To justify the claim that Western countries must cut their CO2 emissions, the following statements must all be true:

1. The world is warming

2. Humanity is the cause

3. It’s dangerous

4. We can fix it  

Therefore, to destroy the claim, you only have to falsify one of them. But which one? Sceptics commonly choose 1, 2 or 3 – largely because they feel strongly about the issues involved. But that’s a mistake: in attempting to falsify any of these, you get bogged down in areas of science where, however learned you may be and however cogent and valid your arguments, you end up with ‘my experts vs. your experts’, where minds cannot be changed and where you may well be accused of being a ‘denier’ or an advocate for fossil fuel interests. That’s what’s been happening for years. And it’s why sceptics are getting nowhere and why Western governments are continuing to pursue their disastrous climate policies. 

So you’re left with item 4. And this is different: now you can base your position, not on disputed scientific evidence but on easily verifiable fact: the non-Western world is the source of about 75% of global emissions; a percentage that’s increasing. And that’s because the overriding and understandable priority of billions of poor people in Asia, Africa and South America is to provide clean water, fresh food, shelter, healthcare and education for their children, to improve overall quality of life and to achieve prosperity. This requires abundant, affordable, available and reliable energy – i.e. gas, coal and oil. These people want what we in the West already have, so there’s no reason to think that attitude is going to change for a long time – if ever. There’s nothing we can do about it. So item 4 is falsified.

My advice to sceptics: ignore items 1, 2 and 3 and focus on 4. 

Note: the useful four statements concept was inspired by this article in the Australian Spectator. My thanks.

Robin GuenierMarch 2023


  1. There would seem to be some wisdom in this. While I’m a sceptic when it comes to predictive computer modelling, I’m out of my depth when it comes to physical climate processes — not that I haven’t read about it but that I know that in specialist fields, there’s always more to know. So yes, it just comes down claim vs counter claim.

    On the Ars Technica website today appeared a fairly long article that sets out to debunk a slew of claims from climate sceptics supporting the view that observed climate change is a natural phenomenon, not human-induced. Ars Technica aims at tech guys.

    It may be rehearsing old arguments, but it would be an interesting exercise to make the “nay” case for the factors said to be debunked by the article:


  2. It will be a difficult task to break through the forcefield of delusion that haloes policymakers. This is from the Chair’s Forward to the much-vaunted “Independent” “Review” of Net Zero:

    Forty-two months ago, the UK became the first G7 country to sign our commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 into law. This landmark commitment built on the UK’s international climate leadership in passing the pioneering Climate Change Act in 2008 — becoming the first major country
    to establish a clear governance framework on how to achieve emissions reductions.

    The UK’s leadership on tackling climate change has not only delivered real change at home — reducing our carbon dioxide emissions over the past twenty years by nearly 50% compared to 1990 levels — it has led to a global transformation in how countries and companies now view the importance of taking action on net zero. Thanks to the UK’s Presidency of COP26, the Glasgow Climate Pact in November 2021 witnessed over 90% of the world’s GDP commit to a net zero target.

    Indeed, the rest of the world, along with international investment communities, has woken up to the fact that the energy transition is a new economic reality. 2022 marked a watershed moment for global investment in net zero — not least from the US’ Inflation Reduction Act, with its commitment of placing clean technologies at the heart of future economic strategy.

    The global reality of the energy security crisis and rising gas and fossil fuel prices in 2022 has also
    demonstrated the importance of delivering future energy security through the greater use of domestically
    generated renewable and clean sources of power, while seeking to better reduce energy demand.

    The UK is showing “climate leadership”. Other countries have agreed to jump off the Net Zero cliff with us (they will see whether we shout up from the bottom to say we’re still alive before taking the leap). Net Zero is “creating a new era of opportunity.” From the Executive Summary:

    The Review has heard loud and clear that net zero is the economic opportunity of the 21st century. The evidence presented to the Review has shown that the pace of recent change has created a rush of economic opportunity at a massive, global scale. With more than 90% of global GDP covered by a net zero target 1 there is now huge global momentum to reach net zero and capture the economic opportunities. This is driven by businesses of all sizes who have recognised that net zero can help them grow.

    Utterly deluded, and intent on measures that will make life worse for everyone in the UK.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ian, the article appears to be an exercise in destroying straw men. Some sceptics doubt that CO2 has any effect on the climate, but I think it likely that most of us are rather “lukewarmers” who simply believe that any consequent temperature rise will not be catastrophic. This is a topic I covered in Denierland, but in sum, those trying to dismiss sceptics are treating (human-caused) climate change as a binary variable – it either is, or is not. 1 or 0. My argument is that we need to treat climate change as a continuum between “no harm – maybe even net benefit” and “thermogeddon.” As matters are, if you think the true consequence of climate change is “minor harm” you are still a “denier.” The same applies to those who question any of the obviously excessive predictions, or point out the already failed predictions, or question the usefulness of some aspects of climate policy.

    In other words, it’s a lot easier for Ars Technica to demolish an argument that few are making. The hard part is proving the other stuff. Sceptics can look around and note that nothing bad has happened so far. The alarmists are transparently desperate to pin any adverse event on climate change. Their case is weak.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Unfortunately, falsifying 4 is likely to be no more a magic bullet than falsifying any of the others, because you are not facing rationality, but a belief system. Global society isn’t doing what its doing on climate change because this is the result of an honest and long rational process (giving the best evidence-based policy for public benefit), or even a dishonest and rational process (giving the best policy for elites at the expense of the public), but because it is the output of a long and irrational process (in which most participants are not only honest, but passionately honest). Notwithstanding subsidiary agendas riding the wave (money or power), and even some small break-outs of logic (e.g. support for nuclear), largely, society is doing what its doing because the emergent belief-system of climate catastrophe and salvation exercises a huge cultural grip. Resisting it is like resisting a rising religion or a wave of communist fervour, by which I do not mean it is the same kind of culture as these, but a culture nonetheless, hence resistance is similarly hard and similarly not an exercise in the logic of explaining why it must be wrong, on any basis 0:

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am not so certain that debunking #4 is a tactic that that the climate woke will respond to in a rational way.
    Take a quick look at the Ars Technica article Jit linked to: where the article doesn’t use red herrings, it relies on deception. It is circular, it is counter-factual. But it is Ars Technica, and that sounds sciencey. As to the self destruction so strongly implied in the pursuit of pt. 4, well the climate hypesters really do have a nihilstc bent to their obsession. So what if their failed policies continue to fail.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The World’s population breathes out over 2.94 billion tons of CO2 every year.


  7. Robin, scratch 3. and replace with ‘Bad weather happens – it’s our fault’.
    As pointed out by other commenters, these people are religious fanatics. Any appeal to logic is not going to put a dent in their self-righteous armour. The world is not warming anywhere near as fast as they predicted, so they’ve just changed the goalposts:

    “The climate change alarmists are being forced to admit that their catastrophic projections of global warming are not happening. But rather than admit that they were wrong, they’re just moving the goal posts plus absurdly claiming that the lack of warming is because of their stupid windmills! It’s unbelievable. These people are pathologically incapable of admitting error. Here’s what the Washington Post is now claiming:

    In the not-so-distant past, scientists predicted that global temperatures would surge dramatically throughout this century, assuming that humans would rely heavily on fossil fuels for decades. But they are revising their forecasts as they track both signs of progress and unexpected hazards.

    [Translation: We got it wrong.]

    Accelerating solar and wind energy adoption means global warming probably will not reach the extremes once feared, climate scientists say. At the same time, recent heat, storms and ecological disasters prove, they say, that climate change impacts could be more severe than predicted even with less warming.

    Researchers are increasingly worried about the degree to which even less-than-extreme increases in global temperatures will intensify heat and storms, irreversibly destabilize natural systems and overwhelm even highly developed societies. Extremes considered virtually impossible not long ago are already occurring.

    Translation: Our silly windmills and solar panels have prevented really catastrophic global warming but extreme weather is worse than we thought, even though global warming is not as bad we pretended it would be, so we still need more windmills and solar panels and a ban on gas boilers, cookers and cars in order to prevent nasty weather.]”

    Their silly windmills and solar panels and other mitigation measures are failing in their own terms (economically and technologically) in developed western economies AND the rest of the world is expanding the use of cheap, readily available fossil fuels. Reality will bite, sooner or later, and their religious edifice must come crashing down. In the meantime, we challenge them the best way we personally can, from all different angles and perspectives. Challenging their abuse of science and facts may not force them to change direction now, but defending science against their assaults is a worthwhile thing to do in itself. We abandon science at our peril.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Sorry but I believe 4 to be a false argument, and also that the belief that we cannot win the first three arguments is excessively negative..
    A climate change believer would consider all CO2 released into the atmosphere to be bad whether it comes from the West or the rest of the world and it should be curtailed. The fact that we are most unlikely to reduce emissions in the third World says little about any need to to clean up our own act.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Robin,

    Thanks for an article that has generated some thoughtful and interesting comments.

    I have sympathy with the views expressed by Andy W and by Jaime J, and fine myself adopting a compromise position. I think it’s worth challenging claims 1-3, but I believe that most effort should be put into demolishing 4. No 4 is the key point, I think. Many politicians and policy-makers may be deficient regarding the power of logic (I prefer that explanation to the alternatives, none of which are I think very palatable – dishonesty, corruption, self-interest, even nothing more sinister than a desire to strut on the world stage and claim that “Britain is showing the way”). However, I continue to have faith in the British public’s ability to understand a logical argument when they hear one, and if we keep plugging away at point 4, I think (and certainly hope) that eventually they will rebel. Reading Vinny’s comment on Open Mic about the surge of support for the party formed by Dutch farmers fighting the agenda in the Netherlands offers hope for the future.

    By all means, point out the flaw in 1-3, but major on 4 would be my advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Remember how Ronald Reagan in the 80s’ went against Cold War Detente group thinking
    from Kissinger and Foreign Policy Establishment? Reagan re-framed the Cold Wars as a
    battle of ideas and Marxist Leninism as a vile idea to be defeated. If you think in terms of
    of defeat or holding back the tide, well the enemy is already winning…

    That CO2 is a toxic, pervasive destroyer of life is wro-ong! Primo Levi got it right,
    like Ronald Reagan won the Cold War logic of the situation right imo. )

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Robin, this speech by Konsantin Kisin at the Oxford Union rather bolsters your contention (focus on 4).
    He delivers it it his usual witty and incisive way.

    The whole speech is worth watching, but he gets into the main thrust at 02:17 (the poor of the world are not going to stop wanting to rise out of poverty and so will ignore climate wokery from those who are much better off than they are).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Those are two really pertinent comments, thanks, Beth and David – imo obviously! John Ridgway pointed to Kisin’s interview with Tucker Carlson recently on John’s latest thread. (I’ll try to link across to that later.) His presentation at the Oxford Union – and the fact it went viral – is really something to learn from. In line with this I agree that Robin is fundamentally right here – but Jerome Booth and Richard Lindzen have interesting nuances to add. I’d also been thinking about Reagan and the end of the Cold War again in the last week Beth. Powerful parallels there. Will do one or more links on that too – after watching the latest from the Uncommon Knowledge stable. It’s great to have Robin ‘on board’ so to speak!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The overriding and essential objective in the UK is the cancellation of Net Zero. The way to do it is to show it’s both ruinous and pointless. And has no redeeming features. It’s relatively easy to achieve that; and it’s getting easier. It would be a huge error to introduce extraneous factors that complicate what is really a simple case – a case that doesn’t benefit from a reference to climate science and could even be weakened by it.

    The important thing to remember is that the target is the voters – the general public – and via the voters the politicians. It’s not the true believers, not the cultists, not the alarmists, not the blob, not the Twitterati and not the MSM.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Cancelling Net Zero means cancelling the legislation which enacts Net Zero, which legally commits the UK to drastically reducing its carbon emissions. The basis for this legislation is ‘the science’, not what the rest of the world is doing or not doing. The Act imposes a duty upon the Secretary of State to unilaterally act on climate change. This is the problem:

    Duty to have regard to need for UK domestic action on climate change
    (1)In exercising functions under this Part involving consideration of how to meet—
    (a)the target in section 1(1) (the target for 2050), or
    (b)the carbon budget for any period,the Secretary of State must have regard to the need for UK domestic action on climate change.
    (2)“UK domestic action on climate change” means reductions in UK emissions of targeted greenhouse gases or increases in UK removals of such gases (or both).

    The ‘science’ says that we must act to drastically reduce GHG emissions and the UK is legally bound to play its part. The UK government does at least appear to recognise that getting to net zero via renewables is not technically feasible, therefore it appears to be switching to a renewed emphasis on nuclear. But cheap fossil fuel reserves still get left in the ground and nuclear can only generate electricity; you can’t cook with it or power your central heating with it. You can’t make steel with it. It also won’t power your car, your van, your lorry, your plane or your helicopter. So until such time as the pseudoscientific basis for eliminating carbon emissions is debunked and discredited, the government will not repeal the Climate Change Act.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. “The important thing to remember is that the target is the voters – the general public – and via the voters the politicians. It’s not the true believers, not the cultists, not the alarmists, not the blob, not the Twitterati and not the MSM”

    Well I don’t recommend not banging on about 4; the more that the huge gap between reality and cult policies is exposed, the more pressure there will be for delay or compromise on NZ. I merely point out that it isn’t a magic bullet, because we are indeed facing all of the above, united in a world-wide secular religion, which in many places including the UK has embedded itself in law (as Jaime points out), and has an almost complete capture of elites (except most US Republicans). If all the main parties are believers in catastrophism, voting is not a particularly useful tool, and due to the combined proselytization of all the above groups, large slices of the public are emotively convinced too. While we may be grateful for any delay or compromise won on NZ, the West will still steer resolutely towards it while the religious fervour for catastrophism holds sway; I think to undo climate law means that the religion of catastrophism would have to be unravelled first. Most youngsters, even some technically orientated ones, appear to honestly believe that we must ‘tackle’ this ‘crisis’ (hardly surprising, considering the level of emotive cultural messaging they have been exposed to in their formative years), which is very unhelpful for mass resistance or targeting the culture itself.


  16. Richard,

    To reach any target audience, it is important that those who you would wish to listen to your arguments are available and receptive. Unfortunately, we seem to be in a position in which any argument against net zero, including those that challenge points 1 to 4 inclusive, will be flagged to the public as pathological and ill-motivated, by those seeking to control the narrative. The efforts of the likes of Lewandowsky are particularly pernicious in this respect because they purport to justify their strategies by recourse to neuroscience and cognitive psychology. They claim to be making a scientific point. However, Lewandowsky’s ‘critical ignoring’ has as much to do with neuroscience as eugenics had to do with Darwinian evolution. The only difference is that it isn’t the gene pool that they are trying to clean up but the meme pool.

    You can be as logical and rational as you like, but the real battle is not to win the argument, but to be allowed a platform upon which to argue. That is why I linked to Kisin’s interview. The fact that his Oxford debate had gone viral seems significant. However, it also why I then linked to the Russell Brand podcast. From that, it can be seen that the battle to be heard is still a desperate one. In a very real sense, there is an existential threat but it is not one due to rising sea levels.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. John: Lindzen and Booth both think the ordinary person is highly receptive to arg 4 and I agree. Booth says that, once they’re convinced by arg 4, and they will be, at that point they will discover and/or decide that the science is also crap. This doesn’t follow strictly logically – it’s just the way people operate!

    Jerome Booth has written a whole book about this but I just went to the launch at the House of Commons – except of course you’re not allowed to launch books and other products in those rooms bookable and hosted by an MP or peer. So I’m speaking out of turn at many levels.

    Toby Young was at the GWPF/New Zero Watch event concerned and criticised Booth’s approach in certain ways. I remember thinking he had a point too.

    I’m an agnostic on how exactly “Tear Down This Wall” will be fulfilled in this area. But I think, this time too, the speed may take quite a few pundits by surprise.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Richard,

    I concede that point 4 seems to be the low hanging fruit that is the most easily challenged, as long as your potential audience hasn’t been turned away at the door by Lewandowsky’s bouncers. I think their ‘inoculation’ goes something like this:

    If you want to recognise the bad actor, look out for him/her claiming that net zero is unachievable in the proposed timescale and would be prohibitively expensive, when the truth is that renewables are cheaper and more secure. And be particularly wary if they seem to be making sense.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Jaime,

    Your observations about the 2008 CC Act are accurate. As you say, ‘The basis for this legislation is ‘the science’, not what the rest of the world is doing or not doing.’. And, it’s precisely because it’s what the rest of the world is not doing that matters that I’m certain that the Act must be repealed. Of course I understand that persuading enough politicians to effect that would be extraordinarily difficult and that, even if enough were persuaded, it would be a vast, complex and highly controversial enterprise. But, as attempting to implement Net Zero would be an utter disaster for our country, I have no doubt that pushing to get all this to happen must be worthwhile. Remember: the way to persuade the politicians is first to persuade the voters – the general public. And I believe that would be easier than many people think: they’re concerned with practical realities (e.g. they don’t want EVs, heat pumps, more expensive food and energy, power cuts etc.) – and they don’t have first to be persuaded that the case for eliminating carbon emissions has first to be debunked. All they have to get to grips with is the simple fact that Net Zero is going to harm them without making any real impact on global emissions.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Andy,

    Of course I don’t believe that item 4 is a magic bullet. But nor do I believe we are threatened by a world-wide secular religion. Yes, there is such a thing, but I’ve little doubt that its adherents are a small but very vocal – yet fading – minority that would soon crumble away in the face of harsh reality: do they really want people to die when the wind doesn’t blow? The reception for Konstantin Kisin’s speech and its subsequent popularity were hugely encouraging: many people, and especially young people, are not really taken in by catastrophism and have no difficulty in appreciating sound, well-made argument.


  21. John,

    I don’t see ‘the likes of Lewandowsky’ (why is CliScep so obsessed with him?) having a serious impact on public concerns about the practical and deleterious impacts of Net Zero policies. But I agree with you about the battle is to achieve a platform upon which to argue. That I think is the immediate challenge – a challenge that must be met and overcome.


  22. Robin,

    I think it all started with Lewandowsky’s obsession with the likes of Cliscep, when he did his faux survey of sceptical bloggers. You need to talk to Geoff Chambers about this because it is all a bit before my time. More recently it has probably been myself more than anyone else who has remained obsesed with him (and his like, such as John Cook). This is probably because I obsess over people who peddle damaging psuedoscience, and when it comes to the question of the psychology of scepticism, it seems that all the worst stuff has his name on it (see the Debunking Handbook, for example). Whether or not this is something worth worrying about very much depends upon how influential you think an academic can be. But I have to say that his work with Cook seems to be enjoying far too much publicity in schools, many of which seem to have been encouraged to adopt his propaganda on critical thinking (for example, FLICC, the Debunking Handbook and the ‘inoculation’ stuff). That, at least, I think should be cause for concern.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. “Yes, there is such a thing, but I’ve little doubt that its adherents are a small but very vocal – yet fading – minority that would soon crumble away in the face of harsh reality: do they really want people to die when the wind doesn’t blow? The reception for Konstantin Kisin’s speech and its subsequent popularity were hugely encouraging: many people, and especially young people, are not really taken in by catastrophism and have no difficulty in appreciating sound, well-made argument.”

    Bulk public attitudes to climate change across nations are anything but rational, and show classic cultural patterns. Far from fading, those patterns are stronger in recent years, and even the whole covid episode seems to have made little dint on them. Young people are subject to far less surveys, but such data as exists suggests that in general they’re significantly more culturally convinced than are adults. While less than 10% of publics in any nation place action on climate change higher than pretty much anything else, and down to only 3% in religious nations, in an absolute sense these are not small numbers of core believers, and such ardent minorities within strong cultures can gain greatly disproportionate leverage on policy and social behaviour alike (which leverage can also be measured), especially where they’ve captured elites, which in the UK case is almost across the board.

    In a rational sense, no-one wants anyone to die needlessly, but we aren’t dealing with rationality. Where cultural or other instinctive drives (e.g. herd instinct) highlights deaths, actions to prevent them can be raised above all other considerations, as happened with covid deaths. However, when the same potent factors work against such deaths as being important, like the tens of thousands of excess cold deaths that have occurred in bad UK winters for decades, or indeed the current spate of non-covid excess deaths, one may scarcely hear a peep. So while Kisin’s speech was great and there are various other hopeful signs, I don’t think one can simply wish away the very daunting social data, or the unfortunately harsh *cultural* reality that Net Zero is already written into our laws, and even in the face of a major energy crisis and a major European war, continues to enjoy support from all the main UK political parties; one can only imagine how far forward its support would have lurched in the absence of these factors.

    As I noted before, none of this means we shouldn’t bang on about item 4). What is your estimated date on ‘soon crumble’, and what does ‘crumble’ consist of exactly?

    Liked by 1 person

  24. This is a good article in defence of science and a more holistic approach generally to combating the climate change cult. I don’t agree with everything in the article: some analysis is a little too simplistic, but this resonates quite strongly with my own views:

    “Environment is the most pivotal to human survival, no doubt. Without water and a healthy soil, we will have no food… no matter how technology is advanced; and we cannot be healthy without clean air. Rapid urbanization in developing nations is causing serious problems like depletion of groundwater and dangerous pollution; deforestation and human encroachment are impacting biodiversity and leading to extinction of many animals, birds, insects and plants; and toxic chemicals from industries can destroy lives in lakes and rivers. There is no doubt that these challenges need to be addressed urgently.

    However, the solution will entail a holistic approach that truly understands nature — not the current “climate change” ideology that simplifies the complex issue to ridiculous slogans, creates a fear-campaign-driven ideological fervor that shuts down rational debates, and misdirects the efforts of scientists.

    Climate is chaos theory to the power million. There is no formula and there is no supercomputer that can predict the climate. All the climate models are computer programs written by humans based. These models are laughably simplistic, relative to the earth’s ecosystem.

    Let’s not forget that trillions of dollars are at stake with the climate change campaign. Nothing corrupts science more than money. We have already seen that with Big Pharma and Big Food. Those who fund studies predetermine the conclusions. Of course, scientists are humans and they can find global warming or cooling based on confirmation bias or cherry-picking data. Plus, people who are against the dogma are severely punished. Eventually scientists, media and politicians jump on the bandwagon, creating mass psychosis.

    Science has been turned into a battle of ideological screaming. And that is a sign of faulty science and/or fake claims.

    Unable to win logical debates, the globalists and their minions scream, “Trust the Science!” or “Science is settled!” Well, that kind of dogmatic attitude is appropriate for religious indoctrination. However, science is all about questioning and critical analyses.

    When everything fails, these ideologues cry, “Climate denialism.” What the heck is that — supposed to sound like “Holocaust denialism”? These people are guilty of “logic denialism.”

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Jaime Jessop

    Yes to paragraph 2 re the environment.
    Yes to paragraph 4 re the models.
    Regarding CO2 , how is plant food
    a toxic menace to human life? …Or
    dogs, those most benign of critters? 🙂

    …A serf wonders.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Andy: my item 4 doesn’t preclude ‘action on climate change’. Yes, it rules out pointless action: the UK making further cuts to its 0.9% of global emissions isn’t going to make any difference when countries emitting over 70% are intent on increasing theirs. But look at my first CliScep post. I said there that we should abandon Net Zero and ‘come to terms with international political reality by prioritising a strong and growing economy … and … encouraging research into the development of technologies for delivering practicable, reliable, inexpensive low emission energy…’. I suggest some of the more sensible believers might see that as a positive way forward.

    Re climate change, I have no doubt that the times they are a-changin. As are attitudes – even those of elites, alarmists and politicians. Just consider:

    Sunak’s 5 priorities don’t include NZ.

    Hunt’s budget does little for NZ.

    Growing government concern at how NZ would increase dependence on China.

    The Bank of England downgrading its climate programmes to focus on UK financial stability.

    Recent National Audit Office report says that lack of a cost estimate or delivery plan mean ‘DESNZ cannot be confident its ambition to decarbonise power by 2035 is achievable’.‘

    Plans to install heat pumps in millions of homes in disarray.

    Fears of NZ threat to UK motor industry emerging.

    Public don’t support Extinction Rebellion.

    Putin’s invasion of Ukraine exposed inadequacy of renewables.

    Konstantin Kisin speech goes viral.

    Huge appeal of the ‘new’ Russell Brand.

    Extraordinary success of Dutch farmers’ protest party.

    St Greta’s attack on Norwegian wind farm.

    Biden approves huge Alaskan oil drilling project.

    SVB insolvency exposes ESG (environmental, social and governance) problems. Also Credit Swiss?

    German/Italian pushback against EU ICE phaseout plans.

    And more.

    Of these, the Dutch farmers’ triumph shows how quickly public attitudes can change, demonstrating how peoples’ views only firm up when faced with real issues directly affecting them – pushing fears of catastrophe aside. I believe there’ll be many other examples as NZ begins to bite.

    Despite all this, I acknowledge that the chances of the CC Act being repealed, although not impossible, are remote. It’s particularly unlikely to happen under what’s left of the Conservative administration. And Labour? Well, surprising things can happen when voters exhibit strong opposition to policy. We’ll see.

    A final comment. I suspect that in any case the whole farrago might unravel quite soon as government faces up to three huge obstacles:

    1. grid capacity

    2. skills shortage

    3. vast cost

    Liked by 1 person

  27. “my item 4 doesn’t preclude ‘action on climate change’. Yes, it rules out pointless action”

    I never said anything about your item 4 precluding anything?? I’ve no idea what you’re talking about here.

    Re your list of talking points of progress, yes, to which we can add German push-back against EU phasing out of ICE. But the culture is deeply embedded, and as you note yourself: “Despite all this, I acknowledge that the chances of the CC Act being repealed, although not impossible, are remote.”

    This is exactly why I asked: “What is your estimated date on ‘soon crumble’, and what does ‘crumble’ consist of exactly?” Because for me crumble would mean the repeal of NZ, without which there will always be a constant battle, whether this sometimes goes well and sometimes goes badly. That there’s a list of such progress points means at last that there is actually a battle, which essentially for decades has not really been the case. But it still only means there’s a battle, not a victory 0:


  28. Andy,

    1. I didn’t claim that you’d said anything about that. My point was simply that not all ‘catastrophists’ are blind to reality and some adherents to the ‘catastrophe if we don’t act’ view would accept that research into the development of technologies for delivering practicable, reliable, inexpensive low emission energy would be preferable to taking pointless action.

    2. The German (and Italian) pushback was the last item on my list.

    3. Yes, the culture may be deeply embedded – but as I’ve shown it’s becoming increasingly less so.

    4. It was referring to what you described as ‘a world-wide secular religion’ when I said it would crumble away in the face of harsh reality. When might that happen? I suggest the evidence I’ve listed shows that it’s already beginning to happen. As I said, I believe there’ll be many other examples as NZ begins to bite.

    5. ‘But it still only means there’s a battle, not a victory.’ I agree.


  29. “Yes, the culture may be deeply embedded – but as I’ve shown it’s becoming increasingly less so.”

    You have not shown this at all 0: Quite apart from the fact that what you have shown is circumstantial not quantitative, it shows only that there is an increasing reaction to its increasingly blatant actions. But this could be the case even if the culture is still growing at the same time (especially as cultures are polarising).

    “When might that happen? I suggest the evidence I’ve listed shows that it’s already beginning to happen.”

    Well if a “crumble” is anything between the retraction of NZ and what is already happening now, albeit you think this is currently the smaller end of ‘crumble’, then I think this is not a definition that provides any help in assessing the situation, bar an optimistic encouragement to fight 0:

    At least we agree on your number 5 🙂


  30. At least we agree on your number 5

    And that it seems is all we agree upon. A pity.


  31. Did somebody mention Russell Brand?

    “Russell Brand is the latest to platform climate conservative Bjørn Lomborg’s ‘reckless’ net-zero cost claims
    The Danish commentator has been accused of continuing to misrepresent findings about the costs of cutting emissions, despite pleas from scientists”

    If you like your YouTube content to have plenty of references to global elites, industrial complexes, “freedom” and the conservative conspiracy theory of a “Great Reset”, then the British comedian and actor Russell Brand’s channel might be for you.

    Brand has more than 6 million subscribers on YouTube and this week his channel turned to the Danish political scientist, Bjørn Lomborg, for a “debate” (not really a debate) on climate change…

    …During the segment on Brand’s “Stay Free” show, viewed 315,000 times in the four days after it was published, Lomborg argued that renewable energy was too expensive and appeared to try to undermine the role that batteries play in storing renewable energy….

    How appalling. We mustn’t let reality intrude, must we? The rest of the article is worth reading, to see the “logic” on display at the Guardian.

    Apologies, Robin, if this is slightly O/T from your article.


  32. Only slightly Mark. I listed Brand as an example of how times and attitudes are a-changing – a matter emphasised by your extract from the Guardian. ‘viewed 315,000 times in the four days. Hmm … a good example I suggest of a culture ‘deeply embedded’ becoming increasingly less so. Unfortunately Andy wouldn’t agree.


  33. “And that it seems is all we agree upon”

    We also agree that NZ is bad and that the battle is worthwhile. Surely much more than we disagree on.

    And so the Brand interview and reaction for instance, whatever further inferences one might want to draw from it, is very welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. “Lomborg argued that renewable energy was too expensive and appeared to try to undermine the role that batteries play in storing renewable energy.”

    That’s terrible. Why would Lomborg do such a thing?

    “This situation is beautifully captured by the German word Dunkelflaute (meaning dark doldrums). It is critical that we store enough renewable electrical energy that has been produced during periods of excess generation – such as those during favourable wind conditions – for the inevitable Dunkelflaute periods that follow. But this is far from easy. And thanks to detailed studies on future electricity storage requirements and cost, we know it is not cheap either.

    We will need adequate excess renewable generation capacity pre-Dunkelflaute to ensure that stored electricity is available over any such period. On a cold winter’s day in the UK, for example, the country requires at least 40 GW of electricity, which equates to about 1 terawatt-hour (TWh). If half of that comes from variable renewables, then on a challenging Dunkelflaute day we will need to have stored 0.5 TWh – assuming that the other 50% is composed of non-renewable sources of gas, nuclear and biomass.

    The situation is starker still for a period of 10 successive Dunkelflaute days – a not-uncommon situation in a typical British winter – where we would need some 5 TWh of battery storage. To get an idea of the price tag, we know that the energy company InterGen is currently building a 1 GWh lithium-ion battery-storage facility at DP World London Gateway, a new port on the Thames Estuary in south-east England. It will cost about £300m to build, so a simple extrapolation would mean that having a 5 TWh capacity would be £1.5 trillion. If we depended entirely on renewable electricity, the corresponding battery storage cost would be £3 trillion. This is clearly unfeasible, so what else could we do?”

    The UK government and wind energy nutters are very fond of quoting battery storage (available and planned) in terms of POWER (GW).

    “There is currently 4 GW of storage projects in planning which could power a combined 6 million homes, in addition to the 1 GW of battery storage already in operation.”

    This is totally misleading as the above passage illustrates. You can have a huge array of batteries deliver 1GW for a few hours, but if the wind is still not blowing, and it’s cold, and it’s winter and your solar panels are providing diddly squat usable power, then you need batteries which are going to store enough energy to power millions of homes and businesses continuously for at least 24 hours, maybe even days. Even if the UK could ‘sustainably’ source the raw materials to build such a fleet of batteries, it would cost trillions. This is not even accounting for the fact that electricity demand will double or triple when the nation is forced to heat their homes via electric and travel using EVs.

    Lomborg doesn’t need to undermine the role that batteries play in storing renewable energy – the cold hard facts do that all by themselves. Nasty horrible facts:

    “We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious battery storage. He stole it from us. Sneaky little Lomborgses. Wicked, tricksy, false! Guardian hateses facts!”

    Liked by 3 people

  35. While it’s been fun reading all these arguments, let me interrupt with a quote.

    This is from a ship’s, Chief Engineer and he said

    “Many people are amazed when things fail. As an Engineer, it amazes me when things work. If it’s man-made, it can fail…”

    I suspect that such observations would be echoed by many who maintain the country’s infrastructure, especially the grid. Given what we know about the falling resilience of power generation, I would not be surprised if Net Carbon Zero was ended, not by rational arguments leading to a change in the law, but by a catastrophic grid failure leading to large parts of the country without power for a considerable time.

    Liked by 4 people

  36. Jaime:

    Did you see this? It’s shadow Labour minister Jon Ashworth’s absurd waffle when Andrew Neil asks him what would happen when there’s no more gas and the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine: LINK. Not that a member of the current government would be likely to have a better answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Bill,

    A brilliant quote. You may well be right about the mad project being ended by a catastrophic failure. Perhaps our best hope is that it’ll end before it starts because of inadequate grid capacity.


  38. Jaime (yesterday): what proportion of politicians do you think understand the difference between power and energy?

    A follow-up question for anyone to punt at (with more relevance to the head post): what proportion of politicians have any understanding at all about the way the electricity grid works? I will cheerfully admit that I only have a rudimentary understanding of such matters, and I have made (perhaps accurately described as desultory) attempts to learn about them. I am grateful to Chris Morris for widening my understanding about such matters in comments under


  39. Jit,

    Yes, this comment from Chris Morris:

    “Politicians have an uncanny knack of believing they can over-rule the laws of physics. All they have to do is make some pronouncement, or bring in a new regulation, and it will magically happen. Hydrogen can be made at a lower cost than fossil fuels or batteries will become very cheap – that type of thing. And the public at large lets them get away with it.
    How many MPs have a genuine science or engineering background? Do they know the difference between a MW and MWh? How many worked in construction project management? That is where the problem is. We have a ruling class with no engineering literacy..”

    But isn’t that what the ‘experts’ are supposed to do? Advise the politicians? Also, if you don’t know the difference between instantaneous power, measured in Watts (Joules per second) and storage capacity/energy used, measured in Watt hours (=3600 Joules) you really shouldn’t be teaching in Kindergarten, let alone leading the country. Most of these people had the benefit of a first class public education and I can’t believe they don’t even know the basics of physics and SI standard units. Admittedly, understanding how the grid works is a lot more complicated. My suspicion is that most politicians responsible for these reports do know the difference (which is probably a small proportion of all MPs) and they are deliberately trying to mislead the public by confusing the two. Never ascribe to stupidity that which is adequately explained by conspiracy!


  40. Much of people’s ignorance of physical units is not really due to straightforward ignorance but to lack of use. In everyday use when would someone (even one with a physics Alevel) have the ability to remember the difference between a MW and a MWh? I find the same problem with new (or relatively new) words. I have lost count of the number of times I have had to look up the meaning of the word “gaslighting “. I am constantly forgetting it. In the same manner the use of some SI units can momentarily disappear requiring a reminder to bring it into focus.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. “We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious battery storage. He stole it from us. Sneaky little Lomborgses. Wicked, tricksy, false! Guardian hateses facts!”

    I’ve missed you Jamie 🙂


    I find the same problem with new (or relatively new) words. I have lost count of the number of times I have had to look up the meaning of the word “gaslighting “. I am constantly forgetting it. In the same manner the use of some SI units can momentarily disappear requiring a reminder to bring it into focus.

    I resemble that remark! Eventually gaslighting did enter my workable lexicon, with the patient help of my personal wiki. But I think you’re dead right on units we don’t have need of using most of the time.

    This has been a superb thread, thanks Robin and Mark (as his amanuensis).

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Thanks Richard.

    The origin of this thread is quite interesting. I’d had two articles published by TCW (was The Conservative Woman): HERE and HERE. But, when I offered them a third, Kathy Gyngell (the editor) turned me down because, she said, it wasn’t saying anything new. So I offered it to Mark who kindly agreed to publish it. I then showed him the correspondence I’d had with Kathy and he suggested that I might turn one of my emails to her into a short article. Hence this thread.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Alan, not MWh or GWh maybe, but certainly kWh, which are basically the same thing, but smaller. We all have all have electric meters which register kWh and that’s what appears on our bills. If, like most people, a person is struggling to pay sky-high electricity bills, they should at least be aware that 1 unit of electricity = 1kWh = energy used by a 1kW heater running continuously for an hour. (Obviously, this doesn’t apply to MPs!) A thousand such heaters running continuously will require a grid battery with a capacity of at least 1MWh; a million, 1GWh.


  44. I want to go back to Beth’s comment two days ago:

    Remember how Ronald Reagan in the 80s’ went against Cold War Detente group thinking
    from Kissinger and Foreign Policy Establishment? Reagan re-framed the Cold Wars as a
    battle of ideas and Marxist Leninism as a vile idea to be defeated. If you think in terms of
    of defeat or holding back the tide, well the enemy is already winning…

    That CO2 is a toxic, pervasive destroyer of life is wro-ong! Primo Levi got it right,
    like Ronald Reagan won the Cold War logic of the situation right imo. )

    I’ve now watched the video and I think it’s excellently good! And I think Beth is right on the button on how it applies to our ‘situation’ in wanting to overturn the madness of Net Zero. (Aside: Do you have a reference on Primo Levi talking about CO2 or at least Carbon? I assume that’s in The Periodic Table but I’d be very interested.)

    Will Inboden, who’s done the new biography of Reagan as a foreign policy wonk (deliberately provocative language from me there), is trying among other things to undo the Guardian’s view of the guy as an “amiable dunce”. (Not just the Guardian but almost all the MSM and academia, then and since, in their superior intelligence and moral faculties, as they show us every day on climate.)

    This belittling goes against some key facts, as Inboden shows, expertly prompted by a very unbiased Peter Robinson, who wrote speeches for President Reagan, including the famous “Tear Down This Wall” given in Berlin! To learn about the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that led to that speech being given by the President, in the teeth of opposition from all his much more learned senior aides, do also watch this:

    C’mon it’s only a total of two hours out of your day to watch both! I only discovered the Andrew Roberts podcast in the last ten days, including this episode from May last year. (Way behind the pace as usual.)

    But what these two videos show me is that overturning something this pervasively evil requires people at the Reagan level and others at a very junior level like Peter Robinson in the 1980s. But such junior people have to have laser-like focus, just as Robin is schooling us in this post.

    Here endeth my first lesson! The second has to do with Konstantin Kisin. Because the motion was all about woke and he focused his laser-beam totally on climate alarmism. Isn’t that very, very strange?

    Liked by 3 people

  45. Richard,

    Thanks for links to two remarkable videos. My conclusion: even a junior person can get an important message across if: (1) the message is simple and easily understandable; (2) he/she gives focused attention to communicating that message; and (3) he/she has a platform (preferably a senior influential person) from which to communicate that message. And of course for us (CliScep) it’s (3) that’s the problem: we don’t have a platform that gives us access to the essential audience.

    I’ll offer myself as an example. Kathy Gyngell was of course right to say my article wasn’t saying anything new. Look at this article published (by Paul Matthews of this parish) in 2014 (the year before CliScep was founded). And then compare it with this (the article rejected by TCW) published here a week ago. The same message – even the same phrasing in places. But who’s listening?

    I think we agree that stopping Net Zero is desperately important. But, without a platform, what hope have we of achieving that? Not much, I fear – although I don’t think that should stop us from trying. Our best hope I think is that, before it’s too late, reality will cause voters and politicians to recognise the foolishness of trying to implement the policy. And there are signs that that may be beginning to happen. But that’s not the result of anything we – or likeminded people – have done.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Robin: “that’s not the result of anything we – or likeminded people – have done.”

    Probably true, but it’s a sure sign that what we have been saying is correct. Perhaps, when I (in an earlier comment on this thread) expressed my confidence that the British people are capable of greater displays of logic than our policy-makers and politicians, I have over-reached. Nevertheless, it will be the people who bring net zero to an end – once it inevitably sees them living in cold, damp (due to inappropriate insulation in inappropriate properties) houses that they can’t afford to heat with expensive and inefficient heat pumps; once their foreign holidays (assuming they can afford to take them) are rationed; once their efficient and reliable (and fillable in 5 minutes) ICE cars have been taken off them and replaced with EVs that they can probably neither afford to buy nor to fuel (due to the massive increases in electricity costs down the line due to the abandonment of cheap and efficient fossil fuels), they will rebel, of that I am sure. If only net zero threatened their smart phones – it would be over in no time!

    The faster the politicians push net zero at us, the quicker they will seal its death. It sows the seeds of its own destruction.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Been travelling on the heavenly Mornington Peninsular, Flinders where Matthew Flinders
    rowed his Tom Thumb to chart the coast and where Greens are pushing for more wind
    turbine energy. Grrrrrrrrrr.

    Richard, I was referring above to Primo Levi on carbon, it’s the last piece in The Periodic Table..

    Liked by 1 person

  48. In the week that the IPCC issues yet another “last chance” warning, and demands that net zero plans be accelerated round the world by a decade, perhaps this story is another straw in the wind to add to Robin’s list of evidence that net zero in the UK is not going to last the course:

    “Campaigners fear loophole will let new homes in England be fitted with gas boilers
    Regulation may allow ‘hydrogen-ready’ boilers that can run on fossil fuel gas, and are unlikely ever to use hydrogen”

    Ministers are preparing to allow new houses to continue to be fitted with gas boilers, long after they were supposed to be phased out, campaigners fear.

    A loophole being considered for the forthcoming future homes standard, a housing regulation in England intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from newly built homes in line with the net zero target, would allow new homes to be fitted with “hydrogen-ready” boilers.

    However, experts have told the Guardian that these are functionally not much different from standard gas boilers. “Hydrogen-ready” boilers can be used with fossil fuel gas, of the kind used by most of the UK’s existing housing stock, and experts fear they are unlikely ever to use hydrogen, as many studies have shown that hydrogen is likely to be too expensive, and face too many technical challenges, to be widely used for home heating.

    This means that stipulating that such “hydrogen-ready” boilers could be fitted in new homes, instead of genuinely low-carbon heating such as heat pumps, would risk tying millions of households into fossil fuel use for the long-term, and imperil the UK’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

    Fitting gas boilers, including “hydrogen-ready” boilers, at a cost of about £2,000 each, is cheaper for housing developers than fitting heat pumps, which can cost more than £5,000 for developers to install and £12,000 for households.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. Beth: Thanks. I have to read that book. In December in London I met a lovely man whose father had been a slave labourer in Auschwitz, like Levi. Like so many of these ‘unspeakable’ things, he really wanted to speak about it. His dad was obviously an amazing fellow – and engineer – but he only shared about these experiences late in his life. His son really regrets that he knew so little about it. Levi did write about it all and so beautifully. But it seems it was too much for him to bear in the end. A reminder than others have faced far greater challenges than we ever have.

    Mark: Very encouraging.

    Robin et al: I will come back to the Reagan/Cold War analogy. It’s really inspired me. It does show what we’re lacking but I still find hope in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Beth, I doubt I shall ever get to explore the wild and wonderful Mornington Peninsula, but me and the dogs did regularly visit the lovely little church in the village of Donington, Lincolnshire, where Flinders was born and where there is a memorial dedicated to him. Ironic that there is a nearby huge onshore wind farm plus the construction of the Viking Link which will import wind energy from Denmark to England. They’ve blighted Flinders’ birth place with these monstrosities; now they want to blight Mornington Peninsula too, so that the memorial dedicated to Flinders 12,000 miles away from Donington can also look out upon an array of worse than useless, environmentally damaging turbines.

    Liked by 3 people

  51. Mark,

    The proposed boiler technology is a superb example of Robust Decision Making at its best. And yet the article refers to campaigners and experts fearing resultant risk. These people seem to love turning logic on its head.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. Richard,

    A reminder than others have faced far greater challenges than we ever have.

    True. In the 1980s I was CEO of the European HQ of an LA-based electronics group. It’s President, whom I was privileged to know as a friend, was a Hungarian Jew who, after the Nazis had taken power in Budapest, was interned in Auschwitz. He was 16. Unlike the rest of his family, he survived and, after many adventures, settled in the US where became a leading electronics engineer – having a major role in the development of colour TV and GPS. An impressive and remarkable man.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. John:

    The proposed boiler technology is a superb example of Robust Decision Making at its best. And yet the article refers to campaigners and experts fearing resultant risk. These people seem to love turning logic on its head.

    Looked at another way, the proposed boiler technology is a trap, from an infuriated government, that the greens have beautifully fallen into.

    When I say ‘infuriated government’ I don’t mean Chris Skidmore. I do mean Kemi Badenogh. Do I mean Rishi Sunak, Jeremy Hunt or Michael Gove? You know, I don’t even know. But I do see it as a rather delicious trap, which is why I said “very encouraging” to Mark earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. It is has a while since I commented, but Robin’s short article on climate policy is a subject to which I have recently given some thought recently. I do not think makes a very strong falsification of the policy case. A much stronger case consists of three parts that I will comment on separately.
    1. The limitations of the Paris Climate Agreement
    2. The actual failure of the COP process to drastically reduce emissions this decade. Indeed they will rise.
    3. The total failure when setting emissions targets to address the issue of abundant reserves of fossil fuels in the ground.

    1. The limitations of the Paris Climate Agreement

    Article 4.1 of the Paris Agreement States

    In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2, Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

    Click to access english_paris_agreement.pdf

    Unlike Robin, I have no legal training, but it seems to me that if global net zero is desired by either 2050 or 2070 (the 1.5C and 2C “warming” targets) the fact that developing countries with >60% of global emissions have no obligation to even stop their emissions rising is a policy constraint almost impossible to overcome. I say almost impossible, as developed countries (essentially OECD countries) could commit to massive net negative emissions by 2050 to offset. The fact that this has not been seriously addressed in the COP conferences is sufficient to doom the policy to failure.

    But there are still two other issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Robin: The Hungarian Jews of that generation were truly remarkable. From John von Neumann to those like your friend who weren’t so lucky – at least initially. I was indebted in July to Dominic Cummings pointing, on his blog, to Book Review: The Man From The Future by Scott Alexander. My comment to Cummings at the time (sadly paywalled):

    I took me a while to get round to reading it but thanks greatly for pointing to Scott Alexander’s review of the biography of von Neumann. The mystery of ‘The Martians’ solved? It’s well worth asking the question, especially now the heroic efforts of Rudi Vrba to save the Jews of Budapest in 1944 have had a proper spotlight shone on them by Jonathan Freedland’s brilliant book. But von Neumann being safe and able to thrive in America was something else with massive ramifications.

    Sorry to those who heard me go on about this at the time but I still find it very striking. Utter tragedy yet enormous heroism too.


  56. 2. The actual failure of the COP process to drastically reduce emissions this decade.

    <The UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2018 Executive Summary major point 2 stated

    Global greenhouse gas emissions show no signs of peaking. Global CO2 emissions from energy and industry increased in 2017, following a three year period of stabilization. Total annual greenhouse gases emissions, including from land-use change, reached a record high of 53.5 GtCO2e in 2017, an increase of 0.7 GtCO2e compared with 2016. In contrast, global GHG emissions in 2030 need to be approximately 25 percent and 55 percent lower than in 2017 to put the world on a least-cost pathway to limiting global warming to 2oC and 1.5oC respectively.

    From 01/01/2020 this gives a budget of about 630 GtCO2e for the 1.5oC target and 1340 GtCO2e for the 2oC target. This equates to around 12 years and 25 years of 2017 emissions.
    The EGR 2022 Executive Summary stated

    Global GHG emissions in 2030 based on current policies are estimated at 58 GtCO2e

    That is the 1.5oC emissions target will be blown through in early 2031. All the efforts of COP21 Paris and subsequent COPs have failed to stop emissions increasing, let alone get drastic cuts in global emissions. A consequence is that those countries like the UK who will reduce their emissions this decade cannot claim to be “leading the way in stopping climate change” as global emissions have not yet peaked, let alone started tracking downwards towards net zero and beyond.


  57. 3. The total failure to address the issue of abundant reserves of fossil fuels in the ground.

    McGlade & Ekins 2015 – The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2°C (doi 10.1038 Nature) estimated that the global distribution of fossil fuel reserves were around three times the 1100 GtCO2 of emissions that could be emitted between 2011 & 2050 to keep within the 2°C warming limited. In IPCC 2018 SR1.5 the assumptions were changed to allow more emissions before the 2°C and 1.5°C limits were exceeded, and GHG emissions were substituted for CO2 emissions. Yet pro-rata, from 01/01/2024 just 21 years of fossil fuel emissions will breach the 2°C warming limit and 8 years of emissions for the 1.5°C limit.
    Yet the BP statistical review of world energy 2020 xlsx spreadsheet that at current production levels that are around 132 years of coal reserves and 50 years of both oil and gas reserves. To achieve the 1.5°C warming limit requires leaving 94% of known reserves of coal in the ground & 84% of gas & oil. Now I know that for many countries they estimates of reserves are somewhat dodgy and likely overstated. On the other hand the US has been running on less than 10 years of gas and oil for 20 years or more and the production of both has increased massively in the last 15 years. Given that there is a huge political problem is getting the countries with most of these massive global reserves in the ground, as my pie charts indicate.

    Politically, shutting down fossil fuel production in the next few decades is nigh impossible.


  58. Richard:

    …the proposed boiler technology is a trap, from an infuriated government, that the greens have beautifully fallen into

    Perhaps you’re right. Sunak’s position on Net Zero is interesting. First he bans fracking and then he goes to COP 27 where he makes appropriate noises. Yet his ‘five priorities’ don’t include NZ and Hunt’s budget does little to support it. I suspect (hope) his intention may be to quietly sideline it without direct confrontation with the greens. But I suggest ‘seriously worried’ may be more accurate than ‘infuriated’.


  59. Sort of in line with manic’s comments:

    “Concern over Scotland’s carbon footprint rise despite net zero targets”

    SCOTLAND’s carbon footprint has risen from its lowest point in 2017 – despite national efforts to cut greenhouse gases to meet tough climate change targets, it has emerged.

    Official analysis shows that the total amount of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane that are generated by the public’s actions has dropped by nearly a quarter in the 21 years since 1998.

    But between 2017 and 2019 – there has been near 5% rise in our carbon footprint from million 72.4 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 1998 to 75.9 MtCO2e in 2019 – the most recent year for which data was available….

    No up-to-date data since 2019, but my guess is that emissions might have fallen slightly during covid lockdowns but will be rising again now. The article continues:

    The rise has been attributed to emissions embodied in goods and services from other countries and directly used by Scottish consumers which has risen from 25.8 to 31.0 MtCO2e.

    It made up nearly 58% of Scotland’s carbon emissions in 2019 – with 31% coming from consumers and 13% coming from business. In 1998 some 48.6% of the carbon footprint was from abroad including 21% from businesses and 27% from consumers.

    Some 26.5% of the imported emissions came from the EU, while 15% came from China and 11% from Africa….

    …Kim Pratt, circular economy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “It is deeply concerning that the proportion of Scotland’s carbon footprint which comes from imports rose again in 2019. Emissions from imports don’t count towards Scotland’s climate targets, which means they aren’t factored into the Scottish Government’s climate reduction plans and so they continue to rise….

    It’s a subject on which I opined here:

    How Do You Measure Hot Air?

    And as for observations about the failure of the Paris Agreement, I wrote about it here:

    A Lot of Hot Air

    And, for the sake of completeness, the third part of my introductory trilogy:

    More Hot Air


  60. Richard: that generation of Hungarian Jews was, as you say, remarkable. Here’s an obituary of my friend. Note: he was at Bergen Belsen, not Auschwitz.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Richard,

    The reason why I was encouraged is because it shows that someone, at least, was still thinking in risk management terms. I do not see it as a trap so much as a welcome dose of reality. Keeping options open should be a fundamental strategy when making decisions under uncertainty. I cannot see why these campaigners and experts can’t see that.

    Liked by 2 people

  62. Actually, perhaps I can. The Germans are not just famous for genocide, they are also well known for inventing compound words that have no direct English translation. The one that appears most appropriate for this occasion is ‘torschlusspanik’. This is the panic experienced when one is overwhelmed by the feeling that time is running out and it is perhaps already too late to act. It is such panic that may be clouding people’s judgement.


  63. The objective of my first CliScep article was to emphasise the importance of the UK abandoning Net Zero. In the current article (and this extraordinary thread) I hope I may have indicated how (and why) that might be achieved. Articles posted online today by Spiked and the Spectator are yet more evidence of why it’s essential that Net Zero is abandoned.

    The first is HEREand the second HERE.

    Compare this extract from the Spiked article:

    ‘… the latest IPCC document makes a preposterous demand of developed countries – that they should aim for Net Zero by 2040 rather than 2050. Apparently we should devote ourselves to achieving that expensive, anti-industry, anti-jobs goal of Net Zero 10 years earlier than planned.’

    With this from the Spectator:

    ‘Both [Xi and Putin] regard western democracies as decadent and in decline and share a culture of grievance and victimhood and an almost messianic vision of restoring imperial greatness.’

    Of course Xi and Putin are right about Western decline – and Net Zero is evidence of that – yet the IPCC would like to see that decline exacerbated. It’s exceptionally important that we abandon this absurd and dangerous policy.

    Liked by 3 people

  64. What we must realise is that the ‘decadent West’, by virtue of its climate change mania and its fanatical adherence to achieving net zero emissions has, either by design or by mind-blowing incompetence, given the Chinese economy a get out of jail free card enabling it to out-compete Western economies. To a lesser extent, it has provided the same to Russia. That’s why Trump withdrew from the Paris treaty. Now the phony war started in the Ukraine and escalated continuously by the ‘decadent West’ has driven Russia and China closer together and we are supposedly faced with the chilling prospect now of a ‘new world order’ initiated not by decadent Western leaders in thrall to the WEF and the bankers, but by the new ‘Axis of Evil’ that is Russia/China. I’m just a tad sceptical I must admit. China and the West were both malign actors in the Covid drama, which has so severely impacted western liberal democracies and destroyed our economies, leading to the current financial crisis, made worse by the avoidable conflict in Ukraine. The Biden crime family has deep ties to China. Biden’s very first act as Resident of the White House was to sign the US back up to the Paris Accord. Putin does indeed cut a lone figure, as pointed out by the Spectator. He doesn’t look comfortable having to do deals with Xi. I believe Putin’s Russia is more aligned with fading Western democracies and the tradition western family unit than it is with the putatively ‘communist’ Chinese Dragon. I believe our corrupt Western leaders are more aligned with Beijing than with Putin. Things are not as straightforward or as simple as they seem.

    Liked by 2 people

  65. Regarding Robin’s view that perhaps we should be optimistic regarding the impending doom of net zero:

    “The Guardian view on Europe’s green transition: moving to the slow lane?
    Germany’s rearguard defence of the combustion engine sends a disastrous signal in the race to meet net zero targets”

    The FDP is the driving force behind German opposition to Brussels’ plans to ban sales of new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035. Until this month, the date was considered a done deal, and constitutes a vital pillar of the EU’s strategy to reach net zero emissions by 2050. But Germany is now insisting that the European Commission offers a get-out clause, allowing car manufacturers to carry on producing the engines if they can find a way to deliver carbon-neutral “e-fuels” to run them.

    The highly technical nature of this debate risks obscuring its dangerous implications for Europe’s climate ambitions. In the context of economic pressures triggered by the war in Ukraine, there are disturbing signs that the mood music on net zero targets is changing. Italy’s prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, has begun to talk darkly about the potential impact of the “environmental push” on the country’s economic fabric. Her deputy, Matteo Salvini, has described the timetable for transition to electric vehicles as “economic and social suicide”, and a “gift” to China.

    The danger is that where Germany has self-interestedly led regarding its own flagship industry, other countries with their own preoccupations may follow. In the Netherlands, the success of a pro-farmer party at recent elections has led to speculation that a pledge by The Hague to halve nitrogen emissions by 2030 may not be met. EU plans to reduce emissions from intensive agriculture more generally have been scaled down. Other green goals, on chemicals and biodiversity, are being challenged. Climate laggards such as Poland and Hungary, whose governments have barely paid lip service to the 2050 zero emissions target, are doubtless scenting the possibility of fruitful alliances.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Flipping back onto the subject of wind power and battery capacity, GWPF have published an article which makes exactly the same points I made in a comment above. Paul Homewood has linked to the article on his website.

    “The wind blows somewhat more steadily offshore than onshore, as every sailor knows. Nevertheless, the unreliability inherent in wind energy persists. Figure 2 shows the wind power generated by all UK offshore windfarms in March 2022, as presented online on the Crown Estate website. Over some periods, it rose to the nominal installed capacity of 10 GW. However, for 8 days at the end of the month it averaged no more than 1.2 GW. The green rectangle (added) illustrates that 8.8 GW was not available for this time, presumably because the average wind speed halved. That much energy, 1600 GWh, is 1000 times the capacity of the world’s largest grid storage battery (1.6 GWh at Moss Landings, California). Battery technology has its own problems. It can provide for laptops and other portable applications, even car batteries at up to 75 kWh, but larger batteries have problems with safety and mineral shortages. Batteries 20 million times larger are never going to be available and storage batteries will never make good the failure of offshore wind farms, even for a week. And the wind can drop for longer periods than that.”

    Something I didn’t realise also is that the power generated by turbines varies wildly with fluctuations in wind speed, making it even more difficult to integrate wind energy into the grid:

    “But the performance of wind is much worse than that, as a look at the simple formula shows. Because the power carried by the wind depends on the third power of the wind speed, if the wind drops to half speed, the power available drops by a factor of 8. Almost worse, if the wind speed doubles, the power delivered goes up 8 times, and as a result the turbine has to be turned off for its own protection.”

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Manic, the inability of the COP process to drastically reduce emissions this decade has its origins in the UN’s first environment conference held in Stockholm in 1972: LINK.


  68. This one is still rumbling along, and I don’t think it will go away. Straws in the wind, indeed:

    “German government in crisis over EU ban on car combustion engines
    Green party accuses FDP of gambling away country’s reputation after last-minute blocking of phase-out from 2035”

    A clash over climate protection measures is threatening to unravel Germany’s three-party governing alliance, after the Green party accused its liberal coalition partners of gambling away the country’s reputation by blocking a EU-wide phase-out of internal combustion engines in cars.

    “You can’t have a coalition of progress where only one party is in charge of progress and the others try to stop the progress,” the country’s vice-chancellor and economy minister, Robert Habeck, said at a meeting of the Green party’s parliamentary group in Weimar on Tuesday.

    The pro-business Free Democratic party’s (FDP) last-minute opposition to EU plans to ban sales of new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035, which European leaders are hoping to resolve at a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, had damaged Germany’s standing in the bloc, Habeck said. “We are losing debates, we are getting too little support for our projects.”

    The German liberals’ sudden rethink has caused frustration not just in the ranks of its coalition partners but in other European capitals, where there are fears that the continent’s largest economy reneging on previously struck agreements will embolden other states to act in a similarly erratic fashion.

    FDP politicians argue that the phase-out in its current form risks destroying a German manufacturing industry that could in the future offer viable climate-neutral fuels as an alternative to purely battery-powered electric vehicles.

    “We in Germany master the technology of the combustion engine better than anyone else in the world,” the FDP transport minister, Volker Wissing, said on German television on Wednesday night. “And it makes sense to keep this technology in our hands while some of the questions around climate-neutral mobility remain unanswered.”..

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Of course, what follows might just be a combination of the Guardian’s usual climate hysteria and campaigning, but if what it reports is true, maybe it’s another straw in the wind to add to Robin’s optimism about the slow collapse of the net zero project:

    “UK planning to launch watered down net zero strategy in oil capital Aberdeen
    Exclusive: Labour decries ‘climate vandalism’ as launch plans signal intention to boost fossil fuel industry”

    The government is planning to launch its revamped net zero strategy from the UK’s oil and gas capital, Aberdeen, in a clear signal of its intention to boost the fossil fuel industry while cutting key green measures, the Guardian has learned.

    Next week’s launch was originally called “green day” in Whitehall, but has been rebranded as “energy security day” and will focus on infrastructure. Campaigners have called the move a travesty.

    Plans to extend offshore drilling for oil and gas will be cited as necessary to keep the lights on, and justified by investment in nascent carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, which is as yet untested at scale.

    The revamped net zero plans, including a green growth strategy, will contain major sops to the UK’s fossil fuel industries and will miss out on key green measures. The Guardian has learned that the plans, still under wraps before Thursday’s launch, will include the following:

    Ministers will refuse to force oil and gas companies to stop flaring by 2025, as recommended in the review of net zero by Chris Skidmore earlier this year.

    Ofgem will not gain important powers to include the net zero target in its regulation of the energy sector, effectively defanging the regulator.

    No overarching new office for net zero, as recommended in the Skidmore review.

    No compulsion on housebuilders to fit rooftop solar to new housing.

    No comprehensive nationwide programme for insulation of the UK’s draughty housing stock, as green groups have been calling for. Instead, the strongest insulation measure is likely to be a consultation on the private rented sector.

    The Treasury, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, and the Department for Business and Trade are at war over whether to introduce carbon border taxes.

    Major roles for carbon capture and storage technology and hydrogen, which could boost the oil and gas industry with questionable gains for the environment.

    The potential licensing of a massive new oilfield, Rosebank, under cover of investing in carbon capture and storage technology, which campaigners warn is “greenwash”….


  70. And the row about Germany’s attempts to save its car industry (and thereby its economy) rumble on:

    “Germany faces EU backlash over U-turn on phasing out combustion engine
    Row a further signal of tensions over the green deal landmark proposals to tackle climate crisis”

    Of course, if the German economy tanks, then so does its ability to fund the EU, so this could have deeper implications and ramifications, especially as and when the net recipients of EU largesse among its members work this out – at which point I would expect them to side with Germany.


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