Unintended Consequences Of Climate Policies Unethical
Mitigation Policies Have Brought Pain & Chaos In Their Wake
London, 19 January: A new paper by Andrew Montford and published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation examines the unintended consequences of climate change policy around the world.
We are constantly told about the risks of what climate change might bring in the distant future. In response, governments have adopted a series of policy measures that have been largely ineffective but have brought with them a bewildering array of unintended consequences.
From the destruction of the landscape wrought by windfarms, to the graft and corruption that has been introduced by the carbon markets, to the disastrous promotion of biofuels, carbon mitigation policies have brought chaos in their wake.
The new paper surveys some of the key policy measures, reviewing the unintended consequences for both the UK and the rest of the world. Mr Montford is a prominent writer on climate change and energy policy and has appeared many times in the media.
“The most shameful aspect of the developed world’s rush to implement climate change mitigation policies is that they have often been justified by reference to ethics. Yet the results have been the very opposite of ethical.” said Mr Montford.
“Andrew Montford has reviewed the sad truth about various schemes to ‘save the planet’ from the demonized but life-giving gas CO2: from bird-killing windmills, native peoples expelled from their ancestral lands, to fraud in the trading of carbon credits. Every thinking citizen of the planet should read this,” said William Happer, Professor of Physics at Princeton University.
Unintended Consequences of Climate Change Policy
At the heart of much policy to deal with climate change lies an ethical approach to the question of intergenerational equity, namely that current generations should avoid passing costs onto future ones, who can play no part in the decisions. In fact it has been said that this is the only ethical way to deal with global warming, although this is not true – professional economists have identified several alternatives.
Working within this ethical framework, governments have taken expensive policy steps to prevent the costs of climate change falling on future generations, for example by fixing energy markets in favour of renewables or by instituting schemes to cap and trade carbon emissions. There has been an unfortunate and bewildering array of unintended consequences that refute the ‘ethical’ label for the framework:
• clearing of rainforests
• human rights abuses
• hunger and starvation
• destruction of valued landscapes
• slaughter of wildlife
• transfers of wealth from poor to rich
• fuel poverty and death
• destruction of jobs
• higher-than-necessary carbon emissions.
In view of the damage done by this ‘ethical’ approach this report calls for a public debate on alternative approaches to intergenerational equity and for an end to the measures that are currently being used to address it.
Full paper (pdf)
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Dr Benny Peiser
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