Last year my book There Is No Climate Crisis was translated into Korean by a university professor in South Korea, and since then we have written a dozen articles for a South Korean newspaper trying to warn the country not to repeat Britain’s economically suicidal Net Zero policies. The article below is the most recent. I thought it might interest some British readers as it highlights the economically catastrophic policies being forced on us by our parliamentarians and various increasingly shrill climate activist groups, and explains why we seldom, if ever, see either the mainstream media or the major technology companies questioning the rush to Net Zero.
SOUTH Korea has become the 14th country in the world to legislate a carbon target, aiming for a 40 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions from 2018 levels by 2030 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in order to meet its obligations to fight supposed catastrophic man-made climate change. This will mean a sharp reduction in the use of cheap, reliable fossil fuels and a major expansion in energy from more expensive and unreliable renewables.
The South Korean Carbon Neutrality Act became effective in March 2022 and aims to promote the transition to a carbon-neutral society and increased green growth.
However, on June 26, 2023, the 2022 Nobel laureate in Physics, Dr John Clauser, visited South Korea and delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of ‘Quantum Korea 2023’ (a science and technology conference). He said: ‘The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is spreading misinformation and I don’t believe there is a climate crisis.’ He expressed his belief that ‘key processes are exaggerated and misunderstood’. He also stated: ‘The climate science has metastasised into massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience and the climate emergency narrative is a dangerous corruption of science that threatens the world’s economy and the well-being of billions of people.’
So who is right about the climate? The South Korean government which wants to make the country carbon neutral to save the planet from supposed man-made global warming? Or the Nobel laureate who insists there is no climate crisis and therefore no need for countries to try to achieve Net Zero CO2 emissions? This is an important question because experience from other countries has shown that reducing CO2 emissions by cutting the use of cheap reliable fossil fuels and moving to expensive and unreliable solar and wind power pushes up energy prices, making many industries uncompetitive and thus leading to many thousands of job losses and economic decline.
We perhaps see the economic damage done by reducing CO2 emissions most clearly in Britain. The country has managed to halve its emissions since 1980. This has given Britain some of the highest energy prices in the world at $0.251 per kWh (kilowatt hour). To put this into context, energy prices in the US at $0.109 per kWh are less than half of those in the UK. South Korea, at $0.133, similarly is almost half the UK cost and China, $0.084, around a third. This has been disastrous for British manufacturing. Most heavy industry – steel mills, oil refineries and aluminium smelters – has closed due to high energy costs; the number of British employed in manufacturing has fallen by over 30 per cent in the last 40 years; the share of manufacturing has fallen from around 16 per cent of British GDP to just 8 per cent, and the country’s share of global GDP has collapsed from over 3.5 per cent to a little over 2 per cent.
Given the disastrous economic effects of Britain’s rush to reduce CO2 emissions, one might have thought there would be more discussion in South Korean media about whether it is a good idea for the country to try to follow Britain’s example or whether South Korea should instead listen to people like Dr Clauser.
One reason that there is so little debate about this in the media in South Korea and around the world may be due to something called the ‘Trusted News Initiative’. This is a collaboration of the world’s leading media companies including the BBC, European Broadcasting Union and NHK (Japan); key news agencies such as Associated Press and Reuters; and largest technology companies such as Google, Meta and Microsoft.
Its role is explained by the BBC thus: ‘Trusted News Initiative members work together to build audience trust and to find solutions to tackle challenges of disinformation. By including media organisations and social media platforms, it is the only forum in the world of its kind designed to take on disinformation in real time.’
Here’s what it says about climate change: ‘Whether it’s politicians, companies, or states, many actors have an interest in hindering the fight against climate change. And their power cannot be underestimated: some are going to great lengths to muddy the waters of public debate. Climate mis- and dis-information can take many shapes and forms – but what brings them all together is a fundamental distortion of facts.’
It would seem that Trusted News Initiative’s main media members decide the correct narrative for each story, the press agencies help spread that narrative around the world’s media and the technology giants shut down, de-platform and ban anyone daring to question their version of events. Perhaps that’s why there is so little discussion about whether there is actually a climate crisis or not.