First published on FrontPage Magazine.
By Enza Ferreri
The UK is facing its greatest risk of blackouts since 2007/08 in the coming winter. The National Grid, responsible for balancing the country's supply and demand of energy, last week has given this warning because Britain’s reserves of electricity have halved in 12 months.
The UK and the USA are in the same boat here. Both countries have governments that have – or pretend to have - fallen for the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory hook, line, and sinker.
The Obama Administration’s regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, that The New York Times has described as “an aggressive move by Mr. Obama to bypass Congress on climate change with executive actions he promised in his inaugural address this year”, have been denounced as part of the president’s “war on coal.”
White House climate adviser Daniel P. Schrag, director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, admitted in an interview with the paper that this is exactly what it is:
The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.The new rules will be aimed at new gas-fired power plants but mostly at coal power plants, being the form of energy generation that emits most CO2.
According to a report released earlier this year by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, over 280 coal-fired units are expected to close down partly because of the new, stricter EPA regulations, 5 times more than the number predicted by the EPA itself. One of them is New England’s largest coal-fired power plant.
Some say that the rules will kill the future of coal and raise electricity costs.
In Britain, skyrocketing utility bills and “fuel poverty” are already a reality. "Fuel poverty" is a new condition, in which energy bills expenditure makes up 10% or more of the household's net income. One in four British households is suffering from it. Some people have to choose to eat less in order to keep warm.
The exceptionally high gas and electricity bills are due to the fact that householders are obliged to subsidize ineffective “renewables”, like the totally useless wind farms which are now blotting the country’s landscape and seascape against the fierce but crushed opposition of the local residents.
The Renewable Obligations Order system, introduced by Tony Blair’s Labour government in 2002, forces companies supplying electricity to buy a proportion of their electricity from non-fossil sources. Since these are highly ineffective, the energy companies have to pay inflated prices, which they pass on to their unfortunate customers through their electricity bills.
In March 2003 the Blair government published an Energy White Paper. In its Section 4.7 it says explicitly:
We have introduced a Renewables Obligation for England and Wales in April 2002. This will incentivise generators to supply progressively higher levels of renewable energy over time. The cost is met through higher prices to consumers. By 2010, it is estimated that this support and Climate Change Levy (CCL) exemption will be worth around £1 billion a year to the UK renewables industry. [Emphases added]It also estimated that meeting the CO2 reduction targets would increase household energy bills by up to 15%.
With the Climate Change Act 2008 the UK government, by its own description, "passed legislation that introduces the world's first long-term legally binding framework to tackle the dangers of climate change."
It is an unprecedented piece of legislation, which The Telegraph journalist Christopher Booker, author of books on the global warming scare, described as:
by far the most expensive law in history, which commits Britain, uniquely in the world, to reducing its CO2 emissions by 80 per cent in 40 years. By the Government's own estimates, this will cost up to £18 billion a year. Any hope that we could begin to meet such a target without closing down most of our economy is as fanciful as the idea that we can meet our EU commitment to generate 30 per cent of our electricity by 2020 from 'renewable' sources, such as wind and solar.Many want that law scrapped. The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has taken much more seriously the second part of its name than the first, and now the country is facing the consequences with the first blackouts of possibly a long series, while fracking is hysterically opposed by environmentalists who with their celebrity-filled protests managed to stop it in some locations.
This is the paradox of the AGW theory of man-made climate change. Not only UK pensioners are suffering and dying from some of the coldest winters on record – which refutes the theory, since temperatures haven’t increased with the risen levels of CO2 in the last 15 years, as the computer models based on the theory predicted -, but also they may not be helped by an efficient energy system, providing the heating that could save their lives, because of policies dictated by the very same theory.
For years energy experts have warned of an impending energy shortage crisis in the UK, due to the closure of many coal-based and gas-fired power plants while new ones have not been built, and the reliance on an astronomical number of newly-built wind farms to generate the necessary energy has proven a huge mistake.
The IPPC, the United Nations body responsible for research and policy recommendations on climate change, is a confused mixture of science and politics.
The IPPC comprises scientists and government officials, some of whom are scientists and some are not. There are two main types of IPCC documents: the reports written by scientists and the Summaries for Policy Makers which officials write on the basis of the scientists’ reports often in greatly altered and misrepresented form.
The Summaries for Policy Makers are usually the only IPCC documents that journalists and governments see. Repeatedly the scientists who wrote the original scientific essays have complained that their views had been misunderstood and inaccurately reported in the documents for policy makers, invariably to make them appear more strongly in favour of the received AGW theory wisdom than they actually were.
Even allowing for the remote possibility that there were some truth in that theory, whatever the reality about climate change, the policies of both the UK and the USA are nothing short of insane.
With China and India, the world’ most populous, fast-developing (and polluting) countries with 40% of the planet's human inhabitants between them, never subscribing to AGW theory - mainly supported by Western nations - and never accepting even the minimum restriction to their CO2 emissions because this would have hampered their economic growth, Britain’s and America’s attempt to cut down CO2 will only serve to damage their economies without helping the environment in any way, shape or form.
This is what columnist Charles Krauthammer has recognized when he called Obama’s proposals “nuts”. A diagnosis which is hard to fault.
More articles on the subject:
Why UK Electricity Prices Are so High
Disadvantages and Advantages of Wind Turbines
China Development and Climate Change
Photo courtesy of BritainGallery.com