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Zero Carbon Commission Backs £27bn Carbon Tax

September 24, 2020

By Paul Homewood

h/t Dennis Ambler



From Business Green:


Carbon tax could generate £27bn by 2030 that could be invested into Covid-19 recovery efforts, emerging green technologies, and cushioning against any rise in household bills, campaign group argues

As the UK prepares to leave the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) at the end of the Brexit transition period, it remains to be seen how the government will price carbon to incentivise different sectors to slash their carbon emissions in line with its 2050 net zero target.

While the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) set out a plan earlier this summer for a UK ETS that broadly mirrors the EU’s cap-and-trade system, the Treasury is simultaneously consulting on the potential for a carbon tax.

While advocates of emissions trading systems – which set a cap on emissions within a sector and gradually reduce it over time – argue that the approach allows for a ratcheted reduction in emissions in line with decarbonisation targets, critics counter the mechanism is administratively complex, unfairly benefits politically influential sectors, and results in volatility in prices and weak emissions caps.

The Carbon Commission this week firmly placed itself in the latter camp, arguing in a major new report that economy-wide carbon pricing should be introduced from 2021 that rises incrementally across different sectors before universally settling on £75 per tonne of carbon dioxide by 2030.

The group, which brings together Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven, former Committee on Climate Change Chair Lord Adair Turner, and Green Finance Institute CEO Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, said that imposing a tax across the entirety of the economy from 2030 onwards would allow the nation to reach its aim of net zero emissions by 2050, while also offering investors and businesses with a simple price signal that provides long-term certainty and mobilises investment in net zero infrastructure.

The white paper, which collates eight months of public opinion research, expert witness testimonies, focus groups, and independent analysis from Frontier Economics, LSE, the Grantham Research Institute, Vivid Economics, and the University of Leeds, has been endorsed by a stellar line up of climate experts, including climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern, International Monetary Fund policy expert Ian Parry, and UK100 director Polly Billington.

"A higher, simpler and more broadly applied carbon price is a crucial element in the fostering of a post-Covid economic recovery that is consistent with net-zero emissions by 2050," said Lord Stern, who serves as chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. "The ZeroC report contains detailed, thoughtful and pragmatic advice which the government would be well advised to heed."

The Net Zero Carbon Commission estimates the revenues from the proposed carbon tax would reach £27bn by 2030 – funds that could go towards supporting the Covid-19 recovery, driving innovation and investment in clean technologies, such as carbon capture, electrification, and hydrogen, and cushioning rises in household energy bills, they said.

£27 billion a year amounts to £1000 per household, and this is on top of the current cost of subsidies paid out.

The idea that the money can be reinvested in coronavirus recovery is absurd and so utterly unscientific that it is hard to see how Lord Stern, who after call is an economist, can write such nonsense. (Well, actually I can see how, but it has nothing to do with economics!). Imposing such a tax on the economy would damage any recovery, not aid it.

As for using it to subsidise energy bills, where is the logic in taxing them, just in order to subsidise them?

In reality, most of the revenue will inevitable be wasted on subsidising green alternatives, which otherwise would not be economically viable. When fossil fuel use is ended, the carbon tax revenue will dry up, but we will still be left with expensive renewable energy.

I have a suggestion. Let the government send out annual bills of £1000 to every household in the country, clearly labelled “CLIMATE CHANGE TAX”, and see what the reaction will be!

Low tax on heating is bad for climate, says Harrabin

September 24, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t Philip Bratby


This totally one-sided by Harrabin shows just how he has become no more than a propagandist for the green agenda:


The rich benefit most from a de facto subsidy for home heating, a report says.

The paper from the think tank Green Alliance makes the point that heating gas incurs VAT at only 5% instead of the usual 20%.

Because the wealthy own the biggest houses, it says, they gain twice as much as the poorest from low VAT.

The report suggests increasing VAT, then using the proceeds to insulate the homes of the poor.

It also recommends increasing their benefits.

Read more…

The unfortunate ‘climate anomaly’ of the First World War revealed

September 24, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t Ian  Magness



WOW!! And no mention of CO2!


The First World War was made more bloody by a "once-in-a-century" climate crisis which rained death on Europe, a study has found.

Many of the 700,000 British lives lost in the conflict ended in the “liquid grave” of mud-choked battlefields, and the desolation of places like Passchendaele have become part of the imagery of the First World War.

Even on the Turkish coast at Gallipoli troops were immobilised and killed by appalling weather, drowning in their trenches and succumbing to exposure and pneumonia, as well as enemy bullets.

Using laser technology to examine glacial ice, Harvard and Climate Change Institute (CCI) analysts have discovered that Tommies fighting the world’s first global conflict also endured a freakish “climate anomaly” which "substantially" increased casualties.

The relentless rain which flooded battlefields like the Somme and inflicted famine on civilians was swept over from the Atlantic in rare periods of extreme precipitation caused by changes in the circulation of atmospheric air.

With peaks in rain, the Harvard-led study found, came peaks in deaths in bloody campaigns and the Spanish Flu pandemic which followed.

Read more…

The Costs of Offshore Wind Power: Blindness and Insight

September 23, 2020

By Paul Homewood



h/t Philip Bratby



Briefings for Britain has a long article by John Constable & Gordon Hughes, which demolishes the latest claims of how “cheap” renewable energy has become:


In this important contribution to our series on post-Brexit Britain Professor Gordon Hughes and Dr John Constable take on the entire green energy movement in arguing that the widespread view about the falling costs of renewable energy is wrong. They view official government projections of energy costs and hence prices as disgracefully inaccurate. Energy costs will be an important element in the UK’s future economic competitiveness and, if the authors are correct, energy prices are in for huge price rises.

The dramatically falling costs of renewables are now a political, a media, and conversational cliché. However, the claim is demonstrably false. Audited accounts show that far from getting cheaper, wind power is actually becoming more expensive. The failure of the British civil service to detect this fact and, hence, to protect the consumer and taxpayer from the consequences of the looming failure of the renewables sector raises important questions about the analytic competence of the Whitehall machine.

Read more…

How To Use CLIMOD 2

September 22, 2020

By Paul Homewood


 As you know, I have been using CLIMOD 2 a lot lately. It is a very powerful analytical tool for working with official NOAA temperature and rainfall data.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but is easy once you get the hang. So, as promised, here’s the idiot’s guide!!





CLIMOD is part of the Applied Climate Information System, which is operated by NOAA’s Regional Climate Centres. You can though access data from any part of the US via any RCC – I always use the Northeast, simply because I came across it first.

You can also, apparently access global data, though I’m not sure how up to date any of it is.

Anyway, on to Lesson 1!

Read more…

EU climate plan sets stage for an explosive rise in carbon prices

September 22, 2020

By Paul Homewood




Ambrose Evans-Pritchard keeps telling us that super duper renewable energy is so cheap, everybody will be falling over themselves to switch away from fossil fuels.

Very strange then that the EU’s climate plan will need an “explosive rise in carbon prices”, required of course to make renewable energy competitive with those expensive fossil fuels!

Prince Charles’ COVID Window Of Opportunity

September 21, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t Philip Bratby/ Robin Guenier



Charley Boy is at it again!



The Prince of Wales has warned the climate crisis will "dwarf" the impact of coronavirus.

In a recorded message, to be played at the virtual opening of Climate Week on Monday, Prince Charles said "swift and immediate action" was needed.

The prince said Covid-19 provided a "window of opportunity" to reset the economy for a more "sustainable and inclusive future".

He added that the pandemic was "a wake-up call we cannot ignore".

In his message, recorded from Birkhall in the grounds of Balmoral, Prince Charles said: "Without swift and immediate action, at an unprecedented pace and scale, we will miss the window of opportunity to ‘reset’ for… a more sustainable and inclusive future."

"[The environmental] crisis has been with us for far too many years – decried, denigrated and denied," he said.

"It is now rapidly becoming a comprehensive catastrophe that will dwarf the impact of the coronavirus pandemic."


I’m not sure what this “window of opportunity” is. Surely he does not mean we should all accept a permanent 20% drop in GDP, unaffordable government borrowing, millions of job losses and draconian restrictions on our personal freedom?


Maybe Charley would like to set us all an example and sell the four mansions,  Clarence House, Highgrove, Birkhall and Llwynywermod, which he lives in at various times of the year, and move into something slightly less energy intensive.

Suggestions welcome!

Sacramento’s Hottest August (Next To Highway!)

September 21, 2020

By Paul Homewood

h/t Rick P


 One reader has managed to find somewhere in California where last month was the hottest August on record:


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — We all know August 2020 was hot, but did you know how hot it really was?

Almost every single day in downtown Sacramento was much hotter than average with 13 days of 100 degrees or hotter. The month saw very warm mornings with above-average temperatures and very hot afternoons.

The middle of the month saw one of the longest and hottest heat waves in Sacramento history with eight days in a row of 100 degrees of heat.

Downtown Sacramento also recorded the hottest temperature ever for the month at 112 degrees. That kind of heat has not been seen in Sacramento in more than a decade.

If you take the average highs for the month they were 6 degrees above average at 98.4 degrees. If you take the average lows for the month they were almost 5 degrees warmer than average at 66.2 degrees.

The remarkably hot August set the stage for one of the biggest fire outbreaks in California history when dry lightning created more than 500 fires in two days.

And, indeed, CLIMOD confirm this:


One slight problem, however. Sacramento Executive Airport, just ten miles away, shows August 2020 as just fourth hottest, behind 1967, 1969 and 1996:

Read more…

Wot? No Olives?

September 20, 2020

By Paul Homewood



Sometimes  it is fun looking back in time, like this story from 2006:



An environmental consultant in Devon has taken advantage of global warming to plant what is believed to be Britain’s first commercial olive grove.

Mark Diacono

Mark Diacono prepared his land to suit the needs of his olives

Mark Diacono has planted 120 of the trees on his 17-acre smallholding on the banks of the Otter, near Honiton, and hopes to harvest his first crop in five to seven years.

He said temperatures had risen so much he believed the climate in southern England would be hot enough for olive cultivation. "The question is, have I done this 10 or 20 years too early?" he said. "I don’t think so."

Olive trees thrive in subtropical zones, such as Morocco, Mediterranean countries, south-western United States and parts of South America. 


We ought to start by explaining that Diacono is no ordinary commercial farmer. He was in fact Head Gardener at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage. (You did not really think Hugh did his own gardening, did you?)

Diacono is really more of an experimental gardener/environmental consultant, which of course is fair enough.

So how did those olive trees turn out?

Read more…

More Green Jobs Farmed Out To China

September 20, 2020

By Paul Homewood 


Where did all the green jobs go?

Far, far away!





Scottish firm Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab), whose three currently mothballed yards include the Arnish facility, near Stornoway, has failed to win any work on the £3 billion Seagreen project.

A Chinese yard has been chosen to fabricate 84 of the 114 turbine jackets for the development before shipping them to the North Sea.

The Scottish Government campaigned for BiFab to win the work, but operator SSE Renewables said the gap between BiFab’s submission and foreign rivals was “too significant to close”.

It follows the earlier award of a contract for 30 jackets for the wind farm to United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Lamprell.

Seagreen is being built 17 miles from the Angus coast and will have its operations and maintenance base in Montrose. It was hoped some of the lucrative work would come to Arnish, as well as BiFab’s yards in Burntisland and Methil.

BiFab union GMB Scotland said the Chinese contract showed Scotland’s ambitions for green jobs was failing.

GMB organiser Hazel Nolan said: “We would warn industry majors like SSE and the governments at Holyrood and Westminster that constant disappointment is now turning to growing anger.

“Communities dependent on offshore wind fabrication contracts… are being totally failed, and so is the country.

“Scraps off the table from our own offshore wind sector is bad enough, but when billion-pound fabrication contracts are wholly completed abroad and then shipped to the waters off Scotland, you know that any credible prospects for a green economic recovery are sailing by.”

BiFab’s Canadian owner, DF Barnes, said it had made its “very best efforts” in negotiations with the Seagreen project team.

A spokesman for the firm added: “We are extremely disappointed the developers have chosen to exclude Scottish yards from any fabrication contracts.

“Instead SSE, in the face of what could be one of the worst recessions in modern history, has chosen to give all of the fabrication work for one of the largest offshore wind farm projects in the world to companies in China and UAE.

“This is a missed opportunity for Scotland and a matter of deep regret to us and our partners.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the contract decision was “disappointing” and claimed the BiFab bid was competitive with others.