Wednesday, December 1, 2021
HomeNewsThe climate scaremongers: A weekly round-up

The climate scaremongers: A weekly round-up

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Buckingham Palace to disappear beneath the waves 

The threat of rising seas is maybe the biggest climate bogeyman of the lot. Last week, Sky News, along with newspapers such as the Daily Mail, ran one of the biggest fake news stories of the year. 

On its Daily Climate Show, which has been losing viewers in droves, Sky made the absurd claim that Buckingham Palace could be surrounded by water if the world does not immediately commit economic suicide. 

Given that the palace is 20 meters (65ft) above sea level, and even the most pessimistic official forecasts of sea level rise this century are around one meter, it would take 2,000 years to get to that stage. 

The claim is based on an exercise by Climate Central, which is not a scientific organisation, but a lobby group for climate alarmism. 

However, even the official projections have little connection with reality. The sea level rise at Southend on the Thames estuary, for instance, has been just 1.22mm a year since the early 20th century, with no acceleration. This equates to less than five inches a century: 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the official US agency, helpfully publishes charts for sea level rise, which compare actual sea levels with the range of projections from low to extreme (see the bottom chart below). 

New York has tidal gauge data going back to 1856, and sea levels have been rising there at a rate of 2.88mm (0.11in) a year since the mid 19th century, long before SUVs. Again, it is plain that there is no acceleration in the rate. About a third of this rise is due to the fact that the eastern seaboard has been sinking since the end of the Ice Age. 

When the actual rise is compared to the projections, we can see just how nonsensical the latter are: 

All of this begs the question – why are we being bombarded by this ever more risible propaganda? Why the fabrications and outright lies? After all, we are told that the public is wholeheartedly behind the Net Zero agenda. But are they? 

Most of the people I know and talk to are much more sceptical, as I suspect most are, outside of the young, naïve, woke generation. And very few, I suspect, would agree that there is any sort of climate emergency. 

Hence the need for the Establishment to run these ever more puerile scare stories, in order to convince the public to agree to the Net Zero plan, one which people are now beginning to realise will be ruinously expensive both for themselves and the country. 

As the Russian artist Elena Gorokhova famously said about life under Communism: ‘The rules are simple – they lie to us, we know they’re lying, they know we know they’re lying, but they keep lying to us.’

Carbon taxes – the painless solution? 

The Centre for Policy Studies has called for the widespread rollout of carbon taxes, which it claims will be an efficient, cost-free way to deliver decarbonisation. 

If you believe that, of course, you will believe anything! The CPS logic is that all the tax revenue raised will be returned to taxpayers – a ‘carbon dividend’. But whoever heard of a government giving up tax revenue just like that? 

However, the real objections go much deeper. There is only one purpose to carbon taxes, and that is to make low-carbon energy and products competitive with fossil fuel-derived ones.  

The CPS says such taxes will ensure polluters are paying for the damage they cause – but this is a nonsense. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, and there is no evidence that it causes any damage. 

Once consumers and industry start switching to those more expensive low-carbon alternatives, the carbon tax take will start to decline, and with it the ‘tax refunds’ promised. But consumers will still have to pay extra for their low-carbon lifestyles. 

To take a simple example – home heating. The Government wants us to scrap our gas boilers, and replace them with heat pumps, which can cost up to £20,000 and more to install, as well as costing more to run.  

Proponents of a carbon tax want the price of natural gas raised so high that it becomes cheaper to fork out that £20,000 instead. In practice, this would mean a quadrupling of the price we pay for gas at the moment. And when we’ve all succumbed and bought a heat pump? No more carbon tax, and no more tax revenue for the government to redistribute. Yet the CPS would like us to believe we will be no worse off! 

It proposes an ‘upstream carbon tax’, which effectively means that all production/import of oil, gas and coal will attract this tax. Immediately therefore, it will cost more to fill up your car, turn on the heating and switch on the lights.   

But our industries will face much bigger problems, because it will drive up operating costs as well as the cost of materials and parts they buy in, making them uncompetitive against imports. 

The CPS proposes a ‘carbon border adjust mechanism’, essentially a carbon tax on imports, in order to protect UK companies. But who knows what the carbon footprint for a tonne of steel made in India, a car manufactured in Germany or a box of widgets from China is? In reality, many companies will be hung out to dry. 

Meanwhile, of course, UK consumers will have to pay more for all the stuff we already buy from abroad. There will only be one beneficiary from these proposals – the army of bureaucrats that will be needed to administer the scheme.  

Already the CPS is suggesting that some of the carbon tax revenue could be diverted to ‘British innovators who are researching and developing the clean technological solutions to deliver a less carbon-intensive economy’.

In other words, the carbon tax will be a honeypot for all of the vested interests, renewable lobbyists and environmental researchers, who have already made tens of billions out of hardworking businesses and families. 

The impact on individuals will also be uneven. While some may benefit, others could be a lot worse off through no fault of their own. For instance, as we’ve seen, heating costs will rocket. So a carbon tax would be highly regressive for poorer households, for whom energy bills are a large proportion of disposable income.  

Meanwhile the richer households, who can afford solar panels, Teslas and biomass boilers, may end up better off. However the carbon dividend is distributed, there are bound to be winners and losers. 

The CPS report is written by Eamonn Ives, whose eco-credentials are only too obvious, including previously working for Bright Blue, the supposedly Conservative think-tank. It is a great pity that the CPS did not instead publish a paper laying out the horrifying cost of Net Zero. A cost that cannot be made any smaller simply by repackaging it as a carbon tax. 

Adapt or Die! 

The Environment Agency has given up all pretence of being an objective public body with its latest report on climate change, Living better with a changing climate. It is designed purely to scare the public.

Introducing the report, EA chair Emma Howard Boyd told us, in words which belong in a disaster film, that we must adapt or die. Apparently we must ‘make the places where we live, work and travel resilient to the effects of the more violent weather the climate emergency is bringing’. 

To make her point, she uses the case of this year’s floods in Germany, where 200 died, even though  floods like these are regular events there. According to Emma, this will happen in this country sooner or later if we don’t do as we are told. 

She tells us that winter rainfall will increase by eight per cent, summer rain will decrease by 15 per cent, and London’s sea level will rise by 450mm (17.7in) by 2080. 

The only fly in Emma’s ointment is that none of this is actually happening at the moment. Contrary to popular myth, for instance, winter rainfall is not peaking at higher levels than in the past. The slight increase in the average reflects the fact that exceptionally dry winters are less frequent.  

Meanwhile summer droughts are much less common: 

And as we already know, sea levels are rising at a tiny fraction of the rate projected by the EA. 

If the EA is really concerned about flooding, it should make sure that rivers are properly dredged and landowners allowed to maintain ditches, both of which have been badly neglected by the EA in recent years, as we found to our cost in the Somerset Levels a few years ago. 

Emma Howard Boyd should get back to doing her day job, instead of getting involved in political grandstanding. However, I doubt she would be much good at it. According to her CV, she spends most of her time swanning around from one climate change committee to another!  

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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