Saturday 24 April 2021
It Will Spread Across The Whole Sky
Peter Hitchens writes:
The collapse of the once-free West into a conformist wasteland is grim enough by itself, for anyone who believes in free thought and assembly.
There are so many things that it is now impossible to discuss without being driven into the wilderness. Dissent on these subjects – you know what they are, though there will soon be more – is a suicide mission, which can even bring the police to your door.
And I suppose for most people this is just a nuisance on the edge of life. But the Green Dogma – which has taken over every major government on the planet, and is now pretty much accepted by all media, publishing houses and educational bodies – is different. Anyone who challenges or doubts it might as well build his own guillotine, stick his head in the hole and drop the blade on his own neck.
So I won’t do that. The kamikaze life is not for me. I’ll just say two things. The British Government’s policy on climate change doesn’t even make sense on its own terms. And it is going to affect you personally whether you have an opinion on it or not.
For reasons I have never discovered, our Government is more rigid about this than almost any other. Unlike many advanced countries, we have written our carbon-reduction targets into law, making it much harder to pull out of them if things get tough.
So far, the main thing we have done is to close perfectly good coal-fired power stations. Well, you might say, so much the better for the atmosphere. But China, with vast, newly discovered coalfields in Inner Mongolia, keeps opening such stations. In fact, China’s coal-fired power generation is more than ten times bigger than Britain’s entire electricity output from all sources.
It is not just China. India is also a greedy consumer of coal to make electricity. Both countries make airy promises that one day they will stop doing this, but as long as they carry on, our efforts make as much difference as trying to empty the Atlantic with a teaspoon.
It is sheer deluded vanity to think that the rest of the world looks on us as an example. Few now care what we do, let alone copy it. Our economic rivals only snigger behind their hands at our dogged self-harm.
To continue this course, we are going to have to cut our huge consumption of gas, not just to run power stations, but in large numbers of homes. If we press on with our plans to be green, then millions of us face being told we must replace our gas boilers with costly and less efficient heat-pumps.
Ferocious insulation rules will make it harder and harder to sell older houses. As for transport, it is just going to get more expensive and less convenient. And now they want to make us change our diets too.
At the moment, in most people’s lives, this is still a small cloud no bigger than a man’s hand, far away on the horizon. But you will find as the years drag on that it will spread across the whole sky.
My guess is that it is the means by which we in the West will join the Third World, finally and irrevocably. How amusing that this should be brought about by a government that calls itself Conservative, and claims to be patriotic.