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Let Them Eat Carbon: The Price of Failing Climate Change Policies, and How Governments and Big Business Profit from Them

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Ordinary people are paying a ruinous price for the attempts politicians make to control greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change policies dramatically raise electricity bills, make it much more expensive to drive to work or fly on holiday, put manufacturing workers out of a job, and sometimes even make your food more expensive. Climate change is big business. Much of the mo Ordinary people are paying a ruinous price for the attempts politicians make to control greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change policies dramatically raise electricity bills, make it much more expensive to drive to work or fly on holiday, put manufacturing workers out of a job, and sometimes even make your food more expensive. Climate change is big business. Much of the money so-called green policies cost us goes straight into the pockets of a bewildering range of special interests. Around the world companies are making billions out of the schemes governments have put in place saying they will curb global warming and protect us from the threat of climate change. There is little evidence that those policies are an efficient way to cut emissions. They simply do not represent good value, and the public are right to be sceptical. In Let Them Eat Carbon Matthew Sinclair looks at the myths perpetuated by the burgeoning climate change industry, examines the individual policies and the potentially disastrous targets being put into place by ambitious politicians, and proposes a more realistic alternative. Matthew Sinclair is director of the Taxpayers' Alliance. He is the editor of How to Cut Public Spending (and Still Win an Election).


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Ordinary people are paying a ruinous price for the attempts politicians make to control greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change policies dramatically raise electricity bills, make it much more expensive to drive to work or fly on holiday, put manufacturing workers out of a job, and sometimes even make your food more expensive. Climate change is big business. Much of the mo Ordinary people are paying a ruinous price for the attempts politicians make to control greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change policies dramatically raise electricity bills, make it much more expensive to drive to work or fly on holiday, put manufacturing workers out of a job, and sometimes even make your food more expensive. Climate change is big business. Much of the money so-called green policies cost us goes straight into the pockets of a bewildering range of special interests. Around the world companies are making billions out of the schemes governments have put in place saying they will curb global warming and protect us from the threat of climate change. There is little evidence that those policies are an efficient way to cut emissions. They simply do not represent good value, and the public are right to be sceptical. In Let Them Eat Carbon Matthew Sinclair looks at the myths perpetuated by the burgeoning climate change industry, examines the individual policies and the potentially disastrous targets being put into place by ambitious politicians, and proposes a more realistic alternative. Matthew Sinclair is director of the Taxpayers' Alliance. He is the editor of How to Cut Public Spending (and Still Win an Election).

34 review for Let Them Eat Carbon: The Price of Failing Climate Change Policies, and How Governments and Big Business Profit from Them

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont

    There are few things, I am happy to admit, that induce in me feelings of weariness and cynicism more quickly than endless lectures about global warming or climate change or responsible energy policy or a hundred variations on the theme from Bore Gore. It’s the new orthodoxy, the new Puritanism that threatens to submerge us all in a mood of guilt. Not I, not ever, no matter how much tiresome ‘science’ is trotted out. I once expressed my feelings in debate, and when I debate I take no prisoners; Or There are few things, I am happy to admit, that induce in me feelings of weariness and cynicism more quickly than endless lectures about global warming or climate change or responsible energy policy or a hundred variations on the theme from Bore Gore. It’s the new orthodoxy, the new Puritanism that threatens to submerge us all in a mood of guilt. Not I, not ever, no matter how much tiresome ‘science’ is trotted out. I once expressed my feelings in debate, and when I debate I take no prisoners; Orthodoxy, that’s the key word, don’t you agree? Global warming has become a new religion. It’s part of that pessimism that has accompanied our species almost since the beginning of time, codified in religions like Christianity. There are precious few now who believe in Doomsday, in the Second Coming and the Last Judgement. So, no more ‘the end is nigh: repent!’ Instead we have ‘global warming is happening: repent!' We have been taken far down the road of repentance in England. There is no debate; it’s now a matter of consensus across the political divide, with green taxes adding an ever growing burden to patterns of consumption, pushing the most vulnerable in our community ever deeper into fuel poverty. The time has come to fight back, against the onward march of taxes and windmills, a ghastly blight on our green and pleasant land. Let me tell you how to do it. No, let Matthew Sinclair tell you how to do it. He does so in a highly effective fashion in Let Them Eat Carbon: The Price of Failing Climate Change Policies and How Governments and Big Business Profit From Them, an excellent little polemic. The arguments are tailored to an English shape but there are general policy principles that might as easily be applied elsewhere. Sinclair’s premise is a simple one: ignore all the usual arguments about global warming. Instead focus on the climate change polices that have arisen on the back of all the theoretical gobbledygook. Just ask; do these things work, what difference do they make? No difference at all, is the short answer. Actually, that’s not quite right; government initiatives make a difference alright, but for the worse. Green taxes, the renewable energy option built into electricity bills, generates windfall profits for the energy companies and makes pricing altogether more volatile; bio fuels inflate food costs; renewable energy plans involve a huge waste of resources while making supply ever less secure; windmills transfer profits to the owners of land, transfer profits from the productive to the unproductive sector of the economy; and the only green jobs that are created are for bureaucrats and lobbyists. Oh, sorry, that’s not true: there are also the jobs that are created in the Third World, as companies, overburdened with costs and regulations, move elsewhere. Sinclair concludes that not only will the various green policies adopted fail to reduce carbon emissions but they will also have the effect of creating a prolonged economic depression in the developed world. I suspect that the Chinese have a close interest here. The title, incidentally, is a reference to Queen Marie Antoinette and her supposed comment about cakes as a substitute for the absence of bread. Here we are, the new peasants, taxed to perdition to support a distant and out-of-touch court, a new Versailles where all sorts of lobbyists, environmentalists and green activists gather to eat up the produce of the nation. As William Norton wrote recently in Prospect, unelected cartels run an irrational system that does not work even on its own terms but out of which they all do very nicely indeed. Do I hear the sound of tumbrels? Wishful thinking, or I can only wish that our benighted politicians were not quite so stupid.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vanda Denton

    Once you realise this book is about the financial gains of carbon change policy, rather than the science of climate change, it makes sense. And it is horrifying, rather than unsurprising. However, I was shocked to see the proposal that climate change is not at a critical point. Yes, we know there are people who will use anything, including climate change, to make money, but to deny the science does not follow from this. The science is clear. We need effective policies to deal with climate change Once you realise this book is about the financial gains of carbon change policy, rather than the science of climate change, it makes sense. And it is horrifying, rather than unsurprising. However, I was shocked to see the proposal that climate change is not at a critical point. Yes, we know there are people who will use anything, including climate change, to make money, but to deny the science does not follow from this. The science is clear. We need effective policies to deal with climate change, not a denial of the immediacy of it. Sinclair offers the alternative as “betting” on human ingenuity in adapting to climate change, such as investing in the research for our options in the event of disaster, and go for growth. Yet, surely those alternatives are as open to financial corruption as the green policies he criticises.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nick Boldrini

    This book was interesting, but weak. The arguments in many cases were not strongly supported by the evidence presented, undermining the resulting analysis. It also read increasingly like an excuse to mouth off about various issues the author didn't like about environmentalists. This point was reinforced when after pages of criticisms of various things, the author only came up with three vague alternative policies for dealing with climate change, which were more like possible ideas for doing thin This book was interesting, but weak. The arguments in many cases were not strongly supported by the evidence presented, undermining the resulting analysis. It also read increasingly like an excuse to mouth off about various issues the author didn't like about environmentalists. This point was reinforced when after pages of criticisms of various things, the author only came up with three vague alternative policies for dealing with climate change, which were more like possible ideas for doing things differently rather than properly worked out and argued alternatives.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Moseley

    A bit of a reactionary rant, but some very interesting thoughts and ideas about climate change policy that i would like to investigate more. Are we travelling in the right direction. Anyone who is concerned about climate change should read this book and forulate arguments against this books main premiss.

  5. 5 out of 5

    David Harrington

    Frightening insight into the true cost of the current obsession with climate change aversion, something that you could not do, if it it was happening. Wondering why your energy bills seem to be on a permanently upward trajectory? Read this book

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ross Brown

    Several arguments borrow the Daily Mail's Daily Refrain about the impact on 'ordinary working people', but useful as a guide to potential issues with climate change policy. Several arguments borrow the Daily Mail's Daily Refrain about the impact on 'ordinary working people', but useful as a guide to potential issues with climate change policy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Josiah

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stockfish

  9. 4 out of 5

    Phil Henrick

  10. 5 out of 5

    Yael

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Coelho

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tracey Lewis

  13. 4 out of 5

    Middlethought

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dean

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian Holmström

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  18. 5 out of 5

    Powerispower

  19. 4 out of 5

    CBSD Library

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

  23. 4 out of 5

    Toryn Green

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mark Masters

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nschwart

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marv

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zaynab

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ame

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sam Michael

  31. 5 out of 5

    Alexandria

  32. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

  33. 5 out of 5

    Rodrigo Monteiro

  34. 5 out of 5

    Todd

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