Fallacy is the use of clever but false arguments, especially with the intent to deceive.
Climate alarmists who know that the end of the world is not imminent (and that they won’t save the planet from apocalyptic destruction) make clever – but false – arguments.
They are numerous in the ranks of the World Economic Forum, the United Nations and the political parties of the world. They are, to their eternal shame, the representatives of the subtle art of sophistry.
These people continually end their sentences with words like “climate action,” “fight climate change,” and “climate is an existential threat.” This juxtaposition of words should not be used together in an English sentence. They make no sense and yet have become modern slogans.
The best way to combat the vagueness of climate alarmism is to present facts and specifics. Start by declaring what climate change is in plain English. Simply put, it is a change in government energy policy.
What is the estimated cost of changing energy policy from fossil fuels, oil and gas to wind and solar?
In 2018, a study by Yale University in America estimated that their cost of converting to a new energy policy would be $4.5 trillion. Therefore, the ridiculous dismissal of costs by the Australian Labor-Green-Teal alliance is questionable.
In the recent federal election, changing the energy policy was taken out of debate. The Liberal government of the day pledged to meet the nebulous 2050 emissions reduction target and a 35% reduction in emissions by 2030, making changing energy policy a partisan approach. The current Labor government and all state governments are committed to even more ambitious changes to energy policies.
The cost of changing energy policy was not debated because it was not an election issue. Nor was the potential harm to the standard of living of nearly all Australians.
The Labor government is not waving a magic wand and giving us a different energy infrastructure. There is a costly and onerous transition period that will have significant economic ramifications.
The good news is that there are economic principles in place. These principles can help an educated and advanced society to effectively calculate and plan such transitions over a period of time. Once we weed out the scaremongering rhetoric, we can establish that time is on our side and one of our greatest allies in energy policy change.
Every major change in government policy involves a cost-benefit analysis, but the new Labor government lacks detail on energy policy changes. The Australian Government’s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has a model of the main steps in a cost-benefit analysis which requires you to follow a logical sequence of nine steps. Step 5 of this logical sequence is called “monetize (assign dollar values) to impacts”. Step 6 is “Discount future costs and benefits to obtain present values”. In other words, what impact will the cost of changing energy policy have on our current interest rates and on current inflation?
If such a cost-benefit analysis has been conducted, why is it not made available for debate and review? If it has not been conducted, then all parts of a responsible parliament should demand such an analysis.
If there is to be a policy shift from fossil fuels, oil and natural gas to wind and solar power, what will be the impact of products currently made from fossil fuels?
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), at least 144 products commonly used in the community come from fossil fuels. Each of these products produces other products and this multiplier effect penetrates almost every aspect of society until the effect of fossil fuels reaches thousands of products. This list was compiled in 2013 and has been growing ever since as new inventions are created.
The list contains items such as clothing, motor vehicle bodies and parts, car tires (not just fuel injected cars, but also electric motor vehicles), parts for household appliances , water pipes, cortisone, aspirin, antiseptics (what will happen if there is another Covid breakout), fertilizers, household paint, glasses, artificial limbs, dentures, heart valves, and the list goes on and on.
Fossil fuels and petroleum products have a significant impact on our food supply and every doctor’s office, hospital and operating theater has equipment that owes its existence to fossil fuels in one way or another.
For example, consider a factory manufacturing site. Almost every machine owes its existence in one way or another to fossil fuels. The more the federal Labor government and the state governments phase out fossil fuels, the more the elements of production become scarce. The rarer they are, the more expensive they are and the higher the production costs. The higher the cost of production, the higher the final price for the consumer. Multiply that by almost every consumable item on the Australian market and the result is an economic disaster.
The Labor government must have a costed plan for this potential outcome. If they did, they should make it public. If they didn’t, it would be an extraordinary act of irresponsibility.
Australian governments seem to have confined the principles of economics to the desk drawer never to see the light of day. They are also not interested in science. One of our best scientists, Professor Ian Plimer has written extensively to oppose the climate apocalypse theory and in a May 2022 article he scientifically showed that Australia is already at net zero emissions .
Prime Minister Albanese was asked: “What do you want your legacy as Prime Minister to be?”
His one-word answer was “Climate”.
He may be mediocre in the art of sophistry, but he is a sophistry nonetheless.