CHURCHVILLE, VA—My colleague Bennie Peiser, of Britain’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, offers some of his latest man-made global warming news:
The Sunday Times noted on May 22 that the UK government has agreed to cut its greenhouse emissions 50 percent by 2027. As a result, “Tata Steel last week announced it was cutting 1,500 jobs at its Scunthorpe and Teeside plants. The company, which employs 21,000 in Britain, has held high-level talks with government in recent weeks over its energy plans. . . . Ineos founder Jim Ratcliffe warned that he could be forced to shut the firm’s Runcorn chlorine plant, a big energy user . . . and employer of more than 1,000 people. According to Civitas [the think tank] . . . total energy bills . . . could rise by 141 percent by 2020.”
The Henley Standard said May 23 that houses and business premises as of 2016 must qualify for at least an “E” energy rating. At least 682,000 properties will need to be improved—and “this will radically increase rental costs as landlords withdraw their properties from the rental sector.”
Homeowners will also have to retrofit their houses with required energy-saving features such as double-glazed windows and more insulation, said The Guardian May 19. “The householder pays nothing up front, but the equipment and installation costs will be added in installments to the household’s energy bills for years.” At the moment, says the Guardian, householders will be charged market interest rates, which could mean 8 percent annually. Germany has attracted homeowner cooperation with subsidized loans as low as 2.65 percent—but the British government probably can’t afford to offer that.
The Sunday Telegraph of May 22 says the Welsh Assembly faces “the biggest consumer demonstration so far in Britain” if it goes forward with a plan for 800 giant new wind turbines on mid-Wales hills. In the Welsh Parliament, Glyn Davies said “the two-megawatt turbines would cost at least [$2.7 billion, plus another $500 million] for the infrastructure.” In contrast, a far bigger gas-fired power plant near Plymouth will produce power without subsidy at one fifteenth the cost—and without disfiguring the Welsh hills. “How many of those assembly members,” he asked, “will manage to step outside the bubble of illusion surrounding wind power?”
David Rose in The Mail on Sunday, May 22, reported a remarkable meeting of climate skeptics and “warmists.” He asked John Mitchell of the British Meteorological Office how long the planet’s non-warming would have to continue before [Mitchell] would start to question the computerized climate models. Mitchell replied, “People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful.” In other words, don’t doubt the coming disaster of man-made global warming just because the planet has stopped warming.
Henrik Svensmark of the Danish Space Institute told the meeting, “a key determinant of climate is the level of cosmic rays from outer space that hit the earth: these high-energy particles ‘seed’ the clouds. . . . More rays mean more clouds, and in turn a cooler climate.” Svensmark has demonstrated that “quite small variations in the amount of cloud cover have a big effect on temperature, leaving only a “small ‘residual’ role for man-made CO2.”
Finally, Briton Matt Ridley in the May 21 Wall Street Journal reported, “Haiti meets about 60 percent of its energy needs with charcoal produced from forests. Even bakeries, laundries, sugar refineries and rum distilleries run on the stuff. Full marks to renewable Haiti, the harbinger of a sustainable future! Or maybe not: Haiti has felled 98 percent of its tree cover and counting. . . . Haitians are now burning tree roots to make charcoal.”
DENNIS T. AVERY, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 2442, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.cgfi.org