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From NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

DECEMBER 1, 2021

By Paul Homewood

There has been demand building for a referendum on Net Zero. A petition was organised a few weeks ago, but because of virtually no publicity, it has only collected 19000 signatures.

(You can sign up here)

As it got above 10000 signatures, the government had to issue a response:

National referendums are a mechanism to endorse major constitutional change; debates about national policy are best determined through Parliamentary democracy and the holding of elections.

The government made a key manifesto commitment to reach “Net Zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution”. It was one of the top six pledges in the government’s manifesto, alongside policy commitments to help achieve the target. The net zero target was passed into law by Parliament with strong cross-Party support.

It is clear that public concern about climate change is high, having doubled since 2016, with 80% of people in the UK either concerned or very concerned (BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker Wave 37, 2021). We also know that people and businesses recognise that change must happen – 80% of respondents in a recent survey believe the way we live our lives will need to change to address climate change (BEIS, Climate change and net zero: public awareness and perceptions, 2021). In the same survey, after being provided with information on net zero, 78% of all participants said they strongly or somewhat supported the net zero target.
Moving away from fossil fuels and towards net zero gives us the unprecedented opportunity to:

– Create and secure thousands of well-paid, quality jobs across the UK, helping to level up the country. Tackling net zero will create thousands long-term jobs in our reindustrialised heartlands.

– Build a more secure, home-grown energy sector based on nuclear, wind, hydrogen and solar that is not reliant on imported fossil fuels, providing consumers with affordable, reliable energy for warmer homes and workplaces.

– Reduce harmful pollution which contaminates our air and our natural environment to improve our health and wellbeing, as well as that of future generations.

– Attract investment into UK businesses and industry, revitalising our industrial heartlands while driving down the costs of key technologies – from electric vehicles to heat pumps – to reduce bills and give the UK a competitive edge. Since the launch of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan we have secured £5.8bn in green foreign investment.

Recent volatile international gas prices have demonstrated that we need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. We need to protect consumers and businesses from global gas prices by increasing our domestic energy security through clean power that is generated in the UK for the people of the UK.

Taking action on climate is also crucial to strengthening the UK’s place in the global economy as we Build Back Better from the pandemic. The whole world is trying to capitalise on the benefits of going greener, investing in innovative new technology, building new industries, and creating quality jobs in sustainable sectors.

Our transition to net zero we will be tech-led using the best of British technology and innovation – just as we did in the last industrial revolution – to help make homes and buildings warmer, the air cleaner and our journeys greener, all while creating thousands of jobs in new future-proof industries.

Transitioning to net zero is not about telling people what to do or stopping people doing things; it’s about giving them the support they need to do the same things they do now but in a more sustainable way.

We must seize the moment to get a head start on this worldwide green industrial revolution and ensure UK industries, workers and the wider public benefit. Taking action now will put us at the forefront of large, expanding global markets and allow us to capitalise on export opportunities in low carbon technologies and services.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/599602

The nonsense they have written actually proves just why a referendum is needed!

“National referendums are a mechanism to endorse major constitutional change; debates about national policy are best determined through Parliamentary democracy and the holding of elections.

The government made a key manifesto commitment to reach “Net Zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution”. It was one of the top six pledges in the government’s manifesto, alongside policy commitments to help achieve the target. The net zero target was passed into law by Parliament with strong cross-Party support.”

There is no law that I am aware of that says referendums should only be used for constitutional change. Coincidentally, only yesterday Michael Gove announced that local referendums would be held on planning issues.

As for elections, the electorate has never been given the chance to make a decision, as all the major parties have the same Net Zero policy. Indeed, the Net Zero Act, as well as the 2008 Climate Change Act, were never even included in any party’s manifesto beforehand, and therefore lack any democratic accountability at all.

“It is clear that public concern about climate change is high, having doubled since 2016, with 80% of people in the UK either concerned or very concerned”

Since when were opinion polls a substitute for democracy?

In any event, polls also consistently show that the majority of people are not prepared to pay the cost of Net Zero.

“Moving away from fossil fuels and towards net zero gives us the unprecedented opportunity to:

– Create and secure thousands of well-paid, quality jobs across the UK, helping to level up the country. Tackling net zero will create thousands long-term jobs in our reindustrialised heartlands.”

Experience shows that governments cannot “create green jobs”, and that many more jobs end up being lost as a result.

All of what the government is claiming is in any event highly speculative. But what we do know for sure is that many jobs, maybe hundreds of thousands, will be lost directly as a result of Net Zero.

“- Build a more secure, home-grown energy sector based on nuclear, wind, hydrogen and solar that is not reliant on imported fossil fuels, providing consumers with affordable, reliable energy for warmer homes and workplaces”

Renewable energy certainly is neither affordable or reliable. As for home-grown, solar panels are largely made in China, as are the batteries and rare earths needed for electric cars and renewable energy.

Furthermore the only source of bulk hydrogen available in the foreseeable future is steam reforming. This requires massive amounts of natural gas, far more than would be needed if we used the gas itself instead of hydrogen. We would, in other words, be even more dependent on imported fossil fuels than we are now.

Finally heat pumps certainly won’t provide the “warmer homes” promised. In fact the reverse is true.

“- Reduce harmful pollution which contaminates our air and our natural environment to improve our health and wellbeing, as well as that of future generations”

Air quality in the UK has improved dramatically in recent decades, and continues to improve year by year.

“- Attract investment into UK businesses and industry, revitalising our industrial heartlands while driving down the costs of key technologies – from electric vehicles to heat pumps – to reduce bills and give the UK a competitive edge. Since the launch of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan we have secured £5.8bn in green foreign investment.”

Electric cars, heat pumps, hydrogen and renewable energy will increase bills, not reduce them. As a result, UK industry will be at a massive competitive disadvantage.

The BEIS talks as if foreign investors were doing us a favour. They are not; they will expect a nice fat return on that £5.8bn, subsidised by bill payers and taxpayers.

“Recent volatile international gas prices have demonstrated that we need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. We need to protect consumers and businesses from global gas prices by increasing our domestic energy security through clean power that is generated in the UK for the people of the UK.”

Volatile gas prices, and ultimately supplies, reinforce the need for increasing domestic gas production, both from the North Sea and fracking. They also highlight the huge mistake in shutting down coal power, which should be giving us an alternative.

Even official scenarios confirm that we will still require gas and oil for many years to come, as wind and solar power are too intermittent to rely on.

Transferring dependence on imported fossil fuels to dependence on China for rare earths is foolish in the extreme.

“Taking action on climate is also crucial to strengthening the UK’s place in the global economy as we Build Back Better from the pandemic. The whole world is trying to capitalise on the benefits of going greener, investing in innovative new technology, building new industries, and creating quality jobs in sustainable sectors.”

No, the whole world is not interested in going green, as COP26 made absolutely clear, largely because there are no “benefits”.

“Our transition to net zero we will be tech-led using the best of British technology and innovation – just as we did in the last industrial revolution – to help make homes and buildings warmer, the air cleaner and our journeys greener, all while creating thousands of jobs in new future-proof industries.”

The last industrial revolution was technology led and consumer driven, not the product of government diktat.

Net Zero will lead to higher bills, colder homes and the loss of thousands of jobs.

“Transitioning to net zero is not about telling people what to do or stopping people doing things; it’s about giving them the support they need to do the same things they do now but in a more sustainable way.”

Not about telling people what to do? But that is precisely what it is about. Banning the only cars that most people want, banning gas boilers and telling people they should fly less, eat less meat and use public transport.

Notably there is not a single mention of how much this will all cost us, the elephant in the room.

Apart from the red herring thrown in at the start about referendums, the whole response boils down to the belief that politicians know better than the rest of us, and that these matters are far too important to be left to us to have any say.

But that, of course, is precisely why the public should be given the ultimate decision.

via Watts Up With That?

December 2, 2021