We’re ruled by idiots

Yes, yes, emissions, climate change, carbon neutral but:

As part of the Government’s aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet targets for reducing climate change, it will pay households to produce renewable energy. A wood burning, or biomass, system will achieve a tariff of 12.2p per kilowatt hour of energy produced. Other renewable sources such as solar thermal panels, air, ground and water-source heat pumps pay different rates.


They’re paying more in subsidy than the energy is actually worth for something as fucking polluting as wood stoves?

Dear God these people are morons.

The soot, particle emissions, are massive. No, seriously, no one at all wants to live where there’s a significant section of the population burning wood 24/7. Lung disease rates will soar. Agreed, they are insisting upon proper ventilation but still, don’t they know that the indoor burning of wood and the like is the world’s largest cause of lung cancer (yes, far more than ‘baccy)? And ventilation, chimneys and the like, only externalises that internal pollution?

We’re ruled by idiots.

28 thoughts on “We’re ruled by idiots”

  1. Yes, but it’s carbon neutral so you’re not putting fossil carbon into the atmosphere. So if you believe the nonsense about AGW, it actually makes sense.

    Of course, measuring “emissions” itself makes no sense without doing this, since you’re measuring part of a cycle. Everything has to emit. What matters is extraction, which is why it would make more sense to limit extraction. But nobody wants to do that, because it’s easy and only affects a relatively small number of extractors (oil rigs and coalmines are pretty fucking visible big things) so it hasn’t got the opportunity for bureacracy that “emissions” has with all the bullshit about “emissions trading” and everything.

  2. What matters is extraction, which is why it would make more sense to limit extraction. But nobody wants to do that…

    Mainly because it would quadruple the oil price and plunge the world into poverty of the sort which would have Oxfam concentrating on what they’re supposed to do rather than political campaigning. Smart people know this, and they know the public would reject it, so they dick around with petty shite like what we’re seeing here.

  3. Tim Newman-

    Well make your mind up. Either we want to stop carbonising the atmosphere or we don’t. Which is it?

  4. I wonder how much of this is wood that has been cut down by a petrol chainsaw, collected on a huge diesel powered truck, dried in a warmed shed then delivered on a trailer being towed by a diesel 4×4.
    And then if the stove is over 5kW max output the installer has to drill a large hole in your wall in case you suffocate.
    Carbon neutral? I think not.

  5. bloke (not) in spain

    I’d be fascinated to know how this’d work.
    I used to have a small workshop, manufactured furniture. Mostly out of pine. So it produced a great deal of offcuts. Seemed a good idea to get a stove, put a chimney up the outside of the building, solve the heating & waste disposal problems at one stroke.
    Lasted two weeks until Environmental Health were knocking on the door.
    S’pose one could use the tariff to pay the fines.

  6. bloke (not) in spain

    And just to get on the Environmental Health side of the argument, for a sec:
    I’ve lived in a part of France where burning wood is ubiquitous. For a start, however good your stove & chimney you live in a permanent slight indoor haze. And the chimney smoke doesn’t always dissipate. Certain weather conditions I’ve seen the entire valley with a stratum of smoke capping it. You live at the wrong altitude & you’re in that cap. Smell of burning oak’s quite pleasant but not in mackerel smoking quantities.

  7. IanB: We aren’t and we don’t

    Check Camoron’s father-in-law–has he decided to do a bit of wood burning this year?. I’m sure his darling daughter will make it clear to numbnuts Davey boy that Daddy needs the cash.

  8. “Either we want to stop carbonising the atmosphere or we don’t. Which is it?”

    We (and by we I mean the twats behind all this eco bollocks) want to continue in our fossil fueled lifestyles, with our electric on tap, central heating, 3 cars in the driveway and holidays abroad on cheap Ryanair flights, all the while denouncing the evils of fossil fuels, and the wonders of a ‘low carbon’ lifestyle, and renewable energy.

    Its no wonder Lefties love eco-wibble, it allows them to indulge in their favourite pastime – jealousy mixed with a good dollop of spite coupled with a total lack of reality.

  9. Ah, the lovely smell of Soweto and downtown Santiago de Chile is arriving soon. Then the weather bureau can get busy and give us red days, pollution so bad kids don’t go to school and nobody is allowed to drive their cars. Fantastic idea to keep these civil servants busy!

  10. This is not new; preferentially taxing diesel vehicles (both in road fund licence cost and per fuel mile) because they emit less carbon dioxide has lead to an increase in diesel vehicles. The fact that this means more particulates and other toxins is beginning to dawn even on the ecomentalist wing of the BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04f9r9h

    Of course, it will be framed as an attack on the evil car companies, and probably Big Oil, rather than the policies the Greens have foisted on us all, but there you go…

  11. bloke (not) in spain

    “If they were serious about carbon sequestration they’d make arrangements to bury the wood.”
    That’d be landfilling paper.
    But they insist this should be recycled.

  12. Well make your mind up. Either we want to stop carbonising the atmosphere or we don’t. Which is it?

    We do (well, some people anyway) but don’t want to pay the actual, full price for it. So they dick around the edges in order to feel good whilst deep down knowing that they, as much as anyone else, could not bear to pay the real price.

    Don’t like burning fossil fuels or their derivatives? Then quit. Nobody’s stopping you. I give you about a day max. We’ve known this in the industry for years.

  13. Bloke in Central Illinois

    Wood is one of those things that’s only renewable on a very small scale. If everyone started to heat their houses with wood chips, you’d have a serious deforestation problem real quick.

  14. Wood burners have become very popular here as the cost of the traditional heating fuel (diesel) has soared….

    a) The place stinks in winter
    b) All the big DIY stores stock chainsaws
    c) Trees are getting to be a rare sight.

  15. Isn’t wood like, basically, a low-energy-density fuel?

    Carbon-neutral? Over all, including all the logistics?

    I simply don’t believe it. It’s subsidy-farming, nothing more or less.

    btw I believe the squillions of tons of pellets required to fire Drax will be imported from the U.S. On a ship. That uses heavy fuel oil. Preceded, and followed, by diesel-powered transport. We are indeed ruled by idiots.

  16. BiCI

    Wood is one of those things that’s only renewable on a very small scale. If everyone started to heat their houses with wood chips, you’d have a serious deforestation problem real quick

    Not if you coppice it on a large scale. However in the UK coppice wood is now a rarity and to get it all up and running again would be very expensive and take years. There would probably have to be rather a lot of new woods too.

  17. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Yet again we have an example of innumerate pols and their eco-fascist enablers demonstrating their utter ignorance of scale and orders of magnitude. For this to have any real impact beyond an excuse for braying Home Counties types to flaunt their right-on credentials the supply of biomass would have to be increased mightily. Last time we tried that it didn’t end well. Half the forests of England were denuded for charcoal burning. This time round we won’t even get any steel out of the process.

  18. BiCR

    ‘Forests’ weren’t denuded for charcoal burning, this was provided by coppice wood an indefinitely renewable resource. Charcoal production for the Wealden iron industry, for instance, was the saving of the woods which were rapidly being cleared for agriculture which has always been the prime source of woodland destruction. The reason charcoal fell into disuse was because coal was cheaper and more efficient, nothing to do with felling all the woods, which didn’t happen.

    Which isn’t to say that burning biomass is a good idea, it isn’t.

  19. IF, and that is deliberately a big “if”, one has a good quality stove emissions are insignificant. Tim’s comments about lung disease relate to third world stoves spewing half-burned smoke particles into the house not modern Scandinavian wood-burning stoves on sale in the UK that emit negligible amounts of smoke out of the chimney.
    It is obviously is *not* going to do anything to help global warming – you are generating the same amount of heat whichever fuel you use and natural gas, especially methane, produces less CO2.
    I am writing as a guy who has had a wood-burning stove since we moved to our current house 18 years ago. [There is a modest environmental benefit in that we only heat the living room when we are using it, so cutting down on fuel compared to a whole-house central heating system, but the main environmental advantage is reducing the amount of landfill as we only ever use waste wood that would otherwise go to landfill.] In 18 years, no-one has commented on the smoke from our chimney.
    The subsidy is all to do with Blair’s idiotic commitment to an unattainable “renewable energy” commitment and some bureaucrat finding that burning wood after 200 weeks is “sustainable” but after 200 million years is not.
    Not morons – very clever cheats.
    I’ve also had solar “thermal” water heating panels for 18 years because these are undeniably good for the environment with the added benefit of saving us more money than I should get in interest if I had put my money in the Halifax instead. I am in favour of encouraging them (and since I’ve had for more than a dozen years too long, I get no subsidy so this comment is disinterested), provided the incentive is a reasonable one – not like Millionaireband’s ridiculous 40p/kwh for solar PV panels.

  20. @ Thornavis
    Nearly right – and coppicing is the key point, not the impossibility of using a charcoal-fired boiler to operate almost anything.

  21. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Coke replaced charcoal largely because of cost, true, but the impact on woodland due to charcoal burning was sufficiently great for there to be legislation passed in the 16th C. to mitigate the effects (some of the very first environmental law passed AFAIK). Certainly even with coppicing, there was no way charcoal production could have scaled to the extent necessary for the Industrial Revolution. And subsidising Tarquin and Ffenella’s darling little wood-burning stove is not going to scale to where it has any discernible impact on power generation.

  22. Nearly right eh, praise indeed coming from you. Just out of mild curiosity what have I not got quite right ?

  23. BiCR

    The legislation that was passed was an attempt to ration wood use between different demands, it being required for any number of processes. There was much less woodland at that time than most people realise today, having rather romantic notions about the Greenwood and so forth.

    You’re right there was no way that charcoal production could have kept pace with the Industrial Revolution, not least because so much land was still required for agriculture. In theory at least it might be possible, by planting new woods on arable land to provide enough wood for domestic and industrial use today, as we don’t need anywhere near so much space to grow food. However it would obviously be an insane thing to do, so we can probably expect it in all the manifestos for 2015.

  24. @ thornavis
    Did you notice: “the impossibility of using a charcoal-fired boiler to operate almost anything.”

  25. Did you notice: “the impossibility of using a charcoal-fired boiler to operate almost anything.”

    Yes I noticed it, can’t see the relevance to anything I wrote though, I was responding to BiCR’s point about woodland destruction not suggesting that charcoal could have been used in boilers.

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