Europe and the United Kingdom are far ahead of the United States in implementing a green agenda that, exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is driving energy costs to record, budget-busting levels.
A recent survey found one quarter of Britons say they will not turn on their heating this winter because they can’t afford it.
Now, Conservative Party Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who once vehemently opposed the globalist climate-alarmism agenda, is taking a page from the left’s playbook, using his bully pulpit to press citizens to undertake conservation measures that won’t help them survive the winter.
In a speech Thursday as he prepared to leave office, he spotlighted an item that nearly every British family possesses, the electric kettle that heats up water for their tea.
“If you have an old kettle, that takes 20 minutes to boil, it may cost you 20 pounds to replace it,” Johnson said. “But if you get a new one, you’ll save 10 pounds a year, every year, on your electricity bill.”
Mark Steyn, on his TV show for Britain’s GB News, recalled a lunch he had with Johnson some time ago in which the prime minister called global-warming alarmism “codswallop.”
Johnson, who has announced his resignation, Steyn said, has now “swallowed the codswallop.”
Steyn quipped that buying a new electric tea kettle will reduce the average electricity bill from 7,700 pounds ($8,885) to “just” 7,690 pounds.
“This winter, people are going to be freezing to death, they’re going to freeze to death because of global warming policies,” Steyn said.
Johnson has said that his Conservative Party successor, Liz Truss, will announce “another huge package of financial support” to help people pay their energy bills.
In his speech Thursday, Johnson promoted a plan to build a nuclear power plant that would reduce energy costs. But he cast doubt over a proposal by the incoming prime minister to increase fracking in areas of the country where it has local support. Johnson insisted, instead, that offshore wind was the cheapest form of energy in the U.K.
Energy costs in Britain are set to spike by 80% in October – from 1,971 pounds ($2,300) to 3,549 pounds ($4,140) annually – for the average household. And it’s going to get much, much worse next year, skyrocketing to 6,522 pounds ($7,600).
With a photo of Vice President Kamala Harris recharging an electric car on the screen, Steyn noted that California’s Democrat-led government this week urged people not to charge their cars until at least next Tuesday because of stresses to the electric grid.
And by the way, he added, California just passed a bill banning the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.
“So, what size electric grid do you think they will be needing by then?” he asked.
Steyn said it’s a “trick question,” because “by 2035 private transportation will be only for the rich.”
The recent survey on the U.K. energy crisis – commissioned by the Liberal Democrats party, Britain’s third largest – found that 23% of adults expect not to turn on their heating this winter, while 27% of parents with children under 18 said the same.
On Twitter, the purported owner of a small U.K. coffee shop posted a photo of what is described as a two-month electricity bill amounting to about $10,000.
The problem isn’t limited to Britain, with energy prices across Europe expected to increase by hundreds of percentage points in the coming months.
Europe’s benchmark wholesale electricity price spiked more than 25% on Aug. 22, surpassing 700 euros ($700) per megawatt hour for the first time. Now, just one week later, it has climbed to 1,000 euros ($1,000).
Prices at the pump in Germany are as high as 2.53 euros ($2.52) per liter, which is about $9.54 a gallon.
Reuters reported Tuesday that France, once Europe’s top power exporter, might not produce enough nuclear energy this winter to help its European neighbors and might need to ration electricity to meet its own needs.