Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Drill for Victory


AS Europe faces its worst energy crisis in living memory, Net Zero Watch, an independent group set up to highlight and discuss the serious implications of expensive and poorly considered climate change policies, warns ministers and MPs in London and Brussels that they have a choice between exploiting Europe’s untouched fossil fuel resources or inevitable relegation of the continent to second world status. 

With the country facing blackouts this winter,  the consequences of sacrificing economic prosperity and energy security to the fantasy of achieving Net Zero and the scam of ‘cheap’ renewable energy are upon us. The crisis has arrived with frightening speed. That our technologically advanced economy, blessed with massive energy reserves, should be in this parlous state is truly a damning indictment of recent governments. ‘You’d hope the penny might have dropped that it’s time to change tack, yet instead of ditching the green agenda our MPs seem hell-bent on inflicting more of the same. What will it take to wake them up?’  wrote one N H Bailey of Stockton in Cheshire to the Telegraph on Saturday. He spoke for millions of us.

It is matter of startling concern that most MPs and ministers are still to get abreast of this and still, almost unbelievably, oppose drilling for gas and oil in European waters and the North Sea and reject shale gas exploration, thus blocking vital energy resources for Europe’s and the UK’s future. ‘Most’ includes the several so-called Conservative MPs who make up the brainlessly woke ‘green’ Tory group, Conservative Environment Network, which adamantly supports Net Zero and claims Margaret Thatcher as the figurehead of their cause. I don’t think so. As one who knew her personally, all I can say is that were she alive today her St Paul moment on the big climate deception would have happened by now – she would have wised up to it, just as she did with Brussels and the EU. In face of war she would have put the energy security of the country before ideology. Unlike present-day politicians, she would have listened to the many engineers, scientists and physicists arguing against imposing a Net Zero target. She would also, given the urgency, have been looking closely at how to address it. Part of that would be to take a fresh look at Britain’s and Europe’s fossil fuel resources. 

These resources are the subject of a paper published today by Net Zero Watch.  In it its author, Dr John Constable, concludes that happily they are large enough to make a significant difference to both price and energy security, and if properly exploited would open the path to a more secure future.
He shows that they are far from trivial, with coal reserves amounting to nearly 13 per cent of the global total, and sufficient to support current levels of production for nearly 300 years.
He finds, according to the European Commission’s own data, that technically recoverable shale gas resources in Europe amount to some 14trillion cubic metres, which is between four and five times greater than the proven reserves of natural gas. In other words, shale gas would be sufficient to support current levels of European gas production for more than 50 years. 

The European Commission had previously concluded, he reports, that ‘the volumes produced will not make Europe self-sufficient in gas, but could help to reduce prices’. That conclusion is obviously correct, and applies with equal force to coal, oil, and conventional natural gas resources.

While Europe’s fossil fuel resources will not deliver self-sufficiency – for that, nuclear energy is needed – but they can reinforce our energy security and, most importantly, promote the economic prosperity that is required to move towards a high energy nuclear future. 

Constable says: ‘It is alarming that there are still parliamentarians who believe that more renewable energy is the solution, when this will only deepen the current crisis and make recovery still more difficult. Only the physically superior energy from fossil fuels is able to help us out in this desperate situation.’

It is to be hoped that Liz Truss, channelling her forerunner Mrs Thatcher, will not just read and digest this critically important paper published by Net Zero Watch but quickly bring it to the attention of her new best friend M Macron.

You can read the full paper here – it is well worth the time. 

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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