While the now discredited Global Warming fanatics continue their outdated talk of rising temperatures governments and newspaper editors haven’t taken the truth on board yet.
The EU is demanding that we sacrifice food production to grow crops for ethanol production just at the very moment that the land is desperately needed to grow food. Here in Britain both Labour and Tories (and of course the terminally stupid LibDems) are busily vying with one another to dream up new taxes - new “GREEN” taxes - which will just make matters worse.
Cameron has used the slogan for the local elections “Vote Blue, Go Green” ! Can he be terminally stupid too ? (Most certainly - Alan Franklin. I never thought he was anything else!)
CONSERVATIVE HOME Blog 24.4.08
Unthinking environmentalism costs taxpayers, costs jobs and costs lives
Great work by Tory Treasury spokesman Justine Greening has exposed the uselessness of Alistair Darling's 'green tax hike' on cars. Her work has produced the main story in this morning's Telegraph:
"The "green levy" on motorists announced in Alistair Darling's first Budget will double car tax revenue to £4 billion but reduce vehicle emissions by less than one per cent, Treasury figures have showed... Justine Greening, a shadow Treasury minister who obtained the figures, said last night: "This is a massive tax hike which will have virtually no impact on the environment. Despite their claims, the Government don't expect this move to change behaviour at all - it is just another eco-stealth tax of the worst kind.""
The TaxPayer's Alliance's Matt Sinclair has already shown that we pay more than enough taxes to pay for our carbon footprint. We need to be on high alert for more and more 'green action' that ends up costing taxpayers, costing jobs and - worst of all - costing lives.
Environmentalists have a history of putting their views before the interests of people in the developing world. Attempts to ban DDT, for example, have only caused malaria infection problems to worsen. Only this week the founder of Greenpeace explained why he left the organisation because of its anti-science biases.
The biggest side-effect of today's environmentalism has been the impact on food prices (again see Matt Sinclair). Although far from the whole explanation for food price hikes Mary Riddell in The Telegraph notes how the current craze for biofuels is raising serious ethical questions:
"Filling a 4x4 fuel tank with ethanol uses enough maize to feed a human for a year. The EU quotas are a death sentence, and Brown should say so."
This week's Economist notes how higher food prices are hurting the world's poorest people:
"Famine traditionally means mass starvation. The measures of today's crisis are misery and malnutrition. The middle classes in poor countries are giving up health care and cutting out meat so they can eat three meals a day. The middling poor, those on $2 a day, are pulling children from school and cutting back on vegetables so they can still afford rice. Those on $1 a day are cutting back on meat, vegetables and one or two meals, so they can afford one bowl. The desperate—those on 50 cents a day—face disaster."
EUREFERENDUM Blog 24.4.08
Looking in the wrong direction (again)
We debated whether to have a go at the RUSI report, as puffed by yesterday by Charles Clover, environment editor of The Daily Telegraph and a few others.
This is the one that says that climate change could cause global conflicts as large as the two World Wars which will last for centuries unless it (climate change) is controlled. Thus does the Royal United Services Institute say that a tenfold increase in research spending, comparable to the amount spent on the Apollo space programme, will be needed if the world is to avoid the worst effects of changing temperatures.
However, other bloggers, like Tim Worstall had done it, and there was not – at first sight – much to add. However, it cannot pass without saying that if this RUSI report represents the height of UK strategic thinking on defence, then we are really in trouble.
The author, Nick Mabey, a former senior member of the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, is now chief executive of the environmental group E3G and, like many of his ilk, is obsessed with the prospect of global warming [it’s getting colder -cs] – and its effects some time in the distant future.
What is disturbing is that if you accept, like American Thinker, that a period of global cooling is a distinct possibility which, on current data, cannot be ruled out, then there are much more immediate threats.
Basically, there is no dispute that moderate global warming (such as we have been experiencing up to 1998) is broadly beneficial, especially in terms of agricultural production.
Without acknowledging it, the world has been enjoying a "global warming dividend" which is worth perhaps as much as a 10-15 percent increase in crop yield. If we are to suffer a period of cooling, we lose that dividend, just at a time when the global agricultural system is being stretched to meet the various demands of increased prosperity, larger populations, and the need for biofuel production.
One only has to recall recent events in Egypt, Haiti, Thailand, Indonesia and Bangladesh (and well as China and possibly Tibet), where there has been instability arising from local food shortages and price increases, to appreciate that a run of bad winters causing a downturn in global food production could have very serious consequences.
That is not to posit an Armageddon scenario – a market-driven economy can cope over the medium to long-term by increasing yields, and production is already being dragged upwards by the promise of sustained high prices. But that does leave room for local and regional crises which could have effects far more devastating than the notional adverse effects of global warming.
Any strategic appreciation which completely ignores this possibility, and focuses entirely on global warming, has to be seriously flawed. The whole point of "blue sky thinking" of the type which RUSI claims to offer is that you take into account all the realistically possible scenarios.
With Mr Mabey and his ilk quite possibly looking in completely the wrong direction, there is a danger that, for want of planning and appreciation, manageable situations will spiral out of control and become far more dangerous than they should.
That, in the final analysis, may be the real danger of "global warming" – that it has blinded our thinkers (and politicians) to the more immediate dangers as they hare off after their fantasies of an overheating world.
Posted by Richard North
AND Today we learn (Times and Telegraph at least) that in both America and here in Britain food rationing has been introduced in the US largest supermarket chain Wal-Mart and in British stores, in bid to protect rice supplies from hoarders.