Monday, October 11, 2010

A certain lack of proportion

As an illustration of how the warmists lack any sense of proportion, we have today the dreadful Tim Yeo pontificating on how reducing current spending on "low carbon technology" would be "like cutting the budget for Spitfires in 1939".

This is the chairman of the Climate Change Select Committee, and he is anticipating next week's announcement on spending cuts. He is concerned the forthcoming spending review will see funding for carbon capture delayed "or worse", cash cut for upgrading ports to handle offshore wind farms, and green subsidies for small-scale renewables reduced.

Yeo says government needs to put more investment in areas such as renewable power, rather than less. Less money in these schemes could make the UK renewables sector too unpredictable to survive, he warns.

Then we get the money quote. "Cutting spending on low carbon technologies now would be like cutting the budget for Spitfires in 1939. The UK was running an even bigger deficit in the 1930s, but we would never have won the Battle of Britain if spending on defence had been sacrificed."

Yeo, is another of those Tory MPs who has made a career out of being amazingly thick, so it would not even begin to occur to him how fatuous his remarks are – and what an insult they are to the people who actually fought in the battle.

But it would also never occur to him to question the myth on which he relies. In the sense that he means it, there probably wasn't a "Battle of Britain" as such, with the gallant "few" saving the British nation from the Nazi hordes.

And in that very specific sense, it would not really have mattered whether we had had Spitfires or even whether we had cut the budget. As always, what matters is how you spend the money, and we most certainly could have got far more bangs for our bucks.

That, however, is an argument that Mr Yeo would not like to hear.