Saturday, 22 July 2017

Why are Politicians Obsessed with Climate Change ?

by Owen Martin

The Irish government has recently had to endure scandal after scandal in just about every department - justice, health, finance, housing etc. But there is still only one issue in town - climate change.
Fifty years on and there has been a clearing-out of another generation, this time by the running, shorts-wearing avocado smashers. To what will they bring their focus, energy and vigour? One thing they have promised is to take climate change seriously. On election as Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said he wanted to see a new ambition on climate change. But he and his colleagues should do more than that; they should define it as the most important challenge to be faced; they are, after all, in Andrew O’Hagan’s phrase, the “globally warmed generation” - Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times

This week, yet another National Mitigation Plan was announced by the government to loud fanfare. 

David Whitehead, a geologist and paleoclimatologist from Galway, lays out quite simply the futility of the Paris Agreement and such climate mitigation plans as they relate to Ireland :

A peer-reviewed paper in the Global Policy journal has modelled the impact of the CO2 emission reduction promises, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), made ahead of the Paris climate summit. The climate impact of all Paris INDCs, if every nation fulfilled them by 2030, which is most unlikely, and if the climate models used to assess the temperature effect of CO2 emissions are accurate, which is perhaps even more unlikely, the temperature reduction would be 0.048°C by 2100. If the INDC’s were extended for another 70 years and every nation fulfilled them by 2030, and continued to fulfill them until the end of the century, and there was no ‘CO₂ leakage’ to non-committed nations, the entirety of the Paris INDCs would reduce modelled global temperature rises by just 0.17°C by 2100.  The Irish Times cannot have it both ways; if the models are correct the impact of the Paris agreement is negligible and if they are incorrect the rationale for the Paris Accord is unfounded. Paris is just symbolic virtue signaling by western governments and less developed countries signed up because it promised them large cash transfers. Now Turkey states that unless it receives the money it will not ratify Paris. Other countries will follow. Ireland is the second most carbon efficient economy in the world in terms of CO2 emissions in relation to GDP, and would probably be first if our GDP figures were correct, which we all know they are not.  Ireland is also the most carbon efficient economy in the EU and so for us to be pay huge  fines  levied by the EU for a failure to meet the  2020 and 2030 CO2 emissions targets, agreed to by Eamonn Ryan on ideological grounds, would be  economically  very damaging and  an act of political lunacy -  David Whitehead. BA(Mod. Nat.Sc.)TCD, FIMMM, C.Eng.

These facts are not secret nor are they in any way over complicated for policy makers and the media to understand. If climate change is a serious threat to the world, Ireland can play no role in combating it and in any case we are at present a very carbon efficient economy. So our politicians should be fully focused on the other big issues they urgently need to deal with. 

Ireland has a serious debt problem, the worst in the EU relative to our GDP. We have out of control public sector spending. Our public sector workers enjoy far higher salaries and pension entitlements than those in the private sector. Our social welfare spending is much higher than the EU average.  A housing bubble is manifesting itself once again in Dublin city. Despite spending more on health than anyone else in the EU, apart from Iceland, we still have a dysfunctional health system. Elements of trusted organisations like the police force, care and charity organisations have revealed themselves to be corrupt. Pension funds are repeatedly raided by our cash hungry government. The idea of retiring in your 60's on a state pension seems less and less likely by the day.  Socialist dogma coming from the media and government opposition benches prevents even a debate on most of these important issues, let alone solutions to be put forward. 

If nobody in the House of Lords has never heard of the economic theory "comparative advantage", then you could safely bet a lot of money that nobody in either two parliaments in Dublin have heard of it.  

One more anniversary. 200 years ago, 1817, saw the publication of David Ricardo’s Principles of Political Economy, which contains the first exposition of the principle of comparative advantage, a thoroughly counterintuitive idea that was once described by Paul Samuelson as the only proposition in the whole of social science that is both true and surprising.Comparative advantage takes Adam Smith’s division of labour one step further and explains why free trade benefits everybody, even countries that are the worst at making things, even countries that are the best at making things. But it also, in my view, explains prosperity – what it is and why it happens to us and not to rabbits or rocks - Matt Ridley, the case for Free Market Anti-Capitalism

The fact is that it is not our energy or climate policy that is unsustainable. It is our massive debt, welfare and government spending that is unsustainable. It is the raiding of pension pots and rainy day funds that is unsustainable. It is our high income taxation policy that is unsustainable. It is the PSO levy that is funding renewable energy projects that is unsustainable. The government must know this and they know, because of our education system, that there will never be a free market anti capitalism system as Matt Ridley describes that might help address these problems. Although perhaps its too late for that now anyway.

So the government must propagate the idea that the end of the world is nigh anyway. They must call attention to a problem much bigger than all these issues and then use all the instruments of the State to help fight it.  They must choose an issue that most people do not understand. And this is where climate change comes in. No longer do the politicians have to deal with the real issues. They can continually make themselves look good to a gullible public by pretending to combat a fake and larger enemy until the house of cards does finally crumble. 


  1. I wasted my time reading the part of the National Mitigation Plan dealing with decarbonising our electricity production. It is a total fairy tail. Probably written by descendants of Hans Christian Anderson . Brought on a tour of Ireland , by friends of Wind2050 ,to read fairy tales about wind generation in Denmark. Wind turbines do not meet fully the requirements of The EU Machinery Directive and can fall down after 3 years. This is no fairy tale ask the Swedish Work and Environment Agency. I suppose Irish politicians prefer reading Fairy Tales though. Fairy tales hide reality.


  2. A huge mistake is being made with regard to the shape of the political spectrum. It was always thought to a straight bar, like the spectrum of light. I say it is not, it is a circle like the face of a clock. At 6 O’Clock the people are happy. The balance between public service provision and private enterprise is established. It is like the movement of a clock, slick, tick tock. The hand only moves due to emergency, earthquake, war etc. The government takes more control and citizens accept it as a temporary arrangement. After wards, things return to normal. The land is a fair free and happy . How can an opposition party break in? Can’t.

    At 9 o’clock, the government has swung to the right, with unbridled capitalism and huge inequality. Any education of the population will cause resistance and government must either move the hand down towards 6 o’clock or up towards 12.
    At 9 o’clock government is big, socialist, but with a lot of power by the state. Its left wing in name with control to hold power. Free enterprise is choked off. The economy falters, people complain and government must either move the hand down or up.

    In democratic countries (Ireland) , without a directly elected Leader (one person USA), established parties can be forced to move either way by a minority coalition parrtner. Once there, they have a tendency to stay there. It is usually to the left, and results in all parties being between 6 and 9 o’clock. Voters have less and less choice so parties cannot distinguish themselves. In countries like the USA, the people can occasionally elect their own president. He will meet fierce opposition. In countries like France and Ireland voters just stay away for the polls and lose interest. Something is needed to justify continuation of the status quo. It has to be a war, an emergency or something which cannot be measured for many years. What about the weather, it is changeable, go for climate change and stay in power, tax heavily, spend, spend and spend on every conceivable project with no assessment.

    To the right common citizens go hungry while the rich hold all the wealth and power, to the left the common citizens go hungry as there is no wealth creation due to lack the country being uncompetitive. At 6 the poor man’s son can climb up and compete for wealth. At 12 o’clock, the left and right meet. Conflict is unavoidable, repression must be handed down from leader to leaded for decades. Its survival depends of each leader being ruthless enough to rule with an iron fist. Nature tends to prevent that. As Thomas Jefferson said, the three of liberty must be fertilized by the blood of patriots and tyrants. As of the Spring of 2006 the hand in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia was resting at 8. Brexit and Trump applied pressure to move it down, it remains to be seen what will happen. Resistance will be fierce.
    Identifying the shape of the political spectrum is essential to understanding the forces at play.

  3. Typos immediately above. Last paragraph second line above, the word "lack" should be remove and in the same last paragraph 4 lines up from the bottom, "2006" should read "2016". It does not appear possible to fix typos directly.

    In the article I point out how I believe the political spectrum is a circle and not a bar. In a bar shaped spectrum the extreme ends cannot meet. In a circle shaped representation of politics, they can and occasionally do meet. Democracy works very well in a country at peace with its neighbours. This peace can be due to good luck, good neighbours or a strong defense militia. Defense costs money and voters will opt for a reduction and want the money spent elsewhere on schools, health etc.

    Voters at happiest when the hand is at 6 o'clock. In a peaceful society, voters will be asked to choose between keeping the hand at 6 or moving it a little to the left or right. Where defense is not an urgent issue and the dominant party stays firmly at 6, those wishing to break into politics must offer an alternative by offering to move the hand either way. This is hard to do, so a scare is needed.

    A scare of impending invasion will pull voters to the right while a scare that 6 is not in their best interests will pull them to the left. One of the best ways to pull voters to the left is if the hand moves too far to the right.

    In reality, the hand moves like a penjumem as swing voters, vote on personality, or perceived injustice. Scares can be nonsense or very soundly based. Invasion, uncontrolled immigration or manufactured. No one can say for sure whether climate change is true false or a little of both, but we all know it is over hyped and set to cost a lot of money. Traditional right and left wing parties have converged as their hands move close to 12 o'clock. Laws are broken by government, including laws on the environment's protection.
    I am called "a denier" "backward".

    As the hand moves towards 12, the gap between the will of the people and government widens and cracks begin to appear. The current rural uprising against green wind farms is an example. The mover towards President Trump and Brexit are others.

    Climate change is a great excuse to control. It scares the people so they see a greater threat to their future than bad government. Uncontrolled immigration can dilute a countries identity, but only if there is a failure to integrate. Green party leader Eamon Ryan put it on the record of the Dail, that he wants to double the Irish population through immigration. If current voters won't vote for you, bring in new voters. Who they will vote for is an open question.

  4. The real problem in Ireland is the fictional economy which expands at upto 7% per annum. Which mysteriously greates no pressure on the labour market, no increases in wages and when most of the jobs are low quality and part time. This fiction is caused by the transfer into Ireland of massive amounts of foreign turnover. If politicians and the stablishment elite are prepared to peddle that fiction. It does not take a major stretch of the imagination that they would peddle the fiction that co2, released by humans, causes the global temperature increase. In Ireland all political parties peddle fiction. The reality is that even at up to 7% economic growth you still see 99 d cars on the road. Square that circle.

  5. We live in an almost totally collectivised society. Where ideology is more important than science. Politicians are their aides prefer to believe on interpreting reality through their ideology not using common sense reality. A surreal society almost the same as the Soviet Union under Stalin. Where all investment and economic decisions had to go before Suslov the State Ideologist too se that they totally conformed with the precepts of Marist Leninism. You may ask what happened to the Soviet Union. " Collectivism is the union of the wolf and the sheep" As was told to Davitt , by a leading republican,rejecting his ideas for land reform during The Land War. But Irish Society today is essentially collectivised where the Wolves devour the Sheep every day. The wind program is prime example of that. The wolves, wind developers, devour the rights of other citizens to build their useless wind farms and make themselves millionaires in doing so. Climate Change is used as basis for vast corruption, robbery and the restriction of other peoples freedoms and rights

  6. Interesting Article here. All this climate change business proves that it is impossible to warn society about an impending disaster. History cannot re-written in advance by wisdom.