There is so much good news about the collapse of the EU’s carbon trading scam, that I’m not sure where to begin. But let’s start with the fact that it has really, really annoyed Bryony Worthington – the activist from the hard-left anti-capitalist pressure group Friends of the Earth who wrote the most economically suicidal piece of legislation in British history, the Climate Change Act. Even more delightfully, it will also have upset Tim “Trougher” Yeo and Lord “King Trougher” Deben, both of whom were not only fully behind this latest planned EU conspiracy against the energy user and the taxpayer but who also had the sublime gall to suggest that this market rigging is what Margaret Thatcher would have wanted.(H/T Benny Peiser, GWPF)
No, really. Let’s pause a moment and cherish the delicious absurdity of this claim. Two Tory wets – of the kind Margaret Thatcher always despised – are now invoking the legacy of Britain’s most fervently anti-EU and pro-free-market prime minister in support of an EU attempt to rig the markets and punish consumers with an artificially inflated carbon tax which no one wants. Have a read and be amazed. You couldn’t make it up.
Anyway, where were we? Oh, yes, that’s right: having a good old dance on the grave of EU’s carbon emissions policy. Here’s what Walter Russell Mead has to say about its significance:
The EU has been the global laboratory testing the green agenda to see how it works. Today’s story means that the guinea pig died; the most important piece of green intervention in world history has become an expensive and embarrassing flop. It’s hard to exaggerate the importance of this for environmentalists everywhere; if the EU can’t make the green agenda work, it’s unlikely that anybody else will give it a try.
I think he’s right. The knock-on effects are going to be cataclysmic – in places like Australia, for example, which had been relying on the rigged EU carbon trading market to prop up Julia Gillard’s carbon emissions scam. And within the vast, overinflated bubble which is the green industry generally. No one will be safe in this sector: seriously, if you’re in renewables – as I know at least one of our regular trolls below does: he’s an adviser to the wind industry and graduated, I kid you not, from the environmental sciences department at the UEA – I would now think very hard about getting yourself a proper job.
So is there a downside to this? Yes, as the astute Richard North notes at EU Referendum, thanks to that Climate Change Act introduced by Bryony Worthington (see above), Britain’s own energy policy is now looking more expensive and disastrous than ever.
Sadly, though, Britain does not get the benefit of this market collapse, Mr Osborne having already decided to add to the cost of the carbon credits, with an additional £4.94 in carbon tax. This, while continental industry and electricity consumers will be paying something like £2 per ton of carbon dioxide produced, the British equivalents will be paying about £7.
With the UK government committed to driving the carbon price up to £18 in 2018, to £30 in 2020 and to £70 in 2030, using the carbon tax mechanism, we now face the spectre of the EU’s carbon market collapsing completely, leaving the UK as the only country in the EU handicapped in this way.
But I must say, personally I take a more sanguine view. It may not have escaped your notice that large numbers of Warmist rats have been leaping off the sinking ship of late in response to the growing evidence that AGW theory is bust. Our media – even our previously credulous mainstream media, even the Ecommunist, for heaven’s sake – is starting to grow more and more sceptical of the expensive energy policies which have been created to deal with what looks increasingly like a non-existent problem.
Do you think that they will consider it reflects well or badly on David Cameron that he continues to support an energy policy whereby:
1. The government’s business department splurges £50 million of taxpayers’ money on an equity fund – Greencoat plc – which invests in wind farms, not a single one of which would exist were they not propped up by heavy taxpayer subsidies. (This is not capitalism. This is a rent-seeking, corporatist oroborus.)
2. His wealthy father in law – Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt – receives a thousand pounds a day, mostly from hidden tariffs on your energy bill, for the hideous wind turbines sticking out like a sore thumb on his estates.
3. Thanks to the Climate Change act – UK taxpayers are committed to spending in excess of £18 billion a year in order to “decarbonise” the UK economy
4. Useless, expensive wind farms and solar farms are springing up like mushrooms – there’s one wind farm planned not far from me near the lovely National Trust property of Canon’s Ashby; there’s a solar farm being planned for Ringmer in the South Downs National Park, for God’s sake – in the most beautiful parts of Britain, and no one wants them there save the developers and a handful of green activists.
5. Our economy continues to tank, in good part because of the Coalition’s suicidal policy in favour of renewables, biomass-burning, carbon capture and storage, and because of its failure to move with sufficient alacrity into shale gas, to adopt a nuclear policy which doesn’t involve being ripped off hideously by EDF, and to investigate the possibilities of thorium.
Something has got to give here. Maybe at the height of the climate change craze in the Nineties and Noughties it would have been different. But economic reality, scientific evidence and public attitudes have moved on.
When Cameron came into power he took what some of us recognised straight away as a massive gamble with the UK economy: he decided to stake all on a revival driven by green jobs, green energy, green investment and announced his intention to lead “the greenest government ever.”
Since the green industry is almost entirely reliant on government subsidy, this was only ever going to work if all the governments of all the world’s major economies were prepared to rig the markets. The carbon credits system, for example, was never going to work in isolated pockets: the EU carbon market was doomed the moment the CCX carbon trading exchange (founders: Al Gore; Goldman Sachs) collapsed in Chicago.
So Cameron’s energy policy is looking completely out of touch with reality and, since the one thing he is truly excellent at is skin-saving I expect he’ll be forced to make moves in a more sensible direction. As too, if he has any sense will Ed Miliband. This will go against the grain: it was on Miliband’s watch as Environment Secretary that so much bad energy policy was formulated. But if he’s planning on winning the next election, I’d suggest to him that it might not now be such a good move to criticise Cameron’s renewable energy policies on the basis that they don’t go far enough.
At times like these, we should be more grateful than ever for the presence of UKIP – the only serious political party in Britain which does have sensible energy policies. Policies, I might add, written on the advice of the kind of people – Professor Ian Plimer; Lord Monckton; Roger Helmer; Godfrey Bloom – who for years have been vilified for being extremist, denier loons but who have now been proved right all along.
I don’t think any of us need hold our breath waiting for an apology, though. If you’re very, very good I’ll treat you to the defiant non-apology I got the other day from a bien-pensant journalist who has frequently mocked my own position on climate change. It’s a peach!