intensive industries contract their activities in the UK. For example, INEOS report that they pay £600 million a year in VAT and £70 million a year in PAYE and NICs. Tata Steel report they pay £280 million a year in PAYE and NICs.

Click here to read the full report



 

AUSTRALIANS REVOLT AGAINST THE CARBON TAX

 


 

 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWS ON COSTLY GREEN POLICIES

 

RECYCLING IS A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY AND LIMITS TO GROWTH?

 

 

Daniel Ben-Ami's book is "Ferraris for All: In Defence of Economic Progress." You can order a copy here

 

 

Bibliography 

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2 Stern, N. (2006). "Stern Review on The Economics of Climate Change (pre-publication edition). Executive Summary". HM Treasury, London. Archived from the original on 2010-01-Retrieved 2010-01-31.

3 Stern, N. (2006). "Summary of Conclusions" (PDF). Executive summary (short). Stern Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change (pre-publication edition). HM Treasury. Retrieved 2011-04-28.

4 Jowit, Juliette; Wintour, Patrick (26 June 2008). "Cost of tackling global climate change has doubled, warns Stern"The Guardian(London).

5 Tol, R.S.J. and G.Yohe (2006). "A Review of the Stern Review". World Economics 7 (4): 233–50.

6 Nordhaus, W. D. (2007). "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate".Journal of Economic Literature 45 (3): 686–702.doi:10.1257/jel.45.3.686.

7 Byatt, I. et al. (2006). "The Stern Review: A Dual Critique, Part II. Economic Aspects".World Economics 7 (4): 199–225.

8. Nigel Lawson (November 1, 2006). "The Economics and Politics of Climate Change: An Appeal to Reason". Centre for Policy Studies.

9. "House of Commons Treasury Select Committee. Minutes of Evidence". UK Parliament website. January 15, 2008. Retrieved September 5, 2009. 

10. Ruth Lea (October 31, 2006). "Just another excuse for higher taxes". London: Telegraph.

11. Bjørn Lomborg (November 2, 2006). "Stern Review. The dodgy numbers behind the latest warming scare". The Wall Street Journal.

12. "Stern Measures". Reason Magazine. November 3, 2006.

13. Kollewe, J. (October 30, 2006). "Business sees red over green tax onslaught".Independent.co.uk (London). Retrieved September 5, 2009.

14. Nelson, F. (November 2, 2006). "Leaked UN report shows Stern is wrong on climate". The Business.

15. Taylor, J. (November 3, 2006). "Global Warming Costs & Benefits". Cato Institute Blog.

16. Cox, S. and R. Vadon (26 January 2007). "Running the rule over Stern's numbers". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-06-11.