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Matt Ridley is the author of provocative books on evolution, genetics and society. His books have sold over a million copies, been translated into thirty languages, and have won several awards.

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Delingpole on Huhne

Britain tries to reverse the industrial revolution

Update: the photo above shows a wind turbine's parts blocking a road in Wales.

Two hundred years ago, Britain discovered how to make energy cheaper and cheaper, which caused a rush to mechanisation, which raised living standards all around the world by making it easier to fulfil people's needs and wants through the amplification of work by cheap and reliable energy turning ingenious machinery. We call it the industrial revolution.

Today Britain officially announced that it would single-handedly reverse this revolution by deliberately trying to make energy more expensive. It intends to do this by adopting sources of power that are irregular, unreliable, capital-intensive, unsightly, bird-killing, bat-killing, steel-rich, concrete-hungry, neodymium-demanding, dependent on Chinese imports and thirteenth century in concept. It intends to ask the poorest in society to pay hefty subsidies through their electricity bills to the richest. And it intends to do all this unilaterally so that we export jobs to other countries. It is mad.

Here is James Delingpole:

In other words, what Chris Huhne and David Cameron are asking British business to accept is a swingeing impost which fines companies at £27 a tonne for an (almost inescapable) by-product for which our global competitors are charged nothing at all. I don't think any of us have much objection to Chris Huhne's insatiable urge to be the first lemming over the cliff. What is of concern is the fact that currently he has been granted the power to drag us all over with him.


Every week, every day almost, I post in these pages about the economic and ecological disaster which awaits Britain if it goes ahead with Huhne's and Cameron's insane proposals to "decarbonise" the British economy at a cost conservatively estimated at £18 billion a year. What depresses me almost as much as the sheer bloody uselessness of the Coalition is the bloody uselessness of my colleagues in the Fourth Estate (even the notionally "conservative" or free market ones) in opposing its wilder idiocies.