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Downing Street's green emperor has no clothes


Boris Johnson's government is in denial over the crisis it has created

In a hole, Boris Johnson is still digging — oblivious to the toxic rubble he’s piling up in the process.

Off to the US to persuade the Biden administration to stop dragging its feet over “climate change” targets at next month’s COP 26 climate summit, Britain’s prime minister played down the chances of world leaders agreeing to a $100 billion fund to help the developing world “go green”. Said Johnson:

It's going to be tough. But people need to understand that this is crucial for the world.

Ye gods! How can such an intelligent man be so bone-headedly…dumb?? It’s Boris Johnson who needs to understand that the policy he is promoting of Net Zero carbon emissions is leading his country and the world off the edge of an economic and social cliff.

In view of the energy crisis now consuming his government, what he should have said was: “I am tearing up Net Zero and putting our energy assumptions into sharp reverse”.

For while Boris Johnson is twisting other leaders’ arms to commit their countries to drastic reductions in CO₂ emissions, the irony of ironies — as I wrote here yesterday for my premium subscribers — is that Britain is now threatened with a terrible hit through having too little carbon dioxide.

Far from being a pollutant about to cause the end of Life As We know It, CO₂ is absolutely essential for fresh food packaging and the transport of frozen goods, as well as for stunning animals prior to slaughter; it’s also used by hospitals and the nuclear power industry, among others.

The immediate cause of the current crisis is that much CO₂ is made from fertiliser. However, soaring gas prices caused by gas shortages — the cost of natural gas shot up by no less than 800 per cent in August — have caused CF Fertilisers, the UK’s main fertiliser provider, to shut its plants, threatening to break the food supply chain and to empty supermarket shelves.

In addition, the price rises are forcing many small energy producers to go to the wall. In the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports Andrew Large, the outgoing chairman of the Energy Intensive Users Group, saying:

“It is potentially catastrophic. We’re already seeing plant closures at a time of year when the weather is still warm and domestic heating is low. Fast forward two months and this could be an acute crisis. “CF Fertilisers have already stopped output and they account for 40pc to 60pc of the UK supply, which could have disastrous effects on the supply chain. The steel, cement, ceramics, glass, industrial chemicals, and the paper sector are all at risk. Individual companies are facing the very serious question of whether they can continue to operate.” Gas futures contracts on the ICE exchange have risen fourfold over the last year to 165 pence per therm, while intraday electricity prices have become unhinged. Last week the National Grid was having to pay £4,000 per megawatt hour to secure back-up electricity at short notice.

The deeper cause of this crisis is that the obsession with reducing carbon emissions has turned renewables into a key component of energy supply. But the one thing about renewables upon which you can absolutely rely is that they are unreliable. When the wind drops, so does the power produced by wind turbines.


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