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Booker On The Cost Of The Climate Change Act

December 4, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




Booker highlights those OBR numbers today:


As the costliest project any British government has ever proposed, the HS2 rail scheme has rightly drawn heavy criticism from those asking why we are to spend £56 billion on a venture which promises such puny benefits. But most people remain strangely oblivious to a far greater cost to which the Government has committed us, for a purpose even more demonstrably futile.

What should be making front page news is the story revealed by the latest figures from the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR), predicting the soaring cost over the next six years of all the “environmental levies” imposed on us under the Climate Change Act. Between now and 2022, according to the OBR, these will amount to £65 billion, of which £36 billion will be subsidies we shall all be paying through the “renewables obligation”, mainly to the owners of our ever-growing number of windfarms.

These subsidies alone will represent a near-trebling of what we are already paying through our electricity bills, which by 2022 the OBR predicts will have risen to nearly £7 billion a year.


A BA Boeing 777 takes off from Gatwick, with another plane behind

Over the next six years, Britons will be contributing an extra £21 billion in Air Passenger Duty Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire


But on top of this, under yet another “green levy”, many of us will also be contributing over the same period a further £21 billion in Air Passenger Duty, which already adds up to £150 to the cost of any airline ticket bought in the UK.  Still further, we are all to be made, at an estimated cost of £15 billion, to install “smart meters”, which experts claim are so badly designed that they will give us no benefit whatever.

So all this will fleece us of around £100 billion, nearly twice the cost of HS2. But the other, even more terrifying part of the story is what we are to get for all this mind-boggling expenditure, as the only country in the world committed by law to cut 80 percent of our CO2 emissions by 2050.


Drax power station near Selby in North Yorkshire, with a housing development in the foreground

Drax power station near Selby in North Yorkshire, with a housing development in the foreground Credit: Graham Barclay/Bloomberg News


Even today, few have yet grasped the Government’s intention that, within 12 years, we shall be taking a further giant step towards eliminating much of our use of fossil fuels. We shall be forced to replace almost all our use of gas for cooking and heating with electricity, and most of our cars and other transport will also have to be powered by electricity too.

So where is all this power to come from, if not from the fossil fuels, coal, gas and oil, which still currently supply more than half our electricity and more than 80 percent of all our energy?  The Government’s answer is that most of it will be provided either by “renewables”, such as the wind and the sun, so intermittent that they can on occasion supply barely one percent of the electricity we need, or by new nuclear power stations, such as that proposed at Hinkley Point, which on current showing may never even be built.

Even during our recent freeze, with electricity demand rising to peak levels and half the power we can import from France disabled by storm damage, we were only keeping our lights on and our computer-dependent economy running with the aid of the few coal-fired power stations we still have left. We were told we were already in the “danger zone” of running out of power.  How timely that I was last week sent a leaflet from my own power distribution company asking: “Are you prepared for power cuts?”

We are sleep-walking towards what threatens to be the greatest self-inflicted disaster this country has ever faced. And the astonishing thing is that the last people to be aware of what is going on are those politicians who have brought this about. Their brains are so addled by groupthink about climate change that, even when the lights do go out, they will still have no idea that it was entirely their own blind stupidity, which made such a catastrophe inevitable.



The full analysis of the OBR numbers is here.

  1. HotScot permalink
    December 4, 2016 11:22 am

    And when the lights go out there will be the inevitable government knee jerk reaction, billions more will be thrown at the problem in a blind panic, ministers and officials will be forced to resign, and then the usual blame game will begin.

    How tediously predictable.

    Climate Change truly is the greatest scam ever conceived.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      December 4, 2016 8:12 pm

      No Ministers will resign, no officials will resign. None will be sacked either. “We were just following what the scientists said, 97% of them, you know”

  2. HotScot permalink
    December 4, 2016 11:23 am

    PS. Im voting UKIP at the next GE. They seem the only party with a sensible energy policy i.e. cancel GW altogether.

  3. AlecM permalink
    December 4, 2016 11:31 am

    This week, a new capacity auction will attempt to get new gas-fired power up and running.

    Diesel STOR is to be frozen out, but there might be gas engine generators. However, they can’t provide the massive power essential to stop power cuts.

    There is however, another solution – watch this space.

    • December 4, 2016 11:52 am

      Here is Emily Gosden on that in the Telegraph: but beware the small (community-owned, caring, sharing, etc) “distributed” generator zealots, they will stop at nothing to prevent the building of proper (nasty, capitalist, fossil-fuel company) power stations.

      • AlecM permalink
        December 4, 2016 5:33 pm

        Small generators cannot black start a power grid.

        Once it fails, we would be a third world country.

        Think of going back to the Napoleonic era.

  4. Graeme No.3 permalink
    December 4, 2016 11:32 am

    Not just the UK politicians are blind. Here in Australia we have several extreme examples.
    Jay Weatherill Premier of South Australia; under his ‘guidance’ the coal fired power stations were shut down (and even bulldozed) while blackouts fell onto the State with an increasing number of blackouts, included a complete State wide one, and rising electricity costs.
    Dan Andrews Premier of Victoria; despite the problems appearing in S.A. he wants to follow the same path. The coming shutdown of 22% of the State’s coal fired generation hasn’t worried him a bit as he thinks there is plenty of electricity elsewhere.
    As proof he has raised the mining royalties on coal and wants approval to big, new wind farms.

    • December 4, 2016 12:00 pm

      Australia seems to be trying to avoid having capacity payments, but sooner or later all conventional power stations will become uneconomic to maintain without them due to shrinking market share.

      • December 4, 2016 1:28 pm

        Even the Germans have seen the light. they are dialling back on wind and solar, and adopting an auction-based supply contract system similar to the UK’s ‘Contracts for Difference’.

        Hardly surprising: The Institute for Competition Economics at the University of Dusseldorf has calculated the total cost of Germany’s Energiewende. By 2025, they say that Euros 520 billion will have been spent. A family of four will have paid more than Euros 25,000.

    • Rowland Pantling permalink
      December 4, 2016 3:23 pm

      Australians are so heavily brainwashed – being told that they are among the heaviest “polluters” (CO2 output) PER HEAD – that they seem to be forced down the road of “renewables” as their almost only source of electricity generation. However, emissions PER SQUARE MILE would bring it all into perspective!

  5. Robert Fairless permalink
    December 4, 2016 11:41 am

    Ed Davey, former Minister for Energy etc. was an enthusiastic supporter and developer of the Climate Change Act, 2008, the most insane, idiotic and expensive Act of Parliament ever created by a misguided and semi-comatose House of Commons. He matched and surpassed the Act’s lunacy and for his efforts was awarded a Knighthood. Although no longer a Minister, he continues to spread the poison and the public continues to suffer from his dystopian nightmare.

    • December 4, 2016 1:35 pm

      Interestingly he was strongly criticised (though not named) in a report for his former department, now subsumed in BEIS, for, “a political unwillingness to withdraw popular schemes even when, as has happened with RO and FIT, a surge in demand is threatening the overall budget”.

      As a result we will be paying at least £9.1 billion, rather than the government’s own Levy Control Framework forecast of £7.1 billion.

      Thanks Sir Ed!

    • Gerry, England permalink
      December 4, 2016 6:49 pm

      The Climate Change Act was drafted by an ecoloon who is now in the House of Cronies and Incompetents. True though that it was passed by the MPs, all but a few brave ones.

  6. tom0mason permalink
    December 4, 2016 12:22 pm

    Why is it that Western politicians and bureaucrats appear to think Eric Arthur Blair wrote a blueprint for arranging society —

    “But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the destruction—indeed, in some sense was the destruction—of a hierarchical society. In a world in which everyone worked short hours, had enough to eat, lived in a house with a bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed a motor-car or even an aeroplane, the most obvious and perhaps the most important form of inequality would already have disappeared. If it once became general, wealth would confer no distinction. It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.”

    ― George Orwell, 1984

    The more times I read this book the more the parallels with today’s political and societal shifts become apparent.

  7. Derek Buxton permalink
    December 4, 2016 12:23 pm

    I keep sending information garnered from the Internet to my MP, a former Primary School Teacher with apparently little to do. But I get no response, either he does not understand or he doesn’t care. I care, no longer young I would not like what is left to be sacrificed for some virtue signaller!

    • December 4, 2016 1:05 pm

      Your comment really hit home with me:

      “But I get no response, either he does not understand or he doesn’t care. I care, no longer young I would not like what is left to be sacrificed for some virtue signaller!”

      That is how I and many others felt for at least the past 8 years in the US. We had just reached the point of despair and were being told that this was the “new normal.” There was a lot of anger at the ignoring of our wishes, that little “We The People” thing. Almost 2 years ago, while discussing the upcoming elections, I said “I want someone who will take a wrecking ball through the establishment, both sides”. Then down the escalator came Donald Trump. The left and the establishment just cannot come to grips over what just happened. We The People, we the Deplorables, we the voters just broomed them. These elections left only 5 of the 50 states (57 if you listen to Obama) with a Democrat governor and legislature. WV’s legislature flipped from 83 years of Democrat control to Republican in the last election. We gained in the WV Senate and now have the Secretary of State, Commissioner of Agriculture, still Attorney General (although Obama and unions went after him hammer and tongs), Auditor, etc. We kept all 3 Congressman.

      The UK did the Brexit and helped us to do our version of Brexit. Nigel Farage came over here and spoke at several Trump rallies. Now there is a need for you to broom your establishment. It can be done. If you want to do it quickly, we would be more than willing to send the Obamas to you.

      In that lovely interview Donald Trump had recently with the NY Times, he answered the owner’s bleat about global warming and the increase of storms over NYC. Donald said: “Arthur, there have always been storms.” He also referenced the hoax from the UEA “Climategate” and the emails. Never sell Donald Trump short.

      There is a photo of Trump’s plane which I think has not been a photoshop job. On the engine below the American flag is a “bumper” sticker which reads: “My other plane is AIR FORCE ONE.”

      • December 4, 2016 3:16 pm

        I hope Trump comes over hear at the invitation of Nigel Farage and tells it like it is. Unfortunately, although we voted Brexit, the establishment is still intact and is doing all it can to ignore the wishes of the little people and carrying on very much as normal. Over here, we non-elites aren’t deplorables, we are fruitcakes and loonies.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      December 4, 2016 4:45 pm

      Derek: I write on a regular basis to my MP (the current AG – which, in passing, really pisses me off because, as AG he is not allowed to raise questions from constituents in PMQs!) and he responds. However, I now know that responses from him tend to be hard-copy letters or scanned hard-copies. When I just get and email response I know it is one of his team – usually his constituency handler – and once, when I detected it was from him I let rip with a very impolite reply. Since then, I tend to get replies from the MP (‘though always sticking to the message). [sigh]
      Thing is, I shall keep writing. I’ll wear the bugger down.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      December 4, 2016 6:55 pm

      And that is why the final part of the Flexcit plan to leave the EU calls for the introduction of the Harrogate Agenda to make MPs accountable at all times by being subject to recall. After all, what is the point of gaining our freedom from Brussels if we let our clowns continue to have the power to throw our independence away again? And as is rightly pointed out, if your MP is a minister or even PM of course, they have no time for their electorate. How is that fair to use a regularly misused word? Hence the proposal of a professional government held to account by the MPs and who can be sacked for failure.

  8. Bloke down the pub permalink
    December 4, 2016 2:44 pm

    Should Christopher Booker drop by here today, tell him BZ on his article about the French tv programme.

  9. December 4, 2016 3:05 pm

    There has not been a sensible energy policy, particularly that for electricity, in this country for well over 10 years. Until the establishment is swept away, nothing will change. We need the equivalent of Trump to sweep out the stables. Only UKIP is the political party prepared to do it. LibLabCon are full of peas from the same pod – they have all been taken over by the greenblob. The civil service is even worse, being made up of the greenblob. You can tell that when the chief scientific adviser at DECC, Professor Sir David MacKay told them renewables were useless, yet he was ignored. Has there been any difference between, Miliband, Huhne, Davey, Rudd and now Clark (plus all the others, like Barker)? Absolutely not. They have all continued with the same disastrous energy policy. You only have to read their announcements or their speeches to know their strings are being pulled by the greenblob and that they haven’t a clue what they are doing.

    For over 10 years advice from scientists and engineers, who understand all about energy production, have been ignored. The REF and the GWPF, with all their experts, have been ignored in favour of advice from the likes of Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the BBC. People like Christopher Booker, who have been highlighting the impacts of the energy policy for well over 20 years have been ignored.

    So what can we do about it? Based on the past, there is little we can so, as the Government has not been prepared to listen to sense and there is no sign of any recognition of the problem or a willingness to do anything about it. All we can do is watch as wealth is destroyed by the subsidy of useless and expensive forms of energy generation, be prepared to produce our own energy and wait until the blackouts start occurring. Followed no doubt by civil unrest.

    • December 4, 2016 3:53 pm

      If UKIP gets (say) 20 MPs at the next election (maybe very soon) they could insist on being in charge of energy in a coalition govt.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      December 4, 2016 4:38 pm

      Phillip: I once raised an FOI against DECC to ask how many civil servants employed by them had membership (or otherwise) of Greenpeace or Foe or WWtF in their CVs. The reply I got said it would not be economical to supply such info and, besides, they did not keep such data on file. Yeah, sure.

    • CheshireRed permalink
      December 4, 2016 11:11 pm

      Yup. Have said for years the only way we’ll see the back of the CC Act is when someone who isn’t already tarred with the climate change brush (and therefore wouldn’t afraid of sacking the CC Act off) takes power.

      Mrs May started well by abolishing the DECC but has slipped badly with approving Hinckley C and HS2. The jaw-droppingly stupid ‘Swansea tidal’ white elephant is up next and who’d back against it getting the nod too?

      Gas is all we need to restore economic sanity to our energy policy.

  10. John Moore. permalink
    December 4, 2016 3:36 pm

    Why doesn’t this appear in the on line version of the Telegraph?

  11. The Old Bloke permalink
    December 4, 2016 4:27 pm

    I’ll defy anyone who can go onto to Google Earth (street view) and find a housing estate/complex close enough to the Drax cooling towers to be photographed in the way they have in the photo enclosed in the Booker article shown above.

  12. The Old Bloke permalink
    December 4, 2016 5:18 pm

    I too have looked long and hard at Google Street View. Amazing how those cooling towers “disappear” just a few yards further down the road as shown in your link. As you say, “telephoto lenses”. 😎

  13. Harry Passfield permalink
    December 4, 2016 8:49 pm

    Interesting thing about the new Premium DT, Paul. I have an old sign-on for the online DT – but not for Premium. That means I can’t read all of Booker’s article, but I can comment on it!

  14. BLACK PEARL permalink
    December 4, 2016 8:55 pm

    All this tax being reaped in, in the name of the environment and all the Govts are still near bankruptcy….. can they EVER be without it ?
    At some point the Carbon Tax will silently morph into the pollution tax, as Global Warming has to Climate Change

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