Green transport

I have sent in my views on the need for an early return to work along with strict safeguarding for all people at serious risk from the disease, and my views on actions needed to reduce the rise in unemployment and termination of businesses in the meantime. Today I wish to turn to another issue.

The government has just produced a document entitled “Decarbonising transport –  Setting the challenge”. It shows  how on current policies transport will  still be a major source of carbon dioxide in 2050 when the government wishes to  be carbon neutral. The Paper recommends six big actions to shift the carbon dioxide curve more decisively downwards.

It says we “need to accelerate the modal shift to public and active transport”, decarbonise deliveries ,make the  UK a hub for green transport technology, toughen regulations to decarbonise road transport, develop placed based strategies that get cars off the roads, and reduce the global carbon dioxide output of ships and aviation.

One of its most amusing charts is the one telling us just how much carbon dioxide  journeys by plane or car entail. It tells us that if we journey to Edinburgh from London by plane we will cause the emission of 144kg of carbon dioxide. If we go by petrol car it falls to 120 kg and diesel car to 115 kg. However, if we walk or go by bike it assures us it will mean no carbon dioxide at all.

They cannot seriously think that walking or cycling to Edinburgh is an option for most of us. The Paper is short on specifics, and recognises that there will need to be new technologies and new greener fuels for old technologies if they are to get anywhere near the zero carbon dioxide target by 2050.

They remind us that cars account for 77% of  miles travelled, buses 4% and trains 9%. They anticipate a 35% increase in distance travelled by car by 2050, bus distances staying the same and rail going up by 60%.  They also assume a 70% increase in van use  but only a 7% increase in heavy goods vehicles, which is a strange variation.

I would be interested in your thoughts on how feasible net zero for transport  is by 2050, and what changes could deliver it.  

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  1. Bob Dixon
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    There are simple things we can do now.

    Turn off your vehicle engines in built up areas when not in motion.

    • Stred
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      I tried to see whether turning off the stop start or leaving it on made any difference to the average mpg. It didn’t, but the starter motor with wear out more quickly and changing it will create CO2.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink


        Starter motor will need to operate what 5 to 20 more than normal, plus the extra weight of a heavy duty battery…

        • Hope
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          This is another uncosted virtue signaling plan!!

          We read today, again, the Asian grooming gang report- that promised no stone unturned- is now to be kept secret by the Tory Govt!

          The Tory govt stated no intention to change the law on abortion. Quietly sneaked out under corona virus changes to abortion where women can self medicate powerful drugs!

          Quietly sneaked out under corona virus numbers of MPs to remain the same and whopping pay rise.

          We also read in Guido Tory govt using graphs/figures from China knowing there false/unreliable!

          How many times does this dishonest govt think its underhand behaviour will be tolerated?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      I once spoke to a postman who was running his van engine for ages outside in the road.
      It was diesel and (he said) that it was necessary to do that at the most inopportune times to get the vehicle going again.
      At that time we were told that diesel was extremely safe!

    • Hope
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      JR, Who is they? Name the idiot. The current position demonstrates how useless the economy would be. Does your govt realise the huge debt it is currently racking up needs to be paid off or has it changed to Labours view and think there actually is a magic money Tree?

      The economic consequences from your govt unnecessary economic suicide from this will keep you out of office far longer than Major’s ERM/EU fiasco.

      We still do not know what the exit strategy us from the nation house arrest? 250,000 tests each day we were promised by Johnson over two weeks ago.not even ten thousand fulfilled! Might get to hundred by the end of April! How long before people return to work? Govt has created a disaster of its own making.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        There is simply no thought being put into the green blob. There is no evidence to show the link of CO2 which is only 0.04% of the atmosphere and global warming, now changed to climate change, as it didn’t show any rise for decades. It’s a trace gas and plant food. There has always been climate change as the tectonic plates move and the Earths orbit and and Milanovic wobbles alter its angle of tilt! The big yellow thing in the sky also has varying intensities that in turn impact the jet stream and its movement, thereby impacting…… These fools in Government do no research but follow the herd and that foolish schoolgirl from Sweden. Rant over.

        • Barbara Bebbington
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

          Good rant and absolutely correct.

    • Mark
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      I believe most new cars are equipped with such a stop/start system already. Obviously in traffic jams it would pose an enormous strain on batteries, especially in cold weather when the engine would also be providing heat, and perhaps in hot weather for an air conditioned vehicle. Other solutions include reducing the numbers of cylinders used. Diesel engines use remarkably little fuel at tick over, but petrol engines are less parsimonious. Keeping exhausts warm helps with the reactions of cat converters.

      The best way of lowering emissions from vehicles in cities is to try to maximise the time they spend in flowing traffic at reasonable speeds where mpg improves. Repeated stops and starts introduce accelerations that maximise emissions.

  2. Mark B
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Welcome the the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Admission 10/6.

    What does , “. . . develop placed based strategies that get cars off the roads . . . “ mean ?

    I’d like to comment more on this, but I have said all I can say and really cannot believe that we have sane, rational people running the country. They are obsessed !

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Obsessed is a total understatement…

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      “What does , “. . . develop placed based strategies that get cars off the roads . . . “ mean ?”

      It means Mark B that the poor will be taxed to keep the roads smooth and empty purely for the elite to drive their luxury vehicles on.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        You’re describing the current system
        Cheap old cars – tax most
        Expensive new cars – tax less

        • Fred H
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

          and buy the expensive ones from the EU.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. Should have known 🙂

    • agricola
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      The piece of gobbledegook you highlight possibly means having a transport facility that is at your door when you want it, takes you to where you wish to go and returns you home without exposing you to Covid 19. Beyond your car or motorcycle it is in your dreams. Yes minister is a specialist in crap in crap to the power of ten out.

    • turboterrier
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      Well said the Department of Transport in the way that this report was released on a really bad day reporting 550+ deaths just goes to show how nothing has or will change. To compound the situation it was already on the news stands courtesy of the Telegraph.
      The lunatics have taken over the asylum. The Not Many People Know That blog has investegated this further and the Minister has already stated there will be little or no input from the public. With all that will be needed to sort out the present mess in funds availability, the governments worry about CO2 and all the other high profile projects should be relegated well down the to do list. Whatever it takes to crash start the economy and get people working and earning is the only priority.
      Our host fails to mention that this report still chains us to the EU carbon policies the most stringent in the world. Lets shore up the below the water line damage and stay afloat then worry how to navigate the ship (planet earth) to a safe harbour.

    • Pominoz
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Mark B,


      Does anyone really believe that walking from Edinburgh to London is CO2 free? For a start we must exhale. Could try holding our breath, but suspect we would not get far.

      If idiots are writing these documents, and they are being respected by decision makers, God help us all !

      • Know-Dice
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Interesting postulation Pominoz 🙂

        I wonder what the real figure for human CO2 exhalation over that distance would be…

    • Peter Wood
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Talking of governmental madness:

      We seem to be getting an update of — ‘ h-h-Hancock’s Half Hour’ most mornings, just without the comedic timing, gags, and entertaining storyline.

      Mr. Hancock says a lot, but I really can never remember what it is….

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Mark B, It means the green establishment will not allow us peasants to have cars.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    The level of CO2 in the atmosphere is a misguided political obsession. My concern is that it fell too low not that it was rising too high. Reason: it is an essential plant food. Satellite observations have confirmed that rising atmospheric CO2 has contributed the the greening of the planet

    More focus should be placed on reducing emissions from current ICE technologies, including other modes of transport such as by air and by sea. By all means research improved battery technologies but recognise current battery deficiencies. Stop pretending that man can change the global climate. Recognise that the underlying agenda is to deprive people of the freedom to own their car and go where they want at a time of their own choosing not ones dictated by a politically regulated bus or rail company.

    • Andy
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Man has changed the global climate. For that worse. So say climate scientists. (Of which you are not one).

      Incidentally – help us out here – how old will you be in 2050? Because if you will not be around and are not prepared to help those who will be around, then you are a part of the problem.

      • NickC
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Andy, No, they don’t (at least most of them). They state that the global temperature (an artificial average) has risen about 1 deg K in the last 150 years. They state that human activity is adding CO2 to the atmosphere. It is known from history and geology that there is no direct, simplistic, connection between CO2 and temperature – CO2 is not a world thermostat, contrary to your mere assertion.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          It is settled science that if there were no CO2 then Earth would be frozen solid.

          If the atmosphere were all CO2, then the climate would be comparable to that on Venus on the other hand

          Atmospheric CO2 has increased by about 45% since pre-industrial times. That is not seriously disputed.

          Only a complete fool would say that this could be risk-free, or even carry an acceptably low one.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            As usual you use percentages to give a vision of huge increases.
            It actually parts per million..

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

            OK then, here are some pretty pictures, for those who think in cartoons.

            If all the CO2 in the atmosphere were concentrated into a layer, then it would be about six metres thick.

            Before industrialisation, it would have been only just over four metres thick.

            For comparison, the essential, life-saving ozone would be just a few millimetres thick.

          • NickC
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

            That’s hilarious, Martin. I will treasure your statement: “It is settled science that if there were no CO2 then Earth would be frozen solid” for its sheer scientific illiteracy.

            If it were possible that there was no CO2, then we would not be here; nor would any existing plant life. But the composition of the planet means that there would always be some CO2.

            Without an atmosphere the Earth would be at c255.4K – well above absolute zero (because of the Sun). All non-condensing greenhouse gases (not just CO2) add about 12K. Water vapour adds about 20K, so is far more important.

            So without CO2, but with the rest of our atmosphere intact the Earth would not be “frozen solid” (if you’re referring to the freeze temperature of water).

            Finally how you propose to remove all CO2 from the seas and rocks is something you need to tell us.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

            I’m not impressed by your further misuse of statistics to try and prove climate change martin.
            Your figures are just computer model theories.
            The UNs IPCC figures show a 1.3 degree rise in global average temperatures since 1850.
            And since 2000 predictions of tipping points leading to increases in the rate of temperature rise has not happened.
            In fact the rate of increase has slowed.
            Totally at odds with the main theory because CO2 has continued to rise.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

            I’m sorry Nick.

            If you understood the Planck Equation for black body radiation, the absorption spectrums for carbon dioxide and for other atmospheric gases, and general thermodynamics, then you would accept the well-reasoned case put forward for the Thought Experiment’s results by eminent physicists.

            Of course it was a hypothetical situation, only a fool would have failed to grasp that.

            That is the very point.

          • NickC
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

            Martin, No CO2 on Earth, everything else remaining the same (which is not chemically possible), is not “hypothetical” it is sheer nonsense. Stop backtracking. You made a silly uninformed comment, and you’ve been found out. Accept it.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 5, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

            It’s very revealing, that you are incapable of imagining anything.

          • Paul McGreevy
            Posted April 6, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            Carbon dioxide was 50% of the atmosphere 4 billion years ago. It has been converted into carbon and oxygen over the course of history. The oxygen is mainly still in the air and the carbon dissolved into the sea and converted to rocks such as limestone, chalk, gypsum, dolomite or converted into trees, plants, animals some of which became fossil fuels. At no time did the temperature spiral out of control, nor will it.

      • oldtimer
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        FYI I will be 117 in 2050 although what that has got to do with it you do not explain. I have concerns about the world that my children and grandchildren will be expected to live in by then if governments persist with their ill-advised policies.

        Climate scientists have much to answer for. When they changed 80% the weather stations for recording temperature in 1990 they failed to note the impact this change in methodology would have on the published global temperature series. When challenged, by me via the House of Commons Select Committee looking into Climategate, to produce a parallel run of data to measure the impact the University of East Anglia replied to the Committee that they could not do that because they had destroyed all their records. I was under the impression that it was standard scientific practice that scientists do not change their instrumentation in the course of recording results because that introduces uncertainty into the results and invalidates them. Yet this is what the climate “scientists” did. They hardly deserve the description.

        It is clear that there is a heat island effect caused by cities which cover a small part of the land mass and none at all of the oceans. It is clear from the ongoing debates that there are multiple influences on the climate which no one has untangled one from the other. Indeed a climate scientist commented in the science section of an IPCC report that the climate is a chaotic system incapable of being forecast. If rising CO2 is the cause of global warming how do climate scientists explain the fact there has been a slight drop in global temperatures so far in the current century?

    • Bob
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Maybe if we didn’t have to import manufactured goods from the other side of the world we could reduce the pollution caused by container ships.

      And if we didn’t import millions of people from the other side of the world we wouldn’t need to manufacture so much concrete to build housing for them.

      The govt only need look at their own policies to see that globalisation has a downside.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        It’s not globalisation which results in millions of people from faraway places being here.

        It is the fact that the UK once had an empire, and the arrangements that it has made with Commonwealth countries following from that.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          Open EU borders has caused most new arrivals since 1997.
          650,000 from Poland alone.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

            For goodness sake.

            Read the post to which I reply.

            The European Union is not “on the other side of the world”.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

            You said the Commonwealth was responsible for millions of recent immigration.
            I was just showing you were wrong.
            As usual.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

            No I didn’t.

            You clearly cannot grasp the simplest of sentences.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 5, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

            You need to put your glasses on and re read your original post.
            You said our links to our old empire and Commonwealth resulted in millions of people coming here.

            Open borders with the EU has caused the biggest increase in our population in our history.
            Approximately 7 million since 1997.

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          Professor Sir Michael Howard believed that climate change will drive a shift of peoples from the southern to the northern hemispheres ‘which represents the most significant and dangerous shift of populations since the early Christian era’.
          No mention of the empire

        • anon
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 12:10 am | Permalink

          Nonsense its a direct result of larger populations and economic immigration effectively unchecked, because its cheaper labour for our feudal lords.

        • Bob
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Hong Kong was a British colony but the Hong Kong people were not given automatic UK citizenship when the colony was abandoned to the CCP.

  4. formula57
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Feasibility is determined by technological progress, I would expect, and should battery electric vehicles be the solution, perhaps the 2050 target can be met if the political will does not falter meanwhile in the face of doubt and disruption.

    • Al
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      If they expect more people to take trains, they will need to increase capacity significantly. There is also the issue of remote communities where either rail lines weren’t run or were closed and removed by a certain Dr. Beeching because they weren’t cost effective.

      The removal of guards is also making the trains hard to use for a section of the disabled population as there is no one to help with ramps at our often unmanned stations. Phoning to book ahead for every journey is both impractical and, I am told, no guarantee the service will be provided.

    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I read this blog and then I read Conservative Woman and I begin to appreciate the political and philosophical distance between Tory MPs and the average Tory voter. The gap is a chasm

    This issue under discussion is a Trojan horse. The issue of the NHS is a Trojan horse. Both are used to mould and assert control over our actions, our lifestyles, our thoughts and our attitudes in relation to State powers over the person and what form they should take.

    I for one, will not be politicised by this government and by those who have politically captured Johnson. I am a libertarian and I reject any attempt by the State to assert control over my emotions, my attitudes and my values

    I reject all forms of collectivism which are an anathema to freedom loving peoples. This government and its PM may have fallen under the spell of socialism and now stuck in Labour’s political web but most of us can see where this is leading.

    Maintaining our critical faculties, questioning everything and rejecting State propaganda is essential to preventing loss of our freedoms

    I did think that we would see a degree of libertarian-ism return to these shores following the election of Johnson but sadly not. It’s got worse, a lot worse

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      I am a libertarian and I reject any attempt by the State to assert control over my emotions, my attitudes and my values . . .


      I fear the Tories have seen which way the wind is blowing and are going after a different kind of voter – those who like Big State and a dependency culture. We’re a dying breed.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        What ever has not making large parts of the globe uninhabitable got to do with “dependency culture” or “big state”?

        • NickC
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Where are the “large parts of the globe” that have been made “uninhabitable” due to global warming over the past 200 years?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            Large areas of continental interiors are now experiencing such extreme heat – over fifty celsius – that their habitability is barely even marginal.

            Venice is now flooded regularly.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            When you say extreme heat, what do you claim?
            The UN’s IPCC say 1.3 degrees increase in temperature since 1850.

          • Fred H
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Venice flooded decades ago…it flooded for our 25th, it flooded for our 50th …nothing new there.

          • NickC
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

            Martin, Which “continental interiors” that were inhabited 200 years ago have changed so radically in temperature to render them now uninhabitable?

        • John O'Leary
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

          Thousands died, even in Spain, over the last couple of summers.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            More die of extreme cold.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Spot on.
      AND of course it explains the bizarre,18th century-style saucepan bashing NHS applauding I witnessed through the nets last 8pm.
      Mind control. Even under this ludicrous lockdown govt ( whoever that is) HAS to keep up the mind control over the nicely dumbed down.

    • Martin R
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Johnson hasn’t been captured. He’s just showing his true colours now that he has power in his hands. At every turn he has done what the EU prescribes, allowing in hundreds of thousands since January from countries with high rates of infection in order to comply with Merkel’s open borders policy. And kicking the only friend we have (had) abroad, President Trump in the teeth to order at every opportunity. A true Tory in the Cameron/May tradition.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Yes! He is the only ‘leaver’ disasterous remain parliamentary party would allow onto the ballot paper. We are still suffering from the Central Office concocted Hobson’s choice list of approved candidates.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      agree – especially your note about the chasm, like the labour MPs, the tory MPs also do not understand or relate to the average tory voter

    • ed2
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Spot on Dominic

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Dominic, and at the back of everything is the move to One World Government by the globalists. The UN Agenda 2030 is a frightening document, and spells out just the sort of future these globalists have for us. An essential part of it is the Green Deal, but the motives, in my view, are not connected with genuinely wanting to reduce toxic emissions but instead are connected to a giant scam, a vehicle which will deliver two things: great wealth for the political elite, and also great power, cemented by laws, to control “the people”.

      This is all being effected by using an emotive subject and whipping up hysteria porn on climate change, and now Corona Virus. Straight on cue, we have the UN launching this initiative:

      UN Wants a 10% Global Tax to Pay for New “Shared Responsibility” Program to Address Coronavirus Pandemic
      By Jim Hoft Published April 2, 2020 at 12:23pm Gateway Pundit website
      “Like the American left the globalists never let a crisis pass without attempting a power-grab….”

      More details on this move by the UN in comment below.

      • Original Chris
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        More detail on this UN initiative to use the Corona Virus epidemic to cement further powers into its structure and to levy more taxes:

        From Lifesite News:

        “The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has announced the creation of a fund for addressing the global coronavirus pandemic – and he is simultaneously asking nations to contribute the equivalent of at least 10 percent of the annual income of the entire planet to a massive “human-centered, innovative and coordinated stimulus package” that would be administered at the international level.

        Although Guterres doesn’t state it explicitly, he seems to be connecting the new fund, which he calls a “dedicated COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund,” with the massive stimulus package plan, announcing both measures in the same press release.

        If countries were to accept the plan, the United Nations or some similar coordinating agency would be given the equivalent of approximately 8.7 trillion USD, an unprecedented amount that would be 2,900 times greater than the UN’s annual budget of 3 billion USD.

        The proposed plan would effectively place a global agency, presumably the UN itself, in charge of propping up the economies of the world during the coronavirus crisis, placing it in charge of 10% of global income”.

  6. Javelin
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    I already seeing a lot of people saying on social media they are going

    1 – crazy
    2 – bankrupt
    3 – lazy
    4 – fat
    5 – ugly
    6 – sad
    7 – angry
    8 – bored
    9 – desperate
    10 – miserable
    11 – poor
    12 – scared
    13 – stir crazy
    14 – fearful

    Not what any politician wants to hear.

    • Andy
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Indeed. But you missed out two other things:

      15) seriously ill
      16) dead

      None of us like the shutdown. But it’s marginally better than on a ventilator or in a body bag – don’t you think?

      3000 body bags already. Another 1000+ by Monday – we could be well over 10,000 by this time next week. And as Coronavirus can kill in 5 days from the first clear symptoms that number could still include any of us. Maybe me. Maybe you.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink


        These numbers are obviously not the lives saved by the policy, they are tragically the unavoidable lives lost to it whilst the NHS is within capacity. From these numbers it should be possible to estimate the lives saved by not going over capacity – as far as I know the Govt has not indicated this. In comparison a large supply side shock might result in another decade of slow growth i.e. not gaining a year in life expectancy for all, similar to the last decade. Over the popn this equates to 0.8 million lifetimes. As far as I know no-one has given us the balance on which the lockdown decision was made. We get part of half the story.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink


          I should add that there is an academic (Institute of Economics, University of Chicago) working paper trying to put a dollar value on social distancing in the USA here:

          If (early) Ferguson (Imperial) model is correct then (based on the value of a statistical life) the social distancing is worth about 30% of GDP (at least applied to USA). The calculation obviously needs to be fed from most up to date set of projections as more is learned.

          I guess the UK Govt could calculate and tell us such projections in their daily briefings as the understanding of the epidemic grows, but presumably it won’t.

      • NickC
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Andy, But you were gloating about the deaths of elderly Brexit voters only a few short months ago. Why the sudden change of heart? Some might answer that you’re just playing politics with people’s lives – provided they are people you disagree with.

        • APL
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          NickC; “But you were gloating about the deaths of elderly Brexit voters only a few short months ago. ”

          Yes, everyone had noted his stance on ‘the old’.

          ‘Andy’ is just an unprincipled opportunist, and ignorant with it.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

        I’m out there working in it. Key worker. At risk age group.

        I could not sit at home. I’d be volunteering (in fact I’m doing that too) even if I didn’t work.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        The UK’s daily death rate has now overtaken France’s and is way past Iran’s.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      I am none of those things, apart from (7), but that is with the government.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        can I add 15 – disillusioned,
        16 – more literate, reading more
        17 – more sniffy gardening with pollen allergy

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Net zero carbon is going to be easy to achieve now.

      Maybe this is all a ruse to get Thunbergism accepted by the people. It’s the only logical thing I can think of – an April fools trick to make everyone broke and willing to go by bicycle and live on rice.

      Well the people are going to be most annoyed with their governments when they find out what the true mortality rate is with Covid 19.

      • NickC
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Anon, Not really – much of the economy is still working. Farming, food processing, packaging, transport, Gas, Electricity, Water, Sewage, NHS, Police, Armed forces, etc, and all the industries which keep them going like maintenance, telecoms, and engineering. Many others are working at home, too. The lockdown is far from total, even if retail, hospitality and the education sectors are massively hit.

        • Stred
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Education on line is booming. Takings doubled so far in a case known to myself.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

          ALL of it is being paid for with Magic Money Tree money now.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Javelin – I was already all 14 before the virus.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Thats because come the end of the month
      1. A lot of people are going to be unemployed
      2. In fear of unemployment
      3. SMEs closing
      4. Investment income zero
      5. The same council tax and utility bills to pay


      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        What I would like to know is if most of the people dying are elderly with underlying health problems then they are classed as vulnerable and should be at home. So how are they getting infected?

        • Ian Wragg
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          Todays Telegraph says average age of people dying of CV is 79. Is it worth trashing the economy to add a year to 20,000 people. I’m well over 70

          • anon
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 12:18 am | Permalink

            Yes especially you.

        • APL
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

          Fedupsoutherner: “So how are they getting infected?”

          Nursing homes.

        • Al
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          “So how are they getting infected?” – Fedupsoutherner

          From personal experience, the people not observing distances in the queues are a certain number of the elderly. In both cases I’ve had of people getting rather too close, they have been elderly and refused to back off when asked because they “are already old and it doesn’t matter if they get ill.”

          Pointing out that I have a company to run and it matters to my employees if I get ill, gets a huff…

          But I would not be surprised if some of the victims got infected by doing that to someone who didn’t know they were contagious.

        • Stred
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Other family members who took no precautions and didn’t think mild symptoms were infectious. Two more weeks of this to go.

  7. Stred
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    It looks like another ministry has been taken over by ecoloon green CP zealots who slipped out this jargon filled load of vague uncosted innumerate greencrap while everyone’s attention was on the lockdown. The ministry of health was also worried that we are using our cars too much during the lockdown as their detection method had seen a small increase and not continued to zero. Do they want us to use the bus to get our pile from the supermarkets, as delivery is impossible, and risk infection?
    Matt Hanckok admitted that he had stopped the private firms tests being used for the past two weeks and justified this by one failure. What about the established firms that then sold thousands of tests abroad, having been rebuffed. Why did it take two weeks to approve the tests and private labs? In the USA Trump and Pence went straight to the private suppliers and are now mass testing. Why does PHE think it’s own tests are better than any of the commercial tests used everywhere else, including Germany?

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      We are finally getting to see the calibre of people that are running the country. Not good viewing is it ?


    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Indeed this is the absurd document.

      Grant Shapps (business and finance Manchester Poly) even thinks (and states) that electric cars a zero emission – so totally deluded is he. He need to study some physics and engineering if he is capable of this. Replace him will someone sensible a climate realist like Peter Lilley.

      • Stred
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Matty is a cheerful likeable chap and I always remember a similar character who was a Betterware salesman. No matter how unsuccessful he was, he always had a smile.

    • John E
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Not wanting to catch Covid 19, I will avoid all public transport for the foreseeable future.
      Crowded commuter trains and metro systems look like they are acting as very efficient transmission methods to me.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        They are indeed and Sadiq Kahn was cheering everyone one on to the Tube just a few weeks back. Assuring us how wonderfully safe they were and how they were cleaned with hospital grade cleaning products! He clearly thinks people are idiots.

        A vaccine is needed before many people especially the elderly will get back onto public transport. I think and hope we will get a vaccine sooner that people think.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        So are pubs, restaurants, shops, workplaces, public events, etc. etc.

        We have to nail this.

        • NickC
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Martin, We cannot “nail this” without a vaccine. We can only ameliorate it. That is why the lockdown – which you support – has been imposed by the government.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            Reportedly, China managed that, though they caution as to its resurgence through symptomless carriers.

            They’ve closed their temporary hospitals and are now helping outside countries.

            Anti-communist S. Korea, Austria, Norway, and others are managing it too, it seems,

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink


      It appears that those who have spent a lifetime in a structured work environment (like the civil service or local government, simply cannot, or do not want to think or act outside of that sort of environment.

      Those with creative minds are to them, an absolute pain in the backside.
      Dominic Cummings and others know this is a major problem, and if it does not change it will continue to hold this Country back.

      Just look at the testing and ventilator fiasco promises made, it would seem before anyone even thought of investigating the capacity which was available, or which could be harnessed.

      One would have thought every single laboratory in the UK would have been contacted on day one, and asked, could they adapt to a set testing procedure or indeed improve upon it if required.

      Likewise PPE equipment, there must be thousands of companies large and small in the UK which could make such equipment if approached.
      Same with breathing equipment and ventilators.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Civil servants have their own respective brief.

        Almost all capacity has been diverted to trying to deliver the most cretinous form of exit from the European Union possible, to please the likes of commenters here.

        They would be in breach of their contracts if they started phoning laboratories instead.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          What a bizarre post Martin.
          A really big heckle.

          It isn’t difficult for Civil Servants who work in the health ministries and agencies to decide to contact alternative suppliers.
          How long does that take?

        • NickC
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Is that the “most cretinous form of exit from the EU” that most of the planet enjoys?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

            No, because they were never in it, and had not built up about half of their external commerce with it.

            “Getting divorced just like not being married in the first place” says Nick.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

            First isn’t even about half.
            It’s about 40% and that includes the Rotterdam effect where world exports from the UK transiting through that and other EU ports are counted as EU imports.
            Secondly you keep assuming that post Brexit trade with Europe will cease.
            Quite ridiculous.
            Trade growth is better in non EU countries and the EU has seen a falling share of world trade now for over a decade.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

            40% is “about half” to all but the most petty-minded for the purposes of these comments.

            The Rotterdam effect has been reliably discredited as pretty negligible.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            And why should European Union ports allow UK ships to dock, and trucks be allowed to use their roads if the UK just “walked away” anyway?

          • NickC
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            Martin, It isn’t “divorce” it’s an alteration in the treaty terms of trade. That alteration puts us in the same position wrt the EU as most countries on the planet.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

            I gave an explanation why it is not even 40%
            Your pro EU attitude means you are blind to facts.
            The Rotterdam effect is well accepted by most commentators.
            Bu not you obviously.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 5, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

            The ports are not EU ports.
            The ports are commercial companies who will do business with us as it is profitable for them.
            As for your idea of the EU stopping one country from using the roads on Europe…..well I think you are getting hysterical
            Is that the kind of organisation we want to be part of?

      • Nig l
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Without breaking confidences I know for a fact from one of the private sector companies you mention, that PHE and associated civil servants, were and are nightmare to try and do business with, opting even now when speed is of the essence, to refer a proven testing volume proposal, through the usual bureaucratic channels that would have taken months to agree.

        They are not fit for purpose.

      • Stred
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        There was a professor from UCL on the tele this morning. He has a company with a lab which is suitable for covid testing but this and other similar ones are in many universities in the UK and associated ventures. He pointed out that Hancock’s statement that the UK didn’t have capacity to test and had to start from scratch was untrue because in fact we have a large and successful biotechnology and life science sector. He said that some tests which came from abroad failed but private British companies worked to ISO quality standards. Labs like his are working to circumvent the bureaucracy.
        In the case of my wife’s lab, they lent their two analysis machines to the NHS and now understand that they have been unused so far. If they don’t get them back, important research into diseases will have to stop. The lab is already closed for the lockdown.

  8. Ian Wragg
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    No chance . Producing enough power to charge vehicles would require 4 times the installed capacity that we currently have. Today high pressure rules so the windmills will be stationary.
    Hydrogen is the key. The internal combustion engine will be far from dead in 2050.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink


      We know. I assume (I hope) that the political class know. What is to happen is, that people like you and me are to be forced off the roads and on to public transport. This will free up the roads for commercial vehicles, the very rich, and those in government. Nice to know that it did not include the carbon output of a horse and cart 😉

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Electric cars ten to be low mileage cars. They too do not really save any CO2. They do about 2 miles per KWH even they do 80,000 miles over their lifetime then they use about £4,000 of electricity to this. But manufacturing an electric car and the battery (perhaps costing £40,000) almost certainly uses more than this in normal energy anyway. Plus you still have to generate this £4000 of electricity with losses at the power station, in transmission, voltage conversion, charging and discharging the battery ….

      The whole thing is a con trick. The one advantage of electric cars is they shift pollution out of the city to the power station. There are far better ways to do this.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        …… tend to be low mileage cars.

      • anon
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Its 3 miles/kwh maybe 4 in some, say15p kwh, say 10,000 miles pa, say £1500. Prediction electrical power prices will be driven down by technology to 3 cents a kwh. It is the next big export earner, once storage is scaled.

    • George Carty
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg, we shouldn’t even contemplate using hydrogen as a fuel until we are producing most or all of our hydrogen (for its current non-fuel applications) from non-fossil-fuel sources. Using fossil fuels to produce hydrogen fuel is worse than useless as it is far less efficient than using fossil fuels directly.

      What we really need is to follow France’s lead and start by replacing fossil fuels with nuclear energy for electricity generation. To do this we need to discredit the anti-nuclear movement by exposing how large a role fossil fuel money has played in it.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        We can use the spare capacity from windmills instead of paying not to generate.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      When we have a global electric grid, we can import solar power from where the sun always shines.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        a sort of massive magnetic attraction.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Magnetic storms would be a problem, for which provision would have to be made, yes.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            Yes Martin
            That will sort it.

          • Fred H
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            we’ll call that a no then?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

            Yes Edward.

            You have local generation – like we have now – for the tiny part of the time when the main grid is shut down during such episodes.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

            Best of luck with building a global power grid.
            Who is in control?
            Your longed for global government I presume.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            We designed a perfectly workable one when I was at UCL in the 1970s.

            The main problems are political, not practical.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            Been rather a long time coming then.

      • NickC
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Martin, It’s cheaper and more reliable to generate our own electricity using Gas and Coal.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          That need not always be the case.

          • Fred H
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

            oh yes it will…

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

            Do you remember how much the first colour TVs cost, Fred?

          • NickC
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            Martin, It’s the case now, and for the foreseeable future. Unless you forget to include the cost of dispatchable back-up for intermittent Wind and Solar. As the Wind lobby does. And as you gullibly accept.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      And a home with a garage to safely plug your vehicle in overnight……because every house in london has a garage doesn’t

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Most in flats will need charge leads that goes out of the window and 200 metres up the road! They will probably get pinched too!

        • glen cullen
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink


        • glen cullen
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          spot on

        • cornishstu
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          And you are talking some seriously heavyweight cables just supply 13 amps over that distance

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

            Indeed and 13 amp only charges the car for about 6 miles range every hour it is plugged in.

      • anon
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Passive charging via the road surface may be needed. However with range increasing, its maybe only destination charging is needed. Being car parks at supermarkets, hospitals,airports,train stations.

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg, Gridwatch figures as of now are:
      Total demand = 33.49GW
      Coal = 1.16GW
      Nuclear = 4.49GW
      CCGT = 14.92GW
      Wind = 2.88GW
      Solar = 4.44GW
      French ICT = 2GW
      The rest being other interconnectors, biomass, etc. All of it, and the Grid being manned of course, as is Gas, Water, Sewage, Farming, Food production, transport, food retailers, etc. So not a total lockdown at all.

      I have to dispute your claim that we need to quadruple installed capacity to charge light duty vehicles (LDVs). My calculations show we would have to approximately double electrical energy production from what it is now.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Nicky. Double the electricity supply using clean energy and no gracing or nuclear? Good luck with that then

        • NickC
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Fedupsoutherner, There is no indication whatsoever that the government is building, or even planning, the requisite increase in electricity generation plant. So we know that the government is either incredibly dim, or doesn’t take its own targets seriously, or intends to deprive us of cars.

          So battery cars are a mirage at the moment. Unlike the government, I would not impose them. As for generating electricity, I would go for Gas (CCGT) – using fracked natural gas – as being cleaner than coal and safer than Nuclear.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Nick. Every windmill they install operates at about 18% of rated output unlike thermal plants which are typically available 97% of the time supplying what it says on the a 500mw turbine will be available 24/7 on average to generate 485mw
        A 500mw windfarm will on average generate 500mw

        • Ian Wragg
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          90 me for wind.

        • NickC
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          Ian, Yes, I’m aware of the low utilisation factors for Windmills. In round numbers, utilisation is about 20% on land and 30% offshore. Worse, the dispatchability of Wind is atrocious – hence why near 100% back-up is needed.

          The figure I quoted for doubling electrical energy production is what is required at the Grid input. That does not, of course, take account of the various efficiencies of the plant. None of them are 100% efficient. Modern CCGT is best at around 64%. Surprisingly, Nuclear is poor at about 37%. However these plants are usually rated on their actual output.

          Windmills cannot be more than 59.3% efficient (the Betz limit) anyway, due to fluid dynamics effects. Windmill nameplate capacities already take their (in)efficiencies into account – usually a lower figure than the Betz limit. It is the poor utilisation factors that reduce the effective output from the nameplate output.

        • anon
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          The bottom line is renewables are cheaper and getting more so. x per kwh.
          They only have grid requirements to move energy or use or store it. Longterm storage technologies will be truly game changing.

    • acorn
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Ian, are you suggesting that we use Hydrogen in internal combustion engines, petrol or diesel? I would be interested in how you are going to make that work.

  9. Javelin
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Every day the economy is in lockdown the Government and civil servants are acting as scavenging parasites using taxes to suck financial liquidity out of the dying British economic corpse.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      We are experiencing a global disaster.

      Yes, bad things happen.

      You are angry, because you assume that they are happening to people about whom you care, instead of to others, I surmise.

      Believe me, very few people are untouched by this.

      • APL
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff: “Believe me, very few people are untouched by this.”

        Loads of people would have been untouched by covid-19

        Nobody will be untouched by the worldwide economic shutdown, that will kill more people than covid-19

      • Edward2
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        So Martin you really believe “the world is on fire”
        Is that your belief?

        And the other one.
        All humans will all become extinct in a few decades.
        That is what they believe.

        Is that what you believe?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

          You are clearly too lazy to read the posts to which I reply.

          If you had, then you would see that the disaster to which I refer is CV.

          Your time-wasting nonsense is therefore worthless.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

            I assumed you were ranting on about the climate as the main article was on this topic.
            But you had gone back onto CV again.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            I was using the reply facility correctly, unlike you.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            Well done Martin
            And relax.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      And little do they know that they are in fact, eating their own tail.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Get enough ventilators and PPE then get back to work asap – and find a vaccine or other treatments to improve survival rates asap too.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Javelin, (Off topic, sorry Sir John),

      Truly frightening briefing from Hancock et al yesterday. He again used the 500,000 number of deaths in an answer to justify the lockdown with no indication of a how a lower number of lives saved could be balanced against the longterm effects of a supply side shock even putting immediate and short term effects to one side. No suggestion was made on what admissions rate to hospitals would allow the lockdown to be unrolled. Even when there is at last the good news f research level antibody sampling tests (3500 per week aided by Porton Down, first results this coming weekend) there was zero suggestion of whether this would be used to calculate overall mortality and transparently readjust the numbers as they could be much more accurate. Together with the potential of slowing with a change in ambient weather conditions, there are ample opportunities for the Govt to find avenues to rollback, however it just continues its group escalation of commitment. The Govt needs to get its exit strategy worked out in the next week as data becomes available – I expect little.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        The fact that hospitals and undertakers around the world are utterly overwhelmed is pretty convincing evidence that action is needed.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          especially in Wuhan. Action was taken – cremations going at full speed.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

            Whatever, they’ve closed the temporary hospitals, and are exporting people and material to help the rest of the world.

            The UK now has more recorded deaths than the whole of China with 1.4 billion people, and our figures are probably even less reliable too.

            Hard facts must be faced.

          • NickC
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

            Martin, “Hard facts must be faced”. So why don’t you accept that the Chinese communist government lies to its own people, never mind us? But then you are a blind dupe of authoritarians whether in China or the EU.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff,

          I am sorry if this sounds really heartless, but that is evidence of deaths (and operationally utilisation and volatility) it is not evidence of lives saved, it is not evidence of maximizing lives over a longer horizon.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

          14000 have died of Covid 19 in Italy.

          Around 60million now face life threatening poverty because of the way it was dealt with.

          Oh. The Magic Money Tree will save them all.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            Yes, and the UK is on the same trajectory.

            Your point?

    • APL
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Javelin: “Every day the economy is in lockdown ..”

      I sympathise with the sentiment. But it’s not just during the lock-down. It’s been like that for ages. The most hair-brained scheme is proposed and fully endorsed by the civil service, take for example the government IT health service initiative, which failed – nobody in the civil service or any government circle resigned or was sanctioned.

      £billions blown on a complete farce. No one held responsible.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Correct – The BoE demanding that banks stop dividend payments is a direct example that the government wish and plan to stop liquidity

      Please note that dividend payments are for some the only source of income and the government the closed the door


  10. Nig l
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Cue the Climate change ranters, I could write their comments let alone go,through them all,again. Nevertheless they go to the heart (and minds) of the subject. A clear feeling that the science is not proven, that we may be looking at the wrong target and we are being bounced, by frankly illiberal activists supported by the likes of the BBC censoring, in fact closing down completely, alternative views.

    We have seen your government saddle us with vast cost to roll out an almost useless smart metering system for minimal benefit and that will be dwarfed by what is now being proposed.

    Please convince ne of the rationale behind your policy and I will buy into what happens next. Until that happens I will resist with all my strength.

    Ps we see the testing shambles caused by a monopolistic Stalinist centralised NHS caused by shovelling shed loads of money at them with no accountability and now we read they ignored WHO advice about what pandemic would be next. No one could have foreseen the totality of what has happened but once again systemic failure led by your ministers has led to potentially more deaths and economic cost than necessary.

    When will someone bloody well smash their fist on the table and demand it gets sorted out. Oh sorry, that would make six figure salaried Civil Servants resign and cry. Oh dear!

  11. agricola
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    The use of electricity I see as impractical at this point in time on the grounds that:-

    1. Battery duration is inadequate, expensive, and not that green when you look at the process of producing them.

    2. Recharging facilities are too slow, and are inadequate in number. The problem has not been thought through.

    3. Our ability to generate the required electric power economically and in the volume required is none existent thanks to dabbling , ill informed politicians. What is the environmental cost of current electricity generation. Don’t forget the wood pellets from Canada.

    4. It is strategically insane to have all our eggs in the electric basket.

    I would ask exactly where we are or could be on decarbonising the internal combustion engine. Secondly where are we on the production of cheap hydrogen the burning of which could solve the problem of CO2 at a stroke.

    I have yet to see the apportioning of blame for climate change berween a bit of extra CO2 and the historic driver of climate, the Sun. I suspect that politicians, so called experts, and the great unwashed are behaving like rats in a barrel.

    It is interesting to note that the same cabal that have been forced into the hands of science and engineering over Covid 19. rely on verbosity ,ignorance and no doubt vested lobbying interests to solve climate change. If and it is a big if, CO2 really is the problem perhaps you can steel yourselves to use science and engineering to solve it.

    • agricola
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      My god you are at it again on a daily basis. It never ceases to amaze me when I consider the often repetitive malicious rubbish you do publish. But then at heart you are a politician, explains all.

      • agricola
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        You may think me particularly harsh in my above remark. Much of it stems from the fact that you do not apply your oft repeated rules on frequency of responses. The arch exponent of repetitive verbosity managed a total of thirty, yes 30, submissions which you moderated. I hate to think of how many you didn’t from the same source. Now if you applied your own rules you would have a chance of reading and moderating logical and considered submissions. Mine of course with tongue in cheek!!!

  12. BeebTax
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    As the chief of the AA commented today, we may see a widespread realisation that home working is perfectly feasible for many commuters, after the enforced experiment we are currently undergoing.

    Policies encouraging this change would do a huge amount to reduce transport emissions, and probably make for a happier workforce and local communities. Tax breaks for home workers, no vat on IT equipment, invest in better broadband, not HS2.

  13. Wil Pretty
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Hydrogen is the route.
    First you must build sufficient nuclear power stations to generate the electricity required to generate the hydrogen from water in an economical way.
    In this country this precursor will take till 2100.
    However activists will then realise that this process has oxygen as a by product and they will find a way to campaign against that.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      To sensible and to effective. Not forgetting Gordon Brown said we had no need for nuclear so he sold our capability. We now pay twice and twice over again for a capability we had the lead in

      • hefner
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        A trend that started roughly 40 years ago (Alex Brummer, DailyMail, 13/04/2012 Britain-sale-Uniquely-world-Britain-…) and is still going on ( 14/06/2018 Centrica aims to sell UK nuclear stake by end of 2020). I am afraid that all Conservative, Labour, and Coalition governments have over the years been singing from the same hymn sheet in that respect.

        And think about who was the Chief of Policy to the PM in those early days and then Minister for Corporate Affairs. The weak excuse ‘it was all the fault of the EEC/EU’ does not hold much water given that during the same period countries like Germany and France were still very much keeping (at least partly from the ’90s) their national energy sector, railways, airlines, and a number of utility companies. And all these now partly private-partly public companies are certainly not worse than the equivalent fully privatized UK companies (assuming those still exist).
        The usual people on this site will certainly argue ‘we were better more obedient EU citizens than the Germans or French were’.
        Problem is: these privatization measures were encouraged by successive governments, once the privatization bug had infected the head (establishment), privatization of all and sundry happened, rather indiscriminately.

        And the same people now crying for help because of the Coronavirus infection (the proposed measures being a very socialistic approach, I agree) are/were the same ones who have been applauding to the continuous privatization efforts of the successive governments over the last 40 years, some of these privatization having put a few hundred pounds in their pockets.

        Sorry, but don’t you think you deserve what you got given the economic environment you have helped create for so long?

        To finish on ‘a more positive note’, how I love the ones here who keep bleating about the coming (or even already existing) left-wing state. The UK state has been under a right(ish) spell over these last 40 years. But specially on this site anything to the left of the BNP/Brexit party is either already a commie, socialo-anarcho-Trotskyite state or fast becoming one. What a laugh.

        PS: Edward2, you can save your ‘saliva’. I really don’t care …

        • Ian @Barkham
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          Privatization ‘should’ have reaped us benefits. But the way we privatized actually punished the country to the benefit of the few.

          In the same way the nationalization was effectively a misappropriation for political ego trip.

          The UK permitting the sale of any business to a competitor is in itself creating the problem.

        • NickC
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          Hefner, You appear to be advocating a top-down 1950s style socialist government, rather than a free enterprise economy.

          One clear lesson from the Covid19 pandemic is that we must have a more resilient economy – ie a more nationalist approach. That does not have to mean either fascist or socialist.

          At about 40% UK GDP government direct control the UK was hardly the model of a “Atlas shrugged” type economy. Now the government has decided to close down vast swathes of our economy it must accept the responsibility for its own actions. Reversing privatisation carries consequences too.

          It certainly does not mean we all approve of that expansion of state control – as you can see by reading the comments.

    • turboterrier
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Wil Pretty

      Totally in agreement. Well said

  14. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Sorry we can’t afford any of this nonsense now – for the next decade or so we will need to use absolutely the cheapest form of energy, if that is oil so be it.

  15. Kenneth
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    What we need is a circular transport system where we fill capacity in transport – whatever the mode of transport with passengers or freight.

    This will be more do-able with driverless vehicles where the journey will be logged so that both the outbound and return journeys can be auto-booked and passengers or goods automatically collected or dropped off in the most efficient way.

    I don’t think we need draconian measures to ban private transport. We just need to make shared journeys compellingly cheap.

    Perhaps we also need to ask ourselves why we need to travel so much.

    Why can’t the accountant who lives in Edinburgh and works in Glasgow swap jobs with the accountant doing the opposite journey?

    Why do we end up with students studying so far from their original home often resulting in a marriage that has years of travel built in?

    Why do we have so much immigration that results in thousands of extra flight where the immigrant visits their family in their original country? This travel is built in for decades.

  16. Jiminyjim
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Before we do anything at all, we need to tear apart the mathematical modelling, which is responsible for driving our lockdown as well as the Climate Change agenda. Look at what the late Prof Freeman Dyson said about this issue in general and the modelling in particular. It is also cogent that modelling errors have driven many idiotic economic forecasts. We need the modern-day Alan Turings looking at this issue very closely, I hope No 10 is on the case

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    These people are clearly totally deluded (PPE or Law graduates perhaps rather than engineers or physicists.

    Cycling or walking certainly produced more CO2 than a full car (that can carry up to 7 people). Seven bikes have far more wind resistance that one car!

    These “muscle powered” methods of transport are fuelled by extra food intake. Particularly if the people are meat eaters it is very carbon inefficient. The food needs growing, it need fertiliser, the tractors and harvesters need fuel, it is then perhaps fed to animals (wasting perhaps 80% of this energy), then butchery, freezing, packaging, distribution, cooking and much food is wasted on route. Plus you have to manufacture the bikes, tires, bike lights. If these fools think these use less energy than a full car going from London to Edinburgh they are complete idiots.

    Plus it you walk or cycle some distance you will need hotels and a hot shower and it will take four times as long!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      If these mad deluded dopes think meat, food, beer and wine is a sensible energy efficient way to fuel transport perhaps these idiots should fund the design and manufacture of a cars, busses, trains, planes and trucks working on these fuels with an artificial muscle engine and a stomach!

      We are governed by incompetent fools and scientifically illiterate idiots and climate alarmist priests.

    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Johnson like May’s been captured by the virus of the large State, collectivist left and their outriders across all areas of policy. If it isn’t climate change policies to assert control, it’s the use of the NHS issue to inculcate group-think and to destroy critical debate

    And yet Mr Redwood invites ideas about how a carbon-free future can be achieved.

    Tory MPs come equally under the control of this subtle form of control

    Not one Tory MP stands up and challenges the rise of climate change fascism and the poison of progressive politics, social engineering and collectivism

    Reply I invite your views on the whole thing

  19. Dave Andrews
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    An early return to work?
    According to the website, business should continue. The instruction to only go to work if you can’t work from home has been distorted by the media to say, only go to work if you do essential work.
    It is essential, it’s my livelihood.

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    The figures for train and buses are often surprisingly bad too.

    Bus occupancy can be very low often, often in single figures over the whole of the day. Depot to depot. Plus they take long indirect route and people often need to catch two or three in convoluted indirect routes. Not A to B but A to C to D to B. Plus they stop every few hundred yards to drop off and pick up (using extra fuel and blocking others) and making the people behind them use more fuel too. Due to sampling error people’s impression of occupancy is misleading as they tend to catch and thus observe the full ones! Not the empty ones outside rush hour or going against the rush hour direction.

    A train needs an expensive and energy intensive track and stations, ticketing, and lots of professional staff. The also need the connection journeys at each end often by car and often a double journey at each end. Perhaps a wife dropping you off or a taxi. Yes if you have 2000 people wanting to go from Kings X to Edinburgh at the same time and day – but this is rarely the position they have to get to King X and from Edinburgh and want to go at different times.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      A car also needs no professional driver or staff – unlike taxis, trains, boats & buses. So this need to be taken into account too. Planes need to rail track and its maintainance just a strip of tarmac at each end and are far more flexible and often far cheaper than trains.

  21. Newmania
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The one thing the government could have got right was accelerating and enabling the production of testing which would have allowed the desperately needed return to work .
    We could not have got this more wrong
    Instead of action we get excuses and half truths You rightly point out we cannot afford this sky hook plan but at the same time you call for yet more giveaways to be paid.
    On top of all this you want us to face a chaotic Brexit just when we are getting off our knees I am far far too busy saving myself and my family to worry about you . You all seem like children to me

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      The hiccup there is a test that says you are clear today, doesn’t know you wont be tomorrow.

      Once this dreaded virus entered the general population, testing could only ever show the reason you are ill. It cant cure it. It cant stop it spreading, It is not a vaccine.

      If you test 100,000 today you must also test those same people the next day and the day after. So to be safe it is 65million everyday until a cure arrives. It is the pursuit of the meaningless whipped up by the MsM and pursued by our rudderless experts.

      The much needed antibody test when sorted is the game changer. Once you know who has had it you can start to rebuild at least until a vaccine arrive.

      • anon
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 12:32 am | Permalink

        Anyone who is positive can then be paid to stay in isolation for 2 to 3 weeks until they stop shedding virus. On average this will work to reduce R0.

        • Ian @Barkham
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          For that to work some 65 million would have to be tested on the same day at the same time. We don’t know who the carriers are as most don’t display the symptoms.

          If the science is to be believed, it takes 5-7 days of incubation before you could be seen to have the virus. Followed by 5-7 days not showing it, being very ill, or extremely ill. This then needs another 5-7days for the all clear.

          On the above basis the three week lock-down we are all involved in, when coupled with proper social distancing requested. We would have stopped the virus finding a host so it dies out. That would mean that come a week next Monday the Country will be totally clear of the virus.

          If we are not clear by then is means people couldn’t be bothered, are not worried and have adopted the all right ‘Jack’ attitude.

          • Stred
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            Family members are likely to pass it to others in the same house during the lockdown. That could add another three weeks of infection, cases and the proportion of deaths. This seems to be what is happening in Italy.

          • anon
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            Lockdown to protect NHS & buy time, to mitigate previous errors & failures.

            Relaxation will result in outbreaks.

            Testing can be targeted at high risk individuals.

            We wont be clear of the virus?

            Test , trace , isolate, until not needed.

  22. Lifelogic
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Plus of course CO2 is harmless plant food anyway, there is no climate catastrophe round the corner. Atmospheric CO2 concentration are not a world thermostat, millions of other factors affect the climate, many are totally unpredictable. They cannot even predict the climate for next July let alone for 100 years.

    Who after all predicted this World transport close down? They clearly cannot even predict the population numbers.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      They cannot even predict the suns activity for the next few years or volcanic activity, or when humans will crack fusion – so what possible chance have they got of predicting the climate for 100 years?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        Not with certainty, but a range of probabilities for various scenarios can be predicted with reasonable confidence, and using the best science that humankind has.

        The probabilities for some of the very damaging ones are unacceptably high, and so action must be taken.

        Just as the otherwise probability of high numbers of fatalities from CV necessitated the lockdown and other measures.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Look it does not matter how “good the science is” nor how eminent or famous the scientists”. Even if you know all the weights, shapes, coefficients of friction and restitution, positions and velocities of the lottery balls at the start you still cannot work out the winning numbers just a few second later. Such are chaotic systems.

          With the weather we do not even know all the inputs (like the sun spot activity, dates and sizes of volcanos, meteor impacts, human inventions, the populations, genetic changes, the effects of pandemics, when we will crack nuclear fusion, what crops we will grow (over the next 100 years) or load of other things.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            No one is attempting exact deterministic answers.

            Why do you claim that they are?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

            The truth is they do not have a clue if it will be hotter or colder in 100 years years time nor by how much!

        • NickC
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Probable probabilities(?) of reasonable(?) confidence of predicted(?) scenarios?? It is far more probable that humankind will enjoy slight warming and a greening planet before the onset of the rest of this ice age ensues (we’re in an interglacial).

        • Edward2
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          You cannot tell us what inventions will happen in the next few years yet alone the next century.
          Yet you can predict the future weather with confidence

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            No, you cannot say for sure that if you run blindfold across the M25 then you will be killed.

            However, it appears that only your kind would be fool enough to do it.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            Yes you can.
            Doing that will lead to an almost definite terrible outcome if you run across a busy motorway like the M25 with or without a blindfold.
            Your analogy fails completely.

            ” your kind”
            as usual, rarely a comment from you without a sly bit of personal abuse of any you disagree with.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            Clearly you would not be killed unless you were deaf too or you perhaps wanted to be killed. But what has this got to do with climate alarmism!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      It’s curious, how you appear to have complete confidence that molecular biologists and the like can be relied upon to come up with a vaccine for coronavirus, and yet for some reason you implicitly claim that equally powerful minds, but who simply chose to pursue climatology are incompetent.

      My understanding is that the Scientific Method is the same in all fields, and that degrees in them from any given university are of comparable rigour.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        One is plain evidential medical science.
        It can be proved by counting the number of people given a vaccine who never get Covid 19
        The other is a prediction of what the weather might be like many decades ahead made by computer modelling.

      • NickC
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Martin, It’s curious how you appear to have complete confidence that non-scientific activists can be relied upon not to twist climate science to suit their own agenda. You do know that the “hockey stick” was a fake don’t you?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Some things are reasonably predictable and some are not. Some scientists are genuine and honest but some are clearly rather fraudulent soothsayers.

  23. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Well perhaps, but the rain might be an oncoming meteor impact. So you might as well dance I suppose.

  24. Tom Rogers
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    We seem to be governed [ruled?] by dimwits and loons. Living in this country is like being in a real-life episode of Brass Eye.

    When are the normal, sane people taking over? Ever?

    I’m reminded of an Edgar Allan Poe short story – ‘And For How Long Did The Mad Men Reign?’, I think it was titled.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      was it ever thus.

  25. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    We should concentrate on the issue of fuel efficiency. Petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles have become significantly more efficient in recent years and there is more to come but that is being thrown away to satisfy an ideology. I dare say there will be a case for the use of battery power in some instances, for short journeys in built up areas for example perhaps with much smaller vehicles but for much of the traffic outside that and heavy vehicles we must take a gradualist approach. The ridiculous and damaging targets for emission reductions currently set are doing more harm than good.

    I would start all this with the need to improve our roads; surfaces and traffic controls so vehicles can move with less interruption. Roads are wearing out faster than they are being improved. Vast amounts of energy are wasted though no fault of the individual.

    Dangerously though there are those of a liberal fascist tendency who will use the present health emergency as an opportunity to enforce a longer term shutdown of our way of life in the name of ‘green’ politics and I fear this government will embrace it; so prepare for the extension of the holding of control powers on when we can leave our homes, where and when we can travel and exercise. The draconian laws we are living under now will not be repealed – they will be retained because ‘they may be needed next time’.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    So Oxford produces research that shows the pandemic will kill far FAR fewer people than Imperial College thinks.

    So which institution do we believe ?

    We are not being told what pre-existing conditions were present in those who have died *with* Covid 19. Whether they died *with* it or *of* it. There’s a clue.

    According to the Oxford research it would have been better to isolate the PEC sufferers immediately but let the hale-and-hearties carry on.

    This will be too big to cover up if we have called it wrong. The truth will out. Already jobs and lives are in utter ruin.

    Let’s not stay locked down for the sake of egos.

    More will die in the coming famine, poverty and disturbances than will ever have died of Covid 19 so please, don’t anyone here call me heartless.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      My estimate is for about 20,000-30,000 in this initial phase and over the rest of this year. Let us hope we can have a vaccine sooner than expected, finally get the ventilators etc. we need and find some treatments to allow more people survive.

      A 19% increase in deaths today, a signs of some slight slowing in the rate of increase. But 19% a day would increase the total deaths to 9879 by Friday next week.

      Hopefully the rate will slow before then.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

        There are now NO jobs left in my vicinity except public sector jobs.

        What is your estimate for deaths through the coming poverty, Life*logic* ? Including (especially) of old people.

        By golly. How LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY your generation.

        Had your fathers to sacrifice their lives for you on the beaches and your sons and grandsons to sacrifice theirs in the hell to come.

        I hear boomers speak as though they fought in the war “We’re British !”. You may have been born in the war but you didn’t fight in it.

        Now is your turn to do your bit and you’re bottling it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Italy – which is where the UK might be in a circa 14 days time have:-

      28,741 in hospital, 4068 in intensive care and 14,681 who have dies to date. This is still up 5.5% just today.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        You have NO awareness of the poverty and civil disorder to come.

        You have NO awareness that there will be no NHS this time next year.

        You have NO awareness of the spike in mortalities owing to undetected and untreated cancers because “It’s OK to die of anything so long as it’s not Covid 19”

        You have NO awareness of anything it seems.

      • anon
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 12:41 am | Permalink

        Really hope we see some relief.
        But i suspect we will have a higher % infected quicker than any other country min 10%, but nowhere near herd immunity.
        Thats 7 m * 3.5% = 245,000 potentially ill and say 50,000 deaths, in the next 1-2 months.

        I pray its less and i dont normally pray.

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Anon, Martin and Andy believe Imperial College, not Oxford (and others). They don’t give reasons for this bias. What they fail to understand is that predictions – even if run through a computer – are just guesses about the future. Of course some researchers will be proved to be more correct than others, when viewed after the event. But which ones, we don’t know at the moment. Making decisions right now is a judgement, not science. They use “science” as a cudgel – ‘my science is more scientific than your science’ type of thing – whilst being scientifically illiterate.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Some theories have been rigorously tested, others not.

        I attach more weight to the first than I do to the second, but I expect science to continue to try to disprove them both.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 5, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

          So not settled science.

          A little bit of progress from you.

  27. Roger W Carradice
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    With impossible nonsense like this why not change the name of the Conservative party to Lib Dem. As one of your commentators has said there is a vast chasm between the MPs and the average conservative voter.
    Roger W Carradice

  28. Andy
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    You are all such ‘it can’t be done’ doom-mongers and yet in the last 200 years we have numerous examples of rapid changes in human society.

    The motor car went from being almost nothing and almost nowhere in 1890 to widespread by the 1920s – and everywhere by 1960.

    The Wright Brothers made their first flight in 1903. Just 66 years later – in 1969 – Concorde and the 747 both made their maiden flights. And man walked on the moon.

    It took just 24 years to get from Sputnik to space shuttle.

    And, more recently, the first mobile phone networks were launched in 1981. 39 years later what ever happened to the mobile?

    You have all lost the climate debate. In fact you lost it 20 years ago. We are taking action to fix it. You can be a part of the solution or you can remain a part of the problem. If you voted Tory last December you voted for ‘guaranteed’ net zero by 2050. It was in the manifesto.

    • Andy
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      The way we use cars will fundamentally change by 2050. Far, far fewer of us will own one. And more of us will simply call a driverless car whenever we need one. This is what companies like Tesla and Uber are already working towards.

      Electric cars are already better than petrol cars in so many ways. Aside from the tyres, they are essentially maintenance free. They are quiet. They are clean. As ranges go up and prices come down the choice of what type of vehicle to buy become a no brainer.

      With fewer cars on the road there is more space to free up room for cyclists and electric scooters. Why are scooters still illegal? More pointless bureaucracy from this Brexit government interfering with our lives. Cycling must be encouraged and safer roads do this. It’s clean, green and healthy. A win all round.

      Every railway line must be electrified. It’s appalling that they aren’t all done already – electric trains are significantly quieter and better. And electric trucks and vans are all fine too. The welcome march to renewables means there will be plenty of green power to run all of this.

      Planes and ships remain a problem. Alternative means of power might not be ready by 2050 – but, in these cases, offsetting can be used until solutions are found.

      You are all so gloomy about this. This is my generation and the next fixing one of the problems your generation created and we are making the world better in the process.

      • Original Richard
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        “And more of us will simply call a driverless car whenever we need one.”

        Apart from those living in the very centre of towns where there is absolutely no parking at all I would still expect people to want to own and use their own personal vehicle, even if driverless.

        Firstly because people personalise their vehicles with additional equipment such as child seats, stereos etc. and secondly because who would be keeping the vehicle clean, especially clean from dangerous bacteria and viruses, or simply just clean of plain mud and dirt ?

        Today this job is done by the taxi driver.

        I suppose the driverless vehicle could return to a depot after each trip for a robotic deep clean….but how comfortable would be these vehicles be if they were made to last ?

    • Fred H
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      What debate? So far we’ve had green welly wearers hugging trees, ripping up college lawns, chaining themselves to lorries, shouting at innocents, abusing peaceful people going about their lives, flying the oceans to do one-person protests etc etc.
      The few things up for discussion are mostly shouted down by internet searchers qouting the moronic spoutings of pubescent on-the-spectrum wild-eyed ignorant ranters.

      I look forward to reading how you on here actually debate….

      • Edward2
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Wonderful post Fred

        • Fred H
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          you’re welcome, mate.

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Andy, You really still believe the “hockey stick”? You call that winning? Does your “we” include China? Every “fix” from you CAGW zealots has been a failure. And anyone with a modicum of technical ability could have told you why, and probably did. But you wouldn’t listen. Because you know best. Or so you say. You are trying to “cure” a non-problem, but almost worse your remedies are more medieval than scientific.

  29. Sakara Gold
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Good morning. The government has already mapped out a way towards zero carbon transport – electric vehicles. To achieve this within the government-set timeframe, we need additional secure supplies of green energy from wind turbines and solar farms, backed up by the replacement nuclear fleet.

    The technology to do this is now maturing and subsidy-free renewable plant is now competitive – green energy is considerably cheaper than fossil fuel derived electicity. What we really need to do next is build grid-sized energy storage capacity and install the necessary national charging infrastructure, initially along the motorway network, dual carriageways and our inner cities. UKPN is well placed to do this and has the technical knowledge to plan and build such a network. Further investment in electrifying the rail network here is both feasible and necessary.

    Elon Musk, the American entrepreneur, has shown what is possible with his excellent Tesla vehicles and the just-introduced medium goods van. .

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Sakara, BEVs (battery electric vehicles) are more expensive than petrol cars and always will be until batteries have the same energy density as petrol (highly unlikely) because more weight = more cost. Charging points are not the issue – it’s the hours needed to charge each BEV. Fast and partial charging cuts the already atrocious range. Then there’s all the extra electrical energy needed to charge BEVs.

      Contrary to your claim, “renewables” (Wind and Solar) are more expensive than using natural fuels, Coal and Gas. The reason? The cost figures usually given for renewables do not include the cost of dispatchable back-up. Nuclear is base load, not dispatchable. Either you know this already in which case you are attempting a cheat, or you don’t know and you’re displaying your ignorance.

      For a 33GW increase using renewables, the majority would have to be offshore wind (utilisation c30%). So we would have to build and install about 22,000 windmills of 5MW each, or 6 a day, every day for 10 years. To achieve those averages, some 300 teams, with up to 8 specialist ships to each team, would be required just to install, due to weather, shifts, holidays, etc. There is insufficient world capacity. And that doesn’t cover making the windmills, and building the back-up and storage essential for intermittent renewables.

      (JR, I apologise for the length, but it is data dense).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Electric vehicles are not remotely net zero carbon.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      Elon Musk, the American entrepreneur, has shown what is possible with his excellent Tesla vehicles and the just-introduced medium goods van.

      All within the affordable price range of most people, I would assume ?


  30. Peter
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    These delusion that you can remove carbon from a world entirely based on carbon is so ludicrous it defys rational analysis. In the same way that scientists with their computer models that are, in reality, little more than computer games, have determined that Corona virus should shut down everything and starve us all they have also convinced the gullible that CO2 is somehow bad for the Earth when every single plant thrives on 2, 3 or 10 times as much as we have now.
    The biggest threat to human life is government egged on by hystirical idiots.

  31. IanT
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Well the Extinction Rebellion people should be happy with this crisis because it has accelerated much of what they were demanding over 4 years into 4 weeks. Of course the Economy is also going down the drain but that was pretty much a side effect of their demands anyway – and now instead of just parts of London being locked down, the whole country is.

    I think everyone is going to have their work cut out managing the deep depression coming and will not have very much time or money available to worry about carbon emissions levels whilst they are struggling to exist.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      I wonder if all those sheep that stood outside their homes clapping and banging pots and pans a 8pm to save the NHS will do the same to save the economy, business, peoples’ jobs and homes ?

      Thought not 😉

  32. Cynic
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    If the government were to have a policy to remove oxygen from the atmosphere they would be considered mad. Co2 is just as vital.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink


  33. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I think that we must not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    All reductions in carbon emissions are good. If we fail to get to zero net, then they are still good.

    Fuels based on the gasification of biomass actually take carbon out of the environment over the cycle. They are carbon negative.

    So if these formed part of our energy supply, then that would permit the use of some fossil fuels while still remaining carbon neutral too.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      *gasification by distillation, not by partial combustion.

      • NickC
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Let the poor starve, eh, Martin?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          In what way does that relate to anything in my post?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      “All reductions in carbon emissions are good” – nonsense it is harmless plant food on balance CO2 is beneficial.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        Try to be sensible.

        No one is discussing reducing atmospheric Co2 to zero.

        The world would freeze, and plant life would be impossible even if it did not.

        People are only trying to arrest the relentless increase.

        If the atmosphere were all CO2, then temperatures would be comparable with Venus.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          What relentless increase? We have had nothing VERY significant at all in an historical context.

  34. Jim
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    No going back to work until we know more about this virus.

    The ‘green by 2050’ notion is pure game playing between government and manufacturers. Both know that neither electricity nor hydrogen will do the job. The manufacturers know government will back down.

    A surer but less popular way to cut emissions would be to make transport very much more expensive/difficult. Cut the number of landing/takeoff slots. Cut the number of shipping movements in and out of the UK. Cut the number of vehicles allowed on the roads. And you might cut the number of humans as well.

    Much screaming and raving about such notions and not terribly welcome post CV-19. So I reckon we will do nothing, at least until the waters lap around our feet.

  35. Old Albion
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    In the last 150 years the earths temperature (may) have risen by 1 to 1.2 degrees. This may or may not be attributable to global warming caused by C02 emissions.
    Surely nobody other than Greta really believes this is going to end the world as we know it.
    For every carbon saving we make by multiple sacrifices, the Chinese and Indians along with many others will pump out more C02 wiping out our savings in an instant. Even Germany continues to build and use coal-fired power stations.
    Don’t cripple our country on the basis of self-righteous policies.

  36. Fred H
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Breakdown of the so-called united EU.
    from BBC website

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      So those who railed about not wanting a centralised Nanny State start to squeal about the European Union not being a centralised Nanny State?

      So infantile people behave exactly like infantile people?

      Where’s the news in that?

      The European Union has no remit over civil contingencies nor over public health provision.

      Do you think that it should?

      • Edward2
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Yes but it affects individual member nations.
        The EU have advised members they should keep borders open and continue to accept asylum seekers

        However individual nations have refused to agree and gave closed their borders.
        No financial assistance either.
        Seems the EU has not lead this crisis at all.
        I hoped it would.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        just saying ….🤣 🤣

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          The UK now has the same death toll as did Italy a couple of short weeks ago.

          Just saying.

  37. APL
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    This is my question du jour, Mr Redwood.

    The government has shut down the economy.
    What is the impact of the shutdown on government revenue ?

    The government has two sources of income. Taxation, which the government has just undermined. And borrowing, which is predicated on repayments out of taxed income. Given that the government has diminished it’s ability to raise taxation, ho long before the ability to borrow is impacted?

    Thirdly, to what extent will the government resort to printing of funds to makeup the lost income caused by the shutdown?


  38. George Brooks.
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    You ask ”how feasible’.

    Utterly impossible, unless we revert to horse and donkey for transport, keep livestock in open spaces and grow veg in our back yard!

    To think we the tax payer are footing the bill for someone to write and publish such completely impractical rubbish is appalling.

    Yes, we must reduce carbon dioxide, but when are these ‘fruit cakes’ going to suggest we start in the right place by inventing the replacement to internal combustion. Electricity is not the answer as there are over 30 million cars and vans on UK roads and with say around half on charge at any one time I doubt we would be able to boil a kettle!!

    One could go on describing example after example how that target and that government paper are totally impractical. It has taken over 130 years to develop transport as we know it today. So to even think you can bin the lot and replace it in 30 years is absolute moonshine.

  39. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Quite possibly a large tax on flying, both visas for visitors and for returning UK nationals coming back through airports. Aim for the tax to pay off the total cost of this virus over 5-10 years.

  40. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Another wooly report to make us all wrong – “Switch to public transport” that is a sad joke.

    Green policy is driven by the same establishment / civil servants that did their best to wreck Brexit – and we are supposed to believe they know what they are doing with alleged climate change?
    When will politicians wake up to the fact that the establishment have their own agenda – that they have been hoodwinked!
    Why can’t politicians see that the myth of CC is perpetuated by the same entities that live off the proceeds of CC, and yet their reports are seen as gospel.

  41. ferdinand
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Please, please check the facts about CO2. The climate emergency is a leftwing nonsense. I am really surprised that you have not investigated this issue. You are usually so thorough. I have researched it for almost thirty years.

  42. T. Llewellyn Jones
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    Please could you comment on the Government downgraded the status of COVID 19 just before the lock down:

    Guidance High consequence infectious diseases (HCID)

    ‘ Status of COVID-19

    As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.

    The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.

    The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.

    The need to have a national, coordinated response remains, but this is being met by the government’s COVID-19 response.

    Cases of COVID-19 are no longer managed by HCID treatment centres only. All healthcare workers managing possible and confirmed cases should follow the updated national infection and prevention (IPC) guidance for COVID-19, which supersedes all previous IPC guidance for COVID-19. This guidance includes instructions about different personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles that are appropriate for different clinical scenarios.’

    Please note that the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens is also of this opinion and Professor Neil Ferguson (Imperial College London) is a member.

    Many thanks.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      So why do we have an economic lockdown?

  43. Everhopeful
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    So who pray will be travelling where and for what purpose??
    And probably very few people when we have all been starved and mentally tortured to death.

  44. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Localise employment, production and distribution. By the way, it’s already started.

  45. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Why has the UK got to be a “hub” for the rest of the world? What %age of the worlds pollution do we cause? ( The more people that come here the worse it will get). China is building coal fired powered stations – We are being left to the wind.
    The only thing the UK is important for now is to be a goal for illegals to get to for a free life. We are being turned into a 3rd World country.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear Big Neil

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink


    • Stred
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Hub and cluster are favourite ecoloon words. They always work them in.

  46. Everhopeful
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Last night at 8pm, alerted by an absolute cacophony ( admittedly not all that unusual for here) I looked out of the window….
    Neighbours escaped from their uber flexible interpretations of “lockdown”😂 cavorting and socialising while (I imagine) applauding the NHS (why?). Talk about inciting the masses.
    Spittle, aerosol and droplet infection sans doute.
    Reminded me of kids shouting “ I believe in fairies”.
    But that was in a pantomime…..oh!

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Yeah don’t know what all the fuss is about with only 163 serious / critical cases

      • APL
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        glen cullen: “Yeah don’t know what all the fuss is about with only 163 serious / critical cases”

        From the government figures for England and Wales there are a total of between ten and twelve thousand deaths every week.

        There are about 1500 to 2000 deaths each week in England and Wales attributed to respiratory conditions.

        The government has broken out that ‘headline’ figure to reflect those instances where covid-19 were mentioned on the death certificate. So far, even with the COVID-19 outbreak the ‘headline’ figure of between 1500 – 2000 remains unchanged.

        It is true, we are early in the latest public hysteria at the moment. But with the ‘shutdown’ the peak of deaths attributed to covid-19 are expected around mid April, I will be waiting to see whether those deaths reported and attributed to covid-19 exceed or simply replace those currently attributed to general respiratory conditions.

        At the moment, I can’t see what all the fuss is about, either.

        • glen cullen
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          If covid19 death is a result of a serious/critical covid19 condition, why has the recorded figure remained at 165, you would think it would be in the thousands

    • Mark B
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      The won’t be cheering and clapping when standing in line, 2 metres apart, for the State handouts.

  47. Andrew Bernard
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    We have a real crisis now, ie the CoronaVirus one, not the made up, fantasy bed wetter crisis manufactured by the Greens, embraced by scientists looking for guaranteed sinecure. Now we have to deal with this real crisis, let’s drop this ridiculous 2035 “pledge” made to virtue signal to all the liberal middle class “worried” about so called man made climate change.
    Reading this sort of nonsense from a civil service makes me despair of the future of our country. We voted Brexit, are escaping that tarantula, now we fall for this.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      We need a party thats pro-carbon

      All the parties currently appease the green lobby

      We sit on an island of coal surrounded by a sea of oil, lets use our resources, lets research clean ways of using them

      Our energy competitors are russia, china and saudi who could care about the environment

      Let use and be world leader in clean carbon

  48. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    We are urged not to stress the NHS need for ambulances. How many turned up on the South coast to greet the last load from Calais demanding a taxpayer funded water taxi to freebie-life land?

  49. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Amusing, and in reality only to be expected from what are showing themselves at dimwitted experts. Are government experts just friends of friends looking the easy handout.

    The power exerted on a cycle is from the human body, the more exertion the greater the CO2 expelled. Exertion comes from energy impute derived from food. All food production supplied to the human expels CO2 in both production and delivery.

    So all round a dumb assertion.

    No one has shown yet how CO2 in its self is bad. The CO2 on planet earth is around 4-5%(I have forgotten the exact decimal point) of its make up. It has been the same since the time of creation. You cant synthesize it, make it or produce new CO2, it is a constant. All you can do is move it around, from ground to air and visa-versa.

    Plant life survives due to CO2. CO2 can be made into alternative fuels – even petrol.

    The Political Class keep banging on about battery power this, battery power that. When it is a dead concept before it has got of the ground. It certainly wont be around in 2050. So Government yet again asking people to through money down the drain to stroke their own egos.

    May I point you in the direction of the Wright Bus Company – The Boris Bus maker. They rightly recognize the future is hydrogen.

    As if by magic CO2 can be changed into hydrogen.

    UK governments have a history of using ‘bad’ science seemingly just to be seen to be on message. What do they care it is not their money, their pension – its the deep pockets of the taxpayer

  50. Dennisa
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    It isn’t even necessary. CO2 is not raising the temperature of the planet.

    Hottest UK January, 1916, preceded by 1921, 1796
    Hottest February, 1779, March 1957. Hottest year 2014, not rising year on year.

    There has been little change in the UK temperature in the last 30 years, similarly across Europe. It is unlikely that atmospheric CO2 amounts will fall as a result of the current reduced activity world wide. Emissions do not correlate well with atmospheric concentrations, which destroys the carbon budget idea. The oceans hold 50 times more CO2 than the atmosphere. When it gets warmer, CO2 is released, when colder, it is re-absorbed. Ocean and atmospheric currents determine our weather.

    We need to walk away from the net zero plans and re-evaluate the flawed science around CO2. The re-organised COP 26, when it happens, will be a damp squib, as many nations are already announcing plans to rein back on their “pledges”. This is an ideal time to put Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act back in its box.

  51. wes
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    April fools day was three days ago.

    The PM really ought to get a grip of the nutters in his government. This CO2 rubbish could be the end of any chance the present gang will be re-elected. Let’s start planning now

  52. BJC
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Just like any obsession, opposing views on CO2 are dismissed as irrelevant or just plain wrong. The obsessive concentrates their energies on one small area, blind to the fact that their way forward will be equally damaging to society and the economy. If you want to recalibrate society, you have to take people with you and choose something that can actually be controlled. Humans aren’t God and we can’t control nature, neither can those on our minute landmass control or impact what’s happening around the globe. Nature doesn’t stop at our shoreline.

    We could and should be leading the way in seeking viable alternatives to plastics and finding effective ways to destroy existing plastic pollutants. Conventional plastics are produced from fossil fuels, of course, so I’m surprised it’s never mentioned by Climate Change evangelists. It’s cheap and easy to produce at the front end, but the true cost is the 99% of all plastics ever produced that still exist today, polluting the planet. We don’t have to succumb to pressure and adopt the policies of uneducated alarmists and activists. If we put our energies into finding practical ways to destroy/recycle existing plastics we reduce demand on fossil fuel production by different means AND start to clean up the planet, giving it the time to recover, naturally………and still get from Edinburgh to London without the Pony Express!

    • BJC
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      ……….and have an attractive product to sell that will impact around the globe.

  53. Alan Joyce
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Who writes this stuff? ‘Modal shift’ and ‘clean placed based solutions’ coupled with ‘the UK is on a journey’ and ‘the beginning of a conversation’. Is Grant Shapps really responsible for this tripe?

    If we are on a journey perhaps it must be Chris Rea with ‘Road to Hell’ or Talking Heads with their ‘Road to Nowhere’.

    No, it must have been The Proclaimers who authored it – I would walk 500 miles!

  54. graham1946
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Another sledge hammer to crack a small nut, and one which will give us a hernia trying to lift it.

    We are told, especially by EU fanatics, that this country is insignificant, too small to have any impact worldwide and on the subject of climate change (assuming you accept all the stuff being spewed out and changed as they find their the climate does not match their projections), they are correct. If we close down all our industry tomorrow, including all transport, there would be no measurable effect on global emissions and they would be replaced immediately by bigger countries. Of course we need to clean up the air, and the filth we put into the environment to the detriment of ourselves and fellow creatures and this is far more important and urgent and do-able.

    So, get a grip, the only reason politicians want to make the UK the leader in this is to increase the tax burden and control us. We yet await to see what will happen after the epidemic passes, but I confidently predict we will be taxed higher and our freedoms eroded and not fully restored.

  55. Martin
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Regarding railways I note the rail industry remains keen on overhead wiring. This has been very capital intensive.

    Maybe its time to think about third ground rail electrification for the remaining diesel parts of the rail network. It might be an affordable solution. The technology is proven and works well south of the Thames.

    • Pud
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Third rail does not work well compared to overhead lines. It’s more prone to power interruptions from snow, ice and leaves. The contact shoes of third rail systems can’t operate at high speed unlike pantographs on overhead lines. If third rail was superior, why do most electrified UK mainline railways use overhead lines?

  56. Watch the birdie
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    TV says government is thinking about us all having to wear a face mask. Of course this would mean ladies who wear a Burka looking like black parrots.

    If Boris should go any further helping us, let’s hope he is deposed before he helps even more. The next government subject we ever being allowed free elections again will win on a mandate of Boris being made to go about in the nude with a large pink feather stuck up his bottom.

    British experts just prior to the virus touching the UK laughed at the idea of face masks doing any good at all.
    It seems the government is trying to make fools of us, house arrest, chasing us by helicopters if we break out into the middle of nowhere individually with a dog and fake news telling us we are all clapping on our doorsteps perhaps trying for us to do something like that. Parrots clapping on doorsteps.
    It is time for him to resign of course if he should wish to insult us any more despite impoverishing the whole nation and for the poor and poor businessmen and women wiping them out entirely , destroying their whole lives and most likely splitting up their families.

    This is a most evil government and it has aspirations to get much worse.

  57. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    The Green stats on which this ‘green fear’ is based were produced by the same dollards who predicted 500,000 deaths from the ‘low contagion and death rate’ Coronavirus. To rescue something from this catastrophe the ‘green predictions’ must be kicked into touch for all time! We have had enough of dithering idiot politicians visiting hell and penury on us with one made up calamity after another. They can’t even implement solutions when specifically instructed (Brexit) but witter on for YEARS expecting business decisions to be made founded on their shifting sand.
    Scrap the bloody trains and busses! Nobody uses them or wants to! Fix the bloody roads, we paid billions for that. Let the post office once again offer a door to door service to those who can’t drive if neighbours and family refuse – this was standard practise in the highlands. Stop legislating for the next millennium and see if you can get through a week without a major calamity! The less you do the better! That is my message to Boris!

  58. Sea Warrior
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I am currently reading ‘Unsettled Science: A Climate Change Denier’s Handbook’ by Ian Hall. Though only a third of the way through it, my acceptance of the climate change argument has dropped from around the 85% mark, down to about 50%. (Perhaps I should draw and then corrupt a graph.) I’ll be reading a few more books on the subject. Perhaps, before we spend gazillions on de-carbonisation, government ministers should read some more books too. It seems that they have done nothing but listen to the views of scientists being paid billions of dollars a year to prove that CO2 is the cause climate change. And when not doing that they’re listening to the views of a naughty girl skipping science classes. At present, the only two reasons I can see for an assault on fossil-fuel use by transport are: (1) fossil fuels are a scarce resource, so we should conserve them; (2) burning fossil fuels pollutes the atmosphere.
    Ideas for getting to Net Zero: (1) stop importing the world’s poor; (2) stop building on the Green Belt; (3) stop expanding air travel capacity.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      There are only two things you need to know about Climate Change.

      1) It is real and has been going on for millions of years before mankind arrived and will still be changing for millions of years after we are gone.

      2) CO2 is carbon based. Carbon is the building block of life, especially plant life. It has always varied and will continue to do so. It makes up %0.03 of the air we breath.

      You do not need someone to tell you that that this is a SCAM. Just use your own common sense and save some money.

  59. Fred H
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    The vast numbers of different delivery services operating suggests they are ripe candidates for take-overs. Surely efficiencies would be obtained by merging some, especially where they are more regionally strong. So an increase of 70% for van use doesn’t make sense to me. Optimum route miles would be available.

  60. Christine
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Rather than looking at a ridiculous policy that will probably never happen, you should be looking at problems that will crop up in the next few months. Farmers will be looking for workers to pick their crops. We don’t need to import workers from abroad when we have so many unemployed. We are already seeing countries cut their food exports. Farmers here need to ramp up production now. People need to be encouraged to grow more at home. Dust off the practises used in WW2. Our Government seems to be constantly behind the curve. Put more effort into anticipating what might happen rather than reacting when it’s too late. Ask contributors on here for their thoughts and ideas.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Fantastic post Alan. Laughing out loud.

  61. ukretired123
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Testing 1 2
    Testing 1 2

    That’s the hottest focus worldwide presently on all manner of topics from CV-19 to new transport technologies ( besides getting feedback on these issues from the public).

    Research into Battery storage is the holy grail for EV.
    Hydrogen will have to play a part and cannot be overlooked rather than putting all eggs in one basket.
    This is an engineering problem and not solvable by politicians and lobbyists unless offering funding research.
    In the meantime Bosch demonstrated diesel emissions cut dramatically by combining with electric technology on the engine itself 2 years ago but because the dreaded word “Diesel” is politically incorrect was quietly poo-pooed!

  62. Dunc.
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Some people hope that the current crisis with do away with all the Green nonsense as a real crisis always trump an imaginary one. And there isnt going to be a surplus of money to throw at useless vanity projects such as wind farms for a long time into the future.
    However one danger is , as our supine MPs have failed to question the current erosion of out liberties during the Covid-19 crisis , the imposition of similar measures to enforce zero Carbon dont seem like such a pipe dream.

  63. Michael McGrath
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    “However, if we walk or go by bike it assures us it will mean no carbon dioxide at all. ”

    This does assume that we complete the trip without breathing.

    It’s April 3rd today, not April 1st

  64. Ian Kaye
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Hybrid vehicle s should be more precisely defined I e internal combustion engine hybrid and electric hybrid for example the BMW i3 with the small back up moped engine,since latter produces fewer emissions it should have lower VED.

  65. John Robertson
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    A way to help meet the carbon neutral target would be to take account of the entire footprint including say manufacture in China and subsequent transport in a diesel powered container ship. There could be tables calculated with approximate estimates for this.

    Our carbon target must encourage the ability to bring back heavy industry to the UK where it is regulated and emissions reduced than say in unregulated China. There is no benefit to penalty taxes for a company in the UK that could produce an item with 5 or more times less carbon emission than in China. That reduction can be used to offset our target here.

    Many rural hilly and mountainous areas have kerosene as the main heating source with electricity still not as efficient in heating. The recent removal of tax relief meant a spike in demand from the farmers for red diesel and subsequently lack of heating oil for domestic.

    A hike in duty on heating oil will only raise the cost of heating in rural areas possibly meaning domestic food production is massively cut and we need to import more. That is likely to put up carbon through more freight transport over large distances.

    There is a balance to be struck but I fear that fuel used in rural areas aften agricultural and tourism industries with lower incomes will be hit.

    • anon
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Lets get out so we can do this stuff. The EU is slow and seeks control as an objective not as a solution.

  66. James Freeman
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Both the current technology front runners (batteries and hydrogen fuel cells) have major hurdles to overcome. So we should be looking elsewhere for other innovative solutions.

    The government needs to heavily invest in R&D, then small scale implementations of the technologies without trying to pick winners. It should then let the market decide what to adopt.

  67. Tim the Coder
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I am very much hoping that the trial run of so much of this ecolunacy we are currently enduring will firmly swing public opinion against The Green Madness.

    Any politician who dares take peoples cars, after all this, will vanish from office as fast as the recall can be served. A few timely powercuts, when the wind isn’t blowing, should drive the message home.

    The smart politicians will already be manouevering away from The Green Madness.
    You should be following them.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      I believe Sir John is in front of them …

  68. a-tracy
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Have the government got nothing better to do at the moment!!!

    Actually tell us what is being proposed because there will be a lot of business owners out there trying to salvage what they can who start to think stuff this then.

  69. Lifelogic
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    You say “They cannot seriously think that walking or cycling to Edinburgh is an option for most of us”.

    Indeed and even if it were practical the CO2 figures they quote for different modes of transport are complete and utter drivel. Seven people on bikes are far more energy consuming than a car with seven people in (if you consider the energy using in the food fuel system). Especially if the car were to save fuel by going at say 15 mph (like the bikes rather than 70 mph)! So are the people producing these CO2 figure per mile (by mode of transport) A. Complete and utter scientifically illiterate idiots or B. Propagandists, alarmists & balatant liars?

    Either way why does the DoT employ such people? Perhaps Grant Chapps can explain?

    Plus of course bikes are about 15 times more dangerous per mile so quite a bit of energy would be used in hospital fixing their limbs and bodies up (where this possible).

    • Fred H
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      If you can find a current practical car that at 15mph is more mpg efficient than at say 40, 50 ,60 mph I’ll be very surprised.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps not take, depends on the driver take them up to twenty then switch off engine and slow to ten then repeat. This is because no one wants to travel in a car so slowly, but if you designed a car to do so with say 7 passengers it would be hugely more efficient than seven bikes.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          it has been illegal to ‘coast’ for many years – hope the police don’t find you doing it – you are deemed not to be in control.
          So you change the scenario – accelerate to 20, turn engine off, wait for speed drop to 10, start engine put into gear – which? – accelerate to 20 once again? Are you really thinking you would manage to do a commute in traffic or not, for say 10 miles, even 20? Preposterous.

  70. JimS
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I am sure that if our policy makers stopped drinking all the supplies of unicorn urine it could be used to fuel all of our transport needs.

    Certainly it is the only chemical that has an energy density approaching that of petrol/diesel.

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      JimS, And you would have a handy horn to blow as well.

  71. Richard Jenkins
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I have just downloaded “Decarbonising transport – Setting the challenge” and paged through it. As expected, nowhere is there any reference to the total cost of getting to zero carbon investment, still less how it would be paid for, whether by taxation, increased prices, or private expense (for example, purchasing an electric car). Presumably DfT civil servants don’t think that’s their problem.
    One estimate I have seen of the total cost of zero carbon by 2050 was £3 trillion, although that excludes private expense just mentioned, and assumes successful further home insulation in order to limit additional generating costs. Anyway, £3 trillion would be £100 billion per year EVERY YEAR between now and 2050, and if that were paid just from taxation it would mean, for example, an across the board 8p in the £ rise in income tax.
    If the government were to stop green virtue signalling and put to the electorate any kind of reasonable estimate of the true cost of its zero carbon policy, then the poll tax would look like a vicarage tea party.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      correct- lets go pro carbon use

  72. RichardP
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    If Covid19 has taught us anything, it is that pollution in town and city centres kills people. The Government environment strategy should concentrate on pollution rather than CO2 emissions.
    First priority should be to get a secure power supply. I’m afraid windmills and solar panels will not power the nation through a long cold winter when the wind doesn’t blow, they also have their own environmental concerns. Nuclear power seems to be the only resource that can provide the capacity for the Government’s ambitions, this should be made a priority.
    Once the base power supply is established attention should then turn to delivery. The electricity supply network will need a major upgrade to cope with all the extra demands.

    Whilst we are waiting for the electricity to arrive I suggest hydrogen would be a good alternative fuel for vehicles, the Government should invest in that.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      The Government should invest what in that? It’s debts?

  73. BOF
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Sir John, are these people really paid by the tax payer to produce this garbage? No wonder they are civil servants because they could never hold down a job in the private sector.

    The short answer is, no, it will not happen, unless they are planning to inflict far greater pain on the country than even this unsustainable lockdown. Will the people of the country quietly accept it? Perhapps you should ask them this question.

  74. Grasshopper
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I agree with many of the comments here about there being no need to decarbonise our economy. But I do realise that we shall eventually run out of fossil fuels (although that date keeps getting pushed back), so I’m happy to research alternatives. The media seems to be obsessed with electrical transport but they never mention what is fast becoming a viable alternative, namely, ammonia. I remember several years ago discussing this with collegues in California (and there is nowhere in the World with more green zealots), but we recognised that although burning ammonia would not produce carbon dioxide, it would unfortunately produce some nitrous oxide, which is both another greenhouse gas and is poisonous with prolonged exposure. We shelved that discussion. However, research has continued elsewhere and ammonia is now being seriously proposed in other countries as an alternative fuel. The energy density is high enough to maintain a smallish fuel tank (ie, much lighter than a battery) and nitrous oxide production is eliminated by the correct tuning of the combustion. The fuel tank needs to be cooled, but only to a moderate level of -33 centigrade and is much easier than the very low temperature of -253 centigrade needed for hydrogen. Ammonia is also not explosive (because, to burn, it needs a lower oxygen level than that of air). You also know when there is a leak because of the strong smell. So ammonia is useful. But where does it come from? It has so far been produced using the Haber-Bosch process which burns fossil fuels and produces carbon dioxide. A none-starter? No, because there are new methods which are carbon-free, allowing ammonia to be produced with none of the current drawbacks. It still needs energy, but this can come from windmills, solar cells, nuclear, tidal, etc, and doesn’t care about intermittancy. The ammonia-generating plants can be located near the energy generators and the ammonia can be transported as liquid, removing the need for grid expansion. How can ammonia be used for transport? There are two methods: a modified ICE, or a fuel cell. The Chinese are already ahead of us on this: they are building a fleet of ships which can use ammonia as fuel. The engines are coming from Denmark. You can find more from these links:

  75. glen cullen
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Decarbonising transport might be what the ‘green lobby’ want and certain elements of government that wish to appease the green lobby want but is it what the people want

    To be quite frank the average common person is fed up with the green lobby and its involvement in our everyday’s life at our expense

    They use the weapon of saving the world for our children…I don’t believe them anymore, whatever happened to a reasonable approach.

    Only the rich & famous want electric cars as a PR opportunity

    We need to support the efficient combustion engine, its manufacture and its use

  76. Man of Kent
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    One bit of good news COP 26 in Glasgow in November has been cancelled or at least postponed .

    I do hope it is cancelled . The thought of it being organised by Alok Sharma to peddle the usual claptrap will be too much after his faltering performance at the recent covid news conference.

    The best suggestion I have seen on social media is for it to be postponed till 2050 so we can see how many dire predictions come true .

  77. MG
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Perhaps I am stupid but by my calculation it is 332 miles from Edinburgh to London. Say an average car does 33mpg then it would use 10 gallons of fuel. A gallon of fuel is 4.54 litres. A litre of fuel weighs approx 1 kg. So 45.4 litres of fuel are consumed weighing approx 45.4 kg. Not all of the fuel is carbon based though a lot of it is. Assuming it is all carbon then where does the remaining 74.6 kG come from (120kg minus 45.4kg = 74.6kg)? Is the 74.6kg the Oxygen content of combination of carbon and oxygen to make CO2, does this also allow for the different mass of carbon and oxygen atoms?

    • John E
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Petrol is less dense than water – 0.74 kg/l
      Burning petrol produces 3.3 kg of CO2 per kg of petrol
      So 45.4 litres of petrol equals 33.6kg which will produce 110.9 kg of CO2 when burnt

      Numbers taken from EngineeringToolBox website- more details there.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Yes, only about 27% of the weight of CO2 is the carbon.

      • MG
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the explanation chaps. Understand now.

  78. BOF
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I see that the new religion worships on Thursday nights now. The proles are required to clap their hands and bang their kitchen pots to the new Big Brother, Our NHS.

    How long before these become ritual marches? Sorry Sir John, but I find this a frightening progression.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      will we be informed on if we don’t open a door or window to make a noise? Stalin here we come.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Maybe Big Ben should be made to bong?

        Remember all the time that was wasted over that, instead of planning for the oncoming epidemic?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          Gosh you knew it was coming.
          If only you had told everyone at the time.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

            China told everyone in the Autumn.

            What ever is wrong with you?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

            First case in Wuhan was end of December.
            They didn’t warn the world.
            What is wrong with you?

        • NickC
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          So did you warn us about the oncoming epidemic, Martin?

  79. Ian Pennell
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    Green policies were a luxury from a time before Coronavirus Lockdowns when it was thought “The Economy could afford higher Taxes to pay for Green Subsidies” and that “The Economy could cope with Green Regulations”. Every deregulation tool that does not hit anyone’s living standards will need to be utilised just to save the UK Economy from Depression- so that there will continue to be revenue to fund vital Public Services, Infrastructure investment, more housing, Pensions and Welfare for the Vulnerable!

    Certainly for the next ten years Green Policies are a luxury we can no longer afford. An extra half degree increase in global temperatures is surely preferable to mass-starvation, poverty, further killer-diseases due to a lack of healthcare (and R & D into vaccinations and preventative measures).

    By the way, with half the global Economy on lock-down and a worldwide Recession looking likely for the next couple of years, that alone is going to take care of CO2 emissions- they’ll be sharply downwards! So a Delay in implementation by a decade is not going to make that much difference. In the meantime, some R&D into technology to keep the Earth cool without crippling the Global Economy (further) like Sulphur in the high Stratosphere to reflect back some of the Sun’s rays (research into the right amounts and elevation to eliminate its return to Earth as acid rain) might be a good direction to go given the UK (and global) Economy will be much-weakened by Coronavirus Lockdown measures.

    Some of your other contributors to your post have already pointed out that CO2 is a vital ingredient for plant growth- so (in the latitudes of the UK) is warmth: So no Green Policies- we will need to grow all the food we can get if other countries put their own citizens first!

    Ian Pennell

  80. APL
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    The economy is at a standstill. People in the UK are under virtual house arrest.

    Does anyone, remember the uproar when Boris Johnson prorogued Parliament.

    Parliament today is on recess. They are not discussing the wisdom of shutting down the economy, the impact on the business life of the country.

    • anon
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:29 am | Permalink

      Because they are scared xxxxless and dont give a xxxx about parliamentary process otherwise they would be doing it remotely via video conference.

  81. Paul McGreevy
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Sir John Redwood doesn’t believe the climate change claptrap but is forced to be dragged along I imagine as are many politicians who can’t find the courage to fight it. However in the meantime NUCLEAR ENERGY would be the most expedient solution, it produces no co2 which means we could escape this self inflicted insanity that blights human progress and flourishing. Nuclear is statistically the safest form of energy production and it is going to be the inevitable solution further on in the future. A Rubic’s cube size chunk of material provides enough energy for an average persons lifetime. Newer technologies are around to make production even safer and disposal of waste is not the problem it’s portrayed as. France already produces 75% of its electricity that way. Renewables are niche, not base load viable.
    …. It’s estimated that NUCLEAR FUSION would cost $50 billion to develop but current projects are starved of funds. The virus shows that money can be found when necessary, so perhaps funding for fusion research, Manhattan Project style, A national project for fusion development much like the moon landings project in USA might focus the country, up our technological and educational standards and attract international cooperation. Failing that build an international consensus to fund and accelerate the ITER project in France.
    Electric transportation is superior technology to combustion vehicles so it’s inevitable it will replace combustion regardless of the fuel used at power stations. Tesla is so far ahead that many car makers will be going out of business soon so attract Tesla to the U.K.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Thorium is another.

      Nuclear has its risks and its costs, especially when decommissioning and the storing of waste fuel.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      correct, the nuclear option is really commented upon, and is the best option….even the french can see that

  82. KEITH H from Leeds
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Climate change is the new religion of the woke class & woe betide anyone daring to dissent from their viewpoint. The fact is the Sun is the driver of climate change & we have always had periods which are warmer or cooler. In the 1960s & 70s all these clever scientists told us a new ice age was coming! They were wrong then they are wrong now. The assumption that manufacters cannot further reduce emissions from petrol & diesel engines in 30 years is a joke. The most efficient fuel is hydrogen which has zero emissions & the now postponed Olympics in Japan were entirely to be powered by hydrogen including all the vehicles used.
    Forget electric & focus on Hydrogen.

    • John E
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      That does depend where you get the hydrogen from. Not much point if you burn fossil fuels to make it.
      The Germans of course are ahead of the game, creating a market for solar generators in North Africa to produce hydrogen. Some plan to pipe it to Europe – tricky because it’s a small atom and leaks easily, but feasible. Others are using solar to make ammonia (NH3) and shipping that. Then fuel cells at the point of use can strip off the nitrogen and use the hydrogen.
      Our advantage as the “Saudi Arabia of wind” would lie in using wind power to produce hydrogen when the wind blows.
      In transport terms even the UK fuel cell firms like Ceres Power say that battery electric vehicles are currently best for passenger cars. They are working very actively on hydrogen fuel cells for commercial vehicles and buses where the weight matters less, as well as other applications in backup power, combined heat and power generation for commercial premises, and power generation for EV charging stations.

      • NickC
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Actually very tricky to pipe hydrogen because of hydrogen embrittlement.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 5, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          Coal gas was mainly hydrogen.

          That was piped without too much trouble.

    • acorn
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      What do you mean by “Forget electric & focus on Hydrogen.” How are you intending to use Hydrogen if it is not for making electricity in a fuel cell; or, as a low energy density gaseous fuel in a gas turbo-generator; both at circa 50 -60% “round trip” efficiency?

      The round-trip efficiency of Lithium-Ion technology batteries at circa 95%, makes them a superior prospect for grid energy storage of surplus intermittent Solar and Wind generation. Variants of that technology have been developed for high discharge rate capability suitable for battery electric vehicle applications.

      The Hydrogen Economy as portrayed in Scientific American magazine in the sixties, was all the rage when I was at college. The reality is that Hydrogen (H) may be abundant in the universe; but, Hydrogen gas (H2) is extremely rare and very difficult to handle.

  83. Seesaw
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Milk transport disruption,USA. Here soon. now?
    I know MPs are generally very intelligent some with skills acquired outside Parliament, but no one can know or come to know the intricacies of transport, retail, working environments, complexities local human interactions street by street let alone the personal.
    There has to be a tipping point where attempts at isolation of persons and groups cause more pain and even death than if everyone went back to work—(whatever ones take on the veracity of the numbers of dead due to coronavirus.)
    I would never have stopped people working. Perhaps by pressure politically I would have attempted to close down certain areas or cities for a short time with all the problems with that.
    When is that tipping point for MPs?

  84. Mark
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    One of the good things that will come out of the present crisis is an understanding that we should be very careful about giving models a high degree of credence, especially when they crucially depend on black box assumptions rather than hard data (especially since it is also apparent that the data we see is itself inadequate, and devised according to taste a.k.a manipulated as we see with the very different definitions of covid death being used around the world) and real understanding of the detailed mechanisms.

    Another fact that is emerging is that nations still compete for resources, and those who fail to do so lose out on behalf of their populations. Altruism may work for things like research into a vaccine, but not for supply of protective masks or test reagent.

    In short, rather than plunging headlong over the cliff into the economic abyss of zero carbon policy (we are getting a small foretaste via our economic shutdown), where other lemmings are not following, we need to step back completely and question allowing ourselves to be driven by a bunch of modellers with perhaps ulterior motives.

  85. P.H.Crawford
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Three respected German Academies have calculated that the cost of reducing CO2 by 90% by 2050 will cost Germany 4.6 trn euros. Zero carbon by the same date would cost 7.6 Trn euros; there will be a six-fold increase in electricity prices, and the additional monthly cost per household will be between 320 and 1040 euros. It is reasonable to assume that the UK would face similar pro-rata costs.
    Battery electric vehicles are an expensive and strategically flawed avenue. The only viable solution is hydrogen power.
    The proposed solutions are economic suicide and would result in societal collapse. To suggest them on top of the economic costs of the Covid shut-down is nothing short of insane.

  86. Ian Dempster
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    The idea that no CO2 is a good idea is idiotic. CO2 is an absolutely essential part of our atmosphere. It is plant food and is the reason why the UN agrees that greening of Earth has been happening. The fact that we all breathe out CO2 even when sitting down in a car cannot be denied and pedalling and walking uses more energy and thus produces more CO2. So the basic premise that Cycling & walking does not produce CO2 is wrong. As plants take up CO2 in order to grow and thus produce food for everything that flies, wiggles and walks, this should be enough to stop this no CO2 stupidity.

  87. forthurst
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    “if we walk or go by bike it assures us it will mean no carbon dioxide at all.”

    This certainly let’s the cat out of the bag, doesn’t it: Tories are not the same as us; they are not carbon-based lifeforms. This is certainly the case of Shapps, Johnson and Raab and probably many others of the Tory top team. This explains why they are doing everything in their power to destroy us carbon-based English chappies by importing millions of unassimilable aliens into our country and plotting to destroy our economy by 2050.

    “The Government’s Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (the F4C) makes £20 million in capital funding available to projects that will produce low carbon waste-based fuels to be used in aeroplanes and HGVs.” but “We will lead the development of sustainable biofuels, hybrid and electric aircraft” – Grant Shapps. Yes indeed. Let a team of Tory Arts graduates who as we know can turn their hands, as generalists, to anything, get cracking with their chemistry sets; this could save £20 million of taxpayers’ money on F4C.

  88. APL
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    JR: “and what changes could deliver it. ”

    Q: Why do we want it?

    A: We don’t.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Agree we don’t want it

  89. Richard1
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I think it is time to get real about ‘net zero’. And let’s remember the real green fanatics like greta Thunberg and extinction rebellion claim to be in favour of absolute zero – no use of fossil fuels at all.

    At the moment in the U.K. about 20% of our energy comes from electricity, and of that 20% is generated by nuclear power, 25% by ‘renewables’ (mainly wind) and the rest from fossil fuels (mainly gas). So in the U.K. with about £15bn pa of green subsidies and other costs we are getting about 5% of our total energy from renewables, and 9-10% from zero carbon sources. (But we should remember also that the greens are opposed to nuclear and that putting up wind farms and nuclear power stations is not a zero carbon activity). Germany, after taking huge costs through her Energiewende policy, is perhaps at 9-10% from renewables. And most of the world is far behind the UK and Germany.

    So in order to get to zero carbon we need to: move all buildings – homes, businesses, industries etc – to electricity, plus the whole transport network. Then we need a c. 5x increase in the output of the electricity grid in order to power this. Let’s suppose the green blob could allow say 20% to come from nuclear (a big if, at the moment they are against it), that means we would need a c. 4x increase in generation from nuclear power and c. 20x increase in generation from wind farms. It is no good hoping for much more efficient wind farms and solar panels, the big gains have happened and we are near the physics limit on both.

    If we really face the end of civilisation with all the major cities in the world likely to go under water etc it might even be worth looking at this. But politicians and others advocating net or absolute zero need to start being honest with the public about what that means for policy, and where the hundreds of billions of £s – probably more like trillions – are to come from. Time for an end to ‘the end of the world is nigh’ virtue signalling and time for real defined policies.

    But of course the public will be liable to scrutinise the rationale for this massively expensive policy very carefully. How much warming has there really been? (0.9C since pre-industrial times), how much sea level rise is there now? (about 3mm pa), is there really an increase in extreme weather events on a global basis? (questionable). Perhaps we are near a tipping point and it’s all about to start to get much worse. But people won’t vote for it without very clear, calm and rational explanation of the policies needed, the costs and the reason for them.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Alternatively, we could just ask the Chinese, nicely, not to build anymore coal fired power stations ?

  90. MWB
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    The range of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) is too short, they take too long to charge up again and there is not enough generating capacity to cope with a mass take-up of BEVs.

    I think that hydrogen fuel cell cars are probably the way forward, if the infrastructure for hydrogen supply and refulling can be develpoed.

  91. Mark
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    One of the interesting facts about the present crisis is how transport has adapted. Trains, buses and tube use are all down below 5-10% of normal, while road transport is down to 25-35% of normal. It appears that private road transport is far more essential than public transport. It works when tube drivers are staying home on full pay. It doesn’t entail infection risk that close proximity to random untraceable people on public transport does.

    The idea that we should be coerced onto public transport hasn’t survived its first contact with reality. Perhaps Shapps and his civil servants should ask more about how life was behind the Iron Curtain, when private transport was reserved to a privileged few. Perhaps he thinks he will be the one riding the Chaika lane.

  92. NickC
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    JR, What amazes me is how supposedly sane people can be so blindly wedded to predictions that they treat them as facts. Often in preference to real life. It is positively medieval. The Romans had their chicken entrails, we have our computer programs. The concept of “garbage in = garbage out” is totally by-passed.

    The whole “climate emergency” – CAGW – hoax is based on non-technical people’s misinterpretations of climate models that are chock full of assumptions. Scientific caveats are routinely ignored. The GCMs are run initially to eliminate natural variations – that’s an assumption. About 80% of the earth’s surface is not monitored – so the results we have are interpolated. The nodes are probably about 1000 times too coarse. Past temperatures were measured with dodgy equipment, or unreliable proxies. Never mind the fiddled “hockey stick”. And so on.

    In climate terms (ie 100+ years), we are just emerging from the little ice age – so of course the global temperature (and this is an artificial average) has risen – that’s how we know. More CO2 and a trivial rise in temperatures are good for us, not bad.

  93. Data Please
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    If this blind lockdown strategy continues for the 6 to 18 months that is being mooted by our superiors, the destitute majority of us will be grateful to walk to and queue (with 2m spacing) at our local soup kitchen, estatic if our ovelords throw in a crust of bread.

    Which leads me to my favourite theme – DIY Kits:

    I’m well aware that allowing the great unwashed (except for hands) to undertake critical tests isn’t without risk, however that risk can be managed by observing how other countries are utilising them or adopting a strategy of our own.

    One approach to undertake DIY kits that springs to mind is to utilise our well proven Election procedures via Polling Stations as follows:

    a) Train volunteers (which I expect to be overwhelming) to oversee the kits being used to ensure its being used correctly (whilst automatically getting their immunity tested) so the result can be trusted to acceptable levels.

    If the training takes more than 5 mins per person (not withstanding the time for their test to work) I give up, because these kits are designed to be used by the Public not Medical Staff with years of training and experience.

    b) Utilise the existing mechanism we have in place to conduct elections.
    Namely set up the usual Polling Stations where the infrastucture and methodology of implementation is extremely well known and exercised (all too often recently)

    c) In this scenario boxes of Voting Slips are replaced by boxes of testing kits.

    Forms similar to the Registration forms used to identify those that have voted are used to identify those that have been tested.

    Yes I’m afraid to say this time identification will have to be brought along which the vast majority already hold.

    For those about to Shout Big Brother – what do you think we’re currently living under during our House Arrest.

    d) Having registered we are given our test kit which we take to a booth, where the trained volunteer oversees (not administers) our use of the kit (having explained how to if necessary or required).

    The kit with our identity is then put into a queue overseen by other probably untrained volunteers (they’re simply ensuring that the kits do their thing unmolested) , whilst others are tested.

    e) After the 10 to 15 minutes the result is recorded against our identity and a Immunity Certificate issued or not.

    Frankly this explanation is probably overlong already but naturally this process would include PPE kits for volunteers, social distancing and can be enhanced to do it via blocks such as key workers first, then trades people etc etc

    The test results would be uploaded to a national database (our rights are already being violated) with maybe even Driving Licence type certificates issued later as more robust id.

    I’m not aware of this system being anymore complicated than the Election Procedures we routinely follow.

    The advantage to a Ward based system will also allow hotspots or particulalrly vulnerable communities to be identified such that scarce resources can be targeted intelligently.

    I’m sure those far more intelligent than me can enhance this basic concept.

    I’d prefer a cup of tea and a biscuit waiting at the end of the process, but recognise that this might not be practical or desirable. We’d also need Parliamentary approval of Digestives or Hob Knobs for a start (Rich Tea advocates don’t get a say in a Totalitarian state) and do we really want to re-open the great Yorkshire Tea debate again.

  94. L Jones
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    ”Zero emissions” for the end product is all very well – but what about the manufacture of these end products? Doesn’t that produce emissions?

  95. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    May I ask our host what the plans are for the Covid tests? Millions to be given – how? have we all got to the doctor’s? – taking how long for the results? What happens to anyone showing positive? Are they then forcibly took away by men in a fully enclosing Bio-hazard suit – never to be seen again. Took to a Nightingale hospital that will be full of others with the same disease ( great place for the disease to flourish )?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Big neil and can we drive to the doctors to have our tests? I will have to start out now so as not yo be late.

  96. glen cullen
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Another day and yet the covid19 recovered still remains at 135

    Maybe all the numbers are wrong…numbers in hospital? ice level? CO2?

    • Fred H
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      inceasing the recovered numbers doesn’t sit well with the gloom-laden media.

  97. Ignoramus
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who seriously thinks we should try to eliminate CO2 emissions in the UK ever, let alone 2050, does not understand:

    We can not afford the costs, especially after the huge economic consequences of the Coronavirus epidemic.
    The 2050 deadline was created by politicians with no scientific qualifications.
    The people will not wear it or vote for a party which will destroy their way of life.
    We are a small country and our vanity project will make absolutely no difference to the world’s climate.

    • Andy
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      The 2050 promise was in the Conservative manifesto for the 2019 general election. And people did vote for. 42% of them and it’s going to happen. Sorry.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      The UK can afford to do what is needed, if it abandons the most destructive, irrational, and deluded aspects of its fundamentalist-appeasing exit from the European Union.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        So 17.4 million people are ” fundamentalists and deluded.”
        Still not accepting the referendum result nor thre election result.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 5, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          No, not at all, but the silliest are over-represented and have too much influence over policy.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 5, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

            We all had one vote each.

  98. Ignoramus
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Sir John

    The consequences of the Lockdown Policy is the destruction of garden centres throughout the country. The consequences are not just economic but affect the well being of millions.

    If people are allowed to shop in supermarkets, while maintaining social distancing, why can not the same rules apply to garden centres? I have written to my MP but hope your influence could be of major importance.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Yes it means msny of us won’t be growing our own veg or planting for the bees.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Ignoramus. I’ve been thinking the same. Even the supermarkets around our way don’t seem to be selling bedding plants or compost. Why? Surely, gardening is something that is healthy and productive. There seems to be so much happening (or not happening) that is contrary to all common sense.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Indeed surely they are in effect food shops.

  99. Lifelogic
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Government Ministers keep saying the virus does not discriminate (it does in fact against men, the elderly, smokers, people with other conditions and people with blood group A). It seems however the NHS does discriminate hugely. If you are over about 70-75 you might well not even get to see an NHS hospital let alone get treated.

    The BBC think people are always very keen on the “envy of the world” NHS and very against the US health care system, (I am not a fan of this system either with its absurd culture of over treatment, over paid staff and endless litigation).

    But in the US they do have about 5 times more ventilators per head compared to the UK.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Sadly, only one in three people put on one survives.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:44 am | Permalink

        Rather a lot of lives saved by them then.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          Probably, but we don’t know how many would have lived without them either.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      it is becoming clear that one of the reasons we are so badly prepared for this is the centralisation. The main reason Germany is way ahead on testing is they have many more independent, private clinics.

  100. Not Bob
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Have one third of the world’s political class turned against their people? This reminds me of the war of the worlds…’slowly but surely they drew their plans against us’…..

  101. Polly
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Very sadly, perhaps as many as 1000 UK C-19 deaths per day are now forecast by Secretary Hancock…..

    Why isn’t this guy authorizing ”last resort” C-19 medication which has been approved in the US, instead of stalling ?

    Namely.. hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.


    Reply It will not be Mr Hancock but a senior medical official who would take that decision.

  102. ian terry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Sir John

    Thank you for making Green Transport your topic of the day. I note that Ian Wragg in his comment has called to make Hydrpgen the answer.

    Hydrogen or Blue Gas or Blue energy is nothing new aand indeed it has been used to power American submarines and space capsules.

    The Transport Minister in one of his bullet points claims to put the UK at the fore front of clean transport. I know he has got a lot of catching up to do and already other countries are well advanced in promoting and marketing Blue Gas. As the 1964 Tokyo Olympics will always be remembered for the first bullet train and now they are in common use on every continent. This years Olympics sadly but rightly cancelled was going to be the games of the Fuelcell propulsion of vehicles both domestic and HGVs:
    Companies like US Express, Ryder Rentals, DHL, Fed Ex, UPS, Budweiser, Amazon, Walmart, Hyundai, Mercedes, BMW, Honda, Shell with Total, Saudi Aramco, Duke Energy and Cummins Engines are all investing billions of dollars in bring this Blue gas technology to the forefont of vehicle propulsion.

    Where are our British manufacturers like JLR ? Blue Gas has the flexibility to power trains boats and eventually planes and all aspects of the motor industry including heavy plant to fork lift trucks. To make the UK a world leader is going to take a lot of catch up and millions of pounds.

    I know that you and a few like minded colleagues are concerned about the disposal of batteries, solar panels and turbine blades to name but a few, also Blue Gas at a stroke takes out fossel fuels, renewable energy installations, bio mass, rare earth components that are required to propel electric vehicles, the vehicles themselves will weigh less reducing wear on roads and the only bi product is water. The infrastructiure will be upgrading existing petrol stations lowering the demands made on the National Grid.
    If the Minister is serious to try and implement Mrs Mays Carbon Neutral policy then he had better start fighting for some funding to enable him to play catch up, otherwise the UK will be trailing in their dust. As a bonus Hydrogen gas could be used power gas boilers doing away with the decision to remove gas from all domestic properties. Getting behind it will create more jobs and businesses than HS2 and not cost a lot ore even less maybe to implement.

  103. Not Bob
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    You are an MP John, you have “good reason” to visit hospitals. I have nurses and medics reporting to me non stop on Youtube that ALL the ECU units are EMPTY or “very slow”.
    We cannot, we are not famous journalists or MPs, (we get arrested for having “no good reason” and get sent to jail) according to the Metro.

    Reply I am seeking the numbers of admissions and beds without going visiting. I am pleased that following my lobbying and others yesterday the government published graphs showing how many Covid 19 patients have been admitted by region, totalling around 10,000 country wide so far.

    • John E
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      The Royal Berks is certainly not empty – they have Covid patients and are gearing up for many more.

      Reply Yes they do have Covid patients and are increasing bed capacity with ventilators as they fear there will be more. Numbers are rising.

  104. Hugh Rose
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Car journeys are necessary in rural areas and at local level for convenience where public transport cannot fulfill the need. However measures could be taken immediately to reduce long distance car journeys by having car transporter carriages on all main rail routes. No car would then need to drive from London to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Exeter or Norwich but the cost must be comparable to driving. The carriage of cars through the Channel Tunnel can be done with ease – why not longer routes? Make it a condition of bidding for rail franchises.

  105. glen cullen
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Sir John

    Reference the government decision to instruct banks not to pay out 2019 dividend

    I’ve now had email replies from select committees and individual MPs telling me that they had nothing to do with it

    Is there any chance you could find out who at government made the decision?

    I know from PRA who signed the letter and the chair of BoE but who at government initiated this policy

    Reply I think it was the banking regulator not Ministers

    There’s a group of shareholders who need a name to sue for loss of income

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I can’t believe that a decision of such magnitude wasn’t first approved by a Minister or the Chancellor ?

      • formula57
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Why should it be? It seems an easy decision for businesses to conserve their resources rather than distribute them to owners (in lieu of making claims on the taxpayer).

        Shareholders took the risk on dividend receipts when they opted for the expected higher rewards of being shareholders rather than debt holders. If they wanted to be higher up the food chain when it comes to distribution, could they not have eschewed shares for bonds or annuities?

        • glen cullen
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          1. All UK banks recently passed all of the BoE stress tests i.e they have enough cash and resources.

          2. The dividend payments are from 2019 and have already been set aside and approved by the board of directors of a private company

          3. This is political and yet

          4. Politicans are saying its got nothing to do with them

          • formula57
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

            Whilst banks remain eligible for taxpayer bailouts (which perforce will endure whilst they are of systemic significance) distributions in difficult times transfers shareholder risk to taxpayers. It is hard to argue that is appropriate.

            Past stress tests seem pretty meaningless in today’s circumstances.

            Note also that shareholders have not lost income, merely had income deferred (assuming their banks survive of course).

    • APL
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      JR: “There’s a group of shareholders who need a name to sue for loss of income”

      And what law can they sue under since the government has put the whole country under house arrest?

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        The Privy Council identified 4 factors to consider in assessing whether economic duress was present:
        Did the person claiming to be coerced protest?
        Did that person have any other available course of action?
        Were they independently advised?
        After entering into the contract, did they take steps to avoid it?

    • Morrisdriver
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      You could start with Sam Woods, deputy governor of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). It is, of course, a branch of BofE.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        …and the BoE is owned by the Government

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know what’s more outrageous the fact that ministers didn’t know, or that the BoE is making the governments Covid19 policy

    • Andy
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      I’d like bank shareholders to sue for loss of income. The public wrath you will face will be funny.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        the shareholders are the public

        first the govt came for bank shareholders, than they came for FT100 shareholder, than they came for all shareholders dividends…..then they started to takeover the companies…AND WE DID NOTHING

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        What mandate or law has this govt got to get involved in the private dealings of a private company…..its a slippery slope….no its a dangerous path

  106. Elli Ron
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    That document is all “Greta speek”, shouted slogans with no hint of serious consideration for the FACTS of energy.
    Replacing fosile fuel with renewable is not possible for a post industrial country with 65 million people (and growing). Wind is unreliable, solar is pathetic at our latitude and energy storage at country level is a ridiculous proposition.
    We could build another 15 nuclear stations to replace some of the carbon footprint, but converting household heating to electricity is 100 year project.
    Apart from the amusement this document elicits in grown-ups, it is only an indicator of how parts of the government are being taken over by green zealots.

  107. JimW
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Feasibility of zero carbon….zero!
    Brain cells of anyone writing or supporting this …

  108. Lester Beedell
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m deeply disappointed that the government are still pursuing the Carbon Zero nonsense, the economy will struggle enough to recover without the additional burden of this misguided policy, I’m scarcely able to believe in the light of all the evidence available you intend to commit economic suicide, I’d hoped that manufacturing would return to this country so we wouldn’t be reliant on China but, obviously was too much to hope for!

    I expect that the next announcement will be that HS2 is going ahead?

    • Andy
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      You talk about economic suicide – but you back Brexit, right?

      • Fred H
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        the economic suicide is becoming clear in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Cyprus, Romania, Poland – even France becoming rocky. Well they joined so they have to live with it.

  109. ian
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    They will be where they want to be by the end of next week, only one thing left to do cut off the gas supply and ration the electric. Job has been done 30 years ahead of time, well done.

  110. BillM
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    They have yet to prove, with verifiable scientific research, that Carbon and CO2 are the danger to our climates they purport to be.
    For goodness sake Government, have you nothing better to do with your time? Like getting OUR Country back to work?
    Rather than placing daft obstacles like reducing CO2 emissions and penalising both residents and Companies with “Green Taxes” in the way of OUR progress?
    Russia and the East are laughing at our self-inflicted demise.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Would this government take advice from Greta Thunberg types – on for example how to develop a coronavirus vaccine? They why follow her on climate and energy she has not got a clue – just a following of gullible dopes!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      No, they don’t have to prove it conclusively.

      They only have to show it to be sufficiently likely that it would be reckless to ignore.

      Infantile minds can only deal with absolutes, however.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Do you agree with Greta that the world is on fire and that humans will be extinct in a decade or two?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Why would I take my information from a sixteen-year-old protester rather than from world authorities in climatology?

          However, at the time that she spoke, there were fires raging in Australia, in Brazil, in Indonesia, and elsewhere, and so she was pretty literally correct on the first.

          She did not say that humans would be extinct, only that they possibly would, be as I recall, and no one can disprove that.

          Or do you claim to be able to do that?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

            So you actually agree with her.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 5, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

            No I don’t agree with your silly, literal, and absolute interpretation of her at all.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            I quoted her two most famous headlines from her many speeches so dont blame me.

            But your typical lefty style of abusing the questioner is I realise just your way of dodging having to answer.

  111. zorro
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Well if the current situation becomes the ‘new norm’ it will be shank’s pony all over the place anyway!


  112. Ronald Olden
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    When these deaths peak, (which will be within ten days time), we need to start relaxing these rules IMMEDIATELY after the first three weeks Boris promised.

    Slowly at first but steadily. Perhaps hairdressers etc at first. Otherwise we’ll be in lock down forever like we were with rationing after the war. There’ll be control freaks in Parliament and the media and some in the NHS who’ll want this regime to continue forever.

    The purpose of this lock down was to avoid the NHS getting swamped at the same time as NHS staff were off sick and the NHS wasn’t ready for it. There’s no risk of that happening if there’s a gradual relaxation.

    In fact even London, which had the lock down imposed later than it should and still has much more close social contact than elsewhere, has coped and there’s major new facilities ventilators etc, still to come.

    As the amount of sunlight increases, transmission of the virus in the open air will be harder. So we need to get young healthy people and especially children out in the open, having more close contact, and encountering the virus as soon as we’re sure the NHS can cope.

    That’s sooner rather than later.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      You would be condemning the old and the infirm of any age to indefinite apartheid.

      The epidemic must be extinguished, as other countries have apparently managed to do.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        No country has yet “extinguished” the epidemic.

      • NickC
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Martin, If you believe the figures from China I have a bridge you might be interested in buying.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          I’m sceptical about their figures, though the general orders are credible.

          There are many, many western people living in China who report back too, Fred.

          They have closed their temporary hospitals, eased the lockdown, and are exporting people and material to help other countries, however.

          Germany doesn’t have lockdown, incidentally.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

            *Nick, but Fred will do too.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink


    • steve
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Ronald Owen

      “When these deaths peak, (which will be within ten days time), we need to start relaxing these rules IMMEDIATELY after the first three weeks Boris promised.”

      Yes I agree, but there needs to be severe punishments for poor hygiene. The six foot rule, for example, never would have been necessary if people could be trusted not to cough or sneeze on someone else.

      It is also quite embarrassing that as a nation we need to be reminded to wash our hands after visiting the lavatory etc.

      “Boris promised”

      Boris promisses loads of things, just like any other politician. But it doesn’t mean he will or can deliver on them.

  113. David
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    You must scrap this zero carbon target it is neither achievable nor desirable. Polititians have absorbed the the green blob scam without critical examination. A failure of your prime responsibility.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Indeed but hardly a single, sensible, numerate, physicist or engineer in Parliament.

    • Andy
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Why is it not achievable?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        Because it might mean that some people wouldn’t have a gas-guzzler to polish lovingly every Sunday.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          Cars create only a small of the total CO2.
          The question is how you stop the other 85%

          And people will still be lovingly polish their electric cars too.
          So overall another nonsensical comment form you.

  114. ian
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Lester Beedell, they are digging in up the soil in six woodlands on the HS2 line as I writ and getting ready to cut down the trees. Not even bankrupting the country will stop their pet project from going ahead, you do the voting so learn to live with it, maybe the Brexit party would have been a better choice for you but too late now for you all, con again.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      I can see not explanation for HS2 going ahead but vested interest and corruption. Surely no one can actually think it is a sensible way to spend money – this even before the virus! Still less now.

    • steve
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink


      “maybe the Brexit party would have been a better choice…..”

      Except that Farage ran away, as he always does.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Hear hear.

  115. John Waugh
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Quote of the month from The Institution of Engineering and Technology magazine – April issue page 19 –
    ‘ Achieving net zero significantly earlier than 2050 in our modelling exceeds even our most speculative measures, with rates of change for power , heat and road transport that push against the bounds of plausibility.`
    This from a report from the UK Energy Systems Catapult research group warning that government targets for carbon emission reduction are unlikely to be met.
    catapult is worth knowing about !

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      John W, Well I’m glad that at least one engineering institution can see what’s practical.

  116. Dudley James Coveney
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Walking from London to Edinburgh would take the average bod seven and a half days walking for 16 hours per day (average walking pace 3.1 mph). This level of activity would create approx. 3 times more CO2 than when sat on the sofa (i.e. 3 x 1.04326 kg per day). This equates to an unnecessary 15.65 kg of CO2 to mitigate your figures.
    The answer is simple. Remain on the sofa!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Plus they would need 7 nights in hotels and hopefully some hot showers.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      They would also need to consume more food (fuel) as they will be needing more calories. This food has to be created, processed, marketed, shipped, stored and then sold. All consuming more energy.

      I am a great believer in walking, running and cycling. I do these thing regularly. But these are over short distances and not to one end of the country and back.

  117. Phil Gilbert
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Agreed hydrogen is an answer to the need for transportable energy-either by combustion or fuel cells.But we would need to massively increase electricity from renewables and nuclear power. When the wind blows excess electricity can then be used to produce hydrogen by electrolysis, with the hydrogen being used when the wind fails.
    However, this would only make sense for Britain if it was part of a global effort.

  118. Original Chris
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Additional important information about the use and efficacy of hydroxychloroquine:

    Hydroxychloroquine rated top drug by doctors on front line of COVID-19 who also fear a second wave. The drug has shown promise in helping infected patients

    Hydroxychloroquine is rated the top drug among doctors on the front line of treating and preventing COVID-19 and who fear a second wave, according to a new report compiled from data from 6,200 physicians in 30 countries.

    The report by Sermo — among the largest healthcare data collection service/global social platforms for physicians — compiles data on experimental drugs used in the fight against the pandemic.

    The report found that 37% of all COVID-19 treaters chose hydroxychloroquine as the most effective therapy from a list of 15 options.

    By country, the numbers are 75% in Spain, 53% in Italy, 44% in China, 43% in Brazil, 29% in France, 23% in the U.S. and 13% in the U.K., according to the report…..

    Outside the United States, hydroxychloroquine was equally used for diagnosed patients with mild to severe symptoms, whereas in the U.S. it was most commonly used for high-risk diagnosed patients, according to the report.

    Reply This site does not recommend particular products and remind people to take medical advice about medicines.

  119. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    You quote figures for CO2 emissions for a journey from London to Edinburgh of 144 Kg by plane, 120 Kg by petrol car and 115 Kg by diesel car. The figures are presumably per person. Do they assume (a) these transport modes are full or (b) average occupancy on the London to Edinburgh route or (c) average occupancy nationwide?

    I see no figure for rail. Is this because so much of rail is now electrified so that CO2 emissions at power stations and transmission losses are now factors?

    The most environmentally friendly transport carriages for all modes are FULL ones. So all forms of transport should run as full as possible, which implies that public transport should be demand responsive. Surely it should be possible to operate some public transport services on the Uber type principle; dial-a-bus for night buses might be a useful pilot study. However it is done, there should be fewer empty buses and trains.

    The last year for which I saw comparative statistics in TGBR was 1990. In that year, emissions per million passenger-kms by train were 60% of those by car. Since then, there have been tremendous efficiency gains by the car industry and passenger trains are now heavier than they used to be in the days of lightweight slam door trains. The gap is now smaller. I am told that two people sharing a small car are now more fuel efficient than the average train.

    The polluter pays is a good principle. It should be applied to all forms of transport, not just cars.

    I believe that the most demand responsive way of reorganising the rail industry would be to have vertically integrated regional or corridor monopolies, receiving no taxpayer contribution whatsoever. Competition would come from other transport modes but these rail companies would be allowed to outsource. There would be three types of rail carriage – business class, standard class (both with guaranteed seats) and standing room only. The rail companies would be allowed to determine which routes they serve, the frequencies, the mix of carriage types, and their fares structures. Rail regulation would be abolished.

  120. Andy
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I thought Conservatives liked free stuff. And, here’s the thing. After the set up costs generating renewable energy is essentially free. Really.

    The sun will shine. And even when it doesn’t solar panels generate energy anyway because they work on UV. The wind will always blow. And you need surprisingly little of it to turn a turbine. The tides will always ebb and flow and the waves will always crash. And these things can produce all the power we will ever need. We just need smart leadership to build them.

    Here’s the things many of you don’t understand. Powering many more things does not necessarily require more electricity. It just requires more efficient things. As a country the amount of electricity we use has actually fallen over the last decade – and it now at levels last seen in the 80s and 90s. Yet we have significantly more electronic gadgets. But because of EU efficiency rules things like lightbulbs and fridges now use significantly less power than a decade ago.

    As well as using less to power more, far more of the electricity we use is now generated by renewables. 30% already and that is rising every year. It would be more if it were not for the ludicrous Tory ban on onshore wind. Some developed countries – Denmark for example – already produce half their power from renewables. The 2050 target will be met.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      where have you been? everyone but you knows Labour have always been the party proposing benefits (free stuff). Conservatives want to be ABLE to buy stuff.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Renewables have their place in the energy mix.
      But this is only electricity generation.
      And even then massive battery storage needs greater development as renewable power varies hugely day by day.

      Most power for this planet comes via fossil fuels.
      Planes trains lorries ships and fuel for industry.

      The best replacement we have currently is nuclear.
      But you dont like that either.

  121. Dave Ward
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Once more a government official blithely comes out with “WE need to” etc, without ever quantifying who this magical “WE” is. Do they ever ask US? – No, of course not. “WE” just have to go along with the madness, and (ultimately) pay for it. And will mass conversion to public transport still seem like a good idea after the current Corona Virus shambles? These sorts of virus won’t go away, and the absolute best mode of transmission has got to be in crowded buses & trains…

  122. steve
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    The net zero con trick, is a pointless con trick now.

    After this latest and deadly global infection there is surely no way China can exist as a global trading nation.

    Nobody will touch them after this. Infected a million people worldwide, killed many thousands (so far).

    Trade with China ? On yer bike mate.

    Hence 1.5 Billion people de-consumerised, de-industrialised……climate alarmists argument out of the window.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Have people ceased trade with Africa because it gave the world HIV/AIDs?

      Or with the UK because it gave it BSE/nvCJD?

      Or with S. America for zika virus?

      I doubt it, Steve, and rightly so.

  123. Original Richard
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    I think Parliament was wrong to bring in legislation to make us carbon neutral by 2050 when the technology to do this does not yet exist.

    Current battery technology works for small cars but cannot cope with towing a load uphill and cannot be up-scaled to an HGV.

    I also read that current batteries are fine if they are slowly charged every night but cannot cope with many fast charges which makes the electric car suitable only for an owner who does not need to travel any distance during the day or as a second car in a two car family.

    Hydrogen cannot be burnt as its high combustion temperature produces NOx pollution, which leaves only fuel cells, which although they can be used for both towing and HGVs has its own problems with production and storage.

    • steve
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Original Richard

      “Hydrogen cannot be burnt as its high combustion temperature produces NOx pollution”

      In very small amounts, much less than by burning fossil fuels.

      Japan recently announced they are going for a hydrogen based economy.

      • Original Richard
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Burning hydrogen at the ideal fuel/air mixture for maximum power produces high quantities of NOx. So the engines need to be fed with twice as much air as theoretically required for complete combustion.

        This halves the power output and to make up for the power loss the engines need to become much bigger and heavier and/or need to be equipped with super/turbo chargers.

        Are the Japanese intending to burn hydrogen or use fuel cells ?

  124. Bill Hutchison
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    The Met Office historic records show no evidence of a Climate Emergency so the government’s Net-Zero Carbon Emissions policy cannot seriously be considered to be “evidence-based”.
    Subsidies to “renewables”, have already given us electricity prices that are 30-40% higher than they should be and, because of the cost of electricity, the UK has exported nearly all of its aluminium smelting industry, much of its steel industry and at least 29 chemical plants.
    Neither the Climate Change Committee nor the Government have published the costs of the UK’s Net-Zero Carbon Dioxide emissions policy although the Budget said the Treasury would publish a Review this year. The only detailed Net-Zero cost studies are:
    “THE FUTURE OF GB ELECTRICITY SUPPLY Security, Cost and Emissions in a Net-Zero System” by a former National Grid Power Director. He concluded “the aggregated extra costs to 2050 would exceed £1.4 trillion” (i.e. exceed £1,400 billion). And
    “DECARBONISING HOUSING – The Net-Zero Fantasy” by a former Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department for Communities & Local Government. Housing & other Buildings account for 45% of CO2 emissions. He concluded the cost of reducing CO2 by 80% would be £3.5 trillion (i.e. £3,500 billion).
    Now we have the Government’s “Decarbonising Transport” without even a mention of the likely cost by 2050!
    So Workington man is going to have to pay ever higher electricity bills for an unreliable renewables based power supply, buy an electric car, get rid of his gas boiler to install a heat pump and/or super-insulate his house while also having to pay carbon taxes on flying to the sun for his holiday and not being allowed to eat much meat. He will also see by looking out of his window that the weather is much the same as it has ever been and he will know that, despite his financial sacrifices to “combat Climate Change”, his efforts and expenditure will have had no discernible effect whatsoever on the global temperature.
    Sounds like an electoral winner to me!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 3:02 am | Permalink


    • DavidJ
      Posted April 6, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      The truth is of no value to those imposing such rules. All that matters is control by them to their benefit and our disadvantage.

  125. ian
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t remember him running away steve, it was the supports inside his party that were running away and supports outside of party who listened to the media who let him down not the other way round, never won a single seat after all the work he put in for Brexit to save you and the rest like you.
    Now Brexit exit will be cancelled on 31/12/2020 and your back to square one not knowing if it going to happen or not like I keep telling you all, you deserve all have coming to you and more. Thick doesn’t even come close to what I am seeing and hearing.

    Going full communism is now the only way out of this situation, you have to do that to save the country and it people, even Mr Trump sees the writing on the wall and is going that way because he knows that he has to save the USA first before he goes back to being a capitalist, in the UK they haven’t got a clue what to do, they are run by the media, robber barons and the rich with their corporation.
    Putin is the main man now and they all know it, that where Mr Trump is taking his cue from, a Master in communism and capitalism and 3D chess player with best arm force the world has ever seem, Russia can knock any country in the world out the ballpark before they have fired the first salvo. Remarkable.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      not sure I agree with much of that, comrade.

  126. anon
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    1) Bring on more renewable power especially where it involves UK service, manufacturing and labour. It also reduces imports of fuel and reduces road ship miles in delivering the fuel. Short term more gas , unlikely as renewable is cheaper.

    2) Universal “non-means tested” basic income. Means testing on housing benefit with a cap. Principal that a worker should be better off. Exceptions those that are not able to work, through ill health (mental or physical) are allowed a basic lifestyle, without jumping through bureacratic hoops whilst incapable.

    3) Exit the EU immediately. So we can re-arrange taxes. VAT set at a Zero rate for the foreseeable future – all goods and services.

    4) All output vat due to HMRC immediately suspended.

    5) Abolish NI and bring in a combined income capital gains tax rate, with retrospective effect start this new tax year. Refund any NI paid in the interim.

    6) Bring in a minimum tax level which puts a floor on tax dedcutions or a flat tax set at around 35% with a universal tax free basic income of around 15,000.

    Technology will solve green issues. Just encourage the science, use our overeas aid fund for this . Then license the technology to developing countries based on GDP per capita , to encourage green development and trade not aid.

    Meanwhile it supports the UK specialise in what we do with help from many others in the world thats is innovate. Maybe we should industrilaise it better it but truly i think the best innovators get bored and want to innovate more.

  127. Iain Gill
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    come on john its not on, add it to your list of things you are raising with ministers


  128. Julian Flood
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    I have written elsewhere about the neighbour whose car made the MOT testing station recalibrate it’s machine as its readings were impossibly low – he had forgotten to tell them that it had been converted to burn methane. It was producing half the expected CO2 and zero NOX.

    The UK had trillions of cubic metres of natural gas under Yorkshire and Lancashire. Converting LGVs to burn this wonderful fuel would be good for the balance of trade, good for the environment and, by increasing the acceptability of shale gas generally would give us reliable and low carbon electricity generation.

    It’s going to be a very tough world after Cv19. We will need every advantage we can muster. Here’s a reason to seize one ready and waiting to be seized.


    • Julian Flood
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      Its… Predictive texis a pain!

  129. dixie
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    The bizarre Edinburgh example comes from the Energy Savings Trust aka Friends of the Earth (courtesy of their CEO).

    see 2018 article “Planes, trains and automobiles – carbon emissions compared between London and Edinburgh”

  130. John McDonald
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Starting from the a view point that the green house effect is not scientifically proven and the layer of CO2 only returns radiated heat and not conducted heat. I am happy to use reducing CO2 as an excuse to clean up pollution from all forms of transport/fossil fuel burning machinery . Not to split hairs, but any vehicle with humans or other life on board can never be zero CO2 emitting.
    As the world warms up we release much more CO2 from natural storage than we generate from human industrial activity. But we are generating an increasing amount of Heat energy which warms the atmosphere and alters the climate pattern. CO2 increase is a warning flag not the cause in itself.

  131. Pat
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    In short- this is totally.unfeasable. If power is to be carbon free, then we need a.viable alternative.
    The sun doesn’t shine all day, and this isn’t the.Sahara.
    The wind doesn’t blow all the time.
    The materials that we depend on to get solar and wind power come.from China- we are currently being held over a barrel for goods where China.has a near monopoly, do we really want to be dependent on them for.our.existence?
    The the UK is all being utilised.
    That leaves nuclear power. So we would.have to roughly double electricity.production whilst scrapping most.of our existing.capacity, and double the capacity.if the grid at the same.time. That assumes we only decarbonise.transport. If we decarbonise heating as well that would require an even larger investment.
    All so we can lead the world in a direction no-one else is going.
    It will not reduce CO² emissions worldwide, as no one else is doing this.
    Even if it does the only certain result will e to reduce plant growth. All the other alleged benefits are poorly supported.

  132. alastair harris
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Net zero is a slogan. And not actually desirable. We are about to see the devistating impact of lockdown on the economy, but net zero will be much worse. But in terms of transport it would make more sense for the government to let technology and business get on with it. The motor vehicle has evolved at a rapid rate over the years without government intervention, and we have just seen at first hand the inefficiencies of public sector provision in a number of key areas.

  • About John Redwood

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

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