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There’s Nothing Conservative About Net Zero!


By Paul Homewood

Sam Ashworth-Hayes loses his head over a couple of days of hot weather!

The combination of ’40°C temperatures‘ and ‚England‘ feels about as natural a pairing as ‚English football‘ and ‚winning‘; God simply did not intend the two to go together as they did this week. And although it feels odd to have to point it out, there’s nothing conservative about believing climate change isn’t a problem. Turning England’s green and pleasant land into scorched savanna should not really be on the manifesto of the least important backbencher, let alone anyone with an aspiration to influence policy.

This message has yet to penetrate the cranial shielding of some MPs. Sir John Hayes told the Daily Telegraph we found ourselves in ‚a cowardly new world where we live in a country where we are frightened of the heat. It is not surprising that in snowflake Britain, the snowflakes are melting‘. Sir Christopher Chope came out swinging on similar lines, observing that the government ’seems to be creating a lot of unnecessary anxiety…we should adapt to our climate as we have done in the past‘. And speaking for Ulster, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson criticised the ‚hysteria‘ about ‚a couple of warm days‘, arguing the public would prefer the government focused on avoiding adding to ‚expensive climate policies which are already costing them a fortune‘.

Now, I will admit that 125,000 years ago hippopotamuses, lions, and elephants happily roamed the landscape which would eventually become London. But surely not even the most ardent advocate of a return to a bygone era would recommend reverting to a time before Homo Sapiens managed to make Britain inhabitable by killing off all the irritating megafauna.

Being relaxed about the runway at RAF Brize Norton melting, as it was reported to have done on Monday, is fundamentally unconservative. To love England is to love its weather, as frustrating, changeable, grey, and damp as it can be: if nothing else, it’s a vital habitat for the critically endangered medium-pace swing bowler, unable to survive in the harsh conditions of southern test pitches.

British meteorological patriotism demands summers that are suitable for cricket, loafing, and open air productions of Shakespeare, the sort of weather where you bring a coat ‘just in case’. Having lived in Australia, I can’t in good faith recommend it as a habitat suitable for mammals (lizards are, of course, fine).

Yet in refusing to face up to the changing climate, it’s difficult to shake a suspicion that some Tory MPs are acutely aware that the people who make or break them – the party members – are on average 57 years old. As the Tory MP Chris Skidmore has pointed out, ‚when you cast the question as net zero by 2050, probably 90 per cent of them will be dead‘.

But while this ‘all for one, and all for me’ attitude may define the Tory party’s approach to issues as varied as housing, pensions, climate policy, and social care funding, that doesn’t mean they should extent this attitude to climate change. A smarter version of this argument came from Craig Mackinlay, who noted that even under the assumption rising heat is due to human activity ‚I can hardly see that spending £3 trillion or more can be good value or will do anything at all beyond being a costly ‘virtue-signal’. Better, I’d have thought, to spend on adaptation to a changing climate.‘

Smarter, but still not correct. The UK is admittedly quite a small share of global emissions. We don’t have the capability to fix this problem unilaterally. Then again, most countries don’t: outside of the top three polluters (China, America, and India), not a single country makes it to a five per cent share. While the top three rack up 50 per cent of carbon emissions, that still leaves 50 per cent scattered across the rest of the world. If we want those countries to do their bit, we need to do ours. As any economist will tell you, sustaining cooperation in a repeated game means that you don’t ‘defect’; saying your emissions don’t matter while insisting other countries lower theirs might make your industry more competitive, but it also incentivises them to behave in the same way.

Much better to do our part, work with other countries, build interconnectors across Europe and to the Sahara, tile the landscape with wind turbines – Britain got rich in part because it realised early on wind and water could be used to do physical work – and go gung ho on small nuclear reactors and storage. Make energy cheap and abundant, and watch growth go gangbusters. The alternative resigned attitude towards climate change won’t do for a party that calls itself conservative.

Scorched savanna? Where does he get this rubbish from? It has certainly been a dry year so far, but we have had many other years in the past which have been much drier. The driest start to the year was actually way back in 1929, (followed incidentally by the wettest October to January on record):

And two days of hot weather are not climate change, nor have they altered the landscape, as he ludicrously claims.

As for the “changeable, grey, and damp” weather that is a “vital habitat” for medium swing bowlers, I am pleased to say that normal service has been resumed:

And with the weather back to normal, I think we can safely discount any imminent invasion by hippopotamuses, lions, and elephants!

He claims that “ the resigned attitude towards climate change won’t do for a party that calls itself conservative”.

But it is certainly not “conservative” to impose massive climate taxes on the public, it is not “conservative” to ban the sale of petrol cars, it is not “conservative” to force houseowners to pay out £20,000 to buy heat pumps and insulation, and it is not “conservative” to impose draconian regulations and controls on how we live our personal lives.


JULY 25, 2022

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