So, we’ve been told what an almighty threat climate change poses; the program then goes on to explain that all is not lost, that we can save ourselves and save the planet if we decarbonise our transport, industry, and energy generation.

Mark Maslin: If we want to try and keep the global climate to 1.5 degrees, we have to half our carbon emissions by 2030 and then hit zero carbon emissions globally by 2050.

David Attenborough: This poses a huge challenge, as emissions must be cut from almost every part of the economy. But 25% come from how we produce electricity and heat, and alternatives are already within our grasp.

Naomi Oreskes: It’s actually not that complicated. We need to shift our energy system away from fossil fuels that produce greenhouse gases and towards renewable energies that don’t.

It’s clear that ‘we’ here should be all 7 billion people and all countries on earth. No point our tiny island decarbonising its industry, infrastructure, transport and energy generation completely by 2050 if the Americans, Chinese, Indians, Australians, Europeans and others don’t follow suit. Oreskes thinks it’s not complicated and that the entire world can shift from fossil fuels to renewables – 50% renewables by 2030 and 100% renewables by 2050 if we wish to keep global warming below 1.5C. Think about that for a moment. At present, globally, renewables such as wind, solar, hydropower and biomass form a tiny percentage of total energy generation and use. Oreskes tells us we need to get that up to 50% in the next 11 years, then 100% over the following 20 years!

The starry eyed praise of the non-existent renewables revolution continues unabated:

Catherine Mitchell: Every country has got a different resource. In Norway, you’ve got an awful lot of hydro power. If you’re in India or Morocco, there’s lots and lots of sun. The problem was that renewables were much more expensive than fossil fuels.

Richard Black: But what’s happened recently is rapid falls in the price of renewable energy.

David Attenborough: Solar power has led the way with this.

Chris Stark: Germany went first with of many of the key technologies in solar, and China really picked up the baton.

Naomi Oreskes: There’s tremendous technological innovation taking place around the world. Solar power is now the cheapest form of newly installed electricity in more than 60 countries.

Michael Mann: We’re seeing a huge growth in renewable energy. Despite entrenched fossil fuel interests, they’ve been unable to stop that transition. And we’ve got to do even more.

Note that ‘renewables’ is taken to include hydro-electric power, which has been around for a century, is not part of any technological ‘clean energy’ revolution and has important and widely recognised environmental drawbacks. According to BP, hydro makes up the lion’s share of ‘renewables’:


Note, wind, solar and other renewables contribute just 2.4%. The contribution from renewables – even including hydro – looks even more risible in a BP chart of global primary energy consumption:

Screenshot_2019-04-26 Energy Production Changing Energy Sources

It’s pretty obvious that the vast majority of global energy demand relies upon CO2-producing fossil fuels, even CO2 emitting traditional biomass fuels as used in poorer continents like Africa contribute more to global demand than renewables. So how do Attenborough and renewables zealots imagine we are going to increase the consumption of ‘zero carbon’ renewable energy from a measly few percent now to 50% in the next 11 years? Whatever fairy-tale imaginings they harbour in the interstitial places between their ears, the actual answer is, ‘we’ (i.e. the world) are not. No way José. Without attempting to answer this question, the emphasis then changes not so subtly from ‘the world’ to little old UK.

Chris Stark: In the UK, for a long time, we’ve been considering future energy sources. It used to be ten, 20 years ago that nuclear power offered a relatively cheap way through. And one really good advantage of nuclear is that it doesn’t produce emissions. But what’s become clearer recently is that some technologies are performing better than others. And increasingly, that’s been about wind.

David Attenborough: Here in the UK, we are building some of the biggest offshore wind turbines in the world. The bigger the turbine, the more wind can be captured. Just one revolution of these blades can power a house for a day.

Chris Stark: With the increased capacity, wind resource is about to become as cheap and much cheaper in the future, than fossil fuels.

David Attenborough: So far, around 30% of the UK’s electricity comes from renewable sources. If that is to continue to grow, we’ll need to develop parallel systems to keep our energy reliable and store what we produce.

Whatever can Chris Stark mean when he casually dismisses zero carbon nuclear energy in favour of ‘other technologies which are performing better’? Wind is the answer as he reveals that wind energy is about to become as cheap and much cheaper in the future, than fossil fuels“. Poor old zero carbon nuclear energy doesn’t even get a look in – which is hardly surprising if, when comparing costs, you only talk about newly installed generating capacity and when, in the case of nuclear energy, newly installed capacity costs have been negotiated by a half-wit incompetent [former] Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary in what, until totally blown away by the Maybot’s Brexit ‘deal’, was one of the worst deals ever.

Also, by dismissing nuclear power in favour of wind, Chris Stark leaves out some rather salient facts, besides cost. Firstly, land use. A Tera Watt Hour per year generated by nuclear requires 1.9 to 2.8 km². To generate the same amount using wind turbines requires 72.1 km²! That’s 26-38 times as much land (or sea) area for wind compared to zero carbon nuclear. Sure, with Attenborough’s humungous wind turbines, this figure might come down a bit, but then the bird and bat strike rate will probably go right up, not to mention the eyesore index. Then there’s the fact that the concrete and steel (made using fossil fuels) required to construct enough turbines to generate as much electricity as one nuclear power station is vastly more than that required to build a new nuclear facility.

What Chris Stark also doesn’t tell us is that one of the program’s star guests (a lot more influential and important than himself) dismisses the idea of reliance upon renewables and advocates nuclear energy as a major source of zero carbon energy if the world is ever to realistically meet the demands of the Paris Agreement. Here is what James Hansen has to say about nuclear energy:

Nuclear power, particularly next-generation nuclear power with a closed fuel cycle (where spent fuel is reprocessed), is uniquely scalable, and environmentally advantageous. Over the past 50 years, nuclear power stations – by offsetting fossil fuel combustion – have avoided the emission of an estimated 60bn tonnes of carbon dioxide. Nuclear energy can power whole civilisations, and produce waste streams that are trivial compared to the waste produced by fossil fuel combustion. There are technical means to dispose of this small amount of waste safely. However, nuclear does pose unique safety and proliferation concerns that must be addressed with strong and binding international standards and safeguards. Most importantly for climate, nuclear produces no CO2 during power generation.

To solve the climate problem, policy must be based on facts and not on prejudice. The climate system cares about greenhouse gas emissions – not about whether energy comes from renewable power or abundant nuclear power. Some have argued that it is feasible to meet all of our energy needs with renewables. The 100% renewable scenarios downplay or ignore the intermittency issue by making unrealistic technical assumptions, and can contain high levels of biomass and hydroelectric power at the expense of true sustainability. Large amounts of nuclear power would make it much easier for solar and wind to close the energy gap.

The climate issue is too important for us to delude ourselves with wishful thinking. Throwing tools such as nuclear out of the box constrains humanity’s options and makes climate mitigation more likely to fail. We urge an all-of-the-above approach that includes increased investment in renewables combined with an accelerated deployment of new nuclear reactors.

Hansen was being polite about renewables zealots on this occasion. Earlier, he is on record as saying:

Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.

I wonder what Chris Stark got up to this Easter just gone? I wonder if he still looks under his pillow in the morning?

Chris Stark: The bit that comes next, that means that we have to decarbonise industry and we’ve got to decarbonise the transport sector. And that means using things like electric vehicles, battery-powered vehicles, potentially even hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Yeah, bring it on: lorries, cars, buses, trains, tractors, combine harvesters, cruise ships, ferries, container ships, aeroplanes, satellite launch rockets – all powered by ‘clean electricity’ from renewables with zero environmental impact 100% efficient ultra high energy density batteries, and all made from zero carbon high tech materials yet to be invented. Coming your way in the next 30 years. But maybe only in the UK, as the rest of the world looks on and laughs and the climate changes regardless.


Update: 29th April 2019

Treason May’s government has caved to Green anti-fracking protestors and by doing so, further undermined the UK’s economic prospects and energy security. The fracking tsar has resigned.

Yet another actual fact which the BBC conveniently ‘forgot’ to mention in its shameless promotion of renewables as the answer to the ‘climate crisis’ in the UK. Attenborough says that 30% of energy generated last year came from renewables. What he doesn’t mention is that only THREE per cent of primary energy demand in the UK is met by renewables (hydro, solar and wind).

Green zealots and our own government are determined to destroy the UK’s economy and tax to death its citizens by promoting an insane reliance upon renewables.


  1. Oreskes’ assertion that the “solution”(her anti-scientific policy demand) is “simple” is one of the greatest examples of how simple explanations appeal to simple minds.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Decades ago I was at a solid-state physics seminar where one speaker was talking about new ideas for high-speed memories for computers. One he described as quite dangerous because it sounded technically smart and was readily graspable (or so they thought) by powerful executives in the industry. Trouble was it could not possible work. I can’t remember much more than that, but I’m guessing he may have succeeded in nipping something in the bud. So, ideas which are catchy, have a bit of science about them, but are readily felt to be ‘graspable’, need to be watched carefully since people can get carried away with them if they see advantage in doing so. The so-called greenhouse effect plus CO2 emissions from fossil fuels is such an idea. And what an opportunity it presents to those who hate our progress, hate our technological advances, or just plain hate ‘society’. That covers the hard-left and maybe some others for all I know (such as financial opportunists and rent-seekers?). But no-one knowledgeable enough nipped the scaremongering in the bud. My professor of atmospheric physics, Frank Ludlam might have done that, but tragically he died all too young of a wasting illness. He certainly gently sorted out we graduate students when we mentioned the fears going round about an imminent ice age back then, and had he lived a bit longer, I like to think he would have tried to stop the CO2 Scare juggernaut before it became all but unstoppable in the 1990s.

    Here we are now in 2019, looking at the harmthat that juggernaut has done, and may yet do more of. The Attenborough’s Disgrace of a documentary will no doubt be used to raise support for some of that. Yet just look at how poor it is, how misleading, how ill-informed, how hyperbolic. Many thanks to Jaime for this series of posts which deserve to be read far and wide for years to come. On the one hand the harms, and on the other hand, the tawdry, misleading case being made for them.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Thanks John. Your professor of atmospheric physics, though he died sadly young, obviously impressed upon his students his sound scientific methodology, his understanding, and his wisdom, yourself included.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jaime makes an important policy distinction between the UK and the world. To reduce global emissions down to zero requires stopping the use of fossil fuels globally, yet the documentary concentrates on UK energy policy considerations and does not consider the loss of business and jobs in producing fossil fuels. The UK has essentially left that behind. A century ago 500,000 were employed in the coal industry. UK oil production is only a third of the peak, and gas production from the North Sea is declining as well. But for other countries, fossil fuel production is still hugely important to their economies. Using the same BP data Jaime uses above I have listed the top twenty fossil fuel producers by value.

    The values are debatable. Oil is globally traded and has a relatively higher value than gas or coal. I may have undervalued gas and overvalued coal. For the Chinese especially the typical cost of production is likely less than the $100 a tonne used here. Whatever values are used does not significantly affect the next chart.

    For the US and China it the gross value is relatively insignificant compared to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other economies. Does anyone seriously think that there will be relatively little economic harm to these economies in abandoning fossil fuels in the next thirty years?

    For most of these major producers, there is no fear that this considerable source of revenue will disappear, as the vast majority of countries are not going to abandon fossil fuels in the near future. Specifically, “developing countries”, with >80% of the global population and >60% of global emissions are specifically exempt from any immediate obligation under the Paris Agreement to reduce their emissions. Indeed, environmentalists trying to prevent fossil fuel production in Europe, Canada and most particularly the USA, is a significant help in maintaining global prices by reducing competition.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thanks Manic. Interesting to see production, rather than consumption, of fossil fuels, expressed as a proportion of GDP for individual countries. Surprising to see how little they contribute to the economies of China and the US, in contrast to the huge amounts of fossil fuel derived energy consumed by these nations as a proportion of the global total, China especially.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Funny that people who propose a massive switch to renewables never seem to mention the cost, and very often seem to ignore domestic and other forms of heating. According to the Guardian the cost of installing a heat pump in the average existing house is £26,000. Given that there are over 20 million households in Britain the total cost is well over £500,000,000,000. This doesn’t include all the industrial,retail, and other premises. Given that most heating is used in winter there would have to be a massive over supply of generating capacity and storage on a scale that can only be dreamed of. It is quite easy to imagine the cost rising to well over a trillion pounds. Has anyone ever asked any of the green zealots/lunatics where this sort of money is going to come from. This is assuming that it is even possible to deploy technologies such as wind and battery storage on the scale required without totally destabilising the grid. Greens claim that the technology to go carbon neutral already exists, and this may be true in a sense as wind, solar, electric vehicles, heat pumps, battery storage, etc. do exist but just because a technology exists doesn’t mean it can be deployed at a massive scale or is affordable.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Matthew, the world is on a steep learning curve with respect to the integration of intermittent renewables into national grids at high pentration (>30%) levels. The insane optimism of Greenies that ‘we’ (i.e.the UK and a few other mainly Western nations) can accommodate 100% renewables by 2050 and that the rest of the world will then follow our example will either make or break our economy, and I strongly suspect it may be the latter.

    Corbyn is likely to become our PM in a few years because of May’s lies, treason and treachery. The outlook is not good.

    “On Saturday night Corbyn said the recent wave of protests were “a massive and necessary wake-up call” that demanded “rapid and dramatic action, which only concerted government action and a green industrial revolution can deliver.” He said that if parliament backed the move and became the first national legislature to declare a climate emergency it would “trigger a wave of action from governments around the world”.

    The motion was welcomed by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has criticised the inaction of the world’s politicians. “It is a great first step because it sends a clear signal that we are in a crisis and that the ongoing climate and ecological crises must be our first priority,” she said. “We can not solve an emergency without treating it like an emergency. “I hope the other UK political parties join in and together pass this motion in parliament – and that political parties in other countries will follow their example.”

    The motion will call for new targets on the mass rollout of renewable and low carbon energy and transport, proper funding of environmental protection, reversing species decline and developing plans to move towards a zero waste economy.”

    God help us. UK energy, industry and transport policy decided by a terrorist supporting neo-Marxist and endorsed by a brainwashed 16 year old eco-zombie.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Jaime. Whilst I agree most wholeheartedly with your fears, I wonder if you are misjudging the terrorist-supporting neo-Marxist. He is a politician and judges everything in terms of politics. At the moment he believes more votes can be won by supporting green issues. So he pays lip service to XR and little Miss Greta, spouting supporting verbiage that terrifies us. However, implementing those issues, if he were ever given a chance, would lose him his beloved worker votes on such a massive scale that the promises made today would never be countenanced. I also suspect that if he ever were to propose implementing some of the stupid proposals, that parliament would tear him down.

    We really shouldn’t be calling the “terrorist-supporting neo-Marxist” names.


  9. Possibly Alan. It will all be rather beside the point anyway if we are forced to remain as members of the EU or May manages to blackmail enough of her own MPs to get them to vote for her surrender treaty. In those cases, Brussels will be largely dictating our domestic policy whichever party is in government.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “The starry eyed praise of the non-existent renewables revolution continues unabated:

    Catherine Mitchell: Every country has got a different resource. In Norway, you’ve got an awful lot of hydro power. If you’re in India or Morocco, there’s lots and lots of sun. The problem was that renewables were much more expensive than fossil fuels.

    Richard Black: But what’s happened recently is rapid falls in the price of renewable energy.

    David Attenborough: Solar power has led the way with this.

    Chris Stark: Germany went first with of many of the key technologies in solar, and China really picked up the baton.”

    I believe China produces cheaper solar panels mainly because they don’t have to comply with expensive Western-style environmental regulations in the manufacturing process. They are allowed to turn the local area where the panel is manufactured into an industrial wasteland, as decribed in this 2008 Washington Post article:

    Also in the EU we may not actually have access to cheap Chinese solar panels, the EU may be slapping a high tariff on them. Last week Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed that one of the advantages to Greenies of the UK exiting the EU is that we would be able to buy cheaper solar panels from China instead of Germany:

    Also the cost of solar panels isn’t the predominant cost in a solar power installation. I understand it makes up about 25%. Reducing the cost of solar panels further doesn’t help much if the other 75% of the cost isn’t reduced as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Can’t we just use global warming as an excuse to finally get unlimited clean energy from solar, wind, batteries, and most prominently, molten salt fast reactor energy sources? The coal needs to be saved for future graphene production. And the conversion of hundreds of CUBIC MILES of hydrocarbons into excess CO2 is indeed, causing extra radiative forcing, aka global warming.
    The oceans take decades to heat up and it will take decades for them to cool back down to normal Holocene levels after we use hundreds of thousands of sq km of solar, hundreds of thousands of large wind turbines and tens of thousands of rather large MSFRs, globally, to sustain tens of billions of people at high standards, provide energy needed to grow this energy infrastructure and, of course to insure there is enough water to remove the excess CO2 by using certain plants, and making better soil.

    In short, we must not let the “we need less energy” activists, such as enviro leaders, socialist wannabees and other vested interests to succeed in destroying our awesome future where even building a space based solar power infrastructure far exceeding ALL the terrestrial sources combined – is possible and profitable.


  12. Yet another actual fact which the BBC conveniently ‘forgot’ to mention in its shameless promotion of renewables as the answer to the ‘climate crisis’ in the UK. Attenborough says that 30% of energy generated last year came from renewables. What he doesn’t mention is that only THREE per cent of primary energy demand in the UK is met by renewables (hydro, solar and wind).

    Liked by 2 people

  13. While the financial cost of PV panels may have fallen, the ERoEI hasn’t. In the tropics, the ERoEI is around 4-5, and this reduces as you move away from the equator. So by the time you get north of the Alps, the ERoEI becomes negative so that making and installing the panels takes more energy than they will ever produce in their lifetimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Confirmation that the lunatics in charge of our government, Gove especially, are determined to punish Britons and British industry and agriculture with extreme emissions reduction legislation which will do absolutely nothing to reduce climate change as China and India and other developing nations continue to power their economies with cheap fossil fuels. It almost seems they are out to deliberately sabotage British industrial competitiveness and punish the populace. The fact that they are actually meeting with XR would appear to confirm that XR have been set up by the establishment and by the Green lobby as a patsy protest group to provide an excuse to push through deeply unpopular and very damaging emissions cuts. No sane government would be entertaining this group of loons, or their crazy ideas.


  15. Delingpole is no longer Gove’s friend:

    “Enter Environment Secretary Michael Gove. Rarely have I heard a more dishonest, canting, virtue-signalling, economically illiterate, scientifically inaccurate, intellectually bankrupt, death-of-the-Conservative-Party-confirming farrago of utter bilge than his speech on the environment in Parliament today.

    He said:

    “I want to make it clear that on this side of the House we recognise that this situation IS an emergency, it IS a crisis, and it IS a threat that all of us have to meet.”

    To which the only sensible answer is: it IS none of those things, Gove. You are talking out of your bottom.

    What’s more, I suspect that Gove must know he’s talking out of his bottom. He has read my book Watermelons — and even if he wasn’t paying attention during the bit where I mention Margaret Thatcher’s recantation on the subject of climate change, it has been written up several times by the likes of my good friend Christopher Booker, and is well in the public domain.”


  16. I hadn’t read James on that Jaime. Indeed I hadn’t read Gove’s speech. Other things on my tiny mind. “Gove must know he’s talking out of his bottom” is for me certainly true. And yet the representatives of XR who met with Gove yesterday or the day before expressed deep disappointment with his response. There’s no pleasing some people.

    Delingpole probably is still Gove’s friend though. That’s the strange thing about friendship.


  17. My deepest sympathies to to the people of the United Kingdom.
    A great evil is being inflicted on a great nation.
    “To do great evil one has to believe first that they are doing a great good.’

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jaime: Thanks for clarifying that. The climate emergency that wasn’t. Not quite. I heard rumours yesterday on Twitter from the likes of Rupert Darwall. But I didn’t delve. XR’s disappointment (learned about from the free Bristol paper on the bus) was sustenance enough for the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hunter, it certainly feels like that, with all that’s going on in the UK at the moment. The propaganda seems unstoppable now. The people who could stop it are throwing lighter fuel on the fire. First the Brexit betrayal, now this madness.


  20. I’ve just been advised by a commenter at the Con that Corbyn’s motion wasn’t even voted on in the Commons but was somehow approved by Parliament with a vote. What a farce! That did not stop the Con though from telling its readers that the “UK is the first national government to declare” a climate emergency. Facts are just so post normal now. Who needs ’em? Really, they just get in the way of climate action, climate justice and climate truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Delingpole is definitely back on form. This is hard hitting from him and deeply worrying – because his worst fears are definitely a real possibility now.

    “In the last few weeks, Britain has fallen victim to a carefully orchestrated green coup in which the very well-organised activists of Extinction Rebellion played Mister Nasty in cahoots with Greta Thunberg playing the Miss Nice role of the fresh-faced little girl with pigtails whose fears for the planet everyone just had to heed.

    Instead of standing up to this leftist threat — as any self-respecting Conservative administration should have done — the Government has sought desperately to curry favour with its natural enemies in the misguided belief that somehow it has found a happy, feel-good subject which will distract voters from the cock-up it has made of Brexit.”


  22. RON
    All proceeds to go to charity, which destroys my cynical first response. What remains is the attack on psychological grounds. We are being galvanised into action by appeal to our natural sympathy for a child with mental health problems. Our moral dilemma is similar to that of a soldier trying to neutralise a sniper using a child as a human shield. In this case the child expresses a willingness to perform this role, and the sniper is not threatening to kill anyone, but is demanding trillions of dollars on a false pretext.Millions of dollars spent on fantasy projects are trillions not spent on saving lives elsewhere. It’s a nice problem.

    My initial reaction is to let the little twit have it. (You’ll have to consult he history of the abolition of the death penalty in the UK to get the sense of that)


  23. As Paul has pointed out at the Con, the article falsely claiming that the UK government has declared a climate emergency was written by none other than Australian climate change academic and Antarctic explorer Chris Turney, whose main claim to fame was getting stuck in ice whilst on an expedition to the Antarctic to document disappearing ice! What’s really funny is that my Google account with which I log in to comment at the Con has a picture of the Shokalskiy – the ship which Turney chartered to retrace the steps of Mawson 100 years earlier – stuck fast in ice! I don’t expect any reply to my comments from Turney on that thread!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.