Well, There’s A Possible Risk from Rising CO2 … So Please Wreck Your Economy and Your Spirit

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The argument that a CO2 alarmer can always fall back upon when pushed about this, that, or the other flaw in dire prognostications about our impact on the climate system is that there might, there just might possibly might, be a risk that rising CO2 will be dangerous. This is a big climb down from the heady days of hockey sticks and ’10 months to save the world’ and so on, when some assured us that the science was settled, that temperature rise would be inexorable, and that crippling our economy, our way of life, and the material aspirations of most of the world’s people, was mandatory, and should have been done yesterday. That led to legislation like the UK’s notorious Climate Change Act, and to children being scared deliberately in classrooms by teachers, on the TV by the government, and anywhere else that zealous campaigners might reach them. It has led to massive, market-distorting subsidies for unreliable, expensive, and environmentally damaging technologies such as wind and solar farms for mass energy production. And who can put a price on the depression of spirit that the widespread propaganda of doom must have produced?

But is this fallback adequate to support the massive interventions already done, and those that some would wish for the future? I think not. Not nearly good enough.

  1. The data on the ground is consistent with the rising CO2 having a such a modest impact on the climate that it has proven impossible to reliably extract it. Lamb long argued that we needed a far better grasp of the history of climate variation and its causes t before we might hope to identify human impacts with confidence on a global scale (we know we can have an impact on local scales – growing a hedge, for example, can reduce average windspeed in your garden, building a city can increase average temperature, removing a forest, building a dam, planting a field, … and so on, and on). Here are some recent papers supporting the notion that natural, i.e. pre-existing sources of variation can account for most of recent climate variation: http://notrickszone.com/2017/02/27/20-new-papers-affirm-modern-climate-is-in-phase-with-natural-variability/

  2. Other faults with CO2 alarm-driven science have been highlighted in the extensive series of papers and reports from the NIPCC (Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change): http://climatechangereconsidered.org/

  3. Economic analyses favouring drastic intervention in society now, most notably the Stern report, have been exposed as relying on implausibly high discount rates – contrived presumably to provide the results required. Contrivances such as the ‘Social Cost of Carbon’ (SCC) have also suffered for concentrating on projected harmful effects of increased CO2 levels, and neglecting the far more clearly established benefits. For example, here is recent testimony from a statistician who points out the utter unsuitability of SCC claims being used as guidance for policymakers: http://www.climatedepot.com/2017/03/03/statistician-trashes-obama-cost-estimates-of-climate-manipulated-by-regulators-bureaucrats/

  4. Even when the IPCC computations are taken at face value, and the economics of mitigation versus adaptation are considered, the case for radical intervention now is undermined. The former finance minister (Chancellor of the Exchequer) of the UK, Nigel Lawson, in a temperate and carefully argued book makes this clear: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Appeal-Reason-Cool-Global-Warming/dp/0715638416

So what are we left with? It would be grand if a reset button could be pressed to take us back say 50 years, and the genie of CO2 scaremongering be left inside the walls of the academy, never to be let out as a serious matter for policy makers unless a far stronger, evidence-based case could be made for it. Calm and erudite professors would readily appear on TV to ridicule any attempts by agitators to scare us into precipitate policv making. These are notions for academics to juggle with, like to what extent should we move all our cities deep underground to protect ourselves from a massive strike of meteors? How many angels can dance at the same time on the head of pin? What would happen if all water on the planet went saline? Or if the speed of light suddenly changed to 20mph? And so on. Lots of interest. Little use for policy.

But we are where we are, and the Genie of CO2 Fearfulness is out and about, wreaking harm all over the place. It will never disappear, but it can surely become less respectable. And , can we please have the ‘this might just possibly be dangerous’ discussions confined to bars and seminar rooms where much enjoyment can be had all round? But not in the public square accompanied by trumpeters, wailers, gnashers of teeth, doomsayers, snake-oil salesmen, and sundry shallow opportunists. We’ve had all that, and it has been wretched. We all have better things to worry about.

52 thoughts on “Well, There’s A Possible Risk from Rising CO2 … So Please Wreck Your Economy and Your Spirit

  1. It’s the Cheney Doctrine: if there is a 1% chance of an outcome, then we must respond as if it were 100%.

    It’s not a matter of scientific investigations let out of academe, it is policy-makers who have grabbed the science and bent it to support their predetermined policies. Thus, global warming, sustainable development, carbon tax, etc.

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  2. If there were significant risks from rising greenhouse gas levels, then efforts would be made, to get the maximum reduction of the risks for the least cost. It is quite clear eight years ago to Nigel Lawson that mitigation was a non-starter. It is even clearer today by breaking down growth in greenhouse emissions between those countries who signed the 1992 Rio Declaration to give first priority to reducing greenhouse emissions and the “developing” countries that did not.

    It is quite clear from the proposals put forward for COP21 Paris 15 months ago that the sum total of all the proposals, if fully enacted, would make very little difference to future emissions. So, even if Stern was correct in the costs of warming were 5 to 20 times the costs of policy, then under current proposals it might be better to be a non-policy country than a policy country. But Stern exaggerated the likely costs of warming, did not make appropriate discounts for risks, and vastly understated the mitigation policy costs.

    I would recommend extending Lawson’s approach. That is of adaptation to identifiable risks. The problem for climate alarmists is that many of the big risks are speculation, that do not stand up to close scrutiny. For instance, take the 2008 PNAS paper “Tipping elements in the Earth’s climate system”. Many of the proposed risks have been dropped for lack of credible evidence or having been based on speculative alarmism. These include
    – Collapse of the Greenland Ice Sheet
    – Collapse of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet
    – Dieback of the Amazon Forest
    – Indian Monsoon “chaotic multistability” – presumably chaotically changing between a number of stable patterns.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1786.full

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  3. William

    It’s a question of basic economics. If the alternative sources of energy are high-cost (and much higher-cost than the existing sources) then they only become realistic if subsidised. Somebody has to pay the cost of those subsidies. Mostly it’s a combination of the taxpayer and the end-energy user. Higher taxes can deter industry (especially international companies), so they choose to base their plants elsewhere. Higher energy-costs are also not conducive to companies being price-competitive with their foreign competitors. This is especially true of companies operating on tight profit margins and/or those which are energy-intensive. The steel industry springs to mind.

    If you want to undermine your international competitiveness, adopting high-cost alternative energy supply, and running-down your old-fashioned lower-cost energy sources is a very good way to start.

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  4. I live in Alberta, Canada considered one of biggest air polluters. The three remaining coal fired electric plants are being shut down within a few years. They are being replaced with Solar powered electric plants. 10,000 new jobs have already been created by solar businesses in the province of Alberta. 25% of the coal workers will be eligible to retire while the other coal workers are willing to retrain for the solar industry. Many of the coal workers are already electrical engineers. Retraining is a shared cost between business, education and government. It will take 6-9 months and all of the coal workers will transition to the solar and some wind industries. The remaining coal fired plants supply electricity to over 5 million people. Costs for electricity will not increase due to cutting of the labor intensive side of coal mining.

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  5. A couple of days ago, this chap took a less rosy view of renewables in Alberta:

    ‘The Ontario government, now led by Premier Kathleen Wynne, must have been so relieved when Rachel Notley became premier of Alberta because, at long last, there was a government even more fiscally inept than the Ontario Liberals’.

    The key problem in Ontario and Alberta (and nationally for that matter) is that “green” energy is not competitive without MASSIVE subsidies.

    This is true wherever politicians and activists have tried to replace fossil fuels with “renewable”. The only way to get utility companies interested in wind, solar and other “clean” energy is to give them billions in tax dollars or in higher, regulated electricity prices, or both.

    This is glaringly obvious in Ontario where electricity prices have more than doubled since 2009 when the Liberals began subsidizing wind, solar, biomass and other sources.

    Ontario consumers now pay for the cost of the power they consume, plus a premium on their power bills every month to pay for foolish long-term contracts the Liberal government signed with green energy providers to encourage (bribe?) them to build wind turbines, solar farms and wood-chip incinerators.

    Last year, the average Ontario power bill was 15% electricity and 85% “global adjustment,” the fancy name the Liberals have given to various costs including their failed green-energy contracts.

    No wonder Ontario now has the highest electricity bills on the continent and Ontario consumers often find their power bills are almost as high as their mortgage payments or rent.

    No wonder, too, so many Ontario businesses have pulled up stakes and moved their plants (and jobs) to cheaper-energy states.

    The same is beginning to happen in Alberta.’

    Time will tell.

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  6. William, I’d find it hard to believe an adult would ask that question,except that there are a lot of people like you. It’s sad we have such a naive strata of adults who would probably class themselves as intelligent.

    The next step in Mark’s scenario is that once the big energy users move out, the products are still made and re-imported from other countries with much lower standards and the overall CO2 bill is actually higher. At the same time you turn areas with manufacturing into areas of unemployment and deprivation. There are few reasons for new businesses to set up in those areas.

    More speculative is the potential for energy shortages when you start relying on unreliable energy sources. It’s easy to think you can run a country on intermittent energy but you would destroy one of the things that distinguishes top western countries from everyone else – quality and reliability. Interrupted power introduces flaws into precision materials and processes. Longer interruptions can risk damaging equipment or affecting safety. Of course for most eventualities the issues can be mitigated with backup equipment but it all adds to the cost. And that cost isn’t just a one off. Equipment must be tested, maintained and replaced.

    Why do those who support CAGW need to see another area fail with renewables? Surely there are now enough to draw conclusions from?

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  7. I wonder if those former coal workers in the new green Alberta will be retrained to a) sweep snow of solar panels in winter or b) spray antifreeze into the innards of frozen solid wind turbines.

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  8. John, it should take you no more than a few minutes to find out that the global adjustment your text refers to is for far more than paying for solar and wind. If you care, that is: your story is so much more acceptable to your audience as it is.

    Mark, remember that the revenue from a carbon tax stays within the economy.

    Tinyco2, what I always wonder is whether those like you cannot envisage an economy that uses drastically less fossil fuel, that you don’t think we can get from here to there, or that you are just too old to countenance the changes needed.

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  9. William, if I can step in front of TinyCO2, rather than focusing on a desired end-state, perhaps the discussion should be about time frame.

    I believe the world will be largely powered by solar in 2099. I don’t think it will supply very much juice in 2018.

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  10. Rachel Notely was swept into office after 35 years of Conservative government corruption. You couldn’t reach far enough to find an end to the missing billions of dollars. Within a month of being elected the US with their Saudi friends dropped the price of oil to under $22.00 per barrel. Great deal for the US since they import 30% of their oil and gas from Alberta. It was all done as a clever disguise to invoke sanctions against Russia.

    No new subsidies have been put in place. Taxes have been cut and Rachel is cleaning up the mess due to 35 years of cooked books. Ontario is in the east and relies heavily on Alberta for crude oil products. Too many people always look for a negative side when people are moving forward with new ideas. Why are you afraid of a brighter greener future? The people currently in the coal industry are the ones looking forward. They are the ones who want the better and cleaner jobs. Solar panels create heat for the furnace in the sky called the Sun. Snow does not stick to solar arrays.

    The US hit the iceberg and the rest of the world is watching the ship go down. What have you done since NASA put a man on the moon?

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  11. Dennis

    I am not afraid of a brighter greener future. I would welcome it. But it doesn’t yet add up financially, and at the moment it doesn’t work, with renewable energy in the form of solar and wind being intermittent and unreliable and expensive.

    I have had the privilege of visiting Alberta, a beautiful part of the world. I am astonished that anyone thinks solar power has much of a future there, given Alberta’s winters, when energy is most needed. Alabama, possibly; Alberta, highly unlikely.

    William – I think you have just gone a long way to making my case for me. Proponents of a carbon tax delude themselves if they don’t think it will damage an industry’s competitiveness when competitor countries such as India and China don’t apply such a tax. It would simply be an act of industrial suicide to impose such a tax. Taxing imports from China and India on environmental grounds might be an efficient way to reduce CO2 emissions whilst helping, rather than sabotaging western economies, but the liberal elite who are signed up to the “green” agenda won’t countenance such an idea, given their overwhelming belief in the benefits of free trade and globalism.

    Nor do you begin to meet Tiny CO2’s point (you don’t even try, just performing a verbal shuffle instead). Open your eyes and see the world as it really is, not how you would like it to be in your La-La Land.

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  12. Mark, I didn’t answer Tiny’s question, but then he didn’t answer mine – and mine was first 🙂 All he said to the question of why adopting non-fossil energy sources should “wreck” the economy was, in effect, that it is obvious that it will. You don’t answer either, except with your “it’s basic economics”.

    But it is nether obvious, nor basic economics. Energy is one cost of many. It is not obvious to me that an economy that relies on carbon and other resource taxes for government revenue rather than punishing (taxing) companies for employing people should necessarily perform worse. It might have a different balance of industries and services, but so what? Is there any reason to think that the UK has, or must have, a comparative advantage in steel production or energy-heavy industry? Or that a successful economy *has* to produce such products even if it lacks comparative advantage?

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  13. Mark solar is not new to Alberta. The farming community have used solar for over a decade. They no longer use power from the grid, instead, they supply power to the grid. Facts have proven the smaller more powerful panels work better during the winter months. Rachel took the existing solar funds within the budget and expanded it to include residential housing. New businesses have sprung up all over the province manufacturing the panels here in Alberta. China recently announced they are shutting down 65 coal fired plants and replacing them with solar electricity. I don’t belong to any of the political parties yet I have done projects for all of them. Conventional oil reached it’s peak in Alberta back in 2005. Here is a link for world and US solar growth and the rapid decline in the cost. https://cleantechnica.com/2014/09/04/solar-panel-cost-trends-10-charts/

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  14. Dennis Cambly, you say that Alberta is switching from coal to solar. Wouldn’t it be fairer to say that it is switching from coal to gas, with a bit of solar on the side?

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  15. Vinny I said in my first comment “The three remaining coal fired electric plants are being shut down within a few years. They are being replaced with Solar powered electric plants”

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  16. Dennis – When I lived in Edmonton 40 years ago my most vivid memory was how long it was dark in December. How do solar panels work better in December when the day length is seven and half hours?

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  17. William “Tinyco2, what I always wonder is whether those like you cannot envisage an economy that uses drastically less fossil fuel, that you don’t think we can get from here to there, or that you are just too old to countenance the changes needed.”

    You don’t know how old I am or what I can or can’t envisage. Sure we could use zero fossil fuels but it won’t be solar we rely on. The reason why I don’t think the way you do is because I appreciate how different industries use energy in ways the domestic user can’t imagine. Certain forms of manufacture essential to society, can’t run on a few hours power, they have to have massive amounts, consistently for many hours, even days at a time. Those businesses run 24/7 often 365 days a year. They don’t do it because they like shift work, they do it because those processes use a lot of energy just to start up and take hours to start up and shut down. Even technology systems rely on reliable power and while servers etc can survive on backup, the remote systems they work through can’t. How would a business run if their employees couldn’t use the tube to get in? How would London function if the phone system fell over on a regular basis? Maybe, MAYBE, batteries might change the viability of solar but as a long time observer of technological advances, the stuff you get isn’t usually what you expected or hoped for. So I’ve stopped counting my chickens before they’re hatched. So by all means invent those magical batteries and THEN see what’s possible.

    IF we have to radically cut CO2 then it will be either nuclear or fusion or some as yet unknown massive delivery energy source. Apart from nuclear, all the others could be decades or even hundreds of years away from a viable design, let alone a global roll out. I thought cutting CO2 was supposed to be urgent?

    A fact that warmists can’t get away from is that there is only so much money or disruption a society will dedicate to CAGW. Governmets make bold promises and then fail to keep them when they see how expensive and unsatisfactory the alternatives are. All the cuts we’ve made to CO2 so far have been relatively easy, giving people a false sense of progress. A big part of that has been to export our heavy industry and import those products. You may kid yourself that the CO2 has vanished but I don’t. Most calculations using import and export CO2 values, show the UK has barely budged from 1990 per capita levels, despite genuine reductons from efficiency and the swap from coal to gas. In other words, reductions have been balanced by increased energy use. Gee, it looks like we’re all on board the warmist train. NOT. Here on in, reductions get harder, more expensive and less likely.

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  18. For those who point to countries or states with high quantities of renewables as evidence they work, they need to recognise that if they’re using their neighbours to smooth out shortages and surplusses, they’re not relying on renewables. Those countries/states share the renewables and the fossil fuels with their neighbours. Some countries may be able to achieve high levels of renewables because of hydro but it is a limited resource and not a blue print for global supply. Some small countries have little or no heavy industry, so equally they’re not a template for everyone. Burning trees and calling it CO2 neutral is a con.

    It’s an old trick to only show part of what is going on but it’s still a trick.

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  19. Tiny, I’ll take it as read that you and maybe everyone here accept that we have the technology to largely remove fossil fuels from our energy mix and retain or improve the quality of the electricity power supply we now have. I’m not after another lecture on the evils of renewables; let us accept that we move the economy to electricity and use a mixture of nuclear and hydro generation with pumped storage and maybe batteries for regulation – no wind, no solar, no wood chips, no waves; we are absolutely not clever enough to integrate those into a supply system ‘cos they come and go more often than nuclear. So where does the economy-wrecking come from? It is a common sceptic refrain, so I assume you have maybe thought about it. Is it in the price? Or is there something intrinsic in developing an electric society that plays wrecking ball for you?

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  20. Because we are not doing those things are we. We’re pratting about with renewables. There is only a certain amount of money to spend on new kit and we’re wasting it on white elephants. Since it doesn’t concern warmists, the problem of CO2 can’t be that pressing.

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  21. It is also worth pointing out that pumped storage is not possible in the geography of the UK. This was all made clear by David MacKay 8 or so years ago. So we are limited to nuclear except that work has not even started on Hinckley C and the existing plants are pretty well knackered.

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  22. William, “I’ll take it as read that you and maybe everyone here accept that …” errr, no. Batteries don’t have enough storage. Pumped does not have enough storage in countries as flat as the UK, and for the same reason we don’t have enough hydro. And you can’t run planes on electricity. Nuclear would be good but it’s unlikely to happen because of the ingrained anti-nuclear scare-mongering activism of the left. The wrecking is in part simply unreliable and expensive power.

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  23. The renewable of choice for the UK (aside from nuclear) is ground source heat pumps. Y’all don’t get enough sun, wind is too expensive and GSHP really delivers. It’s really useful outside of big cities, and the UK has a lot of homes outside of big cities.

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  24. Paul, the full quote to which you disagree was, “I’ll take it as read that you and maybe everyone here accept that we have the technology to largely remove fossil fuels from our energy mix and retain or improve the quality of the electricity power supply we now have.” So you think it is technically impossible to do that? That is an odd position, but at least honest.

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  25. William you have a Raff-like ability to misread, misunderstand, or ignore simple sentences and ideas. It may be you are so exercised by your mission that you have no time for such niceties, but it is tiresome for those who choose to engage with you. Please go back to Paul’s comment and note that nowhere does he suggest anything about ‘technical impossibility’. He alludes to limitations in battery technology, and to the very limited options for increased hydro-storage schemes for geographical reasons in the UK, and he notes the possibility that nuclear would be a good source but faces ingrained political opposition. As for your specious claim that we think that adopting new energy sources must wreck an economy, I think that owes more to your sense that you have a riposte for it were it to be what we mean. It is a historical platitude that the adoption of such as steam engines for example actually was a huge boost to economic growth from the industrial revolution. Mass generation of electricity with coal-fired power stations is another, more recent example. Rapid introduction of large scale wind and solar power schemes, on the other hand, has served to benefit only those on the receiving end of the subsidies.

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  26. Ground source heating isn’t as viable as it first appears. It requires underfloor heating to be really effective and that’s a serious pain, not to mention expense.

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  27. John, so from what you say I really can take it as read, exactly as I said before, that everyone here accepts that we have the technology to largely remove fossil fuels from our energy mix and retain or improve the quality of the electricity power supply we now have. We really do; you know it and I know it. Paul said, “err no” but from what you say, he didn’t mean it.

    So when I went on to suggest a solution, using that technology that we all know we have, an economy electrified using a mixture of nuclear and hydro generation with pumped storage and maybe batteries for regulation – is that where the “err no” belongs? We know absolutely that we *could* build enough nuclear to power what we use now plus what we’ll need to power electric transport; we’ve got pumped storage for peaks like commercial breaks; we can add batteries (no not for storage) for even better regulation than we now have. We can do all that without wind, solar, wood chips or waves. So no economy wrecking in sight. Yet you write articles that assume that climate-change-mitigation=wrecked-economy.

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  28. William, those things are not being done so the question is pointless. However renewables are. Do I think that renewables will ruin the UK economy? No. Interest in them is waning rapidly. But it doesn’t get us any closer to a fossil fuel free electricity only economy future either.

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  29. It is a long term transformation, not a short term sprint. Europe imports about 500 billion Euro of fossil fuels annually, which presents a great incentive, even without AGW. In the UK, we are at least building Hinkley C (although that is hopefully not a blueprint for other future nuclear). Looking at all the investment going into electric cars, I don’t doubt that the future of land transportation is electric. That is going to require a lot more electricity generation and I’d be surprised if there wasn’t room in that for wind (and I do think we are smart enough to integrate renewables without breaking the economy). Solar water heating also seems great. We’ll end up with a mix, but nuclear seems like it should and still can play a major part.

    BTW I do think we need to protect the poor (I’ve always thought domestic tariffs should start low and rise with increasing use, not the reverse). A carbon tax/dividend that pays out a flat rate per-capita should do that.

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  30. The new nuclear we have planned won’t even replace the old nuclear that is due, or was due to be decommissioned. Renewables live off subsidies, they are directly taxing the poor to pay the rich. Those with land, those with roofs get the benefits. Areas with low energy, high tech, high value products and services aren’t affected by high energy prices while areas with high energy, low tech and often low paid workers are driven away by high energy prices. The products are then imported by those high tech companies so they win, win while the poor lose, lose.

    http://notrickszone.com/2017/03/03/germanys-silent-catastrophe-330000-households-see-power-turned-off-in-one-year/#sthash.gVLc2STP.jKvoJTvC.dpbs

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  31. Ground-source heat pumps are currently a bit like electric cars: they might help ‘save the planet’ a bit if your electricity comes mostly from low-carbon sources but otherwise (as in the UK) they are just expensive and sometimes counterproductive status symbols.

    https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/api/datastream?publicationPid=uk-ac-man-scw:178995&datastreamId=POST-PEER-REVIEW-PUBLISHERS.PDF

    (I can’t find a simpler URL for that paper – or a more recent paper.)

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  32. William

    The site you link to is hardly disinterested. I would suggest it offers a “different” perspective rather than a “better” one. The insouciance with which they dismiss “only 0.9%” of households being disconnected is also a little worrying. So what if some of the little people can’t afford electricity now!

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  33. The ‘concern’ expressed at NTZ strikes me as wholly opportunistic. Look at the graphs. The rate has not changed much in a decade. Gas and district heating have gone up more, oil by much more. I’ll assume your and Tiny’s concern is sincere, but as the problem has existed for a decade or probably more, before the big push for renewables began, you might accept that it is likely to be deeper than NTZ wants you to believe.

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  34. Man in a barrel
    For accuracy you need to modify your comment – Peak oil /gas [at any price] is an exploded myth. The price of new reserves keeps rising. Unconventional oil cannot compete when the world oil price is low. So the correct comment is that Peak cheap oil/gas is not a myth.

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  35. I said: “I’ll assume your and Tiny’s concern is sincere, but as the problem has existed for a decade or probably more, before the big push for renewables began, you might accept that it is likely to be deeper than NTZ wants you to believe.”

    Mark, Tiny, in light of no acceptance, I’ll rephrase that: I would have assumed your and Tiny’s concern was sincere, if you had accepted that the problem of energy poverty is deeper than NTZ wants you to believe (as the problem has existed since before the big push for renewables began). You can still do it, but right now your concern, like that of NTZ, looks to be opportunistic, not sincere.

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  36. Alan – Guess who, probably talking about you – “I’ve spent the last few days being verbally abused on another blog because – I think – I didn’t treat someone with the kind of respect they expected. Admittedly, it was my own fault for expecting anything different.”

    so why is ATTP one of the most frequent commentators here, perhaps not the most talented informers/communicators?
    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/informing-versus-convincing/

    given that both Alan and Ken are academics… and he seems to be referring to their disagreement. it is not ‘academics, vs us dumb “sceptic” bloggers, but a disagreement between academics.

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  37. Barry Woods. I identify myself as a “former academic” since I no longer teach, have disposed of most of my library and submitted my last solo authored paper (accepted two days ago). My deteriorating eyesight means I can no longer use a microscope and my lack of stamina prevents me from doing most fieldwork. I still get asked to review manuscripts but mostly decline. Apart from a now rather rare visit to UEA to chat to former colleagues I am but a pale shadow of my former academic self.

    I did not feel my ears burning. Are you sure that lying SOB was referring to me? But then what’s to be concerned about? I shan’t even bother finding out what was said. My reputation lies within my published work and in the memories of former students I have influenced. He can’t affect those. Let ATTL spit into the wind.

    I am one of you now – a “dumb sceptic blogger”.

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  38. William

    Please be a little more gracious. I’ve been busy today decorating, and having washed out the paintbrush for the day, have just caught up with your comments. I confess I rather resent your most recent comment, being based as it is on an incorrect assumption that I don’t lead a busy life and am just sitting looking at the computer all day (which I’m not, I dip in and out when I have time, and visits to sites like this can be days – or weeks – apart if I’m busy).

    Suffice to say that of course fuel poverty is a problem – always has been and always will be, sadly. That’s not a good reason to make it worse by insisting that people have to pay for expensive “renewables” when a cheaper alternative is available.

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  39. Mark, sorry. You answered on the other thread early this morning. I assumed that you could have answered here if you had wanted to. It is clear that NTZ wants to fool readers into thinking that huge numbers of people have lost electricity due to renewables. Tiny is never going to confirm that the numbers seem to have been stable for 10 years, nor that other fuels seem to have risen more. And you haven’t either.

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  40. William

    Apology accepted. Thank you. I was on here briefly yesterday morning, and only looked quickly at (and commented on) one thread.

    I am happy for anyone to question my arguments, facts, logic, (or spelling or grammar if I mess those up) and much else (that’s what I believe sites like this are here for) but I am sensitive about my integrity and sincerity being questioned – especially on scant evidence – as I hold those dear.

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  41. William

    PS Our decorating is ongoing, and may take some time. Don’t expect to see many – if any – comments from me over the next few days.

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  42. So can you confirm that the numbers being disconnected in Germany (to which NTZ referred) seem to have been stable for 10 years and that other fuels seem to have risen by more? In other words that renewables have had no noticeable effect (and note that Germans in general don’t use electricity for heating, unlike the French, say).

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  43. William, I doubt if I can find that information. I’m not German, I don’t live in Germany, and I don’t believe I know anybody who does. We’re all groping in the dark to an extent for reliable sources of information that are not corrupted by bias one way or the other. Can you confirm it? This makes interesting reading though, and rather weakens your case, I think:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-s-nuclear-phase-out-brings-unexpected-costs-to-consumers-a-837007.html

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m not aware that Der Spiegel is notoriously sceptical of climate alarmism etc.

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  44. William

    As I’ve downed paint brush for the day, I’ve been looking more closely at the link you provided earlier in this thread. It seemed only fair to do so. The web-page in question offered a link to an earlier article on the same site, which contained this: “Reliable data about actual disconnections is simply not available. ” https://energytransition.org/2015/12/who-is-the-cold-man-of-europe/

    That same earlier article also contained this:

    “According to the latest data in Germany, 351,802 households had their power cut off because they were not able to pay the bill in 2014, an increase of just under 10 percent from around 320,000 in 2012”

    The first page you linked to contains this:

    “It’s also important to remember that electricity prices alone are only part of the picture. Since 2000, they have doubled, but overall the cost of natural gas and heating oil have risen even more since 1990…”. This seems like a fine case of “lies, damned lies and statistics.” Electricity costs have doubled in the last 17 years, but the cost of natural gas and heating oil have risen more in the last 27 years. So what? As a user of heating oil myself from 2006 – late 2013 I’m pretty au fait with the price of heating oil over that period, and as I still order the heating oil used by my elderly in-laws, I’m aware of the price of heating oil from 2013 to date. And I’m pretty confident it’s cheaper now than it was over much of the time when I relied on it. So I’m not sure I trust the graph on the page you linked to. I can’t prove it’s wrong, but based on my personal experience, it feels wrong.

    I thought the final comment on the link you offered was rather revealing: “In the end, it’s crucial to understand why I keep writing “energy poverty” in quotation marks—it does not need to exist as a term. It is only a subset of poverty, which needs to be the focal point of social policy. High energy prices are good in that they incentivize conservation and efficiency. The poor need to be protected from these high prices to some extent, but that falls in the domain of social policy. Low energy prices should not be the goal of energy policy.”

    It’s easy to see that “Craig Morris (@PPchef) is the lead author of German Energy Transition. He directs Petite Planète and writes every workday for Renewables International. He is co-author of Energy Democracy, the first history of Germany’s Energiewende.”

    Low energy pricesshould not be the goal of energy policy, eh? I disagree, though at least Mr Morris tells it as he sees it, I suppose. He doesn’t add, though, when he says that “High energy prices are good in that they incentivize conservation and efficiency” that they also mean that “renewables” companies make lots of money this way in a sector where they otherwise wouldn’t be able to compete.

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  45. The flimsy pretext of CO2-driven climate doom is such a feeble, fantastical, a-historical, unconvincing platform on which to stand and bring harm on a grand, and probably still growing scale, to societies of all kinds from the poorest to the richest. Both rich and poor can see their prospects being damaged by the ‘alternative’ energy madness alone: e.g. see https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/03/13/renewable-energy-what-is-the-cost/ , and https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/hundreds-of-millions-of-british-aid-wasted-on-overseas-climate-change-projects/ . Fortunately, even the German political establishment is being forced into opening their eyes just a tiny bit, and beginning to back-off from further lunacy: http://www.thegwpf.com/german-minister-of-the-chancellery-announces-end-of-unilateral-climate-policy/ But the biggest hope for humanity rests with the new government in the USA. May the advice of such as Richard Lindzen prevail there. Thank goodness for elections!

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  46. Paul Homewood, whose blog is a treasure trove of insights into, and rebuttals of, the asinine claims of the CO2 Alarm Industry, has reported on a new GWPF Comment on green energy costs and the duplicity/incompetence of the Committee on Climate Change. Homewood summarises where we are with them:

    Regular readers of this blog will already be aware of the duplicity of Gummer’s Committee on Climate Change, aided and abetted by the BBC and other green apologists, such as Richard Black’s ECIU.

    It has long been obvious that the policies advocated by them will cost the people of this country dear. And all for no benefit at all.

    It is time that to drain the swamp of the green blob, and allow the voters a real choice between a pragmatic future and economic suicide.

    Liked by 1 person

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