The Truth About Global Warming

Vernon Coleman

The British Government claims to be concerned about environmental issues and to regard global warming as a serious problem. The Government commissioned the Stern report, which they say we should all take very seriously. But the Government introduced new air travel taxes which were designed not to cut air travel but to bring in more money. By putting a tax on tickets the Scottish idiot Brown penalised airlines that run with full planes and made it marginally better for airlines which run half empty. (He should have tax per flight not per ticket). His so-called green tax is just a cash cow. As always, the gutless Brown is frightened to do the right thing and so he does the wrong thing.

The Government has allowed air travel to grow at 13% a year and has now allowed a new runway to be built at Stansted. More runways will mean more flights and more carbon emissions. The Government has done nothing about internal UK flights. There are 37 flights a day from London to Manchester and hundreds more from London to Leeds, Newcastle and Paris. All these flights are unnecessary because there are excellent rail links available. Improving (even subdisising) the railways would do far more to prevent global warming. Instead the Government has deliberately created dependence on unsustainable, irresponsible, short haul flights by doing nothing to improve other forms of transport. Worse still Blair and other politicians have done nothing to cut down their own flying and refuse to tell others not to fly (because they are worried about the short term political unpopularity).

Incidentally, carbon trading is bollocks. It's just an excuse for politicians to carry on misbehaving. When Blair flies off on yet another freebie holiday he claims that it's OK because he is going to `trade' away the damage he has done. This is typical Blair spin.

The people who tell us that we should turn off our lights, not leave TV sets on stand by and limit our use of cars and aeroplanes are the worst offenders. Governments constantly tell us what we must do to save waste and to cut down on our carbon emissions (in order to reduce global warming) but the waste produced by government departments rises annually. The waste produced by Defra - the British Government Department responsible for the environment, food and rural affairs - went up by 20% in 2005 on the previous year. Most British Government Departments are using energy less efficiently than they did before Blair and New Labour came to power. Emissions from Department of Transport vehicles have risen by 40% since 2002. The 72,422 staff at the Home Office (what on earth do they all do?) produced 17,697 tons of rubbish in 2005 - that's 63% more than in 2004. Businesses and individuals are reducing their waste. But not the Government. More than half of British Government Departments and agencies are failing to meet the British Government's own recycling targets. They are increasing not reducing their output of carbon emissions. During 2006 the use of cars by Government ministers climbed by 20% on the previous year. Mayor of London Ken Livingstone wants new taxes for air travel and wants to make London the greenest city in the world but he and his deputy and staff made 231 foreign trips between January 2005 and January 2007. Why does the Mayor of London need to travel abroad so much? The Mayor himself went on 15 official flights abroad during this period. Even Al Gore is guilty. His wonderful 20 room mansion in the USA consumes more electricity in a month than the average American household uses in a year. British Environment Secretary David Miliband criticised Prince Charles for flying to America to collect an award (qv) but shortly afterwards Miliband himself flew to India with four assistants to attend a conference on `sustainable development and climate change'. When Prince Charles flew to the Gulf with an entourage of 20 in a 140 seat aircraft, journalists accompanying him were told that they had to make their own travel arrangements. Global warming has (like the constant fake war on terrorism) given THEM another reason to bully us, threaten us, tax us and force us to adopt their brand of new puritanism. The Tory leader David Cameron is frequently seen riding his bicycle. His chauffeur driven car follows behind at a convenient distance. BBC staff clocked up 125 million air miles (costing £15 million) in a year when they produced a series of programmes about global warming. Many BBC staff even flew within the UK - totting up 24,746 journeys around Britain. Prince Charles preaches about the perils of global warming and is himself one of the biggest single culprits on the planet. In January 2007, it was reported that he had flown to the USA to pick up an environmental award with a reported 14 strong entourage. On another occasion he travelled by train on the way to Woking (just outside London) to encourage businesses to be more responsible for the environment. The train was followed by his chauffeur in a Jaguar limousine and by a Range Rover with a spare set of bodyguards. If Prince Charles, Bono et al stopped flying round the world telling the rest of us to stop flying around the world there wouldn't be so much of a global warming problem. (Maybe pop stars should also stop holding big concerts which entail much flying around.) Seriously, we need to stop politicians, business tycoons and pop stars flying round the world to have meetings about global warming. Most of these meetings seem to me to be self-serving publicity stunts (about as much use as the sort of charity concerts pop groups arrange to revive failing careers). I suspect that the damage done to the environment far exceeds any positive good that might come out of all the talk.

Traffic congestion adds to global warming but the Government encourages traffic congestion to raise money. The Government has banned Post Offices from handling pensions and allowances and as a direct result the system is losing money. They have now ordered 2,500 Post Offices to be closed - mostly in rural areas. This will inevitably result in an increase in congestion, an increase in the queues at the remaining post offices (and, therefore, a reduced productivity), an increase in pollution, and an increase in global warming.

The truth is that the British Government seems to be deliberately encouraging global warming (probably because they make money out of the so-called green taxes their policies produce).

If the Government really cared about the problem there is a lot they could do. They could, for example, encourage the provision of more school buses. They could stop video and camera booklet manufacturers producing huge booklets which contain instructions in a dozen languages. What a waste of paper.

Our just-out-of-warranty video recorder broke the other day. The cheapest call out fee for a man to repair it was £50. On top of that there would, of course, be a fee and costs. A brand new, middle of the range replacement costs£59.99. So we tossed a large piece of electrical equipment out with the garbage and bought a replacement.

If the Government was serious about recycling and protecting the environment and the world's disappearing resources it would subsidise the repair of electrical equipment by providing grants and tax breaks to encourage more repair workers. If the Government really wanted to help global warming they would slap a huge tax on tumble driers and hand out free clothes lines and clothes pegs. The clothes line is the best and most efficient solar and wind gadget known to man.

We need to improve and expand our rural and national railways (the rail closures planned by Beeching were one of the biggest mistakes ever seen in Britain). We need heavy taxes on planes (to prevent holidaymaker use) and we need to ban internal air travel. We need to encourage home working (by providing tax benefits for people who work at home). And we need to stop pointless wars which add enormously to the global warming problem. The Government will do none of this.

Electricity power stations fuelled by coal are the world's prime source of carbon emissions and, therefore, a major cause of global warming. In three years of operation, a 1,500 MW coal plant will pump out three million tons of carbon dioxide. Yet, the coal industry pays nothing towards protecting the planet. Electricity generated by burning fossil fuels accounts for one third of entire human contribution to greenhouse gasses worldwide. But politicians do nothing to stop the burning of coal. Where are the extra taxes on the use of coal?

The European Union is just as useless. Recycling schemes forced upon us by the EU are garbage. The world would be better off if local councils stopped producing and distributing expensively printed leaflets (invariably on the best paper available) telling citizens about their recycling schemes. Instead of putting so much effort into recycling, politicians would do infinitely more good if they put the same amount of effort into forcing companies to waste less money on packaging. (They could easily do this by introducing a packaging tax.) The EU is going to force us to use phosphorescent bulbs rather than incandescent filament bulbs. The argument is that these bulbs use less electricity. But fluorescent bulbs use fluorine, phosphorus and mercury - some of the nastiest elements around. What happens when the new bulbs are dumped and their constituents end up in our water supplies? Once again, an official EU policy is making the environment worse - not better. Putting up the cost of driving a car won't make any difference to the environment if there isn't also an improvement in public transport. The fact that the Government doesn't bother improving public transport confirms suspicions that politicians don't care. Global warming is just another excuse for raising more money. (Most people agree with this thought. In March 2007, 60% of the British population thought that the British Government was using climate change as an excuse to put up taxes.)

The Government isn't serious about protecting the environment. Every new piece of environmental legislation introduced makes things worse not better. And every piece of new legislation that is supposed to protect the environment is, in reality, simply yet another stealth tax.

The British Government (like other governments) won't even agree to the fairly mild restrictions suggested by the Kyoto Treaty. It is safe to assume that world Governments are not going to stop global warming. You should make your personal and family plans accordingly. Things are going to get worse.

Learn to dress for the weather not for the season. Be prepared for sudden and apparently inexplicable changes in the weather. Prepare your home to cope in high winds and be prepared to survive through long periods of drought. Water and food are, like fuel, going to become extremely expensive. The politicians aren't going to stop global warming. So you should start making plans now to make sure that you and your family survive. With remarkable speed there will be big changes in our world. We will have to learn to cope with more frequent storms and with big heat waves. Bugs will increase in numbers and will become more powerful.

Even if politicians could be persuaded to take action, it is now impossible to stop global warming. Professor James Lovelock (the creator of the Gaia hypothesis) believes that the world population could fall from 6.5 billion to half a billion as global heating makes huge areas of the planet uninhabitable. The UK will remain relatively cool and will become densely packed, like one big holiday resort in mid season, as people quit southern European areas and head north.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 23rd April 2007
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