Can we have our electricity prices halved?

? The Telegraph

The Greens would probably have kittens, or go off to play role playing games or dance the morris rather than let us have our electricity prices halved.

In the last five years a new energy source, shale gas, has halved American electricity prices:

A healthier world means a rising population. This, in turn, leads to neo-Malthusians worrying about how the planet won?t have enough resources for all of us ? but history proves them wrong. The great British economist, William Stanley Jevons, warned in 1865 that the economy was on the brink of collapse because the coal would run out. Oil was used instead, and everything changed. In the last five years a new energy source, shale gas, has halved American electricity prices. The thousands of British wind turbines may be rendered redundant by shale deposits discovered in Lancashire, which could yet turn Blackpool into the Dallas of England.

And might the consumption of all this newly mined fossil fuel doom us anyway, via global warming? The truth is that the world?s fossil-fuel consumption is falling, mainly due to more efficient cars and factories. Nor is warming synonymous with doom. Scour the raw data of the Government?s climate change ?risk assessment? (as I did) and you find that a warmer Britain will mean, on average, 11,000 fewer deaths each year by 2050 because fewer pensioners will die from the cold. But do not expect to find this point made in any official report. The Environment Department is there not to give impartial advice, but to scare us.

The purpose of government is to solve problems, which is why it is prone to exaggerating them. It is easy to conjure up a crisis if you extrapolate a trend far enough into the future. It?s always pointless: as the Yiddish proverb has it, man plans and God laughs. History is dictated by the unpredicted, and a government?s best hope is to give people the security and freedom to improve the country in the way a bureaucracy never could. The great irony of politics is that those nominally running the country are often the last to work out what direction it has taken.

This was, in a roundabout way, the point the Queen made when she addressed the United Nations two years ago. She had witnessed incredible change, she said, and much of it for the better. But weekly audiences with a dozen prime ministers seem to have left her with a clear idea about who makes things better. ?Many of these sweeping advances have come about not because of governments, committee resolutions, or central directives ? although all these have played a part,? she said. The improvements came simply ?because millions of people around the world have wanted them?.

I think it is fair to assume that Morris Dancing looks a lot better if you are taking some slightly illegal substances to alter reality, and the Greens are know to have a good supply of them.

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