The grownups have finally won and everyone in the UK, from those in cold homes to those on polluted streets and in flooded towns, will benefit. The most important aspect of the UK government’s new clean growth strategy is its unequivocal statement that tackling climate change and a prosperous economy are one and the same thing.

Well, no, not really:

But the biggest worry is the very limited support for carbon capture and storage, the technology that takes emissions from fossil fuels and buries them under the ground.

“The technology”? We don’t have a technology which does this. We’re even pretty sure that we’ll never have a technology which does this. It’s not the grown ups who go about wishing for the sunbeam and cucumber storage technology.

25 thoughts on “Sigh”

  1. I thought we did have the technology. Use photosynthesis to split the CO2 into carbon and oxygen, and bury the resulting carbon. It’s been around for a couple of billion years.

  2. tackling climate change and a prosperous economy

    The Government certainly will be tackling a prosperous economy.

  3. As jgh says, yep. Sunbeams & cucumbers would just about do it. Be alright for salads for a while, too.

  4. The oil industry is once again toying with the idea of sticking lots of CO2 into depleted reservoirs offshore. In the same breath they’re telling everyone they can’t deliver projects with the oil price hovering around $60 per barrel. I have a feeling it’s going to be taxpayers coughing up for this.

  5. — “those in cold homes…will benefit”

    ‘Germany’s Energy Poverty: How Electricity Became a Luxury Good ‘
    “Germany’s aggressive and reckless expansion of wind and solar power has come with a hefty price tag for consumers, and the costs often fall disproportionately on the poor.”

    The Guardian’s typical ‘fuck the poor’ attitude is them being “grown up” apparently.

  6. The Greenfreaks are not “grown-up”.

    They are “growths” in the sense of a cancer on humanity’s arse.

    They are the middle leg of cultural Marxist evil, seeking to undermine the technical and economic (real) progress brought by Western freedom and free market s.

    Boost the bills and watch prosperity burn is their plan.

    But not–of course–for the middle class state suckers themselves.

    That the Fish Faced Cow is on board with such shite is of course to be taken as a given.

  7. Dear Mr Worstall

    A great way to capture carbon is to pump it into greenhouses – it is a greenhouse gas, after all – and watch those plants grow. CO2 at 280 ppm is close to starvation levels for plants, 400 ppm is better and higher is better still. So fire up those fossil fuel power stations and recycle all that sequestered carbon into the living environment.

    Not only will the plants benefit, the sight of the groan-ups’ heads exploding would be a huge bonus.


  8. The Guardian’s typical ‘fuck the poor’ attitude is them being “grown up” apparently.

    They win both ways. They get their Green boondongles, and it creates more poor people, who they can exploit to gain more power.

  9. ‘There is no long-term, high-carbon economic strategy because the impacts of unchecked climate change destroy economies, as Lord Nicholas Stern puts it.’

    Who is going to tell China?

    The ‘grown-ups’ are pushing in a balloon. Cut manufacturing in England – for the ‘climate’ – and it pops out in China. With NO rules. Brilliant! Destroy the environment and feel good about it!

  10. “..tackling climate change…

    But we’re not tackling fucking climate change are we you fucking numpties?!!!

    The Climate Change Act will not change the climate!!!

    The Paris Accords will not change the climate!!!

    Every single measure we’ve gleefully adopted since Kyoto will have zero, zilch, nought, nulla effect on the climate!!

    Of course these useless measures have made – and are continuing to make – our energy supplies more expensive and less reliable and since energy is a key input to wealth creation, we will be poorer and less able to adapt when the climate does change.

    And remember kiddies, temperatures can go down as well as up and if, (when), it gets colder a useless energy supply infrastructure will be a bit of a problem.

    And since – to repeat – nothing we are doing and nothing we are capable of doing will change the fucking climate then to lessen our ability to adapt seems somewhat stupid!

  11. Kevin B states the bleeding obvious and yet I still see policies that pretend we can. Had a meeting yesterday where someone talked about 4C as likely. I bit my toungue. Don’t argue. Don’t stand out. Don’t make a fuss as my career is too valuable and I can afford the extra energy costs. Lots can’t.

    Same thing is true if Brexit. Crap models and people trying to solve the NI border issue when the ultimate problem is the attitude of the EU hierarchy. And we can’t solve that with money.

  12. > Despite looking these gift horses in the mouth, and ignoring tidal power,

    So we’re not going to destroy the Severn estuary. We should be thankful for small mercies. It’s ironic how much of environmentalism involves destroying nature.

  13. We have multiple technologies that can capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The underground storage part is simple. There aren’t any technical hurdles that can’t be solved.

    The problem is the cost. We’d be far better off building nuclear power and letting plants do the rest.

  14. And recall what I do for a living, what I write about. A technology that “works” is one that works at an acceptable cost.

  15. Trouble is politicians and pundits have heavily bought into the idea that CO2 will bring world temperatures back up to the Holocene optimum, and that this would be disastrous.
    They have therefore spent two decades loudly urging the replacement of fossil fuels with anything but nuclear without mentioning or usually without knowing the enormous cost.
    They now find that the cost is unacceptable to the populace, and are desperately trying to hide it.
    They won’t succeed, but my God, the damage they’ll have caused.

  16. To make the costs affordable we have to turn the CO2 back into a useful product, not try to bury it forever. In the past, this wasn’t possible. Today it is because, when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, we have excess electricity.

  17. Well, we do sort of have that technology – its called ‘grow trees, chop them down, and then bury them’. So it not sexy or anything like atmospheric scrubbing schemes which depend on plentiful *non-carbon-producing* energy production.

    Which doesn’t exist.

  18. What’s so bad about raising the ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere a bit, and possibly also increasing global temps a bit into the bargain? Earth has been a pretty inhospitable place for a long time with frequent ice ages, the next of which is over due. I don’t see why making the place a bit more hospitable for plants and animals is seen as such a bad thing?

  19. “I don’t see why making the place a bit more hospitable for plants and animals is seen as such a bad thing?”

    Climate change was never about the environment.

  20. @ Liberal Yank
    The Orkney Islands have a surplus of wind- and solar-powered electricity which they export to Caithness (some of the time, importing electricity on calm days) but the USA certainly doesn’t even when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. How many pumped storage schemes do you have? How much coal do you burn in power stations? You still consume more coal (in mtoe terms) than nuclear and renewables combined.

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