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16 November 2010 @ 05:21 pm
£720 billion reasons to sack green MPs  
Everything you need to know about global warming in the UK but were afraid to ask:

The text for anyone that wishes to localise it.
Simon Barnett explains.
The 2008 Climate Change Act commits Britain to cutting its CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 at a cost of £18.3 billion every year for the next 4 decades according to the Dept. of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) website. This is being funded by top slicing the cash from your energy bills. The figure does not include other costs such as the losses incurred due to the economic damage and the opportunity costs of these measures and obviously the law only seeks to address CO2 emissions in the UK.
Without pausing to question how that 80% target is to be attained short of closing down the entire economy, I'd just like to demonstrate the sheer scale of the costs of this bill with a little help from my beautiful assistant, HM QE II. Here she is on the £50 note, the largest denomination note in common circulation and guaranteed to win friends and influence people wherever she goes. Also assisting me in my demonstration will be red stick man who is participating primarily as a visual reference to scale, but you can call him Red Ed if you like. To apportion blame. Here he is demonstrating that a million of these notes £50 million will fit neatly onto a standard pallet.

And here he is again, this time demonstrating what £1 billion sterling looks like.

Now we are getting into the real money and Ed seems to have started sweating. So, the governments own estimate of £18 billion per year is a huge pile of our cash that would look like this.

Are you alright Ed? You seem to have gone a bit green.
Remember our light fingered politicians of all political stripe want us to fork over a similar pile of cash to their chums in green subsidies every year for the next four decades. That soon adds up to quite a tidy pile. So now lets play "where's ED?"

Assuming that some of that cash doesn't get spent on duck houses, that's one hell of a cure. But can we visualise the size of the problem it is supposed to fix? Let's see. The majority of greenhouse gases are water vapour. Carbon dioxide represents 2% of greenhouse gases and of that carbon dioxide 2% a further 2% is attributed to human activity, including livestock. So let's consider the following visualisation of 1000 double stacked 55 gallon drums.

The blue drums represent water vapour and the yellow drums represent naturally occuring CO2 from the oceans, rotting vegetation and volcanoes. Note here that a good volcano could easily wipe out several years of any anthro-morphogenic CO2 savings that we might make. We can't do anything about the anthromorphogenic CO2 in the red drums because it is produced in developing countries like China and India who have no intentions of hamstringing their economies to keep up with the latest eco fad.
Anthro-morphogenic CO2 from the industrial nations is represented by the green barrels. But wait. Remember the political slush fund that we have examined is for the UK only. There are over a billion people just in Europe and the US alone and only 60 million in the UK. So what CO2 reduction does our £18 billion a year buy us in real terms? Out of that 55,000 gallons the UK's total contribution is arguably less than a gallon at about 6 and a half pints. In that context, even an 80% cut is quite literally a drop in the ocean.
Maybe it's just me but doesn't the cure sound worse than the problem? A bit like amputating your leg to cure your ingrowing toenail.
But surprisingly few of the politicians, bankers, civil servants, trans national bureaucrats, academics, activists and energy companies who stand to receive a slice of this funding bonanza seem to see it that way. And who can blame them? Remarkably few of those pallets would be enough to turn most of us into true believers.
After 15 years of what climate science calls negative warming, i.e. cooling, and despite unchecked CO2 levels. I must confess I was already sceptical about the likelihood of human CO2 having the catastrophic outcomes described in some academic requests for funding. Especially not when much of their proof comes from weather monitoring stations sited within feet of air conditioning outlets, and when we discover that their results are homogenised by interpolation with hard coded variables. I know what you are thinking and I've heard about the consensus too. But when you can actually prove something you don't need a consensus. That's why you never hear about the consensus on gravity, or the consensus on evolution. Saying that 97% of climate scientists believe in global warming is an awful loot like saying 97% of priests believe in god. If they didn't at least pretend to believe in global warming, they wouldn't be climate scientists, not of the sort that receive public funding anyway. And when those scientists have to delete their own source data to prevent it from being released under freedom of information laws they deserve their current ignominy because at that point they have stopped being a credible science and have become just another bunch of religious extremists. Simply put the shoddy and disreputable field of climate science still has an awfully long way to go to actually prove that our 6 and a half pints of CO2 are a problem of sufficient magnitude to justify such an obscene amount of public cash. Not when we are the only nation currently prepared to eviscerate our economy in such a way, making the entire exercise a futile gesture from the outset.