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Ross Clark On The Cost Of Net Zero

March 5, 2021

By Paul Homewood


 Without question there has been a conspiracy to keep from the public the true cost of Net Zero, and indeed the Climate Change Act leading up to it.

All political parties have connived in it, along with the media, civil service and Committee on Climate Change.

Finally this cover up may be breaking down:



If it involved any other subject, the news that the Government hid estimates of the true cost of one of its policies would be a scandal. Imagine, for example, how bonkers the Guardian would go if it emerged that ministers and civil servants had colluded to conceal their real estimate of the costs of Brexit. But when it emerges that the Treasury withheld what it regarded as the "more realistic" £70 billion a year estimate of the cost of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 there was barely a murmur.

There is a long tradition of dishonesty over the cost of climate change policies. It wasn’t so long ago that the Coalition was implausibly trying to tell us that the Climate Change Act was going to save us money, by creating "green jobs" and saving us from ever-increasing fossil fuel prices. The collapse in oil and gas prices in 2014 put paid to that pretence, and when Theresa May’s government upped the legally-binding target contained in the act from an 80 per cent cut by 2050 to net zero emissions by that date the then chancellor, Philip Hammond, did quietly admit it would cost us £50 billion a year. But it now transpires that officials, even at the time, thought that an under-estimate.

The Government has got away with committing Britain to such a ruinously expensive policy because we have no proper debate over climate change and what we should do about it. The Climate Change Act was passed in 2008 with only five MPs voting against. Opposition to the net zero target is squashed through emotive charges of climate change "denial" and falsely claiming that all those who criticise climate change policy are stooges for the oil industry. The absence of debate has blinded us to the reality that while many countries have made vague pledges to cut emissions, only a tiny handful have tied themselves down with legally-binding targets which provide no wriggle room.

Very few people are aware of a fatal flaw in the Climate Change Act that could condemn most of our remaining manufacturing industry to oblivion. The net zero target only refers to "territorial emissions" – ie those physically spewed out within Britain. It excludes aviation, shipping and emissions elsewhere in the world made in the name of providing goods and services for UK consumers.

It is not hard to work out what will happen: UK manufacturing will be forced to relocate to China and other countries which have not been so foolish as to paint themselves into a corner by setting a net zero target before they have any idea how it can be achieved. We have as yet no commercially viable means of decarbonising high-emitting industries such as steel and cement, for example.

That is why even the Government’s higher estimate of £70 billion a year cost to achieve net zero by 2050 is likely itself to be an under-estimate. If we lose these industries and are forced to import these goods (to no net benefit for the planet) the cost to the economy will be far greater.

The public is right to be concerned about the environment and there are all sorts of reasons why we should invest in clean energy, hopefully eventually phasing out fossil fuels. But the real deniers are those who claim that we can achieve a unilateral policy of net zero by 2050 without serious costs to the UK economy, if not an outright diminution in living standards.


Large numbers like these are sometimes bewildering. I find that the best way to envisage it is as a cost per household. £70bn a year equates to about £2600 each.

Just imagine if you got a bill for that amount through your letter box every January 1st.

  1. JimW permalink
    March 5, 2021 2:57 pm

    But even within this article the reality is missing, the lie is told as a truth ‘The public is right to be concerned about the environment and there are all sorts of reasons why we should invest in clean energy, hopefully eventually phasing out fossil fuels.’ What exactly are those ‘all sorts of reasons’? No hope at all if there is no understanding of the sheer folly of trying to construct an electricity network with non-firm generation. Or of how any transport system can operate.

    • Patrick Harcourt permalink
      March 5, 2021 3:38 pm

      I wonder how many people know that wind and solar are intermittent sources of energy? A lot think that they are free or that the costs of offshore wind are now the cheapest form of energy so much cheaper than fossil fuels. I think Boris may be one of them as he has told us that all our electricity will come from wind by 2030. .

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      March 5, 2021 4:07 pm

      I read that (in the article) and my first reaction was, why would any sane country want to (with hope, ffs!) do away with fossil fuels??

      Decarbonising to N-Z over the next 30 years isn’t going to be anything like £70b per year. If that was the case then we’d have been right to believe that HS2 was going to come in on budget based on the original plans – of around £50B. Right now, N-Z looks like costing an (inflated cost) HS2 every year for the next 30 years!

      So, here’s my solution, fwiw: if the Government is really, really committed to this stupid policy, let them decide NOT to be World-leaders in the field. Let them consider following the progress of some other highly developed nation. I know, why not wait until China has managed to get on course to N-Z – say, when they get to 50%, then we’ll make a start. Until then we shall keep our FFs and use the time to build our nuclear – which we’ll need for all the whizzy new EVs that will be coming off the assembly lines.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        March 6, 2021 9:27 am

        EVs are pointless. We have 10 years supply of lithium and cobalt, mined by children and over 100 years of oil left. I’ll wait.

    • James Delingpole permalink
      March 5, 2021 4:22 pm

      I totally agree. This is because all MSM journalists, even those of a (very mildly) contrarian nature like Ross, are assiduously careful in staying well inside the Overton Window. Perhaps they think it will make their case more palatable. It’s what I call the Dogshit Yoghurt Fallacy.

      • Mack permalink
        March 5, 2021 8:45 pm

        The saddest thing of all James, is the complete lack of intellectual curiosity by, so called, investigative journalists, even those of an independent bent, into the origins of this scam and the motives that drive the net zero caravan. Ross Clark pokes at the edges, Rose, from the Mail on Sunday, regularly embarrasses the climate cognoscenti, but his days are unfortunately numbered, and Matt Ridley is allowed the odd pot shot from the increasingly woke Times, but the media narrative is overwhelmingly doomster. Even Michael Moore, Hollywood’s favourite socialist documentary maker, found himself getting cancelled when he dared poke holes in the hypocrisy of ‘so called’ green alternative energy. The owners and editors of most flagship papers and media outlets have been bought and sold on the green ‘wet dream’, regardless of its’ efficacy, and contrarians are deemed bad for business. Thus, the voice of independent thinkers are silenced. Make hay while the sun still shines for you at Breitbart James. Biden’s cronies have you in their sights!

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        March 5, 2021 9:01 pm

        Good comment, Mack. Questions that need answers.

      • March 6, 2021 8:25 am


        as you are in the trade, do you know any journalists that write about energy who understand the technicalities?
        Ross Clark, in the article above, talks about eventual clean energy and phasing out fossil fuels.

        Technically renewables and fossil fuel generation are not equivelant, i.e you cannot simply replace fossil fuels with renewables. I’m not referring to intermittency which is a serious and probably unsurmountable problem but that fossil fuelled generation is synchronouis and has considerable inertia.
        Synchronous generation is able to maintain frequency, the main parameter of the grid and inertia helps keeps the frequency stable,
        Keeping a consistent frequency is like a car on cruise control, as load increases , e.g. an uphill section, the system opens the throttle to maintain speed. It is this ability to modulate output that keeps the grid frequency where it should be. Wind, solar wave etc cannot do this.

        Two journalists that regularly write about energy, both with Ambrose in their names write the most appalling tripe about what should be done and demonstrate their ignorance on the subject.
        There is also another writer in The Independant with an Irish sounding name which I cannot remember and probaly cannot spell either who also is living in cloud cuckoo land.

        The trouble with all this is the vast majority of the general public, and it seems, our government, are also ignorant (why would they understand the technicalities of generation?) who are being seriously misled by the very large numbers of articles all making it sound so easy when it is quite the reverse.

      • Richard Jarman permalink
        March 6, 2021 12:45 pm

        James – This is your mission – to make sure that these arguments are central to the debate world wide and you need to find the resources and perseverance to build a necessary organisational base

    • Jason permalink
      March 5, 2021 5:53 pm


      • Harry Passfield permalink
        March 5, 2021 6:08 pm

        The DT mods are working overtime. I’ve had two comments not posted for no reason I can see (quite polite and non-inflammatory).
        I’m trying to get across that N-Z is not democratic. We are being ordered to comply.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      March 5, 2021 6:06 pm

      Go easy on him Jim. He’s got to keep his job. I think he was pretty brave to go against the party line with this article but he can only go so far. Anyway, some proper information is out there now. The BBC is bound to do a follow up exposing this deception by the Government.

  2. Patsy Lacey permalink
    March 5, 2021 3:05 pm

    Article in the Telegraph today headline reads “ownership of electric cars surges 50pc over the past year” 56k in 2019, 80k in 2020 add in company and commercial vehicles,a grand total of 213k.on UK roads. Read on to find out that there are over 32 million vehicles on UK roads! Says it all about DT – the old adage about converts being the worst is obviously true.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      March 5, 2021 7:53 pm

      Lies, damned lies & statistics!
      The same spin that we see with “Renewables”.
      “China doubles wind generation” or “China’s wind power soars by 100%”
      Then we see that it goes from say 100 to 200 units.
      Whereas coal, goes from 1000 to say 1200 units, a mere 20%

  3. Patrick Harcourt permalink
    March 5, 2021 3:12 pm

    Not only is the government grossly misleading the UK public about the costs to reach “Net Zero” but unless the world develops Nuclear Fusion, builds many thousands of new nuclear fission power stations, or develops wide scale carbon capture and storage, or some other miraculous source of cheap energy yet to be discovered, we have not got a hope in hell of reaching net zero by 2050.

  4. Stuart Grant permalink
    March 5, 2021 3:19 pm

    It is interesting that The Telegraph is allowing comments on this article, about 99% of which recognise that ” Climate Change ” is a scam. The one or two still convinced by AGW are noticeably fact free,

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      March 5, 2021 6:12 pm

      Not allowing mine…. 🙂

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      March 5, 2021 7:56 pm

      Surprising, as since Booker’s days, they’ve been steadily going “Green”
      Paywalled, so I can’t read it.

  5. Peter F Gill permalink
    March 5, 2021 3:24 pm

    JimW is right to point out some of the flaws in Clark’s final paragraph. Part of the problem is the general lack of understanding of planned energy conversion. Take the case of the almost completely outlawed coal. This is old highly compressed and chemically modified plant matter, largely containing carbon, oxygen, a little hydrogen and lesser quantities of sulphur , nitrogen and other elements. When combusted for stream generation at high temperatures some atmospheric nitrogen is also converted to oxides of nitrogen (NOX). Oxides of sulphur (SOX) are also emitted as are small particles of various substances (Particulates). Since the 1960s we have been able, with appropriate investment, to virtually eliminate particulates, SOX and NOX leaving only carbon dioxide and steam to escape to the atmosphere. This is clean energy conversion. Only folk fooled by pseudoscience are going to argue that steam and carbon dioxide represent a threat to the environment.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      March 5, 2021 4:59 pm

      Follow the logic, Peter. What you say about emissions is correct. Now put yourself in the position of an eco-warrior who wants to put an end to our overheated consumer society. (As he sees it.) Or a ‘watermelon’ still pining for the good old days before the fall of communism (some ‘unfinished business’ there!)

      Or look at the thousands of “green” quotes from environmentalists and others. One will suffice:
      Quote by Christine Stewart, former Canadian Environment Minister: “No matter if the science is all phoney, there are collateral environmental benefits…. climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

      So forget science! All your eco-warrior can do is demand the end of modern civilisation which is built on coal, oil and gas and 24/7 reliable electricity. And what is the one emission that is common and uncontrollable? Correct; carbon dioxide. So demonise carbon dioxide! And you also have the reason why your eco-luddite doesn’t approve of nuclear power; it produces the 24/7 reliable electric power which is crucial to a successful 21st century society.

      (One other quote, a classic brain fade from Paul Beckwith, “We’re undergoing the early stages of abrupt climate change.” You what?)

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        March 5, 2021 6:19 pm

        Mike, so much do eco-warriors ignore – of forget. If it wasn’t for the modern tech of computers, apps, Facebook and Twitter and the like, they would have no means of communicating their msg, such that it is. And yet, today I was called a luddite for opposing N-Z.

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        March 5, 2021 8:22 pm

        To Harry Passfield
        Tell me about it! There is an intellectual gulf as wide as the Atlantic between what they say and what they do. Emma Thompson genuinely believes (I don’t seriously doubt her sincerity) that she can swan around the world campaigning for a cleaner, safer planet as long as she buys carbon credits.

        The biggest problem is that she and di Caprio and Greta and thousands of others have the attention span of an intellectually challenged gnat. And they’re not alone. Next time the subject crops up try explaining that “the science” that we are supposedly following — and Boris’s net zero plans — means that we need to stop emitting CO2 c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y!! All of us. Forever. After 15 seconds the eyes start to glaze over. They simply do not understand and assume that “the scientists” know what they are doing because, well ….. they’re scientists, innit?

      • Peter F Gill permalink
        March 5, 2021 8:43 pm

        Your reply to Harry insults gnats worldwide. If the moderator doesn’t get you the gnats certainly will.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 6, 2021 9:22 am

      This is to misunderstanding the Green movement. It is currently successful because it spans a wide variety of people, from the avowed Marxists who needed a new reason to destroy capitalism after the failure of the USSR to the snobby middle classes who can’t bear the hoi-polloi ruining Tuscany via the car-haters, anti-nuclear Ex-CND crazies, consumer-haters, chemophobes, technophobes and Agrarian Romanticists. The actual Greens in there are few in number. This is a movement that is out of control and which has only one solution – banning. Politicians are riding it at the moment but at some point reality will hit and the coalition will fracture. The best we can hope for is its before we do irretrievable damage.

  6. tomo permalink
    March 5, 2021 3:25 pm

    OT – but not entirely…

    claim: ERCOT overcharged power companies $16 billion for electricity during winter freeze,

  7. Keith Holland permalink
    March 5, 2021 3:31 pm

    I wrote to my MP about this over a year ago and even referred her to the excellent Net Zero paper prepared by six Universities. I also asked when we would get referendum on Net Zero. Needless to say, I got silence.
    They either don’t understand the issue, or couldn’t care less. Probably both.
    We can be sure of one thing though, the Government will make a complete mess of it, bearing in mind the MPs and civil service’s complete incompetence.

  8. Vernon E permalink
    March 5, 2021 3:34 pm

    There was an interesting discussion on Adam Boulton’s Sky politics this lunchtime with two ladies one of whom wrote the Climate Change Act. The other of similar ilk. Their gist was that the government now has to stop talking about it and get behind real action. Adam gently suggested some of the downsides that the public are not yet alert to; no gas boilers for example. Ah, low priority came the response, we must address the big polluters first, especially electricity generation. More windmills then. But these people will shift their position like the wind – they have no firm platform on which to base a discussion. By the way, not yet attracting much attention, but can anyone comment on the depreciation of electric vehicles? I know I would hate to buy a two year old car knowing that I might need to spend £7000 to replace the battery!

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      March 5, 2021 7:59 pm

      Ah, Baroness Worthington, by any chance?

      • dennisambler permalink
        March 7, 2021 5:06 pm

        She was, until 2019, the European Executive for the very wealthy US NGO Environmental Defense, when she was made an offer she couldn’t refuse and joined the newly formed (by hedge fund billionaire Suneil Setiya) Quadrature Climate Foundation.

        According to WWF (she is a trustee) she is now co-chairing the cross party caucus Peers for the Planet and devising grant-making strategies for Quadrature. (dot ai domain stands for Artificial Intelligence).

        “Quadrature Climate Foundation (QCF) was launched by Quadrature Capital Limited in 2019, committing a portion of annual profits to fighting the climate emergency.”

        Hedge fund billionaire Suneil Setiya is currently said to be in talks to buy a massive London penthouse for around $153 million.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 6, 2021 9:24 am

      And that’s the problem with the MSM – no balance. These are political solutions, not scientific facts. Two people with the same politics isn’t a political discussion.

    • March 6, 2021 11:10 am

      @ Vernon, a couple of years ago electric cars were the worst depreciators (leaf and Zoe if I recall right). Looking at top ten lists now, this does not seem to be the case, but there may be a range of reasons why.

      i) the new electric cars are better (undeniable)
      ii) the zeitgeist has moved on, so that people’s attitude to electric cars generally is not so dismissive
      iii) the slated demise of normal cars automatically devalues them thereby improving electrics in relative terms.

      I happened to be standing outside a Jimmy’s last weekend and one of two EV charging points was occupied. Looking closer I saw that the car was a Vauxhall Corsa and the owner of the chargers was Instavolt.

      With nothing to do for a minute or two I looked them both up. Instavolt chargers are 50 kW. They charge 35p/kWh. The Corsa-e has a 50kWh battery. Putting these together, you get a full charge in an hour (allegedly 200 miles). It will cost £17.50.

      Next, list prices. The Corsa-e is listed “from £26,640” on Vauxhall’s website. I saw the petrol equivalent with 10 miles on the clock (Corsa 1.2 SE Premium) for sale at £12,495. (Half the price.)

      Vauxhall list the energy costs of the Corsa-e as £381.08 per year – based on electricity prices of “4.7p/kWh”…………… as far as I can see, that is downright misrepresentation based on typical domestic rates, and compared to what Instavolt charges, well it’s 1/7th. Meanwhile the energy costs of the petrol version are given as £3,329.28 per year based on petrol at 116.93p/litre.

      Does 50kW charging wreck the battery……….? The owners of that Corsa-e might have been oblivious to that question.

      Final final final thing. I have noticed that electric cars prominently display their battery capacity. Oddly petrol car manufacturers do not feel it necessary to mention how big their fuel tanks are!

  9. William Birch permalink
    March 5, 2021 3:42 pm

    Nuclear fusion reactors are a pipe dream. The research is nowhere near getting these fusion reactors to give out continuous energy. For fusion to occur the temperature of the plasma must be at least 150,000,000 degrees Celsius. This is the reason that the containment has to be inside strong magnetic fields. No solid vessel could sustain such temperatures. There is then the problem of how does one get theses huge temperatures to drive a super heated steam turbine which as i understand it require inlet temperatures of around 800 degrees Celsius to then maintain exhaust temperatures above 300 degrees Celsius. It also looks like the reaction of fusing Tritium with Deuterium gives Helium 4 plus a free neutron. These neutrons would bombard the outer casing and surely this casing would become radioactive with time and present a problem when the reactor had to be dismantled. All in all no such thing as a free lunch in spite of what the eco warriors would have us believe

    • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
      March 6, 2021 2:53 am

      Canada has a different approach: search …
      Canada’s Small Modular Reactor Action Plan

    • Dave Gardner permalink
      March 6, 2021 12:17 pm

      There is an implication in your comment William that “eco warriors” are supporters of nuclear fusion. I find that hard to believe. One faction of the Green Blob, the Green-leaning academics, does tend to support it, but I would expect most of the Blob to be opposed to it.

      Doing an internet search to find Greenpeace’s position, it is just what I expected. They issued a press release in 2005 attacking nuclear fusion:

      If Greenpeace are opposed to it, that means the BBC’s Roger Harrabin will be opposed to it as well.

  10. John Peter permalink
    March 5, 2021 4:29 pm

    I read about that in GWPF this morning. The more places the better.

    I simply cannot comprehend the stupidity of our politicians and it seems to be mainly in Europe, North America and NZ. Maybe not so much in Australia because of PM Morrison.

    This idea of guilt and responsibility for residual CO2 is daft.

  11. Andrew Fairfoull permalink
    March 5, 2021 4:46 pm

    So, by 2050 all our energy needs will be provided by windmills and solar panels! That includes, every home, factory, business, transport (cars, buses, coaches, lorries, tankers- all electrified no doubt).
    My prediction they won’t, coal, gas, oil and nuclear will still be doing the heavy lifting. Climate change and the green religion will have been consigned to dustbin of history as an ill thought out, utopian mistake.

    • March 5, 2021 6:53 pm

      Meanwhile, here in the real world in UK at the moment coal is producing 8% of our power needs and wind just 4%. Wind hasn’t been that helpful over the last few days, producing the lowest figure I recall seeing, on the last day of Feb, at less than 1GW.

      • March 6, 2021 4:13 pm

        Last Wednesday at 1.30pm wind was producing 0.49GW – I took a screen-shot for eternal proof!

      • Micky R permalink
        March 8, 2021 11:07 am

        DRAX 5 and 6 must be close to permanent disconnection, so that will be another 1320MW of coal-fired generation gone.

  12. mwhite permalink
    March 5, 2021 5:00 pm

    The world is going mad

  13. Ian Miller permalink
    March 5, 2021 5:14 pm

    I simply cannot believe the line that “The consensus is Settled” and “97% of scientists” agree.  What Scientists ? When ? Where ? and in whose pay ? etc., Many projected calamitous disasters have not taken place, while in all my 70+ years I will experientially state that beyond natural variability our climate is the same as it always was. 
    Even if you tried to look for a CO2 molecule from the air you would be hard put to even find it !
    If such a low concentration doubled or even trebled for argument’s sake,  it would still only bring it to around 1/10th….of one percent, of the atmosphere. How then would this concentration , – possibly affect the world’s Climate ?

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      March 5, 2021 6:03 pm

      Well it does, thankfully, else we wouldn’t be here living comfortably on earth – well maybe we would, but life would have evolved to cope with very different parameters of climate.

      The argument about how serious increasing CO2 may be, simplistically, is more to do with positive/negative feedbacks and the self & other GHG saturation of its effect, not how can such a low concentration can possibly have an effect.

      Britannica is one of the few remaining honest players (although I’m beginning to detect a few hints even it is starting to get assimilated).

      And this may be of interest.

      Click to access 05.Greenhouse.Gases.pdf

    • bobn permalink
      March 5, 2021 8:28 pm

      Ian Millar. The 97% claim has been debunked as a lie and a fraud. I have a paper that rubbishes the claim but dont know how to insert attachments here. Paul has a paper on the menu bar at the top of this blog that rubbishes the fraudulent claim.
      Also note that a scientist is someone who employs the Scientific Method. Thus most ‘climate scientists ‘ are not scientists at all. Also the majority of the Govt’s SAGE committee do not use the scientific method and are thus not scientists. Computer gaming (modelling) is not using the scientific method. Mathematicians are no more ‘scientists’ than historians, unless they employ the scientific method. Which usually they dont.

    • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
      March 6, 2021 2:56 am

      While the 97% carp has been shown to be false, it has nevertheless
      become an axiom of the political and low intellect classes. But I repeat myself.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 6, 2021 9:31 am

      Any worthwhile scientist will tell you that doesn’t mean the 3% are the ones who are wrong!

      I accept that politicians have to take decisions and they have to decide who is more likely to be right at any given moment. Consensus is one way of doing that and like it ir not climate science consensus is Climate Change. We have to move on from that to the argument that that consensus is only valid in terms of the science, not what – if anything – we should do. That political decision is not settled and it cannot be settled by science. Nor has there been any kind of proper democratic debate about the choices. The Greens have simply shrieked until we do as they want.

  14. Dave Ward permalink
    March 5, 2021 5:45 pm

    “UK manufacturing will be forced to relocate to China”

    Great – just when we should be making a concerted effort to deprive those ******s of our money, we end up giving them even MORE control over us…

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      March 5, 2021 6:06 pm

      Hello, yes, is that China, can you be an awfully good sport and deliver those weapons we ordered before you start the invasion next week, TIA.

  15. Devoncamel permalink
    March 5, 2021 5:57 pm

    What is an armchair observer like me with a basic education to make of all this?
    Nothing the UK does will make any difference to the global climate.
    So why have we committed to the courageous net zero target?
    Politics. Science has virtually nothing to do with it.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      March 6, 2021 10:01 am

      You could ask your MP for an answer.

  16. Malcolm Chapman permalink
    March 5, 2021 6:47 pm

    The vanity and stupidity of UK energy policies must, in the end, meet physical realities; the crash will be good watching. How long, though, how long? How much more money and opportunity needs to be wasted before honesty is compelled by physics? If I had had lots of money, I would have shorted the renewable energy sector years ago, and I would have lost my shirt. It has all gone on much longer than I expected. So we are still waiting. As they say at WUWT, buy popcorn.

  17. Peter F Gill permalink
    March 5, 2021 6:56 pm

    MrGrimNasty mentioned that Britannica is one of the few honest players left. It is a long time since I read anything from Britannica so I followed the link hoping that MGN was right. Sadly the first sentence proved that he is wrong. It reads “Of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most significant.” This is of course wrong not by just a little but wrong by a huge amount. If one is going to go down the dead end argument of back radiation then water vapour is the most important “greenhouse gas” by far (I almost wrote “greed house”). The later on I came across more rubbish “Anthropogenic emissions are equal to approximately 3 percent of the total emissions of CO2 by natural sources, and this amplified carbon load from human activities far exceeds the offsetting capacity of natural sinks (by perhaps as much as 2–3 gigatons per year).” To explain why would far exceed the capacity of a reasonable blog post but perhaps others will start listing the reasons the statement is false. So sorry MGN this is a case of grim times for Britannica which may get nastier.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      March 5, 2021 7:50 pm

      Dishonest representations of EXACTLY what other people say is not just the preserve of dodgy climate scientists it seems.

      The point was to correct a clearly false belief held by Ian and many others which does not add credibility to skeptic arguments.

      And your ‘complaints’ are debateable as matters of science and shades of opinion anyway.

      • Peter F Gill permalink
        March 5, 2021 8:27 pm

        MrGN your two commentaries, about a piece essentially about the huge cost of attempting (and failing) to reach net zero carbon by 2050, have been off topic. I am equally guilty by responding to you twice. May I suggest you comment on, for example, “But the real deniers are those who claim that we can achieve a unilateral policy of net zero by 2050 without serious costs to the UK economy, if not an outright diminution in living standards.”

  18. Jack Broughton permalink
    March 5, 2021 9:22 pm

    The real concern about these proposals is that the governments white paper is proposing altering “The Green Book” to allow enviro-babble projects to proceed without the cost / benefit assessment that is required at present for major projects. Once they have got away with that fraud we are really in trouble.

  19. markl permalink
    March 5, 2021 11:40 pm

    It should be obvious to anyone willing to actually investigate media claims about AGW that the narrative is controlled by the media and useful idiots complimenting one another. One only has to look into media ownership to realize who/what controls it as well. In the USA there is a concerted effort to drown out any dissent not aligned with the Left/Liberal/Progressive viewpoint in all media including internet, radio, television, newspaper, television, books, and movies. Which means any dissent of Marxist/Socialist ideology. The UN is backing these efforts as well and calling for a One World Government with themselves as the steward. Say goodbye to what freedoms you have left if all these efforts coalesce and succeed. AGW is just one point of intrusion.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      March 6, 2021 11:26 am

      The control of the world press is certainly in the hands of a few (I believe 5 families), billionaires. Hard to reconcile these Big Brothers with Marxist / Socialist ideology tho’! Their idea is to go back to the days when the proles touched forelocks and bowed to their greatness. Orwell believed that communism was the threat to the future, I believe that he would think differently now.

  20. Mack permalink
    March 6, 2021 9:11 am

    O/T Paul, but did you check out the BBC website’s ‘Then and Now’ bit of climate fluffery on the ‘Californian mega drought’ which isn’t? Using Lake Oroville, California’s second largest reservoir, as an example, they seemed to be suggesting that because it was only 30% full in 2014 it proved that the state was in the grip of a mega drought. However, when it was full in 2017, after a long period of heavy rain, that was proof of ‘climate change’ In a ‘warming world’. Today, the lake level stands at a, frightening, 79% of capacity. The BBC’s climate ‘Have your cake and eat it department’ seems to be growing like the end of one of Michael Mann’s hockey sticks!

  21. Phoenix44 permalink
    March 6, 2021 9:13 am

    I like Ross Clark but his grasp of trade economics is zero. It doesn’t “cost money” to import stuff, as Adam Smith pointed out hundreds of years ago when money was actually backed by gold and silver. If it was just money who cares? Just print it. Trade is actually trade – a swap of production. Money just enables us to do clever stuff with the trade, like defer it or have a derivative of production e.g. government bonds.

  22. Coeur de Lion permalink
    March 6, 2021 9:48 am

    I have written to The Times, Spectator and the GWPF suggesting that as the COVID crisis diminishes the climate change crisis, which incurs similar costs, should be accorded the same managerial treatment with at least weekly briefings by the Climate Change Committee to discuss ‘the science’, the costs and benefits . Lovely if some of you jokers could do the same. The public deserves no less.

  23. March 6, 2021 11:05 am

    The true cost of Net Zero CO2 is the cost of closing down the Western economy: nothing less.

    To have any effect the effort would have to be Global. That is never going to happen.

    Below is a post that makes a guesstimate of likely Co2 emissions in the relatively near future

    Look at Greenery as a continuation of the Cold War to undermine the West: Cui Bono, who benefits ?

    In the context of the inevitable massive expansion of CO2 emissions from the Underdeveloped world, any CO2 reduction efforts in the EU(28) 10% or just in the UK alone 1% would simply be acts of massive self-harm and clearly futile.

    An excellent way to undermine Western economies is to render their power generation unreliable and expensive. That objective of Green thinking is progressively being achieved by Government policy, but without popular voter mandate, throughout the Western world.

  24. Vernon E permalink
    March 6, 2021 12:24 pm

    markl above comes closest. This is all way, way above our local politics level and is driven by outside forces far stronger than anything we can muster. In particular the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainability but I am now thinking that the UN itself is no more than a “useful idiot” in all this. What really matters is that the war is already lost. There is no stopping this now and it will be forced on us at any cost. And remember, there isn’t even a political party we (maybe I should just say I) can vote for. End of democracy as I knew it.

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