Sunday, 12 September 2010

Holyrood Emissions

The Scottish Government website states 'Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world...' I always thought it was poverty and disease and I haven't altered my opinion.

The 'world-leading' Climate Change (Scotland) Act was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament in 2009. When I read it then my immediate thought was 'this is going to cost each and every one of us a fortune', along with the fact that the targets set were not only extremely ambitious but completely unachievable in a country where the temperature can be zero and below for a few months of the year.

A FoI shows the estimated cost of Scotland's climate change laws is £8 billion. It's not often I'm right, but on this occasion an approximate cost of £1600 for every man, woman and child in this country is ludicrous.

What are we doing? Scotland is renowned for our medical research, once upon a time is was renowned for our education system but that accolade has bitten the dust, we're infamous for having the highest percentage of early deaths, we can still produce world-class engineers and medics through our universities, (although most have enough common sense to move, as soon as they're qualified, to countries which value them) and we intend to spend £8 billion on a scam which has no scientific concensus.

Some of the expense, for example the £800m which will go on planting an extra 15,000 hectares of forest every year, is sensible but £3.9bn on transport, when we don't have links directly with many European countries, is staggering. Included in that amount is the building of new cycle paths and footpaths. If our politicians think that prettying up footpaths and encouraging more cyclists will achieve a reduction in emissions they really are in cuckoo-land. Because of our climate there's not going to be an influx of walkers and cyclists. The present number will fluctuate by only a few points.

Then there is the £3.2bn which will go on energy efficiency plans, the bulk of it on home insulation subsidies. That's interesting. Anyone with any sense would have their home well insulated by now, considering the cost of gas and electricity has risen over 60% in the past couple of years. So where will the £3.2bn go? Into the public housing sector I presume. Who will pay for it? Us. Bills will become even more extortionate and there's nothing we can do about it. We have a choice though and ought to be grateful - pay up, freeze or starve.

Derek Brownlee, the finance spokesman for the Scottish Tories said: "We need to make sure we are not reducing emissions by wrecking the economy." Pity the Tories hadn't though of that before they voted for this despicable law.


English Pensioner said...

I agree that climate change might be a serious threat, but like you I would have thought there were more serious threats. Apart from the ones you highlight, I think a very serious threat is countries like Iran, Pakistan and North Korea which have nuclear weapons and unstable government. To me the likelihood of some madman blowing up the world seems a far greater threat.

More importantly, whilst I accept that climate change may be taking place, I have never seen what I would consider to be real evidence that it is man-made. If it is not man-made, we are wasting our efforts trying to do something about it and should be saving our money to enable us to alleviate the worst effects when (or if) it occurs.

subrosa said...

Well said English Pensioner. My list was national, but you're so right in saying there's a far greater danger to the world from the countries you mention - and a few you didn't.

£8bn. I think our annual grant is around £35bn and to be cut.

Joe Public said...

The article states "Officials insisted last night that the country will gain a competitive advantage and extra jobs by being at the forefront of the "low-carbon economy"."

That statement is bullshit, and the officials who gave it must be taken to task. And, made to justify their claims.

1. To provide goods or services via a "low-carbon economy" costs significantly more because of all the very expensive infrastructure needed 2x - 4x the capital cost, to 'save' maybe 5% - 25% of the fuel/energy.

2. How will the country gain extra jobs? If they're 'extra' jobs because of a low-carbon economy, then doesn't that indicate they're unnecessary?

[Unless it's manufacturing the energy-saving equipment other countries (?England?) have conned themselves into 'needing' to meet the self-inflicted Kyoto millstone.]

cynicalHighlander said...

This man is a far greater danger SB as he will overide our liberties for alleged economic reasons.

I will concede that governments exploit Climate change through carbon credits, fuel duty and others but if that sting brings awareness to what is happening Globaly then we have to accept certain costs.

How much food and other crops do we import from Africa even though they have famines and droughts to contend with to satisfy our selfishness.

Remember we import 60% of our food from around the world and this is denying some of these people their basic human rights. In Scotland we have a surplus of these basic commodities due to our temperate climate allowing us to enjoy local produce and still waste an awful lot of food to landfill.

Alex Porter said...

I think this is all down to marketing.

I mean Scotland's transport infrastructure needs upgrading and other investment. If you put into a transport bill no-one would be talking about a waste of money. I'm sure footpaths and cycling paths cost very little in this bill but if you said it was an investment in people's health then again, no-one would complain.

Insulation will save money and energy so if you called it energy efficiency bill there'd be no mumping about it.

Call it Climate Change (Scotland) Bill and it's all a waste of money because climage change is a scam. Get it? It's nothing to do with climate change.

However the Scottish government will want to dress itself in a green flag come election time..

On another matter people may be right that there is no man-made climate change or maybe wrong but fossil fuels poison the air that we breath and the rivers and food that we eat.. It is bad for the environment. Take a drive outside Glasgow or Edinburgh and have a look at the city from 5 miles out. There's a haze caused by fossil pollution and people spend their whole lives breathing it.

On top of that oil is running out and we need alternative energy. China is about to award hundreds of billions on 'alternative energy' technologies and I hope that Scottish companies will rake some of it in!

subrosa said...

We are being conned Joe. I can't find any evidence to the contrary and I'm disappointed our government have taken this stance.

I'm not against renewable energy for us here, but for taxpayers to be paying for us to solve the world's problems is a few steps too far.

subrosa said...

You're a mind reader CH. I've been writing a post for tomorrow about the Trump matter. Can I use part of your comment in it please?

Very few of my friends now buy any food from abroad. We decided a couple of years ago to buy British and Scottish where possible. There are no farmers markets here for Scottish produce but there is a wee shop which holds a bit.

Surely nobody can think a piece of veg or fruit which has travelled half way or more around the world holds any nutritional benefits? Oh, I admit to buying bananas. My favourite fruit.

subrosa said...

Surely anyone who is interested in saving money/energy will have insulation already Alex or are their many waiting for more government grants? I couldn't get one. It's an old house and required internal insulation in one part. No grants so I decided I had to do it myself. Even a £100 would have been appreciated towards the cost but my MSP was no help. In fact he told me I'd applied for a grant towards loft insulation and not taken it up. Lucky I'm at least able to use a scanner, so I sent him the copy of the paid bill. That taught me government keep records of everything you do and they are not accurate.

Anyway, back to scamming. Of course it's a scam. We've been force fed it for a few years now, people are beginning to see the light, yet here we have a government who is determined to tell us that by spending £8bn we'll save the world.

I'm all for common sense to reduce pollution which is a different issue altogether, but as for my tax being spent on 'curing' climate change that's a definite no no.

Alex Porter said...

My point Rosie is that it isn't. The bill is being dressed up as green by relating it so climate change but no money is being spent that couldn't be called something else and found to be a reasonable expenditure.

As for insulation. Well yes, perhaps there is a job creation scheme going on here. It's a draughty nation though and there are also a lot of people out there who can't afford to by local food never mind insulate their hoose. Do you think they are lying and it's not going into insulation at all?

cynicalHighlander said...

Not a problem SB feel free as its your site and appreciate your good manners, please forward your lawyer's No :) hope that's the right one!

Dramfineday said...

I seem to recall, before the vote was taken on what the end target should be for the Scottish Nation, a certain beared twerp who writes for a well known failing Glasgow rag on environmental issues, worked said paper into a right tizz about poor Gov targets. Since this oik has at various intervals refered to Scotland as the dirtiest country in Britain, Europe, the world (and probably the universe), I'm surprised that his role and that of his paper in this has not been cast up. Right before the targets were annouced this beared wonder was howling for even more reductions. So before all the mud is slung in the direction of our politicians we have to reflect that the poor weak minded saps kneejerk to the tune of the MSM. So while our weak willed MSPs pass the laws, pressure groups such as the beared one are at the back of it. When calling our MSPs to account we should remember the mainstream media and their input to it!

Anon said...

Good research! Well done.

- Aangirfan.

subrosa said...

Ah I see you're on the other side of the coin Alex but yes, it could well be.

As for insulation. Too right Scotland is a draughty place but there's been plenty time for governments to act to insulate older buildings. Have they? No. Patrick Harvie has been banging on about this for years. To insulate older building is much more costly than drilling holes in eternal walls of new ones and pumping in a poly mixture or throwing down some fibreglass in lofts.

Insulating older buildings takes skill, the above a very limited skill. I should think by now at least 80% of newer buildings are well insulated. The percentage of older ones I've no real idea, but I'd say 25% at a guess.

I certainly don't think it's all going into insulation but the question is where is it going. As you say into low paid job creation somewhere.

subrosa said...

Many thanks CH. My lawyer's number is 999. ;)

subrosa said...

No names Dram? Ok, no names. ;) There's not a day goes by when I don't remember the MSM's input, I assure you.

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