The Strategic Threat from Net-zero Emissions
Goebbels had developed unpersoning as an art-form in the decades before the Nazis took power in Germany. Anyone who had proven successful in denouncing Corporal Hitler was compelled to endure repeated reputational assaults, until very nearly all who valued their reputations fell silent, allowing Hitler to assume power in 1933. In 1945, when the Allies hung back from Berlin to allow Marshal Zhukov the honour of taking the capital of the Reich in recognition of his gallant defence of Stalingrad, it was the then MGB that we permitted to march into the Mitte district, the seat of government at the heart of Berlin. In Mauerstrasse, they captured the Reichspropagandaamt, then the largest office building in Europe.
Goebbels, having swallowed his own propaganda about the Tausendjahriges Reich, had ordered his officials not to destroy the Propaganda Ministry’s records. The Royal Air Force had bombed one wing of the giant office block, but nearly all of the records were intact. They fell into the hands of the MGB. Within a month, the MGB – later the KGB – had come to understand the efficacy of unpersoning. At once, they founded the Desinformatsiya directorate. Its chief task was to unperson everyone, anywhere in the world, who had publicly opposed Soviet Communism.
The Kremlin appointed General Ion Mihai Pacepa, then the head of the Securitate, the secret police in Ceausescu’s Romania, as the first head of the directorate. He was to hold that post for a third of a century. His first target was Pope Pius XII. The Directorate commissioned a German Communist playwright to draft a play hostile to the Pope, and infiltrated stories about his alleged Nazi-loving, Jew-hating sympathies into fellow-traveling news media throughout the West.
Ion Mihai Pacepa in 1975 (public domain photograph)
The facts were that in 1937, the Pope, as secretary of state to his predecessor Pius XI, had published Mit Brennender Sorge (“With profound concern”), the first Papal encyclical in a language other than Latin since the Middle Ages, roundly condemning Nazism while all the chancelleries of Europe, applying their habitual policy of the pre-emptive cringe, were cravenly appeasing the Corporal. So successful was the Vatican’s pipeline to get Jews out of the Gestapo’s clutches in Italy that, as soon as it was safe to do so after the War, the Chief Rabbi of Rome and his deputy were both baptized as Catholics. The Chief Rabbi particularly requested that the Pope should stand sponsor for him.
Unpersoning has become a staple technique among Communist front groups throughout the West. For instance, Saul Alinsky devoted two of his dozen Rules for Radicals to advocacy for it. It was and is of particular efficacy in silencing almost all those who would otherwise have dared to question the official narrative on global warming, whose origin in the Desinformatsiya directorate is nothing like as widely appreciated as it should be.
On 28 July 1979, less than three months after Margaret Thatcher had first taken office as the British Prime Minister, the Communist leader of the National Union of Mineworkers, Arthur Scargill, quietly set sail on a Polish freighter bound for St. Petersburg (then Leningrad). There, like Lenin before him, he took a sealed train to Moscow, where he was met and transferred to the Patrice Lumbumba University, where the world’s terrorist rank and file were trained. After just three weeks there, Scargill’s handlers realized that he was a cut above the rest and transferred him to the Lenin Institute, where terrorist leaders such as Yassir Arafat were trained. He spent five months at the Institute, returning on an Aeroflot flight to Paris, where he transferred to a British Airways flight bound for London.
Scargill’s handlers had trained him to emulate the success of the miners’ strike a decade earlier, which had brought down the Conservative government of Edward Heath and replaced it with a Kremlin-friendly Labour administration. He was given funding of at least $30 million that our quants in the intelligence community could trace – a substantial sum in those days – paid via the then Czechoslovak Embassy in London, which the KGB had vainly hoped we were not monitoring.
However, the year before Scargill set sail for St Petersburg, Pacepa had quietly defected to the West. He was perhaps our most important defector in the Cold War. He had warned us the second miners’ strike was coming. No less importantly, he had told us why. Despite the tight control of information in Soviet Russia, the impoverished, suffering citizenry had come to learn that life in the West was far better and freer. Whenever any of us visited the Communist bloc in those days, flashing our orange British Military Mission cards at Checkpoint Charlie, we would wear four or five pairs of jeans, which, like so much else, were unobtainable behind the Iron Curtain. We would give the much-prized jeans to our contacts there. The KGB had reasoned that the West’s economies must be brought down to the wretched Soviet level, and their citizens’ freedoms taken away, so that Soviet citizens would no longer have reason to clamour for the unimaginably wonderful Western lifestyle, jeans and all. The KGB’s weapon of choice at that time was its control over certain Western union leaders.
Ridley, apparently an amiable, tweed-clad, hearty-drinking squire from the shires, had – and carefully concealed – the sharpest mind on Margaret’s team. First, he did a deal with the private, non-union port of Felixstowe in rural East Anglia, which quietly installed coal-bunkering facilities. Next, he approached the Poles via Solidarność, Lech Walesa’s anti-Soviet trades union, for which the British Catholic newspaper The Universe had raised some of the earliest funds. He obtained the Poles’ agreement, under the very nose of the Soviet stooge General Jaruzelski, to supply as much coal as we might need in the event of a miners’ strike, for delivery to Felixstowe.
He also persuaded the then-nationalized Central Electricity Generating Board that it should build a load-equalization station – a substantial forebay lake dug out of a mountain-top with a reversible turbine beneath it in the roots of the mountain and a channel to a natural lake at the foot. The previous miners’ strike had shown that at peak hours it was necessary to bring dozens of ancient, inefficient coal-gobbling power stations online. The daily peak was at 7.45 pm, during the commercial break halfway through the daily episode of Coronation Street, then Britain’s most popular soap opera, when every housewife scuttled out to the kitchen to put the kettle on and electricity demand surged.
At night, when electricity from the grid was plentiful and cheap, Ridley’s proposed turbine would be run in reverse to pump water from the lake at the foot of the mountain to the forebay lake at the top. During Coronation Street, grid managers would be able to flip a switch and the water in the forebay would instantly drop straight through the turbine, providing several minutes’ vital boost to the grid to power Nan’s kettle, so that the ancient, coal-guzzling spinning-reserve power stations were no longer needed.
Three questions arose: where to put the load-equalization station, how to defend it against attack by Communist saboteurs, and how to conceal its existence from Russia’s many spies throughout the governing elite and saboteurs in the unions. Ridley’s solutions were characteristically masterly. First, he decided to put it in Wales, which was somewhat less Communist than Scotland, the only other region with the right terrain. The deciding factor was that the station, to be built at Dinorwig, near Caernarfon, was little more than 100 miles from the SAS lines at Hereford. When the miners’ strike began in 1984, the boys of the special forces were kept on constant exercise in the hills around the new power station. No one messes with the SAS, and no one got near it.
The third question – how to conceal Dinorwig from the Kremlin’s spies – was pure genius. Ridley advertised it. He commissioned a commercial showing the load-equalization station being built at night, so that one could not quite see where it was. The ad, in the name of the grid authority, described how the station would work, and ended with a sickening jingle: “We have the power to help you!” sung (if that is the word for it) to a particularly drippy theme. It worked a treat. It was not until weeks before the strike ended that the KGB found out it had been hoodwinked by Ridley’s skilful maskirovka. By then it was far too late. Dinorwig came onstream early in 1985. The strike collapsed in early March that year.
A few weeks before the strike began, Ridley’s committee had dispatched a tall, lean, good-looking lad ostensibly from Margaret’s six-man policy unit at 10 Downing Street on his loud, red, fast Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica motorcycle to a country house somewhere in England. There the lad recruited the late David Hart, a property magnate and close friend of Margaret’s, to visit every pit throughout Britain and talk to the ordinary mineworkers directly. David drove 29,000 miles in his new Mercedes that year, explaining to every mineworker that Scargill had been trained in Moscow and was being funded by the Kremlin.
The lad had been down the pits both in Wales and in Yorkshire. Indeed, he had been put alongside Scargill some years before, at the motor-mouth Communist’s favourite watering-hole, a 15th-century pub in the centre of Leeds, a Yorkshire city two hours north of London. Scargill was clubbable, but his politics stank. The lad knew that although the miners’ leaders were Communist the rank and file were not. They were deeply loyal to their country first and foremost and would fiercely resent Scargill’s Moscow connection. In general elections, many of them secretly voted for Margaret.
To ensure that the démarche that would – and did – break the strike was unseen by the many spying eyes in the Civil Service, the lad arranged for David Hart to report daily direct to the Prime Minister and to no one else. David’s first-class memoranda, now publicly available, were a model of punchy concision, and were a great comfort to Margaret, for it is lonely at the top. To keep the operation secret, David established a war room around the walnut grand piano in a grand suite at Claridges, the last place where the KGB would ever think of looking. The lad would amuse the team from time to time by playing the first movement of Beethoven’s moonlight sonata and suchlike soothing pieces.
Eventually, Peter Walker, the not entirely trustworthy Trade and Industry Minister, nominally but not actually in charge of the Government’s response to the strike, discovered the existence of David’s war room at the swank London hotel and angrily telephoned him to say: “You can’t run this strike from Claridges!”
David, unperturbed, said: “Of course not, Minister. You’ll be wanting to speak to the Chairman of the National Coal Board. Here he is now.” And he handed the phone to Sir Ian MacGregor. Weeks later, the strikers were defeated, with the help of an advertising campaign planned and paid for by David. At a personal cost of millions, he took out daily full-page spreads in the national newspapers, saying to Scargill, “Come on, Arthur, gizzaballot!” on ending the strike. Sure enough, the miners’ delegates voted to return to work. David, like all who work for their country in the shadows, never received any thanks or recognition for his unpaid, unsung and uncommonly effective service to his countrymen, on whose behalf I honour his memory here.
The shock in Moscow was palpable. The strike had been defeated by a method the KGB had simply not foreseen, and by a team of whose existence it had been entirely unaware. We had appealed directly to the loyal mineworkers of Britain, over the disloyal, Communist heads of their union. At the lad’s farewell party at 10 Downing Street after the strike had been brought safely to an end, three leaders of the National Working Miners’ Committee founded by David were present – perhaps the first mineworkers ever to set a friendly foot in Downing Street under a Conservative administration.
Now that the Kamitet knew we knew how to thwart such strikes, which had until then been frequent and damaging, it realized it could no longer depend on the Communist union leaderships it had spent decades and tens of millions corrupting. Smarting from its defeat, it was most anxious to find another way to bring the Western economies down and to undermine our enviable prosperity and our precious freedoms, for which the people of Soviet Russia longed.
The Kamitet had already had some success in infiltrating far-Left political lobby groups. In particular, we learned from the Vatican’s intelligence service – often the best-informed in the world, in those days – that the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was Soviet-controlled, under the influence of a powerfully-placed but profoundly misguided Catholic monsignor who shall remain deservedly nameless.
Building on that success, the Kamitet decided to infiltrate the environmental movement, beginning with Greenpeace. The problem was that the leaders of the movement, such as Patrick Moore, were and are genuine environmentalists, not Communists. Therefore, Greenpeace was infiltrated by thousands of new Communist members. In short order, Patrick and his fellow true environmentalists were pushed out and replaced with Communists. As a rule of thumb, one would not be far wrong in assuming that these days every environmental pressure-group with an innocent-sounding name is, first and foremost, a Communist-led front group, though few of the members – like the miners – are themselves Communist.
By the time the global warming scare was launched into the public square by elaborately-publicized testimony in 1988 before Congress on the part of a many-times-arrested far-Left agitator at NASA, the KGB had seen the potential. The kamitet realized that, if the climate-change narrative could be captured, it would be possible to induce Western ministers and opinion-formers fearful of being unpersoned to fall as culpably silent as the opponents of Nazism in the years leading to Hitler’s takeover in 1933. What was more, Pacepa told us, the KGB, by now firmly in control of the environmental movement, had seen the potential not merely to impoverish and even bankrupt the Western economies but also to inflict upon their peoples so many pettifogging environmental restrictions in the name of Saving The Planet that the freedoms we have long taken for granted would, in effect, be no more.
The growth of the internet greatly facilitated the unpersoning of climate sceptics. For instance, Wikipedia, founded by a pornography merchant, was swiftly captured, whereupon the biographies of climate sceptics were tampered with A single fellow-traveller rewrote the biographies of more than 2000 sceptics, including mine, to recast us as knaves, rogues, idiots or all three. The intelligence community tracked down the agent via his incautious membership of a rowing club in a tiny Cambridgeshire village. He was banned from interfering with Wikipedia entries. However, as the Communists tightened their grip on Wokipedia, driving out the pornographer’s co-founder in despair at its sullen, far-Left prejudice, the agent was reinstated.
YouTube and FaceTwit began shadow-banning sceptics by preventing their internal search engines from returning entries related to or posted by anyone questioning the Party Line on climate. After the massive nationwide campaign of voter fraud organized by the Democrat National Committee in swing States had unexpectedly failed in the 2016 election (for in 2011 I had learned of it from the chief investigator working for Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County, AZ, who had discovered it, and I had at once alerted the Republican National Committee), the tech giants doubled down on their censorship of non-Communists, especially climate sceptics.
Google held a staff meeting at its headquarters, at which its largely far-Left leaders reassured its largely far-Left personnel that no such election result would ever be permitted again. In 2020, it was not permitted at all.
Matters were little better on the other side of the Atlantic. Who would have imagined a third of a century ago, when the Berlin Wall was overthrown, that in Britain today a nominally “Conservative” government, under an undue alien influence that it would once have resisted, would be busy shuttering the last of the coal-fired power stations that produce electricity at half the cost of gas-fired power and a quarter of the cost of wind-farms, and would ban gasoline-fired autos, ban fracking of the largest shale gas reserves in Europe, ban extraction of North Sea oil, ban fireplaces and gas-fired central-heating boilers, ban Edison’s incandescent lamps, and even ban the roast beef of old England? Who would have thought that, as a result of these lunatic encroachments and impositions on our freedoms, electric power in Britain, once among the world’s cheapest, would have become the costliest?
Though the Soviet Union collapsed at about the same time as Margaret Thatcher lost office (on the question of Britain’s membership of the European Union, on which – as in much else – she turned out to have been right all along), in 2000 a silent coup orchestrated by Vladimir Putin unseated Boris Yeltsin. By 2004, Putin had installed some 6000 of his former KGB colleagues in key governmental posts in Moscow and in all the regions of Russia. Communism was back. With good reason, the intelligence community describes Putin’s Russia as a DINO – a democracy in name only, an atavistic throwback to the lumbering, murderous, militaristic totalitarianism of old that we had hoped was extinct.
The Kremlin’s capture of the environmental movement was latterly and actively assisted by China, the chosen home of the late UN climate fanatic Maurice Strong (who called himself a “lifelong Socialist”). So successful has been the Communists’ theft and repurposing of the environmental movement, their capture of the climate-change issue and their unpersoning of all who dare to question the Party Line on that subject that by 2004, four years after his coup, Putin himself had become concerned that perhaps global warming was a real problem after all.
That year Putin asked Dr Andrei Illarionov of the Russian Academy of Sciences to hold a climate-change conference with a difference in Moscow. The difference was that, instead of true-believing climate fanatics only, whose unfailing custom was and is to exclude rather than to debate those who disagree with the Party Line, sceptics were invited to participate as well. Putin was genuinely curious to know whether his kamitet’s own propaganda about global warming might, after all, correct.
Andrei looked around the world and decided that Britain’s governing class was the sappiest, most lackwit, most true-believing classe politique on the planet. He invited the government’s then “climate change ambassador”, the chemist Sir David King, to give the keynote address. However, when King arrived at Sheremetyevo airport, he noticed that several prominent sceptics were arriving as well. He tried to turn back and return to the UK. However, the FSB gently but firmly accompanied him to the Kremlin and he was made to give his talk.
Halfway through, Dr Roy Spencer, the sceptic who had won awards for designing, building and operating the microwave-sounding-unit satellites that provide the least inaccurate measure of global temperature (which currently shows no global warming for well over seven years), interrupted King in full flow to say, “Surely, Sir David, you can’t possibly believe that?”
Sir David, unfamiliar with the notion of debate, flounced out. The FSB made to intercept him a second time, but Andrei waved them away, replaced King at the microphone and said: “Sir David King has disgraced the name of science, disgraced the name of Britain and disgraced the name of King. But he has taught us one thing. Global warming caused by us was not, is not and will not be a problem”. That is what Andrei later told me he had reported to Putin.
From then on, the Desinformatsiya directorate, joined by its Chinese equivalent, doubled down on unpersoning anyone, anywhere in the West, who had proven successful in publicly opposing the Party Line on global warming. The unelected Kommissars of the European tyranny-by-clerk, easy prey for Communist infiltrators, saw to it that coal-fired power stations with decades of useful life in them were torn down and replaced with combined-cycle turbines powered by Siberian gas, whose unit carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt-hour generated are half those of coal but whose unit cost is twice that of coal.
As competition from coal inexorably diminished, the price of Siberian gas sold to Europe no less inexorably rose. The law of supply and demand is an iron law. It is not up for repeal. Even before the Chinese-virus pandemic, Europe was paying Putin four times the world price for its gas. Now it pays more like eight times the world price; and, on a day in December 2021 when Europe was under a blocking high and the wind did not blow, it rose to 200 times the world price. Putin, on the pretext of addressing an unspecified technical fault in the pipelines but in reality to serve notice on Europe that it was now utterly dependent upon him and him alone to keep the lights on as he prepared to invade Ukraine, had turned the gas off for a few hours. The price had duly and very profitably surged.
Putin has not only succeeded in crippling the Western economies with the global-warming nonsense: he now profiteers directly from our scientifically-illiterate politicians’ economically and strategically half-witted decision to interfere in the energy market by force and remove coal from the energy mix, reducing competition, hiking power prices and rendering Europe and – to a striking degree – the United States dependent upon a hostile foreign power for the preponderance of its energy supply, the lifeblood of its industries. Aluminium smelting, steelmaking, heavy manufacturing and many other energy-intensive enterprises have been driven out to Russia, India and China, which have all repudiated attempts by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to shutter their economies as the West has so eagerly done under the Paris climate accords.
Putin has made a fortune from Siberian gas overpriced as a direct and ineluctable consequence of the Western classe politique’s abject, poltroonish fear of being unpersoned. He has spent it wisely, steadily rebuilding the motherland’s armed forces. He now has five times as many men under arms per head of population, and ten times as many in all, as the United Kingdom, which – under successive, ever-dimmer “Conservative” administrations that ought to have known better – has cut its own armed forces to almost nothing. Putin has 1.4 million men under arms. Only a fifth of them are deployed at the Ukrainian front. He has 15,000 tanks. Britain, laughably, has only 200.
China, like Russia, now profiteers directly by the West’s craven failure to act upon the ancient Roman saw Si vis pacem, para bellum – if you want peace, be ready for war. As invisibly as the Tsar of Some of the Russias and his KGB cronies have rebuilt the Soviet armed forces on the vast profits from Europe’s overpayments for Siberian gas, Xi Jinping, emperor of the Middle Kingdom, has built up Beijing’s armed forces to make them the largest and best-equipped on the planet. He is doing so out of the rapidly growing profits from the sale of lithium carbonate extracted from the vast mines of occupied Tibet by usefully inexpensive slave labor.
What is more, China has quietly been cornering the market in the extraction and supply of lithium carbonate worldwide. Every electric buggy churned out by Tesla and increasingly by other automakers worldwide must have lithium-ion batteries. All other metals are too heavy for the job. As it is, the extra weight of the batteries adds 30% to the mass of an auto and, therefore, 30% to its energy consumption. No sane government would for an instant interfere in the market to force real autos of the road and replace them with buggies that waste energy on that monstrous scale.
Beijing has supported, trained and equipped the Taliban for decades. Once the Democrat administration in Washington (which has long been far too close to Communism for comfort) had done what was expected of it and pulled out the troops, carefully leaving nearly $100 billion in military materiel behind to ensure that the enemies of the West in the region were equipped with nothing but the best, the Taliban rewarded China for its support by granting it effective control of the lithium mines in Afghanistan, by far the largest and most productive in the world.
China has also gained control of lithium mines in Africa via its Belt and Road debt-trap diplomacy scheme. It has bought a placeholder stake in the substantial deposits recently discovered in south-western Greenland (where, by a delicious irony, Communist “environmental” campaigners had succeeded in persuading their government that the lithium should not be extracted, prompting China to reduce its stake). China has a controlling 73% stake in the Cornish lithium mines in south-western England, whose Prime Minister, despite repeated attempts by the intelligence community, cannot be brought to understand the strategic importance of lithium.
China is currently doing a deal with the recently elected Communist president of Chile to secure control of the mines there too. As a result, almost 100% of global lithium production is already under Beijing’s control, and the market in lithium carbonate is denominated not in dollars but in the Chinese currency. As governments panicked by the fear of unpersoning rush to ban affordable, energy-efficient gasoline-powered autos, the price of lithium carbonate has risen sixfold this year alone. Buy some now and put it in the shed. It will be worth dozens of times the cost in a year or two.
If the British Prime Minister’s crazed plan to ban real autos in just eight years’ time were to come to pass, the UK alone would consume almost all of the world’s current supplies of lithium carbonate, as well as half the global annual output of copper and twice the global output of cobalt. Worse still, as the price of electrical power continues to rise as coal-fired stations are needlessly shut down, not only the capital cost but also the running cost of electric buggies will put personal transport – one of the greatest freedoms the West has given to the world – far beyond the reach of the ordinary motorist.
In the real world no longer inhabited by Western politicians, net-zero carbon dioxide emissions are not in practice achievable. As if the scarcity and soaring prices of rare-earth and other essential minerals as artificially increased demand driven by net-zero foolery rapidly outstrips supply were not bad enough, a net-zero electricity grid is simply unattainable. The reason is that once the installed capacity of unreliables (wind and sun) becomes equal to mean hourly demand, as it very nearly does in the US and in the UK, adding more unreliables cannot reduce total grid emissions.
In any event, the requirement to back up unreliables with spinning reserve power from gas-fired power stations wipes out any theoretically obtainable reduction in emissions. Analysis of published grid data in the US shows that, notwithstanding close to 10% of capacity contributed by unreliables, only 0.3% of total grid emissions is being abated. By the time emissions from construction and cabling are taken into account, that 0.3% becomes a net-zero cut in emissions. Forgive the pun.
In any event, net-zero emissions are unnecessary. Climatologists perpetrated a grave error of physics in 1984 when they borrowed feedback method from control theory in engineering physics without understanding it. They forgot the Sun was shining. They added the large solar feedback response to, and miscounted it as part of, the actually minuscule feedback response to the small direct warming by greenhouse gases. Thus, they overstated CO2-driven warming fourfold. After correction, global warming will continue to be, as it has long been, small, slow, harmless, and net-beneficial. Not a cent need or should be spent on attempts – futile in any event – to abate it.
Had it not been for the West’s capitulation to Communist propagandists paid by Russia and China to peddle the official global warming narrative and profiteering by the ineffable strategic immaturity, scientific illiteracy and economic innumeracy of our current generation of politicians, trembling in fear of being unpersoned, the West would never have given Putin the means to rebuild his forces. But it is we who elect the politicians. Irresponsibly, we chose a close-to-Communist administration led by a fumbling geriatric in the United States and an etiolated, clapped-out, effete, no-longer-Conservative administration led by a notorious and all-too-exploitable sexual incontinent in Britain.
Ion Mihai would be appalled. In his handwritten dedication to me on the dedication page of his book Desinformatsiya, he wrote: “Dear Viscount Monckton, Please receive my warm thanks for your tireless exposure of Communism/Progressivism’s economic stupidity and for your valuable help given to those who engaged in the war against Communism and Progressivism. With gratitude, Ion Mihai Pacepa.” Ion Mihai is now merry in Heaven. In 2021 that friend of freedom died and I attended his virtual memorial along with his formidable widow and also the former CIA director who had long been his handler. How sorely we miss him.
The gallant president of Ukraine and the army of brave citizens now fighting not only for their nation’s right to determine its own destiny but also for their very lives have us, the voters of the West, to thank for their existential predicament. After decades of imprudent self-disarmament aggravated by the global-warming stupidity by which we have long been funding the militaristic expansions both of Putin and of Xi, we are scarcely less at fault for the plight of Ukraine than is Vlad the Invader himself.
Christopher Monckton is the third Viscount Monkton of Brenchley