by Roger Helmer, Roger Helmer MEP
Earlier this week we had Benny Pieser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) addressing a seminar here in Brux. The GWPF is the think-tank set up by Nigel (Lord) Lawson (find it at www.thegwpf.org). GWPF publishes information and research on the climate debate. It’s not a campaigning organization, but it’s an invaluable resource.
Lord Lawson set out his position on global warming in his excellent book “An Appeal to Reason”, where he made it clear that our current policy approach to the question is ruinous, whether or not the global warming theory is right.
Benny is an old friend, who has previously spoken at events which I have organized in Brux. This recent seminar was courtesy of Godfrey Bloom MEP.
One of the points which Benny stressed in his presentation was the extent to which we are already winning the climate argument.
In America, it is now clear that President Obama will not be able to get Cap’n’Trade, or any other anti-business climate mitigation measure, through Congress. It is also starting to look probable that the Environment Protection Agency will be unable to place draconian restrictions on CO2 emissions. The USA will certainly not accept a new and restrictive global climate agreement unless China and India also do so.
China told a good story at Cancun, and sought to present itself as a player in the global warming policy debate. Yet it is building a new coal-fired every week (and carbon sequestration remains a fanciful dream).
The Greens love to talk about China’s commitment to green energy, but it seems to me that China is simply committed to making green kit — photovoltaic cells, for example — for the gullible West, regardless of the economics of solar power. As Galsworthy put it, “Rubbish that sells is not rubbish at all”. The Chinese are nothing if not pragmatic. The “green jobs” generated by my domestic 2.4 kw PV system were most likely in Shanghai, not Spalding.
Meantime India is close to emulating China in the production of coal-fired power stations. India has an enormous emerging middle class, and it’s not about to put that prosperity at risk with green energy.
In Australia, the Australian Labour Party, closely associated with climate mitigation and carbon taxes, received a drubbing from the Liberals on March 26th in New South Wales, with informed commentators saying that a key issue was fear of economic damage from climate measures.
In Germany, predictably, there has been an hysterical anti-nuclear reaction to the Fukujima incident. But there has been another less probable outcome: the German Socialists — yes Socialists — are calling for a switch to coal.
In the UK, our “Greenest Government Ever” has just announced a fast-track review of feed-in tariffs, which will lead to a cut in subsidies for solar energy — I’m already getting anguished letters from installers.
Meantime opinion polls are increasingly showing that in the UK, as in the USA, the public just don’t believe it any more — despite the relentless propaganda in schools and in the media. The public are sick of the subject, and resentful at being constantly blamed every time they drive a car or fly to Majorca. We don’t believe it, we won’t vote for it, we won’t pay for it. And the sooner the government catches up with the public mood, the better.