As the government’s Select Committee inquiry kicks off with all manner of fabricated non-science presented to it, The Free Radical is thrilled to be publishing an Open Letter letter from one of the world’s leading climate ‘skeptics’ to the world’s newest Prime Minister on the very subjects the Select Committee says it is considering.
The last Free Radical magazine, issue #80, featured this world exclusive: Part One of ‘Christopher Monckton's Open Letter to John Key’ on the science of so called Climate Change: a thorough debunking by Christopher Monckton of the apocalyptic vision of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.
The so called science, says Monckton in that Letter, is “a lurid and fanciful account of imagined future events that was always baseless, was briefly exciting among the less thoughtful species of news commentators and politicians, but is now scientifically discredited. “
Since featuring Part One Monckton’s letter in The Free Radical, the Open Letter on the science of so called Climate Change has gone far and wide -- thanks to Free Radical and NOT PC reader, who asked for electronic copies to pass on to “opinion makers.”
In the forthcoming issue, out Monday, Monckton completes his Open Letter, this time covering the political responses to so called Climate Change.
Below are just some of the many highlights in what is a thorough debunking of any of the political prescriptions chosen for what is a thoroughly politicised pseudo-scientific phenomena.
(And, by the way, if you want to make sure your letterbox will be in the first mailout of this latest Free Radical, now is the time to subscribe, or resubscribe.)
From: The ViscountMonckton of Brenchley
To: John Key, Esq.,
Prime Minister of New Zealand and Leader of the National Party.
OPEN LETTER TO JOHN KEY:
“Global Warming” Is Not A Global Crisis
PART TWO: The Policy Responses
- We have in Part One thoroughly examined the scientific propositions that you and your colleagues have advanced in support of global warming – the basis of what your Climate Change Inquiry calls “the central/benchmark projections which are being used as the motivation for international agreements to combat climate change.” We have examined them, and found them wanting…
We now turn to your policy prescriptions and the basis for them. . .
Your proposed remedy for "market failure"
- By now I hope I have established in your mind the possibility, at the very least, that there is no need whatsoever for any controls on the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that has previously and harmlessly contained 20 times today's concentration.
- By citing the need for such “tools” as “a well-designed, carefully balanced emissions trading scheme” (should such a thing even be possible) . . . you are saying, in effect, that the free market on its own is incapable of acting fast enough to prevent worldwide damage caused by anthropogenic "global warming," and that your approach to your domestic economy will be to institute government action to limit private action.
- The free market can scarcely be blamed for having failed to address an imagined "problem" that has not long been widely talked of; now that the free market has been made aware of the imagined "problem," it will be able to deal with the "problem" (to the extent that the "problem" is real) far more quickly and effectively than the State.
- Even if the fancifully-exaggerated estimates of climate sensitivity generated by the UN's climate panel were correct (and they are not), the world will have largely run out of the fossil fuels that are the alleged cause of the alleged "problem" long before any significant environmental damage can occur. And long before the fossil fuels become exhausted, their price will rise (thanks to the free-market law of supply and demand), so that the market will ration them by price long before any State-imposed system of rationing, whether by "cap-and-trade" or otherwise, could possibly have gained sufficient public acceptance to make any difference.
- Russia, India, and above all China have made it abundantly plain that they do not propose to reduce their "carbon emissions". . . Even if the West were to close down all of its industries and transport systems and factories and hospitals and schools and power stations, and even if we were all of us to revert to the Stone Age but without the ability even to light carbon-emitting fires, the growth in China's and India's emissions would entirely replace all of the West’s emissions within little more than a decade.
- It is a scandal that your farmers are included at all in the Emissions Trading Scheme. Farm animals do not eat fossil fuels; they eat grass, and they sink most of the carbon into meat, milk, wool, and blood and bone fertilizer. They should receive carbon credits for doing so.
- In sum, all that you will achieve, if you inflict upon yourselves a severe enough system of rationing actually to reduce your emissions by the one-half you have suggested, would be to transfer your industries, your workers' jobs, your emissions, and your well-controlled environmental pollution to China, which is opening one or two new coal-fired power stations every week, and whose record of pollution is currently the worst on the planet.
Some defects of your proposed "cap-and-trade" policy
- No matter how well “balanced” you think you can make your “cap-and-trade” system of emissions trading, any such proposal would require a vast, complex, costly, bureaucratic nightmare of controls, regulations, intrusions, and interferences that would swiftly and forever destroy the economic vigor of New Zealand.
- The facts are that "cap-and-trade" is simply a market in hot air – a “cap in hand” concept invented by the Environmental Defense Fund - no friends of either human freedom or prosperity. . .
- It is, first and foremost, a complex regime of State-inflicted rationing, by which government officials interfere in the free market by arbitrarily deciding which industries shall or shall not be permitted to emit, and how much each of them shall have the right to emit.
- You cannot escape the central flaw of the Environmental Defense Fund's "cap-and-trade" system. If carbon trading is to work, it will not be cheap; and, if it is cheap, it will not work.
- If you introduce cap-and-trade, you will destroy thousands, and probably tens of thousands, of jobs throughout New Zealand and in all sectors of the economy – with perhaps a large number of those being your own supporters from the agriculture and forestry sectors.
- Those jobs - the livelihoods of working people and their families throughout the country - will have been sacrificed for no environmental benefit whatsoever: for whatever you cease to make, China will make in your place; whatever you cease to emit, China will emit in your place, and will emit in greater quantities because her systems of power generation are far less efficient than our own. You will not only destroy the livelihoods of tens of thousands: you will also increase the planet's total emissions of carbon dioxide.
- If you actually believe (per impossibile) what you have said in your speeches about the imagined dangers of increased emissions of carbon dioxide, then you had better abandon "cap-and-trade" at once: for the policy you propose would be calculated to increase the world's carbon footprint, not to reduce it.
The chimera of "market rewards for alternative energy"
- The greatest market incentive is price. Yet, since governments are in no position to make the prices of the things they wish to promote any cheaper in a global sense (and as we know, governments’ ability to dispense subsidies and “pick winners” has never been a successful strategy) then there is only one possible mechanism whereby they can change existing market incentives: by making things dearer. This is not so much to offer a price incentive, as it is to offer a price disincentive.
- If you persist in attempting to “pick winners” by subsidizing that which you wish to encourage at the cost of that which you wish to discourage, you are certain to encounter the same problems that every system of subsidies ever imposed upon your country has encountered.
May I remind you of the effects, for example, of your Prime Minister Muldoon’s marginal-lands subsidies, which had the effect of bringing huge environmental damage to eroding land that was never productive enough for genuine agricultural production? The folly of “picking winners” continues today in a new form, encouraging, for example, vast acreages of agricultural land to be taken out of food production to grow biofuels, even though biofuel production emits more carbon dioxide than oil production. These are the results of what can be more accurately called “price distortions.”
- The greatest barrier to your country’s economic recovery in this time of depression will be to impose needless costs on the creation of new sources of energy, or the unnecessary expense of subsidizing that which should never be encouraged.
- Even if there were a scientific case for cutting carbon emissions (which there is not), there is now not the slightest economic case for doubling the damage already caused by global recession by imposing "cap-and-trade" on top. If you were to impose "cap-and-trade" – or carbon taxes -- on top of the already harmful costs of world economic and financial collapse, you would merely drive the economy from recession to destruction.
Capital in the service of freedom: Smith's "invisible hand"
- It is precisely because entrepreneurs only prosper by giving people what they want that capital and liberty go everywhere hand in hand. Directly contrary to what you suggest, it is not in the least hard to picture venture capitalists, corporate planners, and small businesses working together to the same good purpose – should the purpose to which they are called be a worthwhile one. The extent to which the big stick is needed is, I submit, the extent to which the purpose is one based on hot air and little more.
- As I’m sure you are aware, however, environmentalists are not always working to a good purpose. They are a narrow, special-interest group just like any other. It would be foolish to ignore the fact that, after the Berlin Wall fell, many on the Left found a new home in the environmental movement, seeing it as the new hope for the destruction of the Western, capitalist hegemony that they so detest.
- The environmental movement in general, and the "global warming" alarmists in particular, may have an agenda that is political rather than environmental - an agenda that is a serious, strategic threat to the peace, security, prosperity, and liberty of the West, and an immediate and pressing threat to the very survival of the poorest peoples of the world.
- At the very least, there is an obvious coincidence of interest between those who persistently exaggerate the supposed adverse consequences of "global warming" . . . and those who have long planned and intended to dismantle and destroy the economies and liberties of the free and prosperous West from within.
- In our schools, the slick, relentless propaganda of the alarmists - based not on fact but on fear - infects the minds of innocent children. Gripping children in a self-serving, manipulative state of fear robs them of their childhood.
- Among our classe politique, "global warming" is seen not as a crusade to "Save The Planet", but rather as a priceless opportunity to extend the empires of the new and growing aristocracy of overpaid, over-privileged bureaucrats and the politicians who cravenly serve them, and to increase the taxes and imposts inflicted on the people, and to intrude into every aspect of our lives, from the light-bulbs we use to the automobiles we drive.
The heavy cost of the economic destruction you propose
- Whatever may have been true about the “targets” being talked by other countries when you announced your ‘50 by 50’ target – which even at its announcement was more about politics than it was about either science or economics – there is no way that pipe dream of last year matches the present-day reality.
Both Europe and Australia have sensibly backtracked on their targets in the face of overwhelming economic reality.
- Said Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian, “Kevin Rudd's announcement of a carbon emissions reduction target of 5 per cent by 2020 demonstrated that his pre-election claim that climate change was the great moral issue of our time, and demanding that Australia lead the way, was what Winston Churchill would call a terminological inexactitude: a whopper, a piece of bare-faced duplicity of epic proportions. But thank goodness Rudd and his colleagues deceived us.”
- Reporting on the outcome of the Poznan conference on climate change, which history will probably record as the conference that sounded the death knell or climate alarmism, the Wall Street Journal recorded that “Instead of standing by plans to cut CO2 emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, [Europe’s] actual reductions might be as trivial as 4% if all exemptions are factored in…
- And in the US, while addressing global warming is certainly said to be a “top priority” of the Obama administration, a recent Pew poll shows it ranks low among the concerns of the American public. Among the 20 policy issues people were asked to rate, global warming ranked last. . . “People are sick of the hype,” said Patrick Michaels, a research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia. “If they really believed global warming was a threat, it would be higher on the list.”
No politician as astute as Mr Obama can afford to ignore a signal like that. Frankly, sir, nor can you.
- Let us translate what ’50 by 50’ means into plain English. This means that within 41 years - the working lifetime of a high-school graduate today - the policies which you propose to introduce will have shut down, deliberately, consciously, and to no environmental benefit whatsoever, more than one-half of the entire New Zealand economy.
- You have repeatedly stated your support for a target for so called renewable energy of fully 90% of your country’s needs. Let us briefly examine the credibility of this assumption. At present, fossil fuels and nuclear power, between them, provide more than 98% of the energy used in the developed world. So-called "renewable energy" accounts for less than 2%. Even the UN's climate panel no longer believes that you can close down 98% of a nation's power supplies and retain anything more active than a Stone Age economy.
- By any definition, emissions trading is not really trade – it’s rationing. The government puts a limit on the amount of carbon dioxide industry is allowed to emit (a “cap”), and then unused quotas can be sold. It is certainly not a market operation because the key feature is not the buying and selling but the government limit.
- Remember Friedman's multiple. The State consumes twice as much resources as the private sector in performing any given function. Therefore, if you truly believe that the planet is menaced by an insignificant and harmless increase in the atmospheric concentration of a trace gas that is essential to life, then your first duty as Prime Minister will be to do the reverse of what you propose: in short, to shut down all unnecessary functions of the government altogether, and to transfer as many as possible of the remainder to the private sector, which has already done a better job of disincentivizing the consumption of fossil fuels in just two years than your proposed "cap-and-trade" system is expected to do in almost a third of a century.
- We can no longer afford the luxury of over-extended, over-ambitious, centralized government. Yet the call for “action” in the face of climate change is overwhelmingly for government action to place limits on private action.
Since this will of necessity concentrate vast additional powers in the hands of government it is not merely doomed to ignominious failure; it is not merely guaranteed to increase your nation's "carbon footprint" under the guise of taking steps to reduce it; it is an explicit and abject abandonment of the individual freedom for which the National party is supposed to stand.
- The "serious dangers" threatening the planet are not dangers arising from the very slightly warmer weather that the world may enjoy as a result of enrichment of the atmosphere by fractional increases in the proportion of the air we breathe in that is occupied by carbon dioxide such as that which we breathe out. The climate scare is, as you will now realize, a mere bugaboo - a horror story for children, that only children and those with a mental age on a par with children can be expected to swallow. The real, pressing, "serious dangers" to the peace, prosperity, and freedom of the world are the dangers that spring from the very measures you propose to drive away the fearsome-sounding but harmless climate bugaboo.
- The citizens of New Zealand need their country to continue as an engine-house of prosperity, and the people of the world need New Zealand to continue as one its few ongoing and successful “food baskets”. . . Exercise your good sense, I urge you; use the opportunity of this review to mend your ways.
You have changed your own mind on this issue once. Let me implore you to change it once more.
Like I say, these are just some of the highlights of Monckton’s thoroughly delightful debunking – and the Open Letter is just one of the highlights of a thoroughly entertaining and informative magazine!
So if you do want to make sure your letterbox will be in the first mailout of this latest Free Radical, now is the time to subscribe, or resubscribe.