We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day – the cult of net zero

But grinding poverty is, so far as ministers are concerned, a price worth paying for the cult of net zero. Few independent experts pretend that either solar power or wind power are remotely adequate for the needs of heating and powering a country of approaching 70 million people. We are facing this serious crisis because of the demented opposition to nuclear power that has taken root in the last 20 years – a bacillus that entered the Conservative Party’s bloodstream with the leadership of Dave Cameron – and a chronic determination to make promises about improving our environmental record that would undermine the economy of any advanced country that relies on the generation of electricity, the heating of buildings and water and, of course, on moving people and goods around from A to B.

Simon Heffer

13 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – the cult of net zero

  • Stonyground

    If the threat from climate change was actually real there might possibly be some justification for the net zero nonsense. As it is we are dealing with a totally imaginary problem based on nothing but Lysenkoism.

  • If the threat from climate change was actually real there might possibly be some justification for the net zero nonsense

    But that’s the thing, even if the threat from climate change is real, Net Zero is an insane way to react to it. Making people richer is how to react, making all manner of mitigation possibilities affordable. Net Zero makes us poorer & less able to cope with any climate related threats. Yes, I think it is all bollox, but even if the AGW premise is accepted, Net Zero is not the way to go unless planetary poverty is an acceptable solution.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Making people richer is how to react, making all manner of mitigation possibilities affordable.

    That is a valid point.
    Still, there is (at least) one other point to be made.

    Assuming for the sake of argument that CAGW is real, then we should follow the Pareto principle: try to achieve the maximum reduction in emissions with the minimum economic cost.

    What the global ruling class seems intent to achieve, is the opposite: a minimal reduction in emissions with a disproportionately high cost.

  • Fraser Orr

    Even if we assume the direst predictions of CAGW, and if we returned Britain to the Stone Age it would make literally not one jot of difference since Britain’s total “carbon output” whatever that means is less that 1% or total world output. So it is literally just performance art in Britain. If it achieves its very best possible outcome then it will make no difference at all, except to make Britain much poorer. It will, however, make the politicians in Westminster much more powerful and their friends a lot richer, which is actually the real point here.

    The biggest contributor of carbon dioxide? China, and they are building more coal plants.

    BTW, I often wonder what the Labour government would be saying if Arthur Scargill was out demanding that the NUM keep their coal mines open. Would they be on Maggie’s side this time? It is funny how things change.

  • Paul Marks.

    Sir “Ed” Daley, the Liberal Democrat Party Leader, is (as I type these words) being interviewed on GB News (by ex Labour MP – “right wing” GB News has so many leftists, including a very dishonest ex editor of the Daily Mirror – who ruins every programme he is on) – the man is saying how he had to “fight the Tories every day” to force insane “Climate” policies upon them when he was in the Cameron/Clegg coalition government.

    If only I could believe him, if only I could believe that my fellow Conservatives “fought every day” to prevent these terrible burdens being placed on the British people.

    Sadly I do not believe “Ed” Davey – I do not believe a word that comes out of his mouth.

  • Paul Marks.

    Simon Heffer writes as if ministers make policy – that they think that terrible suffering is a “price worth paying for Net Zero”.

    Ministers do NOT make policy – it is presented to them. It may be scary for some people to look this bitter truth – but the bitter truth must be faced, if there is to be any chance of changing it.

    I would like the United Kingdom to be a country where elected people made policy at both national and local level – and the first, vital, step to achieving that is to admit that we are not, presently, in that position.

    Meanwhile almost every news station on the planet is presenting propaganda about the “Climate Crises is getting worse and is a threat to the lives of everyone on the only known inhabitable planet in the universe” (as English language Turkish television just said – but it is true for almost every television station) – does Simon Heffer think that British ministers set the policy of Turkish television? Or the BBC? On the education system? Or the Civil Service? Or the “scientific” “advisers”?

    And it is not just the C02 is evil theory – it is every major policy.

    Elected people do not set policy – not in 2023 in the United Kingdom. Face the bitter reality – and then help change things so that elected people do set policy.

  • Paul Marks.

    For those who do not know…

    CO2 is not a deadly poison that will wipe out all life on the “only known inhabitable planet in the universe” – C02 is actually vital for plant life, and thus for animal life (including humans) and C02 levels were getting lower-and-lower till the last century or so. Getting close to dangerously low – thankfully C02 levels rose (although they are still vastly LOWER than they were in some periods of the history of this “only known inhabitable planet”), and partly because of the rise of C02 levels crop yields rose, and we have avoided mass starvation.

    If C02 levels fall, crop yields will fall – and people will either starve to death, or be dependent on the artificial “food” being pushed by Mr William “Bill” Gates and his world governance associates. Not that they want people to be dependent on them for food and for various medications that EVERYONE supposedly “must” have (“no one is safe until everyone is safe – and that means accepting our product every year”) – it is just a coincidence, and nothing to do with their lust for unlimited power, for a stranglehold over ever person on the planet.

    Thankfully the United Kingdom only produces about 1% (one-percent) of world C02 emissions – so even if Net Zero helps utterly destroy the United Kingdom, it will make no real difference to world C02 levels.

  • jgh

    It now appears that cleaning the sulphur out of cargo-ship heavy fuel oil may have inadvertantly heated up the planet as the sulphur oxides were reducing the heating effect of sunlight on the oceans.

    This dredges up a memory from the 1970s where fuel oil sulphur oxides were being blamed for sending the planet into a new ice age.

  • John

    As Homer Simpson would say:-

    “Fuel oil sulphur oxides. Is there nothing they can’t do?”

  • Paul Marks.

    Agitation propaganda, “agitprop”, works – that is why some 60% of Swiss voters just backed “Net Zero”.

    Why would they not? No television stations exist in Switzerland that argue against this. And the schools and universities all say the same thing – on this and all other major issues of policy (including taxation).

    Indeed it is astonishing that 40% of the voters managed to resist years, decades, of intense conditioning (“brainwashing”) like the character of “Harry Palmer” in the film “The Impress File” – but 40% is not enough.

    So it is not Conservative Party ministers Mr Heffer – in reality they are also victims.

    In California the evidence of decay is all around the voters – yet they re elected Governor Gavin Newsom by 60% of the vote.

    Sadly, tragically, intense propaganda over a long period of time (essentially “brainwashing”) works – that is why it is done. But I still believe that the conditioning can be broken – that human souls exist and can be reached by the truth.

  • Stonyground

    “The biggest contributor of carbon dioxide? China…”

    Actually nature. The human contribution adds between three and five percent to the emissions that just happen naturally. There is a CO2 cycle that adds and subtracts CO2 to and from the atmosphere all the time. All things being equal, adding even a small amount to the plus side would be expected to cause levels to rise. Are all things equal? We don’t know, not enough is known about these natural processes to even state that CO2 levels aren’t just rising naturally in which case the whole world embracing net zero would have simply zero effect. The UKs 1% of 5% really is totally insignificant.

  • FrankS

    The CO2 Panic is a disgraceful spectacle, based as it is on such flimsy grounds. Petrol and diesel engines have reached superb levels of efficiency; our huge coal, and gas-fired power stations have helped sustain a generally efficient national grid in the UK, assisted by nuclear power. Living standards have never been higher, prospects never been better. All of this is to be thrown away because of an irrational panic. Study it for a month or two and see for yourself. Clintel dot org is worth a visit as a starter, to read their Declaration on Climate – ‘There is No Climate Emergency’.

  • Mark Richards

    It’s reputed that the true population is between 74M and 92M depending on who you ask.
    Apparently the water supply companies and the supermarkets tend towards the higher figure.
    That’s why nothing works.