The more that one considers the carbon tax measures that are earnestly put forward at vast assemblies at Kyoto, Paris and more to follow, the more absurd they all become. Countries such as China, India, Brazil and Indonesia with pretensions to becoming as advanced as the top dozen countries will never materially reduce their coal and oil imports.
The so-called renewable technologies such as solar cells and wind turbines — whose electricity generation is at least twice as expensive as that derived from fossil fuels — can never be more than 20% of the whole in 30 or 40 years’ time.
Yet in that period most of the world population will then be living in the cities — or in refugee camps — driven there either by the industrialisation of farmland or exhaustion of their soils. Once away from the culture of the countryside, parents soon reduce the number of children they want in order to afford consumer goods even if, in most cases, they are little more than television and smartphones.
Once world population has peaked at around 11 billion, no one knows how far it will drop. Looking at the existing trends in the advanced European countries, it is likely to go a very long way down. This phenomenon plus the wider use of shale gas, which emits half the carbon dioxide of coal and oil, will mean that man-made global warming — if indeed it’s the instigator — will then be reducing — and fast.
In 30 or 40 years’ time we might also have an adequate theory of why we’ve had global warming for the past 200 years or so.