A Fresh Start

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From Climate Scepticism

BY SCEPTICUS

The UK’s biggest climate problem is that most major non-Western countries – the source of over 70% of CO2 emissions and home to 84% of humanity – don’t regard emission reduction as a priority, focusing instead on economic development, poverty elimination and energy security. As a result, global emissions are increasing and are set to continue to increase for the foreseeable future whatever the UK (the source of less than 1% of global emissions) may or may not do. It therefore makes absolutely no sense for Britain to continue its pursuit of the unachievable and disastrous net zero policy. The neo-colonial suggestion that we should be leading the world or setting an example is simply embarrassing.

Britain needs a fresh start. We need to establish an optimum course in a world where we’re rapidly losing influence, where greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise and where our trying to prevent that from happening is futile. Instead therefore we should abandon net zero and similar policies – necessitating the repeal or radical amendment of the 2008 Climate Change Act – and come to terms with international political reality by: (a) prioritising a strong and growing economy, underpinned by reliable, affordable energy; (b) encouraging research into the development of technologies for delivering practicable, reliable, inexpensive low emission energy; and (c) focusing on long-term adaptation to whatever climate change may occur.

Abandoning net zero would have immediate practical advantages. It would lift the terrifying threat of extensive electricity blackouts – a threat to thousands of businesses and in particular to the well-being of hundreds of thousands of people, especially the poor and vulnerable. It would mean getting rid of many – hopefully most – green levies and subsidies. It would enable people and businesses to continue with the increasingly efficient and clean internal combustion engine, saving the vast sums needed to power electric vehicles and to build a nation-wide charging network. It would mean millions of households and businesses could retain their current gas heating appliances. It would mean we could continue to rely on the commercial aviation and shipping businesses that underpin international trade and on the many other machines and products essential to our lives and well-being that require the combustion of fossil fuels or are made from oil derivatives. It would mean reducing many ‘green’ pressures on industry and commerce – keeping costs down and encouraging productivity and employment. It would ensure that we didn’t further increase our already dangerous dependence on China.

A concluding thought. All the above advantages of abandoning net zero are clear and obvious. And the disadvantages? There are none. Even if we face a ‘climate emergency’ – I suspect we don’t, but if we do – Britain’s pursuit of net zero cannot help us avoid it. Yet both our major parties are committed to this disastrous and pointless policy. If one of them were to recognise that and abandon the policy, explaining plainly and carefully why it’s doing so, I believe it would halt the relentless advance of the vast, wealthy and self-righteous climate establishment. And seriously damage the other party.

Robin Guenier – March 2023

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