I should, I suppose, support Natalie Bennett of the Green Party of England and Wales, given that I publicly supported her at the time of her election. But I do have a feeling that this support she's about to get from me will not be quite so welcome.
She's come out in an official party document demanding that everyone who rejects the science of climate change be fired from government: apparently elected or unelected.
Ms Bennett said: "We need the whole government behind this. This is an emergency situation we're facing now. We need to take action. We need everyone signed up behind that." Pressed on the issue, she agreed that even the chief veterinary officer should be removed if he didn't sign up to the view on climate change also taken by the Green Party. A policy document released by the party said: "Get rid of any cabinet ministers or senior governmental advisors who refuse to accept the scientific consensus on climate change or who won't take the risks to the UK seriously." Ms Bennett added: "It's an insult to flood victims that we have an Environment Secretary (Owen Paterson) who is a denier of the reality of climate change and we also can't have anyone in the cabinet who is denying the realities that we're facing with climate change." She said her party took the consensus view shared by many other organisation including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
This is, of course, a betrayal of all that is holy about democracy and so we'll not be having with that. However, let us just put that to one side for a moment and think through, properly, what is the accepted science of climate change.
We can start with the SRES: these are the economic assumptions that go in at the beginning of the process. How many people will there be, at what level of wealth, using what technologies: these estimates produce the emissions numbers that then do into the climate models from which everything else is derived. We have four families of such scenarios and they run A1, A2, B1, B2. A largely stands for a capitalist economy red in tooth and claw, B for something more akin to a caring sharing social democracy. 1 means a more globalised economy than the one we have now, 2 means a more balkanised one, one more autarkic than at present.
In terms of human flourishing, the wealth of people in the future (and do recall that wealth is not simply more things or more consumerism, it is an expansion of the possibilities available to people), then as we would expect the capitalist bit produces better results. But what's even more interesting is that a more globalised result produces better results than a more autarkic one. In fact, even in terms of emissions the globalised (whether capitalist or social democratic) families produce fewer emissions than the autarkic ones. Thus we can see that the science of climate change insists that we must increase, not decrease, globalisation.
This is not, to put it mildly, something that Ms. Bennett believes nor the Green Party of England and Wales. But under this stricture proposed by those very people we will simply have to fire from government everyone who opposes greater globalisation. Sad but there it is, we do have a planet to save after all.
We can go further as well. As My Lord Stern has pointed out (and as have eminences like Richard Tol, William Nordhaus, Greg Mankiw and, in fact, just about every economist who has bothered to look at the issue) the correct solution to the results that come from the IPCC is a carbon tax. Of some $80 per tonne CO2-e in fact according to Stern. And it's well known that UK emissions are around 500 million tonnes. And also that we already pay some swingeing amount of such Pigou Taxes: the fuel duty escalator alone now makes petrol a good 15p per litre more expensive than it should be under such a tax regime. And there are other such taxes that we pay, so much so that we are already, we lucky people here in the UK, paying a carbon tax sufficient to meet Lord Stern's target (which is, it should be noted, rather higher than what all the other economists recommend: we're not stinting ourselves in our approach to climate change).
We don't quite pay it on all the right things as yet, this is true, but the total amount being paid is about right. We just need to shift some of the taxation off some products and on to others. Less on petrol and more on cowshit for example.
That is, according to the standard and accepted science of climate change we here in the UK have already done damn near everything we need to do to beat it.
This, in turn, means that we now have to fire everyone who disagrees with this application of that accepted science. Which means we get to fire Ed Davey for suggesting more windmills for example. We don't need any other schemes, plans, subsidies, technological boosts nor regulations. As Stern and all the others state once we've got that appropriate carbon tax in place then we're done, problem solved. We just then sit back and allow the market to churn through the various options now that we've corrected the price system for externalities.
All of which I think is rather wonderful. Given that the Green Party is very much against globalisation then their demand is that no member of the party can ever be employed in a senior political or civil service role. For globalisation is a cure as the settled science of climate change insists. Indeed, it's one of the basic assumptions that go into the original models. And we also get to fire everyone who comes up with any scheme for regulation or subsidy, given that these are all contra-indicated by the accepted solution of the carbon tax. And finally, do note that we're already paying enough in green taxes, we've only got to tweak, in a minor manner, what we're paying them on in order to have completely solved the problem. And, as Ms. Bennett states, we now have to go and fire absolutely everyone who disagrees.
Which, given that I seem to be the only person who has actually read all of this guff, understood the implications of it and managed to piece it together makes me Prime Minister, doesn't it? Or Grand High Panjandrum or something? I seem to have convinced Matt Ridley of this over the years so perhaps he could handle the Lords for my new government.
So when do I get to meet the Queen?