Ukraine war makes a mockery of Net Zero plans as Putin’s tyranny changes course of history – Bill Carmichael

THERE are events in history that change our world utterly.

A view of heavy damage in the residential area of Borodyanka, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine,  following a Russian strike.
A view of heavy damage in the residential area of Borodyanka, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, following a Russian strike.

In a sudden, shocking moment all 
our cosy delusions and the comforting lies we tell ourselves are ripped away and we are faced with the reality of the world as it is, rather than the way we’d like it to be.

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The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June 1914, which led directly to the horrors of the First World War, is firmly in this category.

A man opens his arms as he stands near a house destroyed in the Russian artillery shelling, in the village of Horenka close to Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, March 6, 2022. On Day 11 of Russia's war on Ukraine, Russian troops shelled encircled cities, and it appeared that a second attempt to evacuate civilians from the besieged port city of Mariupol had failed due to continued violence. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

So too is the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945, and the Islamist attacks on the Twin Towers in September 2001.

Now we have a new infamous date to add to this list – February 24, 2022, when Russia began an all-out invasion of the peaceful and democratic country of Ukraine.

This act of unprovoked aggression has ended a period of decades in the West when we deceived ourselves that we didn’t have to worry about energy supplies, didn’t have to pay much heed to our defence and that Russia posed no threat to our precious liberties.

That’s all finished now. There is no going back. Nothing will be the same ever again.

The biggest and most damaging delusion was chasing the mirage of ‘Net Zero’ – which despite its enormous cost would have an infinitesimally tiny impact on average global temperatures in 50 or 100 years’ time, according to even the most optimistic forecasts.

I am all for conservation and very careful stewardship of the earth’s resources. But Net Zero is an unaffordable self-indulgence at a time when Russian forces are bombing maternity hospitals and mother and baby units.

My message to environmentalists is that it’s time to step aside because the grown-ups have some important work to do.

Once that work is done, and we are all safe and secure, they can go back to gluing their faces to the road and stopping ambulances taking seriously ill people to hospital.

Similarly, there are a whole raft of fashionable and frivolous obsessions that are now completely irrelevant in today’s changed world.

We have far more important things 
to worry about, like the growing possibility of nuclear war and the end of the world.

To understand just how deep the rot is, take, for example, a guide written for our intelligence services by National Security Adviser, Sir Stephen Lovegrove, that was leaked to the media recently.

As the title of the guide is ‘Mission Critical’ and it was released last December, when Russian forces were massing on Ukraine’s border, you might think it would be an appeal for vigilance and courage in the face of a growing threat to world peace.

No, instead it warns our spies to beware of their “white privilege”, to use each other’s “preferred pronouns” and to avoid using words such as “strong”, “grip” and “manpower” in case some pathetic narcissist pretends to be offended.

You can bet your life they were falling about laughing in the Kremlin when they read this.

Is it any wonder that Putin believes we are too weak to resist him?

There are three areas of policy that need urgent attention. In terms of defence spending, the UK has a good record. Unlike countries such as Germany and France we have hit the Nato target of spending at least two per cent of GDP on defence.

But now, with our Nato and EU allies, there needs to be a massive increase to bolster counties such as Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, which are the next targets in Putin’s project of imperialist conquest.

In energy policy we should drop Net Zero and concentrate on security of supply, and that means new carbon-free nuclear, a massive programme 
of fracking, and burning coal until enough nuclear power is up and
running.

Finally, in terms of foreign policy, we have no arguments with the Russian or Chinese people, but their tyrannical governments are implacably hostile to human dignity and personal freedom, and we should never forget that. We have to do business with them, but they are not our friends.

The world has changed irretrievably, and if we don’t change with it to address the new realities, we are doomed.

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