Monday, June 24, 2024
HomeClimate WatchThe climate scaremongers: BBC's campaign against fossil fuels

The climate scaremongers: BBC’s campaign against fossil fuels


AS political pressure mounts for the UK fully to exploit North Sea oil reserves and begin fracking, the BBC is doubling down in its campaign to fight fossil fuels.

There is nothing new in this, of course: we have become used it down the years. But now they don’t even attempt to disguise it, so convinced are they of their moral superiority in the matter.

Last week they published two articles attacking critics of Net Zero. The reports were full of the opinions of the BBC’s chums in the Green Blob, such as Greenpeace, Carbon Brief and the Committee on Climate Change, but gave scant mention of opposing views.

The first report, ‘Climate change: Can the UK afford its net zero policies?’ was an attempt to take down the arguments of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG), made up of about 20 Conservative MPs, who have perfectly legitimately drawn the public’s attention to the very real costs of Net Zero.

The article begins by portraying the NZSG as a tiny bunch of ultra Right-wing Brexiteers – you know, the ones who should be ignored!

The rest of the article carries on in the same one-sided vein, with grossly misleading and inaccurate comments and a failure to present the other side of the argument.

It starts by claiming that our energy bills are only £159 a year higher on average because of climate policies. But this does not reflect the full cost of those policies, which in total are estimated to cost £17.6billion this year. That is not £159, but £650 per household.

Much of this cost is paid by the public sector and industry/commerce, meaning higher taxes and prices. Either way, the public end up paying.

The BBC then go on to claim that we should be building wind farms, because they are cheaper than gas power stations.

They imply that you can simply swap wind for gas, ignoring the fact the former is highly intermittent. Currently we need reliable, dispatchable generation, such as gas, to turn on when wind power fails to meet demand. When this is factored in, wind power is nearly double the cost of gas power.

Next the BBC turns its attention to claims that fracking will reduce energy prices in the UK. They argue that we cannot affect global prices of gas, which totally misses the point. Even if UK gas is sold at world prices, the country will still benefit hugely, and in particular government revenues will be boosted. Moreover it will greatly enhance our energy security.

The NZSG have rightly raised the question of how much we will all have to pay for Net Zero, something which the public has been kept in the dark about. The BBC’s response quotes the ultra optimistic calculations of the Committee on Climate Change, which have already been proved to be false and give a cost of ‘only’ £344billion by 2050.

Anybody who claims what the economy will look like three decades hence is a charlatan. But what we do know about is the crippling cost being imposed on the public in the short term. Things like heat pumps, insulation and electric cars will cost us tens of thousands of pounds. The new hydrogen networks being proposed will drive our energy bills up yet further.

For some reason, the BBC makes no mention of any of this.

But won’t the costs of climate change far outweigh all of this? The BBC think so:

‘The UK government’s latest report into the risks of climate change warns that based on a conservative estimate of a 2C temperature rise by 2100, flooding for non-residential properties across the UK is expected to increase by 27 per cent by 2050 and 40 per cent by 2080. At 4C this increases to 44 per cent and 75 per cent respectively. ‘

Leaving aside the fact that these claims are pure make-believe, does the BBC really think that eliminating the UK’s 1 per cent of world emissions will have the slightest effect on the climate?

The second BBC article, ‘Government climate advisers say cut fossil fuels to lower energy bills’ is by our old friend Roger Harrabin, ‘BBC environment analyst’. Again it does little but report the views of the Committee on Climate Change and others in the Green Blob, who are campaigning for more renewable energy.

As in the first article, it repeats the claim that energy prices won’t drop if we develop shale and North Sea gas reserves as the amounts are so insignificant. However, a recent study by the Warwick Business School estimated that our shale reserves could easily supply a quarter of the UK’s gas consumption over the next twenty years – a hardly insignificant amount at a time when North Sea gas output is expected to halve.

But for ideological reasons, the Committee on Climate Change would like to throw this all away!

John Kerry worries about Ukraine war’s effect on emissions

 Joe Biden’s Climate Tsar, the gaffe-prone John Kerry, put his foot in it again last week. In an interview with a Middle East TV station he said he was worried that the Ukraine war would have ‘massive emissions consequences’, and that it could divert the world’s attention away from climate change.

This is the same John Kerry who flew in a private jet to Iceland last year to collect an Environmental Award.  When asked why he chose private jet, he responded it was ‘the only choice for someone like me’.

It was only the other day that Kerry was full of praise for India’s climate efforts, despite the fact they continue to burn more and more coal. He was impressed by Prime Minister Modi’s promise to build lots of solar farms, which Kerry claimed would make India compliant with the 1.5C goal set at Glasgow, a goal which requires global emissions to be cut in half in this decade.

Evidently arithmetic is not John Kerry’s strong suit!

While Modi’s plans would increase wind and solar output tenfold by 2040, this will not be enough to even meet the rising demand for energy in India, which is projected to increase by 69 per cent by then. This means that fossil fuel consumption will continue to grow as well.

Even with all of this investment in renewables, wind and solar together will still only be supplying 20 per cent of India’s energy in 2040.

BP Energy Review & International Energy Agency Outlook

While John Kerry strolls around with his head in the clouds, the Indian Government have long realised that you cannot run a modern economy just on the wind and the sun.

Selling the UK steel industry down the river

As I explained a few weeks ago, the UK operates an Emissions Trading Scheme, a cap and trade system, applying to electricity generators, energy intensive industry and domestic aviation.

The scheme is designed to cut the use of fossil fuels by forcing companies to purchase carbon allowances if they dare to use them.

As a direct consequence of government policy, the price of these allowances has in effect quadrupled in the last couple of years. (Although the UK system was only introduced last May, it directly replaced a similar EU scheme, which it now tracks.)

Higher carbon prices have not only pushed electricity prices through the roof, but they are also hitting industry hard as well, not least the steel industry.

According to the Telegraph, steelmakers are now facing the prospect of cutting production thanks to a doubling of the carbon price in the last nine months.

Steel companies receive a set number of free allowances each year, but this quota is reduced each year. Once they have used these up, they must buy them on the market, which adds £175/ton to the cost of the steel produced. This amounts to a third of the price they sell the steel for, which is quite clearly unsustainable.

Indeed, so high are the carbon prices that firms can often be better off selling their allowances and producing nothing!

Cutting production however has its own problems for the steel industry, because its fixed costs are so high. In the real world, steel plants need to run at near to full capacity to be profitable. It makes no financial sense shutting down furnaces and rolling mills for days at a time.

In other words, they are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Furthermore there is little that steel firms can do to cut fossil fuel use. By definition, making steel is a highly energy intensive process. From personal experience I know that steel works have forever been looking at ways to reduce energy use on a daily basis.

It is true that electric arc furnaces, which melt scrap steel, don’t need the colossal amounts of coke required in blast furnaces, but higher electricity prices have already crippled their viability.

The inevitable result of government policy is that we will end up importing more steel instead of making it ourselves. It will be made in countries like China and India, where carbon emissions will be much higher than here. And more emissions will arise from shipping it halfway around the world.

The whole thing makes no sense whatsoever.

It is just another senseless sacrifice to the Great Green God.

If you appreciated this article, perhaps you might consider making a donation to The Conservative Woman. Unlike most other websites, we receive no independent funding. Our editors are unpaid and work entirely voluntarily as do the majority of our contributors but there are inevitable costs associated with running a website. We depend on our readers to help us, either with regular or one-off payments. You can donate here. Thank you.
If you have not already signed up to a daily email alert of new articles please do so. It is here and free! Thank you.

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

Sign up for TCW Daily

Each morning we send The ConWom Daily with links to our latest news. This is a free service and we will never share your details.