Carbon Tax And Climate Change

Carbon Tax And Climate Change

There have been some inconvenient truths emerging over the last few years surrounding the whole global warming / climate change agenda, these truths are suggesting that the originators of the doctrine either got it very wrong, or there are other motivations at work in promoting that agenda. So what’s the problem? It is that the predictions of dire catastrophes for our planet have not materialised and in fact have gone the other way. As evident in Antarctica where 2015 ice levels keep exceeding records for maximum extent, when it was stated that the ice could disappear by 2014.

That among other ‘evidences’, such as the failure of sea level to rise, were eagerly taken up by governments the world over and in came the Carbon Tax regime. This also spurred vast bureaucracies in most western governments and created bureaucratic entities such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, soon to meet in a summit in Paris. But, one thing that has not changed is the race to discover and extract carbon fuels and to invent new ways to use those fuels. Nations just keep going after the C12. For example, Britain has cut renewables FIT schemes but is licensing onshore fracking for oil and gas extraction. Go figure?

In 2012 coal, natural gas and oil accounted for 87 percent of the world’s primary energy consumption and that number has not reduced. In that same year China burnt half the world’s annual supply of coal for electricity. India is now intending to double the use of coal over the next 20 years.

If global warming, renamed climate change after the evidence or lack thereof became embarrassing, was of such a threat to the planet then why are world governments still chasing the carbon fuels, and why have things like carbon sequestering not been pursued full throttle? The grand idea of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has really fallen quite flat. Yes there have been some efforts to do something and I have even participated in one project for an offshore UK pipeline for that purpose, but when you look around, very little is in fact being achieved.

I wonder if the costs of implementing CCS is simply not economic. We already know that decarbonising the power generation sector is an economic impossibility . The Zero Emissions Platform industry group has stated that, “Without CCS, the cost of decarbonising the power sector could be 2 to 4 trillion euros ($2.3-$4.5 trillion) higher and some energy-intensive industries would not be able to decarbonise at all.”, so, it may be that it is just easier to carry on as we are in consuming carbon based fuels.

In all the media hype about global warming, climate change and shrinking glaciers we must remember that climate change is inherent in the world we live in. There is a tendency in the human mind to think that our experience today is the way it has always been. Yes we have all heard about ice ages but they are so far in the distant past that we cannot comprehend it. But the reality is that the world’s climate changes frequently, and very quickly. When I was in Holland at the turn of this century I wanted to go ice skating on the canals, but they refused to freeze over for me and still haven’t. Yet only a few hundred years ago markets were held in winter on the frozen surface of the Thames River in London (River Thames Frost Fairs).

One thing in all this is very clear, the carbon scare is a great source of revenue! Carbon taxes in one form or another have been implemented in almost every economy and even if the whole thing is eventually proven to be a big hoax, the taxes will never go away. Tax is the nearest tangible thing we have to in perpetuity. Unlike energy, taxes are created but never destroyed, they may change form but never disappear.

Whilst it has been established that man-made carbon emissions are very high indeed, the fact that the world is displaying changes opposite to the predictions, show that there is obviously far more complexity to the climate model than simply how much CO2 is being released into the atmosphere. The billions of tonnes of CO2 we produce will have an effect on the environment, whether it’s good or bad remains to be seen. But either way, the unimaginative response to the potential threat, raising taxes on carbon and building bureaucracies, is totally counterproductive when those same governments make little effort to effect change.

It is very obvious that governments are far more interested in their own sustainability and making money, than they are in saving the planet. If they believe their own science and hype then they should make carbon capture projects easy to develop and implement, attractive to investment and channel funds into practical and viable solutions to the problem.


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