I stumbled into true-believer HQ in Britain last December. ‘We’re all climate warriors here,’ says my old friend and gives me a hot-off-the-press copy of Absolute Zero, a government-funded report of which her husband is co-author.
‘Excellent,’ says I, ‘for I am an arch-sceptic’, provoking her brilliant son to promise, ‘I’ll destroy you in five minutes’. We’ll see how that turned out, but for now, look at this astounding document, this certification of insanity for political leaders, like Boris Johnson and Anthony Albanese, who bind their nation to net- zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
In the UK, net-zero by 2050 is now law. This clause in the Climate Change Act was inserted by the departing Theresa May and, tragically, reaffirmed by Boris. The authors of Absolute Zero, including professors from Oxford and Cambridge, take the rule of law seriously: ‘Obeying the law of our Climate Change Act requires that we stop doing anything that causes emissions.’ Anything means anything. On page 3, ‘Key messages for individuals’, two examples caught my eye: ‘Stop using aeroplanes’ and ‘Stop eating beef and lamb’.
Is this satire? Absolutely not: ‘The actions stated as absolutes are those which will be illegal in 2050 due to the Climate Change Act’. The Absolute Zero timeline to 2050 requires that, this decade, ‘All airports except Heathrow, Glasgow and Belfast close with transfers by rail’, and from 2030 to 2049 ‘All remaining airports close’. If you want to run away to sea, best be quick: this decade, ‘Shipping must contract’ because ‘there are currently no freight ships operating without emissions’, and from 2030 to 2049, ‘All shipping declines to zero’.
Incredible. This ‘research programme sponsored by the UK Government’ was debated at length in the House of Lords on 6 February, and the mover, Lord Browne, confirmed the stoical implications of net-zero by 2050: ‘There will come a time when we are so far short of the target we have voluntarily and legally imposed on ourselves that the only way to achieve it will be, among other things, to give up flying and shipping.’
Just ponder the implications of that for a far-off land girt by sea. Girt by shame for the coal and gas it fills its ships with today, having ridden to prosperity yesterday on the back of a planet-destroying ruminant.
Journalist David Speers probed Albanese on these implications on ABC Insiders last Sunday: ‘This net-zero target will apply to farming and transport?’ Albo replied, ‘Indeed’. Speers continued, ‘Does it mean we’re going to have to do less livestock farming, eat less meat and consume less dairy?’, but the Labor leader was evasive, saying, ‘These things will be worked out on the way through’.
Not good enough. Let serious journalists download Absolute Zero and ask Mr Albanese whether the UK edicts would apply to Australians. Will we be required to ‘Stop eating beef and lamb’ and ‘Stop using aeroplanes’ in a net-zero economy? If not, why not?
But what a pristine economy it will be! Absolute Zero surveys the flightless, shipless, iron-deficient landscape of 2050 and assures the small groups of peasants sitting weaving their baskets, ‘Most of what we enjoy – spending time together as families or communities, leisure, sport, creativity – can continue and grow unhindered.’ Such benevolence from our masters!
I gave my friend’s Oxford-bound son the five minutes he requested to destroy my argument. ‘Show me,’ I said, ‘anything in the climate record of the last hundred years that falls outside the range of natural variation’. He could not. Nor can anybody who looks at actual data dug up by actual scientists. Take the high-quality temperature record from the Greenland ice core for the last ten thousand years. That period, the Holocene, is the blessed warm plateau between ice ages upon which all recorded history has played out. The record shows we have been cooling for eight thousand years. Within that cooling trend, each millennium shows a spike of warming during which civilisation thrives, most recently the Minoan, Roman, medieval and 20th century warm periods. The only unprecedented thing about the present warming would have been if it hadn’t happened.
Likewise, our CO2 levels are historically low. Remember that plants die if carbon dioxide drops below 150 parts per million (ppm). We came perilously close to this, at 180 ppm, during the recent ice ages. When plant life first emerged half a billion years ago, it drew atmospheric CO2 down from over 4000 ppm to between 500 and 2000 ppm. As horticulturalists know, that is the optimal range for greenhouse growth and resilience. Today, at 400 ppm, we still fall short but a modest increase from the miserable pre-industrial level of 280 ppm has contributed to record-breaking harvests and the greening of the earth. There is no evidence of catastrophe from much higher CO2 levels in the past, and there is no evidence of harm from humanity’s relatively small contribution to CO2 levels now. All we have is speculation of harm generated by computer models and nightmares of harm generated by relentless propaganda.
‘But we have to trust the consensus,’ says the young intellectual. I said no, we cannot trust a consensus that has been corrupted by a bigger political game; that he and his peers in Generation Mush have been so marinated in green-left dogma all their lives that they are now mere useful idiots for global socialism (we were new acquaintances, so the discussion was necessarily polite). His response was significant: ‘My generation is not sure there’s that much wrong with socialism.’
This young man has a better chance than others in his generation. His family’s Christian faith will resist the eco-socialism that drives the elite and the save-Gaia pantheism that agitates the young.
But other families have little defence against today’s apocalyptic pseudo-science and cult-like indoctrination. Until strong leaders confront this ruthless political movement, we have net- zero chance of protecting our democracy from globalist servility and our children’s minds from global despair.
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