I wrote about this a couple of times here and here. The possibility that because policies are so centered around AGW that we would be unperpared for a cooling world. This is becoming more and more likely and the lack of an energy policy in the US is going to make it very painful very soon, as is happening in the UK.
From the Met Office's mistakes to Gordon Brown's wind farms, the cost of 'green' policies is growing, warns Christopher Booker
Impeccable was the timing of that announcement that directors of the Met Office were last year given pay rises of up to 33 per cent, putting its £200,000-a-year chief executive into a higher pay bracket than the Prime Minister. As Britain shivered through Arctic cold and its heaviest snowfalls for decades, our global-warming-obsessed Government machine was caught out in all directions.
For a start, we saw Met Office spokesmen trying to explain why it had got its seasonal forecasts hopelessly wrong for three cold winters and three cool summers in a row. The current cold snap, we were told with the aid of the BBC – itself facing an inquiry into its relentless obsession with “global warming” – was just a “regional” phenomenon, due to “natural” factors. No attempt was made to explain why the same freezing weather is affecting much of the northern hemisphere (with 1,200 places in the US alone last week reporting record snow and low temperatures). And this is the body on which, through its Hadley Centre for Climate Change and the discredited Climatic Research Unit, the world’s politicians rely for weather forecasting 100 years ahead.
Then, as councils across Britain ran out of salt for frozen roads, we had the Transport Minister, Lord Adonis, admitting that we entered this cold spell with only six days’ supply of grit. No mention of the fact that the Highways Agency and councils had been advised that there was no need for them to stockpile any more – let alone that many councils now have more “climate change officials” than gritters.
Then, with the leasing out of sites for nine giant offshore wind farms, there was Gordon Brown’s equally timely relaunch of his “£100 billion green revolution”, designed, in compliance with EU targets, to meet a third of Britain’s electricity needs. This coincided with windless days when Ofgem was showing that our 2,300 existing turbines were providing barely 1/200th of our power. In fact, 80 per cent of the electricity we used last week came either from coal-fired power stations, six of which are before long to be closed under an EU anti-pollution directive, or from gas, of which we only have less than two weeks’ stored supply and 80 per cent of which we will soon have to import on a fast-rising world market.
In every way, Mr Brown’s boast was fantasy. There is no way we could hope to install two giant £4 million offshore turbines every day between now and 2020, let alone that they could meet more than a fraction of our electricity needs. But the cost of whatever does get built will be paid by all of us through our already soaring electricity bills – which a new study last week predicted will quadruple during this decade to an average of £5,000 a year. This would drive well over half the households in Britain into “fuel poverty”, defined as those forced to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on energy.
Finally, following Mr Brown’s earlier boast that his “green revolution” will create “400,000 green jobs”, there was the revelation that more than 90 per cent of the £2 billion cost of Britain’s largest offshore wind farm project to date, the Thames Array, will go to companies abroad, because Britain has virtually no manufacturing capacity.
At last, in all directions, we are beginning to see the terrifying cost of that obsession with “global warming” and “green energy” which for nearly 20 years has had all our main political parties in its grip. For years governments, including the EU, have been shovelling millions of pounds into the coffers of “green” lobby groups, such as Friends of the Earth and the WWF, allowing them in return virtually to dictate our energy policy. Not for nothing is a former head of WWF-UK now chairman of the Met Office.
The bills for such follies are coming in thick and fast. Last winter’s abnormal cold pushed Britain’s death rate up to 40,000 above the average, more than the 35,000 deaths across Europe that warmists love to attribute to the heatwave of 2003. Heaven knows what this winter will bring. And remember that the cost of the Climate Change Act alone has been estimated by our Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband at £18 billion every year until 2050 – a law that only three MPs in this Rotten Parliament dared oppose. Truly have they all gone off their heads.