Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Costs of Climate Catastrophism

From Quadrant Magazine, The Chilling Costs of Climate Catastrophism, by Ray Evans.

Here is a characteristic Klausian description of this threat:

“Global warming hysteria has become a prime example of the truth-versus-propaganda problem. It requires courage to oppose the ‘established’ truth, although a lot of people—including top-class scientists—see the issue of climate change entirely differently. They protest against the arrogance of those who advocate the global warming hypothesis and relate it to human activities.

“As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.”

Neglect, and now Climate Catastrophism, are responsible for an Energy Crisis, as Climate Change measures force closure of electricity generating power stations and the abandonment of plans to build new, efficient coal fired power stations, the situation will only become worse. This has already happend in Australia:

You are right about no investment in new coal fired power stations.

However we have that situation already because of the
rejection of National Power Redbank 2 power station on the basis of its greenhouse emissions. Special legislation may be required for a new coal fired power station to be built at least in NSW. A gas power station may get built if the builder can ‘game’ the market to get sufficient income from the peak power prices for the time the station is dispatched. But as we run out of base coal power generation, more and more gas stations will be dispatched at a cost 2 to 3 times that of coal. And that will just increase electricity prices. The writing has been on the wall for some time especially as many proposed power stations are for combined cycle gas stations which are base load stations that must operate continually.

Now factor in an Emissions Trading Scheme. There is one item that Ray Evans did not address and that is the mechanism of the ETS which I see being imposed rather than sold to the public. It will be complex to understand but the national greenhouse and energy reporting system that starts next month provides clues on what will be used in the ETS.

For example, with electricity, both generators and major users are obliged to report their emissions (these are actually the same emissions - on the supply side and the demand side). As pointed out by Evans, the government will impose a tax on both the supply of electricity and the demand for electricity massively interfering with the free market. (It will no longer be free - goodness know what will happen with existing contracts - force majeure perhaps). Anyway, the tax can be guaranteed to cause a mismatch between supply and demand. It is even possible that power stations could be put out of business or unable to supply power beyond a point irrespective of demand from a customer who may have the ‘permits’ to buy. Then consider that the government will seek to cap emissions at some time by withdrawing (rationing) ‘permits’ for both supply and demand (for energy).

In effect the government will be attempting to regulate both sides of the entire energy market in Australia! The outcome is guaranteed to be catastrophic! Every time any government has attempted to regulate like this has resulted in failure. Here the stakes are high because they are the livelihoods of millions of people, dare I say it - working families!

Also, the idea that any shortfall in power will be supplied from other ‘friendly’ power sources that will somehow magically appear is dispelled by Evans and the UK article. The UK article points to our dependency on 24/7 electricity and without it the economy will literally stop.

So with ‘Our ETS’ we can look forward to massive disruption and economic grief. I should not be the least surprised if the economy cashes into reverse. And the damage once done will be painful to repair.
(I have reproduced a comment made on Bolta's site by Wand here as there is no direct way to link to the comment.)

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