Time for the Tories to Repeal The 2008 Climate Change Act

Energy Matters reader Doug Brodie has sent an email to all Tory MPs appealing for them to repeal the 2008 Climate Change Act. More on Doug’s email in a moment, but first a brief look at what the Climate Change Act says.

It is the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline.

And

Amendment of 2050 target or baseline year
The Secretary of State may by order
(a) amend the percentage specified in section 1(1);
(b) amend section 1 to provide for a different year to be the baseline year.

Hence, in is not actually necessary to repeal The Act since the secretary of State has powers to change the target, but since Amber Rudd is not going to be Secretary of State forever and nor will the Tories be in power for ever, they should in my opinion do the deed while the going is good.

In their manifesto the Tories said they would continue to support the UK Climate Change Act (Figure 1) which may make it tricky for them to repeal it. The energy policy section of their manifesto was a total dogs dinner, Green tinged in anticipation of another coalition? Well they actually have absolute power now and should place the best interests of UK citizens at the heart of energy policy, and seize the moment.

Figure 1 Guaranteeing you clean, affordable and secure energy supplies, from 2015 Tory manifesto. Click for large and readable version.

And so to Doug’s email to Tory MPs. In it Doug also provides a link to a 16 page pdf detailing his views on why climate science and energy policies designed to tackle it are flawed.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Why the Climate Change Act should be Repealed

I am a retired engineer who is horrified at how climate change political correctness is leading our country into electricity blackouts and economic decline, all for marginal climate and sustainability benefit. I have taken the liberty to sending this email to all Tory MPs because I expect that my MP Mr Drew Hendry will not support my case, as it goes against SNP policies. Only the Tory Party, now free from coalition constraints, can avert the impending disaster.

I urge you to read at least the opening and closing pages of my carefully referenced paper Why the Climate Change Act should be Repealed, which gives this disgruntled voter’s views on why so-called “climate change” is a non-problem and why the government’s efforts to tackle this non-problem are proving to be ineffectual yet destructive. My paper has been informally peer-reviewed by two professional experts. It gives plain speaking support to the arguments presented by ex-environment minister Owen Paterson in his lecture Keeping the Lights On, given last October at Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation think tank.

I believe that considered withdrawal from the costly, futile, destructive and, if reality is acknowledged, unattainable decarbonisation targets of the Climate Change Act would be popular with the public if explained properly, e.g. by emphasising the progress on energy efficiency (as opposed to failing, ruinous decarbonisation). It would leave the leftist parties in disarray, wedded as they are to the full climate change agenda of “money no object” futile internationalist gestures and statist, interventionist regulation and control.

The issue of climate change has an important bearing on the December Paris climate summit. I very much hope that we will avoid committing to any damaging, unattainable “UN world governance” emissions reduction targets. Repatriation of our energy policies should also be a major issue for the current EU renegotiations on the terms of continued UK membership, to be voted on by 2017.

Yours faithfully,
Douglas S Brodie, BSc

If you have a Tory MP and agree with Doug’s position then please send him or her an email urging them to prioritise this course of action.

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152 Responses to Time for the Tories to Repeal The 2008 Climate Change Act

  1. Wow, I would hope that MPs wouldn’t take much notice of this. The supporting PDF says that there has been a standstill in surface temperatures from 1998 to 2014. I’m not sure where woodfortrees got its data but the HADCRUT4 annual data mean shows 2005, 2010 and 2014 all warmer than 1998 (an exceptionally warm year at the time). 2015 is on track to be even warmer. So people should really stop reading his PDF right there. He also seems to think that CO2 doesn’t trap heat and doesn’t realise that over 90% of that trapped heat ends up in the oceans. He also doesn’t give an alternative explanation for the warming.

    Doug Brodie needn’t worry, though, since no effective action will be taken anyway, just as none has been taken up to now.

      • Oh dear, right on cue. Of course, we should only take into account those data and papers that match our beliefs and should never, ever, apply corrections to data even if we’ve found the original data to be wanting in some way. So Doug’s use of Hadcrut4 is suspect? But, hey, he doesn’t even use the “official” data, so what’s up with that.

        Gosh, the outright denial of science here is amazing.

    • JerryC says:

      I don’t disagree that what thsy’re doing now is ineffective, but what would constitute effective action against climate change?

      • I don’t disagree that what they’re doing now is ineffective, but what would constitute effective action against climate change?

        If we accept that rapid and drastic cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are the only way of saving the Earth from climate catastrophe then there’s no effective action that can be taken. This will become evident this December when the “last chance” Paris Climate Conference fails to come up with a meaningful global emissions reduction plan.

        • Peter Lang says:

          Roger,

          If we accept that rapid and drastic cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are the only way of saving the Earth from climate catastrophe

          I don’t think you meant to imply that you believe this, but I wonder why a person who has looked objectively into the relevant evidence would believe GHG could or will cause catastrophe.

    • Sean says:

      Mike, it does appear odd that the two data sets labelled as being from HadCrut appear to show different outcomes. HadCrut and others appear to ‘refine’ their data sets from time to time so perhaps Doug’s data set was an earlier one that has subsequently been updated. In any event, we are constantly being told that it ‘is the trend that is important’ and Doug produces some compelling evidence that the warming trend, pre-dates man made CO2 emissions acceleration (that has really only been a material factor (if at all) in the last several decades) and the recent peaks are ‘on trend’ with a process started before the industrial revolution (which is not really a useful reference point because, as mentioned, significant quantities of CO2 emissions are a more recent phenomena altho whether they are material enough to change climate, materially, (i.e. more than natural variation might) is the central area of debate.

      Doug makes some good points about the warmist community strongly advocating for warmist views and ignoring the science when not convenient. Mann’s replacement of late 20th century data from his tree ring series with thermometer readings is a good example – we know that thermometers are not reliable and readings are routinely subject to ‘homogenisation’ by people whose jobs depend on warming continuing. Euan has shown that process to be open to criticism.

      The stunts pulled to encourage an emotive response from non-scientists concerns me – Why did Hanson, NASA’s lead ‘scientist’ turn off the air con? Gore reversed settled science and projected a view of CO2 creating warmth when the ice core data etc makes clear that CO2 emissions increase with warmth – where was the science community then? We then have the IPCC ‘peer review process’ that failed to pick up on the ‘Himalaya’s will be ice free’ claim (I think tracked back to a tourist operator) and from what I can see is a process where ‘warmist advocates’ (usually lead authors) all review their own papers and approve them for publication. They bent over backwards to include Mann’s hockey stick (that produces the desired emotive response from non-scientists) even though it was at odds with settled science relating to similar warms periods throughout history that were included in previous reports.

      The IPCC itself is made up of ‘scientists’ who are heavily conflicted, some in the present or past pay of environmental activist groups. The (former) Chairman, Rajenda Pachauri, has written pieces for Greenpeace; others are active members of Greenpeace, the WWF and other environmental groups, the insurance industry or are affiliated to their Government’s UNFCC negotiations team. In fact, since 2008, the WWF has recruited IPCC scientists to join its parallel panel (as of 2011, 78 scientists where, in the 2007 IPCC report, 15 out of 44 chapters were led by WWF scientists with 3 chapters being led by two WWF and all chapters in Working Group 2 having at least one WWF affiliated scientist) These conflicts are not declared in the report (See The Delinquent Teenager Who was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert by Donna Laframboise see chapters 15 and 16 and the ‘Citizen’s Audit’ annexed). How acceptable would the IPCC reports be if scientists employed by oil companies were allowed on the panel and given leadership roles to write key parts of the report?

      I think removing reliance on fossil fuels is a good thing but needs to balance first world technology and wealth to replace fossil fuels with 3rd world energy poverty that cannot afford to do so. Oil companies build infrastructure that powers countries and brings electricity – light and heat – to ordinary people. Doing so has underpinned the first world development, lifestyle, life span. But it is the capacity to export the petroleum products that underpins 3rd world developments. 3rd world countries struggle to fund a power scheme (renewable or otherwise) with the associated power lines, meters and other infrastructure. A sizeable LNG development can with domestic infrastructure being part of the deal.

      Ultimately, in my view at least, the debate on climate change is unhelpful as it is distracting us from what the world really needs which is to get cheap power to those that need it. That will promote education, democracy and lower birth rates. It will also alleviate a lot of poverty, that seems to get lost in the cc debate.

      • Peter Lang says:

        Sean,

        Excellent comment. Thank you. I think you would find “AccessIPCC” of interest. It automatically annotates the citations in AR4 WG1 with:
        – Not peer reviewed
        – Model or simulation
        – Journal of concern
        – Author of concern
        – Self-reference concern
        and others

        It provides statistics for all the annotations for all of AR4.WG1.

        It also provides statistics of the links between authors, supervisors and subordinates, reviewers, journal editors, journal owners, peer reviewers and much more. It provides statistics on how far each person is from anyone else. Interesting, are the connections of virtually All the key players through to Maurice Strong.

        For an example of how to use it first read: https://accessipcc.wordpress.com/about-accessipcc/ . Next, click http://accessipcc.com/ and then scroll down as follows (looking at the summary statistics as you go):
        – the second table and click on the red “Physical science Basis
        – AR4-WG1-6
        – 6.3.1 What is the Relationship Between Carbon Dioxide and Temperature in this Time Period?
        – Figure 6.1

        Notice that almost all the citations for Figure 6.1, an extremely important figure, are ‘of concern’ for one reason or another. This is just one example of how poor are the IPCC major reports.

        Now go to Tome22 http://www.tome22.info/Top/index.html to see interrelationships of the key players in climate change. For example here are the statistics on Maurice Strong’s (the Godfather of Climate Change) relationships with the other people influential in climate change
        http://www.tome22.info/Persons/Strong-Maurice.html

        The site is not perfect, but is an interesting resource.

      • I don’t think Doug has made a compelling case that the cooling trend reversed before CO2 emissions started in earnest. Almost no climate scientist, or science association, agrees with him. I could pick many graphs that show otherwise. For example, here. Of course, there will be errors in scientific papers, and in accumulations of science, such as the enormous IPCC tomes, which aren’t peer reviewed in the same way as individual papers, but is based on them.

        As a recent study mentions, contrarian papers are rare but usually don’t even agree with themselves on the reason for the recent warming. Yes, it really only kicked in with a vengenance in the 70s, but we’ve had a rapid rise in emissions since then. Of course it’s warming; sea levels are rising, land ice is melting. The data are quite clear on that.

        As someone else pointed out, would you believe thousands of climate scientists around the globe, or Doug Brodie? By the way, the IPCC isn’t made up of scientists; it’s reports are compiled from existing scientific papers by scientists who don’t work for the IPCC and some of whom who give their valuable time, voluntarily, to compile those reports. It’s a thankless task.

        You may think poverty gets lost in the cc “debate” but the worry is that rapidly rising temperatures (as well as a warming and acidifying ocean) is a big risk, and will increase not only poverty but the health of everyone, as well as exacerbating the already underway sixth extinction event. But don’t worry, nothing significant will be done about climate change. Maybe this little blog, in it’s own way, is contributing to that inaction (though I doubt it), but characteristic human behaviour is the main culprit. Oh, and keep your fingers crossed for the alleviation of poverty, I think that’s probably as good a strategy as any.

  2. Peter Lang says:

    Excellent letter by Doug Brodie. I support it 100%. Doug, please come to Australia and help us too.

  3. A C Osborn says:

    I signed the original Government petition to repeal the act. see
    https://petition.parliament.uk/archived/petitions/42784

  4. Aidan says:

    As Mike Roberts says, Douglas S Brodie gives every impression of being a climate science denier.
    I appreciate that there are massive problems associated with trying to move to a society based on renewables – indeed it may not even be possible. This site has carried some excellent analysis of the challenges and the impossibility of meeting some of those challenges, but I feel that it would be deeply tragic for it to be hijacked by a tiny minority consisting of elderly Daily Mail/Sunday Telegraph types who refuse to address the massive double challenge of depleting affordable fossil fuels and rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere and oceans.

    • Douglas S Brodie gives every impression of being a climate science denier.

      I have to agree that his report would have been better if it had been written in a less strident tone, but your use of the “d” word is unwelcome and inappropriate. Brodie has obviously spent a lot of time researching climate change and has formed his conclusions based on the analysis of a lot of data, and whether or not you agree with them this is the way science is supposed to work.

      This site has carried some excellent analysis of the challenges and the impossibility of meeting some of those challenges, but I feel that it would be deeply tragic for it to be hijacked by a tiny minority…..

      Thank you. We do our best to perform superior analyses. We also do our best to give a fair shake to both sides. The fact that your comment appears even though it contains the “d” word is proof of that.

      I appreciate that there are massive problems associated with trying to move to a society based on renewables – indeed it may not even be possible.

      Just as a matter of interest, what do you suggest we do if it isn’t possible?

  5. Chaam Jamal says:

    If I could contact Doug Brodie I would send him these two links.

    Paper #1 finds no relationship between year to year changes in atmospheric CO2 and annual anthropogenic emissions.
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2642639

    Paper #2 finds that when uncertainty in the flows is taken into consideration in the IPCC AR5 carbon budget, it is no longer clear that rising atmospheric CO2 can be ascribed to human emissions.
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2654191

    Taken together, the results imply that the relationship between anthropogenic emissions and changes in atmospheric CO2 that has been taken for granted in the theory of AGW is not supported by the data.

    • Günter Weber says:

      Oh my god! Thousands of scientists are working since decades on the manifold of CO2 sources and sinks and how they are connected to weather phenomena, ocean flows, sun activity, volcanos, melting of permafrost areas, etc. pp.

      Now comes a guy who finds out that there is no close 1-to-1 connection of (anthropogenic) CO2 emissions and the annual growth of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Congratulations! If you were not into climate science but into medicine, then you would just have found out than there are some differences between the bodies of men and women.

      Maybe this clever guy should start with some facts known already 20 years ago: http://lgmacweb.env.uea.ac.uk/ajw/Geochemical_cycling/keeling_cd_1995.pdf

  6. Peter Lang says:

    What is a “climate science denier”? Is the term defined by the IPCC? If not then where is it defined? Aidan gives every impression of being a denier of relevant facts – not just here but on most if not all web sites where he blogs.

  7. GeoffM says:

    STOP PRESS
    A bit off topic, but just to report that for the first time in about a year or more the total for the operationally metered part of the UK wind fleet has suddenly increased, from 8403 MW to 8972 MW, as reported by bmreports.com. Various big offshore farms off N Wales and the E of England were added, as well as some onshore farms. This figure is vital in calculating UK Wind load factor in conjunction with data on Elexon or Gridwatch.
    The metered total had risen on an almost monthly basis from 2008 to at least 2012, but the 8403 MW figure remained unchanged for at least 11 months (I have been checking almost daily).
    If they were wanting to boost their figures then it hasn’t done much good; right now Gridwatch is showing just 340 MW from this fleet.

  8. Peter Lang says:

    I’m going to jump in and respond to this “denier” stuff here. If my comment is not appropriate and gets deleted, so be it.

    The real deniers are those who deny the relevant facts, not those who are not persuaded by the CAGW cultists’ beliefs.

    The relevant facts are:

    1. climate change does not change in smooth curves as the climate modellers’ would have you believe. It changes abruptly. Always has and always will.
    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1 ,
    http://web.vims.edu/sms/Courses/ms501_2000/Broecker1995.pdf

    2. Life thrives when the planet is warmer and struggles when colder. It thrives during warming periods and struggles during cooling. See Figure 15.21 here: http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/1983/1/McCarron.pdf . Note that the climate warmed from near glacial temperatures to near current tempreratures in 7 years 14.600 years ago and in 9 years, 11,600 years ago. And guess what? Life loved the rapid warming periods. Life burst out and thrived.

    3. For 75% of the last half billion years – the period when animal life has thrived – there has been no ice caps at either pole. We are currently in a coldhouse phase. It strains credulity to argue that 1% warrming (i.e. 3K/273K) will be catastrophic when we wont get anywhere near previous warm times.

    4. The planet has been cooling for the past 50 million years and we are currently in only the third coldhouse phase in the past half billion years

    5. We wont get out of the current coldhouse phase until plate tectonics movements reopen a path for global circulation around the equatorial regions again.

    6. Warming and increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has been a major benefit to life and to humanity for the past 200 years. It strains credulity to accept the increased plant productivity that this positive trend is delivering will suddenly change and turn negative. It smacks much more of cult beliefs and witch doctors prescriptions.

    7. Despite 25 years of climate research and spending reportedly $1.5 trillion per year on climate research and policies ‘justified’ on the basis of trying to fix the climate, we have next to no understanding of the damage function. In fact, most of the people who blabber on about ‘climate science’ and call those who do not accept their interpretations of the relevant facts “climate deniers” have never even heard of the damage function, let alone able to define it and quantify it.

    8. According to the most widely accept Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) for projecting future climate damages, abatement costs, social cost of carbon, net-cost benefit of many policies, abatement policies that have a net cost – irrespective of any climate considerations – would be a net cost, not a net benefit for all this century. See the chart here:
    http://catallaxyfiles.com/files/2014/10/Lang-3.jpg
    explanation hdere: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/

    9. Figure 3 here http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-012-0613-3 (free earlier version here http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf ) shows that global warming projected by the climate modellers would be net beneficial for most of this century. The only component that becomes a significantly net cost, late in the century, is energy. This is based on the assumption that energy costs must rise as we run out of fossil fuels and move to renewables. However, we wont move to renewables. We’ll move to cheap nuclear power. With cheap energy and all other parameters summing to significantly beneficial any GW that does occur would be net beneficial for way beyond this century. (Professor Richard Tol – has been a recognised world leader in estimating the damage effects of climate change for 25 years or so.)

    10. What is needed to support rational policy analysis are probability distributions for:

    a. time to next abrupt climate change

    b. direction of next abrupt climate change (i.e. warming or cooling)

    c. duration of next abrupt climate change

    d. total amount of change

    e. damage function (i.e. net economic cost per degree of warning or cooling)

    It is extremely concerning that we’ve spent 25 years on climate research (and are spending some $1.5 trillion per year on policies justified on the basis of CAGW) to get to the point where it seems we know next to nothing that is really relevant for rational policy analysis.

    And all we get from the CAGW alarmists is to call anyone who doesn’t accept their cult beliefs “deniers” of their beliefs.

    • Peter Lang says:

      I should have also said:

      The planet is in a long term cooling trend (over time scales of thousands to millions of years). We are past the peak of the current interglacial so would be in a cooling trend if not for humans’ GHG emissions. The next abrupt change would be more likely to be an abrupt cooling than an abrupt warming.

      Cooling is definitely damaging – possible catastrophic – but the evidence that warming is anywhere near as great a risk as cooling is weak.

      Therefore, the GHG emissions we are releasing are delaying the next rapid cooling that is due any time now and/or reducing its severity. Risk analysis needs to weigh both the benefits of GHG emissions as well as the potential damages.

      It’s not at all clear whether GHG emissions are net beneficial or a net damage for this century.

      However, it is very clear that any policies that increase the cost of energy are bad policies. Therefore, carbon pricing and incentivising renewable energy are bad policies.

      Those who yap about “climate science deniers” have no relevant responses to the points in this and the previous comment.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Peter, I think we have both slowly evolving climate change – the D-O / Bond cycles during inter glacials and very abrupt and rapid climate change during the glacial episodes. The fact that no one at the UK MET office would be able to provide me with a confident explanation of what causes both gradual and rapid change is a travesty born out of their belief that natural climate is invariant.

      • Peter Lang says:

        Euan,

        Thank you for this and other comments. Regarding abrupt climate change there is much we could discuss, but I’ll leave that for now. I agree that it seems the evidence available so far suggests that climate change is less volatile and more placid when the planet is warmer.

        You and Roger Andrews may be interested in this (a summary aimed at school teachers and student) if not already aware of it:

        Two special conditions of terrestrial landmass distribution, when they exist concurrently, appear as a sort of common denominator for the occurrence of very long-term simultaneous declines in both global temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2):

        1) the existence of a continuous continental landmass stretching from pole to pole, restricting free circulation of polar and tropical waters, and

        2) the existence of a large (south) polar landmass capable of supporting thick glacial ice accumulations.

        http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

    • Günter Weber says:

      Peter Lang,

      with respect to abrupt climate changes, forget any hope of prediction. If such things existis (on a global scale) they are most probably as predictable as earth quakes. In the best case you may know that there is a certain potential for it to happend, but you will never be able to forecast it.

      • Peter Lang says:

        Gunter,

        The point is that GHG emissions are not all downside risk. GHG emissions mitigate to some extent the risk of abrupt cooling event (which is due). This needs to be taken into account but almost never is. At the moment there is no persuasive evidence that the GHG emissions will cause do harm than good this century. And any policy that has time frames beyond a decade is unrealistic unless it will be clearly net beneficial for most countries. So policies that would be damaging for a century, like carbon pricing and incentivising renewable energy, are irrational and should be strongly resisted. Most GHG mitigation policies proposed by CAGW alarmists are very high cost and very damaging.

        So, once again, well done to rational engineer Doug Brodie for his excellent letter to Tory MPs

        • gweberbv says:

          Peter Lang,

          even a world war seems unable to do economic damages that last more than a few decades. I really doubt that carbon pricing or building up renewable energy at a mediocre level (like it is happening now in the frontrunner countries of the Energiewende) will have a significant negative effect on economy at all. Of course, if we would really going to cut emissions by 80% or more within two or three decades, this means going back to something like 1500. But even the greenest of all decision makers will not seriously this as a realistic option.

          If you are looking for a political experiment that is really going to ruin societies then watch the effects of the Euro.

          • Peter Lang says:

            gweberbv

            I really doubt that carbon pricing or building up renewable energy at a mediocre level … will have a significant negative effect on economy at all.

            That comment is just silly. A mediocre level would achieve nothing, so why do it? Unless the policy will force a replacement of fossil fuels and other GHG emissions, it cannot succeed – obviously. The Integrated Assessment models estimate what the optimal carbon price (or abatement policies) need to be to achieve the optimal reduction in their estimates of climate damages. As the red line on this chart shows, the costs would exceed the benefits for all this century:
            http://catallaxyfiles.com/files/2014/10/Lang-3.jpg
            explanation here: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/

            I really doubt that carbon pricing or building up renewable energy … will have a significant negative effect on economy at all.

            In that case try to get your head around these numbers: which are for Australia’s now repealed Carbon pricing scheme:

            Australia’s [now repealed] carbon pricing scheme “will cost the equivalent of about $17,000 for every man, woman and child if paid in a lump sum now, or $58,000 if paid bit by bit over the next 37 years to 2050. And that’s just for the ETS, not for the RET and other measures.”

            You have the choice:

            1. pay $58,000 per person over 37 years OR

            2. pay $17,000 up front in 2012. But those with dependents have to pay for all their dependents in 2012 too. And if you are paying now, you have to pay the interest charges since. So, a family of four must pay $58,000 plus interest since 2012 now. For context, that’s a full year of average annual wages in Australia. And no escape for poor people. Everyone has to pay!

            gweberbv ,

            Do you now get some sense of the true cost of such schemes?

            Would you like to retract your comment, “I really doubt that carbon pricing or building up renewable energy … will have a significant negative effect on economy at all.” or do you stand by it?

          • Günter Weber says:

            Peter Lang,

            Wikipedia tells me that Australia was charging around 24 Australian Dollar per ton of CO2. It also tells me that the population is roughly 24 million. And that total CO2 emissions are around 550 million tons per year. So, you get 23 tons of CO2 emission per capita per year resulting in a ‘CO2 bill’ of 550 Australian Dollar. (In reality the carbon pricing scheme did address only about 50% of the emissions.)

            If this is crippling your economy, then your economy is crap. If this makes life for the poor unaffordable, then your social security system is crap.

            If government does spend the revenue generated by the carbon tax in a reasonable way, then I would expect a net benefit to society.

            For comparison: The ‘energy tax’ in Germany generates a revenue of 40 billion euros. This translates to 500 euros per capita and year. And this is just one of several environment-related taxes/charges.

          • Peter Lang says:

            gweberbv,

            You clearly don’t get it. The price ramps up over time. The Australian Treasury estimated the net economic cost of the ETS at $1.345 trillion from 2011 to 2050. Here’s the reference: Chart 5.13 here: http://carbonpricemodelling.treasury.gov.au/content/chart_table_data/chapter5.asp

            You take it from there and then see if you find a flaw in their numbers.

          • Peter Lang says:

            My last comment was intended to be a reply to Günter Weber.

            Is Günter Weber and gweberbv the same person?

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Good spot peter. They are indeed posting using the same email but different IPs. I actually put Gunter on moderation a while back and took him off again. Don’t know what to do with the Greens. They live in some form of parallel universe with their own laws of science, physics and economics. Gunter, you need to view this as a warning. Commenting here is a privilege. Do not abuse it.

          • Günter Weber says:

            Euan Mearns, Peter Lang,

            yes, gweberbv and Günter Weber are the same. I am writing from different computers that for some reason I do not know have different ‘defaul names’ for me. Just noticed it.

            To Euan Mearns: Please do not insult me by putting me in the back of bleeding-heart environmentalists. In my comments you will usually find facts/numbers/a minum amount of reason. Proof me wrong, if you can!

            To Peter Lang: If I take the 550 Australian Dollar per year from my back of an envelope estimation and multiply it by 38 years, I end up with about 21,000 Dollar. If one takes into account inflation, even without a huge ramping up of CO2 price tag, the 58,000 seems not to be totally unrealistic. But if you assume that a significant amount of this money will be channeld back to the pockets of the not-so well being, I still fail to see a general problem.

            To put it in perspective: My daily newspaper is about 1000 Australian Dollar per year.

          • Peter Lang says:

            Gunter,

            You really haven’t a clue what you are doing. You are incapable of understanding even the most basic concepts. I’ve given you the Treasury link. Those are the official Australian estimates of the net economic cost of the ETS. I could go on forever, but you’ve shown no sign of making any attempt to understand, let alone to every acknowledge when you are wrong.

            The $1,345 billion cost was first exposed by economist Professor Henry Ergas: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/climate-policy-a-burning-issue/story-e6frgd0x-1226072611617.

          • gweberbv says:

            Peter Lang,

            maybe we could agree that a prognosis that tells you a certain policy will lower (or increase) the average annual growth for the next 4 decades (!!!) by 0.1 percent (!!!) is a sophisticated way to say ‘taking into account all uncertainties of our model we cannot predict anything meaningful’. At least from your profound scepticism regarding climate forecasts I would expect that you agree on that conclusion.

            But let’s stay with that number of a lost national income of $1.345 trillion over roughly 40 years. I have showed you that I could compensate that loss (if it ever makes the way to my pocket) to a good extent by simply stopping the standing order of my daily newspaper (over a period of 40 years). While I agree that this would be a personal sacrifice, I really doubt that it could be described as ‘damaging for a century’. If you are more into sports than newspapers: In UK the sports bundle of Sky pay TV is something like £50 per month. Over 40 years this will also come close to your $58,000.

          • Peter Lang says:

            Gunter,

            In UK the sports bundle of Sky pay TV is something like £50 per month. Over 40 years this will also come close to your $58,000.

            Your mistakes and misunderstandings:

            First, your sports bundle is ~A$100 p.w. x 52 =A$5200 p.a. x 37 years = ~A$200,000 p.a. not $58,000 p.a. Nearly an error of a factor of four.

            Second, the A$58,000 p.a. per person is for every person in the country, i.e. about 23 million, not just a few rich inner city Greens elites. An error of a factor of 1000(?)

            Third, to be understandable, you need to work in net present value terms. This is, in effect, what you would have pay now in current dollars instead of paying over time. It’s like the discount you get offered for paying your rates in advance. The Net Present Value at the discount rate used for the climate modelling is about $400 billion. For 23 million people that is $17,000 per person up front. That’s for all Australians alive in 2011, not just a few rich elites who believe it’s a good cause. Everyone has to pay. Try getting $17,000 for some out of anyone on the basis they might gain some sort of intangible benefit of $5,400 per person in ‘reduced climate damages’ over the next 37 years.

            Fourth, no rational person advocates to cut GDP for no clear benefit. It’s just stupid.

            Fifth, the Treasury analysis is based on highly optimistic assumptions about what the rest of the world will do to cut global emissions. For example, one assumption was that the US would have implemented an economy wide ETS by 2016 and all other countries on a totally unrealistic rapid path to a full global ETS. Get real!

            If you want to get a better understanding of the key assumptions that underpin the economic models of climate damages, abatement costs, optimal carbon prices, social cost of carbon, etc. you might find this post of interest (if you haven’t already read it): http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/26/cross-post-peter-lang-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed-part-i/

            Some key assumptions that underpin the analyses are:
             There will be negligible leakage (of emissions between countries, between industries and between emissions sources)
             All GHG emission sources are included (all countries and all GHG emissions in each country)
             There will be negligible compliance cost and negligible fraud
             There will be an optimal carbon price and it is implemented globally in unison
             All countries act in unison to increase the optimal carbon price periodically and continue to maintain the carbon price at the optimal level for all of this century (and beyond).
            If these conditions are not met, the projected benefits of carbon pricing would not be achieved.

  9. Mike Ghirelli says:

    *I am a retired engineer who is horrified……* – Well, Doug, I am a retired vacuum cleaner salesman and I too am horrified that scientists who have spent years of their research lives analysing and studying the complexities of atmospheric physics and the intricate geographiies of climate and weather systems should have so much influence on our political leaders. Why can’t they instead pay heed to people like you and me who are totally unfettered from training in meteorology and climatology but who are able to bring a wealth of experience earned in the University of Life and who have as much Common Sense in one little finger as they collectively do in all their research establishments and megagiant computing facilities and orbiting weather sattelites and ocean going research ships etc?. Like you, I really do wish our leaders would pay no heed to so called expert organisations like NASA which could only manage to send men to the moon and the British Met Office whose weather records only go back to the seventeenth century. I get more sense from looking every day at the dead rat I keep on my mantelpiece than I do from the weather forecast. I know that it will rain if that rat swells, and we’re in for hosepipe bans if it shrivels. Keep it up, Doug – I’m with you 100%.

    Mike Ghirelli

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Not sure what to make of your comment Mike. It is possible to over do sarcasm. But NASA do have a number of satellites measuring things like temperature, clouds, water vapour and CO2 emissions. Much / none of this data fits the global warming script and is simply ignored.

      • I wouldn’t say it’s ignored. If you are talking about UAH, it’s not considered a reliable data series, perhaps because Spencer doesn’t let others take a look at his algorithms for applying “corrections” (I know many people here don’t like corrected data so they should probably ignore UAH, too). When it matches no other data sets (and doesn’t actually “measure” exactly the same thing, anyway), then it is likely to be wrong, don’t you think? Or perhaps all of the other data sets, you know, those that take actual temperature measurements at the surface, are wrong. Mind you, even UAH has a slight warming trend since 1998, which Doug Brodie believes is not there.

  10. GeoffM says:

    Funny how the original main drivers of these acts choose a year so far into the future that they’re not likely to be around. Funny how the interim target for 2020 (Scotland) is not mandatory. But the younger ones like Ed Davey and Nicola Sturgeon ARE likely to be still here. If the terms of the various acts aren’t met, will they be brought to account?

    • Mike Ghirelli says:

      Well Alex Salmond has not been brought to account for his optimistic exaggerations or ignorance (choose which you prefer) over the vast wealth still to be had from the North Sea that would finance an independetnt Scotland. Before the referendum, the assurances were given by the then Scottish First Minister that Scotland would such massive reverues from the North Sea – from fracking the Kimmeridge Clay beneath the sea bed for example, that all the ambitious social and economic plans puroposed by the SNP after Scots independence could be fulfilled. Most of this blather from Mr Salmond was just that – blather. He either knew – but kept quiet about it – that only a fraction of that supposed wealth could really be got from the North Sea, or he, despite having been in the finance industry specialising in oil and gas, was utterly unaware that the supplies from the N Sea were headed inexorably downwards, even before the current drop in oil prices with its disastrous impact on winning oil from a reliuctant earth by frackinbg. Nicola has been much more circumspect, and is really saying little about independednce – and for very good reason: she knows that the oil is not there that could finance separation from the auld enemy.

  11. William says:

    Why would anyone take Brodie’s pdf seriously? Anyone who can seriously claim a pause in warming since the last big El Niño (1998) and support it with a graph that “stops early to avoid confusion with the naturally warming El Niño conditions which started in 2014” deserves being dumped directly in the denier wastebasket.

    Peter Lang, you should be writing for WUWT, they’d love you.

    • Doug Brodie says:

      I’ve noticed, e.g. when trying to post on the Guardian (I usually get deleted in short order), that climate alarmists simply can’t get their heads around the idea that the global cooling, then global warming, then temperature standstill of the last 70 years could be due simply to natural climate variability, not man-made CO2. I have never seen any credible rebuttal of the El Nino analysis given in the second section of my paper.

      • William says:

        Nobody credible would ever bother getting to the 2nd half of your paper. I got to the text I quoted above and binned it (not that I’m that credible). Of course it *could* be natural variability, it is just that there is a lot of evidence that says it probably isn’t.

        • Euan Mearns says:

          it is just that there is a lot of evidence that says it probably isn’t.

          William, would you care to detail what in your opinion the top three lines of evidence are to support your position.

          • William says:

            Euan, that is funny! You accept Doug blaming rises on natural cycles, even though he has to hide the latest cycle so as not to spoil his argument, yet you want me to explain my position. For evidence, rising CO2 is enough, but if readers want to know more, I suggest they dip into the IPCC’s latest (or indeed any) assessment report.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            William you are simply wasting my time. I do not understand your comment. You are putting words into my mouth. If you have an issue with the technical content of Doug’s report then raise this with Dough in a factual, technical and polite way. That is what the comments are for.

          • Doug Brodie says:

            I didn’t try to “hide” anything, I simply wanted to avoid confusion, which I explained. Even the Met Office acknowledges the “pause” in global temperatures, but the Hadcrut trendline from 2001 has very recently started to rise. The point is that there have been 18 years of unexplained standstill and the only reason it has recently started to rise is because of natural El Nino warming, just like the natural warming which gave us the warming trend if the 80s and 90s. The current El Nino natural warming helpfully endorses my argument (or rather Bob Tisdale’s argument).

          • Sean says:

            Doug, wasn’t the 1998 ‘peak’ also due to el nino? If so, is that a good reference point to be using when referencing increased temperature (or lack thereof)? If using 2015 data would distort the result due to el nino then wouldn’t it be the same for 1998? Inevitably we get back to using averages and I think one of your points is that if we start from around 1880 we get a spike in warming but if we start earlier than that when warming actually started, we are ‘on trend’. Correct?

          • Doug, I think Sean is saying that it isn’t valid to stop at 2015, in order to not distort the trend with the forming monster El Nino, whilst, at the same time, starting the supposed recent pause at a year influenced heavily by a monster El Nino (it far exceeded the previous record, which was the year before). Actually, you should be looking for research such as Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) to filter out natural variability, to understand the underlying trend. I don’t know where you got the woodfortrees graph from (since it doesn’t match the one on their site, which itself doesn’t match the current HADCRUT4 data) but it seems that much of your analysis is based on flawed data.

          • Doug Brodie says:

            Sean: I’m afraid can’t understand what you are getting at or how 1880 comes into it. I used the woodfortrees graphing system to show the cyclic decadal and multi-decadal trends of the past. There are limitations on what you can get it to show, e.g. I found I couldn’t get it to reproduce the “pause” standstill trendline starting from 1998. William is just quibbling, desperate for any pretext to discredit my analysis.

          • William says:

            Euan, I’m not trying to put words in your mouth. You seemed to be questioning my technical criticism of Doug’s pdf above. And you seemed to accept his pdf by posting a link to it and recommending others support him. My criticism, above (September 8, 2015 at 3:00 pm) stands.

      • Could not seeing a credible rebuttal be because you’ve never tried looking for one? A paper a few years ago by Foster and Rahmstorf tried to remove the ups and downs of natural variability (volcanoes, El Nino/La Nina, solar variability) and got an even clearer warming trend. Other more recent papers have done similar things. Really, every contrarian argument so far expounded has been well and truly rebutted. Look in places that use science, like SkepticalScience, realclimate, and others.

        • Doug Brodie says:

          My understanding is that the Forster and Rahmstorf paper you refer to has been widely debunked, e.g. see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/28/mythbusting-rahmstorf-and-foster/

          Your suggestion to use SkepticalScience as a reference does not inspire confidence. These are the folks who produced the “97% consensus” chicanery.

          • Doug, your understanding is not correct. I’m not sure why reference to a denialist blog is proof of anything. I tend to go to sites that prefer science based analysis. Indeed, there have been other papers, as I mentioned, which come to similar conclusions. The paper has been cited 43 times, many this year.

    • Peter Lang says:

      William,

      Peter Lang, you should be writing for WUWT, they’d love you.

      Your comment is typical of the true deniers – i.e. those who deny the relevant facts. Like most of these people you avoided addressing the content and instead used derision. Your comment is a clear sign of intellectual dishonesty – see
      10 signs of intellectual dishonesty” :
      http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/

  12. Doug Brodie says:

    I would like to thank Euan for posting my email and thereby introducing an element of political controversy into his normally technical blog. However as he says in his introduction he agrees with me that the Climate Change Act should be repealed (or the targets changed).

    Thanks also to the supportive commenters. I note that the alarmist commenters give no credible rebuttal of my facts and arguments, the first one falling into the trap of saying that alleged man-made climate change is getting worse because of natural El Nino warming and also claiming that I give no explanation of the warming (of the 80s and 90s) when I do, the second resorting the absurd ad hominem of “climate change denier” and saying that I ignore resource depletion when my paper says “Resource depletion is a looming problem, but it needs to be faced in a rational, honest manner.”

  13. Jamie says:

    You’re seriously promoting this? Oh wow.

  14. Robin Guenier says:

    Although it’s true that the Secretary of State has the power to amend the percentage or baseline year, that power is hedged about by complex procedural constraints that make amendment almost as difficult as outright repeal. See my exchange of comments with Ben Pile here: http://www.climate-resistance.org/2012/07/hoist-by-his-own-ticking-time-bomb-petard.html#comments.

    Of course those comments were written in the days of coalition – with a very different Secretary of State and House of Commons membership. Nonetheless, I’m sure it would still be very difficult to get the necessary resolution passed by each House of Parliament.

    BTW I believe Doug Brodie’s approach is likely to be counterproductive. Surely it’s realised by now that attempts to challenge “mainstream science” always lead to the issue being bogged down in detailed dispute and endless argument? Mike Roberts’, Aidan’s, Günter Weber’s, Mike Ghirelli’s and William’s comments here demonstrate that.

    I believe the optimum – indeed probably the only – way to mount an effective challenge to the Act is to show that it cannot possibly meet its objective. That objective was clearly spelled out in the “Climate Change Act 2008 Impact Assessment” of March 2008: http://www.climatedatabase.eu/sites/default/files/eia_climatechangeact.pdf. Here’s how the objective was defined (see the Summary, page 3):

    “To avoid dangerous climate change in an economically sound way. In particular by demonstrating the UK’s leadership in tackling climate change – to increase the chances of a binding international emissions reduction agreement that would stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases at a level that would avoid dangerous climate change …”

    The failure of the UN climate conference at Copenhagen in 2009 demonstrated the absurdity of the concept of UK leadership. It seems certain the Paris conference in December will amply confirm that.

    • A C Osborn says:

      You said, “Surely it’s realised by now that attempts to challenge “mainstream science” always lead to the issue being bogged down in detailed dispute and endless argument? Mike Roberts’, Aidan’s, Günter Weber’s, Mike Ghirelli’s and William’s comments here demonstrate that.”

      What “Detailed Dispute”?
      A single reference to one paper, ad homs, appeals to authority and outright sarcasm does not constitute detailed dispute, but does signify typical warmist attack procedures.

    • Doug Brodie says:

      Robin: You may be right about my approach being counter-productive, but I feel the current circumstances are propitious for making an attempt.

      Firstly, the general public is beginning to realise that climate change is a big scam. Just look at the comments under any newspaper article on climate or energy (apart from the Guardian of course). The alarmist comments on this article have all been very weak.

      Secondly, the new government has now settled in and is obviously starting to realise that their inherited climate and energy policies are a mess but that they will get the blame when the rolling blackouts start.

      Thirdly, the timing of the current El Nino is actually very advantageous. Alarmist claims that climate change is getting worse because of allegedly record high temperatures can be easily debunked by pointing out that this is due to natural El Nino warming, not man-made CO2. This can then be turned to endorsing my evidence that the warming of the 80s and 90s was due to a preponderance of El Nino events.

      Fourthly, whether or not “the science is settled”, it is becoming increasingly clear that even the short-term Climate Change Act targets cannot realistically be met, yet the Establishment consensus is pushing for even tougher targets. Being forced to submit to unworkable, ideological EU demands at the Paris climate summit just prior to the referendum on continued UK membership of the EU doesn’t sound like a good idea for a government supposedly keen to stay in the EU.

      • Robin Guenier says:

        Doug: The absurd CCA is just a year or two away from causing real, and possibly disastrous, damage to UK society. Therefore attempts to halt or at least soften it are an urgent priority. I suggest it’s obvious that tackling the science – so far the sceptics’ overwhelming choice of tactic – has failed to dent the certainties of the committed ideological true-believers, a category that still it seems includes most politicians, established “authorities” and the MSM. They fight by declining to take sceptics’ views on the science seriously, dismissing them with contempt, and labelling them as deniers and contrarians. Therefore, if you really want change, the better course must be to bypass all that time-wasting nonsense by focusing instead on hard practicality: on how CCA implementation will damage the economy and in particular the most vulnerable; on the absurdity of claimed “UK leadership” when we are responsible for little more than 1% of GHG emissions and the so-called developing economies (responsible for 70%) clearly have no serious intention of doing anything. These are areas where the true-believers’ certainties have no place. And where their established defences are worthless.

        • William says:

          What sort of disaster are you expecting? Are you referring to renewables? The value of all electricity generated is of the order of £50bn. In a £2tn economy, changes to this 2.5% of GDP (say to 3%) in the next few years can by no imagination cause “disastrous damage” so you must have something else in mind…

          • Euan Mearns says:

            William, lets imagine the UK is a submarine. And the UK grid is the submarine’s oxygen supply. And someone decided to design a new oxygen supply that was twice as expensive and half as reliable. And then one day the supply failed for 6 hours. Backup was 5 hours 55 minutes.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            I referred to “possible” disaster. I have in mind, in particular, the risk of power outages.

          • gweberbv says:

            Euan Mearns,

            a few days ago we learned that the Danish power grid that has the biggest amount of wind power to handle (in relation to total production) is the most reliable in Europe, right? German grid came second which has the highest amount of wind power in total values in Europe.
            Shouldn’t we trust in British grid operators and regulators to implement the necessary upgrades to handle intermittent energy sources?

          • William says:

            Robin, there is always a risk of power outages. Always has been, since the dawn of the grid, long before you started your unceasing campaign against climate science or the CCA. That is why the grid is engineered to withstand the instantaneous loss of 1.4GW (last I heard) of generating capacity – because things, even coal, gas and nuclear (or should that be especially) – go offline suddenly. If the grid needs amending for renewables I see no reason why it won’t be done even without alarmism from people like you.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            William:

            there is always a risk of power outages. Always has been, since the dawn of the grid …

            True. But coal, gas and nuclear outages are very rare. And, as you say, there has always been spare capacity to absorb them. But wind is a very different proposition. I believe that, on average, wind contributes about 8% of the UK’s electric power needs. But this morning it was contributing only 2% – and on Monday and Tuesday was rarely better than 1%. Such events are not unusual. But they’re not a problem as coal and gas (currently contributing 60% of our power) can be ramped up to fill the gap.

            But consider a future position where, because of CCA implementation, wind’s average contribution has grown to, say, 40%, coal has been eliminated and gas, the only dispatchable capacity we have left, is struggling to contribute 30%. On a day of light winds wind’s contribution could easily be down to 10% (or less). How is that massive 30+% loss of generating capacity to be covered?

            This article spells out the risk we face: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/utilities/11844750/Electricity-network-in-uncharted-territory-as-blackouts-loom.html#disqus_thread

            Oh – and what gives you the idea that I have been waging an “unceasing campaign against climate science”?

          • gweberbv says:

            Robin Guenier,

            it would be quite surprising to me if the UK had no regulation to prevent power plants that are crucial for grid stability from being shut down by the owner. In any case it just needs a stroke of the pen to implement such a regulation if it is really missing.

            Best regards
            Günter Weber

          • William says:

            Robin, coal/gas/nuke can and do have unplanned outages not infrequently. I don’t suppose you’ll accept that though. And wind could easily be zero, not just 10% so the grid has to cope with that. Your alarmism about possible disaster assumes that those who control the grid are not aware of the dangers and/or are not competent to handle them. Maybe you should offer your services to National Grid, I’m sure they would appreciate the help.

            Oh – and what gives you the idea that I have been waging an “unceasing campaign against climate science”?

            I’ve been following the climate debate for 4 or 5 years and there seems always to have been an RG on the sceptic side. Have you ceased?

          • Robin Guenier says:

            William: You say I assume “that those who control the grid are not aware of the dangers”. You plainly haven’t read the article to which I provided a link. I suggest you do so.

            Anyone posting as “RG” is not me. I always use my name. As I said to Euan:

            I don’t see myself as a sceptic, rather as an agnostic: I don’t have a scientific background so it would be presumptuous to claim otherwise.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            William:

            I suggest you read (a) the article to which I gave you a link and (b) my exchange with Günter Weber (gweberbv).

            PS: anyone posting or commenting as “RG” is not me. I always use my name.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Robin, spam detection works on certain key words. If a comment contains one of those key words, the comment goes to moderation.

          • William says:

            Robin, I was abbreviating your name for brevity. A simple search of WUWT gets hit on Robin Guenier back to 2009. You or your namesake are all over the web, always on the sceptic side. If you were agnostic why would you put so much time and effort reading and commenting at sites like WUWT and BH (which are not pleasant reading for anyone not committed to their cause) and arguing against climate science?

            Euan, please post this, then I promise to leave you alone for good.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            W:

            so much time and effort reading and commenting at sites like WUWT

            I haven’t posted on WUWT for a long time and rarely even read it these days. I spend far more time posting on sites like RTCC – hardly a sceptic site. Here’s an example: LINK. As you can see, I make no argument there”against climate science“. And here’s a Discussion piece I contributed to BH (where I rarely comment now): LINK. No argument “against climate science” there either. Or perhaps you’d prefer The Conversation? Plenty of comments from me here for example: LINK. But arguments against climate science? Er … No.

        • Robin Guenier says:

          Günter:

          it would be quite surprising to me if the UK had no regulation to prevent power plants that are crucial for grid stability from being shut down

          Well, we have the regulation but, because of political decisions (notably the CCA), we are rapidly putting ourselves at serious risk of being unable to implement it. See my more detailed reply to you below.

          Best – Robin

      • Euan Mearns says:

        Doug, I don’t think it is counter productive. But one needs to have a sense of realism about what may be achieved. A civil servant is not going to grab this, write a summary and stick in front of Osborne’s nose any time soon (I say Osborne since he seems to be running the show these days). But it may raise doubts in the minds of some MPs and confirm suspicions in the minds of others. And the “debate” provides a forum for understanding the complex science and political issues better. Time to sharpen the pencil to try and work out what may be more effective.

        • Robin Guenier says:

          Euan: what may be more effective? I believe I’ve just suggested it. In a nutshell: the CCA is pointless and potentially extremely damaging.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Robin, thanks for your perceptive commentary. We’re reading it and taking it in. Truth be told, a blog like this one will never move opinion. All the Climate / Energy Sceptic blogs together may move opinion inches at a time.

            But then stand back and look at the bigger picture, all the news paper blogs, folks that read this and other blogs that never comment. And then look at the election result. The Green leaning parties were all annihilated (bar the SNP). Admittedly, it’s a very complex electoral formula, but there is no mandate for these Green leaning policies in the UK. I believe Doug is correct in his observation that any party confronting the Greens who have no mandate will mop up.

            We do probe the energy side of the discussion relentlessly. This recent chart from Roger illustrates one aspect of the futility and failure:

            But the public and media are confronted with a continual barrage of Green propaganda. How many MPs appreciate how far behind the CCA curve we actually are? And how many appreciate the consequences of bringing the UK back on course?

            The blog is useful for sharpening insight to a complex scientific and social issue. I let some of the Green Trolls fart away so that broader society can see what they are dealing with. To bring about change will require going up through a few gears – I’m working on it.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            Thanks Euan. A few comments:

            I don’t see myself as a sceptic, rather as an agnostic: I don’t have a scientific background so it would be presumptuous to claim otherwise. This is the nearest I have been to a public statement on the science: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/WrittenEvidence.svc/EvidenceHtml/4191

            But I do feel strongly about the issues I’ve touched on in this thread. In particular, my concern about vulnerable people isn’t a pose. I’ve been a trustee of a local hospice, I’ve supported campaigns for better help for the elderly and disabled and I’m a trustee/director of a county-wide charity providing “community development action” – a range of services for, in particular, the disadvantaged. I firmly believe that the UK’s energy policies (designed pointlessly to “tackle climate change”) are a real threat to such people – the key point being that that’s true whatever the reality of the science. And that’s why I believe Doug’s approach – which would inevitably lead to endless bickering and time wasting – is counterproductive.

            So how might it be possible to promulgate the essentially simple message that the CCA is pointless and dangerous? Well certainly it means “going up through the gears”. And I agree with Roger:

            “… when in December the “make-or-break” Paris Climate Conference becomes the 21st Climate Conference in a row to fail to come up with a solution … that will be the time to start sending e-mails to your MP.”

            And it’s a message that need not be addressed only to Tory MPs.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            “To what extent does AR5 reflect the range of views among climate scientists?”

            Robin, i’ve now read your submission. What is the origin of the question? Is this a question asked by the committee, or one that you raised? You touch on a number of issues that I too have considered and am concerned about. For example, how do you define a climate scientist? I was once taken out by some climate dignitaries from the University of Edinburgh. One was a geologist like me. But he called himself a climate scientist since he was now working on ice sheets and glaciers. I am repeatedly told that I cannot challenge the Climate Scientists since I’m not qualified. And yet I read physics for a year ay university, have done a course on meteorology, and my geology training provides expertise on a wide range of Earth systems like glaciology, oceanography, geochemistry (ice cores are geochemistry) and ecology – palaeontology leads into ecology. I hold the rather arrogant but probably accurate view that only geologists understand how Earth works 😉 So why can I not call myself a climate scientist. The simple reason is that I do not believe the CO2 emissions to date are the principle cause of global warming. To become a climate scientist you must hold that view hence conducting a survey of climate scientists will be wholly biased and pointless. But that is not all.

            One of the more important findings of AR5 summary was that climate sensitivity (CS) was stretched back to 1.5 to 4.5 ˚C. There was a paper published just before the deadline that insisted that 1.5˚C must be in the mix – I cannot recall the authors. But the authors emphasised that this changed nothing, FF must still be phased out. The fact that the same remedy has to be prescribed for 1.5 and 4.5 is wholly disingenuous. My own evaluation of the data based on quite extensive review of data and literature leads me to believe that CS is likely closer to 1.5, in fact more likely between 1 and 1.5. Now this is a wholly respectable scientific position to hold. Many working in climate science share that view. But what makes me a “denier” to use the preferred insulting vernacular of The Greens is that I recognise that 1.5 is way less serious than 4.5 and that action required for mitigation at 1.5 should reflect this fact.

            The other aspect of the 1.5 to 4.5 range is that this was essentially an admission that the IPCC hadn’t a clue what was going on and have not really managed to close the gap in 30 years. And so when 97% say “they agree” they are agreeing to not having a clue.

          • gweberbv says:

            Robin,

            so basicly you are asking for a higher level of social security. Ok, you will have a tough time to explain this in particular to Tory MPs.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Robin, Its late, dark, cold and miserable here in Aberdeen. That’s how we like it 🙂 I’ve had a quick look at your submission to Parliament, read enough to know that I believe I agree with what you are saying but will take me a few days to digest it. This for me is one of the beauties of blogging – bringing different areas of expertise together to discuss a problem.

            The social issues dimension is paramount. Without the CC agenda, the world would have found itself at a very difficult cross roads at this point in time in any case. The UK, for example, with ageing demographics, stagnant GDP, too high debt, social expectation above what can be delivered and declining indigenous energy production. And then along came CC (and Mr Green) and declared that we’re going to make it all but impossible for you to tackle these problems. But its all wrapped up in very clever propaganda that high cost, unreliable Green is the solution to these problems.

            This requires some high level narrative to deconstruct and summarise these complex issues.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            gweberby:

            so basicly you are asking for a higher level of social security.

            No I’m not.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            Euan: that question was one of several asked by the Committee.

    • Robin Guenier is correct when he says that attacking climate change science is pointless. In the fifteen-plus years I’ve been studying it there have been countless debunkings of various aspects of AGW theory and not one of them has made an iota of difference. The green snowball has kept rolling, and now it’s rolling too fast to stop.

      He’s also correct when he says that the only way to mount an effective challenge is by showing that the Climate Change Act (along with similar legislation adopted by the EU and other countries) can’t possibly meet its objective (and also that it wouldn’t achieve anything even if it did unless the rest of the world follows suit, which it won’t). The greens are vulnerable across-the-board here. They’ve succeeded in getting people to believe in the imminence of global climate catastrophe but are unable to come up with a solution. This will become glaringly apparent when in December the “make-or-break” Paris Climate Conference becomes the 21st Climate Conference in a row to fail to come up with a solution. That will be the time to start sending e-mails to your MP.

      • Roger Andrews: ‘Robin Guenier is correct when he says that attacking climate change science is pointless.’

        Whilst it is important to address the practical implications of the Climate Change Acts, as Robin advocates, it is also important to address the science. The so called science was the justification given to policy makers for legislating the CCAs. In order to repeal, it is important that politicians have a justification. They need to be able to say that the evidence on which legislators relied was wrong – as now increasingly appears to be the case. That gives a moral justification for the about turn which otherwise would look opportunist and convenient. Truth seems to me it is the sceptics now who occupy the moral high ground. (Despite the consensus narrative, they always have.)

        • Robin Guenier says:

          it is also important to address the science.

          Perhaps. But not if the objective is to persuade politicians to repeal or amend the CCA. As Roger has pointed out, the scientific claims have been challenged for years – but it’s had little impact. Just look at the bickering that has ensued here in response to Doug Brodie’s email.

          In contrast, it’s relatively easy to demonstrate that the CCA cannot achieve its objective and is therefore pointless – made worse by the unnecessary risks it imposes on UK society.

        • Doug Brodie says:

          Don’t forget that a majority of Tory MPs are said to be “climate sceptics”, see http://www.prweek.com/article/1311495/overwhelming-majority-tory-mps-not-accept-climate-change-man-made . This encouraged me to address the science aspect as well as the futility aspect of CCA policies, using simple language which might just sow a few more seeds of doubt amongst these MPs. My hope is that just a few of them might pick up on my paper and create a bit of traction with it.

          You may not have noticed that one of the (disguised) links in my paper shows how USA presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina takes Robin’s approach, by-passing the science aspect to concentrate on the infeasibility of current policies, see http://judithcurry.com/2015/08/12/carly-fiorina-hits-the-sweet-spot-on-climate-change/

          As for the “bickering” on this post, the alarmist comments all seem to be straight out of the denier bashing handbook of the propaganda website SkepticalScience and I believe should be judged as such.

          • the alarmist comments all seem to be straight out of the denier bashing handbook

            If you mean that the comments from those who look at the science use arguments familiar to you then that is probably because most/all of the contrarian arguments have been addressed time and time again but still keep coming up. Try addressing the science on all of the sites that you care to bypass (probably SkepticalScience and RealClimate being the most prominent) then you might start getting some traction, or maybe you might start taking another view. Contrarians might also want to settle on a common answer as to what actually fits with the warming we’ve seen over the last 250 years. In the few contrarian papers that do pass peer review, they seem to have very differing views on what is causing the warming, with a fraction, if any, actually denying that there is any warming.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            I fear, Doug, that you are missing the point. It’s this: the argument that the CCA is futile (and potentially dangerous) is true irrespective of the truth or otherwise of “alarmist” claims about the science. Therefore, if your objective is the repeal (or amendment) of the CCA, the best tactic must be to focus exclusively on its futility.

            Thanks for your link to the Fiorina position – she makes the same point admirably.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Robin, one of the early posts on this blog:

            The Failure of Kyoto and the Futility of European Energy Policy
            http://euanmearns.com/the-failure-of-kyoto-and-the-futility-of-european-energy-policy/

            I have certainly received your message loud and clear. I recently published a chart with a WWI backdrop (can’t remember which post). The symbolism was lost on some. WWI had unatainable / unclear objectives and deployed unworkable and hugely destructive tactics. There is a precedent in Europe for going into such a cull de sac. We can write a post on failure and futility but that on its own will achieve nothing. It is getting that message into the MSM and into the heads of politicians that requires a vast effort that we are not currently equipped to provide. But no problem there that a couple of million can’t solve 😉

            While I agree with you that the failure and futility argument may be more fertile hunting ground, I also believe that placing climate change in context is also important. MPs will be more likely to recognise failure and futility if they also appreciate that the problem being tackled is far less serious than they have been led to believe.

            At the end of the day there are three main issues:

            1) market led evolution of our energy system v top down target led dictatorship
            2) nuclear works, wind and solar don’t
            3) defending the integrity of true science

          • Peter Lang says:

            Euan Mearns,

            While I agree with you that the failure and futility argument may be more fertile hunting ground, I also believe that placing climate change in context is also important. MPs will be more likely to recognise failure and futility if they also appreciate that the problem being tackled is far less serious than they have been led to believe.

            At the end of the day there are three main issues:

            1) market led evolution of our energy system v top down target led dictatorship
            2) nuclear works, wind and solar don’t
            3) defending the integrity of true science

            I agree 100%. Having been a policy adviser long ago and still involved a little from time to time I recognise it is very important to keep explaining to politicians and their policy advisers what climate science is relevant for policy analysis and what is not. It’s also important to refute and discredit (as appropriate) silly or dishonest statement/assertion by the climate alarmists (such as those following the attrociously dishonest climate alarmist advocacy web site “Skeptical Science”).

            Professor Judith Curry recently presented testimony to the US House of Representatives Hearing on
            “The President’s U.N. Climate Pledge”

            http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-114-SY-WState-JCurry-20150415_0.pdf

            The summary of her written testimony is one page and is an excellent summary of the state of climate science and the uncertainties. Any CAGW alarmists who are genuinely interested in learning a bit about what is relevant could benefit by reading it (with an open, inquiring mind, of course).

          • “attrociously dishonest” is a serious claim. Do you have any evidence of that, Peter?

          • Peter Lang says:

            Clearly you haven’t been keeping up (or you don’t want to know). I’d suggest you read more widely. If you want to know, it wont take you much effort to find out.

          • I thought not. SkepticalScience doesn’t seem out of kilter with other sites that treat the science seriously, such as RealClimate, ScientificAmerican, Science, NASA, NOAA and a few science based blogs. Hey, even the IEA, the IMF and other non-science organisations seem to treat the science seriously. It’s only contrarians who seem to have trouble coordinating their objections.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            Euan (and Peter Lang):

            I also believe that placing climate change in context is also important.

            No doubt in a general sense that’s true. But not I believe in the narrow but vitally important context of persuading politicians to reconsider the CCA. I daresay perhaps 40/50% of the Tory MPs who received Doug’s email saw it as yet another toxic “climate denier” missive and put it straight in the bin – that would have been closer to 75% had it been addressed to all MPs. But send an email to all MPs explaining how the CCA (irrespective of the truth about the science) (a) cannot possibly meet its objectives and (b) is putting the UK at risk of damaging power outages and I believe it would get their attention.

            And that would I suggest be especially so after the almost certain failure of the Paris conference to meet the requirements of success spelled out by, for example, the DECC:

            In 15 months, the world will gather in Paris to secure a legally binding, global climate change agreement with emission reduction commitments from all countries for the first time ever.

            (LINK)

            PS: I struggle to see why my replies to “William” were caught by your spam filter.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            I suggest, Euan, that the above exchange illustrates my point nicely. Attack the CCA because you believe the so-called consensus science is wrong and sooner or later someone like Peter Lang will come along and assert for example that Skeptical Science is “atrociously dishonest”. And then people on the other side of the science debate will (unsurprisingly) pile in with fierce counter argument. And so we descend yet again to the usual shouting and bickering. And it gets us all nowhere.

            In my view a reconsideration of the CCA is a matter of serious importance for the UK. And I believe that reconsideration is possible only if we are not yet again distracted by futile and time wasting argument about the merits of the science.

          • Peter Lang says:

            Robin,

            In case you missed it, I replied to your last comment here: http://euanmearns.com/time-for-the-tories-to-repeal-the-2008-climate-change-act/#comment-12040

    • gweberbv says:

      I assume that in face of failing their renewable energy target British government will NOT decide to order a nuclear strike on the Greater London area to bring down emissions and energy consumption.

      So, of what nature are the catastrophic consequences you are expecting from a more or less ‘green’ energy policy? Becoming poor as a Dane. Becoming uncompetitive as a German? (Not that I claim these two countries are really ‘green’.)

      • Robin Guenier says:

        I referred, gweberby, to the possibly of “disastrous damage to UK society”. I was referring in particular to the increasing risk of power outages – see my recent reply to William.

        Society today depends on a reliable supply of electric power. No electricity means no water, no trains, no phone systems, no computers, no traffic controls, no petrol stations, no factories, no airports, no central heating, no street lights, no refrigeration, no sewerage …etc. Had, for example, the UK’s energy depended substantially on the wind in February 2012 (a very cold month with almost no wind for several days), thousands in the UK would have died of frostbite and our economy suffered a severe blow. Few people appreciate the fragility of a modern city: in periods of extreme heat or cold, it’s electricity that prevents disaster. And, throughout the UK (onshore and offshore), it’s not unusual for there to be little or no wind during periods of extreme heat or cold.

        • gweberbv says:

          Robin Guenier,

          I understand that power outages – in particular if they are longer than a few hours – can have disastrous consequences. However, UK belongs to the industrial world. It is not Zimbawe. So, I do not understand why you see the stability of the UK grid at risk.

          I am very sorry for referring so often to the German grid data. But there I know how to access the data. On 1 p.m. on September 6 the German conventional power plants started with a power production of 26.5 GW. One day later they had ramped up to 59 GW. This ramping was essentially done with a fleet of aging hard coal plants. There is no black magic needed. Just a little bit of money to upgrade the plants for fast ramping. No need to spend money for building new gas plants.

          German engenieers are as dump/genius as UK engineers. So, I see no reason why the fleet of UK power plants should not be able to show the same degree of flexibility.

          Here you can access the data for German power production, if you are interested: http://www.agora-energiewende.de/en/topics/-agothem-/Produkt/produkt/76/Agorameter/

          Bottom line: If grid operators, regulators and power producers do their homework, there is no need to worry about handling PV and wind power. It can be done. And it will not cost you a fortune.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            Most interesting, Günter: you’re probably right that the UK’s power plants should be able to show the same flexibility as you say is possible in Germany. Unfortunately we seem to be dead set on making that impossible. This article sets it out in some detail: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/utilities/11844750/Electricity-network-in-uncharted-territory-as-blackouts-loom.html#disqus_thread

            The article is replete with quotable material. I’ll confine myself to two extracts:

            However, there are growing concerns that such a change to generating more of the country’s 85 gigawatts of power from renewables has left the grid dangerously exposed.

            According to analysts at the investment bank Jefferies, the closure of Eggborough will mean that over 16 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity – which is enough to provide electricity for a dozen large cities – will have been shut down over the last four years. At the same time, Britain has installed only 6,000 megawatts of new easily “dispatchable” generation capacity to meet any potential shortfalls that may arise.

            The announcement in May by SSE that it would be closing the giant Ferrybridge power station in Yorkshire by March 2016 has also raised the stakes for regulators who are duty bound to ensure Britain has enough power. Based on the recent closures, power supply levels published by Ofgem show that Britain will be perilously close to blackouts by the winter of 2016 if wind levels prove to be too low to generate adequate electricity for the grid.

            According to Mr Atherton the problem started with the Labour government under the former Prime Minister Tony Blair which committed Britain to unachievable targets for building renewable energy capacity.

            There is a stark – and uncomfortable – difference between Germany and the UK: whereas for the former coal is still dominant (https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/coal-still-dominates-the-energiewende/) for the latter it’s rapidly being phased out altogether.

          • gweberbv says:

            Robin Guenier,

            thank you for pointing me to this article. The Eggborough has a nameplate capacity of 2 GW and according to the article it needs about £200 million to keep it operable for a few years. This means £200 per kW and is really cheap. If the regulators are not going to invest this tiny amount of money (compared to what might be at risk) there are two explanations: There is no real need for additional spare capacity in the upcoming years (contradicting the whole article) or … something goes seriously wrong.

            Best regards
            Günter

          • Robin Guenier says:

            And that, Günter, is precisely my point. Because of the CCA and their interpretation of EU requirements, UK politicians have decided that our ageing coal-fired power plants must be closed down and not renovated. The regulators have no choice in the matter.

            So, yes, something has gone seriously wrong.

    • Hugh Sharman says:

      Well said, Robin!

      By voting for the bill in the first place and maintaining their commitment to it in the last manifesto, Cameron and Osborn are in an impossible situation of course and serve them bl***y well right.

      They are certain to lose the High Court case almost certainly being prepared, as we speak, by the extremely well healed “environmentalists”! No ifs and buts!

      Take a look at the team they are likely to use at http://www.clientearth.org/

      Things must literally fall apart first in order to reform the Law! May be if this coming winter is cold and windless….?

      • William says:

        Hugh, as a long time resident of Denmark, how does it feel to be living in a “basket case” country? A country comparable to the PIIGS – CO2 Emissions Reduction, Renewables and Recession – the DIPFIGS as Euan/Roger calls these countries.

        • Euan Mearns says:

          William, you are aware that you have been on comment moderation and somehow got around that. I’ve let it go in interest of trying to let you rehabilitate yourself to normal discourse that you unfortunately seem incapable of.

        • Euan Mearns says:

          William, once again you are focussed on a minute detail in the post and trying to undermine me and the whole post on that basis. And your basis for trying to do so is false. In terms of trying to understand trends in CO2 and economic activity it is GDP growth that is the key variable to examine. Debt, GDP per capita etc just don’t come into it. I am fully aware that Denmark has one of the highest standards of living in Europe (so does N Italy) but was very surprised to see they are mired in recession like the PIIGS. I simply don’t have time to deal with comments like this.

          What is interesting to look at is the energy intensity of GDP. Its possible that Denmark is streets ahead on that parameter but that is an entirely separate discussion point.

  15. gweberbv says:

    What is the problem with setting targets that are most probably impossible to reach? The EU does this every time when the new fishing quotas are negotiated. They never managed to put fishery on a sustainable path. But things would look much worse, if it was not tried at least.

    In the worst case, money/resources are directed into better housing insulation, smaller cars and energy-saving machinery/electronics. Compared to the money/resources that are wasted day-in day-out by bad governance, economic stupidy and individual wastefulness (even in the well-organized, rational western societies), a little bit of ‘green’ investment cannot do much more harm to anything.

    • theProle says:

      The problem isn’t the targets, but the manner by which they trump all else.

      Getting homes insulated or cars more efficient is worthwhile (and has been going on for years driven by people’s entirely rational desire to save money), although driving this to extremes may start to struggle (e.g. we’ve basically insulated 95% of our housing stock as well as it can be without expenditure that far outweighs any savings made – hence the low take up of current insulation initiatives).

      On the other hand, a policy of closing down our “dirty” baseload electricity generation without workable dispatchable replacements (or even a plan for how we intend to procure them) is anoungst the stupidest policies ever enacted by any Western government ever.

      The parallel scheme to throw vast sums of public money at producing a small amount of non-dispatchable renewable energy seems almost as hairbrained if less directly disastrous (this side of the package just wastes money rather than results in power outages).

      • gweberbv says:

        theProle,

        probably managing the grid in UK is a little bit more demanding compared to the situation on the continent where one can utilize also the power plants of the neighbours to a certain extent. However, if small Danmark can handle something like 40% wind power production why should anyone in UK be afraid of grid stability?

        • robertok06 says:

          “However, if small Danmark can handle something like 40% wind power production why should anyone in UK be afraid of grid stability?”

          Astonishing!…. you ask a question and give the answer to it at the same time… Denmark is small, 8 million souls, UK is 8 times bigger… DK has the “batteries” Sweden and Norway next door, to which it can send it unusable surplus wind.. UK can’t do that.

          Do the math, Guenter!
          For once!

  16. Ted says:

    In the best case money is spent on better insulation, more efficient cars, and machines. In the worst case it is spent giving wind farms and solar subsidies and grid priority wasting money that could have been spent on something more useful and results in closures of thermal power stations with a risk of blackouts while making little difference to CO2 output.

    As for fishing quotas …. “Cod was heavily overfished in the North Sea in the 1980s and 1990s but since 2006, with stringent regulations imposed on the industry, has shown a steady recovery and is approaching the level of maximum sustainable yield, the measurement widely accepted as the gold standard of responsible fishing.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/08/north-sea-cod-stocks-bounce-back-analysis-shows

    If only climate targets were as reachable.

    • Are you saying that the subsidies (though various means) given to fossil fuel producers is not as bad as smaller subsidies to renewable energy companies?

      • Peter Lang says:

        mikeroberts2013

        Subsidies for renewables are two orders of magnitude higher than for fossil fuels.

        In Australia, subsidies for solar are 600 times higher and for wind are 60 times higher than for fossil fuel generated electricity (per MWh). See Table 1 here: http://www.minerals.org.au/file_upload/files/media_releases/Electricity_production_subsidies_in_Australia_FINAL.pdf

        • Hmm. From the World Energy Oulook (from the IEA, my emphasis):

          The IEA’s latest estimates indicate that fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide amounted to $548 billion in 2013, $25 billion down on the previous year, in part due to the drop in international energy prices, with subsidies to oil products representing over half of the total. Those subsidies were over four-times the value of subsidies to renewable energy and more than four times the amount invested globally in improving energy efficiency.

          • Peter Lang says:

            mikeroberts2013

            Hmmm. Apparently you don’t understand two important points:

            1. Those are subsidies for all fossil fuels, not just for fossil fuels used for generating electricity. If you wan to compare with subsidies used for renewables you have to compare on the basis that it is for the same product produced – in the case of renewables, the product is electricity.

            2. To be a relevant comparison you have to compare the subsidy per MWh. Fossil fuels supply some 20 to 30 times more electricity than renewables.

          • If you say so, Peter.

          • The IMF recently produced a report which estimates FF subsidies at $5.3tn, compared with renewables at $120bn. Accounting for normalising by electricity use, subsidies are still 2 orders of magnitude higher. 20 to 30 times more electricity from FF still doesn’t cover the gap.

            Grauniad link: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/18/fossil-fuel-companies-getting-10m-a-minute-in-subsidies-says-imf

            IMF report link: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=42940.0

          • Yes, well done Euan. Did you read my links? The subsidy costs are broken down for FF: environmental costs account for $4tn of the $5.3tn. So the vast majority of subsidy has nothing to do with how exploration or citizen fuel costs are discounted, as per your post.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            I didn’t read your links Kit – I simply don’t have time to read all. But it sounds like Greenomics.

          • Mike

            Clearly you are comparing apples and oranges but as you give zero context, then it is deliberate.

            To give relevant context lets just take the UK. The two largest subsidies for fossil fuels is the VAT reduction on domestic energy (mainly natural gas) and fuel for the poor. Other subsidies pale into insignificance compared to these. Now you could compare the value of these versus renewable subsidies.

            The IEA data then which is worldwide (so no real context) actually shows the same. Most of the subsidies are in oil producing countries and the subsidy is used to keep the price of fuel in those places, low. Now that might favor the rich there but in general the rich there are poorer the the middle class here.

            So these subsidies are primarily consumer subsidies. Renewable subsidies are generally paid to a renewable energy company and are thus corporate or production subsidies. You cannot compare the two easily.

          • Well, yes, in a narrow context, it’s apples and oranges. In the broader context (i.e. assuming emissions from fossil fuels is causing the planet to warm, we need to avoid the use of such fuels, with moving the much lower emission energy production being a desirable strategy) subsidies of any kind, globally, for fossil fuels (whether local tax breaks, exploration incentives, consumption subsidies or externalising some costs) doesn’t encourage behaviours that might lead to the goal. If such subsidies are skewed to fossil fuels, then fossil fuel use is not likely to be reduced. And this is what we’ve seen, globally.

          • Peter Lang says:

            Kit Carruthers,

            Q1. What are the subsidies for electricity production and distributions per MWh for fossil fuel and for renewable energy generated electricity?

            Q2. What are these subsidies excluding the costs that are not normally considered subsidies and/or have nothing to do with what technology generates the electricity, e.g. global warming, local air pollution, congestion, accidents, road damage?

          • Peter Lang:

            I spent a small amount of time trying to find data that would let me answer your first question, but to no avail. I have other priorities, but if you can point me to the numbers then I’d be happy to do the calcs.

            Regarding your second question, why do you feel it is important that we do not take into account all discounts? If the FF (or renewable) industry is not paying for their environmental damage, then that is a subsidy and should be counted as such.

            I note that you use a coal lobby/advocacy organisation commissioned report to assert that coal and gas have fewer subsidies that renewables. I’m sure, of course, that you applied the same sceptical rigour in assessing their claims as you do with, say, Greenpeace reports. I find their assessment suspicious. After all, what else would they possibly conclude?

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Invisible “Externalities” is simply another bogus Green concept dreamt up to try and undermine FF industries and humanity. FF industries , pay vast amounts of tax and the users of FF pay vast amounts of tax to use them. That more than covers the externalities like road accidents.

          • Peter Lang says:

            Kit Currethers,

            I spent a small amount of time trying to find data that would let me answer your first question, but to no avail. I have other priorities, but if you can point me to the numbers then I’d be happy to do the calcs.

            You have to do that your self. The whole purpose of me asking you is so that, hopefully, you will recognise the nonsense you trust unquestioningly. Then hopefully, you may become more questioning about the whole cult you are following and the nonsense you accept.

            Given that there are enormous positive externalities from many technologies, it will often be the case that externalities are net beneficial. This explains the enormous net-benefits of fossil fuels: http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/humanity-unbound-how-fossil-fuels-saved-humanity-nature-nature-humanity .

            You only need to consider what would happen if they were not available to understand the ovewhelming benefits of them.

            Picking out just the negative externalities of roads, cars, etc. and assigning them to electricity generated by fossil fuels, is ridiculous and should be obvious to any critical reader. Furthermore, picking on just the negative externalities of energy And not all the other negative externalities of everythig we do, and completely ignoring the positive externalities, is highly selective – clearly driven by motivated reasoning.

            And you swallow it all, hook line and sinker..

          • Peter Lunge

            You have to do that your self. The whole purpose of me asking you is so that, hopefully, you will recognise the nonsense you trust unquestioningly. Then hopefully, you may become more questioning about the whole cult you are following and the nonsense you accept.

            Firstly, you are the one pushing that once we take into account generated electricity, then the subsidy situation looks a whole lot different. Your evidence for this is an entirely partisan report by a lobbying organisation. One should be sceptical of such findings, as one would be from, say, Greenpeace. You cannot accuse me of unquestionable trust when citing such references.

            Secondly, I do not have to the time to chase down data to prove your point correct: I work 12hrs a day writing my PhD thesis, have several hobbies, a social life, have chores, and need to sleep, on top of several chronic illnesses. Perhaps when I’m retired, or little else in my life to satisfy me, then I’ll have plenty of time to indulge you. Until then, if you want to make a point, do so properly.

            Given that there are enormous positive externalities from many technologies, it will often be the case that externalities are net beneficial. This explains the enormous net-benefits of fossil fuels: http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/humanity-unbound-how-fossil-fuels-saved-humanity-nature-nature-humanity .

            You only need to consider what would happen if they were not available to understand the ovewhelming benefits of them.

            Picking out just the negative externalities of roads, cars, etc. and assigning them to electricity generated by fossil fuels, is ridiculous and should be obvious to any critical reader. Furthermore, picking on just the negative externalities of energy And not all the other negative externalities of everythig we do, and completely ignoring the positive externalities, is highly selective – clearly driven by motivated reasoning.

            Have I ever said that FF have not been beneficial to society? This blog, and the majority of posters herein, rarely state the case against FF. I make my points as counters to the relentlessly positive points made here. This does not mean I do not support the use of FF, but simply recognise that there are other issues to be considered. You might be interested to know, in fact, that I wrote an industry funded report on environmental impacts. It came out positive, having assessed the data. Does that fit with your assumptions of me? Of your world view that because I support environmental protection measures that I am anti-industry or anti-fossil fuels? Who’s the highly selective one, especially when you – again – use a partisan report to make your case. I’m sceptical of everything I read, and so should you be, especially when your parting shot to me is “And you swallow it all, hook line and sinker..

    • Günter Weber says:

      Ted,

      I doubt that most households would spend that small amount of money now going into feed-in tariffs of renewables for something more useful in the sense of national economy. If renewables are build up from government money that could be otherwise be used for – e. g. – renewing school buildings that’s a different story.

      You should also keep in mind that you can expect PV and wind farms to operate longer than the timespan of relatively high feed-in tariffs. As their running costs are quite low, even with a significant penality for handling their intermittent production pattern renewables will be more or less cost effective then.

  17. Stuart says:

    Hmmm, there is quite an aggressive tone to this.

    The opening line of the paper makes the assertion that climate change is an establishment conspiracy including politicians, journalists, environmentalists, renewable suppliers, etc, etc.

    Unsurprisingly no evidence is provided to support this claim.

    The second paragraph, moves onto a number of good technical points but fails to recognise that the whole point of the act was to try and spark new technologies. 35 years is a long time in technological terms, although looking out over work on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route it probably isn’t such a long time in civil infrastructure terms.

    On the whole I think Doug raises some valid points, however my own view of “climate change”, or rather anthropological climate change is that it is probably a real phenomenon although I don’t recognise how a 2°C warming poses a material threat to the planet? It happens so slowly that people will adapt to it without even realising.

    I don’t think the sea level rising 1 meter over the course of a Century is a threat to anyone or anything. Free market economics alone are enough to guide our actions via shifting land values and changing crop prices.

    If there was a risk of a 5°C temperature rise in the space of a decade then I can see how that might be a problem. It’s not easy for an entire population to move around or retrain in such a timeframe. But 2°C over 100 years?
    The entire world’s workforce will turnover 3 times during that time. I think humanity can easily adapt to that rate of change. During the previous 100 years the world’s population has gone from 1.8 billion to 7 billion.

    Therefore in my mind even the most doom laden scenario is nothing to worry about. The best thing to do, is to just let free market economics guide us at the macro level (which is the status quo). There are far bigger risks out there and far more important things going on in the world than climate change.

    The most pressing issue facing humanity today is world poverty. Investment in labour intensive industries in regions of extreme poverty would be a far more productive use of world summits.

    • Stuart, regarding 2C warming. It’s an average (not a steady rise across all the planet’s surface) and has long term consequences on all sorts of things. Read this. Also, the effects don’t stop at 2100. You might have grandchildren born this century who will live beyond 2100. 1 metre sea level rise is a lot for places barely above sea level, and think not only coastal inundation but storm surges and king tides. But 1m is a fairly conservative estimate (the IPCC report also mentions other unaccounted for factors that could raise it to 1.5m, though this still doesn’t take some things into account.

      Think of the impacts that we’re already seeing at +1C (though I’m sure many can’t see anything unusual happening).

      You say that even the most doom laden scenarios are nothing to worry about but I wonder what scenarios they are? Some see business as usual taking us to +6C within a century. The most doom laden scenarios have us there decades earlier and an calculation by Michael Mann sees us getting to 2C by 2036, in a BAU scenario. And most contrarians seem to want BAU to be the scenario of choice.

      • Doug Brodie says:

        The inter-glacial graph in the second section of my paper shows that computer models which predict +6ºC this century due to man-made CO2 are simply not to be believed. I understand that the +2ºC by 2036 claim by Michael Mann has been widely debunked, e.g. here http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/manns-latest-propaganda-global-warming.html

        Michael Mann is of course the propaganda merchant who was mainly responsible for producing the totally discredited hockey stick graph.

        • Doug, you need to distinguished between “widely debunked” and “annoyed a denier”. In the article you linked to, it gets a number of things wrong, almost from the off.

          Mann begins the article with, “If the world continues to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, global warming will rise 2 degrees Celsius by 2036, crossing a threshold that many scientists think will hurt all aspects of human civilization: food, water, health, energy, economy and national security,” which suggests the 2C “dangerous threshold” has a scientific basis.

          Well, it may suggest that to the anonymous author (MS) but Mann isn’t saying that, only that 2C will hurt all aspects of civilisation, not that it is some kind of limit (many think the limit is lower). However, I agree with the notion that 2C was plucked out of the air as a limit.

          Your linked blog then says:

          Mann appears to suggest that global temperatures will increase an additional 2C over the next 22 years from now to 2036, but doesn’t mention he’s talking about 2C warming total since pre-industrial times.

          This is nonsense. The other article linked to in the original Scientific American piece (though since re-titled) has, “Most scientists concur that two degrees C of warming above the temperature during preindustrial time would harm all sectors of civilization”. Clearly, he’s talking about the rise since pre-industrial times.

          MS’s calculation gets him or her only to 1.1C by 2036, even though we’re already at 1C, with the latest 2015 data. So that would be only another 0.1C warming from now. In two decades of BAU, it is most unlikely to be anywhere near that low.

          MS includes a nonsensical graph which shows (old) HADCRUT4 data with a straight line going to +2C (suggesting a rise of almost 1.5C is needed to reach Mann’s calculated date, when MS previously thought Mann was talking about an additional 2C, so he or she is changing tack mid blog). This is ludicrous since the HADCRUT4 data anomalies are not based on pre-industrial times, but on the 1961-1990 average. A more accurate, and up-to-date graph would not look so unlikely. Another 1 degree rise in 20 years.

          So it hasn’t been widely debunked. Nor has the so-called hockey stick, which has been verified many times, including once by Berkley scientists who were previously skeptical of it. I think this all demonstrates why it’s unlikely that your email to MPs will be taken seriously.

  18. The thing I always do in these ‘debates’ is ask what I am trying to achieve. In many cases CO2 emissions means other pollutants as well. So solving one or at least reducing one leads to the other. In other words I do not really have to worry to much on the veracity or otherwise of climate change. And it is exceedingly pointless to do so.

    Unfortunately greens (others as well) especially cannot seem to do this. so instead of focusing on resource consumption and the easiest and bests ways to reduce CO2 (or indeed evaluating why we are so slow), they tend to champion oh that solar project or that wind project(hydro and biomass being ignored). All the while they are sitting on a bed of high CO2 emissions.

    • JerryC says:

      n other words I do not really have to worry to much on the veracity or otherwise of climate change. And it is exceedingly pointless to do so.

      I.e., it’s all just a pretext for stuff you wanted to do anyway.

  19. gweberbv says:

    Maybe the following figure might cool down the discussion: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2015/08/11/opinion/081115krugman2/081115krugman2-blog480.png
    It shows the development of real gross domestic product normalized to the number of working-age adults in France, Japan and the US. And it might depress everybody who is arguing about what is right or wrong regarding economic or energy policy. You can rely on 80% nuclear power (France) or you can shut all your nuclear power plants down for a few years (Japan). You can have 35 hours working week and 40 days of holiday and good social security (France) or just 25 days of holiday and very poor social security (US). You can frack as hell (US) or simply totally ban fracking (France). In the end it does not matter too much. At least for the last 25 years.

  20. Ed says:

    I can’t believe you lot are all arguing about something we have no control over. We either don’t control CO2 emissions and get to 450 ppm in x years or we reduce our CO2 emissions a little and get to 450 ppm in x + 5 or whatever years. Big deal ! We will burn all our fossil fuels eventually. Reducing the rate of emission will not stop climate change (whether you think it is man made or not).

    ‘Climate change’ is red herring. The real reason we need to roll out ‘renewables’ or nuclear is because fossil fuel is a finite resource, approaching peak NET extraction of the stuff and the World is in massive population overshoot. Basically we’re in deep shit. ‘renewable’ or nuclear energy can’t replace fossil energy in the long term but they could extend the petroleum age to beyond my lifetime.

  21. Peter Lang says:

    Robin Guenier,
    @September 10, 2015 at 7:37 am

    I suggest, Euan, that the above exchange illustrates my point nicely. Attack the CCA because you believe the so-called consensus science is wrong and sooner or later someone like Peter Lang will come along and assert for example that Skeptical Science is “atrociously dishonest”. And then people on the other side of the science debate will (unsurprisingly) pile in with fierce counter argument. And so we descend yet again to the usual shouting and bickering. And it gets us all nowhere.

    I’ve been thinking about the point you have been making in your comments on this thread and especially about your last comment. The quote makes a valid point. I agree I responded inappropriately and my response provides a good example to support the point you’ve been making in your comments on this thread. However, I do not agree that we can tackle only the cost-benefit – what I would call the rational economic and risk management aspects – whole ignoring the ‘consensus’ climate science. My reason is that a large proportion of the voters do not “get” the cost-benefit and the rational and logical analyses. Many vote on the basis of fear, greed and emotional arguments. If we do not discredit the irrelevant science (as distinct from the science, economics, etc. that are relevant for policy analysis), then the voters are swayed by the irrelevant, but emotional scare-mongering arguments put by the CAGW alarmists. So, we have to tackle both.

    And we are doing well. For example, consider how the alarmists are losing the debate and how the heat has gone out of CAGW in the main stream media. First, note the drop in the media interest since the Copenhagen Climate Conference fiasco in 2009 as shown in the ‘Activity timeline’ chart (which is updated daily): http://climatechange.carboncapturereport.org/cgi-bin/topic?#activitytimeline

    Second, consider the change in the CAGW Alarmists’ message what the CAGW since 2009. In 2009 James Hansen (claimed ‘father of global warming’) in his book “Storms of my grandchildren: The truth about the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save humanity” claimed that the oceans would evaporate and Earth’s atmosphere would become like Venus if humans don’t stop their evilness. He and other CAGW alarmists were telling us Florida, New York, London and the Australian Opera House would be inundated within a short time. And there would be 50 million climate refugees by now – but there are none!

    What are the CAGW alarmists arguing now? Well there arguments mainly involve calling people who do not accept the climate cult’s beliefs deniers, flat earthers, etc. They also argue a lot about temperature trends, whether or not there is a pause, where is the missing heat hidden, will sea level rise 30 cm or 1 m by end of century, is equilibrium climate sensitive 3 or 1.7 or could it be as high as 6, 12, 20 or whatever scary figure can be used for ther strawman arguments.

    Notice how on this thread the CAGW alarmists avoided addressing the content of my comment here: http://euanmearns.com/time-for-the-tories-to-repeal-the-2008-climate-change-act/#comment-11878 Instead they made silly comments about “you should write for WUWT”, “denier”, “flat earther’ etc. Those are the only arguments they have left. The CAGW cult is now the ‘flat earthers’. The basis for their cult’s beliefs are being knocked off bit by bit.

    We cannot get the result you and I want by just aiming our arguments at politicians. The politicians have to respond to what the majority of voters believe. So, the primary target of our persuasion has to be the voters. And to persuade the majority of them we have to continually discredit the scaremongering nonsense and explain the science and economic s facts that are relevant for policy analysis. We have to explain what is relevant and discredit the mass of irrelevant misrepresentation of the science and the economics.

    Consider what happens if we tackle only the arguments you advocate (what I call the rational economics arguments). The CAGW alarmists respond goes something like this (and this is persuasive to many voters)

    • You don’t disagree with the ‘science of climate change’. Therefore you accept it (meaning as stated by the IPCC and explained and interpreted by advocates such as Real Climate and Skeptical Science).

    • Therefore, humanity is doomed if we don’t do something

    • Therefore we have to do something

    • Are you suggesting we do nothing?

    • Well what are you suggesting we do then?

    • So, you want to do nothing, right?

    • So you’re a ‘Denier’, a ‘flat-earther’, a ‘dinosaur’ etc.

    This is what the voters hear and are persuaded by. They are concerned there is a risk humanity is doomed if we don’t “do something”. So they vote for whoever makes the most noise about fixing the dangerous climate problem.

    I hope you will, perhaps reluctantly, agree that we must continue to tackle both the misrepresentations of the science that is relevant as well as explain the rational economics. We cannot do just one or the other. It has to be both. But not everyone has to tackle both. People with different skill sets should deal with the issues their area of expertise is suited to. Good examples are Steve McIntyre (a retired mining and resources forensic auditor) was very well qualified to discredit the Michael Mann Hockey Stick incompetence. Nic Lewis, a statistician with no previous involvement in climate science, has done an excellent job revealing that the modellers’ estimates of ECS are far too high. Judith Curry is showing up the group-think and intellectual dishonesty that pervades advocates of the climate science consensus.

    • Peter Lang says:

      Correction: the quote is from this comment:
      @ September 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm
      http://euanmearns.com/time-for-the-tories-to-repeal-the-2008-climate-change-act/#comment-12013

    • Robin Guenier says:

      Peter:

      You’ve put your position cogently. And I appreciate that. But I’m unconvinced.

      Assume for just a moment that, like so many influential and powerful people, you are persuaded that, unless it stops putting increasing amounts of GHG into the atmosphere, humanity faces serious and possibly catastrophic consequences within a few decades – you have no doubt that action is essential to avoid this. You regard the CCA as the UK’s contribution to that effort. You are able to refer to a wide range of reports and scientific authorities supporting your position and to many years of debate that has failed to dent your (or your colleagues) certainty about the reality of the science.

      Then along comes someone – let’s call him Peter Lang – who points out that, in a global context, the CCA is valueless and, in a domestic context, potentially damaging. And, in any case – he argues – what you see as scientific reality is seriously flawed. He produces data in support of this.

      How do you react?

      Well you don’t know much about the global context. And you suspect Mr Lang may be scaremongering about potential damage to the UK. But you do know a lot about the science – or, more accurately, your friends and advisers, especially the scientific authorities, do. And here, for all the well-established reasons (which you’re more than ready to deploy yet again), you know Mr Lang is wrong (and, in any case, he’s probably either in denial because he’s frightened of change or is a shill for the fossil fuel industry – or both). And, if he’s wrong about the science, he’s almost certainly wrong about his other alleged concerns. So his views are of no account and should be ignored.

      If however you’re confronted by someone – let’s call him Robin Guenier – who says that, even if your view of the science and what mankind should be doing to overcome the appalling risk the world is facing is wholly correct, the state of international climate politics means that the CCA would be no more than a futile gesture that could achieve nothing. Moreover – says Mr Guenier – the implementation of the Act risks putting our society, and particularly the most vulnerable people in that society, at real risk of serious long-term damage.

      How do you react?

      Well, now there are no distractions – appeals to authority or accusations of denial are not relevant. And you cannot just ignore someone who is warning of a potentially damaging and pointless gesture. This time your friends and advisors are of far less use. Would they be able to show you convincingly that a reduction in the UK’s 1.2% of global GHG emissions would make any difference in a world where countries responsible for about 70% of emissions are doing nothing? I don’t think so. (They might try the “Britain must take a lead” argument – but even you know that’s now embarrassingly threadbare.) Would they be able to assure you that replacing much of our dispatchable generating capacity with unreliable intermittent generation would not put our economy and people at risk? Again, I don’t think so.

      That, Peter, in the context of repealing or amending the CCA, is why it’s best to ignore altogether the debate about the science and to focus exclusively on the practical consequences of the Act.

      As for voters, for years now the monthly Ipsos MORI Issues Index has shown that climate change is amongst the least of their concerns. Few have the slightest interest in the scientific arguments or have even heard of James Hansen (or Steve McIntyre, Nic Lewis or Judith Curry). But tell them that the UK’s expensive renewable energy efforts are pointless, benefit only the wealthy and are potentially damaging to the interests of ordinary people and I suggest you’d get their attention. And that’s when politicians will listen.

      As for your query about how I would answer a question about what we should do, see the concluding paragraph of this paper: LINK

      Finally, I have no objection whatever to your continuing to tackle what you see as misrepresentations of the science. But please don’t do it in the context of the validity of the Climate Change Act.

      • Peter Lang says:

        Robin Guenier,

        Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the discussion. This is important. However, I suspect we may end up agreeing to disagree. I have a problem with addressing your comment because I disagree with the starting premise and lots throughout. Your second paragraph says:

        Assume for just a moment that, like so many influential and powerful people, you are persuaded that, unless it stops putting increasing amounts of GHG into the atmosphere, humanity faces serious and possibly catastrophic consequences within a few decades – you have no doubt that action is essential to avoid this. You regard the CCA as the UK’s contribution to that effort. You are able to refer to a wide range of reports and scientific authorities supporting your position and to many years of debate that has failed to dent your (or your colleagues) certainty about the reality of the science.

        I disagree with your premise/assumption. There will always be a proportion of people who believe in catastrophes of some kind and fall into the group you build your assumption on. However, the proportion believing in CAGW is declining. The public’s perception of catastrophic climate change is changing and has been changing since the scaremongering peaked in 2009. The public are recognizing CAGW is a massive exaggeration. AGW is a minor threat and the cost of the proposed policies is a massive waste of money. Support for high cost mitigation policies is declining. More and more of the public is gaining an appreciation they’ve been misled. It’s really important that we do not stop educating the public that they’ve been misled (on the interpretation of the relevant science). That requires explaining what climate science is relevant to policy analysis and explaining the major misrepresentations. The key pieces are:

        1. Climate sensitivity – according to estimates based on empirical data as distinct from the models ECS is overstated by nearly a factor of two. Once corrected, the project amount of warming is halved.

        2. The high end projections of GHG that can be emitted this century is much high. Therefore, the projections of temperature increase over the century are further reduced

        3. Temperature change is not a measure of damage. We have no persuasive, objective evidence that higher GHG concentrations in the atmosphere this century will do more harm or more good. Nor do we know if they will increase or decrease the time until or the magnitude of the next abrupt climate change

        4. Climate does not change smoothly as the models project. It changes abruptly. Always has and always will, so the modellers’ conclusions are bollocks.

        5. The damage function is virtually unknown. That is we have no idea whether warming will do more good or more harm, but we do know with very high certainty that cooling would be very damaging for humanity and for life on planet Earth.

        6. There is virtually no chance that warming will be catastrophic. Even IPCC AR5 has completely backed away from its previous assertions about the catastrophic consequences.

        If however you’re confronted by someone – let’s call him Robin Guenier – who says that, even if your view of the science and what mankind should be doing to overcome the appalling risk the world is facing is wholly correct, the state of international climate politics means that the CCA would be no more than a futile gesture that could achieve nothing.

        How do you react?

        Those who are deeply concerned about CAGW react by saying: “UK is a rich country. We can afford it. We have to set an example for the rest of the world to follow. It’s morally wrong to do nothing.” That’s what they say.

        We cannot run just the economic argument. It cannot succeed on its own. Economic Rationalists have been running it since before 1990. I was involved then. It doesn’t cut through. Recall how Kevin Rudd beat Prime Minister Howard in the 2007 Australian election by running the argument “Climate Change is the greatest moral challenge of our time. Howard is a silly old fart. He just doesn’t get it.” That’s what wins elections.

        But tell them that the UK’s expensive renewable energy efforts are pointless, benefit only the wealthy and are potentially damaging to the interests of ordinary people and I suggest you’d get their attention. And that’s when politicians will listen.

        We’ve been telling them for over 25 years. It doesn’t cut through to most people as effectively as the scare mongering about “there is a risk humanity is doomed if we don’t do something; dealing with it is the greatest moral challenge of our time; Renewable energy will solve the problem; it clean and infinite”.

        Your last paragraphs says:

        Finally, I have no objection whatever to your continuing to tackle what you see as misrepresentations of the science. But please don’t do it in the context of the validity of the Climate Change Act.

        I am Australian and I know nothing about the CCA. I am not arguing about it. I am arguing about the broader principal that we cannot run only the economic argument. We must also continually discredit the claims and interpretations of the climate science that are relevant to policy analysis (e.g. list above). This applies to how we need to tackle the CAGW cult in all the rich countries, not just the specific example of the CCA in UK.

        I remain of the view, we must run discredit the science and also show the costs to individuals of the proposed policies.

        • Robin Guenier says:

          Peter:

          I know nothing about the CCA. I am not arguing about it. I am arguing about the broader principal that we cannot run only the economic argument.

          It seems we’re at cross-purposes. This thread is about the CCA and I am arguing specifically about that. I have no objection whatever to you, or anyone else, discussing the wider issues of climate science. But not in the context of amending or repealing the Act. And, on that, I suggest you read Roger Andrews’ comment here: LINK

          • Peter Lang says:

            Robin,

            Sorry, but appeal to authority, or to someone who agrees with your opinion, doesn’t work for me.

            I recognise this post is about the CCA; However, the argument has much broader relevance than just the UK’s CCA. I presume that’s why there a comments on Energy Matters from people making contributions from France, Germany, Scandinavia, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

            I didn’t point out to you that many of your arguments in your previous comment are strawman arguments.

            I’d suggest you might want to consider reversing your premises and answering them yourself. Economic rationalists have been pointing out for over 25 years that the advocated mitigation policies such as carbon pricing, incentivising renewable energy, Kyoto targets, etc. will not succeed. That has been less effective at undermining the CAGW alarmists message than showing up the exaggeration and misrepresentations of the science.

            You might find these two posts of interest:

            Why carbon pricing will not succeed Part I http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/26/cross-post-peter-lang-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed-part-i/

            Why The World Will Not Agree to Pricing Carbon II http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/

          • Robin Guenier says:

            No Peter I completely disagree.

            My reason – my only reason – for posting here is to identify the best way of persuading politicians to amend or repeal the UK’s Climate Change Act. For the reasons I’ve set out (I hope clearly), I’m sure that can best be achieved by focusing exclusively on the reality that the Act is pointless and potentially damaging. It’s pointless, not because “policies such as carbon pricing, incentivising renewable energy, Kyoto targets, etc. will not succeed“, but because the UK is responsible for only about 1% of global GHG emissions and countries responsible for more than 70% (probably quite a lot more) have no intention to make any cuts. It’s damaging because replacing reliable dispatchable energy with unreliable intermittent energy puts us at risk of serious power outages.

            These are strong, practical arguments. Trying at the same time to persuade them to change their understanding of climate science can only confuse the issue and give them an excuse for distracting, time-wasting and unnecessary counter argument.

            As I keep saying, I have no objection whatever to people discussing wider climate issues – provided they do so in another context.

          • Peter Lang says:

            Robin,

            I have no objection to you making whatever opinions you like about UK policy, as long as you don’t try to tell me what I can contribute here or anywhere else.

          • Robin Guenier says:

            I haven’t the slightest intention of telling you what you can contribute here or anywhere else. On the contrary I find your views very interesting.

  22. PhilH says:

    I can’t see the CCA being repealed, or even its numbers being weakened. Not for the lack of effort by Nigel Lawson, Doug Brodie et al, but for real-world political reasons.

    The only realistic party of government that might is the Conservatives, but they have nothing to gain, and a fair amount to lose by trying: CCA opponents will be even more likely to vote Conservative in 2020 with the CCA in place than if it’s not (much like opponents of the 2004 fox-hunting ban, whose repeal is also not scheduled, despite being of far more concern to most Conservatives); if there’s a large public outcry (and the devolved administrations, CBI & TUC still support the CCA), it will cast a cloud on their time in office, and could even force an embarrassing climbdown (they remember the ‘poll tax’ debacle).

    It would make all those Conservative MPs (inc David Cameron & George Osborne) who didn’t vote against the CCA in 2008 seem incompetent, when the reasons for repealing it now were all known then. (They remember “The lady’s not for turning”.)

    Managing the implementation of the CCA is a major part of the work of DECC’s minister & civil servants. Repealing the CCA would make DECC’s abolition more likely, doing them all out of a job.

    Next summer [my estimate], Amber Rudd will be able to announce to the House “Under my watch the UK’s GHGs have fallen by 40% since 1990, so reaching the CCA’s half-way point; moreover, having done it 5yr early, I have reduced the associated costs to save a few pounds for Britain’s hard-working families; all is going well; I am doing a good job and would make a good next party leader”. If there’s any hint that she might be considering repealing the CCA, she would look crazy.

    If something bad happens in the coming years, when the DECC minister reports to the House they would prefer to say “I have followed the advice of National Grid, my civil servants & the CCC; people there must be incompetent; some of them must resign,” rather than “Despite the advice of National Grid, my civil servants & the CCC, I followed the advice of some other people; as they have nothing to resign from, I am resigning.”

  23. PhilH says:

    Euan Mearns asks in his comment above of September 8, 2015 at 8:52 pm “How many MPs appreciate how far behind the CCA curve we actually are? And how many appreciate the consequences of bringing the UK back on course?” Leaving aside the question of how many MPs care, may I try to provide an answer for them:-

    The CCA, as well as its main aim of cutting the UK’s GHGs by 80% from 1990 to 2050, requires the CCC to provide a series of targets along the way via 5yr ‘carbon budgets’.

    The first carbon budget, for 2008-12, required a cut to about 80% of the 1990 level. This was just met.

    The second carbon budget, for 2013-17, requires a cut to about 69% of the 1990 level. Half-way through, it’s looking like it will be met comfortably, with about 62% actually achieved [my estimate].

    The third carbon budget, for 2018-22, requires a relatively unambitious cut to about 62% of the 1990 level. It’s looking like this will be met nearly 5yr early, and that about 53% will be achieved [my estimate].

    The fourth carbon budget, for 2023-27, requires an ambitious cut to about 48% of the 1990 level. The intended phase out of coal in favour of gas will help achieve this.

    The fifth carbon budget, for 2028-32, will be set in the next few months. In this timeframe, the government’s intended new nuclear fleet of up to eight 3GW sites will be coming online, and PV’s costs will have fallen much further – these will power the by-then electric car fleet as well as the usual electricity demand.

    For the period 2033-50, covering the rest of the way down to 20%, I can’t usefully speculate, but as this is at least 3 general elections away, I’d guess no MP cares.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Phil, thanks for keeping us straight here – really! But your numbers don’t quite match mine. According to BP (which is not perfect) 1990 produced 622 MtCO2. 2014 471 MtCO2. A drop to 76% of 1990 by my reckoning. What is needed here is an appreciation of how this has been achieved.

      • Peter Lang says:

        According ti IEA https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/CO2EmissionsFromFuelCombustionHighlights2014.pdf , UK’s CO2 emissions intensity (kg CO2/MWh) of electricity were as listed below (I added the third column which is the % change since 1990). Of course, the tonnes CO2 emitted by electricity would have decreased by less because electricity consumption increased.

        1990 672 0%
        1995 529 -21%
        2000 472 -30%
        2005 491 -27%
        2010 445 -34%
        2011 435 -35%
        2012 479 -29%

        UK’s total emissions for all sectors decreased 16.7% from 1990 to 2012.
        United Kingdom
        Year; Mt CO2; % change since 1990
        1971 623.5
        1975 579.5
        1980 571.1
        1985 544.5
        1990 549.3 0.0%
        1995 516.6 -6.0%
        2000 524.3 -4.6%
        2005 532.9 -3.0%
        2010 473.6 -13.8%
        2011 436.5 -20.5%
        2012 457.5 -16.7%

      • PhilH says:

        I omitted details for brevity, but since you ask (sort of):

        I guess your BP data & Peter’s deal with just CO2, whereas the CCA covers a basket of GHGs and land use, though CO2 is of course the largest. Our CH4 emissions have been reduced massively, and land use changed from a source to a sink. I’d recommend looking at Fig 1 in the CCC’s 2015 progress report executive summary which shows the overall situation best (can you repost it?), and there are detailed numbers in DECC’s annual UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions stats (latest at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/provisional-uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-national-statistics). It’s these figures that they’re chasing, and that define ‘success’ or ‘failure’ for the CCA.

        The historical numbers, up to 2014 being 64% of 1990 are from those sources. My estimate of 2015 & the 2nd CB being about 60% comes from extrapolating the same factors that caused the drop from 2013 to 2014: an even warmer year (they’re not temp adjusted), continuing total energy reduction from efficiency, and continuing abating coal generation with gas & RE (http://www.ref.org.uk/fuel/tablebyyear.php). My estimate for the 3rd CB comes from continuing total energy reduction from efficiency and continuing abating coal generation with gas & RE, given the RE schemes likely to proceed (see previous comment regarding my EU RED 2020 projection). Obviously the further in the future, the greater the uncertainty; I make no warranty.

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