Is the EU now on its own with dear energy?

The press release from the Warsaw climate change conference under UN auspices was exceptionally thin. Only 37 states out of the 195 potentially involved now have “legally binding emission limitations and reductions” for CO2 under Kyoto. Warsaw was remarkable for how little most countries do want to do, and for how good many countries are now at getting out of any future binding commitments. Green is very much the last decade’s colour.

The press release said they had done preparatory work to take to Peru, and then finally to Paris in 2015 where they hoped countries would have something to offer for post 2020. However, the ambition is now for countries to offer “contributions” not commitments, and to police them themselves. Emerging economies have declined to join in as they see the need to expand their economies using fossil fuels without hindrance. They also think the advanced countries should send them money as compensation for the CO2 the rich countries have produced in the past, and they favour rapid transfer of technology on favourable terms to assist them.

Meanwhile the USA remains unenthusiastic about binding targets, Australia has opted out, and Japan no longer has the enthusiasm it had in the first Kyoto agreement. It looks as if the EU is largely on its own now when it comes to setting binding targets and to pushing through dearer renewable energy to replace cheaper fossil fuels. The USA is cutting its CO2 output by its new dash for gas, but this is the result of a policy based on exploiting a new carbon based fuel which offers cheaper energy, not based on binding commitments to cut CO2.

The climate change issue has become very bound up with the arguments over wealth and income transfers from the richer to the poorer countries. The UN hopes the advanced countries will offer substantial sums through a new international mechanism for “loss and damage”. They are also looking for routes to accelerate and enlarge financing to assist greener development.

It looks as if only the EU is going to press on with dearer energy and tough targets to cut CO2. As a result the world will not be saved from an excess of carbon dioxide, but industry and activity will continue to relocate from the EU to elsewhere in the world.

This morning’s announcement that they are not going ahead with the large offshore windfarm in the Bristol Channel is good news for energy users, as the power from it would have been dear and intermittent. The question remains, however, what new capacity is going to be built instead.

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139 Comments

  1. arschloch
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    John its very nice of you to bring to our attention that “The climate change issue has become very bound up with the arguments over wealth and income transfers from the richer to the poorer countries.” Perhaps if you expect people to vote Conservative in 2015 you could do something about the “wealth and income transfers” that are coming directly out of my pocket now. Since 2010 I have lost child benefit, I will not be getting the married “persons” tax allowance and QE is robbing me of my savings and causing me to pay more and more for food and fuel. If that is how you treat your core vote I presume Osborne is not deluded enough to think he has the election in the bag?

    • Hope
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      In addition to the other 300 tax rises from an alleged low tax conservative who was going to put saving at he heart of the economy, instead spend spend spend he was going to promote save save save. Another U turn or false promise. The prudent responsible people are being hit by the Tory led coalition. Today we learn the EU commission warns Cameron not to do anything against Romanian and Bulgarian migrants. So the prudent have more mouths to feed and drop further down the queues at hospitals, schools etc. and we now have to feed their children at school as well as provide them an education and build one very peace of countryside to provide them a home. Good article by Jeff Randall on this point.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        ……………”Today we learn the EU commission warns Cameron not to do anything against Romanian and Bulgarian migrants.!!”
        So now we have an unelected dictatorship telling our leader in Westminster what to do with more foreigners arriving in this very overcrowded island. The fact is we no longer have an effective elected Government. We are told what to do by the EU.
        We all know what we have to do to get our sovereignty back and to away from our Government in Brussels. This is broken politics and total madness.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Excellent points, but old ‘Heart and soul’ pro-EU Cameron ain’t listening. The slices of the finite economic cake are being cut evermore thinly. The more we cater for those from elsewhere, the less there is for our own people.

        It would be great if the UK were so rich, that we could cure the world’s problems including famine, unemployment, and disease, but we just don’t have those resources. And it seems grossly unfair that those who have contributed to this nation, are having to pay for those who haven’t.

        If Mr Cameron is sold on the idea of a wholly reformed and efficient EU that actually works for its people, perhaps he’d be good enough to share his vision with us, rather than just come out with the rather bland statement that it needs it.

        This smells to high heaven of the typical ambiguous EU fudge we have been subjected to in the past. We are aware of the disaster, we just need our leader to lead and have the guts to tell us how things would be different under his stewardship and how he hopes to change the mind-set of other EU countries who might not share his vision and then vote accordingly.

        If he can’t do any of those things, again, he ought to have the guts to come out and say so rather than let us cling to the myth that reform is somehow achievable.

        Tad

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          Indeed “If Mr Cameron is sold on the idea of a wholly reformed and efficient EU that actually works for its people, perhaps he’d be good enough to share his vision with us, rather than just come out with the rather bland statement that it needs it.”

          Indeed he could perhaps tell us what he now thinks is “green crap, what he actually has against a “Greater Switzerland on Sea” and perhaps his thoughts on the 31,00o extra deaths during the rather cold last winter. A price worth paying to meet our carbon targets I assume is what the Libdums and wet Tories think? Also what does he think of the Spanish opening the Gibralta diplomatic bags, is this all part of the EU renegotiation? He is very quiet on these real issues.

          Also perhaps how he thinks he might now avoid a compete destruction of the Tories in 2015. Or is he still going to march over the cliff like the John Major disaster – 31/2 terms so far.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted November 27, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

            ‘31,00o extra deaths during the rather cold last winter.’

            I saw it. That bothers me too LL. But the people who say they care for the plight of the elderly and the disabled most of all, are the self same people who are quite happy to go along with these crippling green taxes. Duplicity sure does leave one feeling nauseous.

            Tad

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      And Osborne ratted on the £1M IHT promise and has attacked pension contributions and the caps too. But MP still have the best scheme going as we are all in it together!

      The only good things left are the EIS and Seed EIS and use what remains of the pension tax deferrals & salary sacrifice – not much else from this lousy bloated tax borrow and waste government. Get some good tax shelters, be a non dom if you can, live on benefits or move overseas seems to be the general message.

      Reply The MP scheme has been shifted onto CPI from RPI and contributions have been raised, like other such schemes.

      • arschloch
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes but the mug taxpayer still assumes the unlimited annuity and investment risks. Perhaps you can tell us why the parliamentary scheme has not been closed up and all future contributions put into NEST? After all if MPs had to take the same investment risks as we do, then perhaps they would not be so cavalier in their future management of the economy?

      • Timaction
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Mr Redwood, what is the annual accrual rate of MP’s pensions now compared to other public sector workers?

        Reply 1/60th , with an option of a higher accrual rate of up to 1/40the for higher contributions.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 27, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

          How many MPs are daft enough to take the lower 1/60 option?

          Rather few I suspect. The MPs pension on 1/40th is worth nearly as much as the salary. But then the average pay (with pension) in the state sector is about 50% above those of the private sector who have to pick up the bill.

        • Hope
          Posted November 27, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

          Do not forget the second homes they creamed off the taxpayer, the alleged jobs for family members, representation for alleged interest groups, and all of this for a PART-TIME second job as an MP. This is not good value. The SPAD has gone through the £7 million pound ceiling, every Liab Dem minister has on average 5 SPADs. This was a pledge by both to cut the number, so they work less and employ more staff to do their work! Which we pay for as well as their pensions etc. look at the overspending at DECC and its air travel bill when they sting the public for flying on holiday.

          Look at Gordon Brown’s record for attendance and compare his pay, allowances and expenses against contribution. As a former PM, he gets another allowance as well. It a a graveyard train without accountability or responsibility becauset he whip system tells them what to vote a do n th vast majority of occasions they do what the EU wants. As for IPSA, it might as well be scrapped for all the change it has achieved, not that it was the intention to do so.

    • Vanessa
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Well said ! Experienced by us all.

  2. Brian Taylor
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Get the APP. UK Energy to see where our electricity come from.
    An average day will see,
    Gas 38%. 18,000MW hours
    Coal 35% 16,000MW hours
    Nuclear 16% 7,500MW hours
    Wind 3.6% 1700MW hours
    French and Dutch Interconnector 1,800 MW hours
    Only Gas can increase generation if required, The total capacity of Wind hooked up to the grid is 8,000 MW hours the average amount generated is 3,000MWhours and the cost is twice the normal wholesale price for onshore and three time for offshore.
    Let’s have no more of this Green bullshit,which make us uncompetitive.
    Would it be possible to have an update on how we are getting on with Fracking for Gas.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Indeed but I though Green C*** was the expression.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Speaking of green crap lifeogic, by coincidence tonight my wife made a large steak and chips for me as I’m sure million who can afford such things do every day. Now tomorrow I am be going to be driving my large powerful people carrier on the the school run and then onto the dole office to collect my £71.70 per week entitlement. Yes thats right entitlement and if I so choose could drink it in the pub the same day. Ah! What fun that would be. Me and the local bar flies guffawing at local happenings and gossip and hopefully getting a free brace of pheasants from the local shooters in return for a couple of beers and my wit. My wife would not see it like that after a days work at the call face however..Oh no..
        The thing that troubles me though, is where all the calories and hence CO2 from the steak and chips will be going if am not fuelling a push bike? Would the walk from the pub add to the emissions or reduce them, some must be used by controlling the 200bhp diesel car though. As a man of science maybe you could tell me?!

        • Edward2
          Posted November 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          You will turn it all into hot air.

    • Acorn
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      You are mixing up Power in Megawatts (MW), with Energy in Megawatt-hours (MWh).

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        The arts grads at the BBC do that all the time too, they also often confuse “positive feedback” on climate change with being a positive thing.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

          Though Brian is talking of Mega Watt Hours average (i.e. the energy produced) per day is he not?

      • ian wragg
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        The MWh figure is not important. As electricity cannot be stored the only relevant figures is MW instantaneous. It’s no good being able to generate x number MW hours if at peak times you are Y MW short. Somewhere the lights will go out.
        At the annual peak last year if I remember correctly, gas coal and nuclear where at something like 97% installed (nameplate) capacity and wind/solar was about 3%. It’s odd that cold days are usually in periods of high pressure when there is no wind.

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Brian ,

      I have shares in companies which are transferring the technology used to get gas and oil from tight formations in the US to other parts of the World .

      With any intermittent source of power you still have to make the same investment in conventional capacity for backups , peaking and balancing so intermittents will always lead to a higher capex overall .

      One has to ask however how onshore wind in some U.S. states can be cost competitive with wholesale gas prices one third those in the U.K.

      Perhaps it is due to the wind in the locations but I can’t help feeling this is another example of rip off Britain or prices climbing to absorb the heavy level of subsidies offered over here . The relatively small difference between the cost of onshore and offshore wind sticks out like a sore thumb .

      I’m an opponent of onshore wind in the UK on the grounds of it being an eye-sore .

      People forget that electricity generation only accounts for around a third of the U.K.’s fuel usage . The money currently spent on renewable electricity generation would be better spent on insulation and border policing .

      • Mark
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        The answer is that onshore wind isn’t competitive in the US – it depends on subsidies, some of which are obvious like the Production Tax Credit (equivalent to $22/MWh after tax, gross up by applicable tax rate – and itself of the same order as wholesale power prices in much of the US), and some are (as in the UK) hidden, such as failure to identify the true costs of adding wind farms to the grid, but simply passing them on with gird costs in bills.

        • A different Simon
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          The costs of grid destabilising effects of intermittents inevitably get hidden or as some people might prefer to say absorbed .

          The fixed costs of all the conventional power generation don’t reduce as their share of electricity generation reduces either .

          The unintended consequence of utilisation of intermittents beyond a certain point is that conventional backup generation will have to be subsidised in order to keep it profitable .

          Otherwise companies won’t invest in providing it and it won’t be there when we there is no wind and there will be power outages instead .

          Demand management and smart meters have a lot of potential but the idea of a police state being able to interrupt your power supply at the click of a mouse whenever you say something subversive is too open to abuse .

        • Bazman
          Posted November 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Like nuclear then, but cheaper and less dangerous and polluting?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        I agree ADS and that last point was very poignant. It’s going to get worse.

        Tad

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Brian,

      there’s lots of credible evidence on the internet and on YouTube to support the claim that the global warming science is flawed. But it seems an impossible task to try to get the politicians and the broadcasters to acknowledge it or even debate it sufficiently.

      Mind you, it was nice to receive an e-mail recently from one former Chancellor of the Exchequer, who said he agrees with me. But I won’t flatter myself, in truth, it is the other way around. I agree with the position he has taken on this, and lately, on Europe too.

      I know this much for certain, our pursuit of he green agenda is hellishly expensive, and there is more of it to come unless we get a grip.

      Tad

      • uanime5
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        there’s lots of credible evidence on the internet and on YouTube to support the claim that the global warming science is flawed.

        Do these videos contain any of the following:

        1) Peer reviewed science.
        2) Correct citations of peer reviewed science.
        3) Scientific evidence to back up any of these claims.
        4) Any explanation as to why these youtubers are right, while all the scientists with their data from around the world, hi-tec equipment, and satellites are wrong?

        If not it’s no surprise that all the sensible people are ignoring this nonsense.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted November 27, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

          (There are films on U tube putting a sensible case the other way ed) And there are any number of others, all with bona fide and respected scientists who tell of the underhanded ploys used to sway the argument in favour of the climate change supporters, and to hell with the evidence. Things like funding, where scientific research is much more likely to receive funding for their pet project, provided it broadly supports the climate change agenda. I don’t know about you, but I utterly detest such practises. Nepotism should be made illegal, for it’s just another name for corruption.

          And where might all these ‘green taxes’ end up? Some would say it’s just another way to get money off people, to help service the national debt.

          Don’t get me wrong. I like the idea of renewable energy sources regardless of whether or not climate change really exists, but there is something of a con upon the people in all of this, and that just isn’t on. We’re paying through the nose for something that is far from decided.

          So I suggest you go and spend some time researching the other side of the argument rather than merely dismiss it out of hand. See who is likely to benefit from these ‘green’ taxes that provide massive subsidies for some very debatable benefits, and see if your attitude changes. I’ll not hold my breath though. You have tenacity – that’s a given, and in some ways, I actually admire it – but getting you to take the blinkers off is almost impossible!

    • petermartin2001
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      @ Acorn

      Yes Power can be measured in Megawatts (MW), and Energy in Megawatt-hours (MWh).

      If we are comparing energy usage, on a daily basis, the correct units would MWh/day. But on the shorter time scale of an hour it would be MWh/hour which is just MW! In other words the average of power output in that hour.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The EU policy is bonkers as usual, industry and activity will continue to relocate from the EU to elsewhere in the world and with no net saving in CO2 anyway. Shooting the EU economy in the foot.

    Can anyone think of any sensible EU policies? We have CAP, 40% of woman in board rooms, gender neutral insurance, subsidies for energy technologies that simply do not work economically, the insane warming religion, the EURO, the old ERM …….

    I also see that Solar activity heads for lowest low in four centuries – Just how do the scientists think they can predict future temperatures when they cannot even predict the sun’s activity?

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24512-solar-activity-heads-for-lowest-low-in-four-centuries.html#.UpRDrsS-30s

    Spend the money doing sensible thing now and adapt to the climate changes as they come, be this hotter, colder, wetter or dryer. This is by far the best approach and most sensible approach. Rolling out expensive wind and PV on people houses now with expensive tax payer subsidies is just bonkers. As is HS2 and almost everything encouraged by the EU and this coalition. Indeed subsidies in general, such as CAP are a hugely damaging distortion to sensible investment.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Good news – they have cancelled the huge Bristol Channel wind farm. Perhaps Cameron really is getting rid of the Green Cr**. They just have to kill the subsidies and the industry is virtually dead in the water. It is almost an entirely artificial industry with current technology and killing many real industries in the process. No doubt there will eventually be EU grants to remove the huge, ugly, white elephant turbines.

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/26/renewable-energy-rwe-drops-uk-turbine-project

      • Hope
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        It might also have helped the north east if the UK had control of fishing, farming and mining, industries devastated by the EU, which provided jobs and food for UK citizens for centuries. I hope they remember this come voting time. It was the lib lab con fanatical drive to be part of an EU superstate that caused so much deprivation and unemployment with high food prices as a consequence.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          Indeed

      • stred
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        They have blamed the cancellation on expensive foundations. Perhaps the sight of the waves in the recent storms made them realise it was a barmy idea too. Or they are looking at small nuclear stations giving the same energy output and perhaps expecting to build efficient german style coal stations if the gold plated carbon tax is removed.

        • A different Simon
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

          Bristol Channel would not be the ideal location for floating wind farms !

      • Bazman
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Would that be like nuclear too as you say it is almost an entirely artificial industry with current technology and killing many real industries in the process?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      I also see that Solar activity heads for lowest low in four centuries – Just how do the scientists think they can predict future temperatures when they cannot even predict the sun’s activity?

      According to the article you posted “[t]here have been 24 grand solar minima in the past 10,000 years”, so it’s no surprise that scientists didn’t predict something that only happens approximately every 417 years.

      Also the article you posted states that this won’t cause a little ice age.

      Spend the money doing sensible thing now and adapt to the climate changes as they come, be this hotter, colder, wetter or dryer.

      Still waiting for your explanation as to how people in Africa are mean to adapt to their climate becoming too hot and dry to grow food.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        ” ….how people in Africa are meant to adapt to their climate becoming too hot and dry to grow food”.
        It must be difficult to get adapt to that extra 0.7 degree rise in the last century when the average temperature has been 30 degrees plus for thousands of years.

  4. Andyvan
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    CO2 levels were very much higher in the past (as much as 2%) than now (currently .039%) and the world didn’t end as far as I can tell. Plants require around .025% to exist but can thrive in vastly higher concentrations. What if the CO2 concentration continues to fall from historic levels until plant life dies, shortly followed by everything else? That seems to me to be a far more dangerous scenario than the entirely phantom global warming fantasy.
    Perhaps Prince Charles could have a word with some plants and get their opinion, I suspect they’d ask for more, not less.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      There is a large greenhouse in Eastern England (I forget exactly where) that grows tomatoes in a CO2 rich environment using the waste CO2 from a nearby generator. This has the positive benefit for the tomatoes because, as you say, historically they are used to a richer CO2 environment than is current.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Quite right Alan, its in East Kent, its called Thanet Earth

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Indeed loss of water by plant declines hugely when the c02 level increase slightly and crop growth improves greatly.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Not if there is no soil. Is this supposed to be a scientific argument or a propaganda factoid?

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Please transpire a lot less in higher co2 concentration just look it up! It is well know and c02 is used in greenhouses to promote growth it reduces water use to.

          • lifelogic
            Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

            “Plants” not “please”

        • Edward2
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

          Its all about hydroponics Baz.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            Ever eaten anything grown on hydroponics edward? If you are saying that soil eroded by global warming can be replaced by artificial hydroponics you can pay for it and eat it. It ain’t good and it ain’t cheap. I once bought some grapes in Russia most likely grown by like this, most probably in Israel. Looked perfect sprayed with water in 40 degree heat. I just has to have them! The cost was eye watering! About ten quid. Turned out to be inedible, for me anyway. A lot of our supermarket stuff is grown like this and this is why it is tasteless.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            So now global warming is the cause of soil erosion too.
            Is this the latest claim along with causing any hot, cold, wet or dry weather, now many others previous claims are being seen not to be coming true?
            Its amazing what a 0.7 increase in global temperatures in the last hundred years can be said to be responsible for.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

            This combined with deforestation and wood burning for cooking fires removing small vegetation. Yes all evidence points to this.

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      In real greenhouses it has been demonstrated that higher CO2 concentrations of c900 ppm improve plant growth significantly. Satellite imaging has shown that parts of the Sahel have greened again as atmospheric CO2 levels have increased over the past 30 years. Quite why CO2 has been demonised in the way it has is a curious feature of public life in the UK. One day the full story will emerge. It will not be to the credit of the political class nor to those that have pushed this notion.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Unless the plants with higher levels of CO2 also get more water they won’t have improved growth. CO2 isn’t the only thing plants need to grow.

        Given that Sahel has seen increased levels of droughts and crop failures over the past few years it’s clear that it isn’t becoming more green. That’s why the deniers never include satellite images of Sahel, because it would quickly show their claims are false.

        • Mark
          Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Not true. The Sahara has been getting greener.

          news.nationalgeographic.co.uk/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html

    • uanime5
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      In the past there was also several mass extinction where most of the animal life died off. So for many species, such as the dinosaurs, life did end.

  5. Richard1
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    What’s really happening is people and governments have lost faith in the catastrophic global warming theory which underlies the demand for these policies. No politician dares say so of course, such is the opproprium which the well organized forces of environmental activism will heap on them. The disaster simply is not unfolding in the way alarmists from 1988 onwards have forecast. Scouring the world for an extreme weather event here and there and attributing it to ‘climate change’ won’t do.

    A sensible policy would be to abandon all emissions targets and all green taxes and subsidies, and instead fund (at a fraction of the cost) research into carbon capture, more efficient solar energy, nuclear fusion etc. At the same time the shackles need to be taken off shale gas fracking.

    People and businesses are feeling the cost of green policies now. They don’t really buy the alarmist theory, so we need new and achievable policies.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      The BBC is still pushing the catastrophic global warming theory (and that bikes are good) even if they are far more dangerous than driving when drunk.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Why are bikes dangerous and why are you advocating absurd elf n safety to us?
        Being fat is very dangerous more than riding a bike and is costing the state 100’s of millions. Is this more ‘science’ from you? We shall now refer to your science as ‘sconce’.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          Baz,
          Cycling (and motorcycling in it various forms) is much more dangerous than driving or using any form of public transport per mile travelled.
          Look it up on t’internet.
          Or ask any Doctor who works in A and E

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          I ride a bike quite often, but not in London. Bikes in London can be over 50 times more dangerous than cars. But go ahead cycle if you want to, it is probably still safer than hang gliding or skiing off piste. Though I have not checked.

      • ian wragg
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, on Sunday watching Country file, every feature had climate change inserted into the script. Some of it was so ludicrous that I switched off. I have stopped paying my licence due to the blatant bias and it’s getting worse as more and more people realise they have been conned by the “luvvies”.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          You still need a licence to watch all the other channels saying often the same and reporting the same stories in the same biased way. With some even having advertising money added by the price of products backing the propaganda. On top of the licence fee!
          You should have put your foot through the screen instead, in a 1970’s comical way. Though would be safer to take the TV down the local rubbish tip for correct disposal, which is what I would recommend after losing ones wragg with any outrageous programmes offending public decency such as Countryfile. To think I was once a big fan of Newsround with John Craven. Middle age has shown me sense.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      “…research into carbon capture”

      Carbon capture is accomplished in nature as an endothermic process through the action of chlorophill to capture the Sun’s energy; this energy is released when coal or wood is incinerated. Carbon capture other than as an endothermic process is unlikely.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      What’s really happening is people and governments have lost faith in the catastrophic global warming theory which underlies the demand for these policies.

      That’s a funny way to say that all the scientific evidence has shown that global warming is man made, which is why all the sensible people are believing scientists rather than the deniers.

      Scouring the world for an extreme weather event here and there and attributing it to ‘climate change’ won’t do.

      Good thing that these scientists have evidence that these extreme weather event are caused by climate change (they’re usually due to the temperature of the sea being increased).

      • Edward2
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Lets just rewrite your post a bit more sensibly Uni
        Current scientific opinion believes there is a correlation between the 0.7 degree rise in average global temperature over the last century and the increase CO2 in the atmosphere.
        There is debate amongst scientists as to exactly how much of the extra output of CO2 from mankind has caused this 0.7 degree rise.

        There is no definite proof that extreme weather events have become more common over the last century nor is there any definite proof that there is a correlation with the 0.7 degree rise in global temperatures and weather events.

        I notice those pesky islands are still above ground Uni
        Any thoughts?

      • Richard1
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        The reason increasing numbers of people have lost faith in global warming theory despite incessant propaganda is that the actual out turn of the climate has not been in line with forecasts. Your assertion that extreme weather events have been proved to be caused eg by increased temperature of the sea is not supported by the science. Not even the IPCC claims so.

        How many years of no increase in warming or no trend in increased extreme weather events would it take for you to question your belief in this?

        • Edward2
          Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          Its a religion Richard.
          There are those that truly believe, then there are the heretics, (or deniers as the followers call them)
          What usually happens is they just keep changing their headline title or just quietly stop claiming one particular thing and start claiming another.
          For example, the original IPCC report and Al Gore’s infamous film (which was forcibly shown in all our schools) claimed meters of sea rise accelerating from 2000 onwards, due to a huge loss of ice at both Poles.
          The end of the world due to the slowing down or even stopping of the Gulf Stream was predicted.
          Fast accelerating temperature rises from 2000 onwards were predicted with confidence due to what we were told was overwhelming peer reviewed scientific evidence.
          Huge increases in hurricanes and other storms were predicted.

          None of this has happened and they have just gone very quiet about it.
          Instead we have a new title (their fourth) called “climate disruption” which now seeks to prove a correlation between the tiny rise in temperature in the last century (0.7) of one degree) and any weather event, be it hotter colder, wetter or dryer.
          It is worth recalling that some of these fine scientists, keeping busy going round peer reviewing each others data and conclusions, are the same ones who warned of a terrible future due to the coming of a second ice age when I was at school.
          Other scientists with their peer reviewed research, warned us of the end of the world if the population rose beyond its 1960’s levels.
          Others spoke of disaster due the world running out of oil before 2000.
          No apologies from them, the attitude is, just move on quickly and quietly to the next doomsday religion.

  6. Old Albion
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Whilst i am certain the whole ‘global warming’ issue originally arose from genuine concerns. It’s now clear that ‘man-made warming’ is not actually happening.
    It really is time for the whole ‘green taxation issue’ to be removed and replaced by a system of positive encouragement to pursue clean technologies. Because even without ‘global warming’ there is a need to protect our planet from destruction and pollution.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      I agree. I think the explanation for our being locked into green policies is much more pedestrian than the global leftist conspiracy some suspect. There was some basis for the fear of rising CO2, it is after all a greenhouse gas. In 1988 there had been a decade of steady warming, and from 1988, when global warming theory captured the political high ground, there was then another decade of warming. So by the early 2000s the theory carried all before it.

      But it seems (happily I hope we could all agree) that the catastrophe has been exaggerated. The consequences of rising CO2 appear, on the actual evidence as opposed to the pronouncements of environmentalists, not to justify the expensive policies adopted. So the policies must change. Conservatives take note, this could be an election winner.

    • Bob
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      @Old Albion

      Because even without ‘global warming’ there is a need to protect our planet from destruction and pollution.

      Chem-trailing is the biggest threat to our environment.

      The sky over my home looked like someone had been a playing aeronautical noughts and crosses first thing yesterday morning.

      Don’t let anyone try to kid you these are con trails.

  7. Mark B
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Well, the average man and the rest of the ‘free thinking’ world have finally seen through this scam. Unfortunately, 645 of the 650 village idiots* in Westminster are still wedded to the CO2 scam. So much so, they gold plated their Climate Change Act as to render British Energy use even more expensive than other EU Member States.

    If the EU continue in its current vain, little or no industry will exist. They will go elsewhere and the dream of further EU expansion and growth will falter – And Good to that, I say.

    The destruction of the EU will only come from within. Sadly, we are wedded to this dying carcass. And no amount of false renegotiation is going to save it, or for that matter, us !

    The EU, is too bureaucratic, too centralist and too arrogant to make the necessary changes necessary for other Member States to be free to unshackle themselves.

    Monnet’s dream has the stench of death about it. Unfortunaly, its not going to go quietly or quickly, and will do more harm to countries like the UK with their merry band of useful idiots.

    * I exclude our kind host and four others from these descriptions, as they voted against the Climate Change Act.

    • Bryan
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps we should all encourage the Scots to vote for independence, maybe even with a wee bribe?

      Then the UK in its present form will no longer exist and therefore not a member of the EU.

      Freed by the cross of a Scotsman’s pen!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Please.

        The referendum will take place on September 18th 2014, and Salmond has now set March 24th 2016 at the date for final separation in the unfortunate event that the Scots vote for that.

        So what do you think Cameron and/or his successor, and Salmond, would be doing during those eighteen months?

        Sitting around fretting that on March 24th 2016 the UK would cease to exist and we would all fall out of the EU, but doing nothing about it?

        I don’t think so; I think that not long after a “yes” vote had been declared Cameron would be in Brussels with Salmond in tow, and both of them would be on their knees begging for an amending treaty so that on March 24th 2016 there could be a seamless transition from the UK being one EU member state to Scotland and the rest of the UK being two separate EU member states.

        And probably the Spanish government would say that they would not agree to any such amending treaty, thinking about the implications for Catalonia, until Merkel pointedly reminded them how badly they needed her help to get themselves out of their economic soup, when they would reluctantly agree; and then Cameron and Salmond would be so grateful for her helpful intervention that they would agree to something that she wanted, such as the amending treaty removing the UK’s euro opt-out protocol and instead inserting a commitment that both Scotland and the rest of the UK would join the euro as soon as possible.

        Those in England rooting for the Scots to vote for independence seem to have little idea of the multiple cans of worms that it would open.

      • Hope
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Cameron gave the Scott’s the opportunity of a referendum to be free from England but prevented the UK from being free from the EU.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Actually several other EU countries have energy costs are higher than the UK, such as Germany.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      I recommend everyone looks on Youtube to see what a dangerous place the EU is. The more cogent amongst us will already know, but the ones who keep defending the dump might just learn something. They wish to seem to espouse decent principles and support freedom and liberty, but the EU is as big a threat to those values as any communist state. Give it a try, especially one entitled ‘The Real Face of the European Union’, then come come back and tell me I’m wrong!

      Tad

  8. DrJohnGalan
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    A good, clear summary of the position taken by politicians both at EU level and especially in the UK (with a few notable exceptions).

    Walter Cunningham (Apollo 7 astronaut and physics graduate) gave a presentation in Warsaw a few days ago (it’s on WUWT). Apart from a plea for everyone to look into the science themselves and not take others’ word for it, his main point was that the whole man-made global warming scam is being perpetrated because the media and the politics, not the science, are the stronger factors. A practical suggestion from Colonel Cunningham: do not adopt the weasel words “climate change”, “anthropogenic global warming”, “AGW”, “climate disruption” or any of the other descriptions that supplant the title “human-caused global warming”. Human-caused global warming was the original scare. After 17 years without any, when discussing this, let’s stick to the original words. Those who are sceptical of the IPCC’s conclusions should not be diverted into an area where the nonsense label “climate change denier” can be used.

    Anyone blessed with half a brain, and not steeped in the human-caused global warming religion (where belief trumps all rational thought), can see the “settled science” of human-caused global warming is a fraud. However, politicians and a large part of the media, who have swallowed this hook line and sinker, cannot now lose face and admit that it was all a huge, multi-billion dollar/pound/euro mistake. So we all have to suffer the consequences of industry and activity continuing to relocate from the EU to elsewhere in the world.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Apart from a plea for everyone to look into the science themselves and not take others’ word for it, his main point was that the whole man-made global warming scam is being perpetrated because the media and the politics, not the science, are the stronger factors.

      Then why did the IPCC report, written by scientists, state that global warming is man made? Could it be because the science shows that global warming is man made and that the media is accurately reporting what the scientists have stated?

      After 17 years without any

      Which 17 years were these? If can’t be the past 17 years as there’s clear evidence that the average global temperature has increased.

      Those who are sceptical of the IPCC’s conclusions should not be diverted into an area where the nonsense label “climate change denier” can be used.

      Anyone who is sceptical about the IPCC’s conclusions without any evidence to rebut these conclusions is a denier.

      Anyone blessed with half a brain, and not steeped in the human-caused global warming religion (where belief trumps all rational thought), can see the “settled science” of human-caused global warming is a fraud.

      Your failure to provide any evidence to back up your claims shows that you’re (wrong ed).

      • Edward2
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Uni
        You say “Which 17 years were these? If can’t be the past 17 years as there’s clear evidence that the average global temperature has increased.”
        Please tell us the amount it has gone up and a source of your figures
        I presume it will not be the respected UK Met Office who say there has been no statistically significant warming since 1998.
        If you are measuring in low tenths of one degree over a timescale of a decade then this does not count.

      • DrJohnGalan
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Then why did the IPCC report, written by scientists, state that global warming is man made? Could it be because the science shows that global warming is man made and that the media is accurately reporting what the scientists have stated?

        No. As I set out in my post, the issue is not science it is politics. Have you read the critique of the IPCC by Donna Laframboise? The IPCC’s purpose is clear. It is not to present the science, but to push a political agenda. If you think the IPCC is presenting science, then you must be a believer in the human-caused global warming religion and there is nothing anyone can do to argue with you.

        Which 17 years were these? If can’t be the past 17 years as there’s clear evidence that the average global temperature has increased.

        Have you looked at the so-called corrections to the temperature record, for example by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies? Surprisingly, pre the mid-70’s all the “corrections” are negative and post mid-70’s they are positive. Please supply a reference to your “clear evidence”.

        Anyone who is sceptical about the IPCC’s conclusions without any evidence to rebut these conclusions is a denier.

        I am sceptical of the scare previously known as human-caused global warming. Please supply a reference to any evidence (other than GIGO computer models, which are not evidence) that supports the hypothesis of human-caused global warming.

        Your failure to provide any evidence to back up your claims shows that you’re (wrong ed).

        Science can never be “settled” and those who say it is are exposing the weakness of their position. What “claims” are you asking me to back up? My contention is that with ever-rising CO2 levels and no temperature rise in the recent past (as confirmed by the IPCC) the hypothesis is looking decidedly shaky. I say again, please supply a reference to any evidence (other than GIGO computer models, which are not evidence) that supports the hypothesis of human-caused global warming.

  9. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    The Climate Change scare is indeed disappearing into history. Good.

    So parliament, no doubt egged on by the EU, is busy passing an Energy Bill at the moment. Something like a third of our electricity is to be produced by renewables. So that means a lot more expensive windmills. Their energy cannot be stored. It only happens when the wind blows at the right speed too. Meanwhile the cola fired power stations are going to be cut back hard. Nuclear? Well by 2020 or something….

    The total cost is sort of kind of vague. But it could come out at something like the whole of what our poor little country spends on Welfare. Or not. £45 billion (a lot more than we spend on education) is the minimum.

    Who, Mr Redwood, are the government trying to kid with the “Green Crap” story?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      There’s a big battery of windmills not far from you Mike, in the North of the county. What do the locals think of them?

      As for Cameron’s government, this is history repeating itself. A recognition of the problem, followed by empathy, and then sheer impotence because of all the powers we have given away to the EU. We cannot possibly do the right and necessary things for the collective benefit of the British people whilst we are still tethered to the EU.

      Tad

  10. alan jutson
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Looks like we have a policy evolving of diminishing returns on the green deal.

    The less you save, the more jobs you will be able to keep

    The more you save, the more jobs you lose.

    The sensible and COST EFFECTIVE route is simple insulation.

    It is very simple, you just retain as much as you can.

    Private industry is doing its bit by producing ever more efficient cars, lorries, appliances, even light bulbs. but any savings for customers are being wiped out by Government increases in taxation.

    • stred
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Alan is absolutely right. Energy is becoming expensive and less reliable so the obvious thing to do is to insulate much better, rather than subsidise solar generation and wind, which don’t work well in the UK and are adding to the cost of bills. There are 6.6 million older houses which have low standards of insulation and require upgrading urgently.

      Mr Huhne has rehabilitated himself and has appearedon the BBC a number of times recommending his Green Deal. This is how it works. Unless you are on benefit, in which case it is subsidised, it is necessary to use a government approved provider and pay them £120. They will then make recommendations, which may cost over £25k and the cost of the work will be added to the house energy bill over 25 years with an interest rate of around 7%. But this wont matter because the saving in energy will offset the extra charges. The extra costs may be taken into account when selling the house. Don’t think I’ll go for that one! ( It is possible to get a similar set of recommendations by buying an EPC for £35.)

      These high costs could largely be avoided and simple measures could cut bills without government intervention. For instance, an open fire flue sucks about 120 cu m per hour of warm air out of a typical room. (40 cm x 3 air changes) Blocking the fireplace costs- £50. Current regulations require the permeability of the whole house to be 7.5 cu m/ hr!

      Roofs have often been insulated quite well, as this is easy (apart from loss of loft space). A typical older house has a U value of 0.6. Adding another 12 inches over the ceiling joists of insulation brings this down to 0.18 and regulations will soon require 0.16. But the roof of a typical semi, as shown on p294 of Sustainable Energy.. leak at a rate of 33.6W/degC whereas the external walls leak 64.5, excluding doors and windows. The U value of a solid 9 inch wall is about 2.2. (high is bad)

      I have insulated the walls of my houses, prior to the 2010 regulations, with a layer of the thinner type of multifoil and foilbacked plasterboard, which reduced the leakiness by a factor of 4.48, according to approved manufacturers computations. The thickness is about 32mm. By tight draughtstripping and this method my energy bills have halved. The cost was under £1000. But I can no longer do this!

      Building regulations now require that, if changing from solid plaster over more than a quarter of the external wall, we have to pay a fee to the LA and they will tell us to put in conventional insulation, about 4 inches thick. The U value will then be under 0.3 giving an improvement of 7.3, which is 1.63x as good as my old insulation but 3.1 x as thick, or about half as effective. And about 6x as expensive. These standards are due to be increased again in 2016, making upgrading even more expensive. And of course we are not allowed to do it ouselves for a price we can afford and halve our power bills without having to borrow at 7% interest.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    The EU has big, bloated & very inefficient government, expensive energy by government religion, state subsidies distorting the best allocation of capital, daft employment laws and over regulation/licencing of virtually everything. Why do they expect businesses to locate in the EU and still be able to compete?

    When is Mr Gove going to get things like the concept of “renewable energy” out of science subjects at schools. They are not remotely scientific concepts, nor even defined in any real scientific sense. Wind, wave, geothermal, tidal, hydro, bio-fuels are not renewable in any way. This is surely far more important than leaning to spell “yacht” and “accommodation” and other irrational & arbitrary spelling notations that he seems so keen on.

    Renewable energy seems just to be – whatever energy the government thinks is good at the time. Students should surely also understand why these energy production methods are so expensive and inefficient in practice. They should surely understand that tidal energy slows the earth rotation, geothermal cools the earth, solar&wind comes from the suns radiated energy from nuclear reactions – renewable energy should be taught (if at all) in politics, irrational belief systems and in religious education. They might also be told how very inefficient (in carbon terms) fuelling cyclists and pedestrians on meat is, as a fuel for a mode of transport. Also how hugely dangerous cycling is statistically.

    In short they need some real science as an antidote to absurd “BBC think” of renewable/bike/trains good cars/flights/nuclear/gas/coal bad.

    • Bazman
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      ‘They should surely understand that tidal energy slows the earth rotation, geothermal cools the earth, solar&wind comes from the suns radiated energy from nuclear reactions’
      On a forklift I once used someone had amusingly wrote on the mast ‘UP’ – ‘DOWN’ With arrows to helpfully illustrate.
      This is pure pseudo science at its best. It’s like saying that a high a powered motorcycles acceleration is so brutal that it should only be rode counter rotational to the earth and if dinosaurs are sighted should be throttled off.
      For safe operation read owners manual too.
      The meat fuel for pedestrians and cyclist is another corker. Should they only eat these things if they are walking and cycling as fuel and the average person does not eat excessive calories anyway? Interesting to know your diet liflogic? We presume a very basic diet of consisting of the minimum amount of calories for sustainability requiring a number of extra calories to be consumed before any exercise such as walking to the shop? Yeah. Right.
      Statistically you will die sooner by lack of exercise than by exercise on a bike. My fathers fitness at 80 years old is down to cycling. 25 miles under the hour. Still. Believe it or not. As for calories. Les than most people by far.
      In short they need some real science as an antidote to absurd “right wing think” and dangerous religious fantasy pretending to be science.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        I am just saying the “renewable energy concept” is nothing to do with science it is pure politics & religion. As for powering transport with cyclists fed on steak and chips if it is so wonderfully efficient why do they not design a car to run and steak and chips?

        Grow grain and grass then feed it to cows, kill them chop them up, throw half away, freeze it, fly it round the world, cook it, eat it. It does not sound very efficient to me. Can you get 7 people from London to Manchester in three hours with 3 gallons of oil equivalent as you can in a car?

        • Bazman
          Posted November 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Its like saying a car that runs on best salmon and caviare is expensive to run and bikes are run on steak and chips. Bikes are run on a persons excess calories whatever they have eaten and cars run on diesel or petrol. In crude MPG terms the human are much more efficient. Are you brainless? Or just a blind fundamentalist trying to use science to prove a point like creationists do.

          • lifelogic
            Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            In MPG/Energy use terms a modern people carrier with 7 on board is far, far, far more efficient than humans walking as a mode of transport.

            It’s safer and quicker too.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            It is not more fuel efficient, not by a long way. Diesel/food or any other factor you put in. Provide evidence or stop writing this.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      When is Mr Gove going to get things like the concept of “renewable energy” out of science subjects at schools. They are not remotely scientific concepts, nor even defined in any real scientific sense. Wind, wave, geothermal, tidal, hydro, bio-fuels are not renewable in any way.

      They’re more scientifically accurate than any of your claims.

      Students should surely also understand why these energy production methods are so expensive and inefficient in practice.

      Given how inefficient heat engines are perhaps they should also be taught how expensive and inefficient coal, gas, and petrol are.

      They should surely understand that tidal energy slows the earth rotation, geothermal cools the earth, solar&wind comes from the suns radiated energy from nuclear reactions

      Care to provide any evidence that tidal or geothermal power have any noticeable impact on the earth. For example show much tidal power would we need to harness to make the day one second longer (make sure you explain how tidal power effects the earth’s rotation). How much geothermal power we’d need to generate to lower the temperature of the mantel by 1°C?

      They might also be told how very inefficient (in carbon terms) fuelling cyclists and pedestrians on meat is, as a fuel for a mode of transport.

      It’s still more efficient than a car’s engine and produces much less CO2.

  12. Me
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Is it true a delegation of tories have demanded that Cameron keep driving forward with “green” policies?

    Who would vote for the party of these people?

  13. Alan Wheatley
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Rather than waste public money on HS2 it would be far better to invest in Thorium reactors for electricity generation. The Americans built a practical Thorium plant over forty years ago, so it is not as if a quantum leap is required; as is still required with fusion reactors, for instance.

    Thorium has many positive and fewer negatives compared to uranium reactors.

    The UK is dabbling in Thorium with minimal investment. If as much effort as is being expended on HS2 was expended on Thorium we would do ourselves a big favour. And then the rest of the World could also be beneficiaries.

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      I raised the question of research into thorium reactors with my MP a couple of years ago. The reply he sent me, from DECC, dismissed thorium as an option for the UK.

      Although the US demonstrated a thorium reactor many years ago, I understand there are still technical issues to overcome before it is commercially viable. I believe both India and China are working on thorium reactors. If they get them to work, no doubt we shall end up buying them from one or the other. Yet another industry dumped by the government.

    • petermartin2001
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Thorium reactors are an interesting possibility for future energy production but no more than that. They aren’t a magic solution.
      There are enough known reserves of U235 and U238, for use in modern 4th generation nuclear reactors and of course 5th and higher in the future, to power the world for the next few hundred years.
      After that we could well see fusion reactors take over.

    • Mark
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      There is still a long way to go to make Thorium reactors economically competitive. The World Nuclear Association has very recently updated its informative page on the subject here:

      http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Current-and-Future-Generation/Thorium/

  14. Bert Young
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    High energy costs have a most destructive influence on our lives ; heating the house , simply moving around , doing the shopping , picking the kids up from school are simple illustrations of indirect costs . The biggest impact on the economy is the extra costs imposed on industry and the associated logistics of its supplies and distribution of products . The Government should not be side-tracked by EU directives on this issue ; it must maintain a dynamic in the direction of the economy and put the high cost of energy at the top of its list .

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Just who speaks for your party in this discussion? The LibDem Davey, as secretary of state, is regularly heard pushing this green energy nonsense but who speaks for your party? Is it Yeo the energy select committee chairman who has outside commitments directly related to his brief ? Is it the more than 25 MPs, lead by Laura Sandys (who has decided to stand down at the next election) who we read in the Times gave David Cameron a warning that he risks splitting the Conservatives if he ditches green policies as a sop to the Right? Is it Cameron who told us to vote blue go green, changed your logo to a tree, loved huskies, told us this would be the ‘greenest government ever’ and is now reported as saying “we’ve got to get rid of all this green crap”? Just what is the Conservative party’s policy?

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    This morning I received yet another phone call about having my house surveyed under the government’s green deal. I am sure that the recorded voice said that all homes had to be surveyed by 2016; is this correct? I take exception to this form of contact and feel it is open to abuse, fraud and theft. I made a note of the telephone number which was 01441611472583 (a rather lengthy number) can you please check if this is a genuine government call centre?

    • John Eustace
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t lose any sleep over that phone call.
      I expect it’s as genuine as the “kitchen scrappage” scheme I keep getting called about.

      My usual response is to tell them how upset I am that my number is appearing on a list of people that are thought stupid enough to fall for that nonsense.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        John,
        As if by magic I have just received the call about the “kitchen scrappage” scheme! This time the caller “withheld their number”.

    • stred
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      There are firms using operators who know bugger all about the subject and claiming all sorts of things about subsidies and free energy. I ask them how much interest I have to pay. They never know or tell you and never phone back as requested.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Registering with the Telephone Preference Service so as not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls doesn’t seem to have much effect either.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        Selling of duff “green” products, much encouraged by the government and daft grants. Much talk of how useless and expensive air source heat pumps can be on the BBC the other day. Jumpers, thermals and hot water bottles are quite cheap though.

    • Acorn
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Brian
      01441 does not appear to be assigned to an area. http://www.ukphoneinfo.com/codes-beginning-0144.

      While I think of it. If you have switched your energy supplier recently, beware of a scam e-mail and/or phone call saying you owe money to your last supplier. I am advised if you do owe any money, a closing “final bill” will come by letter post.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Acorn,
        Thanks for your reply.

  17. Barbara
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Wealth redistribution? It always was.

    “First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.”

    Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair IPCC Working Group III, interview in Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 14 November 2010

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Yes, well, I had rather more sympathy with that kind of idea fifty years ago when the number on this world population clock would have started with a 3:

      http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

      As it moved to 4, 5, 6, and now 7, my sympathy evaporated; it’s not as if there have been no simple cheap and effective means available for poor people to limit the number of children they produce and have to support and attempt to raise to adulthood; it has been entirely their own choice not to do that to the extent that they would have had sufficient spare recourses to invest in lifting themselves and their descendants out of poverty; while it may seem harsh, over the years I have become increasingly disinclined to help those who will not help themselves.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        Why do you think in your link poor countries have so many children and richer ones have so few. No TV and to much TV?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Yes, it must be down to poor countries not having enough TV.

        • REPay
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          For the squeezed middle having kids is really becoming unaffordable. We will soon have only the rich and the underclass reproducing – one can afford it and the other others will be subsidized by the many childless by choice couples I know.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          I get the impression you are keen to tell us Baz.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            It’s as Denis says a lack of TV.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            Yes, and I hadn’t realised that until you suggested it.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

            So it could be argued that paying the BBC licence fee really saves us money long term.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

            It really does and as European TV is so dire this makes the Europeans have their children here so we don’t need to have any. They are doing the work for us that we do not want to do or cannot and having the children for us too! We need more of them not less.

  18. Neil Craig
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    As John determined in a previous parliamentary answer, the human share of CO2 is only 4% so nothing the EU or anybody else does will affect this overwhelmingly natural phenomenon (any more than burning witches ever affected the weather).

    All this does is to, quite deliberately, impoverish the people. 90% of all electricity bills are political parasitism. Since energy and gdp are effectively the same, if that parasitism were ended we would be in an economic boom unmatched in our history. All MPs of all parties know this, & know that only UKIP is committed to doing so.

    Since they know it, by definition, no politician who is not a wholly corrupt, lying, thieving parasite denies it.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I wonder what we would be doing if we were not in the EU, and therefore our government was not bound by those words inserted into the EU treaties through the Treaty of Lisbon that Cameron agreed to swallow whole on November 4th 2009, Article 191 TFEU:

    “and in particular combating climate change”.

    Would our government still be pursuing this mad policy off its own bat?

    Or would it have sensibly concluded that with the UK producing only about 1.4% of total global emissions of CO2, and with China alone increasing its CO2 emissions by about the same amount every eight months or so, it would be an utterly futile gesture to shut down our economy; and that would be so even on the off chance that this increasingly dubious climatological theory was substantially correct, and CO2 emissions would indeed lead to seriously damaging climate change?

    Well, I suppose the answer would partly depend upon whether the same kind of people who were in favour of that commitment being enshrined in the EU treaties had wangled their way into our government.

  20. lojolondon
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Remember 2005 – George W Bush declined to commit to Kyoto because he said the science was unproven, and the targets were not possible to hit and would damage the economy? Remember how the Mainstream Media slated him? Well, turns out he was exactly right on every level, I guess there will never be an apology, but could we possibly just learn from him about 9 years later, and move in the same direction? too much to ask for the Milibands who designed the current disaster, and the Davey person who’s job depends on this, but could there be someone else who can speak up for the British people and our economy and refuse to throw ourselves down this precipice?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      How exactly was George W Bush right? The science was proven correct and Obama was able to reduce US emissions without harming the economy.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        In a delightful irony the USA are now a nation that has met Kyoto targets for CO2 reductions due to new use of gas and spending on more efficient plant and technology, despite not being an original signatory to the protocol and having a growing economy and a rising population.

        I’m sure you would join me in finding this an great achievement Uni.

  21. Antisthenes
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Burning fossil fuels certainly causes pollution we have known that for decades whether or not it has only local or a more world wide impact that we are not yet sure about. It has an impact regionally for certain as it is currently in China were city pollution levels are becoming extremely harmful. The Chinese are not going to put up with it for ever and like London when it too had a smog problem they will do something about it. That is in my opinion is the best way for pollution problems to be dealt with where it occurs at levels that are harmful to the locals they will eventually deal with it . The EU blanket option of banning and pricing pollution out of existence especially as the EU contribution to pollution is insignificant in world terms is absolute madness. Like most of what the EU does it is counter productive and will only in the end impoverish us all.

  22. Terry
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I cannot make my mind up whether the EU Dictators are just plain stupid or in the pay of another Continental power. None of their directives make economic sense and will do nothing but harm to the economies of Europe. The sooner we leave that behemoth of bureaucracy, the better for Britain and for the British people.

    • Kenneth
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      You may wish to listen to one or two debates from the European “parliament”.

      The ignorance displayed there, along with communist idealism which is more suited to dreamy 15 year-olds is quite scary.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      None of their directives make economic sense and will do nothing but harm to the economies of Europe.

      What about all the EU directives that make it easier to trade with other EU countries? Care to explain why they make less economic sense than trying to agree the same thing with 27 different trade agreements.

      • Mark
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        How about ONE global trade agreement, as in GATT?

  23. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    What is the point of trying to prolong melt down? many more ‘El Nino’s’ will happen , sea levels will rise and the whales will be saved by nature. Humans on the other hand will go down in history as arrogant know- it- all’s who deny reality for there own greedy purposes.I wonder what species will look down on us as primitive imbeciles?

  24. forthurst
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    “They also think the advanced countries should send them money as compensation for the CO2 the rich countries have produced in the past, and they favour rapid transfer of technology on favourable terms to assist them.”

    This calls for a response from Ms Mandy Rice-Davis.

    Why should they not attempt to exploit the stupidity of Western politicians?

    People who have not studied science and therefore don’t understand it which includes most Western politicians but not Chinese, live in their own pre-Enlightenment world of evil spirits and magic. For such people, CO2 is the evil spirit de jour which grows ever more powerful with each turn of a piston engine and if we are to return to the harmonious rule of Gaia, the power of CO2 to disrupt Her rule, demonstrated with Hurricanes and Typhoons must be propitiated by our economic sacrifices; only when we are once again living in harmony with Gaia as our ancestors did before the advent of that most evil of men, Thomas Newcomen, will CO2 stop sending us signs to remind us of our inevitable Fate of extinction from the trapped energy of the Sun god.

  25. Mark
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    We were told that RWE’s Atlantic Array project in the Bristol Channel was costed at £4bn for 1.2GW of nominal capacity. A 15 year mortgage on £4bn at 6% would absorb £412m p.a. in interest and capital repayments. The actual average output would probably have been around 350MW, or just over 3TWh per year, worth £475m at Ed Davey’s expensive offshore wind price of £155/MWh. Factor in some maintenance costs and declining output in later years, and it is easy to see how precarious this project is. If I were on the board, I would have voted against it, as it entirely depends on the maintenance of the subsidy just to break even. Set against coal power that costs around £25/MWh and gas power at under £50/MWh this project should always have been a non-starter.

    Obviously we need to take Kingsnorth off the back burner by reversing Parliament’s anti-coal legislation – the limitation on gCO2/kWh, the requirement for CCS, the carbon floor price, the prohibition on the use of coal for base load generation imposed by the Lords recently and so forth. That would give us 1.6GW of real capacity close to centres of demand and cheap power.

    Equally, we need to get on with enabling the exploitation of shale gas to back out expensive gas imports.

  26. Antisthenes
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised that the eco-loons and the EU have not banned flatulence or made it too expensive for humans and animals to indulge in it. It appears that methane is more threatening than CO2 when it comes to altering the climate and the ozone layer. Probably because they realized that they are more than any other animal full of the brown stuff of the bull variety and it would impact on them the greatest.

  27. miami.mode
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I see that George Osborne is perhaps due to announce changes to the green surcharges on energy bills in his Autumn Statement and to possibly put some on to general taxation.

    Hopefully he will bear in mind that many consumers are on fixed deals and we certainly do not want to give the energy companies a furthur opportunity to rip us off because nobody seems to agree on the precise cost of these charges.

    A positive on getting out of the EU is that we could then scrap VAT on domestic energy which currently we are not allowed to do.

  28. Kenneth
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    The climate change zealots have only themselves to blame.

    Many of them used this issue as a Trojan horse to spread socialism across the globe, over the heads of democracies.

    They recruited much of the mainstream media and left wing politicians and many of the left wing NGOs.

    If only this issue had been tackled with a proper debate based on facts and honesty where facts where in short supply, we could have had a much more common sense response to it.

    In the UK we still have relentless propaganda from the BBC on this issue, which is a tragedy since this is one organisation above all others which should have been relied upon to tell us the whole truth and the not partiality we have been subjected to.

    The result is that we have nowhere to turn to for unadulterated facts on climate change.

  29. Iain Gill
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    if only some politicians came out openly against the uncapped ICT visa regime bring in workers from India, and the EU/India (so called) free trade deal…

  30. English Pensioner
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    If there are electricity cuts this winter due to lack of capacity, gas or oil shortages, the government will get the blame. With today’s news that deaths amongst the elderly last winter rose substantially on the previous year and it has been put down to so-called fuel poverty, any substantial power cuts could see the end of the Tory party as the electorate aren’t interested in the Brussels “green agenda”, they just want electricity at affordable prices and its the fault of the party in power if they don’t. It would of course boost the chances of IKIP who would blame it all on the EU and strengthen their hand in wanting to get out.
    The Tories will have to pray for a mild winter!

  31. uanime5
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Only 37 states out of the 195 potentially involved now have “legally binding emission limitations and reductions” for CO2 under Kyoto.

    Kyoto only applied to developed nations so it’s no surprise that most nations didn’t agree to it.

    Emerging economies have declined to join in as they see the need to expand their economies using fossil fuels without hindrance.

    Emerging economies are exempt to allow them to expand their economies. Perhaps you should do some real research, rather than pretending that countries that weren’t asked to join are refusing to join.

    It looks as if the EU is largely on its own now when it comes to setting binding targets and to pushing through dearer renewable energy to replace cheaper fossil fuels.

    Unless fossil fuels magically appear that the rate they’re being consumed sooner or later all countries will have to stop using fossil fuels.

    As a result the world will not be saved from an excess of carbon dioxide, but industry and activity will continue to relocate from the EU to elsewhere in the world.

    Care to explain why this isn’t happening in Germany despite their energy costs being much higher than the UK?

    • forthurst
      Posted November 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Uanime5: This is what you wrote the other day:

      “The land ice at both the north and south pole is at one of the lowest recorded level.”

      Here’s a photo of USS Skate surfacing at the North Pole in 1959 (not much land in sight):

      http://www.navy.mil/navydata/cno/n87/images/skate300.jpg

      I am beginning to doubt that your personal menagerie of anonymous scientists who all agree with you and which you are constantly quoting actually exists.

      • ian wragg
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Last time I went under the North Pole in a nuclear sub there was no land at all. Has something changed???

    • Mark
      Posted November 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      World proved oil reserves, 2006-2012 in bn bbl:

      1363.8 1397.5 1468.1 1510.1 1616.7 1654.1 1668.9

      World proved gas reserves, 2006-2012 in Tcm:

      158.3 161.5 169.7 170.0 177.3 187.8 187.3

      (1Tcm is equivalent to 6.6 bn bbl)

    • Edward2
      Posted November 27, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Uni
      You say”Kyoto only applied to developed nations so it’s no surprise that most nations didn’t agree to it.”
      But I think I am right that USA, Japan, China, India, Australia and many other developed nations did not sign up to Kyoto or have now dropped out.
      Just the EU left then really.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Also your point about Germany isn’t correct Uni

        Chinese imports into Germany are 8% of Germany’s total imports.
        Chinese imports into the UK are 8%of the UK’s total imports.

  • About John Redwood


    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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