Impact of UK’s Climate Change Mitigation Policies 2005 to 2013 – A Guest Blog


Today, I have posted a guest blog from Anthony Thompson…

The BBC and the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Commons have recently announced that allowing climate sceptics to put their case should be avoided because it gives ‘false’ balance. They say it is like giving airtime to people who think the moon landings were faked.

In doing so they are ignoring the 134 scientists who, in November 2012, wrote to the UN Secretary General, to say: “We the undersigned, qualified in climate-related matters, wish to state that the hypothesis that emissions of CO2 cause dangerous warming is not supported by the evidence”. They are also overlooking scientists as eminent as Freeman Dyson, holder of the Professorial Chair once occupied by Albert Einstein at Princeton University, and even James Lovelock, founding father of the Green movement, who has said: “Take this climate matter. They all talk as if they knew what was happening”.

Scientific truth will survive the efforts of the BBC and the Science and Technology Committee to suppress it. In the meantime we risk being thought contemptible for raising questions about climate science. To be heard, we have to approach the subject from other angles.

One way is to take the ‘consensus’ science at face value and see where it leads. For example, the International Panel on Climate Change says that the earth will warm by 3oC for a doubling of CO2. This is known as climate sensitivity. Rather than challenge this view – pivotal for climate change science – let us assume it to be accurate. We can then use it to see whether our climate change policies make sense.

In the UK we have put up thousands of wind turbines and solar panels to reduce our CO2 emissions. To fund this we spend £2 billion a year in subsidies and, according to the Government’s official estimates, this will rise to £5 billion a year. By 2020 we will have spent £100 billion. Is it worth it?

Since 2005, these turbines and solar panels have increased the share of the UK’s electricity generation from renewable sources from 1.8% to 4.6%. The UK makes up 2% of the world’s CO2 emissions, and 20% of that is for electricity generation. In short, we have saved the world an increase of 0.01% in its overall CO2 emissions.

With a climate sensitivity figure of 3oC we can calculate just how much this reduction of CO2 in the UK has slowed down global warming. The result of these calculations is that global temperatures would be 0.0004oC higher had we not put up all those wind turbines and solar panels.

What are we getting for our £100 billion? So far, it would seem, a 0.0004oC reduction in warming.

It’s not difficult to dislike current policies on climate change even if you’re not sceptical of the science. We object to wealthy landowners getting large subsidies, to landscapes disfigured, to property values blighted, to bats and birds slaughtered, to a 50% increase in electricity prices, to widespread fuel poverty, to the exporting of thousands of jobs to countries with lower electricity prices and higher CO2 emissions. But for now, whether we like them or not, we are simply asking whether these expensive policies are successful. The answer is self-evidently, no. They are a disaster.

Are we going to continue down this road? The UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act which is supported by all the political parties in Parliament requires us to reduce carbon emissions by 80% from 1990’s level by 2050. If we go on as now that will mean covering an area the size of the whole of Wales with wind turbines. There has to be another way.

You might have thought that anyone who is genuinely concerned about the dangers of global warming – especially the politicians – would be desperate to abandon polices that are having so little impact. Instead, we find that all of them are continuing to back failure. They have revealed their true colours: Appearing to be ‘green’ matters more than practical solutions.

So what should be done? Apart from fracking (which has enabled the USA to reduce both its COemissions and its energy prices dramatically) the sensible thing is to focus on research into alternative forms of energy. There are two front runners: Thorium and Fusion. China, India and Norway are all developing thorium as a safe alternative to uranium nuclear power; thorium is plentiful throughout the world and it does not entail long term storage issues. Fusion power, which would give us almost limitless electricity free of charge, is under development in the south of France funded by the EU, the US, China, India, South Korea and Russia. For a tiny fraction of the £100 billion we are frittering away on wind turbines and solar panels, scientists could experiment and evaluate many other possible forms of energy.

And, finally, we should not lose sight of the fact that, according to the Met Office statistics, global temperatures did not actually rise at all between 2005 and 2013, and indeed have not risen since 1996, even though the rise in COhas continued unabated.

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12 Responses to Impact of UK’s Climate Change Mitigation Policies 2005 to 2013 – A Guest Blog

  1. Brin jenkins says:

    How do we get this across to the scientifically challenged?

    The lack of understanding leaves us open to the bigoted will of those who are able to shout the loudest.

  2. Thomas Fox says:

    None of this climate change tax makes sense is it that our politicians are mostly of historical classical learning rather than that of modern science ?

  3. ian wragg says:

    The problem is Roger, the politico’s have invested so much credibility in wind and PV that to concede they were wrong would be devastating for them.Better to keep up the pretence and waste our money rather than lose face. it is the same for the EU. We all know its a scam but politcians continue to espouse the so called benefits.
    I hope when the nerde eventually hits the fan, all these cretins will have all their possessions sequestered and be sent to jail.

  4. Ex-expat Colin says:

    This is the gentle side of it. Owen Paterson tells us about the contemptible/criminal side.

    Ed Davey then quickly gives the go-ahead for 100 – 175 wind turbines in likely the busiest shipping lane in the world. English Channel. Useful stuff?

    There is a lot of yadder in the press about Oil/gas supplies to UK from Russia…missed coal out by the look of most of it. Now we are at the point of more (severe?) sanctions on Russia, we may slowly see how unified this EU thing is. I have a slight feeling that seizing private property (assets) just because you are Russian may verge on a criminal act. One replaces another I suppose?

    No 3 (-1 link)

  5. Thomas Fox says:

    Well composed Colin ,Owen Patersson is speaking the truth , the wind of change is gathering in Westminster against the Green ideology that tell us damn lies which can not be based on the true science !

  6. Mike Stallard says:

    “What are we getting for our £100 billion? So far, it would seem, a 0.0004oC reduction in warming.”
    But it is other people’s money! Not theirs! So what an easy decision to take.
    Super article – well done!

    PS. Mr Helmer – is it really true that the Greens (Greenpeace, RSPB) have a massive lobbying presence
    in Brussels and that is the basis of the “Climate Change consensus”. I notice the BBC got a huge bung – was it £2,000,000? – last year from the EU.

  7. Richard111 says:

    As far as I can make out the whole exercise is a policy directed at global population reduction. Try and imagine the western world economies have collapsed and the only available power is from electricity generated from solar panels and wind turbines. Then along comes a few heavy winter snowfalls similar to some we have already experienced. What do you think will happen to the ‘green’ power? Sunshine doesn’t penetrate far through snow and wind turbines still need wind which is usually lacking as high pressure systems move in with the cold.
    Third world countries will not be able to depend on the food and fuel from the collapsed first world economies.
    No transport, no food and no heating. Winter time. Doesn’t bear thinking about.

  8. To which should be added of course, the claims of Lockheed Martin concerning compact Fusion…

    The device is 2x2x4 meters in size. It is cylindrical shaped. It has a vacuum inside with high magnetic fields, made using electromagnets. Uncharged deuterium gas is injected. It is heated using radio waves, in much the same way a microwave heats food. When the gas temperature reaches over 16 electron-volts, the gas ionizes into ions and electrons. This plasma exerts a pressure on the surrounding magnetic fields. This plasma pressure is counterbalanced by the magnetic field pressure in a beta ratio:

    \beta = \frac{p}{p_{mag}} = \frac{n k_B T}{(B^2/2\mu_0)} [2]

    The plan is to reach a high-beta ratio. Plans call for a compact 100 MW machine. The company hopes to have a prototype working by 2017, scale it up to a full production model by 2022 and to be able to meet global baseload energy demand by 2050.

    • Thomas Fox says:

      I have not a scientific brain to understand this formula but know that wind turbines solar panels will be long gone before 2050 replaced by a new source of power that IPCC could not dream of !

      • Of course. If only because subsidy used to fuel energy systems that don’t work without it is unsustainable. Peak subsidy has passed in many countries and we should see subsidy as fuel completely running out in Britain very soon. With Thorium or Fusion systems becoming available within decades, not the 50 years, (and always 50 years) prediction that has been the case up until now.

        Hopefully Roger recognises this, and drops his support for unsustainable subsidy.

  9. Me_Again says:

    There’s none so blind as them as won’t see…………………………

  10. C.KAY says:

    yeah,yeah,yeah, they are nowhere men, living in a no where land, making all there no where plans FOR US! I used to be a green and was very concerned about what I was being told,though I could never get my head around when a wind turbine actually became carbon nuetral and all the power used in manufacturing and erecting the thing would be paid off,thank you Rodger for taking the scales from my eyes,still I did get my cavity wall insulation for free I ( Iive a 3 storey house) ,cheers chaps for paying for it,although I will pass on some of the savings to UKIP!

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