“Let them take the bus” says Green enthusiast

In recent discussions I have been having about the costs and timetable for getting to zero net carbon dioxide as various governments now want, I have been asking about who will be paying for the electric vehicles and the heat pumps it will take.

Millions of people in the UK on below average incomes will need to replace their cars and vans with electric versions. They will be expected to replace old gas and oil boilers with  heat pumps and new boilers or with all electric systems. How easy will it be for them to afford the new machines and systems?

One person responded to my query by saying  buses and trains will all go electric thanks to taxpayer and public sector financed investment. People can then take the bus and dispense with the car they said. Many people do not live in cities with frequent bus services.

They seem to have in mind a them and us world, where the better off will still be able to afford the new vehicles and the all electric systems, whilst many others will in their view no longer have personal transport. Let them take the  bus, is a paraphrase of their position.

This is a poor answer at best, as surely the many should have access to higher living standards and greater convenience. It is  no answer to the needs of the small business person who needs a van to get to each appointment, taking the tools and spares needed for the assignment. Everyone from plumber to builder, from delivery business to mobile service provider needs personal transport tailored to their work. Many families need a car to get food back from the shops and to take the children to school as well as to get themselves to work.

For those places wanting zero net carbon as they call it by 2030 it will be soon that people need to spend the money on completely transforming their domestic heating, and to start thinking about new vehicles for the end of the next decade. We are talking about a colossal joint investment, where those just managing on current incomes will find it difficult to find the cash  for potentially large expenditures.

I also  see there is consumer resistance to some of these changes even where there is no direct additional cost involved. The electricity companies are urging   people to allow works in their  homes to change over meters. People with busy lives find it difficult to book out a day to supervise the work, and many are apprehensive about works in their home when the current system works just fine. The absence of any perceived personal benefit from the new meters has put lots of  people off. Some circulate rumours the firms strenuously deny that there is some ulterior motive on future  tariff and supply interruption that the new meters might bring. Indeed part of the case for these meters is that in future there could be variable tariffs with higher charges at certain times of day, with more control over energy supply by the utility. It will need a stronger case as to the benefits to get more people to allow these installations,.

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166 Comments

  1. Frances truscott
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I have a meter because my eyesight would not allow me to read the old one in the badly lit basement. The gadget that comes with it though is totally useless. People are not going to learn not to have the heating on or learn not to do the washing. That’s all the gadgets are for
    Changing people’s behaviour.
    As to the gas boiler I put in a brand new one when I downsized to my current house. It cost a lot and is just a few years old. I wouldn’t want all electric as one is then reliant on supply for everything and electricity is very expensive.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      We will have left the European Union, and the UK Parliament always was supreme anyway.

      John vaguely implies, that presumably, some supra-national body could force these changes upon the UK.

      Could he perhaps identify that entity?

      After all, if it is able to usurp Parliament, then why all the fuss about leaving the European Union?

      No. These are aspirations, not edicts. No reasonable party would force them on the people where undue hardship would be caused.

      People should therefore vote for reasonable candidates.

      • dixie
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        Why don’t you just address John’s actual points rather than pretend you can read minds and hijack the earliest comment to project your usual bullshit.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        I hope you are right Martin.
        But the Climate Change Act and our commitment to the UN Paris Agreement means really radical changes will be needed to comply with the targets we have agreed to meet.

  2. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Let them eat cake as someone famously said.
    Zero carbon is a pipe dream and the sooner Parliament is rinsed clean of the uneducated rabble, the better.
    You can’t even get us out of the EU which should be relatively simple let alone make us all electric.

    • Hope
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Do not forget Johnson had the right to ask the Queen to refuse consent to the Surrender Act. he chose not to. He begged the EU not to extend beyond 31st January 2020! Pitiful state of affairs where politicos are bowing to a foreign power.

      Even worse Johnson has agreed a WA that he resigned over, heavily and boldly criticised as vassalage for two and half years, boldly stated the UK leaving deal or no deal by 31/10/2019, would die in a ditch rather than ask for an extension- even though he could have acted to prevent it, Barmier last week made it clear that the UK would lose sovereignty at least during an unlimited transition, the least time expected to be 3 years, where it could be economically damaged!

      Mayhab and Johnson agreed to zero neutral by 2050- without reason, supporting evidence nor public consent! These are our taxes and we should be involved in that colossal financial decision. MPs have shown they are not fit for purpose.

      I have come to the conclusion that a second referendum is required based on a strict Johnson’s WA or leave without a WA. No other choices.

      Johnson’s WA affects our sovereignty, military, foreign policy to be subservient to EU and citizenship. Heath lied taking the country in the EEC without our consent on these very important constitutional issues. I do not understand why Johnson’s servitude plan is allowed without our consent.

    • Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Let me add to that. I follow the production of electricity for the national grid.
      The heavy lifting is done by Gas power. Nuclear energy provides a nice backdrop. Between them they regularly provide around two thirds of our electricity. At the moment (10.20 a.m.) we are having just under 75% of our power from those magnificent two.
      Wind is variable. I should have thought that was obvious, but it isn’t. (10.1% at the moment)
      Solar power? Yes, on a hot summer’s day, it can go as high as 20%. In the winter, when you need it, – nowhere. (5.6%)
      Figures from Sheffield University.

      Add to this at your peril. Take away gas power and we are all well and truly stuffed.

  3. J Bush
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    My last job was only 12 miles from home, but it would take 3 buses and 2 hours to get there, if I had to rely on public transport. The first didn’t arrive until 7.00am and I started work at 8.00am. How would their ‘pie in the sky’ help people in this situation?

    What happens to the people who live 10 miles or more away from work and there is no bus service, or rail station?

    These ‘melons’ need to get out of their metropolitan bubble and experience the real world the majority live in. Oh, and confiscate their private transport, mobile phones, TV’s, computers etc (as all of these require scarce commodities and energy to manufacture and to use). Remove their central heating and burners for 2 years. And no diesel generators, or using anything made of plastic or other man-made fibres! So they can experience first hand the ridiculousness of their fantasies.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      You make a powerful point about time and distance to your place of work. Research has demonstrated that as means of transport have become faster so people have decided to live further away from their workplace. Hence the rise of the commuter.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        It would be nice to live closer but have you seen the costs of properties near city centres?
        Most commuters have to live many miles away from their place of work to be able to afford somewhere to live.

      • J Bush
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        When I lived in the south (uttlesford district). One of my jobs was 85 miles from home (as my constituent MP at the time learned when trying to justify claiming travelling expenses/second houses, I actually worked further away, but politicians decided everyone else who worked away from home should only get £1.67 tax exception for their living/travel costs). Fortunately, most of my jobs were between 25 and 45 miles away, so I could return home each day.

        I used the original example to demonstrate that you don’t need to live far away from work to still need private transport. These myopic idiots have no idea.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Indeed I caught a bus the other day from North London to Trafalgar Square a distance of just under three miles it took an hour to get there with only a handful of people on it too. I could have walked it more quckly but had a heavy bag.

      Average depot to depot bus occupanies are often in single figures. Buses are not therefore not very efficient at all. They are very slow, block the roads, take indirect routes, need a professional driver (with there carbon output too) …..

      Passengers get the wrong impession of the average bus (and indeed train) occupancy due to sampling error as they by definition tend to catch the full ones more often and catch the empty ones rather less).

    • Andy
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Cycle. 10 miles is 40 minutes on a bike. You get nice and fit as well – and your journey is essentially free.

      And, yes, I do know what I’m talking about. Until recently I used to cycle 25 miles a day commuting to and from work.

      Brilliant.

      • Cliff. Wokingham
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Yes, enjoy your youth and your health while you have it.
        I wonder how keen you’ll be to cycle twenty five miles once you’re in your sixties or seventies or your body starts to fail.
        Good luck with bringing a week of shopping home on your bike.

      • J Bush
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        I note with interest you no longer cycle to and from your ‘work’…

        What do you do if you are 64, have arthritis and the journey is uphill and down dale?

        Believe it or not young Andy, age does have an impact on physical capabilities, as you will find out in 40 years time. 🙂

      • sm
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        How do you get a week’s grocery shopping for a family home on a bike?

        How do you get two children to school (possibly different ones) who are too young to cycle on their own?

        How do you get a sick relative to an out-patients’ appointment at the General Hospital (that is 15 miles away) on a bike?

        How do you dash over to the other side of town in the middle of the night when your parents have an urgent problem? (Oh, I forgot, you don’t think the elderly should be cared for)

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        How fortunate you are well enough to. Talk about ignorant of people’s needs. Try telling that to the averase housewife with young ones at home or someone with arthritis who is still only young. Brain before gob.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        Well no, you have to eat extra food and that is far from CO2 free you need a bike and tires etc. Also in cities it is about 15 times more dangerous than driving a car (even when a bit drunk & without your seat belt on). Still I suppose it is good for organ donations.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Andy worked as a Hovis delivery boy thats how he made his millions

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      I agree with J Bush, metro politicians also don’t live up North where it’s colder and wetter and the time between public transport is one hour, so you miss a bus by a couple of minutes – an hours wait. They also don’t co-ordinate buses with trains, in my town the bus left 5 minutes before the train from the main station arrived last week!
      There is so much new building going on at the moment, down every road you seem to turn down near us. Surely this is where change should start, builders could be encouraged to use solar tiles, lights that turn off if no-one is in the room , efficient under floor heating systems to free up walls. Low water use toilets.

      Many UK politicians seem to feel that they need to be a part of the EU to make other Countries suggested changes nowadays, bizarre.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Bob Lutz ,the former CEO of General Motors,was interviewed for RT’s Sophie & Co Visionaries series(4/10/19).He predicts that within 30 years there will be no private cars on the roads in the advanced world’s major cities-they will all be utilitarian driverless cars,publicly or corporately owned.

      The branded private car will be a leisure plaything,kept out of town for use on reservations-just as happened with horses.

      • Dame Rita Webb QC
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Public transport in Singapore is probably the best in the world so you do not need a car. If you do have to have one you need to be quite rich to avoid the associated taxes

        • Mitchel
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Singapore looks to be at the forefront of the move to autonomous vehicles-I think they are testing driverless buses at the moment.You probably need an autocratic/authoritarian government system to get it introduced (at least as a first mover);Moscow(which increasingly compares itself to the likes of Singapore rather than,say, Paris or Berlin) is clearly very interested too.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          Yes but Singapore is 31 miles wide East to West , thats smaller than Greater London( 45 miles) , you dont need a car to live in London either. Meanwhile the rest of us do and will do for many many decades to come

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Well we will move that way slowly, but he is surely exaggerating I suspect. People will still want to tow boats, horse boxes and caravans and leave their tools or shopping in their cars!

    • James1
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      There are massive swathes of people who are unable to switch to using public transport to carry out their jobs. Merely one example would be surveyors who have to deal with industrial estates in the middle of nowhere. There are no bus or rail services available to get them there. Hopefully at the next general election a majority of the electorate will consign those of our political representatives who support such utter eco lunacy into well deserved obscurity.

  4. Ron
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Article 50 requires that any extension to the EU Leaving date is agreed by the Sovereign representative of Member State. So I take it that John Redwood has read Boris Johnson’s letter to the EU dated October 28th.

    Nowhere in the letter does Mr Johnson say that the UK has agreed an extension of the Leaving date, beyond October 31st.

    Neither did he on behalf of the UK, or anyone designated by the Crown to do so, request any such extension. The only letter on the subject signed by anyone, specifically stated the UK, didn’t want an extension.

    All Mr Johnson says in his letter of October 28th, is:-

    ‘As you are well aware, I have no discretion under the (Surrender) Act, which was imposed on this Government against its’ will, to do anything other than agree the UK’s formal agreement t0 this extension’.

    Whether that’s right or not I don’t know. But all it amounts to, is Mr Johnson’s (probably wrong) interpretation of what the law means. And even if its’ right, Mr Johnson still hasn’t stated that the UK agrees the extension.

    Remainers are well aware that such an acceptance is required from the UK before it can be legally effective, otherwise they wouldn’t have brought these Scottish Court proceedings.

    So in International Law the UK will Leave the EU at 23.00pm on October 31st. It doesn’t matter what the date in the Brexit Act says.

    A Solicitor’s junior will tell you that a Hire Purchase ‘Agreement’ as flimsy as this, let alone an International Treaty, wouldn’t come close to standing up in Court if challenged.

    So if, from November 1st, any person or a State wants to take the EU and/or the UK to the WTO, or to any other Court for any losses it suffers from the effects of an ‘International Treaty’ to which the UK is no longer party, it will be free to do so, and should win.

    This deficiency cannot be remedied in retrospect after October 31st, without the UK successfully applying to rejoin the EU, and doing so.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Article 50 clearly states that; “Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”

      Is it constitutional for parliament to instruct the government to do something that the government does not wish to do, is against the national interest and runs contrary to the 2016 Referendum result and their respective manifesto pledges ? I raise this as this is a question of legitimacy. Parliament has sought, through the Benn Act, to prevent an outcome that it has previously agreed and signed into treaty (Lisbon), namely, the fact that we can withdraw without a Withdrawal Agreement. It has therefore, in my view, conspired to thwart the will of the people and prevent a previously known an lawful outcome. Parliament therefore, in my view, is in contempt of the people and of the laws / treaties it itself has agreed to.

      • Rob Pearce
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        The Vienna Convention of 1969 clearly states that the leader of a state or the government thereof cannot be coerced into actions against their own policy or wishes. Any such action will have no legal effect.

        Great Britain is a signatory to this convention and I cannot understand why no-one in the government has told No 10 about this.

        The only explanation is that, with a handful of exceptions including our host, EVERY MP in Parliament is basically a Remainer and the Tories doing what has transpired with the singular aim of party survival, the irony being of course that if the current PM would man up and just do it, party survival wouldn’t have to be worried about.

        Why did he pull the HoL filibuster on the Benn Surrender Act? Or, why when it did pass through didn’t No 10 refuse to send it to the queen?

        If BJ had just ignored the Benn Act, which under the Vienna Convention he had every right so to do, no-one would send him to jail and even if they did, he could rely on literally millions of citizens willing to crowdfund his legal defence.

        We wouldn’t want to do this because it would look so bad internationally? Hah! You mean we don’t already look impotent as a nation? At least we would get Our Country Back!

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      You are still clinging onto the hope that Boris wasn’t lying through his teeth when he said we’d leave on October 31st no ifs or buts. His failure to test the Benn act in the courts should maybe give you the idea he was. He will move the necessary SI to confirm the EU’s generous offer. That is two PMs in a row John has supported who have signally failed to deliver what they promised – maybe he is in the wrong party.

    • Gary C
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      “So in International Law the UK will Leave the EU at 23.00pm on October 31st. It doesn’t matter what the date in the Brexit Act says.”

      At the moment perfidy is overpowering democracy so don’t be holding your breath.

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Hello Ron

      If only! – Then you have to remember EU democracy is a committee behind closed doors that makes up the rules as they go along. No scrutiny, no responsibility and of course they have their own Court that does what the say.

      EU law also said we left last March, no one changed the Law. The politicos just chose to ignore it as it was in their own interest.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      So why did the PM accept the EU offer of a further extension ?

      I agree that he didn’t have too and that it contravenes EU treaty

      I have a big problem that the PM isn’t fighting for us and like TM, has tunnel vision about his new deal

      • Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Yes, indeed, Mr Cullen. He seems to be dishonoured, unless he performs a magic trick on 31 October.
        As envisioned by the poet:

        Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more,
        One task more declined, one more footpath untrod,
        One more devils’-triumph and sorrow for angels,
        One wrong more to man, one more insult to God…..

        • glen cullen
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          or

          The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

          Attributed to Edmund Burke

  5. Mark B
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    At last someone is asking the question, “Who’s paying for all this ?”

    Well of course, it is going to be the productive side of the economy. State employee don’t pay as they don’t produce anything to sell in the open market. Those on very low incomes don’t pay as they do not earn enough to pay taxes.

    When you keep hitting the productive side of the economy that is when things slow down. The money that is taken cannot go on investment, whether it be in business or on the home. This further slows down the economy.

    Let the market decide ! If something is of real value the market will provide. There is a reason we no longer use audio and video tape anymore. Government never legislated against it, newer and better technology made it redundant. If the internal combustion engine is such a bad thing and something better comes along it will go the same way. I wonder if haulage companies will also be made to move over to electric vehicles ? Currently it only seems to be the individual citizen. I wonder why ? 😉

    • Andy
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      You’ve effectively just accused nurses, teachers, police officers and soldiers of being non-productive because they do not produce anything to sell.

      I suspect many of them would take issue with you.

      And you will soon get your wish. You won’t be able to buy a petrol car by 2030 anyway – as manufacturers will stop making them.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Let’s hope that the low paid carer can get to you then Andy if you need one.

      • sm
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Medical care, schooling, defence and law are all vital to a well-functioning society but cannot be financed if the ‘productive side of the economy’ is failing, since public services consume wealth, they don’t produce it.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      I have just watched on YT, Sir John’s speech from yesterday. No one could have put it better. I believe his diary / blog gives him an insight, albeit a slightly biased one to be fair, into the minds of many voters. So I say to any fellow MP’s that might read this, hear Sir John’s words carefully.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      “I wonder if haulage companies will also be made to move over to electric vehicles ?” Haulage companies in the States are very interested in Tesla trials, vehicles that cover long distances that don’t require a driver, they can operate through the night without disturbing people’s natural living patterns. Early adopters of any new technology always pay a premium, most businesses can’t afford to make the change until the biggest vehicle users take the lead and bring down the prices.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      I think an artic unit with a forty foot trailer would need a battery about the size of a forty foot container. That is the power taken care of – – The charging of it and where the actual load would go would be for the boffins to work out.

  6. Mick
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    To be honest I’m not really interested in this global warming rubbish , all it is is a way of screwing more taxes out of us for something that not to distant in the future will be dismissed as fake news.
    Off topic
    I see Mr Johnson is going to try and get another go at a General Election but this time just needing a majority to get it through , the only problem with this ploy is that it can be amended and you can bet your bottom dollar someone will put a amendment for 16 year olds to have the vote and that Bercow would allow this amendment, but surely it cannot be that easy to give the 16 year olds the vote can it !!!

    • Grahame ASH
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Will 16 year olds want to stay in the EU where a little later on they will be called up to do National Service. Might make them think twice about remaining.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        They won’t be doing National Service Grahame – because the EU is out to destroy nations. The youths will also assume they’ll be fighting using their game systems, pressing “reset” after getting shot.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        How does the EU rule on voting age in the little club.? Austrians get a vote at 16, Greece allows a vote at 17, others at 18.

        • hefner
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          What about the EU not ruling on minimum voter age?
          Beware the EU under your bed!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      I read somewhere that stopping all over 70 year olds from voting was on the cards. Do they want a serious rebellion on their hands? We have more experience of life than any 16 year old and many of us are still paying taxes unlike most 16 year olds.

    • Andy
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      You would probably be interested in the global warming rubbish if a few thousand climate change refugees turned up in your town demanding to be looked after. And that is what will happen if we don’t act.

      • MPC
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        I enjoy your wind ups and respect your concerns about climate change but do think hyperbolic statements don’t really help! I feel reasonably well informed, partly through working in the energy industry. It’s very sad that the BBC especially, now has an editorial policy of denying a voice to those who could present contrary evidence. For example, that the Greenland ice cap has thickened over recent years and Antarctic ice has grown (NASA and others). Also I think you’ll find that the ‘97%’ of scientists say climate change is man made’ view is highly questionable and that a sceptical (and therefore more truly scientific) review of the sources would lead you to be less dogmatic about that apparent fact.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Andy doesn’t even agree with the 97% of scientists in the IPCC climate reports.
          Sadly he agrees with the extreme views of Extinction Rebellion.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        We are acting.
        We like USA lead the world in action to reduce CO2.
        The UK has reduced its CO2 by over 40% since 1990.
        And we are signed up to the radical Climate Change Act and the Paris Agreement

        • Mitchel
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          We outsourced it,along with the associated manufacturing, to the parts of the world that are now seen as the culprits!

      • Big John
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:02 am | Permalink

        You have a problem as you obviously believe in this crap, and any old crap you are told, that supports you view.

        Anyone with a brain, is still waiting for any real evidence that man made CO2 is a problem.

        So far, no evidence has been provided.

    • Shirley
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      It’s the usual politicians policy of putting their politics ahead of what’s best for the country. In my youth, the majority of young folk started work at 15 and had to start paying for their own way in the world. The voting age should rise, not fall, until the majority of that age have been in employment for at least 3 years.

      Once they start paying taxes and stop relying on the bank of mum and dad, then they may be qualified to vote.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      It is barely being mentioned that this time it will not be a Commons motion, it will be a Bill to over-ride the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act that will have to get through all the normal Bill stages in the Lords as well as in the Commons and then receive Royal Assent to become a new Act.

    • Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      16 year olds voting?
      Surely there should be no representation without taxation, so unless they’re paying tax, why should they have a vote?

  7. Dame Rita Webb QC
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Why bother? On Saturday, while we were still on British SUMMER Time, I woke up and looked out the bedroom window and could see that the summit of the local mountain had a topping of snow . While yesterday, I had to scrape a frost off the car before I took the bairns to school. No evidence of a climate disaster around here. With public transport being so poor in many rural locations to begin with, the aristos of ER would obviously like to see a return to some sort of feudalism with the peasantry tied down to their villages.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      And there are scientists being sacked from their posts because their research and findings don’t tally with the global warming nutters.

      A scientist specialist in polar bears disproved the rhetoric that they were dying off by showing they are in fact, thriving and growing in number.

      Another scientist disproved the Great Barrier Reef rhetoric of it dying, by proving it’s healthier than it has been for ages.

      Another scientist proved that explosions on the surface of sun in two layers, is affecting our globe, and is likely to cause global cooling.

      So I think ‘global warming ‘ is a scam, whose entire motives, are as yet unclear.

      The Conservative Woman (TCW) are keeping a tally on people who are sacked for disproving certain leftie arguments.

      • DaveK
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        There are clues however:

        A remark from Maurice Strong, who organised the first U.N. Earth Climate Summit (1992) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil revealed the real goal: “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialised civilisation to collapse.”

        Former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO), then representing the Clinton-Gore administration as U.S undersecretary of state for global issues, addressing the same Rio Climate Summit audience, agreed: “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” (Wirth now heads the U.N. Foundation which lobbies for hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help underdeveloped countries fight climate change.)

        Also speaking at the Rio conference, Deputy Assistant of State Richard Benedick, who then headed the policy divisions of the U.S. State Department said: “A global warming treaty [Kyoto] must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the [enhanced] greenhouse effect.”

        In 1988, former Canadian Minister of the Environment, told editors and reporters of the Calgary Herald: “No matter if the science of global warming is all phoney…climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

        In 1996, former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev emphasised the importance of using climate alarmism to advance socialist Marxist objectives: “The threat of environmental crisis will be the international disaster key to unlock the New World Order.”

        Speaking at the 2000 U.N. Conference on Climate Change in the Hague, former President Jacques Chirac of France explained why the IPCC’s climate initiative supported a key Western European Kyoto Protocol objective: “For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument of global governance, one that should find a place within the World Environmental Organisation which France and the European Union would like to see established.”

        IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer, speaking in November 2010, advised that: “…one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth…”

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    This is all engineering, environmental and economic insananity. Even if one accepts this CO2 “pollution”/ climate alarmist religion lunacy the above measures still make no sense whatsoever.

    How are we to generate all this low carbon electricy and manufacture all these heat pumps and electric cars. Manufacturing them uses vast ammounts of energy and costs a fortune. The only realistic, lowish carbon energy source we have is nuclear. Wind and solar are largely irrelivant well under 1% of world energy intermittent (needing spinning back up from gas) and very expensive too.

    See Lord Christopher Monckton – The Economics Behind Windmills video to explain the wind farm this lunacy for example.

    We need to be governed by sensible engineers and people who can do maths & economics rather than green religious nutters and virtue signalling loons.

    • eeyore
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Those interested in Britain’s electricity generation should go to

      https://gridwatch.co.uk/Demand

      where they will discover that renewables produce a variable but significant fraction of our needs. True, the base load is supplied by nuclear and CCGT but every KWh from wind or solar is so much less fuel to be bought in from abroad.

      • Mark
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Not as much less fuel as you may assume. Other power stations have to be available as backup, and they operate much less efficiently when they are having to keep firing up, then ramping up electricity supply (wasting half an hour’s fuel before they can begin supplying electricity), and then ramping down again with more energy wasted. The result can be reducing average efficiency from 60% to 40%, which means they consume 50% more fuel to produce a given quantity of electricity.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          Indeed plus all the carbon used in manufacturing, installing and operating these intermittent, white elephant, subsidised wind turbines.

        • Big John
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:06 am | Permalink

          And these “Other Power Stations”, still need to make money to pay for their overheads.
          But the CO2 BS, means we have to pay more, as they are being forced to be less productive.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I’ve attended many seminars with Monckton and he is very knowledgeable with common sense information unlike our ngos and politicians who listen to the likes of Emma Thompson and Greta.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Indeed he is sound, logical, numerate and correct.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Perhaps wearing more thermal underwear and jumpers and going back to heating just one room is a rather more practical and cheaper solution! Though not a very popular one.

    • Ed M
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      @Lifelogic,

      1) The Maths is that there is electoral demand for green issues (whether you like or not!). So ignore voters on this, and they will vote Libs, Labour and Greens instead of Tory. Lots of Conservative publications are now pushing Conservatives to focus more on concerns of voters on climate change, for example: ‘Lesson From 2018: Republicans Must Deal With Climate Change’ – Wall Street Journal.

      2) ‘green religious nutters ‘ – it is far more the religious right than more liberal atheists in the USA who support President Trump’s views on climate change.

      3) ‘virtue signalling loons’ – I agree. But most people take a MODERATE view. That the science shows manmade climate change is real. But most people don’t act like ‘virtue signalling loons’ or green anarchists about it. You’re simply focusing on the extremists instead of the moderates (who are a huge part of our population).

      4) I agree with you about nuclear

      5) You don’t make the argument how there is a lot of money for UK entrepreneurs to make money out of creating the green technology for the future (and there is consumer and business demand for this). HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY. But you are completely silent on this?!

      6) The scientific evidence is that man-made climate change is real. But science is amazing. It can resolve these issues as long as we give the science due attention (whilst making lots of money out of it!!).

      At end of day, if we don’t respond in the right way to climate change, then:

      1) Then we Conservatives will lose lots of votes to socialists / green anarchists
      2) We will miss out on the potential to make lots of money.
      3) And we will just see more glaciers melting – storms, tempests, flooding, snow-storms – all effecting our economy, security, health and so on.

  9. Iain Gill
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t work when people have ever more specialised skills.
    Like the airport hub and spoke model which was expected to make the ever larger planes the most successful, those biggest planes are failing, and the truth of the most efficient model being more people on smaller planes going directly from nearer where they wanted to start and finish.

  10. acorn
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    My smart meters, gas and electric, were fitted last January complete with in door display and instructions,first class job.

    My then supplier was bought out by an oil company,no problems. The gas meter continued to talk to the electric meter that continued to the mobile phone company.

    I swapped supplier and was told my smart meters were now dumb. Last week a guy turned up to read the meters.

    • Dame Rita Webb QC
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      You need a meter to tell you you have forgot to turn the bathroom light off or switch the TV off? I do not believe they are being rolled out to help the hard of thinking cut their electric bills. There are probably other motives and as an act of conservative civil disobedience I refuse to have one.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        How long till someone finds a microphone in the display unit? – so what we say can be listened in to.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Hilarious. Therein lies the problems. We are all electric but have just replaced our very old oil boiler in the house we have recently moved into with a more efficient new oil boiler. My husband has been in the heating business for over 50 years. He says the maximum size of most domestic electric boilers is 12kw and the average heat loss of a family home is 25kw plus the hot water load meaning that you have to fit 2 electric boilers together to meet your full requirements. This dies not take into account combination boilers which have to be sized bigger to give instant hot water. All this is clearly stated in the basic hydraulic principles of designing central heating and hot water systems. The use of heat pumps which are designed under normal conditions to provide a much lower mean water temperature only exacerbate the problem as many of the older systems were designed around a mean water temperature of 75 degrees. Only on highly insulated homes are these new technologies even viable. All these new systems we are supposed to be fitting will be mega expensive to buy, install and run. Someone’s having a laugh.

    • Andy
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      What you describe is a failure of government. Smart meters are a perfectly sensible idea – but the roll out was started before smart meters could talk to each other. A meter made by one company will probably not talk to one made by another company. Ministers let you down by not insisting on compatibility. What a surprise.

      • acorn
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Digitisation is certainly showing that privatisation of natural monopolies has caused fragmentation and duplication of fixed costs. “Let the market decide! If something is of real value the market will provide” says Mark B. Including a bag full of adapter plugs and sockets hopefully.

  11. Javelin
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    A communist run bus service instead of a car.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      With Zil lanes for people who can afford electric cars and government officials perhaps?

      Also, as I have said before, taxis are far less efficient than private cars they are empty much of the time, often make a double journey (for one useful one) and need a professional driver – so why are they allowed in bus lanes yet more efficient owner driven cars are not? Where is the logic here?

    • Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Like in Germany ?

      Where if they are over 2 mins late they get fined.

      That is exactly what we need here. Anybody who has been to Germany knows how a public transport system should work.

      There is no excuse whatsoever why ours is not the same. Especially, when our excuse we use is good standard, fixed exchange rate self imposed contraindicated no longer apply to a modern monetary system.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        Derek Henry

        Youve not been to Germany recently then?

        “Cancelled trains, lengthy delays, cracked bridges and wildcat strikes by disgruntled employees – a trail of chaos in recent months has caused Deutsche Bahn (DB) to become the butt of jokes and withering complaints. Cancelled trains and lengthy delays have turned a once-trusted railway system into a source of national shame

        Germany’s Pro Rail Alliance, an amalgamation of non-profit NGOs and businesses, says 90% of Germans support its call for more investment. It argues that despite a big financial injection in recent years, Germany’s €69 per capita spending in rail infrastructure still lags far behind that of comparable countries such as Britain (€165) and Switzerland (€362).”
        Above is from newspaper report in 2018

    • Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      * gold standard , fixed exchange rate self imposed constraints *

  12. oldtimer
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    MPs calling for zero carbon emissions have not, it seems to me, thought through the implications. It is notable that Norway has the highest share of battery electric powered cars, courtesy of substantial subsidies and favourable road traffic laws. It turns out these are mostly second cars of wealthy town dwellers; often they keep a second car for much of their driving needs. In markets where subsidies are reduced or removed, sales of battery powered or hybrid cars have reduced significantly. No politician has answered the question of how they propose to replace the substantial tax revenues that arise from the purchase and use of ICEs. In California, I imagine Tesla owners are alarmed to hear and experience the shut down of the electricity grid because of widespread fires, rendering their vehicles useless once discharged.

  13. William Pentelow
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    People are always resistant when they can see they are being conned.
    Global warming is not a proven science, in fact the opposite is happening according to scientist that have no financial agenda.

    I say this to YOU politicians, keep pushing and the people will eventually push back.

  14. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Whoever said “Let them take the bus” lives in a city. Lots of people don’t.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Many of the journeys workers do involve visiting several destinations over one day and carrying tools or other heavy items too. Doing these by public transport is often totally impractical, likely to take two days+ rather than one perhaps needing a hotel stop to! Government thus halving the workers “productivity” at a stroke!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      too!

  16. MPC
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Proper wok cooking in new homes won’t be possible after 2025 due to Mr Hammond’s ban on gas hobs. Even the EU hasn’t done that! Good piece in the Guardian last week – the UK is the largest net importer of carbon emissions in the G7. The madness continues…..

    • Mark
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Will picnic stoves be banned? What can we use during power cuts?

  17. agricola
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    If there is to be this comprehensive move to electrical power we need a national plan. At present it looks like the way we dispose of and recycle rubbish, shambolic. There has to be a fair distribution of cost. As the nation is possibly a greater beneficiary of such a scheme than the individual, the state should bare the bulk of the cost.

    I would ask, have we a plan to produce cleanly all the electricity required. Are there adequate plans to encourage individuals to produce their own electricity. Do current electric vehicles have the range to satisfy need. Does electricity solve the needs of commercial transport. Has the cleaning of diesel engines been fully explored, they already exceed legal requirements for private vehicles. Has the charging problem been solved, would auto battery swap be a better solution.

    When you look at the way Brexit has been handled do you really believe that our present ragbag of politicians are capable of understanding the problems involved let alone producing sensible solutions.

  18. Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I have a post up on Independence Daily today detailing a political response to the so-called climate crisis. Briefly, we should prepare contingency plans in case the doom prophets get the science right – remember they’ve been projecting tipping points and disasters which never arrive – but we keep on cleaning up pollution in the meantime.

    Oh, yes, one more thing. Frack
    Low carbon, clean burning, natural gas is the perfect fuel for HGVs.

    JF

    • dixie
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Agreed – we need to significantly reduce our dependence on overseas energy providers; build up the nuclear fleet as a priority using fracking to mitigate intervening shortages while figuring out a sustainable long term solution. The strategy must also look to reduce the degree of foreign interests in our key infrastructures.

  19. Stephen J
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Yes Sir John, who was that woman who asked if there was no cake to eat?

  20. Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    We are talking about a colossal joint investment

    Yes, we are John.

    We have done it before when we went to war. Keynes pamphlet called “how to pay for the war” explains what is needed to get this job done.

    Are we really saying the UK private sector is not up to this task ? God help us if there ever was another great war with that attitude.

    We fought the 2 great wars for our children and Grandchildren. I simply refuse to believe when push comes to shove this great country of ours will fail when asked to fight for our survival.

    Finally, this country will have full employment again in the true meaning of those words. With a real purpose instead of just filling rent seekers pockets.

    I worked for a company in the gas industry who exchanged gas meters and fits smart meters. There is not really a better example of economic rent seeking than this model. The greed just gets passed onto the consumers via higher prices. With very little competition that does not help.

    • Mark
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately it is doubtful whether the US government would make the necessary loans of several trillion pounds for such an economically disastrous enterprise.

    • dixie
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      The UK private sector is not at all the same as it was 70+ years ago. So much of it is foreign owned now and they have no real ties to the UK, no loyalty at all really.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        dixie

        The UK private sector

        99.9% of the 5.7 million businesses in the UK are small or medium-size businesses (SMEs).

        These SMEs, defined as business that have up to 250 employees, accounted for 60% of all private sector jobs in the UK, a total of 16.3 million. They are nearly all British owned

        A few multinational public companies do not represent the private sector

        • dixie
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Maybe (and I am one of them) but we and they depend on energy, services, transport, technology, food and components from non-British and pretend British companies. Go in to any supermarket and find products that were originally British and you will find German and Dutch names or maybe a Dublin office. On some brands they refuse to say.

          Westminster, Whitehall and the City have sold us out utterly, including so-called Labour, they are all culpable.

  21. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    My energy supplier pushed me to agree a date for a smart meter installation. I have read that, once installed, ‘they’ can cut your supply off if they feel like it.

    Is this true?

    Given the lack of investing electricity generation, one can envisage a future of rationed power – managed by remotely disconnecting smart meters. I, selfishly, want to dodge that bullet. At the moment, in a house full of LED lighting, we use little electricity. If we have to heat by electricity, our consumption will go up ten fold.

    • hefner
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      See Wikipedia “Smart meter”: all smart meters enable two-way communication, like a lot of wifi-based new house gimmicky appliances. So your concerns for such potential rationing are not far-fetched.

    • Martyn G
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      …….‘they’ can cut your supply off if they feel like it. Is this true?……
      Yes it is true; the heart of a so-called smart meter is a 100 Amp switch that can be operated by the provider via the network. Smart meters are simply a method of controlling users, not least by providers being able to adjust pricing as and when they like. Imagine a provider increasing unit price by, say, 0.5p/unit; who would notice that and if you imagine the scale where, say, a provider does that for 100,00 homes you can see how much extra dosh they gain by doing so. It is all about control and money for providers.

  22. Barry
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Years ago Environmentalists had foxes reintroduced to a part of Holland where they no longer existed and they discovered that in short order the ground breeding birds were in decline. Their answer to this dilemma was to say the ground breeding birds should learn to nest in the trees. You really have to wonder.

    • roger
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      They also banned the shooting of wildfowl including geese.
      Not long thereafter the wild goose populations ballooned to such an extent that they needed to cull about 60000 a year , especially around Skipol Airport, and employed a company to GAS them using CO2 .
      The irony of this situation, which continues to this very day, appears to have passed them by, but serves as a great example of unintended consequences and why the Brits have very little affinity with the continental nations.

  23. BOF
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I resent subsidising other peoples upgrades through my energy bills and taxes when the whole basis of the argument is bogus.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Too right BOF

  24. Roger W Carradice
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    The people at the United Nation pushing the global warming scam admit that it is to change the economic system. No wonder it is peddled by the BBC.I expect the Conservative Party to be exposing this nonsense not declaring climate emergencies.
    Roger

  25. Julie Williams
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Sounds like the classic socialist/communist regime that we have seen so many times in history where high ideals get replaced by privilege because you can’t overcome human nature.
    I would use the bus more if it wasn’t a quarter of an hour’s walk away, very infrequent and doesn’t take me where I need to go! We don’t all live in cities like London, thank goodness.

  26. Lifelogic
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    It was always blindingly obvious to any decent engineer that one should not insulate tall buildings with flammable cladding (to pointlessly save trivial amounts of energy) as encourage by the green, virtue signalling loons and councils. It was also blindingly obvious to me, just from viewing the TV pictures for about 30 seconds (that dreadful evening), that the Grenville Tower fire was totally out of control very soon after the fire was not fully extinguished. It clearly should have been evacuated as quickly as was possible. Why on earth could the fire chiefs could not see the blindingly obvious and make these real time decisions, until far too late is totally beyond me.

    Lions let by idiotic government donkeys (or Jennys) yet again.

  27. RAF
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    This rush to near 100% electrification is easily demanded by, in engineering and getting one’s hands dirty terms, uneducated people. It is pie in the sky thinking by a Government which, instead of applauding an equally uneducated 16-year-old for her “green” credentials, must get out into the real World and talk to experts who know what they are talking about.

    Keeping it short and on pain of being accused of asking the bleeding obvious, where are all the tradesmen coming from to rewire all the homes, offices. factories, schools etc? Where is all the copper cable coming from? The new equipment? The generating capacity?

    It’s one question after another and that is just looking at a few of the obvious top line needs.

    I played a small part in BT’s network replacement back in the 1980s and 1990s. That massive project was years in the planning and over a decade in the realisation. Put simply, all we had to do was replace around 800 main exchanges, several thousand local exchanges and enhance the cable network. This ‘rush to a carbon neutral’ UK dwarfs our effort. Where to start…

  28. EarleyRiser
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    It’s a fact that the smart meters allow remote disconnection of the electricity supply. If the computer says the wrong thing then you are switched off.

    They are also intended to ration the supply to people charging electric cars at home because the supplies to domestic roads were never specified to meet the load that would be imposed if more than a few people want to charge a car at the same time. They would trip out the whole road. That’s why the government subsidy for installing home chargers is now restricted to “smart” chargers.

    The whole business is an absolute nightmare from a cyber security perspective, a glaring vulnerability.

    We are putting everything on the Internet with no thought what happens if it isn’t there one day. We are one large sunspot from disaster. A repeat of the 1859 Carrington event and we’ve had it.

  29. Fred H
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    How are we going to generate the additional electricity required in the praised new world?

  30. Guy Liardet
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Added to which are the facts that CO2 is increasingly being shown as having a minor effect on climate, that UK produces one per cent of global CO2, that developing nations are investing hugely in fossil fuels to lift their people out of poverty, that the’Paris Agreement’ was always busted, CO2 will continue to rise, greening the planet. Read it up, it’s all over the blogospheres. And follow the money and the ad hominem ferocity.

  31. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Evolution by design is the way forward, not revolution by the execution of existing products which still have a useful commercial shelf life of very many years.

  32. Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    There’s a video with an Australian TV presenter speaking about the perils of reliance on electric cars – it does describe well the pitfalls should this insanity be forced upon us:
    https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2244106175654536

  33. Christine
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    These suggestions come from people who live in cities with good transport systems or who are wealthy enough to buy new cars and boilers. With our current infrastructure these changes just aren’t practical and are totally unrealistic. Politicians are losing sight of what the general public want. The sooner we rid politics of these dreamers the better.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Off topic, JR, I know that you were there to hear it, and indeed you intervened on it, but for the benefit of others here is the speech that the DUP MP Sammy Wilson made yesterday during the debate on the motion for an early general election, in which he explained why the DUP members will continue to use their crucial votes in every way which could help to stop Boris Johnson getting his EU deal approved:

    http://bit.ly/31WdeBZ

    I guess that if it was only a matter of the deal creating some impediments to imports from Great Britain into Northern Ireland then the DUP might have objected and withdrawn their support but not actively sought to block the deal, however they will not tolerate the impediments to their export trade to Great Britain he would have allowed to be created while brazenly attempting to conceal that reality.

    “We are not scared of a general election and we are not trying to stop Brexit. In fact, we have been pilloried in this House because we have been seen to be some of the most determined people to deliver Brexit. But the Brexit on offer is not a Brexit for the United Kingdom; it is a Brexit for part of the United Kingdom. It would leave Northern Ireland still within the single market and under the EU customs code. It would mean that any goods coming into Northern Ireland from GB would be subject to customs checks, customs declarations and tariffs. It would mean that we would have to sign export declarations when we sent goods to another part of our own country.

    All these things would add costs and delays to the economy of Northern Ireland and would be a huge imposition on the thousands of small firms that currently trade freely with the rest of the United Kingdom. They would suddenly find themselves having to treat the country to which they belong as a third country when it comes to trade. Despite what the Prime Minister has said, the withdrawal agreement makes it quite clear that we could not take part in trade deals that our country does with other parts of the world if they went against the protocols in the agreement.”

    Theresa May managed to throw away her Commons majority in an unnecessary general election, allegedly on the advice of the President of the EU Commission:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/10/election-nicky-morgan-theresa-hard-brexit

    and now Boris Johnson has managed to alienate the DUP MPs to whom she turned to secure a majority, and he pretends that the remedy for that would be another general election rather than going back to the EU and renegotiating the Irish protocol:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/10/28/anyone-for-an-election/#comment-1066595

    Just to reiterate that whenever the election comes I will not be voting for Theresa May, nor indeed for any other Tory candidate in any future election at any level.

  35. Northern mountaineer
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    So-called “Energy Transition” to steam-powered cars is the policy of the lunatic asylum – undeliverable, decided by stupid, ignorant people, tail wagging dog, lunatics running the asylum. Engineers step forward please.

  36. alastair harris
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    The cost of changing the infrastructure as you describe is enormous. Any political party attempting to force that through will not survive, but surely even the most naive environmental politician can see that it would cause riots!

  37. Everhopeful
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    We already live in a “them and us” world where the elite ruling class never suffer from their own policies.
    Some areas of the country have been nicely hired off exclusively for the rich ( with no loss of amenities) while other areas have been abandoned to overcrowding, closures, crime and loss of just about everything.
    “ Them and us” is exemplified by the way some of our elected politicians behave in parliament. Totally uncaring that we employ them and that they owe us respect.
    Carbon Zero…regard the nonsense….” It will be too cold for a December election”. “ Global Warming” totally forgotten.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      * hived off

  38. Sue W
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Somebody is welcome to correct me if I am wrong, but I believe smart meters depend on mobile ‘phone technology. Therein lies a problem for my household. There is no mobile reception at home, at least not indoors. It does slightly improve in winter when there are no leaves on the trees, but could not be depended on for the purposes of recording energy use.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Sue W

      You are correct, friends of ours were contacted by their energy supplier about smart meters, as soon as they were informed there was no reliable mobile signal in the area, they withdrew their offer because they admitted their system and equipment would not work without that continuous form of connection.

      You have to smile !!!!!

    • DavidJ
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      “Smart” meters allow control by others. Imagine the case of a tyrannical government (not so difficult these days) having the ability to turn off your essential supplies when you choose to stand against it.

    • Tim the Coder
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Correct, the “smart” meters use old mobile technology to connect.

      And don’t just fear being disconnected if you openly oppose the local politicos, just think what can be inferred by the per-minute record of usage.
      Easy to spot empty houses, to “repossess”, or burgle.

      And how dare you (TM) fail to reduce your electricity usage to zero in the recent Gaia Worship 3 minutes of black blackness (or something)! Shame about your Gran’s respirator, but you were warned not to disobey the 3 minute switch off.

      On the upside, sales of personal generators (whether legal or not) will skyrocket. Every cloud has a marketing goldmine around it!

  39. backofanenvelope
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Obviously, holding World Cup events on the other side of the world is definitely out under the new “green” regime.

    • Pominoz
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      Good thought, boae, the UK Is on the other side of the world. All future sporting events to be held here in Oz!

  40. Tim the Coder
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Some circulate rumours the firms strenuously deny that there is some ulterior motive on future tariff and supply interruption that the new meters might bring.

    Rumours?
    You only need to read the bid documents from the Smart Meter programme.
    In those, it is crystal clear what “Demand Management” menas: the ability to turn off a set of individual premises to reduce demand, and the ability to change the tariff in real time to price the poor off the network.
    And this is not speculation: this pricing strategy has been used in US. There the “consumer resistance” has guns, so the smart meter rollout is failing. Good.

  41. Fishknife
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The nearest shop, or Public Transport, is a twenty minute walk downhill. I do it to post a letter, get the milk.
    A State Pension won’t run to buying an electric car.
    Not on mains gas heating more than one room is a pipe dream.
    I’ll be interested to see how popular the replacement to taxing liquid fuel will be, sounds like another Poll Tax.
    Electrification is totally dependant on the concept of Nuclear Fusion.

  42. Sydney Ashurst
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Oral evidence: Smart Meters follow-up, HC 103-i 9 June 2014
    The admitted purpose of smart meters by Stephen Lovegrove, Permanent Secretary, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Daron Walker, Senior Responsible Officer, DECC, and Dermot Nolan, Chief Executive, Ofgem to the Public Accounts Committee chaired by Margaret Hodge was that they would be the modern White Meter.
    They would be capable of varying tariffs on a daily and time basis to manipulate Consumer usage. This would be done by pricing electricity to match demand with supply of renewables.
    Go to question 52 Justin Tomlinson: In your factoring—we know technology advances very quickly—how easy will it be to upgrade things further down the line?
    Daron Walker: That is one of the things this Committee challenged the programme
    about when we came in in 2011. We have done several things. First, we have worked with a
    range of experts on what kind of functionality you want built into the meter. There are several things built in—smarter grid-type things—such as the ability to have time-of-use tariffs, so you can encourage people to switch use by giving them different prices at different times of the day, and voltage alerts and voltage quality information that can go back to the network to allow it to understand where reinforcement is needed. There are several future-proofing elements that we have built into the meter.
    Q.56 Stephen Lovegrove: Taken purely in isolation, that would be the case. However, at
    the same time, we are seeking to electrify, as much as we can, our domestic heating systems and we will be wanting to electrify our transport systems. This is slow burn, obviously, but it will mean that there will have to be more generating capacity in the UK than there is today.
    The government has pushed back the deadline for smart energy meter rollout by four years until 2024.
    Previously, suppliers’ deadline was the end of 2020, but energy firms had warned the technology was not ready. But the extra time could lead to more years of frustration for customers, many of whom are fed up with the new meters they have been given.
    It also means the cost of installing the new equipment is likely to rise further, to more than £13bn in total.
    Customers are not obliged to have a smart meter fitted, but energy firms must have offered them to all UK households by the end of the new deadline.
    The promise of smart meters was that readings would be automatic, billing would be easier, and a new world of flexible charges would be ushered in.
    In practice, millions of people found they had new meters which did not work properly if they switched suppliers – and millions more have not been given the technology at all. NOR WANT IT.

  43. Helen Taylor
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I totally agree with you John. I have just retired My husband and I are on basic pension. My car is diesel it is reasonably new we only do around a couple of thousand miles a year. I had plans to be keeping this car until I can no longer drive. We own our home and have a very old but reliable gas central heating system that is serviced annually. On speaking to my plumber it is made to last and will outlive a modern boiler. To replace it would be in the region of £3-4 K. That would cover the extra gas that it costs on my annual bill for many years. I am not against the environment changes. I recycle, I have solar, I use a smart meter and monitor my costs. Yet why should I have to use my minimal monthly income to replace perfectly good items. Using public transport, may be practical in London. Those that suggest it obviously dont live Outside the London Bubble.

  44. Barry
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Not an expert but, as I understand it, a heat pump – whether of the air or ground source variety – needs a certain amount of space. How would this work in densely populated areas?

    • hefner
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Not an expert either, but one with a heat pump (HP). An air-based heat pump would need 4-5 sq m on an exterior wall. A ground-based is trickier. If one wants a HP with horizontal pipes, it requires some hundreds of meters of pipes at roughly 4-5 ft underground (the digging of which will waste the equivalent of a 1/4 acre garden for at least two years, so said a neighbour). For a vertical-loops-based HP, it requires a hole at least 50 m, better 80-100 m deep. I was lucky to buy a house with an old essentially dry well about 70 m deep in a 10×15 m^2 garden, which could be used to set up such a vertical loop heat pump, then be filled. The whole heat pump installation cost me €28k in 2015. It was a big expense but at the time I was moving from a house in the Reading area to a smaller house in countryside France and it made that expense much more acceptable.
      In a densely populated area, I cannot see anything other than individual air-based systems or some community ground-based systems.

  45. stred
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    The most frequent journey that I make over 66 miles takes 1hr 15min door to door by car, costing £6.50 for fuel, and 4 hrs minimum without waiting for trains and £25 by rail.

    Our smart meter went dumb when we changed supplier and even though we went back to the original it still doesn’t work. It never saved any electricity or gas anyway. In order to read the smart dumb meter manually, it involves pressing buttons to change about 6 displayed numbers and guessing which one is what they need. It took a meter reader 10 minutes while lying on his stomach in the cupboard. The government chose by far the most expensive type of smart meter. The Italians use one that uses the mobile phone network and costs a fraction. So far the ‘smarter-brittan’ morons have wasted about £5bn on meters that will have to be changed and millions on annoying adverts that they have sometimes had to be withdrawn as inaccurate. The one thanking every one who has had a smart dumb meter put in to help the country is particularly annoying. The cost of this waste is put on the bill.

    The climate change committee recommendations seem to be accepted by the ministry and I notice that gas mains are being dug up all over the place, perhaps so that they can take all the hydrogen that will be made from natural gas but will be much more expensive. The number of offshore wind turbines is increasing and the nuclear stations which will mostly be closing in the next ten years are not being replaced. They have just demolished the fossil fuel station at Dartford. Stand by for more blackouts. The CCC say that the cost of all the new grid, reforming plant, 7500 turbines lasting 20 years, insulation, heat pumps, electric and hydrogen vehicles, biofuels and the rest will only be a small % of GDP and the taxpayer and customer will pay for it.

  46. Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    As we can expect from Sir John, this is a masterful approach towards taking down the green lobby’s arguments, in the manner of an erudite professor gently guiding students towards the answer but leaving them to work it out for themselves rather than feeding it to them on a plate. What we arguably need in the wider political arena, by contrast, is a group with a prominent figurehead focused upon denouncing the green lobby, in plain English, as advocates of back door socialism via their tendentious religion masquerading as science. Remember Nick Timothy’s condemnation of the Climate Change Act as a “monstrous act of self harm”? More, please, before it is too late.

  47. Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    ASSUME Makes an ASS out of YOU and ME.

    People assume that global warming is real. If you listen to Countryfile or even Antarctica or one of my favourite travel shows, Simon Reeve, you will hear all of them assuming that climate change is real.

    Maybe it is.
    Maybe it is grossly exaggerated.
    Maybe it is just a natural phenomenon as it has been in ages past and not anthropogenic at all.

    What is lacking is serious discussion. I would welcome some of that instead of a Gadarene rush.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Mike – -it is pretty difficult to deny the evident change we are witnessing. However the reasons are seriously up for debate. Worse still is taking drastic action which may well be pi**ing against the wind.

  48. Sam Duncan
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Anyone who thinks the bus is a viable replacement for the car clearly doesn’t take the bus very often.

    And I’m not just talking about timing and reliability. I’m right in the middle of Glasgow, yet my nearest bus-stop is ten minutes’ walk away, down a steep hill. Irritating for me, but a real problem for my elderly neighbours. Going by bus limits you to, essentially, two bags of shopping. And even that can be awkward. Unless, of course, you have children, in which case it becomes virtually impossible.

    These green daydreamers simply aren’t living in the real world.

  49. mark leigh
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I have done the maths regarding wind turbines and personal cars. Posted in a few locations and no one has challenged the basic assumptions and conclusions yet.

    Leaving aside the complexity of getting the energy from the turbine to the car, the energy balance simply is not there.

    To power only the private car fleet in the UK , we need around 55,000 large wind turbines.

    Current UK fleet is around 7,000 onshore and 2,000 offshore.

    Even leaving aside the debatable science of Global Warming, and putting to one side the issue of whether CO2 is the “control knob” – and putting to one side whether the control knob will work – the physics simply isn’t there to make our vehicle fleet electric.

    I wish some of our senior politicians would really start to call-out the climate movement for what it is – yet another in the long list of failed socialist experiments that only lead one way.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Exactly but they do not do physics, engineering or sums!

  50. Everhopeful
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Anyway..there’s going to be an enormous CRASH!
    And the central banks are BEGGING govts to get the flocks spending.
    “Boilers…brand new eco friendly boilers to sell!”
    “ ‘Lectric cars …ten a penny.”
    “ Come buy!”

  51. Peter
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    “Many families NEED a car to get food back from the shops and to take the children to school as well as to get themselves to work.”

    Do they? In the 1950s most families did not own cars.

    I recognise that life moves on, but it is just as valid to make a case against your statement as for it.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      I was brought up in those days, when Mum used to shop everyday because we did not have a fridge, just a meat safe in the garden, but then the shop was just 100 yards away, not out of town like supermarkets are now. Why do you want to turn the clock back and for what purpose when we are already among the lowest emitting nations on earth, especially considering the size of our economy?

      • Peter
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Life moves on and what goes around comes around.

        Why do you want to cling to the current system which clearly is not working?

        Children never used to require a car to take them to school. They walked or older children further away used public transport. Large out of town supermarkets have had their day and their market share is going to discounters.

        Even when a car trip might be handy I have to consider traffic delays, congestion and parking at the other end. That never used to be the case when I could drive into Central London and park up for the day.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          Peter – but all too often children cannot sensibly travel to the schools their parents DIDN’T select.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          Houses are being built at further distances from schools. There are a lot more inconsiderate drivers around.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Peter our shops were 10 mind walk down the toad 40 years ago. Today they are not there. One hours walk would cover it.

  52. glen cullen
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Off topic – however related to our politicians and and the media see ‘green’ issues against how the people see them i.e completely differently

    A group of us where last night (in the pub) discussing why the referendum was so important to the ‘common’ people

    We all agreed that it was the very first time in an individuals left time that their vote could actually influence things

    In the past whether local, general or european elections, people voted along social or cultural conditions accepting parachuted MPs and manifestos that they don’t know nor read. Just going with the flow, being used by parties and accepting that there vote without really understanding or needing to understand the policies….working life for the average is hard enough; so leave it to the MPs.

    And to be honest they don’t really care what happens in parliament during the gap between elections as they feel so distance from the so-called elite politicians and their decisions (or lack of) especially the childish question time and broken manifestos

    But the referendum was different, they could make something happen, they where part of the system, it as real, their decision actually counted….it meant something for the first time in their life.

    ……..and its been taken away

    ……..their vote meant nothing again

  53. Kathleen P
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Where I live, in the Scottish Highlands, a regular electricity supply without interruption would be a luxury. The wind has only to blow, a tree fall on a line somewhere or something else will cause interruption. This is a very regular occurrence which people who live in cities find to be incredible. Sometimes power cuts happen for only five or six or ten hours at a time. Sometimes they last for days while the engineers work in atrocious conditions to identify the issue. We keep a large and handy supply of torches and candles and if we are wise enough, we have wood burning stoves so we can at least have a kettle warming on it. What would happen then to my only means of transport if I were ever to find a vehicle which would cope with the long distances I have to travel to the nearest shop? I might add that I don’t even have a TV signal here or the luxury of more than two DAB radio stations in the car, which lose the signal regularly on the only main road. There are some places in this sceptered isle that would like old technology to be reliable before we reach the nirvana of a new green future. I hear that we will soon have super fast broadband if we ever have a Government capable of doing it. Super. Will it run on batteries, d’you think?

  54. Original Richard
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    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.

    They will be used to attempt the control of consumption either through “dynamic” pricing – cheaper when the wind blows and more expensive when it does not or at peak times – or to use the ability to cut off large number of non-vulnerable individual consumers when the grid simply runs out of power.

    As with most EU directives the UK will be first to implement the directive at enormous cost whilst other countries will ignore the directive.

    Germany, has decided not to have a national smart meter roll out plan at all.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Richard – -oh! – the irony…

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Well, Richard, the majority of our current crop of MPs have shown us quite clearly that they don’t want to make decisions themselves for our Country, they want to obviate the responsibility to the EU and don’t know what to do with the sovereignty returned to them.

      When the greater powers that make these decisions in the EU decide to change course our political decision-makers are too set on course to change direction to suit our own Country, they’d rather fight like ferrets in a sack about who was responsible for things two decades ago.

  55. graham1946
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    The first government to ban internal combustion engines and oil and gas boilers for heating, whilst technology has no real answer for reliable cost effective replacement will be the first to commit suicide and destroy their party.
    Politicians don’t even have the courage to face the electors over Brexit so quite how they will summon up the will to write their suicide note will be interesting to see. Meanwhile the world will continue to turn and burn fossil fuels and we will become a laughing stock for making us un-competetive. Soft touch (soft in the head) UK. All to satisfy a few unwashed loons and to no effect whatever on the planet.

  56. TooleyStu
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Please stop considering CO2 as the bad boy of the environment.
    It is vital to our survival, and farmers add co2 to aid production growth.
    *
    A study by Legates found that only 41 of these 11,944 papers stated the opinion that most of the warming since 1950 was man-made.
    *
    Anyone with the internet can see through this ‘global warming scam’ in about 30 minutes.
    Thankfully most people have.
    Apart from anyone that seems to populate Westminster.
    Or Washington. Or Brussels. Or Strasbourg.
    Or anyone that works for them.
    *
    Just type .. piers corbyn man made carbon .. into a search engine.
    Or .. 31,000 scientists reject global warming

    Tooley Stu

  57. Fred H
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I am reminded of the lyrics sung by Oliver.

    Who will buy this wonderful morning?
    Such a sky you never did see!

    Who will tie it up with a ribbon, and put it in a box for me?

    So I could see it at my leisure
    Whenever things go wrong
    And I would keep it as a treasure
    To last my whole life long

    Who will buy this wonderful feeling?
    I’m so high, I swear I could fly

    Me, oh my! I don’t want to lose it
    So what am I to do
    To keep a sky so blue?
    There must be someone who will buy…

    Was Boris quietly singing to himself this morning?

  58. BillM
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    More scare stories, more brain washing to force the public to change their ways and meet the requirements of the new world order.
    Zero carbon emissions is a crazy, crazy ideal. With more CO2 on the planet plant life flourishes and feeds the ever increasing populations across the world and they in turn produce more O2 for animal life to flourish. Starve plants of CO2 and they wither and die and their destruction will similarly and badly affect the animals on Earth. And all for what, exactly? To reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from 400 parts per million? It’s minuscule and Earth has already suffer amounts five times as much and survived! Proof enough to cease this pending dangerous and already expensive charade.

  59. kzb
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    This topic also connected to a previous topic on Competence.
    Look at the incompetent mess of the Smart meter rollout. Then consider how tiny that project was in comparison to what is before us, to reach “net zero”.
    Do we have any confidence in these people? To me, they do not have the sense they were born with.

  60. DavidJ
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Surely it is time to bin these crazy “green” policies which will destroy civilisation as we know it in pursuit of ideals based on flawed science and manipulated data? Although many seem to have swallowed such beliefs whole there are surely many in positions of authority and influence who know the truth yet adopt such policies for personal gain.

    • TooleyStu
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      That is so, so accurate it should have a bulls eye logo.
      Well done.

      Tooley Stu

  61. Ian@Barkham
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    So to grab a political sound-bite our politicians are committing us all to spend, spend, spend regardless of outcome and income. Using fear to push the country into poverty, realy dynamic thinking. This is happening while the other 3.4 Billion people on this planet get to enjoy their hard earned money on themselves.

    The Labour Party said we wouldn’t need nuclear power so Gordon Brown sold our capability to furnish Labours hair brained schemes. Now we are paying the French Government 10 times as musch for something we had. The labour Party highlighted the danger of petrol driven cars so Gordon Brown pushed everyone to have diesel cars.

    Fear might work for a small minority, but it is a poor substitute for real facts and solutions that enable the standards of living rise in line with the rest of the world.

  62. ukretired123
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Big brother devices like smart meters, ISP routers in fact all digital devices to be Trojan horses collecting and relaying priceless data to big data installations which can be used and/or abused.
    Security issues are a big concern to advanced nations and folks in Hong Kong and China /Russia know this too well.
    Your digital track record is scanned continuously for obvious reasons.
    Smart meters allow electricity suppliers to charge higher rates as they know too much about your usage patterns.
    The only advantage to householders are avoiding meter readings and getting usage charts and real-time feedback. We prefer to keep our freedom and bargaining position open and not locked into a proprietary meter we are stuck with.
    Not all new ideas benefit individuals.

    • TooleyStu
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      … and add in all the other ‘data’ that will soon be harvested, now that your Smart Toaster, hair dryer, washing machine and tv are chatting away pretty soon too …BINGO .. Kerching. !!
      *
      I am just off to move my George Orwell 1984 book to my ‘non fiction’ shelf.

      Tooley Stu

      • ukretired123
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        As I indicated “All your digital devices” including your smartphone, credit card RFID emitting chips, innocent digital bits and pieces. So beware new items could be eavesdropping. Magnets will become popular as deterrents or the proverbial sledgehammer…

  63. mancunius
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Maybe they can implement the smart meter idea on buses, so that everyone gets charged a different fare, depending on how sinful their personal carbon footprint is, with a super-high fare for those who vote the wrong way or are heard to say the words ‘What about China?’
    The ‘smart bus’ will be aware of the energy consumption of each person waiting to board it, and can happily sail past those who use ‘too much’ and have no mitigating ‘protected status’. This system would of course be set aside for politicians and the executives of NGOs, charities and think tanks, who would all have ID-imprinted limitless free use of public transport…
    But what am I thinking of?! Naturally politicians will never be constrained to use public transport.

  64. Stuart
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    As a nation, we need to decide objectives and priorities. In my view, the media mixes up three important components under ‘climate change’ creating confusing for policy makers and the public. These three components are:

    1. Climate change due to nature, where we have no influence at all
    2. Human activities that contribute to climate change
    3. Air pollution which is detrimental to human health
    It is essential to separate out these components to ensure as a society, we do not make wrong, ineffectual and costly strategic decisions.

    I’ll expand on each component and include explanatory examples:
    1. Natural Climate Change. Climate has and always will change due to the relationship between the sun, the earth and the planets. For example, the earth spins on an offset vertical axis. This offset moves over a long period of time (eg 40,000 years) and ranges between 22.1 degrees to 24.5 degrees from the vertical. Therefore constant energy from the sun will vary in intensity on a square mile in the UK purely because of the angle of the UK compared to the incoming sun’s energy. Similarly, the earth orbits the sun in an eclipse pattern and this moves over time (Milankovitch Cycles).
    The important point: this natural process is the major reason for climate change and we have no influence. For communities, we either build flood defences or not build on vulnerable areas such as flood plains

    2. Human-made Climate Change. It is claimed that humans create climate change by using fossil fuels which produce carbon dioxide (CO2). Clearly CO2 is a by product of combustion but the quantities appear to be minuscule compared to the amount of air in our atmosphere. CO2 concentration is only 0.04%. In addition:
    a. Plants are our source of oxygen. During the day, plants take in CO2 and convert this into oxygen which is released into the atmosphere (photosynthesis). Therefore, CO2 is needed for the continuation of all life on earth. I understand that the current CO2 concentration of 0.04% is at the lower end of the desirable range, hence any significant reductions would threaten the sustainability of plants and hence humans
    b. Water vapour (collected from the oceans) is the primary gas which creates the greenhouse effect around the earth (NASA). At the time of raining, water vapour is 4.24% of the atmosphere (100 times more than CO2). Water vapour is the key ingredient in trapping solar heat at the surface of the earth which then warms the atmosphere
    The important point: CO2 is essential for life. A simple objective to reduce CO2 in isolation is irresponsible when other factors, mostly outside our control like water vapour are far more influential than CO2. This conclusion has a major impact on housing such as the wisdom in banning gas fired domestic heating systems and putting up living costs for everyone

    3. Air Pollution: Health is dramatically affected by pollution, eg childhood asthma and breathing problems for the elderly. Taking diesel engines as an example, which produce CO2, CO and NOX as well as very small carbon particles. Clearly, pollution must be minimised to improve human health. Electric cars eliminate these pollutants, but it must be appreciated that car batteries need recycling at the end of their life. These batteries are difficult to recycle as they spontaneously catch fire and explode with the added problem that the fires cannot be put out as chemicals in the batteries provide the oxygen for combustion (one major UK recycler has 3-5 battery fires per week and obviously recycling plants tend to be in urban areas). Apart from the hazards with batteries, electric cars will require significant investment in new power stations (why are we closing coal stations early?). Perhaps electric vehicles are not the panacea but a part of the solution. There are major advances being achieved to reduce pollutants from petrol and diesel engines. The current obsession with banning these vehicles needs to be revisited
    The important point: pollution which damages human health must not be mixed up with climate change. Technology needs to evolve against agreed criteria but knee jerk strategic decisions are unwise and no doubt costly for everyone.

    In summary, it is essential to separate out the components which are readily mixed together under ‘Climate Change’ There are far too many vested interests which results in confusing messages. Separating the components and seeking facts, should ensure that policy decisions are sensible, cost effective and improve the quality of everyone’s life.

  65. Stephen Howard
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Your points that these changes cannot be made at the expense of the least advantaged in society is true but I disagree that therefore these changes should not be made. Instead, we need to have a much more equal system of wealth distribution (both domestically and globally) so that these changes can be made without leaving people behind.

  66. a-tracy
    Posted October 31, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Social housing rental is the highest in our Town 24% higher than many of the other districts so where are they planning 72% of the social housing to be built! No decent public transport, lowest performing schools, no direct fast public transport system to the three nearest local cities, highest unemployment rates in the Country – yep – that’s where we’ll build 500 out of 700 new homes spending £10 millon of the governments money to get the ground ready for the Housing Association staff and higher-ups in that organisation to benefit from! It’s a joke. I wonder how green they will be? I wonder if we’ll get he additional local GPs as social deprivation always needs more medical services and social services and well generally policing, fire etc.

  67. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 3, 2019 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that taxpayers should fund the move to electric cars; drivers should. In 2011, I changed up from a 52 reg Ford Focus Estate to an 11 reg of the same type (but new model). The price paid by my dealer for the 52 reg vehicle was £800. Doubtless I could have got £2000+ from a private sale but I didn’t want the hassle.

    This suggests that it is no great hardship to have to write off a 9 or 10 year old vehicle.

    So let Government make the whole of Greater London one vast Pilot Study area. From 2030, make it illegal to drive anything but an electric car or a plug in hybrid. This would give private citizens and businesses ample time to prepare, including the provision of public and private charging points, without subsidies. No ifs, no buts, just do it.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

    Promoted by David Edmonds on behalf of John Redwood both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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