by Ian R Thorpe, 10 November 2021
If you are one of the roughly 50% of people in the developed world who still relies on mainstream media for information, the 'on - message' news reports coming from the COP26 Climate Conference being held in Glasgow this week, , and during the build up to the conference, might have convinced you that the entire world (barring a few crazy conspiacy theorists,) is signed up to the 'net zero' agenda and believes that destroying the economies of the developed nations while exporting our jobs, business and prosperity to places like India and China is the only way to save the planet.
Nobody of account now calls Net Zero nonsense, denies that the planet is heading for a catastrophic increase in mean global temperature caused solely and entirely by Carbon Dioxide emission from human activity, nobody accuses world
leaders of pushing in the wrong direction and those awkward squad eccentrics who pronounced previous COP jollies useless failures, people loyal to the propaganda believe meaningful actions will come out of this conference from this extravaganza of self - indulgence by virtue signalling billonaires who are only interested in 'saving the planet' so long as it involves increasing their personal wealth and extends their influence.
The well reasoned arguments of climate change sceptics, are no longer heard, because they have comprehensively lost the debate the propagandists claim, but this is not true. The flawed science, the inconvenient facts and the exposure of blatant lies being spouted by politicians, academics and celebrities alike, are all invisible to the casual reader, silenced or made invisible by government / corporate / big tech collaboration to silence any dissenters from the official narrative.
But criticism of 'net zero' the policy of reaching a point by 2050 when any Carbon Dioxide emitted from any human activity will be offset by planting trees, capturing farts or encouraging the regeneration of peat bogs.
While climate science sceptics are rolling around on the floor laughing at some of the whacky schemes for reducing CO2 emissions, it is not unreasonable to ask why those of us who for years are so eager to write off every sane suggestion for limiting CO2 emissions? Bizarrely it is not we sceptics who oppose the most practical solutions to using less fossil fuel, but the weirdie - beardies who for three decades now have screeched most loudly (and unscientifically,) about the need to rid the the atmosphee of Carbon Dioxide (any by removing this trace gas that is essential to sustaining life, destroy not the planet but every living thing on it.)
The opponents of practical solutions to our ever increasing demand for energy such as nuclear power, hydrogen fuel cells, tidal barrages and advanced hydro - electric schemes are the sort of activists who oppose carbon pricing because it’s a market-based solution, nuclear power because there are nuclear bombs and because the and USA Soviet Union managed it poorly in the past. They are fanatics who oppose all use of fossil fuels because practical solutions do not promise to return us to medieval cow dung based economies.
But while COP26 goes ahead according to the script, with political leaders, princes, pop stars, academics and bureaucrats piously intoning the mantra that the catastrophe countdown clock is at one minute to midnight, nations must act now in order to save the planet and we the people must be prepared to make sacrifices in order to achieve 'net zero.' Strangely, or perhaps it does not seem strange to cynics with nasty, suspicious minds, the eliteists who few into Glasgow on their private jets in order to take advantage of this platform and gain free publicity for their businesses, philanthropic foundations and political interests will not be making any sacrifices.
Well what self - respecting 'green' billionaire would give up a status symbol as powerful as a private jet?
In the same way they lecture us on our carbon intensive diet and tell us we must eat bugs, worms and grass because cow farts are full of Carbon Dioxide and the even more damaging gas methane, yet the menus at hotels where COP26 delegates and speakers are saying include best beef, corn fed chicken and all the usual delicacies. It is the usual hypocrisy and the conference will produce the usual meaningless pledges to meet totally impossible targets for reducing carbon emissions, because as usual the talking shop for privileged clownds has amid all the virtue signalling, failed to address the practical issues.
The main practical issue of course is the question of who is going to pay for net zero and how will they find the money. When it comes to financing the green strategies their 'woke' CEOs are determined to commit them to, businesses may need to make some tough decisions if they really intend to put the planet before profit.
The focus of COP26 so far, with just two days to go, has once again been on personalities the dynamics between the leaders and various power blocs, and virtue signalling. The problem with this is since the last COP, Paris in 2015, the balance power in tackling climate change has shifted considerably, not only from west to east but from political establishments to business cartels.
While the developed nations of Europe and north America in the west, augmented by Japan and AustraliaIa are falling over themselves to be recognised as leaders in the race to net zero, it is no longer world
leaders who hold the power to tackle climate change, but
business leaders. Boris Johnson has alluded to this many times in recent weeks, speaking of a collaboration between state government and private enterprise, which worryingly echoes Benito Mussolini's definition of fascism as a collaboration between the corporate state and corporate business. Not enough people read history these days.
In addressing G20 world leaders in Rome Johnson said, "we all know that we have the technology… what we need to do now is to raise the finance". Unfortunately he did not spell out exactly what technology he meant. It would be interesting to know because all the miracle technologies so far hyped by scientists and certain Silicon Valley billionaires have fallen way short of expectations when taken out of the laboratory and exposed to real world operating conditions.
But even if the technologies did perform according to expectations there is still the issue of cost. The price og trasitioning from our current systems to a net zero economy would be phenominal
Taking the UK as an example of conservatively estimated transition costs (including ripping up every street and road in the nation in order to install upgraded cables to support the distribution grig for the electric nation. According
to Government net zero strategy documents, the capital investment required
will be around £650 billion although independent estimate put the figure closer to £1.5 trillion. The UK Government is planning to stump up only 4% of this. This means that the UK is dependent on private
sector investment and finance for effectively the whole net zero transition. The
numbers for the United States are equally staggering. And while politicians glibly talk of green jobs and green enerprise, they do not specify what kind of jobs, and all the new businesses associated with going green are high tech industries that create few jobs.
There would be nothing wrong with private investment in delivering net zero to save the world from climate change. But read the small print and it becomes clear that whoever sponsors the studies that prodice such plans will always lay the bulk of responsibility on somebody else. Such lack of true leadership can only create divisions and stoke tensions throughout global political and economic systems.
The obvious question that nobody at COP26 will ask because nobody want to break ranks with the "scientific consensus" and risk being pilloried by the world's press and broadcast news industry, is: "Why would businesses invest and in something that cannot show a profit, business is about risk but where is the incentive to take risks if a venture is guaranteed to lose money?
Beyond this, it was clear a long time ago that the private sector will only invest if the right 'incentives' are put in place. For 'incentives', in the UK case, read "subsidy," because we know (and it is a matter of public record, that our much hyped green electricity from wind farms would not exist but for the fact that wind farm operators are not only paid for the electricity they generate but also for the notional electricity they would have generated on the days when the wind does not blow strongly enough, or blows too strongly. There is a surprisingly narrow range of wind speeds at which wind turbines can generate efficiently.
At the same time, we have heard repeatedly from the international Climate Chane Committee and busines leaders that the transition to the fabled net zero future will result in higher prices for the consumers, and drive many poorer people into fuel poverty.
It does not take much imagination to understand how this plan for meeting future energy needs could very quickly fall apart. Governments, particularly the UK, are depending on the private sector to deliver the promises politicians but for the scheme to work it is not politicians but ordinary taxpayers who must foot the enormous bills. The private sector will not pump their money into a bottomless pit, they will demand state subsidies and will hve no qualms about resorting to blackmail to protect those investments and maintain profitability. At the same time consumers will be shafted both ways. Higher prices will result from the costs of transition for companies, while higher taxes must be imposed to pay for the incentives to persuade private sector operators to get on board.
The weirdie - beardies of the green blob like to blether about sustainable energy sources but their economic illitteracy prevent them seeing that net zero is not economically sustainable. Voters may tolerate higher taxes and higher prices, but while those higher consumer costs go straight into the pockets of Big Energy cartel members it is the politicians that will be punished and nations will become ungovernable.
Rough estimates based on current profitability show that energy companies could make up to £60 billion from the green investment. However the public will want to see evidence that politicians are on the level when they say "we are all in this together." Businesses must be prepared to show they are in it together by making sacrifices equal to those of consumers. And that is simply not going to happen.
In a democratic society, you cannot achieve net zero unless the public is fully behind the project. So far, the gameplan is only designed to meet the needs of energy companies and financiers, and once again, as has been the case so often in the last 70 years, that the public are being diosmissed as a bovine mass of infantile half wits.