FROM- UK Telegraph
Climate Change Act: Now the world faces its biggest ever bill
One of the mysteries of our time is how impossible it is to interest people in the mind-boggling sums cited by governments all over the world as the cost of the measures they wish to see taken to "stop climate change", observes Christopher Booker.
One measure of the fantasy world now inhabited by our sad MPs was the mindless way that they nodded through, last October, by 463 votes to three, by far the most expensive piece of legislation ever to go through Parliament. This was the Climate Change Act, obliging the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to reduce Britain's "carbon emissions" by 2050 to 20 per cent of what they were in 1990 – a target achievable only by shutting down most of the economy.
Such is the zombie state of our MPs that they agreed to this lunatic measure without the Government giving any idea of what this might cost. Only one, Peter Lilley, raised this question, and it was he who, last month, alerted me to the fact that the minister, Ed Miliband, had at last slipped out a figure on his website (without bothering to tell Parliament). The Government's estimate was £404 billion, or £18 billion a year, or £760 per household every year for four decades.
Such figures, produced by a computer model, are, of course, meaningless. But one of the mysteries of our time is how impossible it is to interest people in the mind-boggling sums cited by governments all over the world as the cost of the measures they wish to see taken to "stop climate change".
Last week I dined with Professor Bob Carter, a distinguished Australian paleoclimatologist, who has been trying to alert politicians in Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand to the scarcely believable cost of these proposals. He gave me a paper he presented to a committee of New Zealand MPs. China and India, as the price of their participating in the UN's planned "Kyoto Two" deal to be agreed in Copenhagen next December, are demanding that developed countries, including Britain, should pay them 1 per cent of their GDP, totalling up to more than $300 billion every year.
Africa is putting in for a further $267 billion a year. South American countries are demanding hundreds of billions more. In the US, the latest costing of President Obama's "cap and trade" Bill is $1.9 trillion, a yearly cost to each US family of $4,500.
Meanwhile, as Mr Obama's Nobel Prize-winning Energy Secretary, Stephen Chu, babbles on the BBC's Today programme about how the world's energy needs can be met by wind and solar power (for which, he assured us, we would need to cover only
5 per cent of the planet's deserts with solar panels), a study shows that for every job created in Spain's "alternative energy industry" since 2000, 2.2 others have been lost. (Mr Obama talks about creating "five million green jobs" in the US.)
Last week the BBC and various newspapers excitably greeted the opening by Alex Salmond of Whitelee, "Europe's largest onshore wind farm", 140 giant 2.3 megawatt turbines covering 30 square miles of moorland south-east of Glasgow. It was happily reported that these would "generate" 322MW of electricity, "enough to power every home in Glasgow". They won't, of course, do anything of the kind. Due to the vagaries of the wind, this colossal enterprise will produce only 80MW on average, a quarter of its capacity and barely enough to keep half Glasgow's lights on.
It really is time people stopped recycling the thoroughly bogus propaganda claims of the wind industry in this way. Any journalist who still falls for these lies by confusing turbines' "capacity" with their actual output is either thoroughly stupid or dishonest. The truth is that the 80MW average output of "Europe's largest wind farm" is only a fraction of that of any conventional power station, at twice the cost. For this derisory amount of power, the hidden subsidy to Whitelee over its 25-year life will, on current figures, be £1 billion, paid by all of us through our electricity bills.
Truly, our world has gone off its head, and no one seems to notice – not least those wretched MPs who allow all this to happen without having the faintest idea what is going on.