WE HAVE Ed Miliband to thank for the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the statutory body established under the 2008 Climate Change Act to advise the government on climate matters. It is supposedly independent, but is no such thing: it is a key part of the climate alarmist establishment.
The members have just thrown their toys out of the pram, complaining that the government has not been taking their warnings seriously. The BBC report: ‘England is not ready for the unavoidable impacts of global warming, the government’s advisers on climate change say in a new report. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said the government hasn’t achieved any of its targets and needed a policy ‘step change’ to avoid loss of life . . . Over the last couple of years, England has faced a series of extreme weather events, likely made worse by climate change.’
The claim about extreme weather is of course an outright lie; English weather is no more extreme than it has been in the past, and other then being slightly warmer the climate has barely changed at all.
So where is their evidence? The BBC offer a few examples, for instance a dry February this year: ‘Andrew Blenkiron’s 6,000-acre farm in Thetford, Norfolk saw just 2.4mm of rain in February compared to the local average for that month of 43mm. He has now been forced to cut back on plans to plant potatoes, onions, parsnips and carrots by around a fifth. He said: “Farmers are at the very forefront of climate change on a day-to-day basis . . . we are used to working with these issues, but we are concerned with the extremes we are now facing.” But he said that farmers needed more money from government to implement their climate plans, especially if they involved new infrastructure projects like reservoirs.’
February this year was very dry in East Anglia, though not as dry as 1891 and 1951. But much more significantly, this winter was actually slightly wetter than average, and winter rainfall has actually been increasing since the 19th century.
In other words, what Farmer Blenkiron, who just happens to be the NFU county chairman for Suffolk, is complaining about is weather, not climate change, which he is using as an excuse to extort money from taxpayers.
According to the CCC, the internet is also at risk!
‘The report singled out England’s internet networks as being woefully unprepared for climate change despite their crucial importance. England’s internet networks – made up of hundreds of data centres, and extensive networks of cables and masts – underpin the UK’s service-based economy. This infrastructure is already at risk from extreme weather, including heat and strong winds during storms. In November 2021, Storm Arwen left one million British properties without power and internet supply.’
Yet the Met Office’s own data clearly shows that the intensity of storms has declined since the 1980s, and I have never heard of telephone lines melting – what on earth do they do in hot countries? In fact, it is snow and ice that pose a danger to cables and masts, something we are assured is now a thing of the past!
The idea that the government needs to do anything differently to what it has in the past regarding weather events is absurd. It really is time that the CCC was shut down. It fulfils no useful purpose, and exists only to promote its own radical climate agenda. Unfortunately the Climate Change Act would need to be amended to do that.
Nevertheless it is time that the government told the CCC in no uncertain terms that they are not prepared to waste taxpayers’ money on the committee’s warped priorities, and that in future they are going to consign all CCC reports to the bin.
The ludicrous cost of Net Zero
IN THEIR recent Economic & Fiscal Outlook following the March Budget, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) mentioned Net Zero only in passing in a document that was 172 pages long. This was a remarkable omission given that the policy has enormous financial ramifications for both the UK economy in general and public spending in particular.
However they did publish a detailed analysis of the impact on public spending in their October 2021 Outlook. It included this chart:
The Low/High Share scenarios simply reflect what proportion of the cost the government will pay as opposed to the public. It does not alter what we will have to pay in total terms, whether via tax or private spending. It is therefore the High Share that is relevant. Just looking at the period to 2030 alone, we get a total of £138billion:
Bear in mind that this covers only government spending, and does not include all the extra costs incurred by the public and industry for heat pumps, electric cars and so on. Nor does it include renewable energy subsidies, which we have discussed here before. Much of it relates to spending on public buildings, fitting heat pumps and so on, and buying electric vehicles for the public sector.
The OBR emphasise that this spending relates to the additional costs of decarbonisation over and above normal spending. In other words, it is the extra cost of buying an electric bus over and above a diesel. And they warn about its potential effect on government finances, which already face huge challenges:
At a time when government debt is already at unaffordable levels, it is absurd that they are planning to waste more than £100billion in the next eight years on this nonsense.
The wind farm scam goes on
LAST week I wrote about the Contracts for Difference scheme (CfDs), which guarantee index-linked prices to low carbon generators, but impose no obligation on them to take up their contract options.
There are already two big offshore wind farms doing just this. Moray East with a contract price of £74.49/MWh and Hornsea with a price of £83.94 both became operational last year, but have still not triggered their contracts. It is estimated the Moray alone have already made half a billion pounds last year from this scam. They have another couple of years to trigger, so will be able to carry on making excessive profits, paid for by bill payers.
Andrew Montford, Net Zero Watch deputy director, said: ‘How long do Government and civil service think they can go on pretending that these wind farms are going to deliver cheap power? It is a deliberate, cynical deception and it needs to stop now.’