Here are three simple statements of fact:
- People produce more greenhouse gasses than cattle.
- People in Ireland produce more greenhouse gasses than people in the third world.
- When a person from the third world moves to Ireland, they produce more Greenhouse gasses than if they had stayed at home, or been refused entry.
They come here, after all, in search of a better life. That usually means a life with more money, and access to more goods. A bigger range of food. More clothes. Better phone and internet service.
All these things that we have in the west, or in this case in Ireland, are key drivers of greenhouse gas emissions.
When Ireland takes somebody from the third world and makes them Irish, it necessarily increases the amount of greenhouse gasses produced by that person.
In fact, when you say to a Green Activist that Ireland’s overall greenhouse gas emissions are but a fraction of a fraction of the global total, they usually revert to talking about “per capita” emissions. This is the idea – the truthful idea – that while our total emissions are vastly lower than, say, Chinas, the average Irish person emits more than the average Chinese person. This is not an unreasonable argument.
The problem with that argument, though, is that it is entirely at variance with Government policy on immigration.
If “CO2 emissions per capita” is the standard, and reducing that figure is the number one goal of Irish climate policy, then really, there should be a moratorium on all immigration, for two reasons.
The first reason is basic maths: The more people you have in the country, then the more severe the carbon cuts must be to get the per capita figure down. Consider it at a very basic level: Imagine each person emits 10 units of CO2, and you have a target for each person to produce 8 units. If you have ten people, then the total units you must reduce to get everyone down to 8 is 20 units – two for each person. But if you have 20 people, then to reduce the average down to 8, you must shave a total of 40 units. The more people, the broader and deeper the cuts must be. When you add additional people to the country, you make the country’s climate challenge harder.
But it’s worse than that: Our emissions are not actually counted on a “per capita” basis. They’re counted in total. When the Government says it wants to cut emissions by 50% by 2030, it means total emissions, not per capita. So in that case, with your ten people producing 10 units each – 100 units total – your total target is 50 units. So everybody must cut their emissions by 5 units. But if you double the population to twenty people, and your target remains 50 units of emissions, then everybody must cut their emissions by 7.5 units, not 5. So adding population actually – and inevitably – makes the climate targets impossible to meet.
The second reason is global, as stated above: A person who produces 1 unit of greenhouse gas in Zambia will not only produce 1 unit when they come to Ireland. They may then produce 7 or 8 or 10 units, meaning that immigration from the third world to the first directly leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions.
These are basic, and unarguable, facts. And yet, they are entirely absent from Ireland’s climate debate, which is focused, for some absurd reason, on cows. Ireland plans to increase its population by over a million by 2040, even as we reduce cattle numbers – even though people produce more greenhouse gasses than cattle.
Here’s the score on cows: Ireland’s total national herd is about 6million cattle. That is one quarter the number of the total extra cattle that Brazil plans to breed by 2030. Over the next seven years, for every existing cow in Ireland, four extra will be bred in Brazil. While Ireland is having what can only be described as a political meltdown over cattle numbers, Brazil is adding cattle at more than four times Ireland’s total number. Unlike Ireland, it is cutting down vital Amazon rainforest to do so.
Is it better for the global climate that cattle are raised in Ireland, or Brazil? Unquestionably, the answer to that question is “Ireland”.
But that’s not how climate policy works, because a global problem is instead simplified into arbitrary and ridiculous hard national targets. If we wanted to solve the global climate problem, we would obviously identify the most carbon efficient countries for food production, and Ireland would be close to the top of that list. Arguably, we should be rearing and selling many more cattle to solve the climate problem, while countries that need to cut down rainforest to produce cattle should be producing less.
All of this is terrible, stupid, pointless, policy. It does nothing to impact the global problem, and is entirely about making the Philip Boucher-Hayes’ of the country believe that they have accomplished something progressive. Yet, at the same time, those people are charging headlong towards an immigration policy that obviously and measurably increases not just Irish emissions, but global emissions. We’re willing to make hard decisions on climate when they make the Greens feel good about themselves, but we’re not willing to make those decisions if they make the Greens feel bad about themselves. See, also, “Nuclear Power”.
RTE and other broadcasters, of course, receive monstrous largesse to ignore all this. The BAI last week thanked two Green Ministers for allocating €5m to make more programmes on Climate Change. You’re not supposed to hear any opposing arguments, and such arguments are actually, and officially, banned from RTE.
In the Netherlands, there are riots in the streets over this stuff. But then, you don’t hear that on RTE either, do you?