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UEA Professor Calls For Higher Motoring Taxes

July 17, 2019

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Dave Ward

 

A grant addicted climate scientist from the UEA has added his two’pennorth to the CCC’s criticism of govt climate policy. Since when was it the role of “scientists” to set public policy?

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Fracking, a third runway at Heathrow and road building programme contradict emissions-cutting pledge, say climate scientist and environmentalist from the region

The Government needs to show a more "joined up" approach if it is to enable the country to reduce carbon emissions and limit the impact of the climate crisis, a leading climate expert from the region has said.

Dr Phil Williamson, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia in Norwich points to the decision to allow fracking in parts of England and the current consultation on plans to build a controversial third runway at Heathrow as factors that contradict the Government’s pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

"Allowing fracking and a new runway at Heathrow isn’t joined-up Government on the climate front," he said.

"From now on any government department should be looking at the environmental impact of any policy and whether it is sustainable or not."

Dr Williamson said the Government had become "complacent" because the roll-out of renewable energy had "gone well" but said there were a number of things it could be doing to cut emissions further. These include ensuring overseas aid money for energy development goes only to projects involving renewable energy and encouraging more onshore wind projects and tree planting.

He also criticised decisions to relax building standards.

"All new buildings have to be super-efficient with good insulation and solar panels – I don’t think that would cost any more," added Dr Williamson, who also called for road taxes to subsidise the cost of electric cars, and for incentives for home-owners to buy solar panels to be reinstated.

Frustrated

Down in Suffolk, Green Party county councillor Robert Lindsay, said there is also a lack of join-up thinking on a local level.

He said he was "frustrated" by recent decisions to axe subsidies for bus services in the county and to launch a consultation into a multi-million pound northern bypass road scheme around Ipswich, which he said would increase traffic and therefore emissions.

Both decisions have come after county councillors voted overwhelming to declare a climate emergency earlier this year.

Mr Lindsay said: "Having declared a climate emergency, the ground breaker criteria on any project sponsored by Suffolk County Council should be ‘will it add to or reduce greenhouse gases’. If the project adds to climate emissions then it should not be promoted."

https://www.edp24.co.uk/business/government-behind-on-climate-crisis-1-6158388

 

He objects to fracking (don’t they all!). But he obviously has not got round to reading the CCC’s Net Zero Plan, which maintains that we will still be burning huge amounts of natural gas, both for power generation and heating (via conversion to hydrogen), all with the help of carbon storage, even after 2050. Would he rather we imported this gas from Russia?

And if Heathrow expansion does not go ahead, passengers will simply fly via other airports, such as Schiphol or Frankfurt.

He also wants to increase taxes on motorists, in order to chuck even greater subsidies at electric vehicles that nobody wants to buy. Given that motorists already pay £35bn every year in taxation, via fuel duties and vehicle excise tax, I suspect most drivers would be only too happy to tell Mr Williamson where to get off.

 

He claims his proposals will limit the impact of the climate crisis. But surely, as a scientist, he knows full well that UK emissions are far to small to make the slightest difference to the world’s climate.

 

Meanwhile Williamson’s buddies have been branded as hypocrites for jetting around the world:

 

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The Committee on Climate Change has been accused of ‘rank hypocrisy’ after sending staff on taxpayer-funded international flights that pump out greenhouse gases.

The quango’s personnel have flown to destinations such as Edinburgh, Turin and Bonn rather than opting for greener alternatives.

The revelations come just days after committee chairman Lord Deben – formerly Tory Environment Secretary John Gummer — made a call for urgent action to stop global warming.

The flights costing a total of almost £10,000 are revealed in documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday using a Freedom of Information request.

One first-class return trip to Beijing on British Airways cost £5,081 and would have produced an estimated carbon footprint of 9.2 tons of CO2 – some 6.1 tons more than the equivalent journey in economy.

Passengers on board were able to enjoy unlimited glasses of the £125-a-bottle Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle champagne and a sumptuous array of dishes including Herefordshire beef, chocolate cherry cannelloni and Bleu d’Auvergne cheese.

In other cases the committee has chosen to fly rather than take the train, which would have had a far smaller carbon footprint.

This week the quango published a 90-page report urging the Government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the UK effectively to zero by 2050.

Calling for aviation emissions to be limited to 2005 levels, Lord Deben attacked the Government’s environmental strategy, saying: ‘The whole thing is really run by the Government like a Dad’s Army. ‘We can’t go on with this ramshackle system.’

Duncan Simpson, research director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘These mandarins have got their heads in the clouds. It is rank hypocrisy for climate change quangocrats to be calling for zero-carbon targets while jetting across the world on the taxpayers’ dime.

‘Climate change bosses need to practise what they preach and these flights of fancy to Beijing and Paris must come to an end.’ 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7244975/Climate-committee-staff-flew-Edinburgh-Turin-Bonn-urging-public-cut-emissions.html

Chris Stark, CEO of the CCC, pathetically attempts to defend their flights:

‘We consider our travel choices carefully. We use sustainable forms of transport wherever possible, and avoid air travel in all but exceptional circumstances.

‘The small number of flights taken by committee members and staff allowed the CCC to support international climate work, where our expertise has been requested by the UK Government or international governments.’

 

In fact, trains would have been a perfectly practical way of getting to places like Edinburgh, Bonn and Turin. As for Beijing, have not they heard of video conferencing?

Even if a flight was unavoidable, why the need to travel first class?

 

 

FOOTNOTE

It is interesting to note that Suffolk County Council have already fallen foul of the green witch hunt. They are already discovering that virtue signalling is one thing, but actually doing something is quite another!

21 Comments
  1. July 17, 2019 6:20 pm

    Williamson is just playing the old untuned violin to please the politicians …

  2. Joe Public permalink
    July 17, 2019 6:30 pm

    Flights to Beijing are unnecessary; if they must attend in person, insist they travel by railway.

    https://www.seat61.com/Russia.htm

    https://www.seat61.com/Trans-Siberian.htm

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 17, 2019 6:47 pm

      Transsiberian is a great film, might put them off though.

    • July 18, 2019 11:35 am

      That sounds like a plan. If it is anything like the train trip I had with our tour in 1972 from Leningrad (St. Petersburg) to Moscow, it might just be the cure they need.

  3. Chris permalink
    July 17, 2019 6:42 pm

    Hopefully governments in this case are just paying lip service as perhaps they realise what nonsense it is

    >

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 18, 2019 1:53 pm

      Sadly not I fear.

  4. It doesn't add up... permalink
    July 17, 2019 6:47 pm

    I wonder how long it will take for the residents of Suffolk to become disenchanted by their greenstanding Council?

  5. Broadlands permalink
    July 17, 2019 6:54 pm

    What is a “leading scientist” leading? A path to oblivion with billions of tons of CO2 buried or stacked up somewhere “safe”?

  6. July 17, 2019 7:20 pm

    “added Dr Williamson, who also called for road taxes to subsidise the cost of electric cars”

    I take it he doesn’t know there is already a £3500 grant towards the purchase of EVs. Then there is the free parking, exemption from the London congestion charge (despite the fact they add to congestion), the fact that they don’t pay the cast fuel taxes other cars do?

  7. Thomas Carr permalink
    July 17, 2019 8:02 pm

    Councils declaring climate emergencies remind me of when their predecessors decided to to declare local nuclear free zones. Nothing like the naivete and conceit of the latest generation of ‘thinkers’ to keep us amused.

    • Andrew Harding permalink
      July 17, 2019 8:23 pm

      Thomas I remember that, the joke at the time was that the signs acted as some sort of talisman preventing their towns from being nuclear targets. The same naive people are once again trying to save us from ourselves!

    • Dave Ward permalink
      July 17, 2019 9:46 pm

      “Councils declaring climate emergencies remind me of when their predecessors decided to to declare local nuclear free zones”

      Norwich – home of the UEA – haven’t yet declared a climate emergency (although I’m sure “Dr” Rupert Read will manage to convince them). But they DID declare a Nuclear Free Zone many years ago…

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    July 17, 2019 8:02 pm

    Any ‘scientist’ using the word ‘carbon’ for CO2 disqualifies himself from any serious comment on climate change. ‘Carbon’ is political; science is neutral.

  9. A C Osborn permalink
    July 17, 2019 8:04 pm

    Yet another nonsense article in the Mail online.
    This time it is Scottish Wind Generation.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7256067/Scottish-wind-farms-created-electricity-2019-power-TWO-Scotlands.html

  10. Andrew Harding permalink
    July 17, 2019 8:17 pm

    What really bugs me about this global warming farce is that its proponents are all politically Left leaning and the money being wasted on this lie would go a long way to eradicating world wide poverty. Instead it is providing grants to those who; a) are not entitled to them, b) have obtained them by fraud and misrepresentation or c) by gross stupidity. The problem with the Left (and I don’t mean those who genuinely care about people and want to improve the lives of those who are worse off than themselves) is that it is about power and control as a means of societal change.

  11. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 17, 2019 9:29 pm

    Why is it never pointed out that UK produces 1.1% of global CO2 emissions and nothing the corrupt Gummer does makes the slightest difference?

  12. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    July 18, 2019 7:41 am

    What a very stupid scientist.

  13. Mrswarnertoo permalink
    July 18, 2019 7:45 am

    If superinsulation and solar panels didn’t cost more they would be standard. Fuel is already taxed at 200%. These people have been educated into imbecility.

  14. July 18, 2019 9:32 am

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  15. Phoenix44 permalink
    July 18, 2019 9:36 am

    The idea that members of the CCC provide anything useful at these meetings is laughable. What comes out of them is entirely predictable. They just say whatever they said last time but with more alarm. They have no expertise or insight to share. Yet another bunch of middle class people who can’t get paid what they think they should get paid in the real world.

  16. Gerry, England permalink
    July 18, 2019 2:03 pm

    I was at a sustainability centre on Tuesday and had to stifle laughter whenever they bleated on about CO2 and miles travelled by things. Bemoaning that because Hampshire is pretty clay free it had to be brought in from Sussex!! That said, there is some sense in buying things more locally and reducing trucking distances. There is also a benefit to reducing energy consumption as it can slow the rate of growth in demand and so requiring less money spent on new generating capacity. Currently of course a major driver is the inflated cost of electricity due to government taxes and even inflated gas prices due to everyone trying to use it for generation in place of coal. It was quite impressive that they had reduced energy use in one of their old MOD 60s buildings by 80%. It needed renovating anyway but probably cost them more than the norm. They use biomass for heating as they can produce their own from their land but there was acknowledgement that it was becoming contentious, at which point they talked of ground source heat pumps which would be great but for the ever escalating cost of electricity to drive them.

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