Sleepwalking to Green Austerity

Guest post by Iain Aitken

[Note: This essay is abstracted from my book The Climate Change Crisis – Fact or Fiction?]

In Britain the Climate Change Act (2008) originally legally obliged governments up to 2050 to achieve greenhouse gas emissions that were 80% lower than their 1990 level. This Act was voted into law by 463 votes to 3. Try and imagine a comparable situation in America today with over 99% of the House of Representatives (432 of the 435 voting representatives), of all political hues, including far-right Republicans, voting for such a radically society transformative and economically painful legally binding measure for the next 30 years. Former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson has stated that, ‘This may well go down in history as the most absurd piece of legislation any British parliament has ever passed.’ In June 2019, following the British Parliament’s declaration of a ‘climate change emergency’, the 80% reduction ambition was increased to achieve net zero by 2050 (again, legally binding); when this proposal was put before Parliament not one Member of Parliament spoke against it or raised any questions about either the temperature and risk reduction benefit of achieving the new goal or the socioeconomic and environmental costs of such radical decarbonization. Basically, the question ‘Is there actually a climate change emergency?’ is not being asked in Britain; instead it is generally regarded by the public, politicians, journalists and academics as a ‘scientific fact’, only questioned by the delusional – and the only real ‘debate’ is about how quickly we will fix it. Britain is apparently sleepwalking into potentially the most radical economic and societal change in its post-industrial history with no due diligence on the science behind the ‘climate change emergency’ idea, little understanding of the socioeconomic transformation that would be needed to achieve net zero and little understanding of the ineffectuality of even this radical decarbonization of the British economy.

Because Britain contributes less than 1% to global carbon dioxide emissions if it actually achieved its new net zero goal it would produce in total an estimated 0.0140C temperature reduction by 2100, i.e. about a hundredth of a degree Centigrade. Since even our most accurate (satellite) temperature measurements have a margin of error of about ±0.030C that means that the temperature reduction that might be achieved by such heroic unilateral decarbonization in Britain is about half as much as the margin of error in measuring it; in other words it is undetectable (even if you could somehow isolate it, which you could not). This is at a cost estimated by the government of £1.3 trillion (about $1.8 trillion) by 2050 – although some estimates put it at £3 trillion, with a loss of 2-3% of GDP for a period of at least 20 years – and all this while Britain struggles to rebuild public finances ravaged by the Covid-19 crisis, this having been described by the current Chancellor of the Exchequer as an ‘economic emergency’. For perspective, £1.3 trillion is about 60% of Britain’s entire national debt, is about eleven times the total current budget for England’s National Health Service and represents a cost of about £45,000 for every British household. Former Prime Minister David Cameron once described the Climate Change Act as ‘an insurance policy’. If so it is a policy that attracts a cumulative premium of at least £1.3 trillion in order to insure Britain against the possible ‘risk’ of an undetectable and imperceptible hundredth of a degree Centigrade increase in its mean surface temperature.

In The Climate Change Act at Ten, History’s most expensive virtue signal, Rupert Darwall concludes, ‘[The Climate Change Act’s] real purpose is not to cut global greenhouse gas emissions. Rather it is to demonstrate British climate leadership. While politicians flatter themselves as climate saviours, the costs are borne in worsened business competitiveness and squeezed household budgets that weigh most heavily on the poorest in society. In one regard though, the CCA has succeeded in its aim as a demonstration project. No other serious country will do anything quite so foolish in the name of saving the climate.’ However it appears that under Joe Biden and the ‘Green New Deal’ proposed by the Democrats America does indeed intend to follow Britain’s example, with its new commitment to achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest, this being estimated to achieve about a 0.10C reduction in man-made global warming by 2100 (and a correspondingly trivial reduction in climate change risks).

Since carbon dioxide-emitting coal, oil and gas still account for more than half of Britain’s total electricity consumption and 80% of its primary energy needs, with wind and solar only meeting 3.5% of those needs (according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics)  achieving the net zero target would be, to say the least, challenging in the extreme and have a hugely adverse impact on Britain’s economy and the lifestyles and standards of living of its population. Achieving net zero by 2050 would also require

  • estimated to require building new nuclear capability at the rate of 1.2GW per year for the next 30 years, equivalent to a major nuclear power plant every three years (yet by 2030 Britain will be left with only one functioning nuclear power plant, based on current plans), and/or
  • radically switching to non-nuclear renewable energy, covering the country and coast with wind farms, solar farms and tidal barrages (which would be extremely politically challenging and which provides only intermittent energy and so requires non-renewable backup anyway), and/or
  • radically increasing electricity imports from Europe, this creating a huge energy security problem and anyway just exporting the carbon dioxide emissions elsewhere in the world, and/or
  • radically deploying Carbon Capture and Storage technology (technology that has yet to be proved to work on a commercial scale and is ruinously expensive).

Basically, how a net zero Britain will keep the lights on is currently a mystery.

A net zero Britain might be characterized by

  • a ban on the sale of both new and existing houses that fail to achieve a high energy performance rating, this is being proposed by the UK Climate Change Committee (who advise the UK government on climate change issues) to take effect in 2028; this would make a substantial proportion of Britain’s housing stock unsaleable (or require extremely expensive and ugly modifications to raise their performance rating)
  • a ban on gas and oil heating and cooking (the low carbon equipment replacement cost being estimated by the UK Climate Change Committee at £26,300 per household, or about £710 billion across the country)
  • substantially higher house building costs as a result of required higher standards of insulation and heat pumps being three to four times more expensive to install than gas-fired or oil-fired boilers
  • substantially higher electricity costs resulting from the running costs of heat pumps being three to four times that of gas-fired or oil-fired boilers, the higher cost of renewable-sourced electricity and the huge investment needed to balance a grid dependent largely on intermittent energy sources
  • an acceptance of electricity rationing and the possibility of regular blackouts (in particular in anticyclonic periods over winter, when wind and sunshine are in short supply) owing to the intermittent renewable power supply for homes and industry (electricity rationing is already being proposed in Britain through changes to the Smart  Energy Code)
  • an acceptance of electricity supply companies switching off (via next generation ‘smart meters’) high usage electrical devices,  such as electric vehicle chargers and central heating systems, in homes when the grid is at a state of emergency – and this without compensation or warning
  • an escalation in fuel poverty with many vulnerable people being unable to afford to heat their homes (or, perhaps, the ‘redistribution’ of wealth, with punitive taxation on wealthier members of society being used to give subsidies to the poorer members of society, so that they would not feel the pain of higher fuel costs)
  • substantially higher food costs resulting from restrictions on food imports and higher transportation costs
  • severe restrictions on personal transport, both what type of car you may buy (electric only) and whether you can afford it, given that battery electric cars currently are between 50% and 100% more expensive to buy and run than a comparable conventional car; indeed you may not even be permitted to buy it at all – the UK Government’s Science and Technology Select Committee (in its 2019 report Clean Growth: Technologies for meeting the UK’s emissions reduction targets) has already said that personal transport is incompatible with the net zero target
  • rationing of electric vehicle mileage and/or taxation based on mileage (i.e. ‘road pricing’), if only to replace the government revenue lost from the loss of vehicle excise duty and fuel duty on petrol and diesel, this currently amounting to £40 billion annually
  • the possible introduction of individual carbon quotas (this has already been proposed in France, initially with a view to constraining air travel)
  • higher taxes on flying, with the possibility of rationing of flying for non-essential purposes – and possibly a ban; a recent report, Absolute Zero, from the University of Cambridge, determined that all of Britain’s airports must be shut by 2050 if net zero is to be achieved
  • severe restrictions on haulage and shipping
  • severe restrictions on meat consumption
  • high (and steadily rising) carbon taxes, in particular on petrol/gasoline and oil, so reducing disposable incomes
  • rising unemployment as a result of the further outsourcing of Britain’s manufacturing and food production abroad in order to reduce our national emissions; this would, in particular, be likely to precipitate the effective collapse of the motor manufacturing, aviation, steel and cement industries in Britain, given that these are some of the highest greenhouse gas emitters (and are extremely hard to decarbonize) – but simply export the emissions elsewhere in the world
  • the despoliation of the countryside and coastline with a vast expansion of wind and solar farms and tidal barrages – not to mention the appalling effect on wildlife.

Depending on your politics and values this Big Government centralist assault on our freedoms, prosperity, lifestyles and landscapes may look like a prelapsarian socialist utopia or a totalitarian Orwellian dystopia. In terms of the impact of net zero on our lifestyles perhaps one of the best comparisons is the Amish, who already live very low carbon lives. Given the weeks of riots in France by the Gilets Jaunes, originally prompted by no more than a few cents carbon tax on their car fuel, would the peoples of other democracies simply accept such radical changes without a murmur?

Ask the people of Britain, ‘Should the government do more to fix the climate change emergency?’ and it is a safe bet that the vast majority (especially the young), convinced of the reality of that emergency (and that fixing it will have little impact on them personally), would reply, ‘Yes’. But if we were to ask them if, in order to fix it, they would be prepared to give up their cars, stop holidaying abroad, accept regular electricity blackouts, pay three times as much for their (intermittently available) electricity, pay 50% more for their food, pay over £20,000 to replace their gas/oil boiler, pay over £30,000 to improve their house insulation, cut back on their meat consumption, possibly lose their job and live next  to a wind farm the answer might be more equivocal – especially if you point out that not only would that not fix the posited climate change emergency, it would actually have no detectable effect at all.

If the characteristics of the green ‘brave new world’ were set out clearly and honestly to the electorate of Britain and it was explained that the climate benefits in return would be undetectable in any country’s climate anywhere in the world would they really vote for it? Of course the current dominant government and media narrative is that not only would such a transition be painless for the public but through a vast ‘investment’ in this green future Britain would actually be a better place to live – and that  by Britain achieving net zero the ‘climate change emergency’ would somehow go away. In other words the dominant government and media narrative over the challenges, costs, impacts and benefits of achieving net zero bears no resemblance to the reality. Then again, perhaps the government is in denial and actually believes its own narrative – or cynically thinks that by the time the public wake up to the real pain of decarbonization the politicians responsible will have long since left office – or thinks that even if there isn’t really a climate change emergency net zero should nevertheless deliver a world with less noise, less pollution, cleaner air and cleaner water – and who could possibly object to that? To which the answer is of course all those who are concerned that the environmental, societal and economic downsides of net zero will far outweigh these undoubted upsides. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Perhaps if the ‘Green Economy’ were rebranded the ‘Green Austerity’ people would consider the consequences of net zero more carefully.

As Obersteiner et al put it in Managing Climate Risk, the key unresolved question is whether global decarbonization ‘will fundamentally reshape our common future on a global scale to our advantage, or quickly produce losses that can throw mankind into economic, social, and environmental bankruptcy.’ As Dr Judith Curry said recently, ‘The known risks to human wellbeing associated with constraining fossil fuels may be worse than the eventual risks from climate change, and there are undoubtedly some risks from both that we currently do not foresee.’ Similarly Bjørn Lomborg has said, ‘If we try to cut as much carbon dioxide as we can, out of a sense of panic, we could easily end up reducing human well-being to a degree that far offsets any environmental benefits we achieve.’

Basically, if you wish for net zero then you need to be very, very careful what you wish for. We may all end up sleepwalking to Green Austerity.

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March 8, 2021 2:11 pm

It’s hard to believe what happens in peoples brain.

Jon Salmi
Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 8, 2021 3:00 pm

Krishna – It’s just as hard to believe what doesn’t happen in people brains.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 8, 2021 11:16 pm

Hard to believe only because we fail to grasp that the “Unconscious” is actually conscious, autonomous, and sentient, to varying degrees. Yes, we should all be afraid of what lurks therein. And that’s only half of it. It is also without a conscience.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 8, 2021 11:23 pm

The worst thing is that although this is an excellent article we already know everything in it,but making the electorate take notice seems impossible, and those wanting to impose this on us are either genuinely stupid or don’t care as it suits their ideology


Phil Rae
Reply to  tonyb
March 9, 2021 12:36 am

I agree with you completely, tonyb.

The facts are there and easily demonstrable by people’s every day experience…..and yet they willingly imbibe the propaganda pumped out by mainstream news outlets like the BBC.

That is the truly astounding thing about all this nonsense.

Last edited 1 year ago by Phil Rae
Reply to  tonyb
March 12, 2021 6:25 pm

This is what happens when a species (humans) tosses out it’s need for self-preservation: Utter destruction of their lives.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 9, 2021 6:29 am

If you really want to succeed at net zero emissions, the first thing you do is get rid of politicians and ecohippies. They contribute nothing but take everything.

What? I can dream, can’t I?

Joseph Zorzin
March 8, 2021 2:23 pm

Can we expect a major, front page review of the book in the Guardian? :-{

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 8, 2021 2:41 pm

Secular incentives are a first-order forcing of religious (i.e. moral, ethical, legal) mutation. Then evolution runs its course with a novel fitness function.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 9, 2021 11:37 am

Do you really mean “The Guardian”????? No chance, because they think, and understand, everything about the effects of carbon dioxide.

Tom in Toronto
March 8, 2021 2:24 pm

I used to wonder what people would do when we have essentially conquered hunger, homelessness, poverty, childhood disease, etc. in developed countries and we no longer need to worry about essentials for life.
Now I know the answer – We get fixated on an imagined threat and throw away all our prosperity brought through centuries of blood, sweat, and tears by our predecessors.

Imagine trying to explain this to someone from the past
You- “We need to go back to rolling blackouts and walking around everywhere.”
Visitor From Past – “Why? Don’t you have ample technology and resources and cars and planes?”
Y – “Yes, but we want to make sure the world doesn’t get warmer by 4 degrees in a hundred years.”
VFP – “You mean less than half of the difference between mid-day and night time temperatures? And you have decades to adapt to it?”
Y – “Yes, but polar bears are cute in nature videos.”
VFP – ?????

Reply to  Tom in Toronto
March 8, 2021 4:53 pm

Don’t you have ample technology …

We need an understanding of what’s necessary for a certain level of technological development. I suspect that, while the Marxists are twiddling the knobs, they will knock us back to the stone age.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Tom in Toronto
March 8, 2021 5:51 pm

I seriously wonder if this is what the Roman Empire looked like during its decline

Nick Graves
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
March 9, 2021 12:32 am

Economically, there are a lot of parallels with now.

But they distracted the population form it with bread and circuses, apparently.

I’ve not read any evidence of mass delusions like now, though. Perhaps we are now in a unique degree of comfort such that we can invent such psychoses.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
March 9, 2021 12:57 am

People have been wondering that for as long as I can remember. example

I think it’s possible to look at American history at any time from its founding to now, and point to powerful forces that should have led to its collapse.

If you look at the long history of China over thousands of years you see lots of ups and downs. Similarly, I think it’s possible to imagine that America can abide for a very long time in a way that the Roman Empire did not. Of course, that’s not saying that America will always be the preeminent global super power.

Reply to  commieBob
March 9, 2021 3:31 am

China is working on disabling America as the global super power and they will do it without their military.

Ian W
Reply to  Derg
March 9, 2021 12:40 pm

Wrong tense –

China is working on disabling America as the global super power and they are doing it without their military.

The Founders spent a long time thinking about what would happen in the future.

Today’s industry leaders are only worried about the next shareholder’s meeting and politicians the next election. Neither are concerned with what will happen to the country in 50 years time.

China looks a long way ahead at what would be better for China in the next centuries.

These are completely different game plans

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Tom in Toronto
March 8, 2021 8:27 pm

What will happen, should the people go along with the measures laid out in the essay above, is to get a taste of the world before the discovery that fossil fuels were of great benefit to humanity. The reality is; fewer than 1 in 5000 have any idea what they’re being told are lies and have nothing to do with science.

March 8, 2021 2:24 pm

Try to imagine April, like when Uncle Joe rolls out his major climate initiative.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
March 8, 2021 4:49 pm

Joey is wearing a blue cap with MAZA on it…Make America Zucked Again…Joey is determined that nothing will stop him….wide open borders….wide open money printing…no limits on government….it’s MAZA BABY.

Bob in Calgary
Reply to  ResourceGuy
March 8, 2021 6:32 pm

Not sure Joe will make it to then. I predicted that, if they drag him across the finish line in Jan, then 3-6 months before we see the 25th.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Bob in Calgary
March 8, 2021 8:30 pm

They may not evoke the 25th. It’s so much easier for Marxists to work behind the curtains, in the dark. They’ll keep him out front even if they’re forced to have him embalmed and install some animatronics.

Reply to  Bob in Calgary
March 8, 2021 9:35 pm

My over/under on Joe’s survival as President is his first State of the Union address next January. And his replacement may be more delusional than he is. And he doesn’t know where he is many days.

Joel O'Bryan
March 8, 2021 2:24 pm

It takes many decades to build up good reliable energy infrastructure. It can all be torn down in far less time. Then what?
That’s what the Green-Marxists are counting on. Once we go too far down this path to energy poverty, backing out will be very difficult, a pernicious effect so to speak. The wealth needed to rebuild and backtrack will have been siphoned away on “green” schemes and redistributive socialism to keep the now peasants fed and housed. The end goal is total political power in the hands of the elites, once they get it, they will not let it go easily. And China is not in any way going to energy beggar itself in climate virtue signaling like is being done to the Western democracies. China will play the UNFCCC climate confidence scam as long as it is favorably treated, just like it does now with no emissions targets to hobble its economy.

And just like Chavez and now Maduro of Venezuela, or Putin or Russia, or Xi of China, the Ayatollah of Iran, the Kim’s of NorK, they all have become dictators for life, and the Green elites will not relinquish power to an impoverished people they intend to rule with an iron fist via control of the media and rigged elections.

As for the sleepwalking reference, I see it more as “gaslighting” psychological deception campaign being run against the middle class to accept what is about to befall them. The elites know the middle class would not “sleepwalk” into energy poverty, while the elitists billionaire class is little affected, if they (we the public) knew the truths of the climate scam, thus they (we, you and me) are being lied wholesale to about climate change.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 8, 2021 4:17 pm

Yes. You have to remember the Chinese, Russians and Indians see the same shoddy “science” we here at WUWT see… and they won’t swallow the Progressive pill, but will play along so long as they can reap the benefits of the West decarbonizing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Anon
mike macray
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 9, 2021 7:09 am

Spot on Joel O’B.
I wonder how many folks realize that it was the industrial revolution fueled (sic) initially by coal fired steam power that rendered muscle power obsolete, ending slavery and the work horse.
Oh! and it was John D. Rockefeller that saved the whales from the brink of extinction with kerosene, a better and cheaper lamp oil than whale oil… called Standard Oil.

March 8, 2021 2:31 pm

It looks as if the UK is to be the crash test dummy for the world if this is taken to its logical conclusion.

Reply to  StephenP
March 8, 2021 2:52 pm

I count Germay as well to the crash test dummies. Question is who crashes first, and who crashes stronger.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 8, 2021 3:51 pm

Given how interconnected the European grid is, the difference between first and second could be a matter of just minutes.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  MarkW
March 8, 2021 6:13 pm

And you can be sure when it happens it won’t be on a pleasant late-Spring day. It’ll be because the electricity demand to the entire grid is highest due to severe weather, either very cold or very hot.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 10, 2021 3:44 am

Well let’s see: a decade of the Energiewende and renewable full scale roll out in Germany: over 50% of electricity now renewable and no grid fails.

Reply to  griff
March 10, 2021 7:12 am

So said the guy who jumped off a building: “16th floor and so far so good!”

Besides being unreliable, renewables just don’t scale.
Read any of Vaclav Smil’s books on energy and you will get a better understanding of the scope of the problem. Especially EROEI [energy returned on energy invested].

Rory Forbes
Reply to  StephenP
March 8, 2021 8:33 pm

I do hope there are loads of tar and feathers ready when the general public suddenly awaken to the fraud that has been perpetrated on them.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
March 8, 2021 9:39 pm

When reality finally sets in- somebody will be looking for a Mussolini to drag through the streets.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Marc
March 8, 2021 9:49 pm

Benito was fittingly tied with wire and hanged from a light pole upside down … but I get the idea. Notice most of these morons predict events far into the future when they stupidly believe people will have forgotten. Only useful idiots like themselves forget the past.

March 8, 2021 2:53 pm

And all this because of irrational carbondioxid fobia. There is no evidence that variation of CO2 act as an important climate driver as I show in this video.

Reply to  Per Strandberg
March 8, 2021 5:55 pm

Hi Per,

Thanks for that, very well done. I found your other one: Scientists And Skeptics On Global Warming, valuable also. That is a pretty good combination of interviews and a lot of behind the scenes facts I was not aware of. Nice to see a younger Richard Lindzen. etc.


Last edited 1 year ago by Anon
John Shotsky
March 8, 2021 2:54 pm

If all human emissions of CO2 were eliminated completely, the earth and it’s climate would not even notice. 95+% of all CO2 emissions are entirely natural. Human emissions amount to only about 24 parts per million. It is THAT which the wrongheaded people ‘blame’ for climate change. Think about that. Not only is CO2 a trace gas, but the human part is only a trace of that. Does ANYONE, ANYWHERE, REALLY, REALLY believe that 24 ppm of CO2 is sufficient to change the climate, and that eliminating them at ginormous cost would have even a whit of an affect? Apparently so. Enough so to spend trillions of dollars to do not one damn thing except screw the public, the world around.

Ian W
Reply to  John Shotsky
March 9, 2021 12:48 pm

All the Greta followers do.
A lot of the classics educated politicians do.
Not that they really really believe – but they don’t really understand what it is they are believing in.

March 8, 2021 3:24 pm

The Marxists took hold of the UK decades ago and have never let go. I was surprised they actually let Brexit happen even after all their machinations to stop it failed.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  markl
March 8, 2021 6:28 pm

The fact that the UK never joined the Euro currency scheme made Brexit much easier to swallow for everyone. If the UK had adopted the Euro and submitted to ECB authority, the Euro-elitists would never have allowed the UK to leave. Remember it was George Soros who made his initial billion dollar fortune shorting the £.
I would bet they see opportunity in having the UK with it own currency to bet against.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joel O’Bryan
Gerry, England
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 10, 2021 7:17 am

We have Gordon Brown – one of our many useless Prime Ministers – to thank for keeping us out of the Euro during his time as chancellor to Tony B.Liar. He set out 5 conditions to be met to join knowing full well that would never happen because he was a control freak and would not let it happen. He did do one other good thing – apart from leave office although he did have to be virtually dragged out – and that was to make the Bank of England in charge of setting interest rates so government could no longer fiddle the rate in the run up to elections. Sadly we later ended up with the green looney Carney in charge of the BoE and make a string of bad interest rate calls. Strangely though, it is a requirement of joining the Euro that interest rate setting should lie with the central bank so Brown might have accidentally done something good.

michael hart
March 8, 2021 3:37 pm

Nothing particularly new to report here.
The green agenda, as written, calls for complete and utter economic and societal meltdown.

The question is, at what point will they call a halt? And will it be in time to save us from the awful things that will otherwise happen to every single person?

March 8, 2021 3:37 pm

Apologies to Harry Harrison, but Ahhhrgh! Green austerity is people!

March 8, 2021 3:40 pm

if it actually achieved its new net zero goal it would produce in total an estimated 0.0140C temperature reduction by 2100

It might be estimated by some incompetent luny but it will not change a thing. CO2 simply does not have anything to do with global energy balance. The “greenhouse effect” is a fairy tale for those unable to the understand physics of Earth’s atmosphere and the way clouds form over tropical oceans.

Ocean maximum surface temperature same today as it was a month ago, a year ago and a million years ago – it cannot gat any warmer:
comment image

March 8, 2021 3:44 pm

Has anyone asked the restaurant industry what they think of being forced to cook with electric stoves and ovens? without gas to cook with, that’s what they’ll be educed to or maybe microwave ovens?

The idea is absurd.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 8, 2021 5:48 pm

“How would you like your steak, sir?

“Well, do the best you can. It’s nighttime and I realize you’re up against it. I’d at least like it not to be mooing. Otherwise just hit it on the head with a hammer and bring it on in. If nothing else, severely sunburned will be fine.”

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 8, 2021 8:39 pm

Within another few months, there’ll be no “restaurant industry” to worry about. The Kung-flu shut downs have already destroyed much of it already. I see no end in sight. Governments are already wetting their panties in excitement over th usefulness of the plandemic.

Ian W
Reply to  Rory Forbes
March 9, 2021 12:51 pm

Not quite the case in Florida and other red states.
But true for the blue states.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 10, 2021 3:46 am

Well in fact most top chefs now use induction ceramic hobs over gas…

Reply to  griff
March 14, 2021 12:18 pm

On Gas Stoves ==> I have written to the experts at the Culinary Institute of America and asked their opinion. I’ll post it here if/when they reply.

March 8, 2021 3:44 pm

It seems to me that many people actually believe that the climate emergency is about saving the world from a disaster. They are misguided. The role of the climate emergency is to cripple the West while clearing a path forward for China and world communism. Climate is not about science but is all about politics. We have been fools thinking we could somehow convince with facts the deluded climate warriors when they are merely pawns in the resurrection of communism. The only nations taking the Paris accord seriously are democratic and Western while the undemocratic and non-Western are laughing as they grow in power and influence using coal fired electricity. We are mad.

Reply to  Lawrence
March 8, 2021 4:12 pm

Research: Fabian Society, Great Britain, 1800s.

And today the Society continues, including branch Australian Fabian Society.

New World Order

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Dennis
March 8, 2021 7:27 pm

This speech by a former Australian Prime Minister might seem out of date, but the messages and methods that Hawke talks about with approval are part of the long march strategy.
So, do learn more about the Fabian Society and its corrosive influence.
Geoff S

Peta of Newark
March 8, 2021 4:01 pm

Anybody and everybody in the UK knows that ‘Government Estimates’ of costs, of anything, are farcical beyond belief.

Every project they ever turn to massively overruns

UK Government has repeatedly proved itself TOTALLY INCOMPETENT at estimating and managing costs.
Every. Single. Time.

Another complaint (Feb 22nd) from the renewable energy forum I watch:
“”last week during the sub zero temperatures we were using between 170-200 kWh per day! Cannot afford this. Kids homeschooling with coats on upstairs is not a good thing“”.

You guessed right, he’s talking about a Heat Pump
= things that Blockhead Boris wants, mandatory, on all new homes and all old ones from 2028. Without any idea of where all that electricity is to come from.

Meanwhile and under Government control, my electric company have just sent a letter saying:
Current price unit rate per kWh: 16.728pence
New price from 1st April 2021: 18.493pence

Work out the % inflation on that.

This is a beaut, found while searching for electric prices:
(Remember, Scotland is Wind Farm City Central UK. Saudi Arabia if you listen to Princess Nutty’s organ: Boris)
Its why, apart from Glasgow being there also, nobody lives there – its so damned windy.
Quote:””North Scotland paying 17.5p/kWh and London paying just 16p/kWh for their electricity””

But I thought, am repeatedly told (where’s griff these days) that Wind Energy was cheap cheap cheap
yet crazy expensive where they make it!!!!
What buffonery goes there…….

Also, so-called Council Tax (tax on owning and or living in a house) is going up by 5% on April 1st

Then, get this, the Office of National Statistics tells us: via BBC
Quote:”” show a further rise from December’s 0.6% to 0.7% in January. It was 0.3% in November.“”

They are actually wrong on their inflation calculations by a factor of ten!

(dumb stoopid question incoming)
Could it get worse you wonder….
“”The government has been hit by a double whammy of reports from MPs criticising its performance on climate change“”
Government has no climate change plan – MPs

How do we rid ourselves of these clowns?
Just How. It’s not funny any more
It really is NOT funny

Last edited 1 year ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 8, 2021 4:39 pm

New price from 1st April 2021: 18.493pence

April fool and the jokes on you.

Actually this puts UK electricity price close to South Australia; may be even higher depending on exchange rates.

UK just needs a big battery it can bludge off like SA uses Victoria uses NSW uses Queensland, where they make reliable electricity with a little bit of coal that does not get exported.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 9, 2021 2:55 am

I’m not certain the Government is incompetant in estimating costs. I think they know perfectly well what the cost of “net zero” is, they just won’t tell us ‘cos they know we wouldn’t stand for it.

Paul of Alexandria
March 8, 2021 4:09 pm

Why does Western Civilization seem to be on a suicide course?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
March 8, 2021 8:45 pm

It’s the inevitable result of worrying about “FEELINGS” and including emotional issues into and serious questions of life. Seriously, too few people have studied logic and have taken to trying to run the planet using the right side of their brains only.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
March 9, 2021 10:58 am

I have long said that “civilization is anti-evolutionary” and I think what we’re seeing is proof of that contention: as the level of “civilization” has increased, people have become so soft due to how comfortably they live that they have lost all connection with reality. We reward weakness, so we get more of it. The opposite of evolution.

Ian W
Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
March 9, 2021 12:55 pm

It is the effect of having professional politicians who have never done anything productive in their lives. Every country that has a professional politician class suffers the same way.

March 8, 2021 4:11 pm

Meanwhile, back in the real world:
Coal India approves 32 coal mining projects worth $6.4 billion

China economic blueprint signals more coal investment

Russian coal set to replace Australian exports to China

And of course all the prognostications in the above sleep walking article will come true… but I suppose that if one is a Progressive one can go on believing that: green energy is cheaper (it isn’t), it won’t destabilize the grid (it is), jobs and factories won’t relocate (they are) and carbon emissions will go down (they won’t).

And they all lived happily ever after. (sigh)

Last edited 1 year ago by Anon
Reply to  Anon
March 10, 2021 3:47 am

Hungary is now the sixth European country to bring forward its coal phaseout plan, announcing that it will shut its last remaining coal plant in 2025. Hungarian President János Áder announced the country’s original plan to exit coal by 2030 at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York in September 2019. He said Hungary would simultaneously increase its solar power capacity ten times and expand the capacity of its nuclear power plants. These efforts would mean that 90% of Hungary’s electricity production will be carbon-free within a decade, he said.

Bangladesh plans to scrap nine new coal projects as the cost of imported coal rises and overseas investors slash finance for polluting fossil fuels. The country’s power secretary Habibur Rahma decided to axe the planned coal-fired power plants with a combined power capacity of 7,461 MW at a monthly review meeting of the power sector

South Korea’s last coal power project in Gangwon Province is facing renewed scrutiny as civic activists called for a state audit against Korean financial institutions for allegedly overlooking and condoning risk factors in financing the private-led project, dubbed Samcheok Blue Power Plant.

Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp. decided to withdraw from the Vinh Tan 3 coal-fired power plant project in Vietnam amid growing international concern about climate change

March 8, 2021 4:13 pm

The Greens: Watermelons – green outside, red inside.

Reply to  Dennis
March 9, 2021 3:03 am

Not to forget the black/dark-brown pits inside (Black in German stands for Na*is, beside dark-brown)

William Astley
March 8, 2021 4:29 pm

The UK electrical grid is now close to saturation. Installing more wind turbines will not reduce UK average power without the magic battery.

“The UK electrical grid power supply output would be required to INCREASE by a factor of THREE (with zero emissions) as all heating, manufacturing, and transportation, is going to be powered from electricity”

Where is the carbon free energy going to come to construct the batteries?

A Cambridge University has written a report which at least, quantifies some of the obvious, impossible to solve problems, to get to Zero Emissions

From the above intelligent discussion of impossible to solve problems.

“The UK electrical grid power supply output would be required to INCREASE by a factor of THREE (with zero emissions) as all heating, manufacturing, and transportation, is going to be powered from electricity”

Cement cannot be made and there is no solution.

There is no solution to how to power ships or airplanes.

There is no solution as to how to construct buildings or what is going to replace plastics.

There is no solution for how to mine with zero emissions or how to smelt steel. The solution is more recycling.

Green energy is a fable, an urban legend.

It is not possible to get to zero CO2 emissions using wind and sun gathering and batteries and biofuel and burning forests, regardless of how much money is spent.

There are entire regions of the US where wind is not viable (the discussion is alway the best location in the US, ignoring reality).

And it is a fact a wind and sun system cannot get to zero co2 emissions. The CO2 calculations did not include the energy and CO2 to build the green stuff and the new power lines to the green stuff. And all of the green systems require either hydrocarbon backup or the magic batteries.

Wind turbines produce full power for about 12 to 15 years. At that time, the wind turbines are de-rated by 30% to 50% to avoid turbine failure.

Wind turbines wear out and so do the wind turbine supports. So every 20 years a replacement program needs to be started to replace wind turbines and all of the wind turbine supports will need to be replaced. The wind load is variable which cause cyclic fatigue. It is not possible to design structures that take the massive change force forever.

It is absolutely amazing how many wind turbines have been installed in the English Channel. It looks surreal.

The energy to remove and dispose of the wind turbines and the sun gathering equipment needs to be included.

The Green Schemes do not work for basic engineering reasons. For example, solar panels are roughly up to 30% less efficient due to dust. In a commercial solar system, de-ionized water is used every day, to clean the solar panels, to avoid that loss. On roof tops, the solar panels need to be de-rated as they will not be cleaned on a daily basis.

This is one of the reasons why Germany’s green energy is so inefficient. The calculations are fake and do not discount the CO2 savings with the CO2 required to construct everything that changed to accommodate the new remotely located windfarms such as transmission lines.
German sun and wind gathering gathers on average less than 20% of its nameplate rating.
Another is Germany installed wind turbines where there is insufficient yearly wind, same as other EU countries, and where it is too cloudy for effective sun gathering.
Zero CO2 emissions would require replacing all hydrocarbon powered transportation, construction, and mining equipment with electric powered equipment.

That is technically possible/viable.  
To power the new EV vehicles and to heat homes and so on…

The electric grid must expand, by a factor of three, in every country, and the expansion and the original system must provide three times as much electricity (new transmission lines) with zero emissions to reach “zero” emissions.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  William Astley
March 8, 2021 6:02 pm

And you have to find some way to allow the 90% (or more) of cars that are not garaged to be charged. Not going to happen without billions of £s, probably 100s of billions given the incompetence of governments and the potential for corruption. Our National Broadband Network in Oz, massively over budget, obsolete before being completed, and a serious barrier to real competition from the private sector, is a case lesson.

Steve Z
March 8, 2021 5:07 pm

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Channel (called La Manche on the other side), the French must be cheering on the UK’s economic suicide, waiting for a golden opportunity to capitalize on British stupidity.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, the French government realized that France was running out of coal, and developed an ambitious program of building nuclear power plants, which now provide over 75% of the country’s electric power, with most of the rest coming from hydroelectric plants in the Alps and Pyrenees. France also has an extensive passenger rail system, which is also powered by electricity.

France is still dependent on foreign imports for oil and gas (for home heating and transport), but is poised for an industrial boom if the UK tries to go carbon-neutral and cripples its industrial base, and its eastern neighbor Germany is also shutting down nuclear plants. It’s a lot easier to win an economic battle when two of your closest competitors shoot themselves in the foot!

They might call the latest agreement on climate change the “Paris accords”, but thanks to their nuclear power plants, the French are negotiating from a position of strength.

Meanwhile, let’s see how much power solar panels can provide at over 50 degrees north latitude (most of the UK) in one of the cloudiest countries on earth!

In the afterlife, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher must be wondering whatever happened to their country and their party (the Tories)…

Reply to  Steve Z
March 8, 2021 11:30 pm

How soon do all the French nuclear reactors have to be decommissioned? Are any new nuclear plants being built?

March 8, 2021 5:31 pm
Reply to  Ossqss
March 8, 2021 5:40 pm

I wonder what it would be like living down wind from a thousand square mile solar farm? Would that change your climate? Inquiring minds would want to know. Just sayin,,,,

Serge Wright
March 8, 2021 5:56 pm

Green brainwashing is indeed the greatest problem facing western societies. Down in Australia, the brainwashing is done by using natural drought and heatwave events that cause fires and coral bleaching. The general theme is that we must act on CC to stop these events, but no mention is made of the obvious facts that 99% of CO2 comes from overseas countries and 100% of all GHG increase since 1980 is from developing countries. Even if evil and nasty Australia could somehow be removed from the world map, CO2 emissions would be higher after only 20 weeks, due to the emissions increase from the developing world, which now makes up 2/3 of global emissions and rising.

Perhaps the most laughable and logically absurd proposition though, is the propaganda being sprouted that China is leading the charge to zero emissions. Our SMH (hard left) media outlet ran a story this week with ex-PM Kevin Rudd (devoted China supporter) that was trying to green wash their rapid coal fired power building spree, as needed for the COVID recovery. Surely, Rudd must realise that China has no intention of CO2 reduction and their only goal is global domination. But he pushes the propaganda barrow like a true believing comrade, also believing the general public are all fools and will receive his words as gospel.

Chris Hanley
March 8, 2021 7:46 pm

The answer to whether the costs in terms of human well-being of ‘fighting’ climate change™ may be greater that the costs of CC™ itself ought to be intuitively obvious — by orders of magnitude.
Andrew Montford:
‘Do politicians have any idea of where they are taking us? Or does their thinking on energy policy only extend to posturing and pandering to environmental pressure groups? They can’t keep on like this forever. Eventually, as the bills mount and the reality of energy rationing hits home, the public will turn on them. And this could be sooner than you think. BEIS [Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy UK] hopes to clear the way for the grid to control appliances in homes by 2025’.

March 8, 2021 8:58 pm

Amazing. They seem willing to ruin their economy to attempt to reach an impossible goal which would not affect the catastrophe they seek to avoid.

March 8, 2021 9:59 pm

All of this makes a lot more sense when you realise that reducing the world population to less than 2 billion is a key part of the plan.
That is what is taught at our local college in the Environmental Planning course.

March 8, 2021 10:44 pm

The lunatics have been in charge of the asylum, formally known as the UK, for a long time.

March 8, 2021 11:17 pm

463 to 3. Little wonder the UK’s Labor and Conservatives are referred to as “Two cheeks of the same arse.”

Climate believer
March 8, 2021 11:43 pm

In 2018 there were approximately 6,600 employees in the UK PV sector, but the following year this number dropped by more than half due to cuts to subsidies.

In 2018, UK solar PV accounted for 29.6 percent of the total renewable capacity. However, its share of renewable electricity generation was just 11.7 percent.

Solar in the UK is a waste of everybody’s time and money.

Climate believer
Reply to  Climate believer
March 8, 2021 11:51 pm

Load factors for wind turbines are rarely mentioned by climate activists.
The load factor is the actual output of a turbine benchmarked against its theoretical maximum output in a year.

For the UK:

Vincent Causey
March 9, 2021 12:14 am

What is impossible cannot be achieved. As the UK begins its spiral downwards into ruination, and the “green prosperity” fails to appear, more and more people will want to know what’s going on. Is it Brexit (were the Remainers right)? Those blaming climate change policies will be censored. Others will argue the opposite, like AOC, it’s not enough renewables. At some point though, words cease to matter. All coalesces into a seething anger against the government.

March 9, 2021 1:06 am

Now I wonder what that could be?

‘We’d also like to remind people of the dangers of incorrectly disposing of hazardous waste, which puts both refuse workers and members of the public at risk.’
Bin lorry driver dumps burning load onto London street (

And there’s going to be lots and lots of bigger ones to get rid of with the climate changers and Energiser bunnies.

March 9, 2021 2:21 am

It’s now Nightmare on Woke Street regarding Leftists’ worldwide insane alternative energy policies.

The market, scientific evidence, logic, reason, and history all unequivocally show wind and solar are far too: expensive, unreliable, inefficient, intermittent, unstable, diffuse, have laughable energy densities, and require 100% immediate backup when it’s: too cold, no wind, too cloudy, nighttime, too much wind, snowy, icy, rainy, wrong season, etc.

Leftists either know this (or are too deluded and brainwashed to listen to the facts) but the purpose of choosing the absolute worst forms of energy to power grids has nothing to do with “saving the planet” from the evil CAGW monster, but rather as a tool for Leftists to steal control over every single aspect of people’s lives, steal $100’s of trillions from taxpayers, and to utterly destroy free enterprise and replace it with a New World Socialist Order..

This organized and purposeful destruction of economic and political system is hidden under the Machiavellian guise of insane “social, economic climate justice”…

In the past, rulers brought about change (either despotic or malevolent) through military conquest, better ideas, police states, new rules of law, constitutions, and fear.

Now it’s much easier and cheaper to usurp control over the masses through propaganda disseminated via multimedia and public education and creating a cancel culture to crush ideas and facts that expose Leftist lies.

The only way to defeat this new dystopian hellscape is voting Leftist propagandist out of office and replacing public schools with private-sector schools and institutions to actually educate students rather than brainwashing them.

very old white guy
March 9, 2021 5:40 am

Logic and critical thinking have vanished.

March 9, 2021 8:04 am

This reminds me of the British comedy Faulty Towers starring John Cleese. Cleese in his part was always in a panic dealing with a non crisis doing his best to correct the problem causing chaos in the process. The main plot is everything would have been alright if he had done nothing but instead he habitually intervened and caused the crisis he was attempting to avoid. Cleese played Basil Faulty and the British Parliament is now Basil Faulty and the US Congress is catching on to Basil.

British comedy has always been of the highest order. Too bad representation is not.

March 9, 2021 8:19 am

There is a kind of rhetorical inflation from the left.
People become inured to the phrase “right wing”. Now it’s “FAR” right wing. Pretty soon it will be terrible, horrible, no good, very bad right wing.

Frank from NoVA
March 9, 2021 8:22 am

According to this article, the fall of the centralized Roman Empire was necessary to allow the political decentralization that eventually lead to the rise of the West.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
March 9, 2021 8:29 am

…meant to be a response to Zig Zag Wanderer at 3/8/21 5:51 PM

March 9, 2021 8:32 am

The climate change acts will be cited along with many other things including the hysteria over covid as part of the “millennium madness” that engulfed western civilisation after 2000 (and the widespread use of the internet).

Based on previous historical analogies, I estimate it could last to 2050 – and if anything the shear stupidity may get much worse before it gets better.

James F. Evans
March 9, 2021 10:47 am

If the U.S. is forced to use only solar power & wind power,

there will be rationing… full stop.

March 9, 2021 11:30 am

Thank you Dr Aitken for a superb article. I should like to correspond privately if you would please let me have your r-mail address.
Aubrey Banner

March 9, 2021 11:43 am

Thank you Dr Aitken for a superb article. I should like to correspond privately if you would please let me have your e-mail address.
Aubrey Banner
[I’ll foward your email address–mod]

Ian W
March 9, 2021 12:34 pm

From a political point of view this is a no cost no risk virtue signalling NIMTO (Not In My Term of Office) which is why the almost unanimous vote in the Commons.

So by the time the virtue signalling is replaced by the deaths from cold and failures of economy etc etc. All the current politicians expect to be safely pushing-up daisies. So they get the virtue signal for free. That makes it the most dangerous type of virtue signalling as people try to outdo each other in what they want to signal as we can see with the dates being brought forward and more extreme signalling.

The only hope is that the climate will go so cold in the next year that the entire CO2 causes warming edifice will be pulled down as it becomes more apparent that a weak/strong Sun is the driver of the climate.

As many people have built entrenched positions on that one it will be interesting to watch the debate and it will be a real spectator sport discussion!!

Matthew Sykes
March 9, 2021 11:37 pm

It is difficult to fathom just how ignorant politicians are. This is a unilateral commitment to the Paris accord, and will naturally impact that countries economy in a profound way, making it so uncompetitive it will nearly destroy it.

Matthew Sykes
March 10, 2021 12:10 am

Already new build houses can not have gas heating.

Death by a thousand small cuts.

We have thousands a year dying from energy poverty, yet we put green taxes on energy, and build expensive generation, like wind turbines.

And soon we will have electric cars, at what cost when the subsidies and incentives have been drawn up and supporting taxes levied.

It is the poor who will pay of course, as they do today.

How did we let the self elected elite impose this dystopic nightmare on us? We are witnessing the very destruction of our country yet are powerless to stop it. All logic, all argument is futile. What is there left to do to end this slow death?

March 10, 2021 4:29 pm

Since bacteria is more efficient at converting CO2 to carbohydrates we need to replace existing forests and farmlands with bacterial ponds.

March 10, 2021 9:50 pm

This article is about the “baby bust” – a sharp fall in birth rates caused by the current covid19 pandemic. But it also makes the point that climate doom-mongering about illusory future crises and extinctions is also depressing birth rates.

In the economic sphere climate catastrophism is thus achieving a degree of self-fulfilment by driving down birth rates.

But scaring people into stopping having children is no doubt intentional. Climate alarmism feeds on a bilious misanthropy.

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