Tuesday, July 06, 2010

In sorry hands

Lord Marland, the parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, is telling us:
We think that climate change is one of the biggest issues to confront the nation. We are putting green awareness on the front of our agenda. We are going to be the greenest Government who have existed and we intend to deliver policies to show so.
This was yesterday during starred questions in the Lords, when the Lord Lawson brought up the so-called Wigley Report, officially known as the Report by the Green Investment Bank Commission on "Unlocking investment to deliver Britain’s low carbon future".

On the basis of this, Lawson claimed that, "meeting the requirements of the absurd Climate Change Act will cost the United Kingdom £50 billion a year, every year, for the next 40 years." He then went on to ask: "How-above all in this age of austerity-can this possibly be justified?"

Actually, the noble Lord got it wrong, although the reality is bad enough. What the report says is:
£800 billion to £1 trillion of investment is required by 2030 to replace, upgrade and decarbonise Britain’s infrastructure. This £40 to £50 billion annual requirement substantially exceeds the historical average and is on a scale not seen since reconstruction after the Second World War.
This is a combination of fantasy and stupidity on a heroic scale. Lawson is not wrong about the age of austerity, and what this excuse for a government is proposing is a scale of expenditure roughly ten times that which is needed to renew the entire electricity infrastructure, purely in pursuit of its obsession on climate change.

And if, by the reckoning of Wigley, we are embarking on a level of investment not seen since reconstruction after the Second World War, we are talking about the rebuilding programme following the Battle of Britain and the Blitz which was about to play itself out almost exactly 70 years ago. That is the measure of the stupidity we are dealing with and the enormity of the waste.

We are in sorry hands – the hands of morons.