(Facts from Sunday Telegraph article by Christopher Booker 10 Apr 2011)
There has been a fantasy belief for the last 20 years that the world was in the grip of runaway global warming, caused by our emissions of greenhouse gases. The planet, supposedly, could only be saved by abandoning fossil fuels and drawing our energy from wind and sun.
For a while, all seemed to go according to the theory. As CO2 levels rose and the Earth continued to warm, our politicians started to propose every kind of drastic measure to reduce our emissions, such as building thousands of wind turbines. But now this dream and the theory behind it have begun colliding with reality.
Carbon dioxide levels continued to rise, but global temperatures failed to follow. Three times in the past 13 years – in 1998, 2006 and 2010 – they spiked upwards, thanks to periodic shifts in a major Pacific ocean current – the phenomenon known as “El Niño” – which brings warm water to the surface and boosts temperatures across the world. Each time it was trumpeted as “the hottest year ever”. But each time, as the ocean current reversed into “La Niña”, the spike was followed by an equally sharp cooling.
In 2007, temperatures fell by 0.75C, more than the entire net rise recorded through the whole of the 20th century.
Last week however with a new La Niña, it was reported that global temperatures, as measured by satellites, had fallen by 0.65C since March 2010, making the world cooler now than its mean over the past 30 years. Yet again the computer models predicting that, thanks to rising CO2, the world should have warmed in the past decade by 0.3C, have proved hopelessly wrong.
If it hasn’t looked too hot for the theory on which our politicians base their plans to change the world, then last week it looked equally dodgy for what has been one of the most grandiose of their responses to this supposed crisis.
A Scottish environmental charity showed that last year, despite our building yet more turbines, the lack of wind meant that they operated on average at only 21 per cent of their capacity – the lowest percentage ever. Several times, when demand was at record levels, the contribution of wind to our electricity supply was virtually zero.
A similar report from the Department for Energy and Climate Change showed that the 3,168 turbines we have built at a cost of billions of pounds contributed on average, if very irregularly, only 1,141 megawatts to the national grid last year – less than the output of a single large coal-fired power station.
From the DECC figures it is possible to work out that, for this derisory contribution, we paid through our electricity bills a subsidy of nearly £1.2 billion, on top of the price of the electricity itself.
Thus, in return for less than 3 per cent of our electricity, nearly 7 per cent of our billls were made up of hidden subsidies to the wind developers, a percentage due to treble and quadruple in coming years as the Government strives to meet EU “renewables” target by building up to 10,000 more turbines, at a cost of £100 billion.
The dream of using the wind to keep our lights on is being shown by reality to be one of the most absurd fantasies of our time.