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Former Brexit minister Lord Frost has warned that western governments including the UK threaten to plunge their countries into darkness and undermine their power globally in the face of threats from countries like Russia and China unless they rethink Net Zero policies.
Giving the Global Warming Policy Foundation Annual Lecture tonight, the ex-minister, who managed to negotiate a Brexit deal with Brussels, mocked the medieval technology used to underpin Net Zero policies on carbon emmissions.
He said: “Most egregiously, we are forcing investment in windmills, a technological breakthrough when first mentioned when Henry II was on the throne (in the 12th century), but less obviously suited to providing power on demand today, given that we have so far found no solution to the intermittency problem other than maintaining a back up network of gas and coal-fired power stations.”
He warned other so-called innovations of the policy were causing harm to the economy and people’s lives.
“In Britain, we will soon be making people buy inferior and more expensive boiler technology and driving many out of the new car market if they aren’t prepared to take a punt on electric vehicles.
“House designs are increasingly constrained and indeed energy efficiency requirements are squeezing the whole housing market.”
The peer is planning to leave the House of Lords and run for Parliament as a Conservative Party candidate.
Some have speculated he could, if successful getting into the Commons, become a candidate for the Tory leadership in the event of an election defeat for the party.
In the speech entitled after a line in a Bob Dylan song ““Not dark yet, but it’s getting there”, he compared the economics of Net Zero in his speech to the catastrophic bad economics of being in the EU.
He said: “I came into politics late, and through Brexit, not climate. But 30 years dealing with the EU gives you a very good nose for bad economics, for lobbying, rent-seeking, for la pensee unique, for corporate-ism, and indeed for a suspicion of capitalism and markets more broadly.”
The senior Conservative, who was Boris Johnson’s right hand man before quitting over Net Zero policies, demanded an “end to miserablist policies.”
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He said: “If we don’t resist this miserabilist approach now, the approach that ends with lifestyle restrictions and rationing, we will risk seriously damaging levels of economic irrationality in the next decade.
“That outcome would risk us not just going dark through power supply shortages but could set the West seriously on the back foot in the geopolitical competition of the coming years.”
He went on: “We must show that pushing for net zero on the current timetable and with current methods involves unacceptable costs to the economy and to individuals.
“We must persistently question the view that voters must just live with those costs and adjust their lifestyles as a result. That doesn’t involve claiming that net zero, or something close to it, is an undesirable goal: carbon reduction is worth doing.
“It involves explaining that we have chosen a method which ensures vast waste, inefficiency, cronyism, and economic decline, the costs of which will be borne by the average voter. Accordingly, we need a rethink of the methods and, almost certainly, the timetable.”
Lord Frost also noted economic reports from the Treasury never accounted for the cost of Net Zero policies.
“The View from No.11, contains no index entry for ‘global warming’, ‘climate change’, or even ‘environment’.”
But he said he was hopeful that the government was beginning to see the error of the policies based on an “arbitary” target of Net Zero by 2050.
He said: “I actually sense our own government is beginning to realise that the economics are more doubtful than the net zero proponents argue. If, as some commentators say, our Prime Minister is beginning to get worried by the costs of net zero, we can only welcome that.”
“So we must welcome the Government’s seeming willingness to push gently against the net zero ideology, for example with the proposed Cumbrian coal mine, the opening of new areas for exploration in the North Sea, and the renewed push behind nuclear – though of course in all these areas wider policy, for example on taxing the energy sector, has to be made properly consistent with that too.”
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