C: Green Party Ireland (CC BY-ND 2.0 https://bit.ly/3mjrwKb)

Eco-fanatics double down on carbon zero despite missing targets

Ireland, despite having the longest and strictest Covid lockdown in the EU, still fell short of its 2020 carbon emission targets by a significant margin. Yet the Greens are still doubling down on even more radical climate measures.

Under a Green EU agreement called the Effort Sharing Decision, Ireland had agreed to reduce its carbon emissions by 20% over the 15 years between 2005 and 2020. Instead, our emissions declined by a mere 7% total since 2005 according to the EPA.

Not only that, the agency found that Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions actually fell more in 2019 when there was no lockdown at all, dropping by 4%.

By comparison, in 2020, when we had the longest and strictest lockdown in Europe according to Oxford University, emissions went down by a measly 3.6%.

The government lockdown, despite ceasing virtually all transport for months at a time nationwide, and bringing entire industries to a screeching halt, had less of an impact on carbon emissions than a normal year with the economy operating as usual. Go figure.

According to the Department of the Environment, Ireland will now be obliged to buy “carbon credits” from the EU to make up for our failure to comply with targets, which will of course, like all green schemes, cost the taxpayer millions. The Department estimates the cost to be anywhere from €6 million to €13 million in taxpayer money.

Notably, according to EU figures, Ireland’s overall contribution to global man-made carbon emissions is 0.1%. In other words, we have managed to reduce our emissions by 7% of 0.1% of the world’s total.

But ask yourself this – if we had managed to reduce our emissions by 20% as planned, and we went from 0.1% to 0.08%, would that be worth it for the agony of lockdown for so many millions of workers and businesses? Would it have made a blind bit of difference in the global scheme of things?

Well, I’ll let you be the judge: “We will never forget 2020 and the changes that brought to our lifestyles,” said Professor Peter Thorne, a climate scientist from Maynooth University.

“Yet that year only moved the needle in our emissions reductions by a very small amount.”

Hannah Daly, who lectures in green energy at University College Cork, said that the government should be looking to reduce carbon emissions by 7% annually to meet 2030 targets – more than double the reduction seen by the lockdown, and on a permanent and ongoing basis.

Even Climate Minister Eamon Ryan, prophet of the green “true believers,” said that the impact of shutting down society on emissions was “relatively minor”, and that the government would be, implementing more “transformative measures” to meet new “climate ambitions.”

In other words, they’re doubling down. When presented with the fact that we took the most extreme measures possible for virtually no gain, their reaction is not to take a moment and think “Wow, maybe this isn’t the right approach.”

Not at all; this only galvanises the greeniacs further to employ even harsher restrictions.

This, after all, is the same Eamon Ryan who in 2014 said:

“We need radical [carbon] reductions. We need 10% per annum. If I had my way, if there was a one world dictatorship, where we could make that level of ambition and deliver it, then I’d be very happy.”

He was probably joking about the world dictatorship thing, but even with actual totalitarian control of the state which we had all last year, and Ryan serving as climate minister, they still fell short of their goals.

A recent Irish Times poll found that the vast majority of Irish people are opposed to these measures – even Green Party voters.

If we didn’t manage to achieve what the Greens wanted in 2020, we simply never will. It’s officially time to hang up the jersey on this destructive and deluded carbon zero fantasy once and for all.

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