By Paul Homewood
A breath of sanity from Lord Frost:
Ex-Cabinet minister Lord Frost has insisted there is no climate ’emergency’ and urged the next prime minister to move away from ‘medieval technology’ such as wind power.
He demanded Britain change tack from ‘managing demand’ for energy and instead put greater emphasis on fracking and nuclear power, as well as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Calling for a ‘pragmatic’ response to climate change – which the Conservative peer said was just ‘one of the many’ problems facing the UK – Lord Frost blasted an approach that asked the public to ‘up-end the whole way our societies work’.
Lord Frost’s support for Ms Truss during the Tory leadership contest has prompted speculation he could return to the Cabinet – or become the new PM’s chief of staff – should the Foreign Secretary win the contest to replace Boris Johnson.
He was Mr Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator before being given a Cabinet role in March last year. But Lord Frost quit the Government last December with a swipe at the ‘direction of travel’ of Mr Johnson’s administration on Covid restrictions, net-zero ambitions and tax rises.
During the Tory leadership contest, both Ms Truss and her challenger Rishi Sunak have said they would support fracking in Britain if local communities supported it.
This has left open the possibility of a change of direction in UK energy policy under a new PM, with Mr Johnson having used his premiership to call for Britain to become the ‘Saudi Arabia of wind power.
In a new essay for the Policy Exchange thinktank, Lord Frost outlined how a new PM could alter the Government’s approach as he hit out at the ‘insidious effects of 20 years of a totally unrealistic approach to climate and energy policy’.
‘The current evidence does not support the assertion that we are in a climate “emergency”,’ the Tory peer wrote, as he delivered a fresh swipe at Mr Johnson’s climate policies.
‘Rather, the effects of climate change are a problem, one of the many we face, and should be tackled in that pragmatic way rather than by asking us to up-end the whole way our societies work.
‘Western society, and indeed world civilisation, depends on copious supplies of energy.
‘Yet the prevailing mood is one in which individuals are asked to restrict their use of energy and in which unsatisfactory renewables technology is touted as the best solution to our problems.
‘Instead of focusing on technological solutions that enable us to master our environment and get more energy in a more carbon-efficient way — nuclear, CCS, fracking, one day fusion – we have focused on managing demand so we can use medieval technology like wind power.
Lord Frost despaired at how Britons are told by climate activists to ‘stop travelling, live local, eat less, stop eating meat, turn our lights out, and generally to stop being a burden’.
‘As most of us are generally reluctant to do this as individuals, the state has had to step in, with smart meters, heat pumps, LTZs (limited traffic zones), unsatisfactory electric cars, tailored taxation measures, and “nudges”,’ he added.
‘We have all gradually got used to this, and indeed internalised it, so that it seems normal to be lectured about the moral aspects of virtually every choice in our everyday lives.’
The peer said this had led to a ‘further loss of trust in free market economics’ but argued there was ‘overwhelming evidence that socialist systems have worse environmental outcomes’.
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August 10, 2022 at 06:13AM