Booker: “every green initiative… has ended in disaster”

In his April 8 article, investigate reporter and author Christopher Booker writes,

The truth is that every single green scheme the politicians have fallen for has proved to be a total fiasco: failing to achieve any of the results claimed for them and costing us more billions with every year that passes.

He proceeds to describe ten UK government schemes to regulate (manipulate) the behaviour of citizens and firms with environmentalist objectives in mind. The schemes have all been expensive for taxpayers and, from the perspective of ordinary citizens, lacking in any obvious benefits.

Take the examples of the effect of subsidies on the operation of the Drax power station—which evidently used to be the “largest cleanest, most efficient coal-fired power station in Europe”—and Northern Ireland’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

Drax is now burning wood pellets from forests in the U.S., and is emitting more carbon dioxide than it was when it was burning coal. The Renewable Heat Incentive pays £160 for every £100 firms spend on wood chips to burn in order to heat their offices and factories, with the should-have-been-obvious consequence that boilers are running around the clock in empty buildings.

Some schemes at least have led to clear harm. For example, the tax incentives to encourage a switch from petrol to diesel vehicles, and the Environment Agency’s halting of the long-standing practice of dredging rivers and drainage ditches in areas subject to flooding.

In the former case, the diesel fumes have fouled the air and, according to studies, are associated with 12,000 premature deaths a year. In the latter, flooding led to £100 million of property damage alone.

The Daily Mail article, titled “From killer diesel fumes to ruinous floods, every green initiative imposed on us by politicians has ended in disaster… and this is the great folly of our age, says CHRISTOPHER BOOKER” is online, here.