Why complain about the cost of climate change measures?

There is one part of the arguments used by those against climate change measures that I do not understand. I can understand many of their arguments and many arguments have force, but the one area which leaves me puzzled is that those against climate change measures often most vociferously complain about is that of cost.

Those that talk about climate change measures costing too much are clearly climate change sceptics. Presumably most people figure that in the grand scheme of things no price is too high to save the planet from self destruction.

If someone could explain the cost argument I would be very grateful. I shall explain how I see things. Certainly climate change measures cost, but all massive public works cost. Motorways, freeways highways or call them what you will cost fortunes. Building large infrastructure projects, things like sewers and drains, costs fortunes. Certain types of designer clothes and handbags cost fortunes.

Certain type of cars cost fortunes. In fact, cars with very large engines that guzzle fuel are far more expensive to buy and to run than cars with small engines that sip fuel modestly. I therefore fail to understand the objection about spending money on measures to slow down or stop rapid climate change.

There are few effective measures and the most effective measures revolve around the use of energy. Things like solar panels, photovoltaic panels, wind turbines and the like will be able to offer a significant part of our energy needs.

They all involve some large capital investment but generally once the investment is made the source of the energy is free. Installing some solar panels to heat your water is no different from buying a lump of your future energy needs. You are going to spend the money on energy anyway. These days the majority of people in the United States, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the developed world could afford to install microgeneration of some description, even if it a simple basic solar water heating system.

It may be that many people would struggle to find the whole upfront cost but as they are going to spend the money anyway, governments could provide low interest loans over extended periods. The governments have found money for such deserving causes as the banking system, the motor industry, the payment of MPs expenses and for entertainments (circuses for the masses) so finding a bit more for microgeneration should not be difficult for any talented government.

If they did this with suitable savings for the very poor that have trouble paying their energy bills in any event, it would be possible to mandate local microgeneration throughout the developed world. So the developed world, that can afford microgeneration, should have it, together with energy savings that things like insulation and efficiency in electrical appliances can bring.

The undeveloped world will not be affected, but in this will do as they do in other things – copy the lead of the developed world.

I expect that many years ago, when chimneys were invented, people complained about the cost of building them, their aesthetic appearance, and all the other complaints that people now make about devices that provide renewable energy. Today you would not build a home with a hole in the roof for the smoke to go through instead of a chimney.

Let us hope then that in a few years time you will no more build a home without solar panels or a village without its own form of renewable energy.

3 Responses

  1. I think the main objection is, with the large cars, we are been dictated to by the Government of what we can and cannot have, people do not like been told that if you choose this vehicle you will be penalised, as with other climate change measures, such as large scale wind farms the complaint here is we will pay through the nose for the production of these wind farms in high fuel bills and we will continue to pay through the nose for our fuel even after the construction of the wind farms, even though the energy will be free, our bills will not go down, these energy companies are not going to take a cut in profit, so I will still be paying a fortune for my fuel from the energy companies in 20 years time, even though through high bills and high taxes we would of all paid for the construction of these climate measures, we will never benefit financially from it, at least with solar panels on your own roof, you will be getting a return on your investment from day 1

  2. I wrote a similar post just now regarding this excuse for avoiding action. You can probably get to it by clicking on my name.

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