The media reports on COP27 suggest we are all doomed as it is unlikely that we will keep to the target of 1.5 degrees of global warming. This is an unduly pessimistic outcome. A rise in temperature can actually be beneficial in many parts of the world, if damaging in others.
It is certainly sensible to try and reduce carbon emissions in the long-term but there needs to be a cost/benefit justification and a focus on countries that are the biggest carbon emitters – namely China, India, USA, and Russia. For the UK to aim for net zero makes no economic sense.
Meanwhile the UK Government has committed £11.6 billion to a “climate fund” to support a mix of energy transition, climate financing and forest and nature preservation measures. Some of these may be worthy objects but can the country really afford many billions on such projects when our own population is suffering from shortages of food and heating?
There is also a demand for “reparations” for the damage that has been caused by high carbon emissions that has resulted in floods and droughts. That is debateable to begin with and it ignores the benefits brought to the world by the cheap energy available from oil and gas. That has increased food production and enabled the world population to increase to a level that would otherwise have starved. See the book “How the World Really Works” by Prof. Vaclav Smil for the evidence on this subject. Reparations should certainly therefore be rejected.
I am certainly not supportive of the Just Stop Oil campaigners who are simply irrational and I will personally continue to invest in oil/gas companies but not in coal mining companies while I have been investing in alternative energy funds. Burning coal is a bad option in comparison with generating electricity from wind farms, hydro-electric schemes, solar arrays and other projects.
But we do need to reduce the world’s population if we are to improve the environment which is an objective most of the climate campaigners simply ignore.
How to stop the Just Oil Campaign who disrupted the M25 again today? One thing the Government could do to demoralise and undermine that campaign is simply to publicly announce that the Government will not be changing its mind and will continue to grant new licences for oil/gas production.
They should not just rely on tougher legislation and more active policing to halt such disruptive campaigns which I am sure the vast majority of people oppose. Those who think we can do without oil and gas are simply mistaken because they have not looked into the many uses of those products.
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