In the midst of the current political landscape, which is dominated by environmental hyperbole and doom-laden hysteria, it can be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. So, should we all be as worried about climate change as the present narrative suggests?
Well, statistics show that the planet is warming. And the concentration of Co2 in the atmosphere has increased since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, when mass burning of fossil fuels became the norm. These are considered scientific facts so let’s just assume that they are true for the moment (although more on this next time!).
But is the former a direct result of the latter? It’s impossible to say for sure. However, I think we can all agree that finding ways to reduce our environmental impact is in our collective interest. Unfortunately, deciding on the best approach is where things start to get complicated.
In the UK for example, catastrophic language like ‘apocalypse’ and ’armageddon’ is now used to describe almost any adverse weather event, even those that are often typical for the time of year. And if temperatures reach slightly higher than average, it’s displayed in hell-fire red across weather maps, whilst seasonal heat-waves are given emotive names such as ‘Cerberus’ that conjure images of monsters and demons in the public consciousness.
So, why are they so intent on ramping up the fear factor, and is it justified? Well, in terms of helping to tackle climate change, not in the slightest. But when you take a closer look at the UK’s climate ‘strategy’ (if you can call it that), things start to become a little clearer.
Because in 2019, whilst everyone was busy arguing about Brexit, a seemingly innocuous change to UK climate legislation was quietly nodded through by the House of Commons, without so much as a whimper. And this change would have huge implications for the UK and all of its citizens.
Reaching net zero by 2050 was no longer simply an aim, it was an imperative that was now enshrined in law. (It’s worth noting that the UK was the first country to have made this legally binding proclamation.) The fact that the government had no idea what this might cost and no clear strategy, or even it seems, a clue, about how it could be achieved without returning the country to pre-industrial levels of poverty didn’t seem to cross anyone’s mind.
And so suddenly, all the climate hysteria and extreme ‘green’ initiatives start to make sense. I’d be panicking too, if I’d bound an entire country to a farcical legal commitment and had little idea how to fulfil it. But is sacrificing the living standards of my fellow British citizens in order to foot the bill (that estimates suggest could stretch from a total of £1 trillion to £3 trillion for just the energy sector alone) really the only ‘solution’ we have available to us?
Thankfully, our current prime minister seems to think not. Much to the chagrin of the Just Stop Oil muppet eco-zealots, Rishi Sunak has just announced plans to grant numerous North Sea oil and gas licenses, arguing that it’s vital in tackling the cost of living crisis and ensuring energy security for the UK. He also explicitly stated that banning everything (holidays abroad etc.) is not a viable way to prevent climate change, and has ordered a review into LTN schemes, warning that the Tory’s current key green policies are ‘unachievable’.
Could this be an indication that the political tide is changing and that some in power are beginning to see the sheer folly in their current net zero ‘strategy’, or lack thereof? Let’s hope so, because the UK and the lives of millions of everyday hard-working people depend on it.