Skip to content

A Trillion Or Two? Don’t Worry Says Roger Harrabin

March 9, 2021

By Paul Homewood



This really does show how Roger Harrabin’s mind works!




If inconvenient facts emerge, well why not just ignore them!


He talks  about “imponderable damage”, yet even this English Lit graduate surely realises that zeroing Britain’s tiny contribution to world emissions will not make the slightest difference to the UK’s climate.

Rabbiting on about the future economy is in any case an utter red herring. He must know that in the short term, by which I mean the next decade or so, the costs of moving towards net zero will be crippling for ordinary people. Electric cars, for instance, cost many thousands more than proper cars, as well as being impractical for most drivers. Heat pumps and home insulation will also be unaffordable for most families.

And there is no doubt at all that the process of making hydrogen is intrinsically more expensive than directly using the energy required in the first place. Carbon capture too is a wasteful and expensive process.

And that is before we look at the already obscene subsidies paid to renewable energy, which will inexorably rise in coming years, not to mention the mammoth cost of rewiring Britain’s  electricity distribution newtworks.

The reality is that the cost of this policy is so high that nobody can possibly estimate it. But what we do know is that the country cannot afford it. Harrabin’s red herrings suggest he knows too.

  1. Robert Christopher permalink
    March 9, 2021 10:04 pm

    ‘… yet even this English Lit graduate surely realises …’

    Don’t bet on it! 🙂

    Wiki: Roger Harrabin is the BBC’s Environment Analyst, and one of their senior journalists on the environment and energy.

    Not at all! Just decipher to the coded message left on Wiki to reveal the appalling truth.

  2. saparonia permalink
    March 9, 2021 10:21 pm

    I saw somewhere onliine but I’m not sure where it was, that electric cars don’t go to a gradual stop if they run out of power. They just stop dead. In a stream of traffic this sounds as if it may be a real problem.
    It would be especially bad if there was any reason why people can’t fully charge their vehicle before travelling, say power cuts, or any shortage of solar and wind energy, maybe a wet cold summer with cyclonic gloom over the country. There may be times when vehicles aren’t fully charged and wouldn’t be safe.

    • Ian Magness permalink
      March 9, 2021 10:35 pm

      It may be worse than that – worse than we thought! An auto industry contact of mine tells me that they are starting to see batteries that, once fully discharged, cannot be recovered. In the context that these batteries can cost well over £20,000 for a decent size 4×4, this will be financially catastrophic for the BEV owners as I doubt that insurers would cover that type of negligence.
      It’s a bit like the learning curve with solar and wind. The more we understand the totality of the issues, the more stupid the whole scenario becomes.

      • March 9, 2021 10:39 pm

        Never buy an EV, lease it. Then the battery life is the provider’s problem.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        March 10, 2021 9:29 am

        Which is why the second-hand market will never exist. Imagine having to spend £20,000 on your second-hand car ust to get a battery renewed when at the moment you spend £5,000. No second-hand market, millions without cars.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        March 10, 2021 9:31 am

        Oldbrew that won’t work. Leassors work out the costs based largely on residual value. If that value is zero because you need to replace the battery after the lease ends, then you will pay for it in the lease.

    • March 9, 2021 11:31 pm

      Please don’t leap into fantasy like the fakegreens do
      … Manufacturers are not selling cars that are super deadly
      .. they’d get massively sued if they did.
      But rather EVs are very poor value, suffer battery deteoriation, & have poor second hand value etc.

      • Chris Morris permalink
        March 10, 2021 5:27 am

        Stew. We have a fleet of about 10 electric cars at work – variety of models. One of them an Ioniq, had something wrong with its monitoring circuitry. and kept bringing up fleeting alarm lights . The agents said nothing wrong it all checked out OK. Then on a drive in 100km/hr zone, it just shut down suddenly and stopped dead in the middle of the lane with full braking. The driver couldn’t take action as he didn’t know what was happening. He almost got run over by a fully laden log truck behind him. The car then came right so he pulled over to the side of the road and parked it there for the agents to take away. The car never came back and we don’t know why it did it.
        It was just one event and might have been the only one worldwide to have occurred, but it did happen.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        March 10, 2021 2:06 pm

        History very famously shows car manufacturers will knowingly sell dangerous cars if they think the cost benefit is still on their side.

    • StephenP permalink
      March 10, 2021 8:44 am

      We have just had 10 days with insignificant wind generation, and any batteries would be flat if we used wind generation to power EVs and backup batteries
      Heaven help us if we had a wind generated electricity economy.
      Now the wind has increased who has first bite of the cherry? Normal usage or recharging batteries?

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      March 10, 2021 11:05 am

      In my youth I used to get around on small motorbikes, 125 and 175cc bantams. Apart from keeping a can of 2 stroke in the barn these bikes had a three position fuel tap off/on/reserve. You tried to avoid reserve as that had the crud at the bottom of the tank. But it was a godsend if you forgot to fill up for some reason.

      It’s not beyond modern technology to create a system that prevents this happening and allow you to get out of danger. Like many others I’ve been in limp mode when something, usually a sensor, goes wrong. An EV equivalent isn’t that difficult to add for when charge is enough for a couple of miles.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      March 10, 2021 12:01 pm

      If you want some additional fun with that consider that self-driving cars – which is part of their stone age utopia to reduce our need to own cars – which will mainly be battery powered, will also come to a dead stop when they encounter something the car’s brain can’t compute such as new roadworks that are not in its GPS mapping.

    • Sean permalink
      March 10, 2021 7:46 pm

      There was also an article I was reading this morning about the different ‘features’ of Autosteer on a Tesla that had an interesting quote from the manual about the Tesla’s response to not detecting the driver’s hands on the wheel “If you repeatedly ignore Autosteer’s prompts for having your hands on the steering wheel, Autosteer disables for the rest of the drive and displays the following message. If you don’t resume manual steering, Autosteer sounds a continuous chime, turns on the warning flashers, and slows the vehicle to a complete stop.” Note that there’s nothing in that description about *where* it’s going to stop — if this happens on a highway, it’s going to stop in whatever lane you’re in, regardless of traffic.

  3. Mack permalink
    March 9, 2021 10:23 pm

    “Imponderable” – a factor that is difficult to assess or estimate.

    The first duty of government is to make a cost/benefit analysis of every course of action they wish to undertake with regard to the safety, security and future prosperity of the citizens whom they have been elected to represent. Any government that embarks head long on a policy laden down with a legion of ‘imponderables’, e.g Net Zero, where no detailed cost/benefit analysis has been undertaken beforehand and, indeed, substantial real world evidence demonstrates the insanity of pursuing such a policy, is not fit for purpose and its’ citizens would be entirely justified in taking a determined stand against it.

    I’ve had a little spin of the same ouija board employed by the world’s leading climate scientists to predict the future and, rather than land on the ‘We’re all gonna fry’ mark, I landed on ‘Yellow Vest’! Could be an omen.

    As the reality of insane ‘green’ policies starts to hit home with the great unwashed, and the climate doesn’t do as has been foretold by our by our lords and masters, the push back will be inevitable. Well, it will be if we aren’t all in gulags by then!

    • March 10, 2021 7:03 am

      Yes Mack. I’ve been predicting for a long time there is going to be a revolution when the truth finally sifts through to the masses. I’m pinning very high hopes on the soon-to-be-aired GB News.

    • DaveR permalink
      March 10, 2021 5:52 pm

      It’s supposed to work a bit like that, but that burgeoning idea of increasingly open democracy with accountability soon got rubbed into the dirt. Instead, in place, we’ve a self-appointed hegemony that discounts reality. We know this via the corrupted evidence aka ‘science’ – a discipline formulated deliberately to exclude bias.

      Make no bones about it – this is a headlong clash between globalist types and the common man.

  4. Cheshire Red permalink
    March 9, 2021 10:37 pm

    Paul, these posts are all well and good but with respect they lack any clout.
    What’s needed here is a substantial, coordinated campaign from multiple concerned outlets – blogs, media, commentators, politico’s etc, to get Net Zero policy either overturned, or at the very least a public Inquiry into costs.
    This is serious.

  5. Graeme No.3 permalink
    March 9, 2021 11:02 pm

    “there is no doubt at all that the process of making hydrogen is intrinsically more expensive than directly using the energy required in the first place”.

    Don’t bet on them understanding the economics. Was talking to a chap (old enough to know better) yesterday, who is a hydrogen economy enthusiast. When the cost came up He said “that’s why the cost of alternatives has to go up”.

    He has a BSc in physics (about 1980 my estimate) and conceded that only nuclear would make hydrogen on the scale required, even though he said it was more expensive and resulted in lots of pollution. I left it there as it seemed to me a certain lack of logic was present, but then he has worked for the Government for 40 years.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 10, 2021 9:25 am

      This is Gummer logic – make the Green alternative the cheapest by artificially making the others more expensive. Then claim Green is cheaper.

  6. March 9, 2021 11:33 pm

    Tip : Radio4 next Tuesday
    3:30pm Eco special about a Dr Seuss book
    4pm law prog Eco Special too

    • bobn permalink
      March 10, 2021 12:08 am

      Sorry stew, I wont be listening. Propaganda from the Biased Bullpoo Cartel is of no interest to me. ive made the only protest available – I no longer pay for a bbc licence. So i guess it would be illegal for me to hear their propaganda.

  7. March 10, 2021 12:14 am

    “zeroing Britain’s tiny contribution to world emissions will not make the slightest difference to the UK’s climate”

    This is the equation that even the climate movement and those numnut UN bureaucrats can’t remember from one day to the next. Global warming is a global issue relating to global fossil fuel emissions with the only climate action sought being the elimination of global fossil fuel emissions. There is no opportunity here national heroism.

  8. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 10, 2021 2:26 am

    I don’t trust government net zero cost estimates either. I think we are looking at £5 trillion or more, and a halving of GDP. And a revolution in due course.

  9. Coeur de Lion permalink
    March 10, 2021 7:51 am

    My repeated complaints to the BBC always contain a rider about failing to mention UK’s one point two percent. They have never done so.
    Do recall Andrew Montford’s The Propaganda Bureau wherein Harrabin is branded as an illegal conspirator in April 2006 for his secret meeting between Greenpeace and BBC high ups followed by thousands spent fending off FOI enquiries concerning the names of attendees. Derived a policy of denying deniers which exists today.

  10. cookers52 permalink
    March 10, 2021 8:01 am

    Don’t look for logic when there is none.

  11. Phoenix44 permalink
    March 10, 2021 9:23 am

    If he doesn’t know the cost of the damage and doesn’t know the cost of mitigating the damage how can he know we should do it?

  12. Harry Passfield permalink
    March 10, 2021 10:40 am

    SIX concise and legitimate points that need an answer. I wonder if Harrabin has the guts and/or the knowledge to answer them, let alone rebut them.

  13. Mad Mike permalink
    March 10, 2021 10:57 am

    So where is this reported on the BBC? Surely, as their chief environmental journalist knows about it, this story is big enough to be reported even if they try to debunk it. Perhaps we should ask them.

  14. Malcolm Chapman permalink
    March 10, 2021 11:21 am

    It is strange to see Harrabin invoking the imponderables surrounding future economies and technologies. He is very vulnerable there, although I don’t imagine he would know a net present value if one bit him on the backside. The Stern review did a lot to smuggle into climate change discourse an impossibly low discount rate, in relation to future technologies, and in relation to the size and prosperity of future economies (including our own). So we have a modern version of the horse manure problem – from an economy where all transport is horse-drawn, and horse manure in the streets is already a problem, how do you envisage growing your economy, without the horse manure levels in the street growing and growing, to the point where urban life becomes impossible? Well, you let technologies mature as and when they can, and as it turned out you invent the internal combustion engine. We are now living the modern equivalent. Government policy is to spend ludicrously large amounts of money on energy solutions (wind, solar, CCS, electric cars) to solve a problem in the near future (leaving aside the question of whether the problem is as the government supposes). This is the equivalent of planning for horse manure a hundred feet deep; expensive, misguided, and the wrong thing to do. I am sure the issue has already been discussed at length, here at NALOPKT.

    Stern’s report has given the climate change discourse an implausibly pessimistic view of the future. It is a view that sometimes goes by the name of ‘the precautionary principle’, and it is one that is easily understood and widely shared. The slightly more sophisticated view of the future, seen through a realistically high discount rate, is harder to convey in a simple form.

    So, work to do. At all events, Harrabin is welcome to a future knee deep in horse manure.

  15. Bystander permalink
    March 10, 2021 11:45 am

    I have been reading Paul’s articles and everyone’s comments for a few years now but this is the very first time that I have made a contribution. I think what Paul is doing is tremendous and there are obviously very wise, clever and talented people on here. Some of the things reported and the subsequent replies are a bit too in depth or complicated for my simple mind but that doesn’t take away my enjoyment of the website. So what I’m going to say mustn’t be taken as a criticism of Paul, the website, nor anyone on here.

    I think that Cheshire Red is absolutely right. The propaganda campaign by the Climate Alarmists has certainly had a worldwide influence. But just reading the articles and commenting on them here, complaining to the BBC, or cancelling the tv license, will have no affect whatsoever. What is needed is for Paul to gather together some of the best talented people and devise a strategy to lobby government, the media, and others to show
    A) Why the race to net zero is wrong.
    B) The true cost and implications of net zero.
    C) Why there is no evidence of man made climate change.
    D) The difference between climate and weather.
    E) The difference between climate/weather and pollution and destruction of the environment made by man

    As we know, the more something is talked about the more that people believe. That is why we need to counteract the propaganda. If we don’t do anything then I’m afraid that future generations will be living in mud huts and eating grass!!

    If you have read this far. Thank you.

    • Coeur de Lion permalink
      March 10, 2021 2:45 pm

      Great stuff, Bystander. I would like to see say weekly press briefings by the Climate Change Committee in view of the climate crisis now taking over from the COVID-19 crisis. Both deserve the same treatment. We must get this thought out there and challenge the CCC to front up. Our money is involved.

  16. Stonyground permalink
    March 10, 2021 12:54 pm

    I saw part of a documentary about penguins on the BBC a few days ago. I was surprised by the complete absence of climate change propaganda. The information about penguins and their quite astonishing survival mechanisms was fascinating. It was presented by a guy called Chris Packham, I don’t know anything about him but in this instance he was very good.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      March 10, 2021 1:09 pm

      He’s as hardcore an enviro-nutter as you will find.

      • March 10, 2021 1:16 pm

        I don’t get this blame the man thing
        Packham read a script , and the script was for once solid and not full of activism.
        .. Packham on his own is a cultist

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        March 10, 2021 2:03 pm

        Obviously the policy of the writer/producer is paramount. But if you want to go down the blame the man angle, yes, they have a choice, take the dirty money or make a stand. Obviously they ain’t going to make a stand if they concur with climate alarmism.

  17. March 10, 2021 1:12 pm

    Paul BBC Knebworth damage article first attributes “Climate Change” as the cause in the title

    then in the body says
    “A survey of the house will be carried out to determine the cause
    of the structural cracks and help develop a long-term repair plan.”

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      March 10, 2021 1:42 pm

      I am sure the Cobbold family will welcome all contributions to repairs. Especially with no income from music festivals.

    • Malcolm Skipper permalink
      March 10, 2021 4:25 pm

      Of course it is. Unprecedented rain ‘liquidises’ the foundation. Unprecedented temperatures and drought dry out the foundations. Heat and moisture speeds up rusting of iron in the structure. Result: the turret is less stable and damage is caused. Stephen Hawking was working on a Theory of Everything. Climate change explains everything. 🤔

  18. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    March 10, 2021 2:07 pm

    Is the U.K. moving towards buying vast amounts of electricity from abroad ?
    My electricity prices are increasing- alot.
    Two days ago I was reading about a project dubced, ‘Euro-Asia Interconnector’. Where Cyprus, Greece and Israel have laid deep sea cables to connect to the European grid.
    Maybe Harra-in-the-bin could tell us more ?

    • March 10, 2021 3:20 pm

      Turkey’s grid is massively nearer
      Northern Cyprus is under Turkish control and is 71 Km (44 miles) south of Turkey,
      105 Km (65 miles) west of Syria,

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      March 11, 2021 12:51 pm

      The T-4 electricity capacity auction results were announced yesterday. Almost 7GW of interconnectors out of just under 42GW of firm capacity now planned for 2024-25. Expensive, unreliable power beckons.

      Meanwhile, overnight we were once again exporting on the interconnectors at negative prices (minus £60/MWh or so) during the high winds, and wind curtailment has been averaging close to 4GW in the first 12 hours of the day.

      • March 11, 2021 1:47 pm

        So 2024-25 one sixth of the UK power supply will be imported from the European Economic zone
        They are such nice people, it’s not at all risky ?
        If something goes wrong they will be vary fair to the UK …/sarc

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: