The Netherlands: disastrous environmental policies

The Netherlands has flown completely off the rails in its environmental policies. Our government has drawn up a ‘climate plan’ which demands investments of 1,000 billion euros (from 17 million people) over the next 12 years, hoping to reduce global temperature by 0.00007 degrees celsius by the year 2080.

Critics are already pointing out the disastrous economic impact (which, my words, will be bigger than the impact of potential global warming in the same period).

The entire west is shifting to natural gas as a reliable energy source, but the Dutch government is trying to eliminate gas completely. There are plans to prohibit building new residences with natural gas lines; heating should all be done with heat pumps, which cost tens of thousands of euros to install and lead to increased maintenance costs. Taxes on energy are being raised, leading to 30-50% increases in energy bills (on top of that, the low-tier VAT, for primary needs, has also just been raised from 6% tot 9% (with the high-tier for luxury goods at 21%)).

On top of this, they want to ban the sale of gasoline and diesel cars in 10-15 years. If this goes ahead, the value of our gasoline powered cars will plummet as we will not be able to sell them on anymore, except perhaps to buyers abroad, which is far more complicated and expensive, and also defeats the purpose, as our cars will still be driving around – just not here.

So we know we are heading into an economic disaster, we know that even the people who believe in and push climate change admit that our impact on a global scale is close to zero. For those who do believe in it, I understand that one feels we must take a stand, regardless of what the rest of the world does. But going this far amounts to national suicide. Moreover, most measures announced aren’t very ‘green’ or ‘durable’ at all:

  • Solar panels cannot be recycled, so when they reach the end of their life cycles we will be left with a massive trash pile full of chemicals
  • The chemicals used in solar panels leak into the ground where they are set up, with huge ecological impact
  • The batteries used in electric cars produce massive amounts of Co2, meaning it takes around 8 years of driving an electric car before there is any actual Co2 offset, provided they are powered by ‘green’ energy, but:
  • Most energy sold as ‘green’ in The Netherlands is not actually green at all. Power companies simply buy ‘green energy’ certificates abroad so they can say their energy is green, while it is actually fossile fuel energy
  • Nuclear energy, which is safe and relatively ‘green’, remains a taboo; the environmental lobby has its full focus on solar and wind energy, but Dutch power stations are nowhere near able to produce enough green energy to meet energy demands

Then there are the personal examples of the biggest drivers of the energy transition, like GreenLeft (GroenLinks) leader Jesse Klaver (the Dutch Justin Trudeau) who recently sold his house, which turned out to have an ‘energy score’ of D, on a scale from A to F. While ordinary Dutch people will struggle to meet the demands laid out by our government, our government officials are doing as they please.

And of course none of this was part of election campaigns or popular vote.