Plenty of noise was made this week about the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) ‘Fiscal Risks Report‘, which outlined the potential costs of the government’s transition to net zero by 2050: £1.4 trillion over 30 years, three-quarters of which would be borne by households and private businesses. If that weren’t staggering enough, the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) has found that the OBR’s projections still didn’t sufficiently capture the indirect economic effects of the transition, and that their analysis depends on a series of “optimistic assumptions“. In other words: it may well be even worse…
Most of the OBR’s cost assumptions are built on the estimates of the Climate Change Committee, whose figures appear rosy at the best of times: even their most pessimistic projection expects 75% of electricity to come from renewables by 2035, with over 70% of households using hydrogen for heating within a similar window. And all this is assuming the economy doesn’t stagnate or contract.
The GWPF report adds:
“It is no exaggeration to say that everything in both the CCC’s and the OBR’s cost assessment depends on their optimistic assumption that the cost of renewable electricity will drop significantly.”
“[The] indirect economic effects, correctly identified but not adequately examined by the OBR, will be severely negative for the economy as a whole and the public finances, with stuttering economic activity and stagnant or even falling tax receipts.”
The net zero timeframe target was unrealistic even before the pandemic; now, given the precarity of the post-Covid economy, it’s starting to look a bit ridiculous.
Global warming theorists have been claiming for decades that earth is at the no-return tipping point for global warming. Sceptics have for decades argued that it is possible to undo warming with climate technologies that would cost billions rather than the trillions of damage to the global economy advocated by eco-fundamentalists. A technological solution that didn’t force humanity back to the stone age.
Reducing Earth’s heat capture by injecting aerosols into the atmosphere from high-altitude aircraft has long been suggested as a way of reflecting sun rays back out to space. Now a credible study suggests it is possible and relatively inexpensive.
Research published in Environmental Research Letters, suggests stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) is a workable solution. Dr. Gernot Wagner, from Harvard University’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, co-author of the study, says: “Solar geoengineering is often described as ‘fast, cheap, and imperfect’… would be technically possible strictly from an engineering perspective. It would also be remarkably inexpensive, at an average of around $2 to 2.5 billion per year over the first 15 years.” He argues that “the ‘incredible economics’ of solar geoengineering” means a few countries could easily “fund such a program, and the required technology is not particularly exotic.” The technology would use modified conventional aircraft to spray the upper atmosphere and save the planet. How cooling is that!
As it’s International Polar Bear Day today, Gaia gives you the latest news on the cuddly carnivorous critters. Beliefs about the future extinction of the polar bear have been near universal. Here’s the WWF, for example:
“The Arctic is warming about twice as fast as the global average, causing the ice that polar bears depend on to melt away. Loss of sea ice also threatens the bear’s main prey, seals, which need the ice to raise their young.”
In 2005 there were around 22,500 polar bears on earth. Since 2005 the polar bear population has rocketed 30% to about 30,000 bears, the highest in 50 years. The above video from the Global Warming Policy Foundation is an interesting corrective to the experts…