Association of British Drivers: "Doomed CO2 Policy is Based on Climate Astrology"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

I’ve been monitoring the Association of British Drivers (ABD) for some time. I’ve refrained from reporting on their longstanding assault of the UK’s transportation policies, based (as it so often is) on their deep skepticism about anthropogenic global warming (AGW). TTAC’s Best and Brightest tend to get a bit “enervated” about AGW, and I didn’t want to add fuel to the fire (and thus raise global temperatures). But WTH. We haven’t had a good punch-up on this topic in some time. So I’m letting loose the dogs of war. On yer bikes, boys!

The imposition of more taxes and restrictions is the real agenda behind computer modelled climate alarmism via the unjustified demonization of CO2.

The car’s 11% contribution to the UK’s 2% contribution to global man-made CO2 emissions has been placed at the forefront of government attempts to meet arbitrary emissions targets and deadlines in a strategy announced by Lord Adonis (1). There is a growing body of international academic opinion (2) pointing to the fact that CO2 targets don’t and won’t work as a tool for reducing CO2 emissions, regardless of what science currently does or doesn’t tell us about the causes or future trajectory of climate change. Instead, efficiency and technology should dictate the pace of decarbonisation of economic growth. Carbon taxes should be low and policy should also include adaptation to inevitable climate change. Most importantly, policy should be based on the uncertainty of future climate change, which could include significant global cooling, rather than on unverifiable computer modelled alarmism presented as fact (3). Emissions targets will inevitably require unacceptable political forces, as opposed to the politically feasible policy proposed by the 12 international academics in their 6th July paper entitled ‘How to get climate policy back on course.’

ABD Environment spokesman Paul Biggs said, “Energy and transport policies are being blighted by CO2 emissions targets that are unachievable without restrictive laws and a huge amount of financial pain for no climate gain. We have a new type of climate sceptic emerging that questions the policy rather than the science. Adopting the policies outlined by Professor Gwyn Prins and his 11 co-authors would enable significant decarbonisation of economic growth without leaving the government open to accusations of having ulterior motives that include the likes of social engineering and high taxation. With a general election due in 2010, a future ‘open-eyed’ government will have a clear choice of following policies lacking political feasibility that are doomed to fail (4), or politically feasible policies that have worked in the past.”

Notes for Editors [TTAC commentators]:

(1) Low Carbon Transport: A Greener Future (DfT)

(2) How to get climate policy back on course (pdf)

(3) The Government’s own Stern Review was dismissed by prominent economist Richard Tol as ‘alarmist and incompetent.’ In a peer reviewed paper, disaster losses expert Professor Roger Pielke Jr concluded that, “The Stern Review’s treatment of extreme events is misleading because it overestimates the future costs of extreme weather events in developed countries by an order of magnitude. Because the Stern Report extends these findings globally, the overestimate propagates through the report’s estimate of future global losses.” Mistreatment of the economic impacts of extreme events in the Stern Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change by Roger Pielke Jr., Global Environmental Change, Volume 17, Issues 3-4, August-October 2007, Pages 302-310

(4) The British Climate Change Act: a critical evaluation and proposed alternative approach by Roger A Pielke Jr 2009 Environ. Res. Lett. 4 024010

BBC News website, 11/02/2009: UK’s CO2 plan ‘certain to fail’

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Cmcmail Cmcmail on Jul 20, 2009

    At this stage oil is a net gainer, taxes from sales exceed subsidies by a significant margin. Most of the oil is controlled by the governments, not private interest. This represents complete reversal from 30 years ago. New technologies often require startup subsidies, the sun and wind hardly qualify as new.

  • U mad scientist U mad scientist on Jul 20, 2009
    At this stage oil is a net gainer, taxes from sales exceed subsidies by a significant margin. Did you include any external cost? Infrastructure subsidy? Those range in many many billions. Even without those, the oil lobby is no slouch, and I'm guessing it's much closer (or even reverse of) than what you think depending on how it's counted, especially for a mature industry.
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.