Fair enough

The good news is that there are now real grounds for optimism that we can slow and ultimately stop greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy currently outcompetes fossil fuels in many areas and continues to become cheaper every year. New energy storage options, ranging from cheaper batteries to green ammonia, are emerging. New ways to produce proteins at scale without destroying rainforests are being developed.

When these solutions become so good, and so cheap, that they routinely outcompete their fossil fuel and biodiversity-destroying counterparts, greenhouse gas emissions will decline to near zero. Getting there, though, needs some serious focus on green technologies supported by policies that will get them rolled out.

Yep, the solution will be technological. We need more and better technologies that is. So, what do we know about innovation? That governments can’t do it, are incapable of planning it. Capitalism and markets are great at it.

Note, please, innovation, not invention, which both are equally good at.

So, to beat climate change we need capitalism and markets, not government and planning then. What’s being proposed? Government and planning.

So, over there on the naughty step please, dunce’s cap upon bonce.

Sure, it’s possible to reject the entire thesis out of hand. But how stupid do you have to be to accept it and then reject the known solution?

17 thoughts on “Fair enough”

  1. And what is “green ammonia” ?
    The latest attempt to bottle unicorn flatus?

    Is it any less toxic than the NH3 ammonia I know from real science?
    If the ecoloons have finally realised the uselessness of batteries, and the impractical nature of hydrogen as a fuel, may I suggest another liquid capable of acting as a store of energy: octane? (and similar hydrocarbons).
    It’s also possible to synthesise a very good diesel replacement from methanol: DME

    Why try to re-invent the wheel?

  2. ‘Renewable energy currently outcompetes fossil fuels in many areas and continues to become cheaper every year. New energy storage options, ranging from cheaper batteries to green ammonia, are emerging.’

    Same old fakery. BS to manipulate the impressionable.

    ‘Getting there, though, needs some serious focus on green technologies’

    After 30 years of intense research. Technology is constipated. Nothing is emerging.

    ‘supported by policies that will get them rolled out.’

    The government’s policy is to roll out what we have, as grossly inadequate as it is.

  3. Renewable energy currently outcompetes fossil fuels in many areas and continues to become cheaper every year

    Yeah well, up to a point. Hydroelectric seems to work a treat for example, but solar isn’t so good. Wind and tidal power generation is a racket only made possible by robbing the taxpayer.

    As far as the UK is concerned, there is no point whatsoever in moving to renewables, even if the most deranged predictions of the eco-mentalists are correct. Nothing we do will make any difference. Anyone who thinks China and India are going to stop building airports and coal-fired power stations is fucking deluded. We might as well stay toasty in the meantime.

  4. I agree Tim. But I’d argue that you’d need the plentiful reliable energy of nukes to make the synthesis of petrol, diesel, jet fuel etc practicable.

  5. My stepson, a clever chap with a Doctorate in Low Temperature Physics and who worked contractually on alternative forms of propulsion with Hyundai, Honda and various bus/transport companies etc, told me that not one person involved in those projects, including himself, could see any light or further development with known battery technology that would enable significant progress to be made on EVs.

  6. Not only government and planning, but St. Greta is insisting on government, planning, and destruction of the modern technology-based society. “How *DARE* you!”

  7. Dear Mr Worstall

    Carbon dioxide is plant food. Exporting it to third world countries (performed by renewable energy – the wind) is lifting billions of subsistence farmers out of abject poverty by increasing food production, especially in marginal areas.

    “Global warming” is a scam of epic proportions, second only to socialism.

    Perhaps all civilisations mature and die. Is this the way Western civilisation will end its days? Reducing the population to the level of cave dwellers as a matter of government policy?

    I doubt any of the green nasties have ever paused to consider where the carbon in oil and coal came from in the first place. The fact that it has been sequestered from the atmosphere for millions of years to the point that plants have come close to starvation is lost on them. We are currently doing a sterling job of recycling all that lovely carbon back into the atmosphere and living grandly because of it – once from the energy released and again from the fertilisation of the atmosphere.

    Long may it continue.


  8. I hear Samuel Jackson is to appear in the latest film highlighting eco-disaster.

    “Steaks on a Plane”

  9. The best way to reduce emissions would be to nuke all the dirty developing countries out of existence. China, India being at the top of the list. Given that our Glorious Leaders aren’t quite nutty enough to take that step, and given that all the tiny wee little dainty holier-than-thou cosmetic changes made by the shiny clean elite countries make three fifths of five eights of fokol difference, why are we even worrying?

  10. JW: A guy who posts fairly regularly on WUWT made a similar point a while ago. He reckoned Musk’s batteries are pretty close to physical limits with that technology, and there ain’t a much better one, despite talk of Na, K, and other strange chemistries.

  11. ’Hydroelectric seems to work a treat for example’
    Yes, but just try getting a new hydro installation past the green freaks these days

  12. @John Wilkinson, DP


    @Tractor Gent

    +1 Lithium-Ion cells are already pushing limits, that’s why they burn/explode unlike Lead-Acid


    Greens: Dam & Hydro bad; silted rivers, beaver dams and floods good

  13. It isa all a load of Marxist lying shite and the time is here for the green freakshow to be punished for peddling their lies.

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    Modern batteries are reaching the limits of our current understanding, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some technology to be discovered.

    When I taught battery technology at the School of Signals 35 years ago we thought NiCad was the end of technology and that was as good as it would get.

  15. “And what is “green ammonia” ?”

    I read something a few weeks ago about using anhydrous ammonia as a fuel in ships. Climatards think it’s a good idea. It could be made to work, but you get 40% of the range of bunker crude/diesel. Ships would have to carry 2.5X to have the same range.

    Dockside handling gets trickier, too.

  16. @BiND

    While NiCd has been surpassed, it’s not a game changing improvement

    Battery energy densities
    Specific energy (MJ/kg), Energy density (MJ/L)

    Petrol – 46.7 , 33.6
    Lead acid – 0.14 , 0.36
    Nickel Cadmium (Nicad) – 0.14 , 1.08
    Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) – 0.4 , 1.55
    Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) – 0.46-0.72 , 0.83-3.6

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