As our leaders bicker over how fast Britain should get to Net Zero, you’ll hear politicians, eco-zealots and media pundits claiming that Britain is leading the world in reducing our country’s CO2 emissions. This is one of the few statements about climate made by our ruling elites which does actually appear to be true. Since 1990, Britain’s CO2 emissions have almost halved from 604 million metric tons to just under 350 million tons by 2022. That equates to a drop from 10 metric tons per capita in 1990 to below five tons per capita:
While celebrating this great supposed ‘success’, our politicians, media and eco-activists often seem less keen to explain how this reduction in CO2 emissions was achieved.
Here’s another chart. It shows the share of the U.K.’s GDP made up by manufacturing:
Since 1990, the year U.K. CO2 emissions started falling, the percentage of U.K. GDP from manufacturing has also halved from just over 16% to around 8%.
Moreover, during the same period, the number of people employed in U.K. manufacturing has dropped from 4,963,000 to just 2,601,000. A cynic mighty be tempted to wonder what happened to all those hundreds of thousands of highly-skilled, highly-paid green jobs that our rulers promised us would be created in Britain by the energy transition away from fossil fuels to renewables.
For years the U.K. has had some of the world’s highest energy prices due to our replacement of cheap, reliable fossil fuels with expensive, unreliable and intermittent supposed ‘renewables’. In 2022, in the U.K., which gets only 42% of its electricity from fossil fuels, household energy cost $0.41/kWh. In France, where 70% of its electricity comes from cheap, reliable nuclear, electricity costs were just $0.21/kWh – almost half the U.K. price. In the U.S., which generates about 60% of its energy from fossil fuels, the price was $0.18/kWh – less than half the U.K.’s cost. In China, where 55% of electricity comes from coal and a total of 83% comes from fossil fuels, household electricity costs are only $0.08/kWh – a quarter of the U.K.’s cost. There is a similar picture in India, where over 75% of electricity generation is from fossil fuels, of which three quarters comes from cheap, energy-rich coal, household energy costs only $0.07/kWh – a sixth of the U.K. cost.
So, just to put all of this into context, we can look at how much of the U.K.’s GDP comes from manufacturing – making real things that people in Britain and abroad want to buy – compared to our major competitors. In 2022, 8% of the U.K.’s GDP came from manufacturing compared to 9% for France, 12% for the U.S.A., 13% for India, 14% for Italy, 18% for Germany and a massive 28% for China.
A picture is emerging which suggests that the more a country relies on renewables for its electricity, the higher are its energy costs and the lower is the percentage of its GDP made up by manufacturing.
Economist Richard Salsman wrote: “The science of economics is clear: the production of money and debt is not equivalent to the production of real wealth. To claim otherwise is to follow fantasy, not reality – or science.”
As we in Britain enthusiastically print money and increase national debt in pursuit of our Net Zero goals, we seem to be wrecking U.K. manufacturing with high energy prices thus committing economic suicide as U.K. manufacturing moves to countries with lower energy costs. It’s more than astonishing that not a single one of our politicians and media supposed ‘experts’ seem to understand or are willing to admit what is actually happening and how the U.K. is committing an extraordinary act of self-mutilation by cutting the country’s CO2 emissions.
If there really was a climate crisis, the U.K.’s economic suicide to supposedly save the planet might be justified. But as I try to explain in my most recent book There is No Climate Crisis, there is no emergency that warrants such extreme actions. Yes, the Earth has probably warmed up a little since the freezing 1960s and 1970s when many experts were panicking about global cooling and the advent of a new ice age, which experts predicted would cause crop failures, mass starvation, the migration of millions from the cooling North towards warmer countries and wars over scarce food supplies. But this warming is just part of a natural cycle of warming and cooling driven mainly by the Earth’s rotation, solar activity and cloud cover. Moreover, the ice caps aren’t melting, in spite of the Guardian and the New York Times regularly predicting their demise. The polar bears are doing fine. In fact there may be so many of them that they may have difficulty finding sufficient food. The Great Barrier Reef has record levels of coral. Around five times as much U.S. forest burned each year in the scorching hot 1920s and 1930s as is burnt now. Even the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) admits that there has been no acceleration in sea level rise for the last 100 years. And the number of people killed by extreme weather events has fallen by over 95% in the last 120 or so years in spite of the world’s population quadrupling from under two billion in 1900 to almost eight billion now.
It’s a pity that those dragging us towards their Net Zero nirvana aren’t a bit more forthcoming about the economic devastation that their deluded policies are inflicting upon us.
David Craig is the author of There is No Climate Crisis, available as an e-book or paperback from Amazon.