Crowds Go Cold On Climate Cost
by Maurice Newman The Australian (31/12/2013)

IN his marvellous chronicle of human gullibility, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay wrote:

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one."

It's a pity Mackay did not live long enough to include anthropogenic global warming in his list of popular delusions. There has been none bigger.

Since its first report in 1990, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change progressively has applied mass psychology through a compliant media to spread the delusion that wicked Western industrialists are causing irreparable damage to the climate. It champions compensation for developing countries for unspecified damages. The related UN Framework Convention on Climate Change issued a press statement in Warsaw last month saying that 48 of the poorest countries had finalised plans to deal with the inevitable impacts (what inevitable impacts?) of climate change. Several of the richest countries have pledged $100 million to add to the Adaptation Fund.

The $100m fund is additional to the hundreds of billions of dollars spent annually on reducing greenhouse emissions. Germany has been an exemplar, showing the way through substantial investment in wind turbines, solar panels, hydroelectricity and biomass (wood). Yet it has not reduced CO2 emissions in Europe by a single gram. That's little consolation to the 800,000 Germans who had power cut off last year because they couldn't pay their power bills. Little consolation, too, for German industry, which finds it is paying twice as much for electricity as its American competitors.

German utilities, which are required by law to provide back-up power for the renewable generators, are facing a bleak financial future with falling profits, increasing debt and depressed share prices. This is a serious economic and political challenge for Germany.

In Britain, which is subject to EU emissions directives, there are reports that hundreds of businesses are to be paid to shut down between 4pm and 8pm on winter weekdays to prevent blackouts. Is this the developed economy of the future?

Australia, too, has become hostage to climate change madness. It has been a major factor in the decimation of our manufacturing industry. The Australian dollar and industrial relations policies are blamed. But, for some manufacturers, the strong dollar has been a benefit, while high relative wages have long been a feature of the Australian industrial landscape. It is the unprecedented cost of energy, driven by the Renewable Energy Target and carbon tax, which, at the margin, has destroyed our competitiveness. And for all the propaganda about "green employment", Australia seems to be living the European experience where, for every green job created, two to three jobs are lost in the real economy.

The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling. Global temperatures have gone nowhere for 17 years. According to climatologist Roy Spencer's research,

"Over the period of satellite measurement,1979-2012, both the surface and satellite observations produce linear temperature trends which are below 87 of the 90 climate models used in the comparison"

— that is, 97 per cent were wrong.

If the IPCC were your financial adviser, you would have sacked it long ago. Yet, undaunted, some NSW councils still restrict beachside development based on IPCC predictions, which are 10 times the 80 years observed record. Now, credible German scientists claim that

"the global temperature will drop until 2100 to a value corresponding to the 'little ice age' of 1870".

True to Mackay's observation, individuals and scientists are slowly recovering their senses. Global polls confirm that climate change policies are losing public support. The scientific community, including some former IPCC reviewers, is rethinking.

But the climate change establishment, through the IPCC, remains intent on exploiting the masses and extracting more money. When necessary the IPCC resorts to dishonesty and deceit. Himalayagate and Amazongate are examples. Passing off NGO activists and single-degree graduates as top scientists, likewise. Its authors have fudged data to ensure conformity with their narrative. IPCC scientists were implicated in Climategate 1 and 2. Its notorious megaphone, the BBC, hosted a conference of Britain's "best scientists" to justify biased reporting. After years of refusing to name attendees, it was finally revealed they were mainly green NGOs and BBC executives.

Australia lends its own subtle helping hand. Tens of millions of dollars are being paid annually to non-compliant wind turbine operators by compliant politicians and bureaucrats. In a speech to the Senate on December 10, senator John Madigan exposed the "cosy relationship" that exists between wind generators and the Victorian government. He said:

"Victoria's wind industry is churning out multiple millions of dollars' worth of renewable energy certificates it is not entitled to and being allowed to rort the RET and LRET systems. Is the wind industry telling its financiers that they are funding wind farms that breach their planning permit conditions?"

— Obviously not. But where is the media scrutiny?

The health departments in NSW and Victoria also have fallen for the delusion. They, together with the departments of Planning and Noise Pollution Regulation, have abrogated their responsibility to protect the health of the people. They are guilty of numerous examples of false and misleading statements and hiding what is occurring to rural communities in their states. Where is the outrage? The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage even gave a $60,000 grant for

"Overcoming Barriers and Generating Opportunities for Community Wind Power in Central Western NSW".

Why are taxpayers promoting for-profit enterprises?

From the UN down, the climate change delusion is a gigantic money tree. It is a tyranny that, despite its pretensions, favours the rich and politically powerful at the expense of the poor and powerless. But the madness of the crowds is waning and, as Mackay writes of the perpetrators:

"Punishment is sure to overtake them sooner or later."

We can only hope it comes before most of us descend into serfdom.