Viv Forbes on the mad maths of emission targets

Most politicians live in a green fantasy-land where facts and numbers don’t count.

They dream up fanciful figures for proposed cuts to industrial and agricultural emissions without any understanding of the remorseless growth of population.

The Australian government has set a target to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 27% from 2005 levels by 2030, just 11 years away. The ALP opposition plans to cut emissions by a staggering 45% by 2030.

Australia’s population is growing at 1.7% per year (higher than most other developed countries). At this growth rate, population will increase by about 50% from 2005 levels by 2030.

If we did NOTHING about cutting emissions, and the economy stood still, the continuing rise in population will ensure that emissions (and economic activity) per head of population will fall by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.

Who among us is volunteering to use 30% less food, petrol, gas and electricity than we used in 2005 solely because of population growth? Who is promising to abolish the baby bonus and cut our intake of migrants, refugees, tourists and foreign students by 30%?

And of those prepared to make these sacrifices, who is volunteering to meet even the modest government cuts proposed for 2030 which will require us to use 50% less food, petrol, gas and electricity per capita than we used in 2005? The Green/ALP cuts would take us back to the middle ages.

We have just three choices – reduce population growth; abolish emissions targets; or welcome creeping poverty.

There is a fourth choice – eject all climate fools from the political stables in Canberra.

Their proposed emissions targets will harm the natural environment by splattering the land with subsidised wind and solar monstrosities. They will also divert land from producing food to producing ethanol fuel for cars, and they will force poor people into poverty with soaring electricity prices.

But they will have no measurable effect on climate.

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22 Responses to Viv Forbes on the mad maths of emission targets

  1. stackja

    Someone must make money on ‘climate’. Who?

  2. …they will force poor people into poverty with soaring electricity prices.

    They will force the ‘majority’ of people into poverty and dependency on government. That’s the ultimate plan.

  3. RobK

    Someone must make money on ‘climate’. Who?
    An entire class of technocrats and enabling industry.

  4. Angus Black

    I don’t think politicians really believe this stuff, you know. You have to be bright enough to tie your own shoelaces or it’s hard to get your snout deep enough to suck out the prime swill.

    They just want to keep the sheeple off balance, panicking if possible and shepherd their votes.

  5. stevem

    I can’t do anything useful to help. My electorate has a Fred Nile candidate, a Clive Palmer candidate and 5 Candidates ranging from very “green” to entirely “green”. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that green candidate Trent Zimmerman will win. I’m even struggling to find a protest vote candidate worthy of $2.756. I feel my vote is only going to encourage them.

  6. Tim Neilson

    #3011214, posted on May 13, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Deny them all the $2.756 by writing what you feel on the ballot paper.

  7. Dr Fred Lenin

    If there is a voter backlash watch the career polliemaggots reverse thei support for the UN fascist climate scam ,they will be proposing laws to punish their former fellow climateers ,there is no loyalty in politics they would sell their mother to save their miserable careers.

  8. Genghis

    There is a fifth way and that is to go Nuclear and fast. Although electrical generation is only 45% of emissions Nuclear could have a significant impact on total emissions and by 2030 as well.

  9. jupes

    There is a fifth way and that is to go Nuclear and fast. Although electrical generation is only 45% of emissions Nuclear could have a significant impact on total emissions and by 2030 as well.

    This is assuming that Australia’s CO2 emissions make a difference to the weather.

    They don’t.

  10. Mark M

    The cost of in-action:

    In phenomenal years like the present some foolish folk are always ready to predict all manner, of woes.
    Two comets— rare, almost unprecedented summer heats— a rapidly approaching, widely-devistating plague, the murder of princes, and- the awful dangers with which dynamite threatens the whole
    social fabric — these -are -so many portents which have been interpreted as as betokening the proximate end of the world.

    Oops. That was 1881:

    1927: THE END OF THE W0RLD
    Speaking at the Second Adventisle’ Convention at the Chapter House in Sydney last week, Rev. J. D. Mill declared there were scientists who said it was an impossibility for the world to come to an end as predicted in the Bible.
    They argued that a body could not be moved against the laws of gravitation, but God over-rode all laws.
    The world was approaching a great crisis, compared with which the great war was child’s play.
    It was not known exactly when the end of the
    world would come, but students of the Scriptures were all of the opinion that it would be soon.

    Oops. Wrong year again.

    Just check with Bill Shorten for the next one.

  11. Dr Fred Lenin

    I say stop Adani build a state of the art coal fired power station on the site and use the coal for Australan grid electricity . Now who could object to that withoy being a Traitor ? Re commission Hazelwood ,keep Liddell and begin upgrading them . Then to SA ,build a new power station coal fired of course on. the site of the one the communists blew up ,name it the wetherill memorial coal fired station . Then a nuclear station on the Olympic mine naming it the Wong memorial station . Further coal fired stations in. Vic , NSW Qld coal mining areas and our power needs are satisfied for years . We can cut co2 emissions by abolishing the senate ,state upper houses and alpbc sbs and abolishing the untidy nayshuns . ,problem solved .

  12. Linden

    Re someone must make money on ‘climate change’; ah well that’s where Malcolm Turnbull and the likes of John Hewson want to step in and have a little clean up for themselves. After all they are the ones always banging about a carbon trading regime, it is all about being the middle man to scope that lovely little percentage off the top for themselves. That famous quote of Paul Keatings stands true at least for those two, ‘when in doubt all ways back self interest, at least you know that one is trying’. I wonder if Keating had in mind himself as well?

  13. Ubique

    Nuclear could have a significant impact on total emissions and by 2030 as well.

    Nobody should ever fall for the Green-left’s three card trick of policy being aimed at reducing emissions. It’s not. The only objective is modifying the climate. It is a political and scientific scandal of the highest order that there is no reporting whatsoever on how the trillions thrown at “climate change” in the past 30 years might have modified the climate.

    There is no such reporting as there has been zero effect on climate.

  14. Pyrmonter

    If we did NOTHING about cutting emissions, and the economy stood still, the continuing rise in population will ensure that emissions (and economic activity) per head of population will fall by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.

    This is the sort of naive extrapolation one might expect of engineers or sociologists, not people versed in how markets work.

  15. RobK

    If we did NOTHING about cutting emissions,….
    I think it is meant only for illustrative purpose, not a prescription.
    The point really, for me is, our population is rising, our existing energy production/distribution system is being stranded to be replaced by immature and erratic technology on a scale unproven but likely to not serve us well.

  16. Pyrmonter

    @ RobK

    We face uncertainty and possibility. However, that is nothing new. We faced uncertainty and possibility when we moved from two-field to three field crop rotations; from water and animal power to steam; from coal to oil. Extrapolations of this sort serve to alarm the uncritical, and, at least in my view, to give succour to the proponents of the most outlandish ‘renewables’ schemes in setting up a dichotomy of ‘climate deniers’ and ‘good people’.

    The realities are: (a) there is almost certainly human-induced climate change; (b) it is a bad thing; (c) it is a global ‘commons’ (a phenomenon we all share and from which the costs and benefits aren’t excludable and are non-rivalrous – in strict economic terms, a ‘collective good’); (d) there isn’t much we can do about it, though we’re in a better position to abate than most people on the planet – we’re wealthy by current and historical standards; (e) we will find out what the cheapest means of abatement are by a process of innovation and experiment: that’s how markets work, and they will work far better when harnessed to solve the issue here than any of the ideas dreamt up either by the renewables proponents; or by proponents of other ‘quick fix’ solutions, such as carbon capture; and (f) while it is a serious problem, and could prove to be a very serious problem, climate change is likely to be dwarfed as a ‘threat to humanity’ by such mundane matters as the lack of clean water and access to almost costless preventative healthcare like vaccinations.

    The sooner we can find a low cost, simple, relatively de-politicised way to resolve these problems, the sooner we will be able to stop governments from their incessant, unproductive meddling.

  17. Pyrmonter

    From an impeccable source, we can see that CO2 output can be reduced without fatally harming a capitalist economy:

  18. Nob

    The simple point being made, Pyrmonter and others, is that as the population increases the per capita emissions go down.

    Thus exposing the utter nonsense of “per capita” comparisons of CO2 emissions.

  19. RobK

    Your argument is wobbly at point (a) and can be shown to be wrong at point (b). Climate change hasnt been shown to be anything other than natural variation.
    For the rest; yes, there are other issues such as pollution etc and Lomborgs arguments hold pretty well. In Australia’s case, coal is the most expedient way to ensure energy security and sufficient prosperity to develop new ideas. The scale and speed of transition is far too high for the competency of the alternative technologies proposed. Forcing those technologies by government dictate is not only dangerous but also folly.
    Generally, the examples of change you gave (cropping etc) were not forced by government, rather, developed by practitioners on solid evidence. This solid evidence doesn’t exist for the CO2 conjecture. The null hypothesis holds.

  20. RobK

    If carbon reductions are your thing, then best we build some nuclear power stations (and weapons for that matter), build lots of dams (preferably with hydro) and make lots of soil improvers from coal.

  21. RobK

    With your economics background, you’d be aware the UK came off a high base due to the industrial revolution ,then nukes replaced coal and much of the defence energy/cost was fulfilled by nuclear too. Then a lot of manufacture was either cleaned up or transfered off shore. Many centres are now financial hubs eg. London, Newcastle and Glasgow. (Should we somehow all be financial hubs-how does that work?) China etc belts out the CO2 and polution for those economies listed by your impeccable source. Statistics, statistics, (dubious) statistics.

  22. Pyrmonter

    @ RobK

    – I see the point on nuclear. I don’t think it’s politically viable. At least, not at present.

    – while we have lots of coal, we probably also have lots of gas, currently obscured by rolling prohibitions on exploration introduced by state and territory governments. For me, substitution of unconventional gas for coal is a fairly straightforward means of reducing (not eliminating) CO2 output. In the old fashioned terms of climate policy it’s ‘no regrets’ stuff – the sort of thing we should be doing whether we had a CO2 (and other climate-affecting gases) control policy or not.

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