Oxford lecture on the Digital and Green Revolutions

On Friday 8 th March at 11 am I will give a public lecture on The Digital and Green Revolutions.  Tickets can be obtained ( free) from www.asc.ox.ac.uk/event/GDR24. All Souls College, High Street, Oxford.


  1. DOM
    February 21, 2024

    Don’t forget to mention the mathematical father of our digital world, George Boole. A genius forgotten with other less noteworthy grifters like Turin taking the woke plaudits

    Boole and Tommy Flowers, two geniuses discarded for having the temerity to be born white, straight and male

    1. hefner
      February 21, 2024

      Forgotten? The first Royal Society Golden Medallist, and boolean algebra being the basis of all present day computers (that might only change when quantum computing becomes the norm).

    2. RDM
      February 22, 2024

      @ Dom,

      Please don’t forget Gordon Welchman, and a very good read: The Hut Six story!
      His contribution is often forgotten, if not even realised, but arguably more important then the statistical analysis involved?

      The heritage of Computer Science, and Mathematics is long:

      John von Neumann, Alfred Tarski, … De Morgan, Charles Babbage,…

      No doubt, this list can be added too!



  2. Bloke
    February 21, 2024


  3. formula57
    February 21, 2024

    At that date I shall be in a different time zone and even web access (not longer offered by All Souls it seems, perhaps backing away from the digital revolution) would not assist. I am pleased you give these notices since I am keen to attend should the chance arise.

  4. Mickey Taking
    February 21, 2024

    Sir John, Do you think you will make a transcript of your speech, or might there be a video available?
    Thank you.

    1. Berkshire Alan
      February 22, 2024

      Indeed that would be helpful, as likewise I cannot make it on that date.
      A bit ironic that a debate on green issues is being made in the very City where you are not allowed to drive a car, and where reported road modifications have actually led to increased congestion.
      Oh the Law of Unintended Consequences.

  5. Life
    February 21, 2024

    The Green Revolution seems to be a deluded war on vital for life CO2 – more CO2 plant, tree and crop food actually “Greens” the planet very nicely less however does the reverse.

    Can we have sensible revolutions, ones driven by demand and what actually works and is cost effective and practical rather than driven by crony capitalism and some idiot in government perhaps with vested interest or at the Committee for Climate Change.

    Please make the points that EV cars cause more CO2 not less (more tyre wear too), cost a fortune and have short lived batteries and v. high depreciation). The intermittency of wind/solar and need for back up means they too save very little CO2 overall. As to heat pumps they use electricity which cost more than 3 times as much as gas so even with COP factors are more expensive, need larger rads and are very slow to heat up a cold house.

    So they too make little sense.

    Plus as I pointed out before massive grid capacity increases needed. A house with Gas heating and cooking might only need £500 of electricity PA one with a heat pump and EV cars might need as much as £7,000 PA most of this in the few months of winter. So the grid might need to be 40+ times the capacity to cope with this 14 times demand but most of this needed in a few winter months. Not that we have the engineers and ability to do this vast investment in capacity in less than say 50 years or so.

    The generating capacity will need to be something like 80 more than current if we all switched to EVs and heat plump. This as if you want the majority to be wind and solar then on still nights you will get nothing from these so will need this duplicated with Gas, Coal, Oil or Wood generation as back up cover so 2 times 40 times. Due to duplication of supply and heavily loaded winter demand.

    The whole agenda is insane and just not practical or even possible. Not only this but while you are increasing grid capacity at vast expense you are wasting our excellent existing gas network capacity for not good reason.

    Anyway a bit more CO2 is a net benefit and any cuts we make will be made up by China, India… within weeks. It mainly destroys the economy and export jobs and insustries.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 21, 2024

      Not sure why the Life “Logic” disappeared.

      As to the Digital Revolution I can remember buying non volatile memory of 8KBytes about 40 years back for £100. Now you can buy 1 Tera Byte for about the same and it is hugely smaller, lighter and more reliable too. So a fall in cost of 1000,000,000 times in just 40 years and still racing ahead too. The same for computing power. Car batteries have perhaps got about 5 times better and not very much cheaper, lighter or longer lasting in 40 years. EV cars cost more than petrol ones nearly double.

      So very different revolutions in terms of speed and cost also a better computer helps you make and every better software and computers so positive feedback races progress ahead. A slightly better battery does not do this you just get a slightly better battery the laws of physics and chemistry still apply large break throughs are rare and not to be expected often.

      Alas I cannot make the lecture.

  6. Lifelogic
    February 21, 2024

    CO2 is not really a problem – but if you want to save CO2 the only real way is better nuclear and fusion. Get fracking, drilling and mining use all the money saved to sort out better nuclear R&D and then (if ever needed it will not be) you can use the nuclear energy to remove the CO2 if it ever were to be a serious warming problem) Or to adapt to any climate changes be they hotter or colder wetter or dryer.

    Still what do I know I am just a physicist, mathematician, businessman and electronics engineer. Far better in the hands of people like Grant Shapps with his 5 O levels and an HND in finance Manchester Poly, Lord Debden (Gummer) History and Claire Coutinho Philosophy Oxon.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 21, 2024

      Note Nuclear Power is not very good or efficient at ramping up and down to cover for wind and solar intermittency either. It means vastly more capital expenditure per MWH of production.

    2. Julian+Flood
      March 4, 2024



    3. Original Richard
      March 4, 2024

      LL : Last paragraph :

      Yes, why would Chris Skidmore MP, BA Modern History, be appointed as Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth and then mark his own homework as the lead author of “Mission Zero – The “Independent” Net Zero Review”!? A review where no authors bar one had stem subject degrees.

      Not that the heads of the Civil Service, even at DESNZ, are any better qualified and I notice that the Chief Scientific Adviser to The Treasury has an MA in foreign languages.

      Parliament and the Civil Service, as elsewhere, have been captured.

  7. Lifelogic
    February 21, 2024

    Two quite different things. 1. looking after the environment in terms of pollution, litter, nature and a pleasant place to live… and the pointless and irrational war on CO2. This on the entirely bogus claims about a “thermal runaway climate emergency” caused by a bit more man made CO2.

    1. Donna
      February 22, 2024

      The war on CO2 isn’t about the climate: it’s about rationing energy resources; transfer of wealth from industrialised western nations and control of the “peasants.”

      If there was any benefit whatsoever for ordinary British citizens from the policy, the Establishment wouldn’t need to impose the policy by undemocratic means: diktat, the Westminster CONsensus; fines/taxes and coercion.

  8. iain gill
    February 21, 2024

    Our parliament is compromised. Its MPs are compromised.

    Our police are compromised.

    All too afraid to apply rules equally & fairly.

    Int. agencies such as UNRWA are compromised.

    How much longer can this continue?

    1. Lifelogic
      February 22, 2024

      A long time I suspect. With Starmer and Labour & prob. a landslide victory for perhaps for 3+ terms it will get worse. Even worse than the dire socialist, climate alarmist, tax to death Sunak. The man who lies(?) to us about covid vaccine safety and claims he has made tax cuts – when tax is still rising hugely. So is he a damn fool or a blatant liar? He even claims 4% inflation eases the cost of living (no it makes it 4% higher each year mate.

  9. ChrisS
    February 21, 2024

    I have been to two of your previous lectures and am keen to come again, particularly as both of these subjects are ones in which I take a keen interest.

    It would be both employing digital technology, and be far greener, if I and others could take part from home if you could have them streamed on Zoom or similar. I am sure you would reach a far larger audience as a result.

    In my case, to attend in person, I would have to get to Oxford and back from Dorset which would mean driving more than 180 miles in my Cat 6 diesel Audi.

    Reply This will be an in person event only.

    1. Donna
      February 22, 2024

      Same here. And then have to navigate the extended car-free zones or car fines imposed by Oxford Council.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 22, 2024

      Not easy or fun taking cars into Oxford!

    3. Berkshire Alan
      February 22, 2024

      “An in person event only”
      If ever there was a mixed message on subject matter, this is it !
      You can only come and take part if you pollute !
      And this is the supposedly the best of University thinking ?
      This just about sums up what is wrong with our Country’s so called elite.

      1. ChrisS
        February 22, 2024

        Why is this an “in-person event only” ?
        I thought that you are proposing to discuss technology and the green revolution ?

        What possible reason could there be for deliberately excluding those of us who would like to take part, but are unable or unwilling to drive into Oxford?

        1. dixie
          February 23, 2024

          Why is holding a local in-person session at an alma mater a “deliberate exclusion”?

          Video conferencing services like Zoom cost quite a lot for capacity and features suitable for larger audiences while the free basic package features are being progressively reduced and removed.

          Perhaps you should offer to fund and organise a shared video session .. or at least find out what it would involve before demanding a free lecture by others at their cost.

          Reply Thank you. Some here complain whatever i do. Some might like to come to a meeting in person and discuss after the talk. Those who do not can read my views here.

          1. Berkshire Alan
            February 23, 2024

            Dixie, Reply-Reply
            It is not a deliberate exclusion at all, but a lack of insight to not allow as many as possible to view what should be a very interesting debate.
            Zoom does not cost a fortune for goodness sake, most individuals and companies were operating with it during Covid, and many have continued to do so.
            Zoom and like systems are therefore Green, and Digital, and would have been a great example of the subject matter being discussed.

          2. dixie
            February 24, 2024

            Zoom Business licence which allows > 1hr and > 300+ viewers is >£175 per month. They have been removing features in the free licence.
            It is unfair to expect our host to fund such a facility simply because some outside the college group might be interested.
            I find it striking that so called conservatives regularly demand the government must spend money on something, expensive facilities must be free free and that others pay for their needs …
            “deliberately excluding” was a phrase in the comment I replied to.

          3. Berkshire Alan
            March 3, 2024

            I am not suggesting JR should fund it at all, that is down to the organisers if they want to spread the word, fully aware it is their choice !
            Never had to pay for any of my many Zoom calls at all, indeed I have still been viewing and partaking in Zoom presentations only last month.
            My local Lions Club (of which I am a member) did get the professional version during Covid at a cost of about £100 for the year, this meant that we could hold Club meetings on line as per Government Guidance.
            Did Oxford University not do something similar to keep in touch with students and tutorials, or did they just abandon everyone ?

          4. dixie
            March 4, 2024

            @ B-Alan
            Check the Zoom pricing now, if you want more than 100 people you need the Business licence which is £1750 pa.

      2. Mickey Taking
        February 23, 2024

        There are Park and Ride locations aimed at continuing the war by Oxford against the motorist.

        1. glen cullen
          March 3, 2024

          The climate crusaders are developing a ‘matter-transporter’ based upon wishful thinking to satisfy local transportation needs in compliance with 15 minute city regulations …the future is green

  10. Ed M
    February 21, 2024

    Conservatism in the UK is being crushed because there isn’t enough cultural thought about what Conservatism is. When ultimately Conservatism is a cultural phenomenon – NOT a political one (although politics an important side to it).

    Without deep-rooted Conservative values, politicians have little to work with. So what do I mean by Conservative values, I mean things like: 1) Being responsible for self 2) Turning to family not state in hard times and in general 3) Work ethic 4) Patriotism etc ..

    OK so are there any prominent Conservative cultural thinkers out – and effective in what they are doing? Yes. But not very many. Very few in fact (because so many people reduce ‘Conservatism’ to just politics) and that is Jordan Peterson. Jordan Peterson has had / and having a HUGE impact in moving the bias away from WOKE / social liberalism / socialism to traditional, Conservative values.

    Something like that

  11. Will in Hampshire
    February 21, 2024

    Thank you for giving visitors to this site advance notice of this event so that they can attend if interested. I will try to do so, although I fear that my professional commitments in London will make that difficult.

  12. glen cullen
    March 3, 2024

    For a world government to succeed it needs world problems to fix and control …we’re had a world financial crisis, covid, mass migration, appeasement with tyrant countries, climate change and political wokeness all directed towards the west …we need to step back and see whats going on

  13. Original Richard
    March 4, 2024

    The “green revolution” is not green but red. CAGW is initially a communist scam to implement Net Zero in order to destroy the West’s economies by transitioning from cheap, reliable and abundant nuclear and hydrocarbon energy to expensive, unreliable and intermittent renewables with no plan for storage.

    Why should we believe the scientific establishment when their theory that anthropogenic CO2 emissions control our planet’s temperature cannot explain why we had the last ice age, why we warmed to exit this ice age just 11,000 years ago or the reasons for the Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods or the Little Ice Age from which we are slowly warming? Or the Antarctic Vostok ice core data showing CO2 following temperature for the last 500,000 years when both have been at historically low levels?

    Why should we believe the scientific establishment when they said in 2009 that there would be no Arctic summer ice by 2013 when it’s still there?

    Why should we believe the scientific establishment when they said in 2021 that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef was dying/dead when it is in the best health ever since records began?

    Politicians are using meaningless modelling from establishment scientists to obtain the forecasts they want. It is corruption on a grand scale.

    Even the IPCC scientists of WG1 cannot find any signal of climate change beyond some slight warming.

  14. glen cullen
    March 4, 2024

    Data output is only as good as the Data input …could be your openning line

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