The British government has just announced plans to spend £6 billion of taxpayers money so that people in the Third World can buy more green energy in order to cope with ‘climate change’.
Maybe it’s time the Conservatives changed their motto from Vote Blue, Go Green to Vote Blue, Go Totally Insane.
It’s so barmy an idea that not even Jeremy Corbyn could have thought of it. (Perhaps it’s part of a cunning plan designed to steal some of his voters by out-loony-lefting him).
Certainly, if David Cameron really cared about a) the British people b) people in the developing world or c) scientific evidence he ought to be doing the exact opposite of this hare-brained scheme – for everyone is going to be worse off as a result.
First, £6 billion seems an extraordinarily large sum of money to be splurging on foreigners, however needy or deserving, at a time when the government departments which actually benefit British people – defence, for example – are being pared to the bone.
It’s nearly the equivalent, for example, of the entire annual budget of the Ministry of Justice, which takes care of everything from our courts and prisons to the probation service.
Second, it comes at a time when the government is ditching home-grown environmental projects right, left and centre. It’s what Cameron calls “cutting the green crap”. This includes the recent cancellation of several major onshore wind farm projects, the slashing of subsidies for solar energy and biomass projects and the killing of the “Green Deal” for home insulation.
If climate change is such a pressing issue, how come this now only applies to the foreign budget but not the domestic one?
Third, if you really want people in the developing world to stay poor and miserable, there are few better ways of achieving this than by bribing them to build more wind farms or solar panels.
Renewable energy is unreliable, only being available, for obvious reasons, when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. This makes it next to useless for a growing economy which needs regular supplies of electricity to power fridges and computers and keep factories running at all hours.
Worse still, it’s hideously expensive: about twice the price of conventional fossil-fuel energy from traditional sources such as gas, oil and coal.
And expensive energy is the last thing you want if you’re living on next to nothing in a third world country struggling to make ends meet.
Indeed it’s bad enough us at home. Renewables – all those wind turbines blighting the view and chopping up birds on a green hill near you, all those sinister shiny solar panels in the field where you used to walk the dog – have driven up our energy bills enormously.
They’re a form of reverse Robin Hood tax, stealing money from the pockets of ordinary energy users and funneling it into the bank accounts of rich landowners like the Prime Minister’s father-in-law Sir Reginald Sheffield, who makes £1000 a day just for having eight wind turbines on his estates.
And they’re largely responsible for the scandal of Britain’s fuel poverty deaths. Last winter, it’s estimated, around 15,000 people died prematurely because they simply couldn’t afford to heat their homes.
This winter, some forecasters predict, could be a lot worse. That’s because of maybe the most ridiculous thing of all about Cameron’s latest bout of eco-madness: the fact that “global warming” isn’t actually happening.
It hasn’t happened for nearly 19 years, in fact. According to the Satellite Data – the most accurate information we have – there has been no significant increase in the earth’s temperatures since December 1996.
Yet the bizarre thing is, our policy makers – not just David Cameron but governments across the world – still insist on indulging the make-believe fantasy that carbon dioxide (the harmless gas that makes plants grow and comes out of our mouths every time we exhale) is some kind of deadly threat which is going to make the planet hotter and hotter.
The scientific evidence to support this theory is looking weaker and weaker. But still our leaders go on sacrificing virgins to the sky god: just in case.
Which is what this latest £6 billion gesture is really all about of course. This December there’s a big UN climate conference coming up in Paris, and none of the world’s leaders wants to be the first party pooper to be caught pointing out that the green emperor is wearing no clothes.