Zero carbon in 2030?

Labour and Green campaigners say the UK  needs to get to zero net carbon dioxide output by 2030. The government says this will take another twenty years to 2050. What do you think about the idea? What would be required to get to zero by 2030?

Let’s start with surface transport. Does it entail phasing out all diesel and petrol cars within ten years? How many of us are prepared to give up a car altogether? Is it feasible to assume a complete fleet of electric cars by 2030 all running on power from renewables? How many people will switch to bikes and walking for how many journeys?

What actions need to be taken to curb air transport? Experts and governments wanting to get to zero carbon dioxide emissions all say there has to be a big reduction in jet travel. How high would tax need to go on airfares? What alternatives to current planes burning oil based fuels are there? How feasible are sailing boats as an alternative? What are the implications for holidays and foreign travel?

What should be done about shipping? The UK is dependent on a lot of traditionally powered ships for a wide range of imports from all round the world.l Will action be taken by tax, or regulation or both?

What would a 2030 carbon free home look like? How easy will it be to retrofit all existing older homes? What will it require in terms of insulation, new heating systems, water husbandry and controls? Will government subsidise this work, or will it require householders to carry it out at their own expense?

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    “Will government subsidise this work, or will it …..”

    Is this the ‘magic money tree’ again.?

    Sometimes I wonder if you’re on the right side of the House….

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      The government has no money to subsidise anything – for every £1 they take we get at best 50p back in value rather than the £1 we had before they snatched it. We would have spent it far better on average too.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Of course the govt has plenty of cash. Look at all the spare cash they throw to the EU and the cash that vanishes in Foreign Aid, which appears to achieve absolutely NOTHING. Surely our own govt, whose job it is to look after us, wouldn’t waste our taxes, leaving us struggling, would they?

        • APL
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          Bigneil: “and the cash that vanishes in Foreign Aid, which appears to achieve absolutely NOTHING.”

          It allows Politicians sons and daughters to make money in Africa during their gap year.

          So it keeps the unemployment rate down among politicians children.

          • Leaver
            Posted September 30, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

            I’m genuinely astonished at the amount of climate-change denial gobbledegook on this site.

            It’s like attending a congress of flat earthers.

            Climate change is real. It is caused by human beings. We need to deal with it. You can argue otherwise, of course, but don’t expect to be taken seriously.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 30, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

            Please point out who has actually denied the climate is changing on this site.
            I’ve had a quick look and can see no one that has denied the climate is changing as you claim.
            Your phrase “climate change is real” is a meaningless statement.
            Can you tell us how much in percentage terms humans are responsible for climate change ?
            Is it 10% or 100% or something in between?

            And your simplistic statement ” we need to deal with it” doesn’t really address the laws you want bring in in.
            How radical are your policies and by what date do you want it dealt with.?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted September 30, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            Most of the scientists I know think climate alarmism is at best a huge exaggeration. Of course climate changes has always done so. Of course mankind had some effect but so do millions and millions of other things. The idea that C02 is some king of World thermostat is idiotic.

            What is very clear is that renewables and electric car will make no significant difference at all not even to C02 levels let alone the climate. Also a little hotter is on balance better. Do some research and look at the numbers! My position on the issue is basically the same as the excellent Matt Ridley and that of many other scientists.

          • NickC
            Posted September 30, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            Leaver, Well I’m genuinely astonished by CAGW believers such as yourself being convinced you are right at the same time as failing to define your terms. There is simply too much denial of natural climate-change.

            Climate change is real. Some of it may be caused by human beings. But we cannot “deal with” what we don’t really understand yet. There is no point spending £trillions to no purpose, or even making things worse. You can argue otherwise, of course, but don’t expect to be taken seriously.

        • Dr Michael Cross
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

          There is sense in careful use of resources. It is also important to reduce pollution in towns and cities in particular, and electric vehicles have been used for years for delivery vehicles. Conservation makes sense very often, but not when it cripples proper development.

          But there are those who, with religious fervour, are working to destroy our country through specious ‘green’ arguments by which some count animals, or insects of more importance than people. It’s all driven by an unscientific belief that we are all going to die because we are using fossil fuels which are said to affect the climate. The science is, despite howls of rage from believers, still unproven. There is some evidence that global warming is slowing.

          The race to zero carbon is making many individuals very rich, but a quick route to poverty for the many is to follow the herd. We need plenty of dependable cheap energy, from nuclear and fossil fuels to drive the economy and support our lifestyle, and ‘green’ taxes on cars, travel, etc, are only designed to cripple us.

    • Richard
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      The total economic cost is huge. The EUR 7,600 Billion estimate for zero-CO2 Germany probably serves as a useful pro rata indication for the UK.

      Here is a useful review of the Committee on Climate Change’s plan to get us to net zero:

      And Bjørn Lomborg using UN data in 2016: “Less effective but more ambitious climate policies cost at least 6 per cent of global GDP per year and likely much more. Wind and solar, which covers less than half of one percent of global energy, costs dozens of times more than their climate benefits. Electric cars provide perhaps a thousandth in climate benefit of their substantial public subsidies. Biofuels are just hugely costly while increasing emissions.”

  2. Pominoz
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    And what difference would it all make to the rate of climate change?

    Absolutely nothing. It is the vanity of mankind to believe that nature can be controlled by mere mortals. All this will be proven with the next Krakatoa or meteor strike.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Exactly anyway a bit warmer, on balance, is actually a net good. Extra atmospheric CO2 also greens the planet with more tree, food and plant growth.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I’m sure that those living in continental interiors, where it regularly tops fifty Celcius these days will be more than glad of it, LL.

        Those places are becoming uninhabitable. That is one reason why the people there want to move here.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          The highest temperature recorded was in death valley California 56.7c
          In 1913..
          These 50 degree readings have occurred for centuries.
          Those places have been uninhabitable for centuries too.
          To claim there has been more than a 1.3c increase in temperature since 1880 is contrary to even IPCC data Martin.

    • Leaver
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Er … consistent measurements from the Mauna Lau Observatory and drilling Antarctic ice cores show CO2 levels have been rising consistently since the industrial revolution. And, yes, 97% of CO2 comes from volcanoes, but the extra CO2 produced by humankind is still significant.

      We have to reduce these levels or the planet will continue heating up at a rapid rate. We have to deal with this because we have no other planet to live on. But we also have to do it in a realistic way.

      The problem can and is being solved by people taking on the challenge, building renewables and batteries and all the infrastructure we need. And a good thing too.

      To simply ignore climate change or pronounce it cannot be stopped is a little naïve I’m afraid. A lot of the views I read on this appear to be political and based on a dislike of Greta and her ilk rather than anything informed which is fine.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Well one thing for sure is that Greta Thunberg is not very informed! She seems to thing taking a multi £million racing yacht to New York with crew flown in an out is somehow better than flying economy. What planet is she on? The poor girl is being used by the vested interests. I hope it ends well.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        I question the 97% figure relating to volcanoes.

        Atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen by 45% since pre-industrial times.

        If it were all concentrated into a layer at sea level, then it would now be around six metres thick, as against just over four back then.

        The essential ozone would be just a few millimetres on the other hand.

        • Otto
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          There are many good climate scientists who say CO2 is a GHG but other many good ones say it has no effect on climate.

          Surely it should be definitely ascertained which is correct before perhaps doing silly expensive things for no reason.
          How to do this I wonder.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            It has been ascertained.

            It absolutely is.

            Be more careful with your sources.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted September 30, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

            The real question is the sensitivity to CO2 and how the many negative and positive feedbacks will work.

            My view is there are many far better ways to spend money than on trying to avert CO2 driven climate change.

      • Addanc Monster
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Don’t the ice cores also show that CO2 follows temperature, NOT temperature following CO2; the reason being that the oceans store significant amounts of CO2; oceans heat and expel CO2; oceans cool and absorb more CO2.

        • cornishstu
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          Correct as I have said here recently there were two studies one by Japanese the other a Norwegian group who both concluded the fact that temperature is driving the CO2 levels and not vice versa.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Indeed as would be expected from the science.

      • HotScot
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        As usual the underlying argument you propose is based on the ‘fact’ that atmospheric CO2 causes the planet to warm.

        However, not one person (or organisation) in the history of mankind has demonstrated by empirical means that atmospheric CO2 causes the planet to warm. Many have tried, and like the last one in 2015(?) by Berkeley, all have failed.

        Furthermore, 100% of scientists agree that no one understands how clouds work. The solution to that in climate models is to chuck an arbitrary number at it.

        • Leaver
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          CO2 or not, the planet is heating up. I appreciate it’s actually more complex than that. I am not an expert. We need to do something about it. It’s that simple.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 30, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

            But if we dont really know the cause how do we decide on the cure?

          • NickC
            Posted September 30, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            Leaver, How do you know that the pre-industrial global temperature was the optimum to which we must return?

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Meteor strike.

      It seems the only thing that could stop one is the pinnacle of industrialisation – the Space Race. Incidentally the same thing that enabled us to look back at our world and see the changes.

      The Thunbergists are way too absolutist about their parents.

      I can say one thing for certain. No sixteen-year-old has been into space. They might think they have done it all but we adults need to remind them that they haven’t.

      • L Jones
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        I won’t include the link – but one of our Canadian friends sent the following:

        …. A self-important college freshman …. took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation. ”You grew up in a different world, actually an almost primitive one… The young people of today are much more advanced than people your age. We grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, man walking on the moon and the internet. We have cell phones, nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers, automated manufacturing, amazing. technologies, …and…”
        The listener took advantage of the break in the student’s litany and said, ‘’You’re right, son. We didn’t have those things when we were young.. so we invented them.”
        Over to you, Andy.

    • Richard
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      The scientific data from the Greenland and Antartica Ice Cores, sea floor mud, stalagmites, archaeological & historical records all prove that the Holocene Climatic Optimum was 7-8,000 years ago, thereafter the temperature has generally been steadily falling, but the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods were all warmer than now. Today’s Modern Warm Period is the latest in a pattern of lower highs.

      For a summary of the evidence:

  3. Steve Pitts
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    I don’t agree with it. Rex Fleming has confirmed CO2 is not related to human activity, therefore efforts to control it are a waste of money. Climate change is caused by the interaction between solar activity and cosmic rays which we cannot control. When the solar magnetic field is strong it acts as a barrier to cosmic rays entering the earths atmosphere and clouds decrease and the earth warms. When the magnetic field is weak there is no barrier to cosmic rays and they greatly increase low level clouds and the planet cools. Recent warming has slowed and is likely to be reversed certainly by 2030 onwards , the period of the Mainer minimum . CO2 is an asset as it provides an input to plants and fresh oxygen to mankind and animals. Dr Fleming has written The Rise and Fall of the carbon dioxide theory of climate change. The only reason why anyone believes this failed theory of carbon affecting climate is because they are paid to do so or because they believe it politically correct to do so, or they have been brainwashed because it is not based on actual science.

    • hefner
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Good, thanks a lot. I hope I’ll still be around in 2030 to see and feel the effects of Fleming’s Grand Solar Minimum. Just a question: what is our present position on the 11-year solar cycle?

    • Bob
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      @Steve Pitts

      “they have been brainwashed”

      Indeed, by billions of pounds worth of TV Licence money

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 30, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink


    • Richard
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      The science is far from settled:
      The post below that details a 2006 BBC meeting.

      And this week, more than 500 scientists and professionals in climate and related fields have sent a declaration that there is no “climate emergency” to the UN, warning that there is no “climate emergency” & “the general-circulation models of climate on which international policy is at present founded are unfit for their purpose”.

  4. Julian Flood
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Sir John, forget small stuff like air travel. Look at space heating. Winter is coming and the convenience of fossil fuel heating would be hard to match using renewable electricity. The only realistic substitute for FF is nuclear but the Greens with their CND DNA will have a hissy fit when that fact dawns.

    Frack, use low carbon CH4 while developing small modular reactors. That would do it. Whether it’s needed is another question, but the CH4/nuclear path is a good way to go even if the ‘climate emergency’ turns out to be so much hot air.


    • Anonymous
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      We’ll have to see what the Supreme Court thinks.

  5. Mark B
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    What do you think about the idea?

    The same as all the ideas dreamt up, and implemented, by the Tories over the last ten years – complete nonsense ! I am sorry, Sir John but I must take issue. Your own party is just as bad.

    We need to ask ourselves, does this apply to products made elsewhere. There is no point in going zero carbon when it is produced on the other side of the planet and then shipped here.

    What these people want to do is to destroy our way of life and send us back to the fields to work in comunes. They are nihilists !

    • David Cooper
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Not just nihilists, but watermelons – green on the outside, red on the inside. “Zero carbon dioxide by 2030” is merely an excuse for more control by the Left via taxation, bans and regulation. The fact that they have useful idiots on their side in the form of the electric car lobby is insult to injury.

  6. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Job losses will be colossol. We will have to get used to being cold and living in the dark and many households simply won’t be able to afford to change things in their homes. Unless the rest of the world follow suit then what’s the point? Utter madness.

    • Norman
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      MADNESS – that’s the word! (Not that we shouldn’t be practising sensible stewardship).
      To quote wise Solomon: “This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.” (Ecclesiastes 9:3)
      ‘Adam’s helpless race’ is reaching its nemesis – hence the madness!
      But the GOOD NEWS is that there yet remains ‘a sure and certain hope’, ‘which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast’ (Hebrews 6:19)
      “Blessed are all they who put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12)

    • walter
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Living in the cold and dark? What will the extra 20 – 30 million immigrants ( by then) do? They are coming for a “better” life . . i.e. . . a free one on us. If they don’t get a nice warm, centrally heated house they will go to a lawyer and sue us for not caring for them properly. And inevitably win.

      What Carbon emissions are THEY going to cause.

  7. Shirley
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I think they need to convince people of the need, and they haven’t done that yet. I haven’t seen any compelling evidence yet.

    As an aside, I haven’t seen any compelling evidence that the EU is good for anyone, let alone the UK. Are we supposed to just believe whatever our ‘self-imposed betters’ tell us?

    • What Tiler
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      “Are we supposed to just believe whatever our ‘self-imposed betters’ tell us?”

      Evidently, and the obvious fact that most of them have an IQ less than their shoe size does not make it any more palatable.

    • Andy
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      This is one of the most staggering statements on a blog full of staggering statements.

      Have you been asleep for the last 20 years or what?

      Climate change is not an ‘if’. It is not a maybe. It is here. It is happening. It is killing people already. There is overwhelmingly compelling evidence. All you have to do is look and listen. The question is why won’t you?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        You keep saying the climate is changing Andy as if you are the only person who realises.
        Of course it is changing.
        The debate is to what extent is man responsible, 10% or 100%?
        Or something in between.?
        With all the variables on the planet it cannot be 100%.
        The next question is how much we can do to control the climate.
        It is bit more complex than your simple statement.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Don’t wait for the Government to cut to zero, Andy.

        Your mate’s Tesla. Metallic paint ? Exciting features ? High performance ?

        Take the train instead. Though the only signals you’ll be seeing is virtue signalling.

      • Shirley
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        How about you prove your claims. I am not disputing climate change. I am disputing the ‘claimed’ reasons for it, and want to see compelling evidence. Why do you criticise that? Should I believe in the tooth fairy too, just because other believe it?

        • Bob
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          Andy thinks he’s King Canute and can stop climate change.
          He won’t acknowledge that climate change has been a factor of the history of Earth since it was formed from a cloud of gas and dust from a stellar explosion.
          Andy thinks that the Earth’s climate it can be held in stasis by using low energy light bulbs. Poor Andy.

      • MickN
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        “Climate change is not an ‘if’. It is not a maybe. It is here.”

        As it was during the ice ages and even during the time of Roman occupation. All those chariots belching out pollution obviously.

        • Bob
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink


          “All those chariots belching out pollution”

          It wasn’t the chariots, it was the horses (not to mention underfloor heating).

      • graham1946
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Fewer people are dying of abnormal weather events than an any time in modern history. There may be more odd events, but humans being what they are, usually find ways of mitigating things, like building earthquake resistant buildings. So it will be. Nothing stays the same for ever.

        By the way, builders are still being given planning permission to build on flood plains round my way, without putting in flood alleviation measures. As long as the make a profit and the council gets another lot of Council Tax, that’s all right then.

      • HotScot
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink


        It is happening. It is killing people already.

        Please name one person who has been killed by climate change. You make these things up in your head.

        This country is refurbishing Westminster Palace at the vast cost of £5bn+++++ to the taxpayer. It is mere feet away from the river Thames at high water mark. Do you really imagine our politicians believe in accelerating sea level rise and all the other associated nonsense.

        Sea level rise has been consistent at around 3mm per year for at least the last 100 years!

      • steve
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:56 pm | Permalink


        “The question is why won’t you? [listen]

        Because there’s only 60 million of us out of a global population of 60 billion.

        You should be taking your argument to China and India, not us.

  8. Kevin
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    This is an astonishing amount of change to be accomplished by members
    of Parliament who cannot get us out of the European Union.

    • Bob
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      “This is an astonishing amount of change to be accomplished by members of Parliament who cannot get us out of the European Union.”

      Good point well made 😂😂😂

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    It is just childish politicians with zero grasp of science or engineering virtue signalling. The only serious way to get to zero carbon would be a massive increase in nuclear (perhaps cracking fusion) and the energy from this nuclear to be used to make artificial fuels such as hydrogen to fuel vehicles or to such Carbon out of the air. It would be hugely expensive and making all this new equipment would take a lot a carbon too.

    You mention sailing ships but these still use lots of energy to manufacture and maintain (them even if St Greta cannot work this out)! They would also take far longer making them hugely inefficient and needing far far more of them.

    All of this would be hugely damaging to the economy and very costly and environmentally damaging. It would also be pointless as the earth sensitivity to CO2 and the (largely negative feedbacks) are such that is it not needed at all. Adaption to any changes that occur to the climate (whatever the direction) or sea levels is by far the best way to go.
    They would surely have to ban all meat production and meat eating and certainly cull pet cat, dogs, horses and the likes. The idea of international football & other sport matches with millions flying round the world to watch them would clearly be unacceptable.

    Most house adaptations have very long paybacks financially and indeed in CO2 terms. The Grenfell Tower fire was the direct result of totally misguided green lunacy.

  10. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    The article seems to be based on zero carbon instead of zero NET carbon. For a start we could re-forest this country and go vegan. People criticise Brazil for burning the Amazon to make space for cattle rearing. Exactly what we have done over the last 1000 years. This country, in fact most of Europe, used to be one giant forest. At the very least we could plant deciduous trees around the perimeter of every field. We need to encourage domestic solar power and invest in power storage.

    • sm
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      It’s reported that recent deforestation in S America is due to farmers switching to growing soya for the increasing vegetarian/vegan market. Soya is apparently a very demanding crop as far as soil nutrients are concerned.

      Both vegans and vegetarians need to take vitamin and mineral supplements to maintain long-term health, so those will have to be manufactured and marketed in increasing amounts – but oh dear, industry causes pollution…..

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 30, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        The FACT is it takes less land to produce x calories of human food growing veg or nuts than using the land to rear animals (or grow food for animals).

        As for vitamin supplements for veggies, utter nonsense. I’ve been veggie since 1984 and I feel fine. Intermittently vegan, too.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          Carefully avoiding the actual claim by sm that one of the drivers of deforestation in S America is the rapidly increasing demand for soya based products.

        • NickC
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          Mike Wilson, The FACT is it takes different amounts of land to produce x calories of food – depending on the land productivity. And that depends on location, including elevation. Much of Great Britain is only suitable for cattle or sheep, not “veg and nuts”.

          And if you want to eat just “veg and nuts” be my guest. But stop telling me what I can and cannot eat

    • Mark B
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      And the last Ice Age came to an end 12,000 years ago. And there were no trees in the UK then as it would be under one thick sheet of ice. So I fail to see your logic. The climate has, and always will, change. Whether we are here or not.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 30, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Yes, tricky one. No trees – and no people. Maybe there’s a connection.

        • NickC
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Mike Wilson, Yes the connection is a quarter mile thick ice sheet.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      There is 8% more forest on the planet than 1982.
      The main reason is a switch away from humans burning wood to keep warm and cook in poorer countries.
      I like trees but the statistic that a forest the size of Wales is destroyed every month is green propaganda.
      As is their data on tree cover from centuries ago when no one actually travelled the planet measuring the coverage.
      It’s all computer modelling guesses.

    • Robert Riley
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      If labour ever get their way there won’t be any fields left to plant trees around, they will all be needed for extra housing.

  11. Ian Wilson
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Zero carbon in that timescale is preposterous, wholly unnecessary and set to bankrupt the economy. Lord Ridley calls it as unrealistic as legislating to ban sin.

    500 qualified scientists have signed a letter to the UN Secretary-General stating there is no climate emergency, most if not all the observed warming is part of natural cycles and CO2 is a minor player in driving climate (look up Clintel)

    The BBC with its disgracefully slanted reporting won’t have reported this letter, concentrating on a scientifically illiterate schoolgirl and equally ignorant Extinction Rebellion.

    As for air travel, you can bet next year around 3,000 delegates will fly to Glasgow and tell us we need to cut down on travel to save the planet and we can be equally sure all their hot air won’t alter the climate by a thousandth of a degree.

  12. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Well, John, you seem to be in tune with your PM.

    In 2013 the BBC carried this report:

    “London could have the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone, according to Mayor Boris Johnson who has announced plans to improve air quality.

    Only zero and low-emission vehicles would be allowed in the central London zone by 2020, said Mr Johnson.”

    That’s something at least.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Electric cars are not zero or low emission they just shift the emissions to the power station. Building them also emits huge amounts of C02.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        I expect the new electric cars come with an exciting range of paints and features.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

          I wasn’t writing in praise or otherwise of the idea, just remarking on Johnson’s not being quite what some people appear to hope.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

            And neither are you, Martin. Neither are you.

            Cut to zero yet ? C’mon. You can do it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      We’ll have to see what the Supreme Court thinks of it all first.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      You are confusing pollution with global warming Martin.
      The purpose of Ultra Low Emission Zones is to improve air quality from the output of diesel fumes in congested city centres like London.

  13. Old Albion
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    A policy based on the hysteria of a sixteen year old.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      One with no understanding of science, economics or engineering it seems.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Who sailed to America on a yacht made of, and no one saw the irony of it – Carbon !

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink


        The crew to man it back on the return Journey took a flight to America to get where the boat travelled to !

        I wonder if they took Geta’s luggage with them given they were supposed to be travelling Light !

        A complete and utter farce of a publicity stunt !

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      No more toys and sweeties allowed then.

      “What do we want ?”

      “No more toys and sweeties !”

      “When don’t we wan’ ’em ?”

      Did you hear that on the Children’s march ? Because that’s what they SHOULD be demanding.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Mozart wrote his first symphony at eight.

      Alexander the Great led his army at seventeen.

      Stand aside.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink


        Let’s see what the Supreme Court says first on that.

      • sm
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Martin: Mozart and other European musical ‘wunderkind’ contributed eternal and wonderful gifts to the world (for which I am truly grateful), rather than berating the adults who encouraged them and provided their audiences.

        Alexander The Great caused the death of tens of thousands of innocents across much of the then-known world in his manic obsession with power.

      • graham1946
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        They had nothing else t do. Most modern youth seem to be too busy on smart phones and ‘soshul meeja’ and spouting nonsense fed to them by the education establishment to do anything like that

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, for the sheer brilliance of that staggering insight.

          • graham1946
            Posted September 30, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            My pleasure. Tongue in cheek but still better than most of your constant rubbish.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        Don’t forget Joan of Arc. She was dead at 19 after liberating her country from English occupation.

        (We had her burnt at the stake for her troubles – another one of our marvellous deeds)

        • Edward2
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          Back to 1431 now for your daily dose of anti British propaganda history.

        • NickC
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, It was not English “occupation”, but Norman overlords (who tended to marry French spouses, and usually couldn’t even speak English)) attempting to retain their ancestral lands on the continent in the face of invasion by the French. As you’ve been told before.

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 30, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink


            So two of its famous battles, Agincourt and Crecy, much quoted by proud nationalists here, were in fact not English victories at all but just fights between 2 French sides?

  14. Ed M
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Government needs to give more support to entrepreneurs in Green Tech. The Consumer Demand for Green Tech is growing and will continue to grow. More British Green Tech companies will boost: Productivity, Quality Exports across the nation and abroad, Tax Revenues, Kudos for UK doing something positive and creative and innovative, the growth of Other Technologies around it.

    ‘The UK will become a leading exporter of low carbon technology – if given the right support. Inventive British companies that invest in research and development are seen as a risky proposition. But new technologies are vital to the long-term health of our economy’ – Sir James Dyson

    • HotScot
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Ed M

      Fine, give entrepreneurs more incentive to develop green tech, just don’t expect the taxpayer to fund them which is exactly what is happening.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I happened to stumble on an old Oxford Union Debate yesterday:- “This House Believes Socialism Does Not Work with JR, Daniel Hannan, Theodore Dalrymple, Andrew Rosindell V Corbyn and various other completely misguided dopes. Needless to say the pro team destroyed the socialists. How on earth could anyone sensible could vote against I thought? But needless to say the Motion was Defeated. Full of silly Oxford PPEs under grads and Lawyers one assumes.

    Well worth listening to David Starkey too: the elite is guilty of treason on the Brendan O’Neill podcast. He says it exactly as it is.

  16. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I have a 43 kilowatt gas boiler for heating my house. For the same level of comfort electricity cost would be astronomical.
    Any party advocating sensible policies would wipe out the virtue signalers in Parliament at present.

    • eeyore
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      A warm home is a very recent invention. Millions still alive (myself included) remember when warmth was something you went to, not something you surrounded yourself with.

      It was also something you carried with you in the shape of appropriate clothing. At the risk of echoing Greta Humbug, isn’t it a little sad that a single generation is willing to trash its planet for the sake of being able to stroll about the house in a t-shirt in winter?

      On a more positive note, in Britain we have some of the highest tides in the world. Cheap and almost pure green energy could be extracted from them ad libitum, and stored too, by having them raise and lower colossally heavy weights like decommissioned supertankers or huge concrete caissons.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Tidal turbines cause silting and the turbines excessive errosion due to the nature of the water. Like wind farms they are expensive to maintain and the power is not despatchable.
        There output is not linear but on a parabolic curve. Not very datisfactory.

        • Ian Wragg
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink


    • Anonymous
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      We’d have to see what the Supreme Court thinks first though.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      The use of methane for home heating is actually very carbon efficient, about three times as good as using the same amount of gas to generate electricity, and then using that.

      As you say, it is worlds cheaper too.

      I would say that some parties need to take better technical advice.

      • HotScot
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        Where do we get all this methane from?

        • graham1946
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink


        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

          Have you never heard of natural gas, or of biogas?

      • NickC
        Posted September 30, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Martin, I am amazed at your sensible, technology based, comment. Well done.

    • Jack Leaver
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      The present cost per kWh for electricity is about 13p and for gas 3p so to heat a home and cook with electricity rather than gas will cost over 4 times more. For the average home, this would mean an increase of over £1,360 at today’s prices using 2018 domestic consumption of electricity figures ( And think of a number of how much it will cost to replace gas heating systems and cooking appliances with their electricity equivalent. Who will pay for it?

      There has been an excellent series of articles by Ruth Lea on The Conservative Woman dealing with Global warming and the UK’s policies on the issue.

      • HotScot
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Jack. An informed comment.

    • tim
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg- seriously! what make is that mate?

  17. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Politicians have rammed globalisation down our throats for the last 40 years. Now a lot of what we buy has been flown here or got here via long sea routes. If you ever suggested globalisation might not be a good thing you were labelled as a nasty person who didn’t want poverty in 3rd world countries eliminated. As if moving industrial production to the East was the only way to achieve this! We need local production of the food, goods and energy we consume. We will never achieve anything saddled with our 2 party dominated Westminster based political system.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Why wont we change anything with the current two main parties Mike?
      They have made law the Climate Change Act.
      The most radical set of laws on Earth currently, to try to attack climate change .This law is already said to be costing the UK many billions a year.
      We have huge subsidies on wind and solar energy production costing more billions.
      Huge taxes on air travel.
      Higher taxes on vehicles with diesel engines.
      Taxes on entering cities using motor vehicles.
      One minute remainers call leave supporters little englanders for wanting to leave the EU, now here you propose a policy of banning goods coming into the UK from outside our country to save the planet.
      A real vote winner.

      • forthurst
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Why do we have to waste time in trying to persuade the liblabcon that their ideas are insane and will destroy our country? Under the FPTP system that is all we can do because as we know voting for what we really believed in could let in the very worst bunch of scoundrels. Thus we have had continuous mass third world immigration with the labour party now saying they intend to give up the Tory pretence of controlling our borders; we have been lied into continuous wars in the ME and now we have a choice apparently between wrecking our economy by 2030 or doing it 2050, instead.

        New electoral system, new parties, new ideas (including patriotism and not of the vicarious variety).

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 30, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        I think ‘banning import of goods etc.’ could well be a vote winner – if it would mean people could get decent, well-paid jobs instead of delivering pizzas.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          So no smart phones for you then Mike, among millions of other products, foodstuffs and technology products
          You leftys love banning things.
          And they still think a siege economy will make us wealthy.
          One minute you say leave supporters are little englanders who want an economy isolated from the global economy and now here you want to ban all imports.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 30, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        You answer your own question. We won’t get serious change because the two main parties we are saddled with are two sides of the same coin. At the moment, Corbyn’s Labour are actually different. If they win an election based on, say, 11 million votes, they win absolute power. If they put their program into practice, and it was popular enough to keep them in power under our current FPTP system, you would be HOWLING for PR!

        • Edward2
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          No I wouldn’t Mike.
          I’ve never wanted PR.
          If a political party wanted to stand on a manifesto of radical green policies and set them out openly and got elected then I would accept that democratic decision.
          Unlike many remainers in Parliament.
          The Green Party is available to us all to vote for if that’s what you like, but so far they have just one MP.

  18. Nig l
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately the debate is poisoned by ranters on both sides with little effort to provide objective understandable information on the subject, both on climate change and the costs/where the technology is on the areas that you set out so I cannot be informed in whether 2030 is a fair date or not. What I know us that as with all government targets there us a big political element and if they miss it, so what but equally anu target should be demanding.

    What I do know is that if both governments frankly dishonest insistence on the roll out of Smart Meters and Hinkley Point, based on unproven technology at an output cost of twice + renewables to the extent that the head of the UKs second largest energy supplier said it should be scrapped, are anything to go by they should not be trusted an inch.

    However that should not mean doing nothing. Your piece looks set up to scare re the effects on the output side but does not mention capture and offset, this is where your big efforts should be put and who knows, the pace of technological change, battery life/storage etc might mean that is not as outlandish as it currently feels.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Well. We were doing very well on reducing our UK carbon footprint – lowering our population without duress.

      Then the Blairists decided to throw that in reverse.

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Nig1 : The reason for “….both governments frankly dishonest insistence on the roll out of smart meters….” :

      Annex I to the Electricity Directive 2009/72/EC requires the EU Member States to roll out electricity smart meters to 80% of consumers by 2020, unless the result of a Cost Benefits Analysis (CBA) is negative.

    • HotScot
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately the debate is poisoned by ranters on both sides…..

      Before going onto his own rant.

  19. Fred H
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Sir John, In 10 years time a number of us are not likely to be living, and witnessing nothing like as much change as was envisaged in recent years. Petrol cars will still rule, diesel largely taxed and phased out. More smaller (city?) cars will be evident – achieved by taxation- the usual prompt. There will be a place for electric vehicles of course, but I doubt mass conversion will happen, mainly advantageous in built areas with smallish commutes and other jouneys. I do think much more persuasion to educate children and young adults to be ‘green’ in their thinking will take place. Older viable homes must be changed to reduce waste heating, lighting and water.
    Air travel has been excessive for so long it will be hard to reduce without forced reduction in take-off and landing rights.
    The biggest problem will be to deal with population and its needs. India, China are the obvious worrying growth countries.

  20. William Pentelow
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Even a fool can see it cannot be done.
    But hey, lets bankrupt ourselves trying.
    Common sense is lost on our leaders.

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Phasing out all diesel and petrol cars within ten years and replacing with electric ones does nothing for world C02 anyway. Indeed it is probably increases CO2 with all the manufacturing and battery production needed. Unless you generate all the energy to charge them from Nuclear (which would also need to be built) it is pointless. This energy certainly could not come from renewables and wind and solar which save very little CO2 anyway after all the construction, backup and maintenance is accounted for.

    In short you would export jobs, do little for world C02 output, damage the economy hugely, reduce living standards and many dies as a net result. It is all pointless anyway. It is not needed and achieves nothing positive anyway.

    Bjorn Lomborg: “Prioritizing the World: How to spend $75 billion to do the Most Good” is far more sensible way to do.

  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    I am all for preserving reducing heat/light/power that we already use with added insulation and controls, as they are cost effective.
    But Zero emissions by 2030 is pie in the sky.

    The world does not have enough manufacturing capacity to produce enough vehicles to replace the existing by that date.
    You will need a lot of lorry parks to charge up commercial vehicles given the battery range at the moment, thus journey times will also be longer.

    Most modern vehicles have a sensible economic life of 15-20 years, to throw them away after 10 years use or less is simply madness, and a waste of resources.

    To be perfectly honest I think 2050 is stretching the imagination.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      I had a good laugh yesterday reading the article that a Tesla driven by LA police had to give up the chase when the battery ran out.
      When they quote the range of these useless vehicles they don’t tell us that the battery diminishes exponentially at high speed.
      What size of battery to power a 40tonne truck for 200 miles.
      I was a submariner and battery technology hasn’t improved much in 50years.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Ian Wragg. that is hilarious. Thieves and criminals will be looking forward to electric police cars. At least they will have an excuse for their poor conviction rates.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        How big a battery for a 40 ton lorry? – probably about container size- and filling the 40 foot trailer it is sat on.

  23. formula57
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I am targeting my own carbon neutrality by 2020 but like the 2030 mob and the 2050-ers I too will fail. Adopting at pace a stone-age lifestyle lacks appeal, especially in light of challenges to the science that suggests it is needed.

  24. Stred
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Mrs Leadsdum seems to think that we will be taking the advice of Lord Gummer and his committee of academics. We will be building up to 15000 very big sea windmills, which will deliver electricity at a third of the cost that they have put on the bill today, and the other 40% of electricity will be from gas with carbon capture, which has not been made to work economically yet, and converting enough gas to hydrogen to power hgvs, ships, trains, industry and backup electricity when there is no wind in the middle og winter. There will only be 10 million cars, all of the old houses will have heat pumps and have hydrogen mains supply and the cost of all the insulation, triple glazing and air exchangers will be paid by the taxpayers and customers in case industry becomes uncompetitive. This is not satire. Its all in the CCC technical report. They have ignored the opinion of Professor MacKay, who thought we should do what they French did and build lots of nuclear power stations and use them to heat buildings and supply transport and industry.

    • Mark
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      I gather that the CCC are refusing to release their calculations – if indeed they made any serious ones. I have done a lot of calculations using their assumptions about energy provision, and they show that it is inadequate and very costly, and results in spells of severe energy rationing just when it is needed most – in the depths of winter cold.

      Policy should not be made on the say-so of Gummer and his chums when the assumptions aren’t even available for scrutiny..

      • stred
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        The GWPF are working on an analysis of the CCC plans and others have been on Paul Homewoods blog. The proposals will cost trillions more than they claim. Enormous amounts of gas with CCS and hydrogen would have to be stored for the winter wind lull. The reduction in wind cost is unproven and the companies will be able to renege without penalty.

  25. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    This would be a self flagellation exercise on a par with gold plating EU diktat.

    We should legislate to deliver no more and no less than China and India and then leave anything more to the individual.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      The demogogic Greta Thonberg screeches that it should not be only about the money. A position exclusive to those with her level of privilege. Personally I just want to make to pay day while eating, commuting and keeping warm or cool depending on the time of year.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        This the Girl who took a £ multi million racing yacht to New York and various crew flew out and back to assist?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          What Greta doesn’t think about is the fact that once again the poor will be the ones to suffer. We won’t be able to fly, drive a car or heat our homes appropriately because of the expense of it all but the rich will be able to carry on as normal. It is taking us back to the days when the poor had nothing and were ruled by the rich. Thank goodness I won’t be around.

  26. Iain Moore
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    We have an establishment who are away with the fairies with their fads and fashions, and now proposing stuff which would do an immense amount of harm to people’s lives. The question is will they carry on with it and so invite their political extinction, or see sense and back off?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink


      They already have done huge damage all over the place. Grenfell Tower was a result of greens and some idiotic government thermal insulation agenda. Spending millions to save almost no energy and making the building a death trap in the process.

    • steve
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Iain Moore

      “We have an establishment who are away with the fairies”

      Or in cahoots with globalists contemplating the biggest con trick in history.

  27. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I was sitting with my chair ridden, dying grandfather listening to the radio programme “Journey into Space”, he was a respected mechanical engineer. I asked him do you think man will ever get to the moon, he just smiled back with a look saying – stupid boy. Fifteen years later it happened. If we were the USA of 1961 zero carbon could happen in a decade but with those economy busting no hopers the UK is more likely to be matching Argentina and Venezuela.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Sending a man to the moon was a pointless waste of taxes, effort & energy what did we get from it. Unmanned earth satellites are useful.

      Could these engineers not have cracked nuclear fusion and any of millions of other more useful engineering improvements & inventions. But no they played golf on the moon and brought some rocks back.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        But I’m glad it was done.

        It remains the pinnacle of human endeavour. The ultimate Bucket List item ticked off !

        I keep looking at the photos, even now. I look at the moon through my binos whenever it is full or coloured (everyone should try it.)

        What is a fruitful life in the end if without a collection of the best Selfies one can assemble while one is in a fit enough state to do it ?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        The nuclear fusion reaction takes place at between ten million and ten billion Kelvin.

        At those temperatures, the Planck equation tells us that most of the energy will appear in the form of X-rays, or even gamma rays.

        Good luck with converting those into something useful.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

          My son, studying a Phd (working on such) swears by thorium reactors. As low waste as possible with nuclear output.

          You can’t make an omelette…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      He probably thought politicians would never be daft enough to waste so much money on something so pointless when so many sensible things needed to be done. How wrong he was, and now they are wasting even more than this on their absurdly damaging CO2 devil gas religion. There is no end to the stupidity of some governments.

      Raving lefty Marr interviewing Boris interruptions ever other word. Interviewing Major, Brown or Corbyn, or even T May about 1/10 of the interruptions. The huge bias of the BBC propaganda outfit come out in nearly every programme they broadcast.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Naga Munchetty (whom I love to bits) in a row about Trump who is ALWAYS misquoted, thus missing the central point of the whole thing.

        He actually said “Go back… and then come back here and show us how you did it…”

        And then Boris’ “Humbug” comment, another direct misquote.

        The Left/Remain are distorting everything. It’s making everyone scared to speak. Which is the point.

        • tim
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          Anonymous- it has crept up on us, but we are in shackles with political correctness. There is not one word you can utter without some one claiming I AM DEEPLY OFFENDED BY THAT COMMENT.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            Everyone outside the Bubble is seeing it.

            Which is why unexpected voting results will keep on coming.

            We have the Supreme Court to save us from it all. *sarcasm*

      • miami.mode
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        LL, to be fair to Marr, I think it was Andrew Neil who some time ago didn’t blame any interviewer for interrupting Boris Johnson, as if they didn’t he would just ramble on about all sorts for 5, 10 or 15 minutes or more. It’s Boris’s technique.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          Well he could hardly get two words out in a row this morning. All the insufferable dope Marr wanted to do was wrongly suggest (endlessly) that saying the word “humbug” was an attack on the memory of Jo Cox and was attacking some hysterical female MP who had apparently been threatened.

          It was nothing of the sort.

          Boris said again he would never do a deal with Farage. It is his and Farage’s moral duty to have some accommodation. Brexit party 30% Tories 9% at the last election!

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

            “Moral duty”.

            Oh, my aching sides.

          • miami.mode
            Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            Agree on the Farage deal. Johnson is not popular in the north of England and Labour supporters who might vote for Farage will definitely not vote for Johnson.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:24 pm | Permalink


            Remain scored 15% in the EU elections.

      • Mark
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Run with chess clocks. 30 seconds for a question, 90 seconds for a response. With more than one guest, simply silence their microphone when they have had their share of time. Time runs when talking over someone else.

  28. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    You publish an article like this yet you regularly castigate the Bank of England for not lowering interest rates from their current highs (!!!) so the car industry can carry on knocking out millions of new cars every year for us to buy on cheap credit. How on earth is the encouragement of endless consumption going to help the situation. I was planning to change my 7 year old car when it is 10 years old. But I’ve recently decided the environmentally friendly thing to do is to keep it until it is at least 15 years old. So, Mr. Redwood, please don’t encourage cheap credit to buy a new car on my account.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink


      It is not about cars or the environment but the economy. A GE is on the horizon and, the last things a sitting government wants is a recession prior to it. 😉

    • HotScot
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Churning out those ancient exhaust fumes.

      It’s all your fault you know.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 30, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        My exhaust fumes are brand new.

  29. Everhopeful
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    The respiration of all living things might prove a bit of a blocker ? We’ll just ignore the fact that every creature contains carbon?
    Stop breathing and buy a new boiler, a gas mask and a body carbon extractor!
    Don’t breathe…SPEND!
    (On the bright side how will they still be able to justify barbecues and fireworks…both pump out masses of CO2…if bbq is enclosed might even squeeze out a bit of CO! No more exercising either!).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Barbecues are indeed dreadfully inefficient!

      • HotScot
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        Wring the fun out of life, why don’t you?

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      I did my research and I avoided solar panels – too much borrowing required. Spend the money on a good boiler, efficient appliances, insulation and efficient cars instead – the savings are virtually instant.

      The greatest misuse of carbon is a credit card.

      It enables people to spend beyond their present rank on the promise of a future rank, which may not come and often doesn’t.

      It has caused a global debt problem, an obesity problem and contributed to an environmental problem.

      • HotScot
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        The worlds economy is run on debt exchange. You think money is the currency of life?

        Sorry, debt has always been the currency of life.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      This has always been my thoughts also. If all mammalian life stopped breathing and producing methane from various orifices imagine how much carbon would be offset !
      The real problem is the rapidly increasing world population and their energy and food needs.

      The UK produces 2% of the worlds CO2 so what difference will reducing ours to zero make in the grand scheme of things, when China, India and the USA continue to pump it out ?
      The idea is madness, very expensive madness.

      • HotScot
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        You are labouring under the empirically unproven hypothesis that atmospheric CO2 causes the planet to warm.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      BBQ might also poison you with carbon monoxide. That would reduce population growth.
      Maybe we will no doubt be euthanized at the age of 50 to reduce emissions.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Will Greta campaign for ritual killing of all sheep and cows? Could be a small problem in India. Would reduce harmful gases.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        oops — meant to add…plus putting down cats and dogs, which we have millions of.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          Dehumanist language has been used by Andy frequently on this blog by the way. Look at the archives.

  30. javelin
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    The massive monopolistic power of the BBC means a small Social Justice culture bubble acts like a lense that projects it’s urban socialist culture into every home in Britain.

    It must be obvious this unrestrained power is brought under control and the BBC TV tax is replaced by a subscription service.

  31. Wil Pretty
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    The Thames Sailing Barge was an effective commercial sailing craft for coastal movements up to 1940. It could probably be redesigned to carry a container. You no longer see them being used commercially because of the economic cost. I notice Greta did not use a commercial sailboat to cross the Atlantic.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      She could have Skyped. The impact would have been better.

      (She does have a point, in my view.)

  32. Gary C
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Before any of these draconian measures are brought into law one should consider how it’s all going to be paid for.

    Consider the elderly person struggling to make ends meet, how are they going to pay for extra insulation, the new windows, the new heating system and whatever else the tub thumping environmentalists demand?

    Don’t tell me . . . . . . . Some sort of grant like the vehicle scrappage scheme that only benefit’s those that can afford to upgrade!

    What about those living in rural areas than simply cannot afford the extortionate cost of an electric vehicle?

    And what about the landlord with a property portfolio? The massive costs involved in upgrading their properties would only lead to even higher rents.

    “Will government subsidise this work?” . . . . . . . NO THE TAXPAYER WILL!

    Until these idea’s are cost effective then they are impracticable and would cause massive hardship on many.

    I see population control is still being ignored.

  33. agricola
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    The Green Response imperative is I believe a compliance with EU directives. Almost certainly gold plated by our quangos and civil service. I do not get the impression that either the generation of power or the conversion to electric powered vehicles has been thought through. The political parties that thrive on them are largely scientifically illiterate and bereft of any engineering background. Like CND who went before them , they have discovered a cause that gives them a raison d’etre. As most are in love with the EU they probably regret the climate change that created the Channel and separated us from Europe. Nor can they accept that the sun is the driving force.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for cleaning up our environment and that of the rest of the World. The ways we go about it should be dictated by affordable science and engineering and to a national plan. The way rubbish is collected and disposed of at present is the way not to go. It is an incoherent, dishonest shambles.

    In terms of power generation I question the wisdom of putting all our eggs into one generating system, dependant on one source of unreliable power, in need of diesel backup. Nor should we ignore fracked gas based on political fear. It will be a bumpy ride until the advent of Fusion Power. This is one of many urgent political questions held in abeyance until we get a true Brexit and a GE to clear the swamp.

  34. Lifelogic
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    To save CO2 if you really want to:-

    Wear a jumper and thermals in winter and turn your central heating off, stop eating meat and live of locally grown cabbage, sprouts, porridge and the odd apple for a treat. Put any pets you have down (and eat them for a last meat treat).

    Do not go on holiday more than 30 miles of so and keep running you old small car (but drive it very gently and use very sparingly). Use only LED lighting and even those sparingly too. Switch the whole electric supply off when you go out (who needs a fridge after all). Do not walk or cycle too far and do not go to the gym to waste energy as you would then have to eat more. Live in a small house. Share bodily warmth with others to keep warm and bathe only once a month and then in cold water. Use a composting loo or flush with the old bath water or collected rain water. Chop all the trees down in your garden (except the apple tree) and bury all the wood deeply (do not burn it) then let new trees grow and repeat.

    Never buy any new clothes or follow fashion until the old ones are completely worn out & then replace at charity shops. Was them sparingly (twice a month at most). Certainly do not have a bonfire/fireworks nights or any other frivolities. Only two children max perhaps.

    Do have fun!

  35. Sydney Ashurst
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I doubt it is possible, we are not going to wear hair shirts.
    Too many people with no scientific knowledge are caught up in the Global warming hysteria. It has become a religion and a well paying one for many.
    The doomsday scenario is prognosticated by the super computer calculating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
    Yes there has been a 1 degree Centigrade average global rise as measured at millions of Stevenson Screens with mercury thermometers. The BBC claims that accurate temperature records only started in 1880 is false.
    Central England Temperature (CET) records go back to 1659 with monthly means from November 1722 onwards given to a precision of 0.1 °C.
    The Earths orbit around the Sun gives rise to seasonal temperature changes and it does have wobbles. It is thought in some scientific circles that the shape of the orbit is changing, hence the temperature rise.
    The burning of forest Carbon Dioxide sinks is not helping the natural environment.
    The clearing of rainforest to produce biodiesel is counter productive.

  36. wes
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Well, that’s the log burner out of the window then.

  37. Pat
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    If fusion can be made practical, if the grid has its capacity doubled, if battery and charging technologies both improve dramatically then we can move to carbon free.
    All of these things may happen, or they may not, and the timing is unknowable.
    Otherwise we revert to the lifestyle of 1800. And the population.
    If we achieve this it will not make a measurable difference to worldwide CO² emissions unless we can somehow get the Chinese, the US and India to do the same.
    And even then it is certain that the climate is affected by many things not done by man, or we could not have had a series of ice ages and interglacials. These other things will continue to influence the climate. Bear in mind that volcanoes emit more CO2 than man does.

  38. BJC
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Perhaps, instead of playing mindgames and instilling fear, our children should be required to take lessons that help them understand the lifestyle they believe they want and be inspired to become the scientists, etc,who can revolutionise the future.

    I accept we do need a period of recalibration to allow the planet adequate time and space to recover. At this stage, it could centre on eradicating the throwaway society that’s been created in the name of profit. Noble as the other proposals might be, they would favour the rich who would pay the premium, not adapt their lifestyles, and impoverish the poor creating an even more divided society.

    It’s wise to always work in harmony with nature; simply because nature always wins.

  39. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I live a village of about 600 houses. There is no mains gas. We heat with oil from tanks in our gardens or gas in bottles. There is no bus service. No train service. Most houses are over 100 years old; about 70 have been added in the last 15 years. I have no idea of the capacity of the electricity cables. Electricity is supplied via overhead wires. There are I imagine many thousands of similar places..

    Can one of the ‘green’ contributers here tell me how we all comply with your directives?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear Prangwizard. Our village is no longer served by a bus. We have to walk across a muddy footpath, often dodging the bull and cows plus the cow pats to catch a bus. I can assure you it is no joke in the winter! The bus does not go anywhere near where my dentist or doctors surgery is. It’s a joke. Please don’t say find another dentist. It was hard enough this time around. The government have no idea how difficult relying on public transport is.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted September 30, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      And just for the record there is no street lighting.

  40. Mark
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Sir John.

    On this topic you might be on the wrong side of the argument. Plenty of scientists on the record pointing out the errors in the “climate change” models and policies.

    Climate changes – it always has. Sea levels and temperatures have been higher, and lower.

    What is the correct temperature? The correct sea level?

    Adaptation to changing conditions is the right policy. Humans are good at this, populating the planet from the far north, through the tropics to the south.

    Decimating our economy (and denying progress, health care etc to the third world) is not the answer….

    • Mark
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Please note: I think you are a newcomer to this blog, so may I ask that like Mark B, you qualify your name to distinguish you? I’m sure you will appreciate being distinguished!

      • mark leigh
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink


        1 – not new – have posted here many times
        2 – I give my full name in the comments section – no idea why it only gives my first name

        Mark L

  41. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Off topic, lacking inside information it can only be a reasonable speculation on my part, but in my view this kind of pressure from the CBI and similar business groups was why Theresa May decided to cave in to the demands of the Irish government:

    And with virtually no protest beyond her insistence that the whole of the UK, not just Northern Ireland, must remain under the economic thumb of the EU.

    “CBI boss goes to war with Boris over No Deal Brexit”

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      With regard to the CBI we need to remember that they do not publish a membership list or how they are funded, although we do know they receive funding from the EU.

      So we have no have no idea who they really represent.

  42. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Anyone demanding zero carbon can make personal changes approaching something like it from today. Especially the kids.

    When I think. All the money I’ve had to waste – and the only money I considered to be truly wasted – has been on toys and fashion for kids. Pushed on us by clever marketing and the frenzy created among other kids. Plastic mountains of the stuff have been dumped or e-bayed for pennies.

    That’s part of being a parent (I’ve been cautious with everything else I’ve spent my money on – sacrificing much of what I wanted) and the Thunbergist children’s push for Green should be a great relief to parents who won’t have to do it now because the kids don’t like waste.

    We should also start seeing the streets and parks free of litter.

    Phew !

    Private schools are a bad thing too.

    I’m quite warming to this Marxist thing – even if it is being pushed on us in various guises including our children being encouraged to bully us.

  43. Chris Dark
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    As pensioners now on fixed income,we’ve become sick and tired of being preached at about how we need to modernise our house,car,way of life, what we eat, drink, how we live, etc etc ad nauseam. Most people now realise that CO2 makes up just 0.04% of the entire atmosphere, yet here we are as a country, and a world, wailing and screaming about how it’s going to kill us all if it’s not controlled. We have a small Victorian home; we have no intention
    of plasticising it with upvc windows (we use SG and thick curtains), nor indeed panelling the roof over with solar panels; we’ve lost loads of roof storage space to ever-increasing insulation, there’s no room for more. For God’s sake please leave us
    alone to enjoy our final years in a home we’ve kept up together for the past thirty years, we’ve no more money to spend on it and we don’t want the disruption. Our little building will be standing
    long after the modern jerry-built estates have crumbled to brick-dust. I’m thankful that by 2050 I’ll no longer be here.

    • Andy
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      But your children and grandchildren will be here. And by refusing to act you are massively risking their futures. Selfish in the extreme.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Many of the internet-dwelling fanatics, who have the whole box set of European Union hating, pro-Trumpism, and science rejecting, appear to be single men with no children, nor any prospect of that changing, Andy.

        They seem to be out for revenge on someone for some reason.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          Did you not get the post from Sir John asking us to be nice and not to call each other names Martin?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 30, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

            Oh, so you voluntarily answer to that description then, Edward2?

            I didn’t mention anyone’s name, did I?

          • Edward2
            Posted October 1, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

            It was about using less aggressive language.
            “Calling each other names” was a metaphor.

            And we were asked to post less often.
            You are about 30 per day.
            Do you work for the public sector?

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Says he with several large homes that he burns up fossil fuels travelling too and from. (Andy)

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        So do you need to travel to your second home in France Andy? Hello!!!

    • steve
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Chris Dark

      Don’t worry mate, most of this PC lefty green crap will be stopped. There’s a lot of people out there who will see you’re ok.

      Kind regards

  44. BOF
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I suppose that my woodburner and gas bottles for the hob will be illegal, but by then I will probably be grateful to be put in a care home, aka prison.

    Jokes aside, it would bankrupt the country, shut down much of industry and give us the most expensive and unreliable energy possible. The stupidity is beyond comprehension but the end result is so predictable (South Australia is already a model) that I can only believe that to be the intention.

    • BOF
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      I should add that brand new technology is required in the form of hydrogen fuel cell and nuclear fusion, but it is not yet ready.

      • Otto
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        ‘brand new technology ‘, yes that could be nice but we have the required technology now, condoms, pills etc.

  45. Ian terry
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    What an abysmal, pathetic parliament we have at this present time. Completely adrift with no direction and mission, running scared from the green and Brexit lobby and slowly but surely destroying itself in the eyes and minds of the electorate.

    The green lobby is akin to a green water melon green on the outside and bright red within. These plans and promises will ultimately destroy this country as an industrial base as there has been no talk about the cost of this enterprise and who s going to pay.

    All the time China, India, Germany, to name but a few are still flat out building coal fired generators. Are these people advocating all of this actually real and qualified in their understanding how energy networks actually operate?

    We are getting climate armageddon pushed down our throats 24/7 and not one reporter or scientist is advocating a complete change in our future construction laws and planning. If the water levels are going to change as they say they will why are the government not passing laws that insist that all new properties constructed have to be built on a raised concrete raft so in the event of flooding or rising water the living accommodation will be above say a two metre rise in levels. The space below can be utilised but its contents would become expendable in the event of flooding. These people just do not understand the basic science. Climate Change is down to the sun, it is the environment that is affected by the human population. But until the whole world changes its thinking there is an advantage maybe to try and alter some things but not at the cost of destroying your own country whilst the worlds actions negate everything you try to do.

    If all the Climate Change people are right then a lot of this planet will be under water so the investment should not be in electric cars and ground source heat pumps but small family electric boats and submarines. As usual identify a solution without identifying the real problem. You cannot make it up

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Ian Terry. Brilliant post. Of course governments don’t really tackle anything the right way as it’s all virtue signalling. One day they will wake up and see the mess they have created and the abysmal cost of it all. One day they just might listen to the scientists who take a different view. I have no problem with looking after the planet but much of what this government is advocating will destroy much of it. Climate change is something we cannot control but taking care of our planet is. There is a big difference. Do governments ever think about how much damage they do to the natural world by encouraging immigration and the amount of house building needed?

  46. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I rather suppose the human carbon footprint will increase in the next 10 years, through increased demand in the developing world.
    A source tells me there is about 50 years of oil left at current usage rates. So that’s the 2030 date kicked down the road until 2070 then. Towards the end, the human population will resort to their normal response in these circumstances – fight for what’s left.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      There has been only 50 years of oil left for the last 50 years and it is still 50 years to go. It was a regular thing when North Sea Oil was being licensed, then when the licenses were granted they miraculously found new wells.

  47. Nigel E
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Is there an argument for resurecting (and extending) canals? Bulk long life materials (grain, wood chips, sugar, flour, beer, spirits) could be horse drawn – I know horses are not zero carbon but it’s lower than a deisel engine – or solar powered as there’s lots of surface area on a string of barges. Plus improved and widened tow paths offer a network for runners, walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

    For air travel, solar powered helium blimps. Or hydrogen if the safety issues can be contained; hydrogen can also be used to power the engines.

    Are these too ‘off the wall’? Perhaps, but innovation is just not inventing new stuff, but adapting existing capabilities.

    Having said this, I agree with many other contributors. It matters little what the UK does while China, India and even Germany burn an increasing amount of coal.

  48. Andy
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Predictably you are mostly all outraged. So are we. Our generations have to deal with this mess that your generation has allowed to happen.

    2050 is an impossibly unrealistic target, let alone 2030. But the reality is we have to try.

    Climate change is worse than Brexit. Brexit just massively harms our country and damages a few neighbours. Climate change affects the whole world.

    The consequences of not acting are staggering. Swathes of the world uninhabitable. Perhaps the worst mass extinction of species in history. Hundreds of millions of climate change refugees. And these refugees will not just come from poor countries – though obviously they will be worst affected. They will come from Essex, Somerset and west Wales and other low-lying areas. Whilst there would be an amusing irony in Mark Francois and Jacob Rees-Mogg ending up as refugees I would prefer to avoid that scenario. Plus, who would have them?

  49. ferdinand
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    You are starting from the wrong point. There is no scientific evidence, nor has there been,that CO2 causes dangerous global warming. In fact we need MORE CO2 to enable the peoples of the planet to be adequately fed. Cutting CO2 is pointless and dangerous. If we dropped by 260ppm from the present 400ppm all vegetation would die as would the creatures that fed on it it and as would we.

    • Andy
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Except there is. And it does.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Cut yourself to zero yet ? If not WHY not ?

      • ferdinand
        Posted September 30, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Show me a single scientific peer reviewed paper showing CO2 causing dangerous global warming. There isn’t one.

  50. Sakara Gold
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    The public is voting with their feet already on this – they have stopped buying diesel cars and big petrol SUV’s. Jaguar Land Rover has announced that it will be shutting down production at it’s UK plants for a week at the start of November, just after the UK’s planned departure from the European Union on October 31.

    Could it be that the public has noticed that it only costs about £9 to charge an electric vehicle to do 250 miles, instead of £40 of highly taxed petroleum based fuel?

    If we want to become carbon neutral there are two imperatives. One is to invest in the vehicle charging infrastructure, starting with the motorway and “A” road network. The second requirement is grid-scale energy storage – which would enable the full benefit of harvesting our abundant supplies of free renewable energy to be realised, increasing onshore and offshore wind farm efficiency and providing the public and industry with cheap energy, making us far more competitive.

    There are UK companies who are already investing in energy storage – the technology already exists – but more government support would accelerate (no pun intended) the changeover.

    I am a supporter of nuclear energy. The UK built the first power reactors back in the 50’s, it was sold to us as providing “electricity too cheap to meter”. Unfortunately, Tony Benn (AKA Viscount Lord Stansgate) decided to destroy our nuclear industry when Labour energy minister in the same way that Labour’s Denis Healy destroyed the UK aerospace insustry when he cancelled the TSR2 project. A combination of nuclear base-line electricity, energy storage and more onshore and offshore wind power could easily make us carbon-neutral by 2040 – 2050, if we make bold decisions now.

    Air travel CO2 emissions per capita per mile travelled are a fraction of what is produced driving petrol/diesel cars. I wouldn’t worry about air miles. I worry far more about some of the dinosaur climate change deniers who post on this blog – who doubtless have interests in big oil and who don’t care about our planet at all.

    • ADAMS
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      No one denies that the Climate changes so why do you indulge in that stupid derogatory comment ?
      The sale of Diesel cars has plunged because of Government regulations and potential for much more meddling from the oh so correct political class .

    • Edward2
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Whilst your ideas are interesting , the focus on cars and going electric will not be enough to get us to CO2 neutral by the timescales envisaged.
      The problem is fossil fuels currently generate over 85% of the world’s rising energy demand.
      And non fossil energy generation requires back up by traditional generation methods when there is no sun or wind or there are calm seas.
      Grid scale storage is still just a great idea.
      Like carbon capture and storage.
      No one has yet built a battery big enough to store a days electricity for a City.
      Theoretically it would be as big as a small town.
      I agree with you on nuclear power.
      The obvious solution to CO2 free power generation.

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Sakara Gold :

      The remark “too cheap to meter” was made about the British 1957 nuclear fusion project known as “ZETA” (Zero Energy Thermonuclear Assembly) and is not to be confused with the current nuclear reactors which are based on nuclear fission.

      Unfortunately nuclear fusion power has not yet been achieved.

      BTW, forget about dreaming how much cheaper it is to recharge electric cars than FF cars as the government will miss the tax so much that the cost of electricity to charge electric cars, if not all electricity, will rise to compensate.

  51. sakara gold
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Sir John – you asked a number of questions in today’s post. My apologies for replying with an essay, but I wanted to try and answer them

  52. glen cullen
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Its time for a of honesty and reality

    The average don’t care a hoot about climate change, people are too busy with their own working life

    However if asked by the media…who would like to clean the environment ! who’s going to say no ? Its now like saying should we stop racism ? who’s going to say no !

    In reality only the interested parties are pushing this on everyone else, including the media, funded universities and scientists and fringe left wing organisations…..but the government(s) are scared of them and therefore to blame…

    No tax payers money should be used to fund these fringe ideas (remember the farce when government suggested everyone should buy diesel cars ? )

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Any government daft enough to try to instigate the climate change alarmist ‘s ideas would soon have social upheaval to deal with and would be out of office at the next GE or sooner.

  53. gregory martin
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    More intelligent solutions to treating the symptoms of change are required. Whether it be by refrigeration of polar waters from nuclear , solar and wind energy, creating man made glaciers to increase polar ice, or carbon sinking by increased regenerative agriculture through grassland management. Forestry is only effective if new plantings are increased and non returnable use of timber is made, ie creation of treasured items not chipboard throwaway kitchens. Pasture outperforms forestry by a wide margin, as researchers are discovering, burying carbon rather than storing it where it is at risk of combustion.
    Veganism is not a progressive solution, due to the production of soya, nuts and all from tropical not temperate climate zones. There is also the issue of methane, if one can mention it discretely

  54. Iain Gill
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Destroying production here, by imposing massively uncompetitive expensive supposed anti pollution measures, while importing the same products from countries with worse anti pollution measures than we had thirty years ago… Is not a net good for world pollution.

    That’s what we do now and more of this is a massive mistake, and is certainly not green.

  55. graham1946
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Insulate all new houses to Scandinavian standards and make planning law ensure solar panels fitted, develop storage systems to make these houses virtually outside electricity free to start, then start retro-fitting with big subsidies. Heating and lighting is surely the biggest and most easily fixed rater than trying to stop industry and people moving.

    Won’t happen of course because the generating lobby won’t forgo their huge profits and there won’t be any jobs for the boys.

    Anyway, we don’t need to be carbon free, if every country did its bit, it would be manageable, but of course the nuts in the UK will have their way, whilst the world looks on and laughs as we pauperise ourselves.

  56. Wil Pretty
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    All life on our world is carbon based. If the human race became extinct tomorrow, CO2 levels would not change appreciably.

  57. Arnie
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t care less about going zero carbon. It’s all a big scam to control people and extricate money from the same people. If it were really the problem that we are being told it is by the climate extremists do you not think that major governments would be initiating large scale carbon capture as well as reducing our carbon output? Even my kids say that most of what they have heard is hearsay and opinion.

    This is not to say that things are going on with our environment, I know they are but the approach is very wrong, for example electric cars have zero emissions we all know this. But what pollution is caused by making the electric cars? More importantly what pollution will occur when these vehicle reach end of life, given what materials are inside the batteries. What about the supply chains for the electricity needed? For example how many road miles of fossil fuel vehicles will be used to put these points in place?

    If government lead the way with initiatives that are not just onerous extra taxes or criminalising people then I think perhaps people would be much more receptive. Until then I’ll sit tight, keep my head down and carry on as normal.

  58. cornishstu
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Apart from the fact that humanities CO2 output is a non problem. The amount of infrastructure required to compensate for the loss of fossil fuels is colossal not to mention cost and within the time frame specified. I don’t think the majority of the politicians, NGO’s et al. give a toss about the rest of us because no doubt they will be sitting very comfortably thank you very much whilst the majority struggle to live a meagre existence paying a fortune for an irregular expensive electricity supply. I see Boris is looking to bring forward the banning of gas boilers in new builds a real vote winner! What we should be doing is to improve efficiency, insulation levels and cleaning of emissions and a reduction of waste which is already happening and ongoing.

  59. dennisambler
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    If CO2 were doing what is claimed for it I could worry about it. From freely available Met Office data, there has been no temperature rise in the UK in 30 years, in spite of still rising CO2. Prior to that temperatures declined slightly, again in spite of rising CO2. There is no correlation between annual changes in CO2 and annual changes in temperature. Temperature is flat, CO continues to rise.

    As at 2017, the UK produced 1.11% of total CO2 emissions. Asia produced 48.7%, China 28%. Asian emissions will continue to increase as new coal fired power stations are commissioned. More UK renewables will mean more grid instability, more environmental destruction from wind and solar farms. There will be zero impact on the climate.

    The whole 2050 nonsense will crucify the UK and push up costs of living and increase energy poverty. The UN has been pushing for an overturning of the current financial regime for some time and the imposition of a Green New Deal is part of the programme of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    Global Corporations and Financiers are fully on board, as mega amounts of public money will be involved. The World Economic Forum, Davos, has a web section on the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. Mark Carney, Al Gore and Christine Lagarde are all on the WEF board.

    We are being stitched up. How sad that the Tories are on the same bandwagon.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      It is most unfortunate that the UN is sited proximate to Wall Street; it needs to be moved to a neutral country which is not infested with globalists. We need to remove ourselves from this organisation and entirely ignore its edicts. If I recall correctly, it was set up in order to promote world peace, not the destruction of Western civilisation.

  60. Paul Homewood
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    There are a number of issues:

    1) The Cost – Even the CCC admit it will cost £50bn a year, that’s about £2000 per household. This is almost certainly an underestimate

    2) UK’s emissions are only 1% of global ones, which still continue to rise

    3) Premature banning of petrol/diesels will destroy the UK car industry, with Asian car plants taking over. The German car industry is already suffering, and Honda’s pull out is also connected to such threats.

    4) Domestic heating will involve installing heat pumps, which cost around £10k, and also hydrogen to plug peaks in winter demand. This hydrogen in turn will be made from natural gas, a process which produces CO2

    5) Both the CCC and Nat Grid’s FES accept that we will still need large amounts of gas power generation, as wind and solar are too unreliable.

    6) To reach Net Zero, we will need CCS (carbon capture and storage), for both this generation and hydrogen. But CCS does not exist in any commercially viable form.

    7) Large scale deployment of wind capacity will inevitably create huge surpluses of power at times of peak wind/low demand.

    8) Banning of petrol/diesels will create huge difficulties for the 44% of households who do not have off street parking, and thus cannot charge EVs at home overnight. (Imagine queues at public chargers, with each car taking hours to charge!)

    I have written several posts on the topic, eg

    For some reason there is little debate about any of these issues in the media. Perhaps it is time to get a proper independent report published about it. I would be more than happy to help compile it, and you are welcome to contact me, John.

    • ferdinand
      Posted September 30, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      I do hope you contact Paul Homewood. His is a sane examination of the facts in the storm of CO2 stupidity.

  61. James Bertram
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    If you are really concerned about CO2 levels then the most straightforward way to resolve this problem is to improve the quality of the earth’s soils by farming using natural processes (whereas industrial farming methods destroy the life of the soil with chemical fertilisers, pesticides, monocultures, lack of rotation, tillage, etcetera).
    The French launched the ‘4 per 1000’ initiative – increasing the quantity of carbon contained in soils by just 0.4% per year would halt the annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Alan Savory takes this further – restoring the world’s 5 billion hectares of degraded grasslands to functioning ecosystems would lower greenhouse-gas concentrations to pre-industrial levels in a matter of decades.
    (facts from ‘Wilding’ by Isabella Tree p.288).

    Good comments by Mike Wilson today.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Food and cereal production has increased vastly using these modern farming methods.
      Adding fertilizer and chemicals like nitrogen is not destroying the soil.
      Far from it.
      Going back to farming methods of centuries ago will create food shortages and famines.
      Greens told us decades ago we were all going to die through famines as the population of the world got “too high”
      Another failed Project Fear.

      • James Bertram
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Edward I am afraid you are repeating the myths that the industrial-farming and big agri-business work hard to get the public to believe in. They have no basis in fact.
        It is hard to know where to start – perhaps the biggest lie is that modern farming methods prevent world hunger.
        Food shortages and famines result from lack of cash to buy food, and not because there is not enough food available – see the work of Amartya Sen.
        We produce far more food than we need – much is fed to animals, some for fuel, and at least a third of food is just wasted.
        The Green Revolution was not necessary, it was a political decision begun after the second world war to re-direct chemicals from the munitions industry into making fertliser and to subsidise arable monoculture. Instead they could have chosen a more traditional mixed-farming system using pasture. George Henderson wrote in 1944 that if all of Britain was farmed this (traditional mixed-farming) way it could feed 100 million people.
        Fertiliser, pesticides and other chemicals are highly damaging to soil fertility (and to wildlife and their habitats, and to human health). I would recommend reading ‘Grass-fed Nation’ by Graham Harvey, and ‘Wilding’ by Isabella Tree. These concepts will be familiar to any organic gardener.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

          If you think adding any nutrients to the soil is bad then it is you who is mistaken.
          For decades in my lifetime the left wing green lobby said we are all going to die because the population of the world is getting too high and we will all starve to death.
          When that didn’t happen they change to your latest argument that actually the planet can support the extra billions and now we notice that there is enough food, even a surplus.
          But we should go back to methods used centuries ago.

          There are always books with different opinions.
          It is just whether you believe they are right.
          I find your idea that people who believe differently to you are taken in by the arguments telling.
          Not you obviously, because you feel that if you believe in your ideas, then you are right and everyone else is wrong, taken in by the myths and lies, as you call them.

  62. Paul Cohen
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    The Andrew Marr programme is unwatchable! His only technique is to continually interupt, never giving the interviewee a chance to respond. He needs his victims to walk out on him on a regular basis if faced with his awful diatribe.

    • steve
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Paul Cohen

      Yes I saw that too, and was appalled.

      I agree interviewees should just get up and walk out as soon as Marr interrupts.

      …..just get up, casually drop the mic on the table, and walk away without saying anything.

      In fact I’m surprised people even agree to be interviewed by these rude left wing biased journalists. Perhaps if they all got together and started boycotting selected journalists they could bring about their redundancy….who would want to contract a journalist whom nobody would talk to ?

      I for one am sick of seeing and hearing that style of journalism on my TV, it’s about time they were shut down quite frankly.

      • Otto
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        I agree that interrupting interviewers are terribly annoying but I see why they do it. They interrupt when they hear the answer is nothing to do with the question so really it’s correct to interrupt.

        What would be better, which includes programmes with many invited guests, Politics Live, Question Time etc. is to have each guest in their own soundproof cubicle who can only be heard when the presenter presses their button. When it is known that their interruptions and stupid answers cannot be heard they will shut up and learn to be really informative. Presenters would have to be intelligent to operate this system though.

  63. Edward2
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Currently we are in the early phase of the debate when polls show citizens in favour of radical action to curb climate change.
    When stopped in the street by pollsters this is what the majority say.

    However just how many will agree to be banned from flying, banned from going on cruises,coach trips and other boat trips.
    To have Nov 5th parties stopped, have their cars taken off them, be banned from going abroad for their annual holidays, banned from using gas central heating, banned from having log burning fires, bbq’s and coal and oil burning fires.
    No bonfires either.
    No motorsport eg Formula 1 or World Rally championship.
    In fact form of frivolous ompetitions that use engines.
    No food or goods made more than a few miles of their homes.
    No eating of meat or fish.
    Be interesting to see just how popular real green policies will be when the people get to see what eco fanatics want to ban.
    And they love to ban things.

  64. Dominic
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Are there any other issues that haven’t been dragged into the political and legal arena that then allows the filthy political class to assert control over our lives, behaviour, freedoms, language, perceptions and emotions?

    The idiotically named ‘climate change’ issue is simply another State tool of human control. Western governments couldn’t a rat’s about the environment. Their only concern is micro-management of people. They won’t be happy until our very existence is criminalised

    We are on the slippery slope to authoritarianism and fear, hate and so called ‘tolerance’ (code for self-censorship) is being used to justify it

    John should be writing articles about Marxist Labour’s plan to abolish border controls to promote its own party’s electoral position or Labour’s past crimes. Now I understand in this febrile atmosphere why a decent man like John chooses not to go down this avenue. it takes courage. This responsibility should taken over by a faceless organisation set up by the Tories to expose these issues for what they are. Labour’s concern is not humanitarian it is purely electoral. Their plan must be exposed

  65. steve
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink


    Hot topic for sure.

    “What do you think about the idea?”

    Sell it to China and India, not us.

    Hope that answers your question.

  66. steve
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I burn coal and waste wood.
    I am off grid for energy and heating.
    I don’t have energy bills.

    I am not held over a barrel by anyone, and from a home owner’s perspective there isn’t much more satisfying than sticking it to energy suppliers.

    They can stop the gas & electric tomorrow, it won’t make a blind bit of difference as far as I’m concerned, I’ll still be warm and having hot meals.

    The old ways are the best.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      No energy bills? Who gives you your coal for free, Steve?

      • Fred H
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Martin – Maybe he lives in Wales, like you, and found a place to dig it for free?

      • steve
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink


        Wouldn’t you just love to find out. (I still have to work for it though)

        But when I originally bought this house I went onto pay as you go key meters, that way I stopped having energy supplier’s ever increasing direct debits on my bank account. It saved loads.

        The key thing is reducing dependency and good book keeping. Same with food – I used to depend on supermarkets for everything, now only for tea, bread, meat and milk since being self sufficient on fruit & veg.

        Book keeping – use a spreadsheet which you can formulate to give warnings of overspend.

        The ideology is; If you can’t see it you can’t quantify it. If you can’t quantify it you sure as hell can’t control it…..then you end up in debt.

        Basically I run my house affairs as if it were a business, and guess what it works.

  67. Excalibur
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Off topic. A wonderful article by Peter Hitchens in the Mail today outlining why the Supreme Court is a threat to our constitution.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      That’s curious. Peter Hitchens usually gets his facts right.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Everything’s a shade of grey. A unanimous verdict should at least raise some scepticism.

  68. Edward2
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Interesting Project Fear quote from a few decades ago:-

    In 1982, the UN had announced a two-decade tipping point for action on environmental issues. Mostafa Tolba, executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), warned on May 11, 1982, that the “world faces an ecological disaster as final as nuclear war within a couple of decades unless governments act now.”

    • Wessexboy
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I am guilty of having been alarmed by this in the early 80’s, and regular similar updated disaster warnings. We should all be dead by now. How little has actually changed.

      • Otto
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps it’s better to be warned too early than too late. Gives plenty of time to think about it when the time comes which many say is now.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 30, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

          That’s very strange logic Otto.
          I could refer to many other alarmist predictions from the past saying the world will end, which have failed to come true.
          Yet people still believe the current predictions for doomsday but another few decades away.
          It is more like a religious belief than a s proper science.

  69. Frank
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    “Will government subsidise this work, or will it require householders to carry it out at their own expense?”

    Where does the government get its money? It doesn’t matter who signs the cheque, the householder will pay one way or the other.

  70. Ian Wilson
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    My apologies for an error in my previous post. The Glasgow climate conference (why on earth are we hosting it?) will bring around 30,000 delegates, not 3,000. Even I had forgotten how profligate are these jamborees.

    • Ian Terry
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wilson..

      All walking or on their bikes one would suppose?

  71. William Long
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Politicians love all this because it provides them with something easy to look good about, saving them the difficulty of making decisions about contentious things that really matter – like long term care, the inefficiencies of the NHS, the defence of the realm and, above all, putting their own house in order.

  72. Lester Beedell
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    A totally pointless exercise, I don’t think that China will be taking any notice and we will just return to the Stone Age and become entirely uncompetitive

    We each exhale 30 tons of Co2 during our lifetime, try reading The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change by Marc Morano which effectively debunks all the nonsense being pedalled by the Climate Change fanatics, it was called Global Warming but that wasn’t happening hence the change of name!

  73. Rule Britannia
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    First, prove the science. Climate change scientists are a strange breed who seem to have forgotten the basic science we all learned at school. Archimedes Principle (a submerged body displaces its volume; a floating body displaces its weight) tells us that the only ice that matters is Antarctic ice and Greenland ice.

    We constantly see fossils such as xxxxxx, operating outside of their area of expertise, bemoaning the melting of Arctic ice twittering on about sea levels and failing to understand that this is floating ice so it will not affect sea levels one iota. Which could explain why we still have the same Brighton beach that we had 100 years ago.

    Oh and… since we began measuring the Antarctic ice cap in 2013, it has.. wait for it… expanded! Easiest place to check is Wikipedia.

    It’s just another thing to add to the long list of things that lefty remoaner types don’t understand (but still shout vehemently about).

  74. ADAMS
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Your Gov has already decided that all new build houses will not have gas boilers . Do you know about this John and did you have any input into this oh so politically correct decision ?
    Your Party needs to get off the brainless Climate change wagon and follow Trump who has seen what is really at stake . Global Governance .

    • tim
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Not have GAS! So not even gas Hobs! So the rich can force their very expensive electric heat pumps on the poor.

  75. Edwardm
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Ambitious aims for carbon reduction will only come at a cost and probably considerable inconvenience, and may prove to be electorally unpopular in years to come.
    Aiming to make the UK a low carbon economy ahead of the rest of the world will likely seriously damage us economically and will achieve little carbon reduction as manufacturing processes move abroad – we’ll probably end up I importing bricks and cement. The big and growing producers of CO2 will view this virtue signalling as a home goal and take advantage of it.
    Furthermore the climate change lobby is based on an unproven premise – basically computer models that are fixed to give the results the left wing wants to use as a tool in its anti-industrial and anti-aspirational aims.
    Climate has changed naturally over millions of years and we are within the envelope of historic climate change. Also small changes in CO2 levels have followed changes in temperature and did not precede it. Ie. something else (probably the sun’s output) caused the temperature changes – and the following release or absorption by the sea was a consequence.
    Consider this: Water vapour is a stronger green house gas than CO2 (though in different parts of the IR spectrum). There is generally between 5 and 50 times as much water vapour in the air as there is CO2, and we do not suffer catastrophic changes in temperature as the amount of water vapour varies.
    I suggest worries about CO2 are well overblown. In so far as the planet warms and ice melts – it is probably going to happen anyway, and adaptation (eg don’t build at sea level) is better than trying to stop it.
    We need an unbiased technical commission to look into the evidence of climate change before we make policy decisions.

    • Edwardm
      Posted September 30, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      JR raises pertinent observations about the far-reaching effects of the zero-carbon aims, and asks for ideas to solve the consequential problems, as clearly these haven’t been thought through by the promoters of zero-carbon.
      On the supply side: If we are to maintain our existing lifestyle we will still need similar amounts of energy supply. The only large scale alternative is electricity, generated either by nuclear or hydro or by wind.

      For a reliable supply, I suggest we need to start building numerous nuclear power stations – we have plenty of existing sites -and use affordable British designs not expensive foreign ones as at Hinckley.
      We could also see if Norway was willing to supply us with hydro electricity and/or provide massive pumped storage schemes. We would connect via an undersea DC connection (as used to import French nuclear electricity).
      Nuclear fusion if it can be mastered could be the power source of choice in the future.

      Fortunately battery technology is advancing – but not certain it will ever quite be as good as fossil fuel (speed of refuelling, energy density and battery weight).
      Powerful permanent magnets used in vehicle engines currently use rare earth metals for overall low weight and efficiency. More sources of these metals need to be prospected (not guaranteed), also to remove China’s hold over them.

  76. Server of right
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Humble yet gigantic countries can profit from the West’s ongoing popular flavour of the week economic and political incestuous intercourse. Cheaper than we can make infrastructure as a gift to us. Yet keeping their ancient nation mind on the longer term where votes are counted in diverse creative manner.
    Petrol, diesel, passenger air transport and road transport will be their edge whilst we smaller nations still powerful like us unravel ourselves from a bird’s nest of tram, train, bike, skateboard, cycling tracks with the forests we re-grew after only just clearing the table for five o’clock tea.
    We are doing it to ourselves and China, Russia and its greater family, South America, Africa will arise from the ashes of our youthful discontent like the Phoenix. We had it all, and then tied ourselves up with flowery parliamentary rhetoric.

  77. Mark
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Zero carbon on any time horizon is a crazy policy. The cost of investment to implement it is measured in the trillions: at least £1 trillion just to insulate our homes, according to Prof Mike Kelly of Cambridge. The cost of zero carbon energy would add several more trillions and make the economy utterly uncompetitive. We would no longer be able to afford to import the goods we no longer produce, and the economy would collapse to perhaps a quarter of present GDP per head – like Venezuela. Not since Stalin and Mao have we had governments quite as determined to wreck the lives of their people in pursuit of absolute power. This is far worse than failing to implement Brexit (although if we fail, we would be ordered to pursue this insane policy by the EU, it seems).

  78. Original Richard
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    And what about off-setting the CO2 generated by all the imports ?
    The green campaigners have no plan at all.

    It is amazing that our planet’s climate is so stable when it is determined by a nuclear fireball 93m miles away.

    The idea that slight changes in climate have never happened before and any current small rise in temperature is entirely anthropological is ridiculous and those who suggest that the UK can unilaterally reduce any temperature rise are akin to King Canute’s flattering courtiers.

  79. anon
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Its a target which will spur local tech development and reduce imported fuel costs as well. We must be careful to ensure we do not import the saved CO2. So we will need to tax imports accordingly.

    Its possible if we build out renewables and let the storage technology catchup.
    It is a question when renewable is cheaper than gas in the uk, so we may as well plan to take advantage of the move to electrical power.

    We could keep all existing gas burners until storage has us suitably covered, then curtail replace.

    Nuclear tech is just too expensive. If Hinkley had been spent on renewables. Its likely we would have the generating capacity equivalent already.

    We need to encourage electric bus in towns and cities.
    Seriously reduce congestion, to the point of curtailing private car use and or non coordinated deliveries, which severely reduces the utility of buses as a reliable simple & quick choice.

    Local authorities should be responsible for cleaning the residue of pollution from roads, walls etc. Dirty fuels have no place in cities.

  80. agricola
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Ref your new policy on posts, best score today 14. Who will beat it tomorrow. I am beginning to wonder whether you are writing them yourself.

  81. Alec
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Windmills and solar don’t work adequately on a big scale. Electric cars are really entirely dependent on fossil fules for manufacture and power, and they don’t provide the range and flexibility for people that don’t live in a big city. Carbon dioxide is essential to life and not harmful in any way. This whole climate scam is simply to enrich and empower the already rich and powerful just as most government scams/ policies are. We will never be “zero carbon” because of life on Earth is based on carbon. It is a ridiculous charade that only religious zealots, fools and the greedy believe.

  82. John P McDonald
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Don’t wish to restate was has be mentioned, but would be good for the Government to justify the need to reduce CO2 generated by Humans. It is a very low percentage of that released my nature due to the warming of the sea and deforestation. Even humans generate CO2 by living. CO2 increase is a warning flag, not the cause of global warming/climate change.
    We generate more Heat Energy then ever before, waste more, and pollute more than ever.
    The diesel car story is perhaps one reason we should not trust advice about CO2 from Government. The Green House Gas theory, as given, is not supportable by modern day understanding of heat energy radiation from CO2. Water vapor is a much abundant Green House Gas. In regard to Air transport, not so much the CO2 generated, more the heat, vapor trails and other exhaust pollution generated that is the issue.
    The cost to London when a wind farm and Gas fired power station failed due to the mad dash to be carbon neutral. If we become carbon neutral but other countries lag behind will the UK climate change stop or even slow down?
    Generate less heat, plant more trees, cut down on waste and pollution.
    PS. don’t start the car engine unless you are about to go, switch off if not moving.

  83. DaveK
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, this is yet another political project that sucks in the virtue signallers and the gullible (Andy). It is difficult to discuss these things as the political class like to think they are saving the planet or the country from cliff edges. Look at the 2008 Climate Change Act, all but 5 MPs smugly voted for it.

    The source of this particular project seems to be the UNIPCC whose terms of reference are to figure out ways to prevent the chaos caused by Man Made Warming. As you can see they are not there to investigate, they have taken as read that it is our fault. They have also admitted that it is in fact a project to re-distribute the worlds wealth. They also take thousands of scientific reports and then produce a summary for policymakers (political document), sometimes before the analysis is actually done.

    Things such as the Paris Accord are set up to diminish the West industrially and economically, hence Pres Trump protecting his country by withdrawing.

    Normally when observations and experimentation show that a hypothesis is incorrect then it is shelved. Not so with Climate Change, they just double down and scream about something else.

    I always ask two questions of man made climate change supporters.

    1. How do the climate models which predict these disasters compare to actual observation?
    2. How has the global sea level changed over centuries following an ice age?

  84. Big John
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I would say, it is best not to vote for any politician that believes in this co2 nonsense.

  85. They Work for Us?
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Once again we are being “guided” into expensive and repressive courses of action that the Govt including Ministers are not competent to take on our behalf and should not be allowed by us to take on our behalf. A serious consideration would conclude that the climate is changing as it always has and that nothing we can do will affect the outcome, we cannot control the sun. Environmentally and locally of course no one wants litter, air pollution and wasteful practices but these are all within individual control. We do not require and should not allow carbon taxes, futures, permits etc. and expensive energy to enable virtue signalling by the ignorant.
    In the future let us hope that new MPas will be rebranded as delegate (not representative and governments are kept under control by more Direct Democracy. Decarbonisation should be stopped immediately. All electric is a fine idea but gives single point failure.
    Thank you for all you are doing, it must be difficult to remain sane in these trying parliamentary times. Boris is diing the right things (so far) and must not weaken.

  86. Stephen Reay
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s a shame Sir John’s request on posts has been ignored last count someone had 17 posts. I’m sure it takes a lot of his time moderating these posts. It doesn’t take that much effort to comply.

  87. Elli Ron
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Zero Carbon by 2030 – and pigs will fly to Mars.
    Your points +: Stop consuming all meats, no airconditioning, no agriculture (as no tracktors and other machinery), UK population down to 2-3 million living in pre-industrial conditions.

  88. Original Richard
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Is there even any point in discussing this if we remain in the EU, or bound to the EU’s directives, regulations and laws by the Withdrawal Treaty from which we cannot exit, as energy policy is an EU competence decided by QMV ?

  89. tim
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Half of the world is desperate for a bowl of rice to get them through the day.
    How do we cut carbon emissions for VOLCANOES?
    Man made climate change is RUBBISH!
    Climate change INDUSTRY is a milti billion dollar operation, who can prove anything to justify their policies.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Totally correct

  90. Gary C
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    It is obvious by the posts on here today that the vast majority of people are not taken in by the emotional alarmist nonsense spouted by the ‘scientific experts’ and their financial supporters.

    It’s one thing being encouraged to keep our environment clean but being forced to change our ways by these so called experts when so often in the past they have been proved wrong will not gain many votes.

  91. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Good evening Sir John

    Altogether a tough set of questions to be simplistic about. The real question is how to sell it to the 4 or 5 % who don’t look beyond the snapshot headline and actually switch come election time. That’s when elections are won or lost

    The targets of the opposition parties are ‘pie in the sky'( although aren’t metaphors banned in public life) banning either petrol or diesel to get to that target is nonsense as the CO2 for the most part with these items is produced in the production and delivery of vehicles. Extending the life on the existing does less damage. Singling out the VW Group or their lovely energy efficient vehicles are made using the most polluting methods. A Toyota Prius over its life cycle is more polluting than a 5litre Ford Mustang.

    Battery powered transport is not the answer it is an expiring technology and spending money on it is simply that to waste money. Subsidizing Battery Vehicles would be a crime in its self. Everyone in the industry knows hydrogen is the answer, short term long term and the future, the Met Police and London Transport are already up and running.

    Our new Homes are designed by pseudo science to make the political class feel warm and cuddly. If house standards development had been left in the hands of the Building Research Establishment we would have energy efficient homes. Grounds source heat is all but non-excitant, as is home heat exchanger ventilation. Brass knobs in bathrooms are seen to sell houses and cost more than efficiency.

    Most Home built in the last 25 years have had future proofing built out, out of sheer laziness. All the Major House Builders are in fact are taxpayer subsidized industries, but are built for short time vanity of the builder and the prospective purchaser. I could go into serious depth of the known flaws, and actually remedies, but these are well know BRE and of course some brevity is required in this response.

    Sun spots and population growth are very big cause of global warming. Yes the World has got warmer since the industrial revolution. In the same time frame the World has moved from just under 700 million to just 7 Billion a ten fold increase. Its trebled in the time we have been in the EU. So it could be said Humans are responsible for just existing in their current numbers

    Sir John knock-em dead tomorrow (Ooops another banned metaphor)

    • Mark
      Posted September 30, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Ground source heat installations require about a fifth of an acre of garden, which is difficult when houses are being built on plots of a tenth of an acre including both house and “garden”. It’s also very expensive.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted October 1, 2019 at 4:39 am | Permalink

        Not exactly correct, it can be vertical. In a lot of situations it is more efficient that way as well

        It is only expensive as a retrofit, mainly due to the re-jigging of the existing infrastructure

  92. Headsup
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Boris thinks the solution to getting agreement for leaving is if the EU side gets common sense- jeez- and with the whole world looking on at the shambles that is British politics today- someone should remind him that if sense was common everyone would have it

    • Edward2
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      Well not really Headsup.
      The EU want a deal.
      It is better for them and the UK wants a deal too.
      So with a bit a friendly goodwill on both sides maybe one can be formulated.
      But if if it can’t then we leave by law on 31st of October.
      Then we can start proper trade negotiations with EU
      As an independent nation.
      But don’t worry because for 40 years Japan had no deal with the EU yet Japan sold billions of pounds of goods to EU customers.

      • Davek6
        Posted September 30, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        The Eu doesn’t want a deal at any cost..first of all Farage and his party of MEPs will have to be ejected from the eu parliament and that means uk leaving 31st Oct WA agreed or not agreed. Everything else can be discussed aftrtward.

  93. MartinC
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    There is no CO2 crisis. It’s a quasi scientific-political illusion.

    Life depends on CO2, plants feed on it. When CO2 drops below 150 ppm, plants die, and so would we through lack of food.

    Climatologists supporting the CO2 crisis selectively cherry pick evidence, tweaking the results to falsely enhance their erroneous hypothesis.

    The answer? Reopen coal mines that are still productive and build more coal fired power stations.

    However, evidence now points to the poles reversing and the earth is facing a period of extreme volcanic activity, the like of which modern man has not experienced before. The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland in 2010 grounded aircraft, as the fine ash would have wrecked their combustion engines. When Yellowstone (et al) explodes, all combustion engines (planes, ships and cars) in the northern hemisphere , or possibly the world, may be adversely affected. Global trade would stop in an instant.

    Are electric cars the answer? Ironically, they may be the right solution for the wrong reason. It follows that countries need to become as self-sufficient as possible.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 30, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      When Yellowstone explodes???!!!

      It blows every 600,000 years or so. It is, so I read, 30,000 years overdue. Last time it went it put 10 feet of ash over a large area of N America and the ash in the atmosphere caused a ‘nuclear’ winter and mass extinctions. I don’t think owning an electric car will help.

      • MartinC
        Posted September 30, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Yellowstone is currently recharging its magma chamber and is exhibiting volcanic tremors and drum beats that indicates (in other lesser volcanos) that an explosion is imminent. We just don’t know when. Mary Greeley gives regular reports on the seismographs and spectrograms monitoring Yellowstone as well as other volcanic explosions and tectonic plate movement around the world. These are available online.
        When Yellowstone last exploded I understand it had several eruptions over hundreds of years, so the accumulation Mike Wilson refers to above would not have been deposited all at once.
        It is the role of Government to guide the economy and prepare the nation for such possible outcomes. Let’s hope it never happens, but the geological record is against us.

  94. JimW
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    The Earth’s average global temperature ( a very silly stat that is quite impossible to accurately measure) is increasing by about 0.8C per century. Discounting the recent la nina ( a natural weather event) it has not increased at all for about 20 years. The 80s and 90s saw an increase that is not explained, as neither is the 50-70s decrease. Actual recorded temperatures are no higher, indeed many are lower, than in the 30s.
    The IPCC reports make it very clear that the global climate models do not/can not model cloud cover. They also admit that the approximation they make could be wrong by over 100%. It requires little change in the assumed variable for cloud cover to completely negate any temperature increase modelled from a doubling of CO2.
    The IPCC models cannot and do not correctly model historical temperatures accurately, they do not/can not model the year ahead temperature accurately. With one exception all the models have never forecast future temperatures accurately , indeed they are all ( bar one) running ‘hot’ by over 50%. The only one that is near to replicating observed temperatures is the Russian model. For obvious reasons this is rarely quoted. The reason is that this model does not include the so called forcing element that assumes Co2 magically enables water vapour to become a far more active greenhouse gas. This ‘forcing’ lies at the core of the more extreme forecasts. It has never been found in practice and for the last 30 years a lot of weather satellite time has been looking for it in the atmosphere. The little known scientist who first postulated this in the late 1880s subsequently withdrew his postulation, this has never been acknowledged by the IPCC.
    If this history of incompetance was replicated in any other scientific field, never mind an engineering field, the whole thing would have been abandoned decades ago.
    But it grows , billions are pumped into the climate industry, why? Because it was never about the science it is about a rationale to introduce a new economic and political system on a global basis. And it is supported by $billions from ‘disrupters’ (word left out ed)
    In the meantime well meaning politicians, like our host, worry about whether they should join in with some nice ‘virtue signalling’ about how quickly we should introduce carbon taxes and reduce our energy capability to pre-industrial times.
    I suggest all politicians still with working brains ( maybe I’m optimistic) should spend the time looking at the real science , not the propaganda, read the utterings from the UN, follow the money, and then start to dismantle the biggest threat to our society. Compared to this, brexit is a flee bite.

    Reply I was asking questions, not making recommendations

  95. APL
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Boris Johnson announces nuclear fusion program.

    Now that’s a policy I could get on board with.

    • stred
      Posted September 30, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Fusion is too hot to get the heat out😈. Boris hasn’t got a clue when technical stuff is put in front of him by snake oil salesmen and green loons. More billions will be wasted. Existing nukes, except EPRs are economically sound and take 7 years to build.

  96. Jeremy
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for going off topic but did you see James Wells MEP tweet. He’s heard from an insider that Boris is only discussing with the EU the backstop in the WA, plus other changes in the non binding PD? As a leaver that isn’t what I want at all.

  97. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Changing the entire car fleet without causing severe economic losses will clearly take 20 years. It may well take that long to provide sufficient public charging points to supplement home charging points and to move to 100% clean energy. The Government should select a small pilot study area – say the London congestion charge area – to go 100% electric and to learn the costs and problems involved in doing so.

    Self charging hybrids are an interim step but they are clearly not as clean as electric cars and plug in hybrids.

    I think that we need 20 years to clean up both power generation and cars.

    And what about cleaning up buses?

  98. William Pentelow
    Posted September 30, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    I am surprised that someone with an ounce of common sense even considers this to be possible at all.
    Grow up.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 30, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Agreed, flaky science to win over those unable to think it through. But they are the same ones that change their voting intentions based on Hype not Reality – as a result change election outcomes.

      All the result of dumbing down the education system, that is why the Left Wing Coalition is so keen.

  99. Mark
    Posted September 30, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I note that the E3C interim report on the August 9th blackout has yet to be published by BEIS. It was due on 18th September, and BEIS had promised it would be made available at their website page on the blackout.

    I have tried to chivvy them for it. Perhaps an MP would have more success. The reports from National Grid have attempted to cover up the underlying issues concerning high levels of renewables generation and grid stability. These are among the crucial issues for attempts to achieve zero carbon.

  100. BillM
    Posted September 30, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    ‘Zero carbon’ means the death of the Planet. Have these loons never heard of the ‘carbon cycle’, for life on Earth?
    The Chinese, Indians and may of the FE countries must be laughing their socks off at the stupid Westerners as they add another Coal-Fired Power Station to their ever increasing stock.

  101. TooleyStu
    Posted September 30, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Encouraging to read the variety of comments on this subject.
    I do not believe ‘the science is settled’.
    Global warming became ‘climate change’ when things didn’t heat up, for example – 29 June 1989 the UN warns that entire nations will be ‘wiped off the face of the Earth’ by 2000.
    My dear old Dad used to say .. ‘If you catch a weasel asleep, you wee in its ear’.

  102. Tomaž Slivnik
    Posted October 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    The average UK household consumes 3760kWh of electricity per year.

    It has 2.4 people. At 0.471 vehicles per person, it has 1.13 cars. At 30kWh/100 miles and 7900 miles driven per car per year, it would require another 2680kWh of electricity per annum if all cars were switched to electric ones overnight.

    Where are the power stations necessary to generate this additional electricity? And where is the distribution grid required to deliver it to wherever the charging stations are going to be located?

    A fast electric car charger charges an electric car in 11 minutes and requires a 400kW charging cable. A 12 charging station refuelling station would require either a 5MW power plant on-site, or distribution cables big enough to deliver this from a remote power station, to power it. Where is all this infrastructure coming from? If the power station is on-site, with what fuel are the 5MW going to be generated?

  • 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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