When I saw the article below, my first thought was - what about those who disagree about the conclusions and think there is not an emergency? Or that the policies being adopted are excessive in proportion to the issue that they are dealing with? You will see that this council has an "Assistant Director of Climate Change", which says it all!
Thursday, 29 April 2021
Monday, 26 April 2021
Andrew Montford: Net Zero is a disaster waiting to happenThe Daily Telegraph, 26 April 2021
Eye-wateringly expensive, and promising unreliable energy, decarbonisation is a dangerous daydream
You can almost smell the change in the air. A growing number of influential voices are beginning to ask the questions that everyone has been avoiding for the last few years. Can we really nudge people into accepting net zero –the decarbonisation of the economy? Is it practical? Can we afford it any more? Or will it prove to be the white elephant to end all white elephants?
They are right to be concerned. The bill has already been estimated at £1 trillion pounds – £30,000 for every household in the country – an eye-watering figure that was probably unaffordable even before the pandemic hit. But a moment’s reflection shows that even this number is far too low to be plausible. Although it is a tidy sum, 30 grand doesn’t go far when you are trying to decarbonise. Heating the nation’s homes is a case in point. The cheapest way of doing this is a combination of insulation and replacement of gas-and oil-fired boilers with heat pumps. But a heat pump and ancillary equipment will set the average homeowner back well over £10,000, and retrofitting insulation could cost twice as much.
Once you have converted 30 million homes, your £1 trillion decarbonisation budget is pretty much gone, before even thinking about the cost of decarbonising the electricity generation system, replacing petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles, installing charging equipment, reinforcing the grid to cope with the extra demand, and weaning industry, freight, transport, shipping and agriculture off fossil fuels. Quite what all this will really cost is anyone’s guess at the moment, but it will certainly be well over £100,000 per household.
Forcing people to spend their own money on that sort of scale is hardly going to be a vote-winner, but then coercion seems to be the order of the day. The Committee on Climate Change – the Government’s advisers on decarbonisation – are urging a ban on sales of inadequately insulated homes. Such a policy would land like a lead balloon in the Tory shires.
And that’s only the start. Decarbonisation’s big secret is that we still have no zero-carbon technology that can balance the electricity grid when it is driven by offshore wind farms. Contrary to common belief, batteries are not even a plausible solution, and hydrogen is so absurdly expensive as to make its use unacceptable.
We are therefore heading for a situation in which the only way to meet supply and demand in a long lull in the wind (like the one we have seen over the past two weeks) will be rationing. That’s what smart meters are for – they will enable grid managers to switch off appliances in your home so that the grid doesn’t collapse. Yes, your home may be cold, and the electric car may sit idle in the drive, but at least the lights haven’t gone out.
It doesn’t have to be like this. A study I helped publish a few years ago showed that an electricity grid powered by nuclear and gas could deliver similar emission reductions to the one we are building, but at a fraction of the cost. New technologies like so-called Allam Cycle gas turbines (essentially a gas-fired power station with built-in carbon capture) could make the system zero-carbon.
But instead, we in the UK will be stuck with vast, unreliable offshore wind farms, which seem to exist mainly to mop up subsidies. It emerged last week that several of our latest offshore installations are taking home a third of a billion pounds in subsidy each year. Every year. The latest and largest, Hornsea One, will soon be sucking up over half a billion pounds of annual subsidy.
We have done the easy bits of net zero – replacing coal with gas made economic sense in its own right. The next steps are going to be harder for Tory canvassers on the doorsteps, particularly in Red Wall seats, where heating bills are high, and the kind of money needed to decarbonise isn’t found down the back of the sofa.
The lessons of the fuel tax rises and the gilets jaunes are there. The public will endure being nudged towards decarbonisation a little bit, for a little while. But if a little nudge turns into a great big shove, they are likely to turn round and give their political overlords a bloody nose. And with the scale of the disaster that net zero is set to be, it will be richly deserved.
Andrew Montford is deputy director of the Global Warming Policy Forum
Full column & 500+ comments (£)
Saturday, 24 April 2021
This report finds that 2020, just like any other year, saw a series of weather extremes. These included a heatwave in Siberia, a cold summer in the Northern Hemisphere, an active hurricane season in the North Atlantic, and wildfires in the US and the Arctic. But he observes that there is little evidence of any long-term worsening of these events, and indeed that most can be linked to natural climatic cycles.
Friday, 23 April 2021
This piece explains how the people who caused serious criminal damage were acquitted by a jury, despite the judge telling them they had no valid defence. We are living in crazy times with decisions like this.
Tuesday, 20 April 2021
My local paper has run this article about my becoming council chairman. As you can see they have honed in on some unpleasant criticism from my opposition. I have never denied that climate changes, but they cannot resist using that derogatory term in the hope of trying to make me unpopular. I prefer the term "climate realist", which, as a scientist, is what I am.
Saturday, 17 April 2021
UN Secretary General backs bashing the richGaia Fawkes, 14 April 2021
To the usual roll-call of eco-extremists you can now add UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Loony leftie Claudia Webbe’s tweet that the “Earth is overpopulated; there are too many rich people. To solve the climate crisis; the rich must be abolished” has justifiably attracted a lot of mocking. She’s not the only one who thinks the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to bash the rich. To the usual roll-call of eco-extremists you can now add UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is calling on national governments to impose wealth taxes to combat inequality exacerbated by the pandemic:
“I urge governments to consider a solidarity or wealth tax on those who have profited during the pandemic, to reduce extreme inequalities. We need a new social contract, based on solidarity and investments in education, decent and green jobs, social protection, and health systems. This is the foundation for sustainable and inclusive development.”
Even the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, is calling for minimum corporate tax rates across the world’s major economies, presumably to pay for Biden’s mega-deficit-making stimulus splurge. The political and intellectual classes are pushing for a global paradigm shift, away from the low tax and free-market policies that, since the collapse of Soviet Communism, have seen global living standards rise at the fastest pace ever.
They are using the pretext of the pandemic and environmental alarmism to justify the undemocratic policies they have long wanted to implement. Big states with high taxes and controlled by a technocratic elite – “for our own good”.
Friday, 16 April 2021
London, 16 April: The Global Warming Policy Forum has condemned what it called the “obscenity” of windfarm subsidies and has called for a complete rethink of energy policy.
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Holman W Jenkins: Climate Media vs. Climate ScienceThe Wall Street Journal, 14 April 2021
Joe Biden has put a presidential imprimatur on climate change being an existential threat. By that he means the end of humanity, a claim found nowhere in climate science.
This is odd because the real news today is elsewhere. Its movement may be ocean-liner-like, the news may be five years old before the New York Times notices it, but the climate community has been backing away from a worst-case scenario peddled to the public for years as “business as usual.”
A drumroll moment was Zeke Hausfather and Glen Peter’s 2020 article in the journal Nature partly headlined: “Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome.”
This followed the 2017 paper by Justin Ritchie and Hadi Dowlatabadi asking why climate scenarios posit implausible increases in coal burning a century from now. And I could go on. Roger Pielke Jr. and colleagues show how the RCP 8.5 scenario was born to give modelers a high-emissions scenario to play with, and how it came to be embraced despite being at odds with every real-world indicator concerning the expected course of future emissions.
In a simple model of the world, authority figures say absurd and false things, and the media calls them out. The reverse happened this time, with the climate crowd reacting to the media’s botched coverage of the Fourth National Climate Assessment in 2018, itself a strained compilation of extreme worst-case scenarios that still couldn’t deliver the desired global meltdown.
Even David Wallace-Wells, the author of 2019’s climate-crisis book “The Uninhabitable Earth,” was moved to call on fellow activists to revise their advocacy “in a less alarmist direction.”
To this day, the print edition of the New York Times has never mentioned RCP 8.5, the unsupported emissions scenario on which so many of its climate jeremiads rest.
The Washington Post has used it twice, once to say it portended a climate disaster and more recently to suggest its falling out of favor didn’t mean the climate wasn’t headed for disaster.
How did we get from reality to Greta Thunberg, Joe Biden and a Bloomberg columnist who says Exxon “threatens the continuation of human life on earth”? Decades ago, casual theorizing suggested global warming might cause the oceans to stop circulating and North America to freeze over, giving rise to the 2004 cinematic and scientific disaster of a movie known as “The Day After Tomorrow.”
Al Gore touted the same scenario but later dropped it, and climate catastrophism has had to survive ever since without scientific underpinning.
The strain of holding realism at bay is starting to tell. John Kerry, the new climate czar, recently blurted out that the Biden green agenda will have no effect on climate unless countries like China and India join, which they already declared they won’t.
A bigger moment of truth will come with a book by Steven Koonin, a theoretical physicist and chief scientist of the Obama Energy Department, demonstrating what the science—the plain, recognized, consensus science—says about climate change: It won’t be catastrophic. It’s unlikely to be influenced in a major way by policy actions. The costs will be large in relation to everything except the future, richer economy that will easily pay for them.
Friday, 9 April 2021
This article refers to a recent scientific paper which explores the relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentration and global surface temperature over the past 540 million years. The study demonstrates that there is no link between the two. Change in CO2 did not cause changes in the temperature.
Tuesday, 6 April 2021
This article from the latest issue of a weekly magazine sent out to all local councillors is typical of the constant drip feed we get. It urges all councils to do more, claiming that this will lead to net zero. They never look at the downside of the policies, making the cost of living go up and up, or consider the pointlessness of acting unilaterally, while China and India and others carry on with ever increasing fossil fuel use.
Sunday, 4 April 2021
This article explains how there is no agreement amongst the permanent members of the United Nations security council on how to enforce climate change policy. So we must be grateful to the Russians and the Chinese for opposing our own government who would love to be able to blame the UN for forcing us all to change to a lower standard of living. We will know that it is all down to the elected government. All we need now is a political party to offer us an alternative to net zero.
Friday, 2 April 2021
This week, the UK government announced it would be scrapping the beleaguered Green Homes Grant scheme. Launched at the end of last summer after just seven months, the scheme was intended to subsidise the retrofitting of homes, so as to make them energy-efficient and help the UK reduce its CO2 emissions.
Households were offered a subsidy of two thirds of the cost of retrofitting, up to £5,000, which could help cover insulation, ‘low carbon heat’, such as heat pumps, draft proofing and double glazing. According to one report, bureaucratic inefficiencies have caused the scheme to be scrapped. Even the green lobbyists who campaigned for it said it was marked by ‘staggering ineptitude’ and ‘incompetent administration’, and was ‘shambolic’ and ‘botched’.
This is not the first catastrophic policy failure of this kind. In 2009, Gordon Brown announced a ‘green new deal’, which would create 400,000 ‘green jobs’ in the new ‘environmental sector’. He claimed that by 2017 there would be 1.3million such jobs. It was welcome news in a recession-hit UK at a time when unemployment had hit two million.
‘Under the Great British Refurb we aim to have every loft and cavity wall in the country insulated by 2015 and smart meters in every home by 2020’, Brown claimed. The newly formed Department for Energy and Climate Change added the detail: ‘At least seven million homes will have been offered “whole-house” upgrades with energy efficiency and micro-generation technologies by 2020, and every home by 2030 – virtually eliminating carbon emissions from our homes.’
Next came the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition which was just as keen on pursuing Brown’s vision. At the 2010 Liberal Democrat party conference, energy and climate change minister Chris Huhne announced a ‘green deal’ which would ‘create a whole new industry of up to 250,000 jobs, working on 26million homes’. ‘The green deal will be a revolution’, said Huhne, ‘the first scheme of its kind in the developed world, the most ambitious energy-saving plan ever put forward – a once and for all re-fit that will make every home in Britain ready for a low-carbon future’.
It took the coalition more than two years to get the scheme up and running, and, when it was eventually launched in January 2013, it failed to impress consumers. Not least because it allowed households to take out loans for energy-efficiency measures attached to the house, rather than to its owners. The next Conservative government shelved the scheme in July 2015. In its two-and-a-half years of existence, just 15,000 homes had taken up the offer.
All these scheme failures should tell the government that the public does not share its emissions-reduction ambitions and broader green ideology. They rejected Brown’s eco-town Utopianism. And they also rejected the coalition’s green loans. The public manifestly have not volunteered to decarbonise their homes, despite the government's subsidies. Why should we want to spend substantial sums to improve our insulation. Such an investment will only make a marginal difference to our heating bills. We are even less likely to voluntarily change our perfectly satisfactory gas central heating system. Most of us simply do not believe there is a climate crisis or likely to be one in our lifetime.
When the government finally understands this then my fear is that they will turn to more 'persuasive' methods. By that I mean they will force up the cost of gas until it is so expensive that we will be forced to do as we are told. Before that we need a political party to stop pandering to green ideology and stand up for the people.