Thursday, April 28, 2022

Boris Johnson accused of misleading the public on the rising cost of green energy levies

Net Zero Watch has accused the Prime Minister of being economical with the truth about the cost of renewable energy levies.

Speaking during his visit to India, Mr Johnson rejected growing calls for scrapping green levies on energy bills, claiming that renewable energy “has helped to reduce bills”.

Mr Johnson said:

"Overall, if you look at what we have done with renewables it has helped to reduce bills over the last few years and will continue to do so. That’s why one of the things I want to do is use this moment to really drive towards more offshore wind turbines."

In fact, the opposite is true: the costs of renewable levies on energy bills have risen significantly in the last few years.

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) the cost of green levies on energy bills has risen from £7.5 billion in 2018/19 to 9.5 billion in 2021/22, rising to £12.4 billion in 2026/27 (the OBR has excluded the costs of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for small-scale renewable generation).

Boris Johnson’s intervention comes just days after government officials briefed the media that ministers were “examining whether green levies – used to fund renewable energy subsidy schemes – could be phased out gradually or dropped altogether by the autumn when bills are expected to soar.”

Green levies currently cost the UK economy about £11 billion a year in total, putting £150 a year on the average household electricity bill, and a further £250 per household on the annual cost of living, a total of £400 per household per year. The levies also depress wages and rates of employment.

Net Zero Watch and a long list of MPs have repeatedly called on ministers to remove these subsidies from energy bills to help reduce the mounting cost of living crisis.

Pollsters have warned the Tories that the cost of living is becoming a defining issue for voters.

Craig Mackinlay MP, chair of the parliamentary Net Zero Scrutiny Group, said:

"If renewables were providing cheap energy they wouldn’t need a subsidy, surcharged on consumers’ bills. We hear too much of the low-cost argument about renewables which is simply untrue. The environmental levies are a lever the government could reach for as entirely under their control to provide immediate relief on domestic energy bills. It is becoming incomprehensible why they don’t use it."

Dr Benny Peiser, Net Zero Watch director said:

"Boris Johnson is prioritising the Net Zero agenda over all other economic and social issues. He even seems prepared to commit political suicide over the cost of Net Zero and cost of living crisis. His self-defeating dogmatism is politically unsustainable."

Net Zero Watch.


We Can Adapt to Climate Change Without Destroying Our Way of Life

Our understanding of climate and how it changes is advanced enough to make reasonable decisions, using computer models, about activities such as future energy use and food production. However, for the last four decades, some have been using these models to project catastrophes in the event that governments fail to act. Although many of these projections have been wrong, the doomsayers continue to warn that humanity has 12, 10, or even fewer years left to save society.

These models represent our best current understanding of how the climate works. They have been positively evaluated by the World Climate Research Programme. Yet they are not necessarily correct. For example, a group of scientists at the University of Alabama in Huntsville found that the forecast temperature trends were twice those observed for the tropical upper atmosphere. Other published studies have shown that these same models overestimate global mean surface temperatures, such that observed global temperature trends are often in the lower part of the range of the models’ predictions.

As early as the late 1980s, the New York Times published projections that global temperatures would rise 3 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit while sea levels would rise 1 to 4 feet by the second quarter of the 21st century. Concern was raised that climate change would cause more droughts and more flooding. The reality has been far from these dire scenarios. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report shows more modest warming (less than 1 degree Fahrenheit) and much less sea-level rise (8 inches since 1900, according to NASA). And where heavy precipitation or drought has increased, the confidence in the models is low, according to the same report.

Other dire predictions also have been demonstrably falsified—for example, that parts of the globe, including Great Britain, would be relatively snowless by 2020, that the North Pole would be ice-free by the mid-2010s, and even that Mount Kilimanjaro’s glaciers would disappear by the mid-2010s. In the late 1980s, widespread famines were predicted, followed by the collapse of global agriculture, all by the start of the 21st century. Since that prediction, agricultural output has increased in the Midwest by about 20%.

Finally, a recent study showed that predictions that ocean acidification would decimate fish populations are also proving to be false.

Does all this good news mean that we can ignore the models or that researching them is a wasted effort? Of course not. They may be among the best tools we have. We just need to interpret their results with an awareness of their limitations. When people sensationalize the findings by highlighting only the most unfounded alarmist projections in the upper part of the forecast range, we should resist their alarmism absent compelling evidence.

Given the relatively poor record of model predictions, we should not be frightened into adopting draconian policies that threaten our entire way of life and well-being—especially those that would harm the world's poor. Rather, we should adapt to changes in climate, which can be done most effectively through the entrepreneurial innovations made possible through free markets.


Biden's Energy Chief Wants to Destroy American Energy

President Biden's Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm — known for laughing when asked what the Biden administration would do to lower gas prices — is now talking about how the whole country should look to California as an example for its plan to eradicate fossil fuels and go fully electric, something that hasn't gone well in Golden State and few Americans elsewhere want.

Asked about Los Angeles' plan to have zero emissions by 2028 and Governor Newsom's plan for California to only sell electric vehicles by 2035, Secretary Granholm said the state's goals are "real" and declared "California is on the leading edge of this, clearly."

"The whole country looks to what California is doing," Granholm continued, though observers across the nation are more likely looking in the same way people can't look away from a car wreck, rather than in admiration. Granholm noted that "some people don't like what California is doing" (no kidding), "but California is really thinking ahead into the future," she said.

The unaffordable cost of electric vehicles for many Americans aside for now, a cursory review of how California's energy "transition" has been going turns up only dystopian examples from what the left calls a "greener" future that's not too dissimilar from the past that existed before electricity was readily available.

Rolling blackouts have plagued California, especially in the hottest summer months as the state's energy grid fails to produce enough supply from its alternative sources to meet the demand of its residents. As a result of California's going-for-broke embrace of alternative energy, residents are routinely issued "flex alerts" by state energy officials who beg residents to use less power in order to avoid massive grid failures. In an example from last summer, California asked its 39 million residents to "set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher," "avoid using major appliances, like dish washers and clothes washers and dryers," and "turn off all unnecessary lights." How...quaint?

Alternative energy sources have dragged California back to a time where air conditioning wasn't readily available, oil lamps provided light, and laundry had to be done by beating clothes against boulders in a river. Ironically, despite Granholm's bragging about California's "leading edge" status, California asks its residents — even before conservation alerts are issued — to only use major appliances "earlier in the day, when solar energy is abundant" and to charge electric vehicles in the morning "so there's no need to do it later, when solar is not available."

The dependence on alternative power sources, clearly, isn't working or viable. People getting home from work just... aren't supposed to charge their electric vehicles until the sun is up the following morning? And if California continues on its plan to have only new electric vehicles in the state, the drain on the state's grid will only get worse. As rolling blackouts continue, Californians will find their mandated "green" cars are less mobile than Fred Flintstone's Cavemobile.

And if, as Granholm claims, the nation is looking to California to lead when it comes the the energy "transition" that Granholm and President Biden want to pursue in their goal of ending fossil fuels, why exactly are so many residents fleeing to other freer states where fossil fuels aren't demonized? More Californians left their state than any other in the country in the year that ended last July 1 — some 350K+ residents sought better conditions elsewhere. Most went to Texas, Florida, and Arizona — red states where people are freer and the government isn't trying to drag residents back to frontier living in the name of "environmental protection."


Net Zero is dead

Comment from Australia

As this magazine argued early last year, the simplest way for the Coalition to win the 2022 election would have been to replicate John Howard’s and Peter Costello’s ‘tough decision’ GST strategy and in the interest of national prosperity and cleaner energy go to the polls with a commitment to revoke the Australian ban on nuclear energy in order to give us the cheap, reliable energy we will require for decades to come and with which we are abundantly blessed via natural resources. Such a policy would not only have given the Coalition something to fight for, it would have been the ultimate ‘wedge policy’ to skewer Labor on and – not that this seems to matter anymore – would actually have been the right thing to do.

Instead, Scott Morrison and his team of quislings, sorry advisers, asked the wrong questions in a motley grab-bag of inner-city focus groups and came up with the worthless and pointless policy of pledging to get Australia to Net Zero without nuclear power. Or indeed without any credible clean base-load energy source. (And please, spare us the Twiggy Forrest/ Mike Cannon-Brookes drivel about green hydrogen. Only the most cynical, corrupt or foolish politician would gamble an entire nation’s future on such an unproven and illogical technology spruiked by billionaire investors.)

All of which is now fairly academic because, as is always the way, events (dear boy) have overtaken political hypotheticals.

Vladimir Putin’s vile invasion of Ukraine has not only killed a tragic number of Ukrainians as well as Russian soldiers, it has also stabbed a bayonet through the heart of Net Zero with all the murderous efficiency of a Zaporozhian Cossack.

European governments like Germany’s, which for the last few decades have pursued the climate cult’s insane goal of obliterating carbon emissions, are now frantically re-opening coal mines and seeking reliable base load energy sources wherever they can find them, whether from fossil fuels or nuclear power. Countries in Scandinavia are suddenly desperate to start exploration and drilling in the North Sea again.

According to Benny Peiser, head of the Global Warming Policy Foundation who is currently visiting Australia and who along with Professor Ian Plimer (another regular and popular contributor to these pages) spoke at length to the Roseville branch of the Liberal party, average household electricity prices in the UK have jumped from a thousand pounds a year to two thousand and are headed for three thousand pounds per annum by this coming British winter. Mr Peiser forecasts many individuals and families will simply not be able to heat their homes.

Among British conservative backbenchers there is now a serious push to abandon Net Zero altogether. In the coming months, as war in Ukraine drags on and the energy crisis worsens, the delusional Greens-fuelled commitment to Net Zero may well cost not only Boris Johnson his job, but risks bringing down governments of all hues across Europe.

The task for a re-elected Morrison government, or a minority Coalition government relying on the support of any One Nation, Liberal Democrat or UAP representatives who scrape into the lower house, will be to abandon Net Zero and to rapidly set about promoting a nuclear energy industry in Australia.

The alternative, a Labor/Greens government, does not bear thinking about, but think about it we must. The simple reality is that, much like Joe Biden’s hopeless administration, an Albanese-Marles-Wong-Keneally government (just putting it down in black and white is risible enough) will quickly collapse in popularity as cold hard reality smashes to smithereens their utopian climate fantasies.




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