The Net Zero bandwagon was always going to grind to a halt when it bumped up against hard realities. As Abraham Lincoln observed, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. To which the physicist Richard Feynman added the important rejoinder that you can’t fool nature either.
The eco-zealots in the think tanks, the civil service and the Green Blob have been trying to do both. Consider, for example, the oft-repeated claim that wind and solar power are cheap, which is demonstrably false, and carefully overlooks the fact that a renewables-dominated grid would require trillions of pounds of electricity storage to make it function without backup. As a result, we have seen gigawatts of wind and solar power installed, and the slow strangulation of investment in conventional energy sources. However, nature, refusing to be taken in by all the claims of ‘cheap renewables’, has responded with 20 years of relentless electricity price rises.
The silver lining to the very dark cloud of the Ukraine war and the energy cost crisis that followed is that most people now realise that a world with rising energy costs is not very pleasant at all. Others have been awakened, perhaps rather unexpectedly, by the Biden administration’s decision to launch its own Net Zero spending spree. It is rapidly becoming clear that this has the potential to turn into a disaster for the U.K.
Already unable to compete with the cheap energy and cheap labour of the Far East, many businesses are now having to face the reality that they will soon be unable to compete with the U.S. either, because of its abundance of cheap gas and its tidal wave of subsidies. Even companies that have been here for years are now thinking of upping sticks and crossing the Atlantic to take advantage of the green bonanza on offer. The U.K. and much of Europe are therefore facing an exodus of businesses, and a drying up of foreign direct investment. That could be catastrophic for the economy, and for Government finances already reeling from the pandemic.
The realities of Net Zero are also hitting home for the general public. The threat that the project represents to livelihoods and liberties is becoming more evident by the day. Recently, the mathematician Norman Fenton tweeted an excerpt from a Government-funded report that set out what Net Zero U.K. might look like: no airports, no shipping, no beef and lamb to eat, and most food imports eliminated. Sounds grim, doesn’t it? Lots of people thought so, and the tweet went viral, garnering over three million views.
The threat of being effectively locked into a 15-minute zone of a city has also concentrated minds. Anti-ULEZ protests are kicking off, and civil disobedience has followed in their wake, with cameras vandalised, bollards ripped out and barriers destroyed. Awareness of the threat of programmable digital currencies, which would allow the authorities to dictate your purchases (“No beef for you this week!”), is becoming more widespread too.
Read More: Net Zero is Being Mugged by Reality and the People Are Waking Up