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Swallowing the Green manifesto leaves a nasty taste in Ireland

June 21, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t Pat Swords


It is not only here that our politicians are heading lemming like towards oblivion with their obsession with climate change. But at least in Ireland some voices are making themselves heard against it:



Only 8% of the Irish public believe that tackling climate change should be the next government’s top priority, according to the results of an MRBI opinion poll published last week. This low percentage didn’t stop Fine Gael and Fianna Fail caving into the Green Party’s very far-reaching demand that we cut our carbon emissions in half over the next 10 years. The capitulation raises questions about the nature of Irish democracy. So does the largely uncritical coverage that the Green Party agenda receives.

Even during the general election, it was obvious that climate change was not a big issue for voters. Commentators and politicians noted it was rarely raised on the doorsteps. This was despite enormous media coverage of the issue, with RTE basically campaigning about it for months.

Thousands of schoolchildren had been taking part in climate strikes and we even had a children’s parliament, which took over the Dail chamber for a day to discuss the matter. The environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg seemed to be never off our screens.

Last summer, the Fine Gael government published a climate action plan, promising to reduce carbon emissions by an average of 3% a year by 2030. Every other day we seemed to have a new UN report issuing dire warnings of impending environmental doom. Here in Ireland an environmental expert, Professor Peter Thorne of NUI Maynooth, warned that, at some stage in the coming decades, a catastrophic storm during high tide would leave thousands of properties and landmark buildings in Dublin under water, with significant flooding in the city centre.

Despite all these warnings, voters still couldn’t be persuaded to put climate change at the top of their concerns. Yet this didn’t stop politicians going right ahead and making it the top priority of the next government. Of all the commitments in the new programme for government, none is as radical as the promise to cut carbon emissions by 7% a year for the next 10 years, and not 3% as first promised — a target that was already considered very ambitious and expensive.

What has been notable since the programme was published last week is how little discussion there has been of how much the 7% commitment is going to cost us, and whether it has a proper democratic mandate. The only real debate seems to be among the 3,000-plus membership of Green Party itself, with its Extinction Rebellion wing opposing the deal on the grounds that it doesn’t go far enough. Unless more than two-thirds of these members approve the programme, it’s back to the drawing board for the political parties, and maybe another election.

Perhaps we should have another election anyway, because if you are going to do something so huge and radical, it should have broad support and be properly debated. If you told people up front that the commitment on climate would cost tens of billions of euros, inhibit economic growth, and that households would be asked to pay tens of thousands on electric cars and retrofitting their houses, we would have Instant Rebellion. But we have been told none of this. A radical commitment has been slipped in as though it is the most reasonable proposal in the world.

It’s time for a proper debate, one in which we hear from a broad range of climate experts, engineers and economists, who represent a range of views, and not simply those who meet with RTE approval, such as Professor John Sweeney of NUI Maynooth’s geography department. He seems to be the go-to guy for RTE on all things climate, yet I cannot remember hearing a journalist ask him a single hard question. We are invited to believe that when Sweeney speaks, it is not simply the voice of one expert, but that of science itself, and that everything he says is indisputable.

In fact, climate models seem to be a lot like those epidemiological ones we’ve been hearing so much about. They involve lots of different assumptions and their predictions range over a wide spectrum. Although we know more about climate than we did about
Covid-19 a few months ago, even the UN itself, and its intergovernmental panel on climate change, makes a range of predictions about temperature increases and sea-level rises over the coming decades.

At a minimum, when Sweeney is on a TV or radio show, he needs to be asked which projection he himself believes in, and if he is focusing on the worst ones. Occasionally, he should have to debate with another expert who does not believe in the upper-end predictions. But is that even permitted any more? Are you now banned from the Irish airwaves if you believe in the lower-end predictions for temperature rises and sea-level increases?

Quite aside from that, we need to hear far more from engineers, because they are the ones who will have to deliver the conversion from fossil-fuel energy to green energy over the next decade. Do they think the wholesale switch promised by the programme for government is feasible? What about the promised reductions in carbon emitted by transport, never mind agriculture? And we can’t hear only from engineers approved by the Green Party. We must have a range of opinions.

Then there is the cost. A report from the Irish Academy of Engineering in November 2016 estimated that a 30% cut in emissions by 2030 — just about feasible, in their view — would cost €35bn at an absolute minimum. Yet cutting it by 50%, the new commitment, would presumably cost far more and be even less feasible from a practical point of view.

Economists need to tell us what the 7% a year cut will cost households. How much will we need to pay in higher carbon taxes, and in other charges, to fund all this? Retrofitting our homes to make them more energy-efficient would cost the average household between €30,000 and €80,000, according to one estimate. The programme for government envisages 600,000 homes doing this over the next decade. Then we also have to consider how the Green Party’s agenda might harm economic growth.

Why aren’t politicians, experts and commentators all over the airwaves asking these questions? Why do we get to hear only a narrow range of voices? That isn’t healthy. A radical green agenda is being imposed on us without our true consent. A properly democratic country would allow debate so that voters could then make informed choices. What we are being served up instead amounts to little more than Green Party propaganda. 


The similarities with the UK are uncanny, with the duplicitous behaviour of the media and the cowardly conduct of government.

Ironically Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have been forced into alliance with a tiny rump of greens because of their reluctance to deal with Sinn Fein, just as Merkel has done in Germany because of her hatred of AFD. In both cases this has allowed a tiny, undemocratic pressure group to subvert democracy.

Maybe the Sunday Times will allow a similar debate to take place in Britain. But I am not holding my breath!

  1. cajwbroomhill permalink
    June 21, 2020 10:19 pm

    Must be due to an impetfect storm of group think, uncritical ignorance, carelessness and corruption.
    What a shower!

  2. Genghis permalink
    June 21, 2020 10:27 pm

    IPCC and Sceptics Agree: Climate Change Is Not Causing Extreme Weather

    A new Global Warming Policy Foundation report from retired physicist Ralph Alexander, Ph.D. (Oxford University) supports the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s conclusion there is limited scientific evidence linking human-caused climate change to increases in extreme weather. Alexander’s conclusions are also confirmed by recent documents produced by Heartland Institute Senior Fellow and meteorologist Anthony Watts on the Climate at a Glance website.

    • June 22, 2020 10:31 am

      1. They have NO MEASURE of how much ( if any) of the current warming which began 350 years ago can be attributed to humans because of a range of other rather important things that they have not been able (or willing ) to quantify. Secondly putting energy into a system which has a large temperature range DOES NOT increase the range but REDUCES the range ( Is that the First or Second Law of Thermodynamics?). This is the same principle upon which heat pumps work, taking energy out based on the difference. Weather is generated by the difference in temperature so the shorter the range then the less energy that can be created so the less energy there is to fuel storms and from the limited time series of data which we have that is exactly what is being seen. The Climate Cabal have a record for repeatedly and wilfully claiming the opposite of reality in defiance of physics and geological history. Another example is the oft repeated acidification of the oceans. A. The oceans are alkali. When an alkali is altered it just becomes less alkali not acidic. Secondly, NEVER during geological history have the oceans been acidic, not even during the Cambrian when atmospheric CO2 levels were around 7000ppm. I had a very disappointing chat yesterday with a PhD student, a bright kid who is totally immersed in the CO2 myth ( Guess what, his PhD is in the renewables game). He kept refusing to accept anything outside of the human time experience as being important. I tried to explain that Earth processes run on a geological time scale and trying to analyse variation on a human time scale is liable to alias the data. He absolutely refused to accept that. I should have known to stop there. He theatrically brought out Eunice Newton Foote as if she proved anything except that CO2 can absorb heat. He seemed to think THAT was the proof for CO2 driving global warming AND Climate Change!!!!! I said but that has to be put into context. This kid is a scientist, doing a PhD and his lack of consideration of the scientific method staggered me. He knew all the buzz words….he seemed to think every time the Earth got warmer there were mass extinctions. I replied the absolute opposite is true and on a human scale each warming brought civilizational development. I asked what he thought was the ideal atmospheric CO2 level and he said “where it was at the start of the Industrial Revolution”! This one cause me as concerning because this has been generated purely by the MSN. Even the IPCC do not dare to try that one on, instead draw a claimed(not proven) human influence line at around 1950. Each time I told him a fact which contradicted the activist sound bytes he uttered he was completely unphased. He was convinced wind can replace fossil fuels and was also unphased by the emissions generated in their creation, and that when the wind does not blow electricity would magically come from batteries. When I pointed out coal and oil are needed to create windmills his reply was “only a little” and when I asked about their non recyclability he talked about plastic pollution. When I called windmills bird killers he then got on to the Deep Water Horizon. I tried to say but windmills are killing birds every day and the answer was “so is the oil industry”. The scary thing is that this guy, around 23, 24 years old has been immersed in this BS at school and see the result, the indoctrination is so deep. Physics does not counter entreched beliefs.

      • Mad Mike permalink
        June 22, 2020 11:21 am

        Your Phd student is only 23 and, he would hate the hear this, his brain hasn’t fully matured yet. He will have to wait another couple of years for that. Most of the papers on that concentrate on the risk taking aspects that are well known. A smaller section of brain development concerns the ability to think logically and unemotionally which seems to be a problem with your chap.

        Why we would even contemplate giving the vote to 16 year olds is beyond me and giving it to 18 year olds was also a grave mistakes but that’s a side issue.

  3. Gamecock permalink
    June 21, 2020 10:46 pm

    ‘a catastrophic storm during high tide would leave thousands of properties and landmark buildings in Dublin under water, with significant flooding in the city centre’

    ‘Properties’ are not government’s responsibility. They are the owners’ responsibility.

    City center Dublin appears to be at about 3 meters above sea level. With MSL rising no more than 3 mm per year, increased danger to Dublin is GENERATIONS out in the future. If ever.

    Looking at Dublin with Google Earth, one is struck by the presence of farm land TWO MILES from center city. At 75 feet elevation. If ‘a catastrophic storm’ strikes, people will get the idea to move a couple miles inland. Government need do nothing. Indeed, current government proposals are a complete fraud. There is no danger. It’s none of government’s business, anyway.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      June 21, 2020 11:16 pm

      A massive storm surge doesn’t care about a few mm or even feet of mean sea level rise, that’s what did most of the damage in 1839. I wonder what they blamed for the destruction in Dublin and all the deaths then, before ‘climate change’.

      Yet again we have experts warning us about things that will and always have happened, as though they are novel and caused by fictitious climate change.

      Anyone can make a vague claim of something that is certain to happen in the coming decades. I predict a major earthquake that will kill at least 5000 in the coming decades – Ladbrokes wouldn’t be accepting the bet though.

      Catalogue of extreme wave events in Ireland: (Paste and remove *s). Numerous storm surges affecting Dublin etc.


    • Up2snuff permalink
      June 22, 2020 8:25 am

      Gamecock, does the Liffey (think I have the name right) and Dublin Bay ever get dredged or is it allowed to silt up?

      It would not surprise me in the slightest if the latter applies under current ‘dogmas’..

  4. June 21, 2020 10:51 pm

    What percentage of the population is aware that most so-called greenhouse gas is water vapour, with a dash of CO2 added? The minor player gets an absurd and unwarranted amount of attention.

    • dave permalink
      June 22, 2020 10:58 am

      “… aware …?”

      Vaguely aware? Qualitatively aware?

      … 10% perhaps.

      Exact, comprehensive, quantitative, knowledge?

      … near 0%; “a trace,” as the chemists would put it.

    • johnbillscott permalink
      June 22, 2020 12:19 pm

      I guess taxing water vapour would be impossible considering the number of people indulging in a few cuppa’s a day.

      What is completely lost these days is the destruction of the West’s economies to effect the redistribution of wealth, on the basis of CO2 taxation and the creation of a UN World Government controlled by a unelected bureaucracy – a bit like a Super EU on steroids. Yes out elected world leader’s allowed this conspiracy to root at Rio in 1992

  5. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    June 21, 2020 10:53 pm

    Mostly reasonable except for “Although we know more about climate…

    “. . . it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, . . .” [from an unrelated post on ‘the reference frame’, June 6th]

    I wish I had written the above about global warming.
    The ‘green’ folks know almost nothing about climate, while had reasonable folks applied the knowledge of flu-like illness to the new virus we would not be experiencing Panic2020.
    We can do without Green Armageddon, the current panic is enough.

    • ianprsy permalink
      June 22, 2020 9:27 am

      “Mostly reasonable except …” No. As with much of the output on this subject, even when critical, it’s all about feasibility and cost, ,ie “how” and not the very basic question “WHY?”

    • Gerry, England permalink
      June 22, 2020 1:09 pm

      The UK government did just that and with their own towering incompetence have seen our death toll reach ‘world-beating’ levels. Having failed to heed the warnings over the last 15 years, our government only had a plan for a flu epidemic hence all the mistakes when dealing with a SARS virus pandemic. Every mistake can be clearly seen as they follow the wrong plan. A competent media would have picked up on this but then that’s not what we have these days.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    June 21, 2020 11:00 pm

    Only 8% of the Irish public believe that tackling climate change should be the next government’s top priority, but 33% believe Leprechauns are real. Say’s a lot about how credible the ‘experts’ and their proclamations of doom are.

    • grammarschoolman permalink
      June 22, 2020 9:22 am

      So where are the Green Party’s anti-leprechaun policies? They seem to want to spend the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, after all.

  7. June 22, 2020 12:53 am

    “yet I cannot remember hearing a journalist ask him a single hard question”

    That’s because journalism is in the game.

  8. markl permalink
    June 22, 2020 3:38 am

    So common sense once again wins out over “expert analysis”. What a surprise.

  9. Christoher Badcock permalink
    June 22, 2020 8:36 am

    Dear Louis,

    In that case, thanks again!

    Love, Dad XXX


  10. Eoin Mc permalink
    June 22, 2020 8:44 am

    Unfortunately Paul the veteran journalist who wrote this piece has been the sole non-left wing voice in Irish journalism for three decades. Whether in print or broadcast journalism it has been a relentless tsunami of blatant, doom laden climate alarmist bias in the Republic over the last five years. One coherent contrarian naysayer like the brilliant David Quinn doth not make a “debate”.

  11. grammarschoolman permalink
    June 22, 2020 9:21 am

    Hard to see why Ireland bothered to secede from the UK all those years ago if they were just going to make all the same mistakes that we do.

  12. David Allan permalink
    June 22, 2020 9:30 am

    It is EXACTLY the same in Scotland, where the SNP is kept in power by the Greens, who were elected disproportionately with a minuscule number of first choice votes. They are driving Sturgeon to “world-leading” carbon reduction targets, with no consideration of cost. Sturgeon and the Greens are never asked any serious or hard questions about their economy-destroying plans.
    Such suppression of challenge is everywhere, giving the greens and capitalism-hating supporters power far beyond responsibility.

  13. John Cullen permalink
    June 22, 2020 9:43 am

    Hello, I fear that Climate Change/Energy policies are but the most obvious symptoms of a deeper malaise, namely that democracy in the West has become suborned by special interest groups with vested interests in maintaining the status quo which enriches those groups at the expense of ordinary voters and ordinary consumers and ordinary tax payers.

    The cure for this malaise is, in principle, relatively clear. Ordinary people need to organise themselves politically so as to provide a counter weight to the vested interests. However, that is more easily said than done when ordinary people in this context come from all corners of the political spectrum. This suggests that political alliances will be needed to counter effectively the vested interests.


    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      June 22, 2020 10:39 am

      If people opened their eyes instead of “Black Lives Matter”, they’d be saying “We’re all slaves now.” (Although it’s hard to think of a period when the majority of Brits were’t effectively slaves of some elite class be Barons or industrialists etc.)

  14. June 22, 2020 9:53 am

    Hello! I am the new reader of your blog. I really appreciate the work you do Your article reflects a very relevant topic for today. Your analysis is very professional and interesting. Thanks!

  15. Mad Mike permalink
    June 22, 2020 10:16 am

    The French have a saying about themselves. “We talk with our hearts but vote with our wallets.”

    When the crunch comes that might be true of us all.

    • ianprsy permalink
      June 22, 2020 12:31 pm

      I can’t see it happening, Mike. At all levels, in all parties, aided and abetted by “the media” they’re going with the flow and Joe Public doesn’t see any debate to vote on. I particularly object to politicians’ hand-wringing about “fuel poverty” with no challenge.

  16. Pat Swords permalink
    June 22, 2020 3:18 pm

    I think people will find this submission on the EU website of interest, it is a link they can feel free to use on twitter, etc.:

    From a historical perspective it’s fascinating how the current Angst about the changing climate, and associated hysteria, really have long and unfortunate roots.

  17. A Norwich Tory permalink
    June 23, 2020 2:03 pm

    Thanks for highlighting this.

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