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Unilateral Folly

June 7, 2019

Guest post by Robin Guenier

Although hardly any country of any significance is also doing so, the UK government seems determined to implement a “net-zero carbon by 2050” policy. Yet there was a time when those in power understood the illogicality of unilateral action.

For example:

 

1. In his Forward to a 2003 White Paper entitled “Our energy future – creating a low carbon economy” the Prime Minister (Tony Blair) said:

“And, because this country cannot solve this problem alone, we will work internationally to secure the major cuts in emissions that will be needed worldwide…. Our analysis suggests that, by working with others, the costs of action will be acceptable…”

From Chapter 2 (page 25) of the White Paper (item 2.10):

“Climate change is a global problem. It has to be tackled globally. The UK cannot solve this problem alone … UK emissions of carbon dioxide currently account for only 2% of the global total. Our own actions will have no impact on climate change unless they are part of a concerted international effort.”

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090609003228/http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file10719.pdf

 

 

2. Nicholas Stern, in a letter to Gordon Brown dated 19 June 2006, said:

“Building international collective action is essential for an effective response. … This will necessitate early action by both developed and developing countries.” (Para. 2ii. – his emphases)

“The report will argue strongly that effective action against climate change requires a multilateral response, and that national policy should be seen in the light of its contribution to generating effective international action. The focus of our recommendations will be on options for global and EU action, not on unilateral UK policy matters.” (Para. 7)

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/149704/response/474631/attach/3/document2014%2001%2024%20161934.pdf

 

3. The “Climate Change Act 2008 Impact Assessment” dated March 2009 included this comment (page 7, S2.):

“Where the UK acts alone, though there would be a net benefit for the world as a whole the UK would bear all the cost of the action and would not experience any benefit from reciprocal reductions elsewhere. The economic case for the UK continuing to act alone where global action cannot be achieved would be weak.”

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2009/70/pdfs/ukia_20090070_en.pdf

 

It’s extraordinary that our current “leaders” don’t understand this obvious truth.

24 Comments
  1. June 7, 2019 11:56 am

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  2. saparonia permalink
    June 7, 2019 12:05 pm

    Governments never act out of philanthropy. The ‘common good’ is never taken into consideration. There must be financial benefit to the government themselves for them to act at all. Follow the Money.

    • June 7, 2019 10:31 pm

      And/or they think there are votes in it. No votes no job.

  3. June 7, 2019 12:25 pm

    Unilateral Folly may make some sort of sense if done with technologies with global applicability, pour encourager les autres, otherwise it is totally pointless “virtue”. Problem is that very few countries have nearby windy continental shelf waters, or scope for extensive hydro, the virtuous method of places like Tasmania, or geothermal as in NZ.

    As the late David MacKay said, lots of little bits often adds up to not very much.

  4. Robert Christopher permalink
    June 7, 2019 12:31 pm

    You can’t have forgotten, can you, Theresa May is going going to solve this on her own – it’s her way of doing things.

  5. Athelstan. permalink
    June 7, 2019 12:34 pm

    quote………..

    “Where the UK acts alone, though there would be a net benefit for the world as a whole the UK would bear all the cost of the action and would not experience any benefit from reciprocal reductions elsewhere. The economic case for the UK continuing to act alone where global action cannot be achieved would be weak.”

    And quote,

    “It’s extraordinary that our current “leaders” don’t understand this obvious truth.”

    imo and I ask earnestly,

    Someone please point out an example of, when, inclusive of the entire, the collective History of mankind that zealots ever pretended, to try, wanted to, be understood, even tried popping in a toe to attempting to understand truth and logic?

    ms treason may doesn’t care, did she ever try to, she’s a fanatic, please try to understand.

  6. June 7, 2019 12:39 pm

    ‘It’s extraordinary that our current “leaders” don’t understand this obvious truth.’ Knowing our current “leaders”, it is not at all surprising.

  7. Robin Guenier permalink
    June 7, 2019 1:31 pm

    Knowing our current “leaders”, it is not at all surprising.

    True.

  8. MrGrimNasty permalink
    June 7, 2019 1:47 pm

    Apologies for posting off T, but no one will see it on the old thread.

    Boris case unsurprisingly thrown out:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48554853

    Unilateral arms reductions never work, neither will unilateral economic suicide.

    Why do our leaders not understand? Corrupt or in a bubble – take your pick.

    At the moment they are probably delighted Brexit ‘uncertainty’ can be blamed for everything, it saves looking critically at EU laws/actions and climate/energy policy.

    • Bertie permalink
      June 7, 2019 5:04 pm

      I’m gratified that Mr Ball is now “massively in debt” and earnestly hope that any new attempts at crowdfunding to sustain his lifestyle are abortive.

      • Athelstan. permalink
        June 7, 2019 8:02 pm

        1000% behind it, crowd piss take.

  9. John F. Hultquist permalink
    June 7, 2019 1:47 pm

    It has to be tackled globally.

    2 points:
    #1: Argument for one world government;
    #2: Accepting that CO2 is the control knob of global warming.

    I do not believe #2 is correct.
    #1 is bogus and hateful.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      June 9, 2019 9:43 am

      Global warming was always about creating a global left wing government from the start – the UN most likely – the same way that the EU was always about creating a european superstate run by commissioners and not democratic. That is why no matter how much the science shows them to be wrong they don’t give up. Since it has now created a huge money-making merry-go-round for some people it has become harder to stop. Away from the star alarmists there are probably a lot of honest scientists who make a nice income from it so they keep quiet. only by shutting down those at the top of the pyramid can we win so I am very concerned that Donald is being persuaded away from his Presidential Science Commission by left wing Republicans and others.

  10. Douglas Brodie permalink
    June 7, 2019 1:55 pm

    You could add George Osborne’s comment in 2011: “We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business. So let’s at the very least resolve that we’re going to cut our carbon emissions no slower but also no faster than our fellow countries in Europe.”

    Some time after David Cameron’s “Vote blue, go green” slogan he reportedly saw the light and said “We’ve got to get rid of all this green cr@p”.

    • June 7, 2019 5:28 pm

      I offer my variant: “Vote green, go blue (with cold)” to any party willing to embrace reality.

  11. Gamecock permalink
    June 7, 2019 2:16 pm

    “Our own actions will have no impact on climate change unless they are part of a concerted international effort.”

    Ha ha ha. Your actions will have no impact. Period. You are irrelevant nobodies.

    Human emissions are less than 4% of CO2 emissions. 96+% are natural. So GB’s 2% of 4% is . . . 0.08%. Kill your economy and pat yourselves on the back. For 0.08%.

    OF COURSE, the ACTIONS are the goal. The undefined ‘climate change’ is just a trick to get people to accept the actions.

  12. Gamecock permalink
    June 7, 2019 2:33 pm

    ‘It’s extraordinary that our current “leaders” don’t understand this obvious truth.’

    Exactly. You don’t have any leaders. That IS the problem.

  13. Robin Guenier permalink
    June 7, 2019 4:02 pm

    Joe Biden, the leading contender to be Democratic candidate in the 2020 Presidential election, says he will make the US “a 100% percent clean-energy economy with net-zero emissions” by 2050. And, it seems, he’s faced up to the reality of the need for international action. His solution – at least re China, “by far the world’s largest emitter of carbon”, is this:

    We’ll not only hold their leaders accountable for reducing carbon output at home in their country, but make sure they stop financing billions of dollars of dirty fossil fuel projects all across Asia.

    I wonder how he’d do that? Sanctions? War? Stamp his feet?

    PS: he says his plan for the US will cost $1.7 trillion. Seems a bit low if it’s going to cost the UK “more than £1 trillion” ($1.34 trillion).

    • Gerry, England permalink
      June 9, 2019 9:46 am

      Looks like the old duffer hasn’t heard that China is funding power stations across Africa to increase their influence there. The USA and the rest of the west are likely to be irrelevant before too long.

  14. June 7, 2019 5:37 pm

    The problem is that currently there is no downside for politicians embracing the Green Mobs (plural, the foot-soldier zombies at the back of the plane, and the suited Blob at the front). Rising energy costs are blamed on profiteering by energy companies (even as many go bust, and other flee), and NOBODY in the MSM asks about cost vs benefit.

  15. Gamecock permalink
    June 7, 2019 7:10 pm

    Joe Biden has no authority over 2050, any more than Jimmy Carter had authority over today.

    In fact, Ol’ Joe will be 108 years old in 2050. Sure is nice of him to plan life for people who survive him. I’m sure they’ll be grateful.

  16. June 7, 2019 11:50 pm

    May has never knowingly, in her three years in office, governed in the national interest. She failed to surrender the UK to the EU as a colony via her ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ – even though she tried 3 times and eventually climbed into bed with an IRA supporting Marxist in a last ditch attempt to do so. Now she thinks that she will secure her destructive legacy by legislating for zero emissions, which will cost the UK economy a trillion pounds and probably destroy key national industries by making them globally uncompetitive. She’s also going to try to prevent us leaving the EU in October by clinging to power through the summer recess, preventing a newly elected leader from becoming PM until they secure the confidence of Parliament. It’s hard to imagine that she does not actually hate this country. The tragedy is, mad Boris also plans to legislate for net zero by 2050, so he’s either nuts or he wants to see the UK fail by the act of deliberately shooting ourselves in the foot. On the evidence, one would have to say that a majority of our MPs are either technically insane or actually wish to inflict serious damage upon the economy of the country they supposedly lead, not to mention inflicting poverty and even ill health and death upon the constituents they have been elected to represent.

  17. June 8, 2019 10:24 am

    Britain may stand alone for the moment, but the thinking is, as in the last war, as long as we hold out, we will be joined by other forces for good, i.e. the EU.

    Tony Blair started the fashion for political virtue signalling with his “Make Poverty History.” And poverty is being beaten (though more thanks to the efforts of the poor countries themselves.) Trouble is, it brought him little political benefit, because the gradual elimination of poverty on a global scale is slow and invisible, like global warming, ands anyway voters don’t care much about the GDP of southern Africa. I suspect Blair embraced climate change action as a replacement for Make Poverty History. If there’s no catastrophe, it’s because of Britain’s firm action; if there’s a flood or a heatwave, I told you so.

  18. Jackington permalink
    June 8, 2019 2:47 pm

    The truth is all our politicians in the UK are scared to death of the green blob, extinction rebellion, Greta Thunberg, David Attenborough et all. Much more comfortable with virtue signalling even if it means ruining the UK ecenomy.

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