Global Warming policies and industry

 

                Mr Huhne has brought out a publication entitled  “Carbon Plan”. In it he says:

“Climate change is one of the greatest threats to both UK and global security and prosperity…..without action to curb emissions there is a very high risk of global warming well beyond 2 degress relative to pre-industrial times.” This he thinks will lead to melting of ice sheets (presumably land based),and a major sea level rise.

          His paper contains a global average temperature table for the last 160 years. This shows that it was getting colder from the 1870s to the 1910s, and in the 1940s to the 1950s. The rest of those decades it was getting warmer. There is no explanation of why for almost half the time during the long period of industrialisation chosen, it should have been getting colder.

            Selling global warming antidotes is made more difficult by the succession of two cool wet summers and two cold snowy winters. I appreciate the  theorists will write in and tell me this is just weather, but we have had a lot of weather recently.

            Mr Huhne not only believes that global warming is caused by excess CO2, and that this comes from human activity, but he also believes that the one response we should make is to cut a portion of the 2% of man made CO2 emissions that come from the UK.  He proposes a £110 billion investment in new low carbon electricity generation, substantial increases in energy efficiency investment in homes and commercial premises, and the development of electric vehicles.

                He forecasts that over the six years 2009-2015 the Uk could create an extra 100,000 jobs in green activities. This was a lower figure than I was expecting him to claim. He anticipates the electricity generation investment flowing from a high floor price for carbon, feed in tariffs, back up capacity for windmills and other intermittent ways of generation, and an overall limit on how much carbon dioxide any generating plant can give off.

                  As Mr Huhne acknowledges, this is a global problem, and the UK’s contribution to the output of CO2 is modest. One way for the UK to get her output down to the tough target levels Mr Huhne wishes would be to cut back on energy intensive activities like cement manufacture, steel making, glass making, aluminium smelting and process industry in general. Unfortunately,  if our demand for these goods was merely satisfied by imports rather than home production there would no reduction overall in CO2, and we would be the poorer for it.

                That is why Mr Huhne needs to consider very carefully what price he is going to set for his floor price or carbon tax level. If the UK sets it much higher than elsewhere, we will merely lose our industry without cutting overall world output of CO2.  The government’s general  policy is to build up manufacturing, to welcome more industry. Industry is energy intensive. If we are successful in building up industry  it will make hitting the CO2 and energy targets that much more difficult. If the UK sets too high  aprice for carbon and therefore for power, it will make it very difficult to attract new industry, and difficult even to keep all the energy intensive activities we still have. Energy intensive industry spends more on energy than on wages. It is a very important cost. The UK is in danger of becoming uncompetitive on its energy prices.

I am all in favour of better deals to make it worthwhile for people to save energy. I am also strongly in favour of getting on with putting in the extra and replacement electricity capacity we need, and with making the Uk more energy self sufficient in a politically unstable world.

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155 Comments

  1. norman
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Will we have smart meters for our mouths, much like for our electricity? Then government could charge ‘clients’ on a per breath basis depending on how much CO2 each particular client exhales? Professional sportsmen and women could be given a discount.

    Imagine that, an unlimited tax revenue stream from the cradle to the grave – statist utopia!

    A frivilous response but this ‘debate’ lost all credence in the eyes of the public a long time ago.

    • acorn
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Sorry Norman, sportsmen can’t be given a discount. They produce excessive amounts of water vapour, along with the CO2. Water vapour is the largest greenhouse gas in the atmosphere; unfortunately we don’t have any precise and accurate ways of measuring it yet.

      Depending which camp you are in, which came first, atmospheric warming or the CO2 increase. The warmer the atmosphere the more water vapour it can hold. Thermodynamics says the interface between a liquid water and the gas above it must balance. Water vapour condenses to clouds. More clouds give rise to more snow and rain. Clouds absorb infra red radiation from the planet surface while reflecting a lot of incoming IR back into space. I have yet to see an equation that describes a feedback loop for this cloud system. It is much easier for politicians to blame it on anthropogenic CO2.

      That big yellow ball in the sky; and other adjacent galactic components, decide what happens on this planet. 99.9% of all the species that ever existed on this planet are now extinct; why should there be a different outcome for the human species?

      PS. Having spent the last two weeks in British Columbia, Canada; I can attest to the water vapour theory; it snowed every day I was there.

      PPS. It would be more accurate to rename British Columbia to Chinese Columbia. If you think the UK is a nanny state, you should try Canada, they actually have a rule to stop anything that might be fun.

    • Vanessa
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree, we should all stop breathing, …… This man is (wrong-ed) coupled with, I am sorry to say, Prince Charles. Does he not realise that to save our piddly little bit of CO2 (80% according to G.Brown) we would have to go back to before industrialisation; back to the Middle Ages. He obviously does not know that Britain’s energy is about to run out and with wind farms feeding into the grid this will have a detrimental affect on our ability to provide electricity. The grid does NOT like gusty wind and cannot cope with huge gusts together with a drop which will happen unless “scientist” Hulme gets his act together!

      • APL
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Vanessa: “I totally agree, we should all stop breathing, …… ”

        Politicians first.

  2. lifelogic
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Once again the government is distorting the market to create jobs in pointless industries the result of which clearly is to destroy far more for jobs elsewhere. The whole green agenda is pure nonsense all so many levels it is difficult to know where to start.

    Huhne’s policy would only make sense if each and every one of the following is true:

    The World is warming significantly and the sun activity is not going to decline over the next 100 years or so.
    All countries will act together to reduce c02 like a happy family.
    That human C02 (a very small proportion of warming gasses) is certainly a serious problem.
    That we fully understand all the complex world weather systems and can make good predictions for over 100 years hence (when we clearly cannot predict for 4 days hence.)
    The green energy systems he promotes would work to reduce C02 sufficiently.
    The the cost of these measure is best spent in this way rather then other ways more certain, proven and immediate ways to produce human benefits.
    This human C02 heating would, with some certainty, cause very severe problems to human life.
    We believe that in 100 years time we would not have other/better ways to deal with any such heating problems.
    That higher temperature are actually far worse for people than the existing ones.
    The the best way of cooling the earth, should this be needed, is to reduce atmospheric man made C02.
    We know what the Sun’s activity will be for the next hundred years.
    We know what relevant technology with be discovered/invented over the next 100. years and the effects of this all this.
    We know the human world population, lifestyles and many other variables for the next 100 years.

    I, as an engineer/physicist, remain unconvinced on each and every one of the above the idea that all are true is surely clear nonsense. Certainly not something to base a hugely expensive policy on.

    Further the “green” systems energy proposed by Huhne do not even work as a method CO2 reduction – neither does using buses or bicycles when the full facts of the overall full system are properly considered.

    I do like some green measure, like not heating all rooms, some extra insulation, wearing extra jumpers better cars and similar – do them when they make economic sense and pay back and a not for religious reasons.

    Huhne has clearly caught the new religion hook line and sinker would you fly on a plane designed according to such religious beliefs. Please let me off the plane now.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Much of the green industry in my opinion is nonsense, but you can’t dispute though that putting vast amounts of co2 into the atmosphere is not good and preventative measures should be developed. Not to mention the political problems of over dependency on oil from politically unstable regions?

      • oldtimer
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        CO2 is plant food. That is why greenhouses help your tomatoes grow. Are we to ban greenhouses because the higher CO2 therein constitutes a danger to health? If CO2 falls too low then there will be widespread crop failure. I am all in favour of higher CO2.

        The Carbon Plan, signed by Cameron, Clegg and Huhne is out and out scare mongering. The UK is responsible for a negligible portion of man made CO2. Man made CO2 is a neglible proportion of natural CO2 in the atmosphere and captured in materials and the oceans. No wonder the enquiries into the activities of the Climatic Research Centre at the University of East Anglia were complete whitewashes. A proper enquiry would have blown out of the water the premiss that a possible future rise in global temperatures could be caused by man made CO2. That premiss drives this paper.

        No wonder Cameron and Clegg want a five year fixed term Parliament. It will enable them to embed their Green agenda in law.

        • John C
          Posted March 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

          I just want to add a single effect…

          Clouds.

          Even NASA experts say that this is a little understood area of climate modeling and, what data they have, is limited and of little practical use even if they had an accurate climate model.

          I’m 49 and hope to live long enough to hear the climate experts justify why they got it so wrong.

          Simples. There is loads of research money in this area.

      • Eddieo
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        You are right “much of the green industry…. is nonsense, ….” and adding gases to the atmosphere for no good reason would be crazy. However CO2 is a by product of human endeavour and with out CO2 emissions there would be no civilisation. If we are going to spend £18billion a year, every year for the foreseeable future to shackle our economy whilst the China’s and India’s of this world look on in glee, we will have greater problems to worry about than politically unstable oil imports.

        I am all in favour of energy efficiency but not on energy restriction or overtaxing which simply exports economic activity to our competitors.

      • John B
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        97% of CO2 comes not from Mankind. How do you suggest that is prevented?

        • Bickers
          Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:14 am | Permalink

          3% is the correct figure

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Having now had chance to read this gospel according to Chris Huhne (also signed by Cameron and Clegg) all prefaced by a pretty picture of ice falling and lots of white elephant windmills – the new, occasionally rotating, cross symbol of this religion.

      Might I suggest the government save some money by not producing these silly glossy, eighty odd page, documents and releasing all involved to get a real job. There is little in it of use that could not be put on two side of A4 and much of it is wrong or pure nonsense aspirations. It is mainly devoted to promoting a new quack religion.

      Nothing whatever to do with engineering an efficient and cost effective energy system to provide for the taxpayers needs.

  3. Duyfken
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Despite the scientific community doing its best to undermine its own conclusions about climate change, I am inclined to the view that increased CO2 does indeed affect the climate and that possibly this is in part a result of human activity. If that could be so, then it is a wise precaution to take measures along the lines of the Huhne “Carbon Plan”. The danger is that those urging restrictions and rationing allow their enthusiasm to get out of hand, as you, JR, imply.

    Mankind’s impact on the environment is often summarised in the equation of I = PAT, where “A” is our affluence and consequent level of consumption, and “T” is technology. It is technology which can reduce (or increase) the effect of our consumption and allow us to save energy. It is a factor which should be considered as important as consumption.

    My own interest lies with the “P” factor = population. This is so important in many ways and not just when we consider CO2 emissions and the like. (reference left out as no time to read it) I wish that Mr Huhne and his counterpart in other countries would pay as much attention to technology and to population as their predilection to ration us into submission.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      You say:

      “I am inclined to the view that increased CO2 does indeed affect the climate and that possibly this is in part a result of human activity. If that could be so, then it is a wise precaution to take measures along the lines of the Huhne “Carbon Plan”.

      I tend to agree with your first sentence there is probably “some” human contribution but your second sentence certainly does not follow from the first without countless other things being known to be true – they are not.

      We do not know sun activity for the next hundred years, we do not know what numbers of people may be die due to new viruses or similar, we do not know when nuclear fusion will be possible and countless other technology developments and other variables.

      We do however know that most of the green house “Bling” he suggest does not usually work to reduce C02 anyway as any proper engineer can confirm.

      We do not even know that without increased CO2 the world would not be cooling anyway due to reduced sun activity or other factors. In which case C02 might be a useful mitigation.

      Wasting money now on things, that we know, largely do not work, even on their own C02 basis, is destructive. I would suggest even immoral and evil. This when the money could be spent on far better on things like clean water, inoculations, malaria, food, basic medicine and medical treatments and the like.

      • Duyfken
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        @lifelogic: I don’t quite follow the reasoning of all that you say but am in general agreement that a balance should be made between “caring for the environment” and wasting money. As you may concude from my original comment, I place more emphasis on the need to curb the world’s population, and that costs nothing.

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Indeed population growth on a finite planet is a problem and it will eventually be controlled. It cannot rise for ever.

          Either it will be by war, starvation, disease, or some other disaster or by birth control.

          What else can happen just do the sums?

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            Perhaps the catholic church could indicate which they prefer.

      • John C
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        If you haven’t already, I suggest you read Nigel Lawson’s book: An Appeal to Reason.

        He first argues against the majority view that GW is man made (in my view rightly). However, he then acknowledges that he may be wrong.

        He then puts forward an alternative approach to tackling so called, GW.

        A well argued book IMO.

    • Simon
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      “Technology” is beloved of politicians because it’s such a fuzzy term and pushes the problems onto the next generation rather than dealing with them now .

      My own view is that lifestyles have to change and populations decline .

      All the public money we have could , and no doubt will , be squandered trying to prop up things like house prices and inviting in even more immigrants to maintain demand .

      None of it will do any good because short of some miracle like nuclear fusion , our country cannot feed or power 63 million people over the long term .

      The UK will innevitably become a less desirable place to live than it is now , even if it become relatively more desirable compared with some other countries .

      “Technology” cannot defy the laws of physics , no matter what the lawyers and ppe students in Westminster may hope .

      • Stuart Fairney
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        We do not need to feed anything like 63M so long as we can export sufficient quantities of goods and services to buy the food.

        As to your own view about chnaged lifestyles, can you confirm you don’t drive a car, fly or have any children? Or is it just other people who need to change?

        • Simon
          Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          People can still have children . I don’t have any myself .

          I fly , mainly for business as the UK no longer has any companies serving the industry sector I work in . Am fully aware that each flight uses more fuel than I put in my cars per year .

          I don’t believe I claimed that it was just other people who need to change their lifestyle .

          Both a country and a person are penalised if they try an act unilaterally .

          • Alistair Morley
            Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            Alas, the idea that a region has a “sustainable” population is economics and physics bunkum when your scale of analysis is less than the whole planet/ecosystem (and even then there are caveats…). Resources, of course, can be moved from one area to another, so long as trade persists.

            You may as well argue that cities are not sustainable because agriculture within the urban area could not feed the population. Or the population of your house is unsustainable because you can’t grow your own vegetables.

    • waramess
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      ” I am inclined to the view that increased CO2 does indeed affect the climate and that possibly this is in part a result of human activity”

      Well I guess that puts Huhne on safe ground then.

    • Mark
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      If we look at the global picture, we find that in 1965 the UK and China produced the same amount of CO2. Since then, UK production of CO2 has fallen by 25% while Chinese production has risen nearly eleven fold. China already accounts for around 25% of global CO2, and its increase in 2009 over 2008 was more than the total UK production. Anyone who seriously believes in CO2 as a risk factor should be concentrating their effort on the Chinese, who open a new coal fired power station every week and rely on coal for over 70% of their energy – a proportion that has not been decreasing.

      Will you join the Green Tea army for the Jasmine Tea Revolution that will halt China in its tracks? If they can’t be stopped what should we do? My solution would be to out-compete them on energy efficiency and make our own manufactures. If we make things, we don’t need to increase our imports from China. But to do so, we need energy that is competitive in cost.

      • Dennis A
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        The Chinese also announced recently that they intend to build 45 new airports in the next five years.

  4. Jose
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Why don’t they just get on with it and build the nuclear power stations? All this wasting time and energy and money over climate change. Huhne’s response is typical of the Lib Dems, heads up in the air with their ‘green’ credentials and no worries about how all their loony schemes will be financed!

    • Bazman
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      No way Jose! Look at Japan’s nuclear industry at the moment. It was a an industry that was way suspect way before the earthquake. How much per unit is that electricity going to cost if you include this catastrophe? Do you think Britain would be any better? It would be run like the railways for sure and probably is in some parts, and I don’t mean a Japanese railway. Though many would like to see it constructed like the Burma railway. On the cheap.

      • Jose
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Baz but where do you propose that we get our power from? One of the alternatives is that we start coal mining again but this isn’t green enough for some people. Wind is fickle and cannot be relied upon. Japan happens to ‘sit’ in an earthquake zone, I’m not aware of the UK being directly adjacent to a fault are you? At the end of the day, if we want ‘guaranteed’ electricity it will be generated by nuclear power stations; I don’t hear too many complaints about us buying it from the French nuclear industry……..

        • Bazman
          Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          Nuclear power is massively subsidised by the French taxpayer and keeps many a Frenchman in work I should think. Cheap coal is massively subsidised by a lack of health and safety in far away countries. I take it you have no problem with subsidised power as long as you do not have to pay that subsidy? Maybe the French dump power on us? I don’t know. Nuclear power like wind power is a power of ‘last resort’ When there is no alternative source. A nuclear powered submarine/aircraft carrier would be a good application.

        • Dennis A
          Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          Coal was never intended to be “left in the ground”.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        The are old nuclear power stations new ones can be designed to fail save in all circumstances and should be built now.

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          This providing they make sense on economic grounds as I think they do.

          Alas Japan’s earthquake/tsunami will put it all on hold no doubt.

          • sm
            Posted March 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            As an engineer and physicist. Whats do you think of Thorium reactors which apparently require cooling for the reaction to continue , else it selfchokes. Not sure if they are plausible in the timeframe but China seems to think so.

            Maybe we can extend some of the plant lives by the build period and keep Drax going longer until then.
            Maybe if we didnt give the £15bn to the EU we may have built enough windmills/barrages/atomic generators required. I prefer windmills to bailing out banks.

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            It is not my area but I have no doubt that with modern technology nuclear can made to fail safe in all circumstances short of a major meteor impact.

            Wind power makes energy at circa 4 times the price of coal and it is worth less than half as much as it is not produced when needed but when the wind blows. Electric storage is usually too expensive to do.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            It is said that nuclear is the most expensive way man has ever devised to boil a litre of water. Massive subsidies are involved with nuclear which you do not seem to have a problem with like you do with other forms of energy production Lifelogic. Strange that. Some sort of pet?

          • acorn
            Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

            For relative costs, have a look at:- http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file31936.pdf .

            This report went into the last white paper on the subject. Shortly to be accompanied on the same shelf with Mr Huhne’s latest version.

          • sm
            Posted March 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_cost_of_electricity_generated_by_different_sources

            Until we have windpower 35% of our usage, intermittancy doesnt seem to be problem. It can offset gas/other peaker plants.

            The ‘spinning reserve’ already exists in gas plants etc and can be paid to stand ready. However if we use gas for baseload, get ready for increasing gas costs.

            Need mandated gas storage/reserves closer to 90 days to close out the speculative demands. ie buy in in the summer and sellout in the winter.

            Quick to build windplant have very small marginal costs?
            Wind does not go up in price! Oil,Gas and coal probably will.

            Note if a big nuclear plant went down for out of cycle maintenance its a big hole to cover. Nuclear plants best run at high loads so the small risk of downtime is magnified by its high load run.

            Lets not get too dependent on any one source.

            NB. The more i read about Thorium plants they appear self regulating ,scaleable,quick to build out and non-proliferating ,a few could be secured to burn current problem waste.

      • APL
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Jose: “Why don’t they just get on with it and build the nuclear power stations?”

        Yes!

        Bazman: “Look at Japan’s nuclear industry at the moment. It was a an industry that was way suspect way before the earthquake.”

        It was?

        The particualr BWR reactors in question have been running for about thirty years and withstood earthquakes and tremors without any problems.

        By some accounts this particular earthquake was nine times stronger than the design specification for the reactors, yet the structural integrity of the reactor housing was not compromised as a result of the earthquake. And even if the core does melt, it is very likely that the radioactivity will be contained with in the steel and concrete containment vessel.

        The cause of the problem in this case was the unplanned for inundation of the diesel generators during the period after the core had been shut down. If the diesel generators had been buried or otherwise constructed in water tight housings, the shut down of the reactors would have proceeded without issue.

        • Bazman
          Posted March 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          Ah! blind faith in technology against nature. Seem to remember a story about some large liner ending up in Davy Jones Locker. Britain does have a lot of seismic activity, but the main problem is human stupidity, error and cost saving. On the cheap is more dangerous than any earthquake. Think train crashes. Money could be invested in clean coal technology and still be considerably cheaper than nuclear. Nuclear technology will always be expensive and always subsidised by the state so what’s wrong with subsidised coal? Oh yes it needs labour in the long term and coal miners in Britain do not work for minimum wage even though I know you wish they would. So foreign coal would be needed. Who going to build nuclear power stations. Foreign labour as Britain does not have enough the skilled labour like welders and pipe fitters to do this on any scale. Cheap east European labour is a non starter. There is no easy way to plumb a nuclear power station and believe me there is a lot of pipes!

          • APL
            Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            Bazman: “Seem to remember a story about some large liner ending up in Davy Jones Locker.”

            I presume you refer to the Titanic? The Titanic was cutting edge technology and dwarfed by the massive transporter ships that ply the waves these days.

            Your argument is that we can never surmount the technological problems associated with doing a thing (in your cited example, sailing across the ocean) and therefore should not try.

            But crossing the ocean was thought an insurmountable object in the 14th century, but our technology and capabilities have moved on since the technology of slave ships.

            Bazman: “Oh yes it needs labour in the long term and coal miners in Britain do not work for minimum wage”

            If you are arguing for a diversified power supply base, we may agree. My point is that we should not exclude nuclear power. The technology associated with these reactors is thirty years old, nuclear power has moved on since then.

            Bazman: ” even though I know you wish they would. ”

            Of course you know nothing of the sort. In the early ’80s I worked for three years underground in a UK coal mine. So I know a little bit about the topic.

        • Bazman
          Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          If this. If that. Does not take away the fact three reactors blew up making a’ straight forward’ disaster very complicated. You are proposing the fight against nature. The sinking ship can be replaced, is a disaster for only the ones on board their relations, the owners, and is not a liability for thousands of years.
          The Japanese nuclear industry is the most advanced in the world, but still has a conversational safety record including falsifying safety records. You think you can ever iron this out? Fantasy. The cost of making it acceptable is prohibitive this is why it will never be privately built and owned so even does not fit in with right wing ownership fantasies. Nuclear power is Socialist power!

          • Dennis A
            Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

            No reactors have blown up in spite of this repeated error in the media. There have been hydrogen explosions as a result of venting pressure from the reactors.

          • APL
            Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            Bazman: “three reactors blew up”

            Not correct. The explosions we saw are most probably hydrogen explosions. Which may have blown the top off the reactor housing. The reactor containment integrity is still intact.

            In the absence of core cooling it is necessary to vent some of the core steam into the atmosphere, so far this may account for the elevated radioactivity.

            The source of the hydrogen could be twofold, one may be reaction in the core producing hydrogen. The other may actually be the coolant escaping from the cooling system of the diesel generators.

      • Alistair Morley
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Baz,

        I think you need to check the deaths per KWh statistics. This is the basic starting point for anyone serious in discussion of comparative primary generation safety records.

        Even with a ludicrous worse-case assumption of a Chernobyl every 20 years, fission is much safer than all the hydrocarbons and wind.

        The engineers and statisticians know this, and that’s why you don’t find many qualified engineers in the anti-nuclear movement.

        • Simon
          Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          I don’t suppose there is any more interest in honestly calculating the human cost per KWh than there is the monetary cost or supposed global warming .

          With the half life of the fisile material , radioactive waste and uranium mine spoils being so long it is very much a long tail health hazard .

          Why do you say that a worse-case assumption of a Chernobyl every 20 years ludicrous ?

          Let’s not forget the people who are working in uranium mines and mills who are making a heck of a sacrifice for us .

          Closer to home workers in our own nuclear industry have experienced higher than average incidents of miscarriages and birth defects .

          With Nuclear the risk isn’t just confined to the workers who accept it . The higher incidence is repeated when their offspring reproduce .

  5. Paul
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Your comments only reinforce the position put by those including Caroline Lucas and other extreme believers in this myth. It’s as if you are sitting on the fence and are not sure if the UK should close up for business or embrace the con with great gusto.
    I suggest you research the science and perhaps you will discover that there is no such things as Man-made global warming.

  6. Stuart Fairney
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    So if “O” level maths serves, £110B government spend to create 100,000 jobs means £1.1M per job (assuming government spending forecast is accurate not a four-fold+ underestimate like the Olympics and the jobs created figure isn’t optimistic).

    Hands up who thinks this is sane?

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Small business can create jobs for perhaps £50K per job so on that basis the tax on them to create one green job will cost proper industry 22 jobs plus more due to the over priced electricity.

    • APL
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Stuart Fairney: “create 100,000 jobs means £1.1M per job ”

      Yea, for 1.1Million I could make a bloody job. FFS!!!

    • lojolondon
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Sorry – I missed your post and repeated the maths below.

  7. APL
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Duyfken: “I am inclined to the view that increased CO2 does indeed affect the climate and that possibly this is in part a result of human activity. If that could be so, then it is a wise precaution to take measures along the lines of the Huhne “Carbon Plan”. ”

    “inclined”, “possibly”, “in part”, “could be” …..

    So no evidence! But we should destroy our industry because it’ll make you feel all warm inside.

    Even the worst case global climate change scenario projects only a minor elevation in temperature caused by increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over a century.

    They do not factor in the fact that elevated temperatures and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere ( even if it is accepted the two are related ) would lead to significantly increased plant growth which would extract a large part of the extra CO2 from the atmosphere. OR if they do, that side of the scenario is not sufficiently scary to be widely published.

    In order to prevent the projected temperature rise we should destroy british industry and throw the remaining population out of work.

    With twenty percent unemployed an going hungry I guarentee you will see some environment change.

    All these projections are based on models, every time one of these models has been tested against the real life situation (for example when the air traffic was grounded because of the dust from the Icelandic erruption), the models have been found to be completely inaccurate and the financial penalty extraordinarily high.

    Duyfken: “My own interest lies with the “P” factor = population. ”

    Oh oh! Down that road lies Pol pot, Stalin, mao. By the way, the British population has since the ’67 abortion act taken its part in reducing population [by 15 million ] and its been the politicians who have artificially rasied our population by inviting hundreds of thousands of people from foreign parts to take up residence here.

  8. A David H
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Invest in thermal underwear and lentils. Monopoly and chess can keep the masses entertained for hours for very little additional CO2 output, so long as they don’t become too excited. I’m a bit disappointed that Lifelogic has doubts about the viability of bicycles but I guess they won’t be much use on muddy unmade roads.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      I like bikes but they do not reduce C02 when fully considered.

      Anyway I am not convinced that we need to reduce C02 (harmless plant fuel) or even that hotter is not better than colder.

      Bikes are fuelled by additional food intake – often by converting sunlight to grow grain, then fed to animals, flown round the world, plastic packaged, chilled or frozen, delivered, prepared, cooked, eaten, digested perhaps with a bottle of wine with a similar chain to consider.

      If this is efficient as a fuel distribution system then clearly I have rather missed something in my physics education.

      • A David H
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, I do not disagree with you. In fact, I agree with you. My comment was intended to be a tongue in cheek observation of where these energy policies are likely to take us.

      • Alistair Morley
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        For amusement, I did the maths on this once. The CO2 per passenger-mile of a bike came out at about 30% of a mid-size car with 2 people. I’m not sure if I amortised the sunk carbon costs correctly though…

      • Bazman
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        I think the correct and scientific term for these theories is ‘absolute twaddle!’

  9. Jonathan
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    In the timelines taken CO2 increases trail heat rises by 800 years or so; ergo CO2 has no effect on the climate. Either the scientists are looking at the wrong agent for temperature increases or surprisingly an object as complex as the earth may not have a static temperature.
    All goes to show that the cabinet are out of touch and hopefully Parliament will vote down any Bill that is presented to them.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      No chance, parliament is stuffed with true believers and whipped lobby fodder. A handful at most will oppose it.

  10. Alex McColl
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I am one of those infamous ‘floating voters’, ie, I have no particular party affiliation or any particular ideology. Well except for being in favour of less rather than more state control. It does concern me that the one party who shares this view is apparently being taken over by the green lobby. As far as I can tell, there is no credence in much of what passes as climate science, nor in their proposed solutions. I am waiting patiently for someone in the mainstream political arena to stand up to the green lobby and to start promulgating the truth on these matters. I believe I am not alone.

    • Dr Bernard Juby
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Join the club!

  11. Electro-Kevin
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I came here to deliver exactly those arguments, Mr Redwood. I see I don’t need to.

    Of Fukushima and Chernobyl those who argue against nuclear power in the UK need to be reminded that we are not geologically unstable Japan and nor are we politically unstable USSR circa 1987.

    To run our spanking new rail line doubtless we’re going to have to become more dependent on the nuclear power plants of EDF.

    Do our politicians think that merely outsourcing the issue makes any difference or is there a hidden agenda to deliberately cut our consumption by making us all poorer ?

  12. Edward.
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I cannot for one instance imagine what makes Huhne ‘tick’ (allegation removed-ed)
    He does seem to be a reasonably intelligent fellow, what is it about this question of supposed Anthropogenic warming due to man’s release of CO2, that makes him believe so fervently that, the so called warming since the LIA [little ice age] is down to mankind [very tenuous link at best] this is a correct and undeniable conclusion?

    He moves in the village, where sapient thought has long since departed, the self induced AGW hysteria still clings tenaciously in the minds of the members. He will no doubt be imbued with the propaganda and subjective coverage of AGW on the television, where even Murdoch’s channels are smitten [with saving the planet – another reason to gravely doubt this conjecture] and in the MSM.
    All his advisers will be believers, no chance of an alternative opinion there, it’s not possible to sing off a different hymnal, without immediate cashiering.

    Ah, then we come to the EU, the AGW browbeating from this corrupt monster is deafening and Huhne is a dyed in the wool EU fawning apologist (allegation re oved-ed)Even then, I still don’t understand, if he is a minister in the British government why he has not tried to seek alternative advice, surely this is part of his duty towards the people of Britain, surely he must know, that pushing this ‘green’ agenda so hard will cause enormous hardship in the economy and cost billions, is he so sure of himself and if he is, then we should be very concerned indeed.

    Even the Germans are drawing back, the electorate in Germany have had enough of this green madness, for that matter – so have many in Britain and, we will remember Mr. Huhne [and Dave too].

  13. Electro-Kevin
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    PS, It’s nice to hear someone important saying it but alarming that such widely held views can only be heard from the back benches.

    Britain definitely seems to have suffered a political coup.

  14. waramess
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I suspect Mr Huhne’s scientific knowledge in such matters is insufficient to make a reasoned judgment.
    It is his capacity to judge the veracity of the scientists he is surrounded by that we need to concern ourselves with.
    Does he, for example have as many doubters as warmists in his advisory team or has he taken the Brown/Milliband approach that it is proven science and there is no need to have anyone other than warmists advising him.
    Without actually knowing the question I think one would be on safe ground treating any ministers judgment on anything with great suspicion, particularly that concerning people, and more so their veracity.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Mr Huhne’s scientific knowledge is probably not that relevant.

      Politicians are generally interested in what plays well with the average, often ill informed, voter who has been force fed green propaganda by the government, charities, pressure groups and the BBC for years.

      What works scientifically is secondary at best.

      Interestingly, as an example of voters knowledge, most voters seem to believe CO2 is a poisonous gas and pollution not a harmless plant food. Not surprising given all the propaganda they have received all paid for with their own taxes.

      • sjb
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        “Interestingly, as an example of voters knowledge, most voters seem to believe CO2 is a poisonous gas […]”

        In high concentrations (>10%) it can cause coma and even death. Watch the film Apollo 13 next time it is on tv.

        • Simon
          Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          They also think that a “cleaner car” produces less CO2 per pound/kg of hydrocarbon fuel than an older one .

          There really is no hope . I’d like to know how many MP’s are aware that burning hydrocarbon fuels completely gives rise to CO2 and H2O .

          • Dr Bernard Juby
            Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

            You need a percentage of CO2 in the blood to stimulate breathing. If you hyperventilate until your lips tingle you blow off the CO2 in the blood and you have to wait for it to build up again. Long-distance underwater swimmers do this so that they can hold their breath for longer. If you try it yourself it is quite frightening watching the second hand going around before you feel the need to inspire.
            Nitrogen is a far greater global warmer than CO2 anyway and there is far more of that in the atmosphere.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      “I suspect Mr Huhne’s scientific knowledge in such matters is insufficient to make a reasoned judgment”

      I applaud your capacity for understatement and restraint

  15. J leslie smith
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    The BIG question for the Coalition now, is whether they proceed quickly with new nuclear power stations in the UK, or not. The aftermath of the Japanese Tsunami and the clear vunerability of at least three Nuclear Plants in Japan to a Nuclear Meltdown, will mean that the UK Voter is not going to be keen on Nuclear Stations being planned soon, by the Coaltion Government, then built in their back yards. There needs to be an urgent and transparent debate in the UK very soon, as to energy supply and costs over the next decade or so. Oil price escalation only makes that debate more urgent. “Green Policies” may hardly get a look in. If the Voter has a clear choice of “Electricity and Heating ” or not, then he/she will choose services over a new alternative green policy, every time. The UK Voter has yet even to accept the need for “Cuts in the Public Sector” never mind radical and fundamental new ways of living with much less “Energy.”

  16. Anoneumouse
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, go and have a chat with Graham Stringer, who recently said….

    “We now know that the work done at Climatic Research Unit barely qualified as science; they kept it secret to stop other scientists checking it; thus breaching one of the foundations of the scientific method.

    To stop politicians cheating, athletes taking drugs and financiers embezzling, we have increasingly strong regulators. We cannot assume scientists come from a higher moral plane.”

    Graham Stringer Labour MP and member of HoC Science and Technology Committee

  17. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, I am surprised that with your excellent knowledge of all things automobile you didnt ask the question where will all the electricity come from to power the world of electric cars, motorcycles, buses (not lorries we assume). The US auto industry recently suggested that at current levels of development in battery technology we will still be running internal combustion engined vehicles in 30 years time. I believe the real issue is about oil, the growth in its use in Asia cannot be sustained if we believe Peakoil figures, the west has made inroads into useage with 60 to 80mpg cars now in common use but these are not enough to offset the growth in use by the developing nations. Here in the UK we are at a danger point in society with the price of fuel with taxation as it is so one assumes the steps towards use and development of electric cars is probably more a case of if there is nothing else this will have to do.
    If one digs deep enough into the web it is possible to find as much convincing evidence about the planet moving to a period of new ice age let alone warming. Discovery Channel ran an excellent programme last year which seemed to prove beyond doubt that the last ice age occurred in a matter of hours not century’s and that changes in weather pattern can be read to suggest it may happen again not so far into the future.

  18. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    If there really is a problem with global warming then the remedies taken so far are inadequate. In spite of all the sound and fury, world energy consumption per head has hardly changed over the decades. Take transport, for example. The fuel efficiency savings made by motor car designers are eaten up by add on safety features, such as sturdier fuel tanks, side impact bars and air bags, that add dead weight. We have replaced light weight slam door trains with heavy German trains that do wonders for passengers but not for the environment. And we run more trains and buses than are needed at off peak times, for social reasons, leading to low pay loads.

    If/when we have conclusive data that CO2 causes global warming, we will need to stop the world’s population increasing. A barrage of propoganda and sanctions, against those organised religions that criticise contraception and family planning, would be a good start.

    • Alistair Morley
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Lindsay,

      The worlds population is projected to level off at just shy of 9 billion in mid-sentury. The inflexion point is clearly past and the WHO curves at looking like a pretty good fit now. We’ve got approaching 7 Billion now, so even a campaign which limited the increase to, say, 8 Billion would only give a 1 – 8/9 ~= 11% reduction on base case (ceteris paribus). Over a similar span, I’d expect energy demand to approximately double, of course, and incomes to rise by nearly a factor of 3.

      In short, I suggest population control programmes are a bit of an irrelevancy to your argument.

  19. Stop Common Purpose
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Huhne is (having us on -ed).

    This AGW business is all rubbish and is being done as an excuse to introduce the carbon dioxide tax – one of the most ludicrous taxes in history – with the objective of destroying western industrial civilization.

  20. Major Loophole
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    The Royal Academy of Engineering published a report not so long ago which noted:

    “The use of on-site renewable energy generation has become highly fashionable, but its contribution to the energy demands of conventionally designed buildings is negligible. The priority must be to engineer buildings to minimise energy demands in the first place.”

    So, to be effective, efficient and economical, renewable technologies must follow, not lead. Otherwise we are still wasting the energy. Stop the leaks before trying to fill-up the tank, in other words. Bouncing people into investing in—no, wrong word there— buying expensive, current technology green bling is akin to peddling snake oil.

    And that’s what the CO2 argument is: peddling snake oil and much of the public knows it. If we focused on energy–the source of the CO2 in the first place—and concentrated on reducing wastage, we’d get the CO2 reduction anyway. This way round we deal with a problem—energy costs—which is an unequivocal certainty so that it doesn’t matter whether we are right or wrong about CO2 as a warming gas.

    If the warmists are right, then we’ve dealt with the problem by reducing energy waste to levels whereby green generation techniques are sufficient, efficient and fully exploited. If the warmist are wrong then no harm done anyway: we didn’t waste all our investment trying to mitigate something that wasn’t a problem in the first place.

    Pink elephant syndrone* avoided. Job done.

    * Pink elephant syndrone: man gets on bus. sees other passenger wearing very funny hat. asks passenger what the funny hat is about. passenger says its to ward off the pink elephants. “but there are no pink elephants” say the man. “exactly” say the passenger, “it works doesn’t it?”

    • Simon
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      As you say we should be looking to address the demand side of the equation .

      It’s not going to provide a complete solution but will help and will buy us crucial time , especially when the cost of importing our oil and gas could within a few years exceed the current deficit of £175 billion a year .

      There has not been a “save it” campaign in the UK since the 1970’s .

      Three things we can say for certain are that :-
      – our lifestyles are completely dependent upon oil
      – there is currently no viable alternative to oil
      – a high proportion of the easily extractable oil has already been produced and burned , perhaps as much as half of the easily extractable stuff .

      Global warming or no global warming , we should be looking to make it last as long as possible . Domestic energy consumption could be trimmed and should be if we are looking to expand our industrial energy consumption .

    • Alistair Morley
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Not a bad argument; but you fail to consider substitution effects of cheaper energy and the marginal cost of increasing energy efficiency.

  21. alan jutson
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    John
    Car manufacturers are improving fuel efficiency and reliability for vehicles.
    Manufacturers are improving energy efficency and reliability of most home appliances, including boilers and their control systems.
    The cost of all fuels (gas, oil, electricity) seems to be rising above inflation so people are concerned about usage.
    Most people are now aware that installing insulation helps reduce energy consumption. So some energy suppliers are subsidising home insulation installation programmes.
    Manufacturers of insulation products are improving their products performance.

    All the above the result of private industry initiatives.

    The best thing the government could do would simply be to guarantee a reliable supply, at reasonable cost.

    Feed in tarrifs, windmills, increased taxation, new taxation, carbon plans and the like, with more confusing regulation, will just over complicate matters, make our manufacturing industry (such as we have left) less competitive, and will cost us all a fortune.

    Why oh why do governments (and their Ministers, and advisors) think they can run things better than the open market, which sets to a degree its own levels on a supply and demand basis.

    We are but a very small, overcrowded island, the best way of cutting our emissions is to limit the growth in population, and the easiest way to do that is to stop immigration.

  22. John B
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Climate, simply put, is an average of meteorological factors which in the short term – a couple of days – we call weather, and over a longer period we call climate.

    It is impossible to make a determination about an average before all the data from which it is derived is observed and processed. Climate (so-called) scientists say the minimum weather-averaging period for climate is 30 years.

    In the middle of a climate cycle saying that climate is changing, because of some exceptionally warm Summers or cold Winters, or indeed anything else, is either done out of ignorance or deliberate intent to deceive. It is ludicrous then to declare what an average of weather – climate – will be in the future when the required data cannot be known: this is merely fortune-telling.

    We can compare the last 30 years with the previous 30. Has it changed? No.

    Mankind lives in extremes of climate from frozen Arctic wastes to baking hot, arid deserts: he even survives in machines, in Space, under the oceans or high in the skies by creating his own climate.

    The dual assumptions that future climate will change drastically and this will be such that Mankind will not prevail has no basis in known fact and past example and why a sane intelligent person should believe otherwise, suggests they are neither of those things.

    The main concern goes beyond climate nonsense. It shows we have people in Government who make no reasoned evaluation of what is known, have astonishing ignorance and no curiosity, are incapable of critical analysis of what is presented to them, nor able to make a proper risk/reward assessment.

    The problem that exists is that virtually the entire political class has been institutionalised from school, to university, to political activity of some sort and is intellectually crippled and ignorant of existence or to evaluate outside their own experiences.

    Tax collection is now to fund the whims and fancies of whichever political clique get into Office and not at all to meet the needs and wishes of the People as expressed by them.

    Jill Duggan, EU Carbon Commissioner, when asked on an radio interview how much EU carbon policy would cost, said she had no idea, and when asked what effect it would have said she had no idea. So no idea of cost or outcome.

    She like the rest of the political buffoons don’t know such things because they don’t care, because the taxpayer has no choice but to fund their absurdities and pay to keep them in a job with a fat salary and pension, good expenses, short hours and plenty of time off.

    If those in North Africa get Western democracy, they will be very disappointed.

    • Richard
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      An excellent post and I agree with all you say.
      Except there are some very notable exceptions to the criticisms you make of the poilitical classes and Mr Redwood is perhaps the most notable of them.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

  23. forthurst
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Western politicians, who are overwhelmingly non-scientists, would view climate like a food recipe as seen on TV: take a climate, add some anthropologically derived CO2 and get higher global temperatures and sea levels. This of course is nonsense, climate is a system not a recipe and as such needs to be viewed in engineering terms, something Chinese politicians will be far better at, together with their better abstract reasoning ability for problem solving. First of all, the science is not ‘settled’ so the government should be investing in research to understand climate for predictive purposes which, as has been extensively verified, does not currently exist.

    Secondly, the government should abandon any involvement in carbon trading which is nothing more than a scam to enrich financial (manipulators-ed) and Indian industrialists at the expense of doing this country enormous economic damage without consequently preventing a gram of carbon from being oxidised.

    Thirdly, spending money on ‘green’ technology does increase the size of the economy unless it makes financial sense, otherwise, we could increase the economy by digging holes and filling them in. Furthermore, Mr Huhne should explain whether windmills are for base load or peak load or both or neither or what and produce all the financial and scientific data to prove his case.

    Fourthly, if population increase inevitably leads to higher energy expenditure which for the foreseeable future must lead to CO2 generation, what concrete measures are the government taking to stop the importation of CO2 producers and stop paying people (from other places -ed) from manufacturing even more CO2 producers? As far as I can see, they are deliberately doing the precise opposite. Let us improve our education system by kicking the Cultural Marxist cookbook into the long grass and produce all the trained people we need.

  24. Richard Roney
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Despite what those like Huhne believe there is considerable doubt amongst the scientific establishment about global warming and about man’s contribution to it. In light of the climate we have been enjoying recently it really does seem silly to rush in and impose another tax, build more fairly useless wind farms, cut back on carbon emissions etc rather than wait say another 20 years to see what the result of the current climate leads to. In the interim the time should be used to carry out further uncontroversial analysis into global warming so that if at the end of the 20 years even the current sceptics are convinced something should be done then we can all support the necessary legislation/taxation. The only thing Napoleon said that I agree with is ‘when in doubt do nothing’. The interim should also be use to push forward the development of/search for alternative energy forms including nuclear.

  25. Fay Tuncay
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Dear John,

    Repeal the Act! Campaign to Repeal the Climate Change Act would like to announce the launch of its e-petition on GoPetition UK. We aim to gain 100,000 signatures over the next 12 months calling on Parliament to repeal the Climate Change Act [2008]. Please support us John SIGN UP HERE http://www.gopetition.com/petition/43914.html

    PETITION

    I [we] the undersigned commend the UK Parliament to repeal the Climate Change Act [2008].

    We protest against the ruinously expensive, unsustainable energy subsidies, carbon dioxide taxes, and the unrealistic carbon dioxide emissions reduction targets.

    A global agreement on emissions reduction collapsed at the Copenhagen and Cancun conferences. The world’s largest emitters (USA and China) made it clear that they will not introduce a carbon dioxide tax or emissions trading.

    A price on carbon dioxide will impose a deliberate financial penalty on all energy users, but especially energy-intensive industries. These are part of the bedrock of the British economy. Any cost imposed on them will be passed straight down to consumers.

    Carbon dioxide is a natural and vital trace gas in Earth’s atmosphere, an environmental benefit without which our planetary ecosystems could not survive. Increasing carbon dioxide makes many plants grow faster and better, and helps to green the planet.

    The Climate Change Act is based on scientific and economic data that are substantially flawed.

    It contains rigid long-term policies with inadequate provision for future revisions based on evolving scientific knowledge and interpretation.

    Policy decisions can be taken on the climate without this Act, because the climate is always changing in accordance with natural cycles and recent changes are not unusual.

    It is not possible to reliably predict how climate will change in the future, beyond the certainty that multi-decadal warming and cooling trends, and abrupt changes, will always continue, underscoring a need for effective adaptation.

    PLEASE ACT NOW! SIGN THE PETITION
    http://www.gopetition.com/petition/43914.html

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Done.

      E-mailed the link to friends

  26. RobB
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I have been a Conservative supporter for many years but this misguided energy policy could very well make me cast my vote elsewhere.

    Whilst the greenhouse effect of CO2 is indisputable, the magnitude of the likely warming from a doubling in atmospheric CO2 is based on far less certain science. This is never discussed in public because it has become a highly political matter. Indeed, it may well be that the earth cools over the next couple of decades owing to natural variability. I urge readers to read into the subject. The UN, supported by a highly vocal environmental lobby, is completely politicized and consistently over-eggs the seriousness of the situation.

    With the scientific uncertainities in mind, it is depressing that a Conservative led coalition has embarked on a policy that accepts without question the UN mantra. This new carbon plan is highly flawed. Windmills are a complete waste of time and are only being developed because of the Renewable Obligation scheme. Overall the £110bn cost is astonishing. The policy will decrease UK industrial competitiveness at a time when we need manufacturing to step up to the plate. The new jobs in the so-called green economy will be dwarfed by the losses elsewhere. For consumers, energy bills are likely to double. Don’t be confused for one moment about who will have to pay for the ‘investment in new renewable power capacity’ It is you and me. Many people will be put into fuel poverty at a time when fiscal austerity is biting hard.

    Very depressing indeed. JR please lobby David Cameron. The Conservatives are going to look very silly when the lights go out.

  27. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    How can anyone say that the world is getting either hotter or colder in the last couple of hundred years? How do you measure that?
    Weather stations are pretty modern anyway and vast areas of the earth like South America, even Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia including China, and pretty well the whole of Africa did not have reliable data until very recently even if they now have it. I wonder what the data from, say DRC is? Or Lake Van?
    Measuring trees, ice samples and so on has been discussed and the evidence is pretty mangled really.
    Once the initial premise is doubtful, then why should we alone in the whole world ruin our lives?

  28. Dr Bernard Juby
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    What about all of that methane put into the air by cows? Do we put catalytic converters on them all?
    Do you think that Huhne is “doing a Gore” and trying to get a Nobel Prize on spurious evidence?

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Gore, Gore…? Ah yes, he of frequent flier miles, many homes and many more children who seems to have an unusual view on challenging questions in press conferences. Clearly not a hypocrite in any sense, it’s just us who must change, not him.

    • StevenL
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Eating meat is evil, you don’t need meat. A simple diet of pulses, fresh vegetables and water will suffice.

      • APL
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        StevenL: “you don’t need meat.”

        True, but I want to eat meat.

        You don’t need central heating, that provides you with piping hot water at the turn of a tap, but I bet you wouldn’t want to go with out central heating?

        You don’t need double glazing, most of my childhood winters were spent huddled under the covers as it was sub zero in the room. With what moisture there was in the air frozen solid on the windows..

  29. forthurst
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    corrections to my post, careless, sorry :

    1st paragraph 2nd line ‘anthropogenically not ‘anthropologically”
    4th paragraph 1st line ‘does not increase’ not ‘does increase’

  30. Vince Causey
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Yes, energy intensive jobs do indeed spend more on energy than on wages, and it is energy that has provided civilization the means to achieve the industrial miracle we have taken for granted. The opposite of energy intensive jobs is labour intensive jobs, which means reversing the arrow of progress and relying on muscle power rather than machine power. Society will have to content itself with producing less goods and being poorer in absolute terms than it is today, if we choose chose to follow Chris Huhnes path. But this is a matter of fundamental importance to the British people and should be debated transparently and dishonest claims such as ‘brighter futures’ and ‘green jobs’ should be dealt with swiftly.

  31. English Pensioner
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    As far as I am concerned there are too many “ifs”.
    1. “If” global warming is occurring. This is still in doubt and many of the temperature reading are flawed due to changes in the environment. Typical are the readings for Heathrow, a favourite of the warmists. Readings were started here when the airport was first opened when it was virtually all green fields, a single runway, Dakota aircraft and the terminal was a marquee. Now it comprises acres of tarmac, huge buildings and powerful aircraft, which by themselves would produce a rise in temperature. This situation is typical of many of the temperature recording locations.
    2. “If” it is caused by CO2 emissions. This connection is tenuous; there have been major volcanic eruptions emitting huge quantities of gases and there is no real indication that this was followed by warming. The Victorian era burnt huge quantities of coal very inefficiently compared with modern power stations, but no real evidence that this produced warming.
    3. “If” man-made emissions effect the situation. This seems unlikely as the amount of natural CO2 emissions is huge compared with those made by man, and the total cessation of man-made emissions would only have a very small effect on the overall figure.
    As I said, one “if” followed by another “if” and yet another. Only IF they are all true is there a problem.

    It is also worth noting that some of the “green” measures have worked against us. Recycling paper means that less trees are planted now to meet the needs for paper, and it is the young, growing trees which absorb the maximum amounts of CO2, not the mature fully grown trees.. Add to this the extra fuel costs in collection, chemicals for de-inking, etc, and it is doubtful if it helps the CO2 situation. We need to do an honest “end-to-end” assessment of what is actually green.

    From a nuclear engineering point of view, we should be heartened from what has happened in Japan. So far, they have the situation under control, we will have learnt about the weak points of the design which would have hardly been possible with normal testing, and as we are not in an earthquake zone, there should be no safety problems. It has also destroyed the “terrorist threat” arguments, as it would seem unlikely that terrorists could produce an explosion with the power of this earthquake.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Agreed – how many lives were saved in hospitals etc. by most of the nuclear stations that kept the lights on?

      What would have happened to wave power, offshore wind and barrages in the tsunami?

  32. ferdinand
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    As a recent study showed for every new ‘green’ job, 3.7 jobs were lost elsewhare. It is this failure to analyse and recognise errores e.g. that CO2 rises AFTER temperature rises – that we are in in for a painful ride. This government is desparately short of thinkers.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Thinking, indeed the ability to think is a handicap in modern politics, what is required is blind obedience to the collective. Look on the bright side, the forthcoming destruction of fiat currencies will mean an end to this ship of fools.

      • StevenL
        Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        You just have to be able to think of a retort quickly, hence all the barristers. It’s the ability to think originally and critically that is at a loss.

  33. Richard1
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    If the Government does intend to progress these hugely expensive green policies than it really needs to explain to the public why: 1) global temperatures have both risen and fallen over the industrial epoch, over the whole of human history and over the whole of geological time in a way uncorrelated with atmospheric CO2; and 2) why there has been no global warming to date during the 21st Century. Perhaps there’s a good explanation, but repeated assertions that its the consensus scientific view won’t do. If by 2015 there still hasn’t been a pick-up in global warming I believe this will be a tricky election issue. Perhaps there’s a Green reading this blog who could enlighten us?

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Enlightenment and reasoned debate…. I hope so but suspect not. The Ad hominem, non sequitur, parroting of propaganda lies and simple refusal to join the debate a plenty, but enlightenment will be thin on the ground I fear.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      I never expect to be enlightened by “greens” – their main characteristic is that they know nothing of science but are “believers” as they have read about it the Guardian, BBC and from Governments and at school so it must be true.

      If you ask them a few questions about say heat pumps, battery cost and storage capacity, energy storage systems, the suns energy striking the earth per M2, electricity generating systems or anything at all you rapidly discover that they know virtually nothing what so ever they just “believe” because it is just “nice” to care for future generations and recycle your rubbish.

      Just as you cannot argue with someone who believes in the Bible it is just their “belief” because the “good” book says so – even if it does endlessly contradict itself and all the evidence.

  34. ferdinand
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    our comment is awaiting moderation.

    As a recent study showed for every new ‘green’ job, 3.7 jobs were lost elsewhere. It is this failure to analyse and recognise errors e.g. that CO2 rises AFTER temperature rises – that we are in in for a painful ride. This government is desparately short of thinkers. Sorry a couple of typos in my first version.

    • Alistair Morley
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      Good point. The whole “green jobs” farrago is clearly a “broken window” fallacy. I’m not at all surprised its a net drain on employment.

      Amusingly, I saw some Green drone the other day bragging about how “Green jobs” were unusually labour intensive per dollar, as if that was a good thing.

  35. Paul
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    John, can you please, for the sake of this country’s economy, attempt to get Huhne to understand that ‘green” jobs are a cost, not a benefit, and destroy more jobs than they create. See reports on Germany, Spain etc.

  36. Ian Wragg
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Germany is commissioning 11,000 megawatts of coal fired power stations in 2011 alone to ensure stability of supply for industry. Non have carbon capture or other fantasy solutions, just good old fashioned furnaces.
    Huhne is a clown and not a very educated one at that.
    Mainland Europe will welcome the industries that leave Britain as we sit in the dark , bankrupted by his stupid policies

    • Simon
      Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Carbon capture by anything other than living organisms is one of the most crazy idea i’ve heard .

      The most conservative estimates are that you have to burn a third more hydrocarbon fuel to generate the same amount of energy , ie 25% of the energy generated is required to capture and pump it underground .

      Thats the most conservative figure yet no doubt British public money will be spent on doing it unilaterally .

  37. Richard
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    It really is bizarre why there is this obsession with CO2 because:-
    1. CO2 is less than 5% of total greenhouse gases.
    2. Human activity creates less than 5% of the total CO2
    3. The UK on its own is responsible for less than 5% of this total human activity
    4. The measured rise in average temperatures in the last 100 years has been less than 1 degree centigrade
    We would be better spending the same sums of money we are spending on trying to reduce CO2 on schemes to mitigate the effects of future warming in the UK because we are not going to have any success in stopping the warming when we in the UK control such a small proportion of the total CO2 and have no control over China and India for example,who will over the next few decades, increase their CO2 outputs way above anything we are able to reduce.

  38. lojolondon
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    John,

    I agree with both sentences in your last paragraph, as would every sane person.

    The challenge with the whole programme is simple :

    1. There is no global warming, the earth has been cooling since 1998.
    2. The amount of CO2 in the air barely affects the temperature on the planet
    3. Man barely affects the amount of CO2 on the planet
    4. The UK barely affects the amount of man-made CO2 on the planet

    To be specific, CO2 comprises 0.038% of the air. Nature produces 97% of CO2, man produces just 3%. The UK produces just 1% of the CO2 that man produces. So the UK’s contribution to CO2 level in the air is 0.00001%. That is one molecule of CO2 to every 9 million molecules of air. I think most people can accept that even if CO2 was a contributor to warming the environment (which it is not!), that for the UK, in our financial situation, to waste £110 billion on this small amount of CO2 is completely outrageous and it is clearly against our best interests, while NHS and police jobs are being cut, for heaven’s sake!

    Chris Hune claims that he will create 100,000 jobs – this is fanciful, most analysts agree that green power destroys far more jobs than it creates, not only in the energy environment, but in all the other industries which are made unproductive and uncompetitive, so jobs are exported abroad! Well, presuming they are not all Government jobs – that is a total cost of £1,000,000 per job. If they are all government jobs then you can multiply that as the cost of salaries, final salary pension and perks takes that figure way up.

    Last point – we already are uncompetitive on energy prices – as French and German companies have been allowed to purchase UK power suppliers, they charge up to five times more per electricity unit in the UK than they do in their home market, so the UK homeowner and company subsidises cheap electricity across the channel, making all their industries more competitive against all of ours.

    Makes you sick, doesn’t it?

    • sm
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Would be interesting if a consumer could sign up to an electricity tariff offered to the public say in France/Germany, now that may spur retail competition and grid interconnections, which would reinforce the grid and allow more intermittent supplies across a larger geographic area. We could probably do that more easily outside of the EU as well.

  39. David Hearnshaw
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Huhne is a very dangerous green nut case – why on earth did Cameron allow him anywhere near the Energy portfolio, unless, of course, he is of a similar ilk?
    These crackpot policies will beggar us with out doing anything for the environment.
    John, when will common sense break out in the government before the lights start going out due to reliance on useless and expensive wind turbines? We need to start building new conventional plant, yes, and including nuclear, right now.

    • Edward.
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Cameron has swallowed the AGW ‘Kool aid’, hook line and sinker, he is like a child and easily persuaded methinks and then, alack! The EU tell him what to think.

      Why Huhne, of all people arrived in this chair [DOE+CC] is an unfathomable mystery, unless of course one realises just how much the Lib dims are contaminated by the greenie pathogen.

      • APL
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

        Edward: “Cameron has swallowed the AGW ‘Kool aid’, hook line and sinker, ”

        (removed reference to a donor who is a green, as there are plenty of donors who are not-ed)

    • Dr Bernard Juby
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Another crackpot policy is the lemming-like rush for wind-turbines which are inefficient – needing huge (often hidden) subsidies from the consumers and taxpayers, blight the landscape and normally only work at 25% of their stated output so you need four of the land gobbling monstrosities to produce the stated amount.
      To date no country which has them has shut down a single convenbtional electricity generator, whether gas, coal or nuclear.

  40. CDR
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Government would be determined to push this kind of tax through, even though they are fully aware that the country contains enough intelligent people who know better and would fight it. Here is the UK, bleating on about how essential it is to reduce OUR CO2 levels, when places like China are churning it out by the bucket-load each day.
    What is sad is the fact that many British people are just so clueless about science that they could be hoodwinked by any carefully-worded tax proposals.

    Every planet in the solar system is being affected by “unexplained” changes. Earth is no different. I believe that a minority of those-in-power actually know what is happening and see it as an opportunity to impose wealth-draining taxation on the people. Electric cars? Where are the materials coming from to make the batteries? Aren’t they composed of some rare-earth metals, supplies of which are at best skimpy? And those wind-turbines; doesn’t the neodymium processing create huge amounts of toxic waste?
    The Green dreams of everyone cycling to work and, indeed, doing every activity via bicycle is beyond a joke; we need some kind of scientific quantum leap to solve this energy issue. I think it (the answer) is out there; but it isn’t quite ready to reveal itself.

  41. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I suppose it’s unrealistic to expect politicians to abandon their carefully constructed ruse to terrify us all and use that as an excuse to raise taxes and, well, do just about anything they like to “save the planet”. What is most galling about this confidence trick is that they think we are all gullible enough to believe their mumbo-jumbo. As each day goes by the question of why we bothered to vote Conservative becomes more relevant and the answer that we shall never do so again more compelling.
    P.S. In the interests of transparency, which politicians stand to gain financially, either directly or indirectly, as a consequence of the actions proposed and being taken by the government?

    • Edward.
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      I voted Tory in 2010, for the life of me, I can’t remember why.

  42. John McEvoy
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Huhne has swallowed the Big Green Fairy Story hook, line and sinker. He gets a well paid job with fabulous prospects in Brussels later on, and we pick up the tab. Maybe he isn’t so stupid.

  43. Bazman
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Probably never work in reality, but how about the principle of rationed carbon emissions Single mothers sells their share to a rich businessman so he can go on holiday five times a year? Make your own up.

  44. Iain Gill
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    best way to improve pollution is to significantly improve the insulation in the nations buildings, this could easily be incentivised by government, it also drops our cost base so would be a good thing for financial reasons anyway

    in road transport the best way to reduce pollution would to make the roads run more smootly when all state action is the reverse – all those bumps and chicanes and road thinning measures are ramping up pollution significantly

    its is pointless making industrial processes which are in the top 10% of least polluting in that class of process worldwide more expensive, this will simply force production here to stop and the same processes to be run mostly in a more polluting way in indian and china as has been happening big time for a number of years

    the UK is a little blip of a country, we need to tackle India and China head on, unilateral action is pointless in the extreme

    lots of the science is tosh, so sad that so few people seem to have a basic scientific education these days

    we certainly need extra capacity in the electricity supply grid, and probably more resevoirs too, we should be getting on with this

    lots of the levers the government pulls have counter intuative affects, the CO2 tax regime on cars forces manufacturers to push the CO2 emissions down often by using less reliable technology, but it only takes a few cars needing days extra of maintenance to ruin the benefits of the emissions reduction! all those heated workshop hours are not green. stuff like this should be shouted loudly in this debate, there are countless examples of this from the MMT and CVT gearboxes instead of more reliable auto technologies, the particle filters on diesels, and so on

  45. Martin
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I can’t help but think that much of the negative views I read here about global warming are a vain hope to go back to the good old days of unleaded at less that a Pound a Litre. (Incidentally reducing the petrol tax means another tax has top go up to compensate.)

    Between peak oil production and the rise of petrol head-ism in China and India not much hope!

    As the price of Oil and Gas is going sky high I think all these funny CO2 trading rules are being overtaken by good old market forces.

    I wouldn’t cut back on process industries (we have very little of any sort of industry left). No its time to be brave and get more Nuclear Power Stations built for our base power load. Wind farms are great when allied to pump storage schemes.

    • APL
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Martin: “(Incidentally reducing the petrol tax means another tax has top go up to compensate.)”

      Only because the political consensus, which you and John Redwood clearly subscribe to, demands that government spending must always go up, never go down.

      Abolish fuel excise duty and economic activity would dramitically increase – fuel duty is a tax and drag on *every single* activity anyone in the United Kingdom performs.

      It also kills pensioners who can’t afford to heat their homes during the winter, but it does too make work for otherwise useless civil servants who spend countless man hours deciding if a OAP is sufficiently cold that he or she needs another £100 bung. Clearly in this world jobs for civil servants outweigh the comfort of the average OAP.

      Reply: I have often identified ways of reducing public spending.

      • APL
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        JR: “I have often identified ways of reducing public spending.”

        You have indeed, but you support the government aim to have public spending grow less than GDP. That is not a cut, it is a continuous expansion.

        REPLY I disagreed with the matching Labour’s spending plans approach and recommended lower taxdes to promote faster growth.

        • APL
          Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          JR: “… recommended lower taxes to promote faster growth.”

          But lower taxes with out reduced government spending implies higher government borrowing.

          Rerply: I also proposed spending cuts, and the laffer effect on revenues

  46. BobE
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Electric Cars are Anti Green. The electricity has to be generated elsware and the batteries need replacing every three years. Total dust to dust polution is huge compared to using hydrogen.
    BobE

  47. Stuart Rose
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    The green lobby’s claim that switching to green energy sources will create hundreds of thousands of jobs is based on a common economic fallacy.

    They will create more jobs because green energy is less efficient! A consistent application of the view would lead to hiring men to ride bicycles attached to generators, as this would create millions of jobs per kilowatt-hour because it is so inefficient!

    • Dennis A
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

      They could have squads of unemployed on bicycles connected to a common drive for wind turbines for when the wind doesn’t blow.

  48. FaustiesBlog
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    The £110 billion spend is but nothing, when you consider the cost of bureaucracy, subsidies and other support activities.

    Spanish newspaper El Mundo found that between November and January, 4500 megawatt hours (MWh) of solar energy were sold to the electricity grid between midnight and seven in the morning.

    It has been suggested that some plants in the regions of Castilla-La-Mancha, Canarias and Andalucía have been using diesel generators connected to their solar panel arrays to illegally benefit from government subsidies.

    Some enterprising students were prosecuted in Germany for illuminating solar panels using floodlights and claiming the subsidy difference.

    They were caught because the floodlights were being used during the hours of darkness.

    This is but a tip of the iceberg. What will it take to get these warmist alarmists to stop throwing our money and our energy independence (what’s left of it) down the toilet?

    An Egyption-type riot? If so, I’m up for it.

  49. Popeye
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Being an 80 year old cynic, I would dearly love to know if the millionaire Mr Huhne has any vested interest in wind generators?

    Reply: Ministers are not allowed to have directorships or income from other earnings. They have to declare any assets they have, and would not make decisions on matters where they do have an interest.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Are trustees of the BBC allowed EU pensions?

  50. Revd Philip Foster
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Why electric vehicles will never be more than toys:
    Ultimately it’s all about the energy/weight_volume ratio. A gallon of petrol or diesel beats any battery at this game hands down (by an order of magnitude). In the UK an average car with 10 gallons can do 400 miles. The fuel weighs just 80lb and the vehicle gets lighter as you travel. Unlike an electric car, it will keep going at high speed right down to the last drop – no trace of a fall off in power. Refilling is easy and quick – 5 minutes including payment (excepting the pain of payment!!). A spare gallon can be kept in the back should you find yourself carelessly stranded. The electric car needs time to recharge even in the best conditions (exchanging batteries at service stations presents another problem: they would be an easy target for thieves, each battery being the value of a gold ingot!).
    The BBC trial recently took the driver four days to go from London to Edinburgh in an electric car – about three days was recharging – a journey of a mere 350 miles. A stagecoach could have done it quicker.
    Now consider an electric vehicle on a cold winter’s night on a high moorland road in Scotland in a blizzard. Power is rapidly falling off as the cold temperature has reduced the voltage of the battery. Heating is a no no. – it will rapidly drain what’s left in the battery. The windscreen is already iced up inside and out. The car grinds to a halt. No dwelling within 40 miles but it might as well be 1000 miles. The car is useless, dead on the moors. The driver must abandon it and either hitch a lift or walk the next forty miles. Oh, and his mobile phone’s battery has also died – no hope from the cigar lighter charger.
    Compare that miserable scenario with a petrol vehicle. The car is warm as waste heat from the engine is used to excellent effect, warming the driver and keeping the windscreen free of ice. However the driver braces himself for a trip to the rear, pulls out the spare can and in one minute has filled his tank with enough petrol to get him to the nearest habitation. If need be he might phone for assistance – as the battery has power to spare. Electric cars maybe OK for short distance runabouts, but that remains it. Beyond that they are useless.
    Batteries used for these cars are potential bombs if they short circuit or are involved in a crash – electrical fires are worse than petrol fires, injured passengers risk being electrocuted as well as burned.
    Oh, and for Mr Huhne’s benefit (who sadly does not read this blog), electric cars have been around for a hundred years; they’ve had ample time to be improved and they still simply cannot compete.

  51. Steve Tierney
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    In the good old days I thought Vince Cable was the only over-rated and seriously dangerous Lib Dem. But Chris Huhne makes him look positively benign. What Huhne is promoting with his eco-zealotry is the destruction of the UK economy, the plunder of the country’s wealth and a miserable life of poverty in the international backwaters for our children and our children’s children.

  52. BigJohn
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    This co2 emission bullshit needs to be killed off quick.

  53. Electro-Kevin
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Off topic if I may.

    A recent university study tells us that people who are in low paid, dead-end jobs are in worse psychological condition than the unemployed. This is telling and a fact already well known by those who live at this end of the spectrum. The low paid are also financially worse off than the unemployed.

    I’m not saying that the low paid should necessarily be paid any higher by the way.

    Hester Blumenthall shows us that the daily allowance for prisoner’s food is three times that of a Royal Navy submariner’s. One reason perhaps why “Prison doesn’t work” according to Mr Clarke.

    We do feel that the whole political class is against us. Even those who purport to hold our values are not nearly angry enough.

  54. Javelin
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    My daughters GCSE physics, chemistry and biology papers are saturated with global warming. The graphs show temperature BUT completely and conveniently omit the rise and fall in the muddle ages and fail to show the scale of changes against the ice ages.

    This is FRAUDULENT science we are teaching our kids. Our GCSEs are debasing science NOT teaching it to them. Mr Gove should hang his head in shame at what he has let pass as education.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Javelin

      The brain washing can start at a young age now.

      Shame at the lack of balanced arguments, which should be supported by actual facts, and presented by an independent minded tutor.

      • FaustiesBlog
        Posted March 16, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        It’ll never happen – too many vested interests. Governments and corporations stand to make a fortune on carbon trading and indeed, have already.

        Next, people will be taxed by global institutions under the UN directly – probably within the next 10 years.

        No taxation without representation? Mandelson knew what was coming when he referred to the post-democratic era.

    • APL
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Javelin: “GCSE physics, chemistry and biology papers are saturated with global warming.”

      Same with my children. It is indoctrination not education.

      Javelin: “Mr Gove should hang his head in shame at what he has let pass as education.”

      Government controls the education system. He who pays the piper calls the tune. The government dictating the education of our children is the best argument for an expansion of the private charitable education sector.

    • Edward.
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      AGW agitprop, with the EU’s imprimatur all over it.

      Feed the children with intangibles, erroneous science, NO history and mindless secular rot = EU’s little workers.

  55. Robbo
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    The problem is, John, the British people (actually the English in particular) roused themselves to throw off the yoke of a disfunctional and deranged government, only to find the replacement continued to pursue many of the same policies (Equalities Agenda, Climate Change, Deficit Spending, Zero Interest rate policy) with perhaps less enthusiasm but to much the same effect.

    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

  56. Philip Houldsworth
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    What is never mentioned is that IF global warming is happening it is very good news for Britain. With a climate similar to Provence in the South of England and greatly enhanced farming capability, whats mpt to like

    • sjb
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      “Increased rainfall, melting of sea ice, glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet are all possible consequences of higher temperatures, and could reduce North Atlantic surface salinity sufficiently to slow down or even stop the formation of deep water. If this happens, the THC [thermohaline circulation] may shut down. Once stopped, the heat conveyor may take time to recover, and the consequences would be a cooling of northwest Europe.”
      http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/rapid/sis/atlantic_conveyor.php

  57. Neil Craig
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    A recent report comes to the fairly obvious conclusion that giving money to “renewables” which cannot sustain themselves, involves taking it from productive business with a loss of 3.7 jobs for every one created. So what Huhne is saying is not that he will create 100,000 “green” jobs but “I intend to destroy 270,000 net jobs, 370,000 0f them being productive ones”.

    We are seeing massive media coverage of the zero deaths, zero injusties nuclear “catastrophe” in Japan, indeed far more than the genuine probabnly 10,000 deaths in the real catastrophe. This is simply the media’s agenda. The fact remains that even after today nuclear is hunders, arguably thousands, of times safer than any other comparable industry.

    If Huhne and the eco-(authoritarian-ed) movement generally truthfully believed in their scare story about CO2 being the worst problem in the world they would simply have to be calling for massive new nuclear power. This is the only way of supplying mass power without CO2, windmills, by comparison, need massive backup for when there is no wind and thus cannot, even theoretically, cut CO2 by more than 1/3rd.

    Thjat they oppose nuclear proves that they know the catastrophic warming story is a deliberate lie and that they are motivated by Luddism not any humane values.

    • FaustiesBlog
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Oh, windmills and green jobs have been created in abundance … in China. At the expense of our energy industries and at massive cost to taxpayers and consumers.

      Therefore, the government is forcing taxpayers to fund the destruction of our economy and the transference of industry to a foreign nation.

      Some might call that treason. It certainly isn’t in the interests of the people in Britain, although I’d be interested to learn which of our MPs, peers and civil servants stand to gain financially from ‘green’ technology.

  58. Bazman
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    There is going to be some sorry faces when ‘Smart Meters’ are eventually installed in all households and the householder gets his ‘real’ monthly bill and sees how much their gas/ electricity bills are costing in real time. I think a few people will boycotting their supplier for a few days a week.

    • FaustiesBlog
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Agree. But it’s worse than that.

      (puts in a link which I don’t have time to check out)

      (forgive the link to my site, JR – but it contains info which I’ve amassed from other sources).

  59. Derek Buxton
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I believe that you mention a cooling effect between 1940/50, if so that immediately rules out “man made warming”. There was no clean air act and guns and bombs were exploding all over the planet. Wind turbines are no use, low efficiency overall extremely expensive and require 100% backup.
    How can a man such as Huhne be put in such a responsible position, he is irresponsible to a degree little short of criminal. Does he not realise how much the modern world has to rely on computers and automatic systems.

  60. Epigenes
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, how can you continue supporting a government with this scientifically illiterate and innumerate person dictating energy policy?

    Mr Huhne is a (big-ed) threat to the people of Great Britain…

    Why is the Conservative Party providing a lifeline to an organisation namely, the Liberal Democrats, that wants us all totally impoverished.

  61. Martin C
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I think you are missing the point. Money is power; and taxation is the way the state takes power from its citizenry.
    By Chris Huhne’s own analysis, reducing the UK’s 2% share of world man-made CO2 by a fifth is not going to make much difference, in the face of the Chinese and Indians, who are building a new coal-fired power-station per week. And it will make even less difference when you consider that the proposed means of acheiving this result, primarily a massive dash for wind power, can not technically acheive the stated target anyway.
    In short, wind-power is simply a highly visible form of gesture politics.
    But at what colossal cost! Around 18bn per year of additional taxes, and the authoritarian changes to centralise planning control and taxation law necessary to acheive this unprecedented levels of intrusive infrastructure construction.
    These, I suspect, are in fact the true objectives for neo-marxist, statist, ‘small-L’ liberals such as Clegg and Huhne.

  62. Philip Richens
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Your comments regarding the 20th century temperature record look spot on to me (another science background, two physics degrees from Bristol). As I expect you know, the standard explanations for both the 1910-40 warming and the mid-century cooling are not at all well supported by the publically available data (solar output and aerosols respectively – although you do need to access recent solar data to see this); as a consequence, the record is also not explained by the usual climate models. Many of those pushing the global warming case on us cite “multiple lines of evidence” as a clinching argument for human causation. And yet every last one of the lines I’ve seen offered turns out to be – like the climate model argument – either flawed or circumstantial.

    Although there is no doubt in my mind that we will be well advised to research and invest in new electricity generation technologies, I can see no reasonable justification for the draconian line taken by so many of your colleagues – which seem destined to lead only to electricity cuts and poorer lives for most UK citizens, as well as yet more harm to our countryside and wildlife. Why are they behaving like this? Well, I don’t expect you to have an answer for that one, but maybe you are able to offer suggestions as to what well-informed and angry voters can best do to persuade them to steer a more reasonable course?

  63. Alte Fritz
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I still await an explanation of the medieval warm period which put the green into Greenland. When I was a child we were told to expect another ice age quite soon. What next?

    We could do with a debate on the facts once someone works out what they are.

  64. Dennis A
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Chris Huhne is in the Global Governance camp and is a member of Ban Ki Moon’s High Level Climate Finance Panel with Nick Stern, George Soros, (remember Black Wednesday), Deutsche Bank et al.

    In 2006 he responded to WWF and Greenpeace praise for the Liberal-Democrat policies on climate, saying: “It is great to gain endorsements from the WWF and Greenpeace. The Liberal Democrats are honest enough to accept that individual behaviour must change in order to halt climate change. We are the only party campaigning for an increase in environmental tax, while allowing other taxes to fall, to bring about this change.”

    Now he is in charge of energy policy.

    For full details of the UN Climate Finance Panel, check here:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/high_level_climate_finance.html

  65. adam
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    These radicals have never demonstrated that their plans will in any way avert this supposed catastrophe (based on tipping point hypothesis which is very speculatory and not science), rather than just delay a few years.
    Government is cutting science funding by 25%, which reveals their true agenda. Science allows us to use resources more efficiently.
    A true sustainable society would have science funding levels 10x what they are today.

  66. Martin
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    The solubility of CO2 delines as temperature rises. Just look at the bubbles in a glass of lager as it warms up.

    The bulk of the worlds CO2 is dissolved in the oceans. If these waters warm up, due say to sunspot activity, then the CO2 in the atmosphere will rise.

    Increased CO2 may well be a consequence of global warming, not a cause.

  67. Adam Collyer
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    I would take Huhne a bit more seriously if he hadn’t vetoed the Severn Barrage, which would have generated up to 5% of our electricity, and been an international tourist attraction, not to say a showcase for British engineering, into the bargain.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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