Reducing reason to net zero
Climate change policy is dead in the water, along with scientific integrity
The British government continues to display an intelligent, informed and above all powerfully effective approach to arresting “climate change”.
Its climate change spokeswoman, Allegra Stratton, has said people should do their bit to stop anthropogenic global warming (AGW) by freezing leftover bread, ordering shampoo in cardboard packaging and not rinsing plates before putting them in the dishwasher.
Makes you proud to be British, doesn’t it.
But what’s this? As the Mail on Sunday reported, the government’s flagship green policy of reducing carbon emissions to “net zero” by 2050 has been thrown into disarray. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is objecting to the cost which is currently estimated at more than £1.4 trillion. The Mail writes:
As part of the net zero plan –which would decarbonise the economy by 2050 – No 10 had been expected to publish in the spring details of the strategy for moving away from gas boilers ahead of Glasgow's COP26 climate change conference in November. But this has been delayed until the autumn amid mounting alarm about the bill.
The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) calculated the cost of making buildings net zero at £400 billion, while the bill for vehicles would be £330 billion, plus £500 billion to clean up power generation and a further £46 billion for industry.After energy savings across the economy, this would leave a £400 billion bill for the Treasury. The OBR also warned that the Government would need to impose carbon taxes to make up for the loss of fuel duty and other taxes.
Moreover, the government is now panicking over its proposal to ban gas boilers by 2035, so much so that it’s pushed this date back to 2040. This is also hardly surprising. As Fraser Myers wrote in the Telegraph:
But the truth is, the sacrifices being demanded of us in the name of net zero are incompatible with democracy, and the PM knows it. The boiler ban was a key plank of the government’s net zero strategy. Gas boilers were to be replaced with heat pumps. These heat pumps are not what anyone could call a reasonable alternative to boilers. While a boiler can heat your house fairly quickly at the flick of a switch, a heat pump can take around 24 hours to heat your home to between 17 to 19 degrees celsius - i.e., not-quite room temperature.
For the pleasure of living in your not-quite warm house, you will have to fork out around £10,000 for the unit and installation. Then, according to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), you can expect to spend an additional £100 per year on your energy bills.
If you want to own a heat pump and have a house that’s more than lukewarm, you’ll need lots of extra insulation. This means yet more tens of thousands of pounds in renovation costs. The Energy Technologies Institute estimates that a ‘deep retrofit’ could cost as much as building a home from scratch. This is not money that any ordinary person has down the back of the sofa - or that the taxpayer can reasonably cover for millions of households.
Getting used to this reduced lifestyle ‘will take an attitudinal shift’, says Chris Stark, CEO of the CCC. This is quite the understatement. It means abandoning what was once a completely normal expectation in a developed country: having a warm home in winter.
In our net zero future, we can also forget having a stable and affordable supply of electricity. Boris says he wants to make the UK the “Saudi Arabia of wind power”. But we should be wary of green energy experiments. Places like California that have rushed to swap nuclear and fossil fuels with renewable energy are regularly faced with rolling blackouts. Since Germany embarked on its Energiewende (energy transition), its electricity prices are now among the highest in the world, though, ironically, this hasn’t done much to lower CO2 emissions.
As Myers observed, the government’s net zero policy is effectively dead in the water. This is a trifle embarrassing, since Britain is hosting the COP summit in Glasgow which is expected to bring together more than 100 world leaders to commit themselves to reach global net zero and limit global warming to 1.5C.
Ye gods — are they all quite, quite mad?
It’s hard to to get one’s head round the fact that virtually the entire world has lost its marbles over this “climate change” agenda.
It’s not just that net zero carbon emissions is patently undoable without returning to a pre-industrial way of life — and unless fascist measures are used to force the population to do so.
It’s not just that the idea that humanity can change the course of a system as complex, chaotic and non-linear as climate is in the same league as Jonathan Swift’s satirical fantasy of extracting sunbeams from cucumbers.
Most astounding of all, the foundational premise of catastrophic warming caused by disastrous levels of carbon dioxide produced by human activity is just that: a mere premise, a theory, an idea, a hypothesis — but one for which the evidence is assembled to fit it, the precise reverse of the scientific method of examining the evidence to arrive at a conclusion.
As I wrote here for my premium subscribers, AGW is a perfectly circular theory which repudiates the key aspect of scientific inquiry — that it is always open to conflicting argument and thus can never be “settled,” as zealots insist is the case with AGW. Predicted by dodgy computer modelling, the premise of catastrophic “climate change” is fed into further modelling of events such as flooding, hurricanes, rising seas, starving polar bears and so on.
And so — amazing to relate — out comes yet another prediction of yet another dire outcome of catastrophic “climate change”. Yet away from the modelling, scientifically observable reality over time simply doesn’t support the claim that the rate of global warming is beyond the normal fluctuations of the climate over the centuries — nor that these catastrophic outcomes are happening, nor that if some of these developments are taking place at any level that this is mostly or entirely the result of human activity.
Actual observable evidence that the predicted climate apocalypse just doesn’t stack up is being produced all the time — and yet it’s airbrushed out of political and mainstream media discourse.
For example, for decades we’ve been told that AGW is destroying the Great Barrier Reef. But on Watts Up With That Peter Ridd now writes:
The annual data on coral cover for the Great Barrier Reef, produced by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, was released on Monday showing the amount of coral on the reef is at record high levels. Record high, despite all the doom stories by our reef science and management institutions.
Like all other data on the reef, this shows it is in robust health. For example, coral growth rates have, if anything, increased over the past 100 years, and measurements of farm pesticides reaching the reef show levels so low that they cannot be detected with the most ultra-sensitive equipment.
This data is good news. It could hardly be better. But somehow, our science organisations have convinced the world that the reef is on its last legs. How has this happened?
How indeed. Next, a new study has found that East and West Antarctica have profoundly cooled by -2.8°C and -1.68°C since 1979.
Next, we learn that everything climate catastrophists have said about Atlantic hurricanes and AGW is wrong. On phys.org, Bob Yirka writes:
Researchers affiliated with several institutions in the United States has determined that the increase in the number of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic over the past several years is not related to global warming. They suggest instead, in their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, that it is simply reflective of natural variable weather patterns.
And so on and on.
Back in 2005, the eminent MIT meteorologist Professor Richard Lindzen, who is scathing about AGW theory and the corruption of science in its service, wrote:
The primary implication would be that for over 25 years, we have based not only our worst case scenarios but even our best case scenarios on model exaggeration...
The public discourse on global warming has little in common with the standards of scientific discourse. Rather, it is part of political discourse where comments are made to secure the political base and frighten the opposition rather than to illuminate issues. In political discourse, information is to be “spun” to reinforce pre-existing beliefs, and to discourage opposition. The chief example of the latter is the perpetual claim of universal scientific agreement. This claim was part of the media treatment of global cooling (in the 1970’s) and has been part of the treatment of global warming since 1988 (well before most climate change institutes were created). The consensus preceded the research.
That media discourse on climate change is political rather than scientific should, in fact, come as no surprise. However, even scientific literature and institutions have become politicised. Some scientists issue meaningless remarks in what I believe to be the full expectation that the media and the environmental movement will provide the “spin”. Since the societal response to alarm has, so far, been to increase scientific funding, there has been little reason for scientists to complain.
All around us, the cultural institutions of the west are repudiating reason and evidence in the service of numerous ideologies which permit no challenge whatever to their driving idea and its control over peoples’ lives. Our supposed age of reason is based on science. To understand how reason is currently being destroyed, look no further than the terrible corruption of science by the politicised ideology of anthropogenic global warming.
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