Monday, April 10, 2017

The Cost (and Benefits to friends of politicians) of CO2 Hysteria

From Christopher Booker:

From killer diesel fumes to ruinous floods, every green initiative imposed on us by politicians has ended in disaster... and this is the great folly of our age, says CHRISTOPHER BOOKER

What a parable for our times the great diesel scandal has been, as councils vie to see which can devise the heaviest taxes on nearly half the cars in Britain because they are powered by nasty, polluting diesel.

This week, it was announced many diesel drivers will soon have to pay fully £24 a day to drive into Central London, while 35 towns across the country are thinking of following suit. Already some councils charge up to £90 more for a permit to park a diesel car.

The roots of this debacle go back to the heyday of Tony Blair’s government, when his chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, became obsessed with the need to fight global warming.
Although he was an expert in ‘surface chemistry’ — roughly speaking, the study of what happens when, for example, a liquid meets a gas — King had no qualifications in climate science.

On one occasion he famously told an environmental audit committee of MPs that the world was warming so dangerously fast that, by the end of this century, the only continent on earth left habitable would be Antarctica.

His light-bulb moment came when he learned that diesel emits less CO2 than petrol. What a brilliant way it would be to save the planet, he thought, to manipulate the tax system to encourage motorists to make the switch — which millions did.

And here we are 15 years later, being told that, as an unexpected side-effect, more than ten million diesel vehicles on Britain’s roads are chucking out so much nitrogen oxide and other toxic pollutants they are being linked to 12,000 premature deaths a year.

This is only the latest in a seemingly endless flow of examples of supposedly ‘green’ government schemes which, one after another, turn out to have been standing common sense on its head, at a cost which is rocketing up by billions of pounds a year.

There may be other competitors for the title of the greatest scandal in Britain today, but this is so crazy that it is time we all woke up to how damagingly mad it has become.

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