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Telegraph Calls For Referendum On Net Zero

October 22, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 The public got it right over Brexit. Now give them the chance to vote on the biggest decision of all:

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Does the blob never learn? Voters don’t like being treated like naughty children, let alone apathetic imbeciles, by technocrats convinced that they know best. Much of the electorate is now in a permanently defiant, irritable mood. It has grown allergic to stitch-ups by the ruling class across Westminster, the City, the arts and academia, and is repelled by attempts to impose a single political vision as a fait accompli, with no debate and no consultation. This applies as much to radical environmentalism and net zero, the groupthink du jour, as it does to Brexit, the NHS, overseas wars, crime or immigration.

The universal franchise was hard-won. The electorate is deeply attached to its democratic rights, not just when it comes to form – elections being held, and results respected – but also in terms of ethos. It expects the great questions of the day to be carefully discussed, and for voters to have the ultimate choice between meaningfully different options. Decisions cannot be delegated to a self-anointed, conformist oligarchy.

Voters hate it when, as with the EU, they were told by Labour, Tories and Lib Dems alike that ever-closer union was the best of all possible worlds, that the only acceptable debate was about the speed of integration, and that only a racist would disagree. Ordinary folks’ revenge, when it came, was devastating.

It beggars belief, therefore, that a government of Brexiteers, in power only because they led a populist rebellion against another cross-party consensus, have forgotten this crucial lesson when it comes to net zero, and are seeking to enshrine a revolution without consulting the public. Yes, the vast majority, at least in wealthy nations, wants to improve the environment, reduce pollution, bolster biodiversity, treat animals better and prevent man-made catastrophes.

But that is where the near-universal consensus ends: the details of how to proceed are explosively contentious, and require democratic assent to be legitimate. The parallel with Brexit is clear: the fact that voters all agreed that another European war must be avoided didn’t mean they all wanted to fuse their countries into a superstate.

The Government has learnt the wrong lessons from Covid – in a genuine health or military emergency, the electorate temporarily gives its support to any government it believes is doing its best. Even in such cases, a minority will favour alternative solutions, such as a Swedish approach.

Decarbonisation is entirely different to the pandemic, whether or not you judge that we face a climate emergency. The public won’t automatically rally around whatever the government proposes. Many, perhaps most, will hate much of it. Net zero involves long-term, hugely significant measures that could drastically modify lifestyles and give the state immense, permanent powers to socially engineer as it sees fit.

Do you agree that all new petrol and diesel cars should be banned in just nine years’ time? Or that gas boilers should be replaced, at great cost, with heat pumps, a technology that doesn’t quite work yet? Are you willing to eat less meat and pay higher taxes? Do you disagree entirely, or accept some of these ideas but not others? Or would you prefer to take it more slowly given China’s reluctance to act?

The shocking reality is that how you answer is irrelevant. The public isn’t being given a choice. The fact of, and speed, scale and method of decarbonisation have been decided: Tories, Labour and Lib Dems all agree on all the essentials. It doesn’t matter who wins the next election: a new orthodoxy rules supreme. There is no functioning democracy, no mechanism by which outcomes might change. This is a disgrace and extremely dangerous.

One doesn’t have to disagree with everything the Government is planning to be concerned. I really like electric cars, though I can’t see how banning combustion engines so quickly in the absence of better, long-range batteries can work. Why not let capitalism continue to organically shift consumers over? It is great that Boris rejects the hair-shirt, neo-communist approach to greening Britain, and that he backs nuclear and hydrogen. But do I really trust a government that has waged war on the car, invented so-called low-traffic neighbourhoods and campaigned against Heathrow expansion not to revert to banning everything vaguely carbon-positive if it falls behind on its targets?

Why is its nudge unit advocating a tax on meat and producers and retailers of “high-carbon” food? The inflammatory document, disowned by the Government but commissioned by the Department for Business, demonises business travel and seeks to reduce international tourism and restrict airport expansion – goodbye, capitalist freedom. Can the Government guarantee that it would never impose extreme restrictions, rationing on homes and business or even mini eco-lockdowns? Or use a punitive form of road pricing to drastically reduce mobility (as opposed to ensuring motorists pay appropriately for road usage)? Will the courts start striking down high-carbon housebuilding or farming?

Net zero isn’t a technical issue: it is an inherently political question, one of the greatest choices we have ever been asked to make. In the sickening absence of disagreement between the parties, a massive, uncontrollable backlash is guaranteed, at least when the bills start to drop. The only question is who the new green-sceptic Nigel Farage will be, and the next Boris figure? What will Vote Leave II look like?

Johnson should preempt this war, which could destroy the Tories, and call a referendum on net zero today. His obligation, in doing so, would be to explain in exhaustive, costed detail how he proposes to achieve the changes he so fervently believes in. The No side would present its case, holding Johnson to account, proposing alternatives, with the public taken through the pros and cons and trade-offs. The results should be legally binding, with MPs compelled to implement the verdict, and the question tightly defined. The Government will have its work cut out: the Swiss have just rejected plans to slash their own emissions and to slap higher taxes on fossil fuels.

The green challenge is too important, its implications too dramatic, to be left to an establishment that has embraced net zero as if it were a new religion. The public must have the final say, and the only way this will happen is through another referendum.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/10/20/need-referendum-net-zero-save-britain-green-blob/

I know I may sound like a stuck record, but where have the media been for the last 13 years? It’s almost as if they think that Boris plucked these ideas out of thin air yesterday!

We have known for years that the country cannot run on intermittent wind and solar power alone. We have known that heat pumps are an extremely expensive and inefficient way to heat homes.

That hydrogen is no solution, and that electric cars are not fit for purpose.

Above all we have known all along that the cost of first the Climate Change Act, and subsequently Net Zero, were going to be horrendous.

So why is it only now that they are beginning to wake up?

75 Comments
  1. SUSAN EWENS permalink
    October 22, 2021 10:13 am

    Yes, in the absence of any real disagreement or debate amongst the political parties, the only political solution IS a referendum. The alternative is dictatorship

    • bluecat57 permalink
      October 22, 2021 1:25 pm

      You mean a rigged vote to determine the fate of your nation?
      And you wonder why your nation is a dumpster fire that smells like excrement.

      • M E permalink
        October 24, 2021 1:19 am

        An Irish Patriot no doubt? Or Irish American. ( I’m just trading insult for insult) 🙂

      • bluecat57 permalink
        October 24, 2021 1:27 am

        Neither. The UK is a mess. If you can’t see and admit that, there us no chance for improvement. Not that any country is much better.

      • bluecat57 permalink
        October 24, 2021 1:30 am

        And Ireland is just as bad, but they have a better PR firm.

    • October 22, 2021 8:03 pm

      What would the referendum question be?

      • October 22, 2021 8:49 pm

        That is the key question, it may need a referendum to decide the answer, but most parties won’t accept an outcome that they don’t like, and it would be daft to bind future govts when the climate may change.

      • October 22, 2021 8:54 pm

        Isn’t ‘binding future govts’ exactly what is being done?

      • October 22, 2021 9:17 pm

        “Should the Net Zero Act be repealed?”

      • October 23, 2021 9:27 am

        There isn’t a way to determine what is or isn’t net zero, so fiddling the numbers will be easy enough. Who could prove they were wrong?

  2. Stonyground permalink
    October 22, 2021 10:14 am

    “…where have the media been for the last 13 years?”

    Well this statement tells you a lot:

    “Decisions cannot be delegated to a self-anointed, conformist oligarchy.”

    That horse bolted years ago. Does the idiot think that this oligarchy will repeat the mistake that they made over Brexit and call a referendum on net zero too? In the first place, they would need to be under threat from an emerging centre right party that was against it.

    • bluecat57 permalink
      October 22, 2021 1:28 pm

      The media gave been promoting panic and fear porn and YOU have been paying them to do that.
      Cut off their funding. Or at least find a way to reduce it.

  3. Coeur de Lion permalink
    October 22, 2021 10:21 am

    I’ve congratulated my Tory MP on a consistent policy at last. Keeping rich Tory voters onside by bunging them £5000 for heat pumps and £3000 for EV purchases.

  4. GeoffB permalink
    October 22, 2021 10:24 am

    Wait a bit longer until the deep power cuts and astronomic energy bills come in. At the moment due to the MSM propaganda the greens may win. It also depends on the question. a) Would you like to live in a land of forests and greenery, with milk and honey and deer and unicorns roaming free?
    b) Are you prepared to live with expensive intermittent electricity, no gas, ride a bicycle to work, pay carbon taxes at rates up to 50% on flying, live in a tiny windowless apartment, have your life dictated by government mandates?

    • Joe Public permalink
      October 22, 2021 10:39 am

      The time of the year will also influence response patterns.

      In February / March, winter heating bills (even for those with solar panels) will be exorbitant.

      In July / August, heating bills are £zero, and electricity bills are at their minimum.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        October 22, 2021 11:06 am

        Interestingly major grid outages this century have not occurred in the winter months being August 2003, May 2008 and most recently August 2019.
        Imagine the effects if a major outage occurred in a very cold spell with most heating systems failing due to lack of electricity regardless of primary fuel source.
        Sadly I believe such a major winter disaster is probably the only thing likely to focus minds and galvanise real action.

    • magesox permalink
      October 22, 2021 10:51 am

      I agree completely about the timing Geoff. This winter should do it, however, especially if it’s a cold and snowy one (which is overdue).
      The great thing about a referendum is that it would (or at least should) open up all facets of net zero to investigation and debate over several months. Not least in this should be the crucial point that the underlying science about CO2 and (trivial) warming is extremely flakey. The penny will thus drop, for some at least, that the whole argument for net zero is redundant in the first place, because it’s a stratospherically expensive solution to something that isn’t a problem.
      In recent times, the very significant arguments about the science seem to be slipping back in people’s consciousness. This needs to be rectified.

    • bluecat57 permalink
      October 22, 2021 1:30 pm

      And then hold the vote on paper ballots because the machines won’t work.

      • October 23, 2021 12:13 am

        You’re funny

      • JCalvertN permalink
        October 24, 2021 3:51 pm

        Is this a joke?
        (The UK doesn’t use machines.)

      • bluecat57 permalink
        October 24, 2021 4:11 pm

        TILT – Just ASSuMEd that the UK used electronic voting like all civilized nations. };-)

        I found this interesting article:
        https://metro.co.uk/2019/12/11/general-election-voting-online-would-be-a-mess-and-prone-to-hacking-11584494/

        I note the outrage over fraud. LOL Can’t wait for the UK to go electronic, that way the fraud is “hidden” unless you actually want to find it. Not many politicians in the US want to find the fraud because that is how they got elected and reelected.

        What is more expensive: The cost of manual ballots or the outrageous taxes and oppression that electronic voting systems enable?

        We are going to find that out in America.

        Thanks for information which corrected my ignorance.

  5. Gerry, England permalink
    October 22, 2021 10:29 am

    Maybe finally some people are realising that the UK is not a functioning democracy. But given the near universal ignorance of the population we still have a long way to go before voting actually wields any power. The Swiss system of having referendums is good although they did have to ignore the result of the one demanding a reduction of free movement of people from the EU as to implement it would have killed off their agreements with the EU and hit their economy. In this case the Swiss were paying the price for not joining the EEA where there is the clause that allows suspension of provisions of the EEA.

  6. Ilma630 permalink
    October 22, 2021 10:45 am

    The timing & question is all important. I don’t think the time is yet as the policy outcomes are not yet painful enough (so ironically, would favour the govt to do it sooner than later), and as govt would set the question, I wouldn’t trust them to set a fair/balanced/realistic/truthful one.

  7. HotScot permalink
    October 22, 2021 10:47 am

    A referendum, from a remainer? That’s a laugh.

    The fact is it would give the government the opportunity to mount a hugely expensive charm campaign in favour of its favoured outcome, tyranny. The media would be mobilised like never before and the BBC co-opted to have even more whining green sheep bleating on about the parlous state of the planet.

    It’s bad enough as it is with sceptics driven almost underground, scientists cancelled, media blacked out, commentators censored, silicone valley stamping on any contradictory comment made online and fact checkers just making stuff up.

    I mean, government and judiciary refuse to do anything meaningful about XR, IB and their growing number of offshoots. It’s the same people of course but the idea is to make it seem there are dozens of independent groups objecting to our capitalist way of life and CO2 emissions.

    What does this idiot expect? That the plucky underdogs will once again prevail as we did over Brexit?

    This is one deluded clown.

    • Nial permalink
      October 22, 2021 12:30 pm

      “and the BBC co-opted to have even more whining green sheep bleating on about the parlous state of the planet.”

      Is that possible?

  8. Dr Ken Pollock permalink
    October 22, 2021 11:10 am

    I put that question of a referendum to Philip Dunne, MP, at a Centre for Policy Studies webinar yesterday and he replied that he would not want another referendum “for a long time”! I guess the Brexit referendum put some people off the idea of asking the “people” about tricky subjects. Might get the “wrong” answer…

  9. William Birch permalink
    October 22, 2021 11:16 am

    The real tragedy is that Parliament has allowed the ruling Whitehall elite to rule by dictate, The use of Ministerial Regulation without consulting of parliament is a slow decline into dictatorship. when this is also backed up by blatant untruths being told government ministers about the cost implications it is time for a referendum.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      October 22, 2021 3:20 pm

      All three (2.5?) main parties signed the climate policy pact in 2015, created by Cameron.

      Therefore parliament is largely irrelevant as all three parties have signed up to the same collective policies where climate is concerned. They will simply agree and pass all legislation in this area with a huge majority – like the CCA2008.

      Nothing like being seen to “save the planet” as an MP.

  10. Ian PRSY permalink
    October 22, 2021 11:25 am

    He’s two years too late. I’ve repeatedly asked my council, cc my MP, why they’re acting without a mandate, ever since the ridiculous climate emergency declarations. Answer? Cue the tumbleweed.

  11. Mack permalink
    October 22, 2021 11:35 am

    The only time we’ll be allowed a referendum on this subject is when hell freezes over, an event that the eco loons would most definitely blame on global warming!

    • Joe Public permalink
      October 22, 2021 1:42 pm

      Green policies are facilitating the likelihood of that event.

  12. Jordan permalink
    October 22, 2021 11:42 am

    Could there be a petition on petition.parliament.uk to go with this type of demand for a referendum? If the Telegraph is willing to lead the MSM charge and interested groups get involved to give the thing a good push, 100k signatures should be achievable. See how MPs respond to signs of dissatisfaction. Especially this winter with soaring energy costs and energy rationing.

  13. Harry Passfield permalink
    October 22, 2021 11:57 am

    What a curious coincidence. On the 19th Oct I sent this letter to the DT calling for a referendum. They didn’t publish it….

    “Sir,

    It is a disgrace!!

    That our democratically-elected government has outsourced the most expensive, socially disruptive societal change in our history to an unelected group of mainly non-qualified, politically-failed jobs-worth’s who, in some cases, are (probably) making a very comfortable living out of the climate change scare. And all without a proper mandate to do so.

    As a member of the electorate who exercised my democratic right to vote I am outraged that whatever John Gummer’s (Lord Deben) CCC decides to be policy, and whatever huge sums of money they declare are required to carry it forward, the Government accepts it without demur. Much as the BBC do not allow any contrary debate on the subject there seems to be not ONE MP prepared to stand up and declare that the Government’s CC policy is incredibly undemocratic, unaffordable, unworkable and, un-necessary.

    When it came time to join – and then leave – the EU we were offered referenda: where is the demand for one so that the people – the people – can have some say in how enormous amounts of their money is to be spent and how their homes are to be ripped apart for such a non-emergency?

    It must stop!”

    • Della Hynes permalink
      October 27, 2021 2:38 am

      I can only hope the unrest and outrage grows apace, now people can see what ‘zero carbon’ policies mean on the ground. The pernicious, misanthropic AGW religion is a groupthink doctrine that has no place in a civilised democracy. The lying, fact-fiddling, bullying, smearing green blob needs to be called out and stopped.

  14. Chris Davie permalink
    October 22, 2021 12:06 pm

    Perhaps the reason why all the political parties agree on the “need” for the draconian measures is that it is such an easy way to signal their virtue. Reality might set in after this ridiculous conference.

  15. John Peter permalink
    October 22, 2021 12:17 pm

    It would not matter how ‘smart’ Boris would be in defending his ‘green’ cause in a referendum if it was held in early spring after big heating bills, high support payments to renewables and several power cuts with a steep increase in winter deaths. Many of the MPs would surely even argue for and switch to vote no to the Climate Emergency nonsense for fear of being out at the next election. The whole outcome would be in the timing of the vote. Sadly we are at the stage that the cohort in Westminster would never vote through a referendum bill on the Climate Emergency consequentials.

  16. Gary G permalink
    October 22, 2021 12:18 pm

    With a media like we suffer, I do not see a referendum really helping the case for a reasoned debate. The latest from the Daily Mail is that the man made climate change consensus is now 99.9%.

    See: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10104511/Climate-change-99-9-studies-agree-global-warming-mainly-caused-humans.html

    • October 22, 2021 12:41 pm

      Consensus studies operate a sleight-of-hand. They actually relate to increasing carbon dioxide concentrations and consequent increasing temperatures. They do not relate to “crises”, “catastrophes” or “emergencies”, so cannot be used as justification for civilisation-killing policies.

      • Jordan permalink
        October 22, 2021 1:37 pm

        True. We can concoct a consensus if we test any uncontentious point.
        Such as “the climate changes”. Or, “human activity can have some impact on the climate”.
        These are not informative points, and makes it easy to collect a large body of opinion which will take no issue with them. Therefore we can could conclude a consensus of triviality.
        A more meaningful test would be how well we it is now established that adding some measure of CO2 to the atmosphere will cause very specific severe damage in the next 50-100 years. This is not a trivial question, and to get an answer has value.
        It would surprising if any meaningful consensus exists around this more specific point. If it does, the matter must rest on the strength of the evidence. The evidence must be real, physical observations.
        The response to the claim of consensus is quite straightforward: be specific and convince me with the evidence!

  17. October 22, 2021 12:55 pm

    The Blob never learns because they will never be sanctioned for stupid decisions and the taxpayers’ money tap always flows, without regard to their competence or incompetence

  18. mjr permalink
    October 22, 2021 1:03 pm

    pointless.. the general public in this country have been so brainwashed by 2 years of government and media lies, spin, scares and para military police tactics over covid that they no longer have independent thought and will do as they are told. Remember at the start of covid the authorities didnt believe that the Chinese approach would work in this country but they saw the Italians supplicate themselves and realised that they could get away with it. And boy have they got away with it .
    If the government ban gas boilers , diesel cars , beef, etc etc the people will grumble a bit, worry if it will affect christmas, and then accept it

  19. bluecat57 permalink
    October 22, 2021 1:23 pm

    And that vote would be more valid than the rigged elections that fill MP seats?

  20. Malcolm Bell permalink
    October 22, 2021 1:47 pm

    The problem starts at the ballot box. We are given a list of candidates selected by their party primarily on their willingness to toe the party line as instructed.

    Whereas, we want people, perhaps with a party philosophy-ish (conservative, lib or socialist) maybe but actually of clear analytic mind, open ears and equally clear voice. We are not offered those. How to get them?

    Simple actually; the ballot paper must have a “none of the above” line. If that gets more than 25% (for example, it might have to be a bit more complex than that) of the total count then all candidates must stand down for the duration of the election and the vote re-run with all new candidates. That is repeated until a definite winner emerges.

    This way the party stooges are eliminated and the parties must find quality candidates not professional “lobby fodder politicians” who have no idea what else to do with their lives.

    • Crowcatcher permalink
      October 23, 2021 6:47 am

      Even better just spoil the the ballot paper with a very caustic message with why you don’t want any of them!

  21. Patsy Lacey permalink
    October 22, 2021 2:11 pm

    Watched a piece on the Spectator web site.with contributions from the cretinous Chris Stark CEO of the CCC and Bob Seely my MP. Bob is very wary of the speed at which we are hurtling towards disaster. Made all the right noises about the political fall out importing gas from Russia and virtually handing them the means by which to trample all over the Ukraine. I think he’s quite sceptical about the whole business but won’t say so. He suggests until we have sufficient base load using SMRs we avoid giving China access to our nuclear industry and develop our own gas fields. I suspect that is the nearest a Tory MP could go.
    Mind you he then went and spoilt it all by voting against an amendment which would have stopped Southern Water regularly discharging sewage not only round the Island but all over the South East Coast. They have just been fined £90 million but it’s cheaper to pay the fine than to clean up their act.

  22. October 22, 2021 2:19 pm

    Very good article by Alistair Heath. But we are this mess because the CCA 2008 legislation resulted in the creation of the unelected grossly biased CCC to advise government and parliament. Scrutiny of IPCC reports was undertaken by the CCC resulting in little or no independent research by government departments, ministers and MP’s. In short, with a few exceptions, ALL believed the CCC who of course were appointed because they agreed with the IPCC. Cunning piece of legislation, aided and abetted by most of the media, especially the BBC, designed to produce the disastrous policy proposals we are now witnessing. And all this with little or no public consultation by our MP’s. It’s a shameful state of affairs. I would support a referendum.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      October 22, 2021 3:04 pm

      We are in this mess because every single MP in the HoC (bar about 5) thought they should support the CCA2008.

      This was then made worse politically by Cameron signing the pact in 2015 between the 2.5 main parties to adopt the same climate policies.

      Theresa May has made it 10 times worse with net zero. But the fundamental is the same – how do you reverse the CCA2008?

      There is no way at all that a LibDem or Labour (or coalition) government would reverse the CCA2008. The only possibility is that a Conservative government driven by its backbenchers might.

      But every MP, in as far as they voted for the CCA2008, “believes” in the science of global warming. If they go against the science they will be called deniers, the political pressure will be too great for them and their political opponents will have a field day.

      Reasonable, free market Conservative MPs need to find a face saving way of parking (repealing will never happen within a generation) the CCA2008 and leading us back to sound policies, removing interference in the energy markets.

      I suspect many back bench Conservative MP”s are starting to realise that if they don’t deal with this problem, eventually the public is going to deal with the problem for them. Either via an alternative party (think Nigel Farage style) or by the lights going out and a terrible voter back lash. As I have warned our (Cons) MP – you do not want to be the party of government when the lights go out and these chickens come home to roost. It is now inevitable that they will. The only objective for rational people now should be to head off the worst consequences of these insane policies.

      We need a face-saving political get out. Trying to argue AGW is not real will not make any difference now (unfortunately). Politically, the GWPF is on the correct course, the question is how long it will take to stop the oil tanker and change course (ironic imagery)?

  23. Harry permalink
    October 22, 2021 3:04 pm

    This rot started with the impostion of the climate change act,which had the near uninimous backing of deluded MP’s. Not to mention Dave Camerons “Husky Sledging “

  24. MrGrimNasty permalink
    October 22, 2021 3:11 pm

    A referendum when the public has been subjected to 24×7 x 15 years of propaganda supporting one side and alternative views have been mostly silenced, else mocked, vilified….

    Not a fair contest, and I fear a majority have now been sucked in.

    • Jordan permalink
      October 22, 2021 5:37 pm

      Some sympathy for that Mr Grim, but my instinct is that a referendum would be worth it just for the public debate that has been sorely absent for all these years.
      The very least we could hope for would be a more informed public. Eyes would be opened to whatever comes next. If they still vote for ruinous policies, at least there would be more legitimacy to it all – no excuses and carping when it gets painful.

      • Ilma630 permalink
        October 22, 2021 5:40 pm

        …but it will still be painful. However, the backlash on those that ‘sold’ it to them will be much stronger.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        October 23, 2021 5:16 pm

        Unless the BBC has a complete policy reversal there can be no fair debate or honest widespread discussion of the truth/facts.

  25. Robert Christopher permalink
    October 22, 2021 3:32 pm

    The NET Zero Emissions Policy has grown into a mammoth project that will affect every aspect of our lives, in addition to the vast expense, with little to no checks and balances. It is therefore of great concern as it is still enthusiastically embraced, to the point of dismissing any criticism by the misinformed, powerful, and well connected, as many benefit, even if the overall project is a failure. On the other hand, it is viewed with horror by non-participating but well informed and understanding Scientists and Engineers who can see so many unaddressed issues, when each problem should be acknowledged and investigated through to a conclusion before they affect progress, and the expense. This absence of rigour also hampers the process of keeping the public, the taxpayers, up-to-date, without which they cannot come to informed decision.

    Lee Smolin had a problem that is like our disagreement with the Climate Emergency and his lecture that he gave about has a useful reminder of what Science was thought to be, five years ago. He wanted to investigate Quantum Gravity while the Establishment preferred String Theory that resulted in a preponderance of university Physics departments focusing on String Theory and not much else, so he wrote a book about the problem, “The Trouble with Physics” and gave a lecture, here:
    THE TROUBLE WITH PHYSICS LECTURE

    The useful reminder comes after his explanation of what his talk is about. He tells us (at 12:00) that he found there “isn’t a method for Science that seems worth anything” so he proposes two principles (from 14:30 to18:32) and puts forward an argument on how Science is conducted, which is a useful reminder as we work out why we are uncomfortable with the official solution to the Climate Emergency:
    The two ‘Ethical principles underlying Science’ he states are:
    1. If an issue can be decided by people of good faith, applying rational argument to publicly available evidence, then it must be regarded as so decided.
    2. If, on the other hand, rational argument from the publicly available evidence does not succeed in bringing people of good faith to agreement on an issue, we must allow and even encourage people to draw diverse conclusions.

    I would expect most frequent visitors to this site will agree that, for the Science behind the Climate Emergency, we are in the second scenario.

    The disagreements, to varying extents, include the following:
    a) the increasing concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is the only, or predominant, cause of a changing climate
    b) the increasing concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is caused by human activity and that we can reverse the process with a little effort or discomfort
    c) that we are in a Climate Emergency, so we must act IMMEDIATELY, otherwise we will pass the tipping point

    While some may believe some of these to be true, or partially true, we know of other people who are dissatisfied with the lack of rigour applied to the current views being presented and accepted by governments, especially when such large sums are being spent. In addition, we can see that many, if not all, proponents of fixing this ‘Emergency’ appear to have little or no understanding of:
    a) the interdependences between industry sectors
    b) the time it takes to learn the new skills and gain the competency required to introduce new technology
    c) the resources required to create the legal and financial framework for these new technologies
    d) the risks involved in starting a £(multi-trillion) effort when an overall plan has not been created
    e) the risks involved in not having competence professionals taking responsibility for the programme: there is a distinct lack of Engineers and Scientists taking responsibility for the WHOLE overall effort
    f) the risks involved in assuming any problems arising will be fixed by discoveries or developments within the time scales expected
    g) the total cost

    Without understand this distortion of Scientific endeavour, Scientists will not be an effective force of change, even during a referendum campaign.

    Without understand this distortion of Scientific endeavour, Scientists will not be an effective force of change, even during a referendum campaign, until the discussion is widened to include all ‘people of good faith’.

    • Malcolm Bell permalink
      October 22, 2021 5:40 pm

      Well done for including Engineers. We have a rigorous and demanding theoretical and practical education which is widely regarded as one of the hardest University training, harder than medicine by some margin,

      Our opinions on AGW are completely relevant because it is us who will actually be expected to implement it.

      Right now I know few Engineers who support without deep reservations what is going on at COPS26 etc.

      My fear is that all this scare will collapse and the world will turn on Science and say we got it all wrong. It seems clear to me that the politicians ate already positioning themselves to say that they were only taking the advice of science. In fact they are only being advised by the Universities who are just selling their opinions in return for grants. Would calling it “intellectual prostitution” be going too far?

      For those of us out in the world every day having to deliver applied science that actually works it does look like it.

      • Jordan permalink
        October 22, 2021 8:26 pm

        I’m a graduate engineer and I mix with many experienced graduate engineers. They know where I stand on MMGW as I have no reason to hold back my position.
        I’m saddened to tell you that my views sit out alone. As far as I can tell, most of them are convinced of the MMGW idea, or they just don’t care enough to think about it.
        I therefore do not share your faith in engineers.
        I recently asked a colleague where is the decisive and conclusive evidence for MMGW. His response was bland: “it has has warmed hasn’t it?”.
        I challenged more, noting the warming over 300 years since the LIA, which means recent warming cannot be simply blamed on human CO2 emissions. This was met with a shrug of the shoulders and an empty gaze into space. Not much rigour or demanding theoretical reasoning on show. He’s a clever enough guy, but I think the MMGW chimes with his political leanings and this makes him willing to simply accept.

  26. markl permalink
    October 22, 2021 4:17 pm

    Never happen. The Ecoloon/Marxist cabal would never allow even the slightest chance of their scam to be stopped.

  27. Jim Le Maistre permalink
    October 22, 2021 4:18 pm

    We need a Common Sense revolution . . .

    Volcanoes are the exclusive engine of Climate Change . . . and have been for 250 thousand years based on my plotting of them throughout those years.

    The last 10,000 years are the most well detailed sources of data . . . Again Volcanoes deliver Cold Climate Change . . . EVERYTHING in between is and has always been a return to ‘The Norm of Warm’. 7,000 years of warming – 3,000 years of cooling. Cooling ALWAYS brings catastrophe, globally – Famine, Globally.

    The rise in temperatures out of ‘The Bronze Cold Epoch’ into ‘The Roman Warming Period’ exceeds the pace of acceleration and the height of temperatures we are see today coming out of ‘The Little Ice Age’ !!

    False statements abound . . . downright lies are being distributed by the ‘Gretta Thornburg’s’ of the world and nobody stops long enough to check the ‘Facts’ being disseminated, endlessly repeated and absorbed as ‘Gospel’.

    I keep trying to get the knowledge out there . . . to no avail . . .

    God bless us all . . .

  28. Vernon E permalink
    October 22, 2021 4:20 pm

    My recollection, basesd on observations of younger family members, is that the turning point was the hockey stick. This claim was comprehensively demoloished by Steve McIntyre and “The Hockey Stick illusion”. Notable that in “The Trick” the BBC set out to restablish the Hockey Stick and brushed Steve aside with a btrief mention and an implication that he is part of the Conspiracy. No mention of the warm periods and various other critical ommissions. Has anyone lodged a formal complaint?

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      October 24, 2021 8:38 am

      Actually, I’ve not heard a peep about “The Trick”, on any site.

  29. Jim Le Maistre permalink
    October 22, 2021 6:42 pm

    So True my friend . . .
    For further detail . . .
    https://www.academia.edu/51184433/Climate_Change_For_the_21_st_Century

  30. Rowland P permalink
    October 22, 2021 7:02 pm

    As the late Christopher Booker said: “The Climate Change Act will go down in history as the most blatant economic suicide note ever written by the government”.

  31. It doesn't add up... permalink
    October 22, 2021 8:59 pm

    For now I think the effort has to go into proper critique of the plans:

    – How futile they are after FLOP26 when we need to be planning to adapt instead of thinking we can persuade China et al. to commit economic hari kiri
    – How completely lacking in realism they are, given their enormous dependence on technical unicorns and things that don’t work
    – How ruinously expensive the attempt will be
    – How much damage it will do to the economy and to standards of living

    When we can see that the bunch of zeroes supporting net zero are on the run because of reality it will be time to pull the political levers to consign them to history.

  32. stevejay permalink
    October 22, 2021 9:30 pm

    Paul: Yes, Net Zero SHOULD be repealed, and shown for what it really is. The biggest scam in modern history.

  33. October 23, 2021 9:35 am

    Decisions cannot be delegated to a self-anointed, conformist oligarchy.

    But quangos like the Climate Change Committee, whose advice the government is more or less obliged to take, are OK?

  34. October 23, 2021 9:40 am

    Paul,
    to quote you:-

    “We have known for years that the country cannot run on intermittent wind and solar power alone. We have known that heat pumps are an extremely expensive and inefficient way to heat homes.

    That hydrogen is no solution, and that electric cars are not fit for purpose.

    Above all we have known all along that the cost of first the Climate Change Act, and subsequently Net Zero, were going to be horrendous.”

    You and your column followers know this but the public mostly believe all the current hype about renewables, electric cars, heatpumps.

    It would need a huge increase in media explanation of all the negatives and the realistic outcome of what is being forced upon us, and that is certainly not going to happen.

    I know from my various discussions with people just how litle they know about these subjects and accept the spin that abounds.

    A public referendum would simply rubber stamp current policy.

  35. Micky R permalink
    October 23, 2021 9:53 am

    For Net Zero, the UK public (and the rest of the world) needs clarity on costs (where’s the business plan?) and a detailed impact assessment (ha!)

    In the UK, one certainty is increased pensioner deaths due to a combination of cold weather and energy poverty, the latter arising from increased domestic energy costs.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      October 23, 2021 12:25 pm

      The impact assessment that accompanied the Climate Change Act 2008 showed the net costs were estimated at £205 billion and the net benefits were £110 billion, based on reducing emissions for the UK by 60%.

      Not only did the MP’s vote for it anyway, they also changed the bill to reduce emissions by 80%, making the net benefits even more more negative!

      You cannot fix stupid and you cannot stop MP’s from saving the world.

  36. cookers52 permalink
    October 23, 2021 12:26 pm

    I am supporting the IPCC AR6 hockey stick temperature graph so beloved of Greta et al who scream the planet is overheating.

    This shows that we do not have to change gas boilers for heat pumps, as in a few months from now the UK will be bathed in sub tropical heat, so we don’t need heating any more, so I won’t need to turn on my gas boiler!

  37. Gamecock permalink
    October 23, 2021 12:32 pm

    The irony being that Climate Change™ is the cultural Marxists’ Unifying Cause, to get the people to accept global governance (it’s not about weather).

    The One Government people cannot allow democratic evaluation of the Unifying Cause, as it is really a referendum on global government.

    Another irony is that Boris helped separate UK from EU, only to now try to subordinate it to the UN.

    • jazznick permalink
      October 24, 2021 2:15 pm

      You are Lord Monckton and I claim my £5!

      • Gamecock permalink
        October 24, 2021 10:31 pm

        Sorry, Nick. All I have is dollars.

  38. David permalink
    October 23, 2021 7:01 pm

    A referendum at present would fail because of the ignorance of the public. We all know that there is considerable undesirable atmospheric pollution but the public conflate this with CO2.
    When they are educated that CO2 is an essential gas as opposed to other undesirables maybe they might begin to see sense and vote the right way.

  39. JCalvertN permalink
    October 24, 2021 3:54 pm

    Having got so thoroughly burned by the EU referendum, I doubt if the Establishment will hold another referendum ever again.

  40. TREVOR COLLINS permalink
    October 25, 2021 3:59 am

    GREETINGS FROM NEW ZEALAND….CAN ANYONE OUT THERE, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT ‘NET ZERO” IS??? THANK YOU FROM TREVOR, NOBODY SEEMS TO NO NEW ZEALAND. THANK YOU. FROM TREVOR.

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