Isn’t this great?

So, we have to plan for massive insulation programmes. Large-scale solar installation is also necessary. Heat pumps need to be rolled out at the rate of more than 20,000 a week if we are to have any chance of reaching net zero commitments, and these could be made in the UK using skills now being declared redundant in many factories. And all this, of course, is just a start.

But this is not the only area where we need more employment.

We need more people in education: children who have lost out need support.

And the care sector is critically short of staff to meet need.

In addition, almost every aspect of the creative sector needs support.

That said, Labour will have to be discriminating: there are jobs that do not need preservation. The days of air travel may be numbered. We are over endowed with financial services. The world could survive without Uber and Deliveroo, because it did until recently, and these are not good jobs.

The world also survived without more care workers, more people in education, more support for the creative sector. But the argument that the world did survive without them is not used, is it? Only the things that are unfashionable get subjected to that retort.

And then there’s the conservatism of the base logic there too. If caves were good enough for grandpa then why worry about wattle and daub? Or even, why come down out of the trees at all?

30 thoughts on “Isn’t this great?”

  1. “Heat pumps need to be rolled out at the rate of more than 20,000 a week if we are to have any chance of reaching net zero commitments, and these could be made in the UK using skills now being declared redundant in many factories.”

    What skills in factories?

    These fucking people. They assume every factory body is interchangeable, an ignorant way of looking at that they perceive to be the proles. Most people working in a factory like Honda are really the upper end of the working class and middle class. They aren’t meatheads banging metal, they’re mostly people looking at the problems caused by robots, analysing data, producing reports.

  2. And during the great lockdown panic, when all the shops were closed, how were those self isolating meant to put food on the table?
    Deliveroo et al service a need. Otherwise they wouldn’t have grown so quickly, and they pay what they need to in order to attract and hold on to workers. As it should be in a free market system.
    Just how arrogant do you have to be to believe that you know how to run an entire country and everyone in it.
    Can we not just send him up to Scotland to do his worst up there, after they seceed?

  3. The days of air travel may be numbered

    If I could be arsed to trawl thru his rancid output, I bet I could find examples of him slagging off for example, BA for making redundancies.
    And once this ridiculous panic is over, people will fairly quickly return to air travel, holidays, eating out, getting pissed in pubs etc. Why? Cos it’s fun and we like it.

  4. Don’t heat pumps require a significant amount of area both inside and outside to work? A friend of mine had one fitted in her new build house, the outside piping required long trenches dug in her (extensive) gardens, and the machinery inside takes up a space that is equivalent to a walk in wardrobe. How many houses in the UK have that sort of spare space? Or indeed want their garden turned into a building site?

    Also there are 25m homes in the UK, the vast majority of which don’t have a heat pump. At 20k/week (even if possible) thats going to take 25 years to do every house. As the world is going to end inside 6 months if we don’t Do Something! its a bit of a pointless exercise isn’t it?

  5. I’m going to do whatever I can to sabotage the green-freak show. Prob not much but still going bto try. As should all of us.

    Given that millions will soon be out of work and Blojo’s money printing schemes will be as destructive as they always are -even a little sabotage damage will hopefully be magnified against our foes.

  6. ‘if we are to have any chance of reaching net zero’

    I think we’ll hear this mantra again. And again.

    And planarians know you won’t. Even Hitler wouldn’t dare such a big lie.

  7. It’s a great day for solar power in the UK right now. It would be even better at night in January

  8. “Heat pumps need to be rolled out at the rate of more than 20,000 a week . . .”

    A ground source heat pump can cost £18k, so that’s potentially £360m a week to come from somewhere.

  9. “I’m going to do whatever I can to sabotage the green-freak show.”

    My next 4×4 is going to have a massive engine. 4 litres at least. If I get 20mpg I’ll be lucky. And I shall smile every time I press the accelerator hard.

  10. @ Jim
    Thanks for that. I assumed that a heat pump would need machinery similar to a refrigerator but no-one had previously told me how big it would be.
    And no-one – but no-one – ever admits that that it will consume vast quantities of electricity and the mechanical effort expended in compressing gases will lead to large amounts of heat released into the atmosphere.

  11. @ Diogenes
    You should get a link to Gridwatch UK and see how windpower supply is inversely correlated with demand! At least solar supply is higher in the daytime when demand is higher.

  12. Last time I checked, minicabs and motorcycle couriers existed before Uber and Delivero, the only thing different is they use different radio frequencies to dispatch the self employed drivers.

  13. A ground source heat pump can cost £18k, so that’s potentially £360m a week to come from somewhere.

    Well, there was that figure painted on the side of a bus that we would have spare if a certain event happened. I’m sure the LHTD would be happy to be informed that his pet scheme is now affordable, and from where the money has been redirected!

  14. We are over endowed with financial services

    This is of course, as anyone in the industry would tell you, complete and utter bollocks, financial services remains one of the top contributors to the economy and is a major exporter, yet the size of the workforce has been the same since around the late 1990s, probably dropping slightly over the last 10 years or so.

    And, guess what … it’s going to be the number one place you’ll be going to, to get your loverly cash to splurge on your erotic green fantasy.

    There’s only one industry that is overendowed and that is professional journalism, a hodgepodge of self-appointed elitists who contribute zilch to anything, have zero experience of what a working population does, and are routinely outperformed by the “amateurs”, this noble site being no exception.

  15. So Much For Subtlety

    A ground geothermal heat source is one of the better ideas out there. They do have large up-front costs. But they can easily halve an electricity bill for heating.

    It helps if you have a lake near by, just handy. Or a big garden. It does not help if your home is old. They are a little bit hard to retrofit.

    But of all the quasi-bollocks ideas out there, this is one of the better ones.

  16. SMFS

    I have heard, though, that when there’s a leak in the underground piping, it can get monstrously expensive very quick.

    And leaks occur- the ground shifts,…

  17. @ SMFS
    A geothermal heat source – great! Almost a free lunch.
    But the salesman who ‘phoned me was telling me that his pump could heat my house to 70F by extracting heat from my garden when the ground was frozen without significant cost.
    Incidentally, it is atrociously wasteful to use electricity for heating unless you live in Norway which a surplus of hydroelectricity. The efficiency of converting heat from fossil fuel into electricity varies between roughly one-quarter and roughly one-half *before* transmission losses so in January when the marginal electricity producer is coal it is five times as bad to use electric heating as directly burning fossil fuel.

  18. The great expense of installing a ground source heat pump is digging trenches and laying the pipework. The great expense of running one is the power needed to spin the scroll pumps.
    But having spent this money you do indeed get plentiful hot water and/ or aircon.

    One type of ‘ground’ source HP is to drop the pipework into a body of water and not need diggers etc to install. (Water source heat pumps are way cheaper to install). Also a river can easily offer enough flow to spin the pump. Note that some heat pumps are 400% efficient as the energy yielded n the form of hot water is 4x the electrical energy consumed to maintain circulation.

    I’ve often wondered if at municipal or large building level we might not line river bottoms with the pipes and install with a small crossflow turbine to spin the pump (not electrically). You’d get a supply of hot or cold water with no power demand at all. You’d actually be slowing and cooling the river very minutely. How many buildings in the UK are next to a river that could be heated nearly for free?

  19. Bloke in North Dorset

    About 15 years ago while I was still living in the Chilterns a friend wanted to install a GHP, one that went down. The local planners put paid to it by insisting he pay for some very expensive geology reports that would have required a lot of drilling. They seemed to be scared of him causing an earthquake or something similar.

    Anyway, the added costs soon out grew any benefits.

    One of my neighbours who has a lot of land so could go for a surface GHP looked in it to provide energy for the toilet blocks on a small campsite he runs. Again the upfront costs were way too high to take the risk.

    As always with the likes of Murphy infrastructure projects only have three steps:

    1. Idea
    2. Miracle occurs
    3. Desired outcome.

    They never bother their brain cells with step 2 and when questioned on it wave there hands about airily and dismissively talk about mere details.

  20. @Jim – air source heat pumps are smaller, but less good. A bit like strapping a tumble dryer to the outside of your house.

  21. ” How many buildings in the UK are next to a river that could be heated nearly for free?”

    I think you might have a bit of trouble with getting permission from the Environment Agency to start sticking pipes full of various non water fluids into rivers. And of course permission for all the construction work needed to build all the accompanying infrastructure in and around a watercourse. Then there’s the silting up issue, and damage caused by floating debris etc. Seeing the destructive capacity of a river in full flood, I wouldn’t want to be relying on getting my house warmed by any structures located in a river.

  22. Jim,

    Hmmm…..
    The operating fluid in water side cycle pipes can be pure alcohol – heat exchanged with the fluon in the operating cycle pipes. No envirnmental issues really with a spill of a few litres of alcohol. Yes I agree on Planning Permission – one of Tim’s perennial bugbears. The pipes can silt up all they like -in fact you weigh them down to sink into the mud on the river bottom – they stil lexchange heat just as well. You may be talking about detritus jamming the turbine – which is why I suggested a crossflow turbine – pretty much unjammable, and super easy to clear with a stick if they do.

  23. “No envirnmental issues really with a spill of a few litres of alcohol.”

    No environmental issues for a rational person doesn’t mean that the environment agencies won’t be against it

  24. At least solar supply is higher in the daytime when demand is higher.

    That may be true today, but wait until we’ve got 20 million electric vehicles all needing to be recharged overnight. (Yes, I know – but that’s the plan, isn’t it?)

  25. @Chris Miller:

    The lack of any apparent plan to increase generation capacity is deliberate.

    They’re allowing you to think that when they’ve banned your hydrocarbon-fuelled car, you can just buy an electric one to replace it. But they’ve no intention of letting you get away with that. The actual plan is to abolish private motoring by making sure that even if you could afford a car, your electricity supplier will be in no position to fuel it. Your smart meter will allow you a meagre nightly allowance, enough to keep the chill off if there’s enough wind, but not enough to power a car.

    After all, if they really wanted an electric car fleet there’d be a massive programme building proper grown-up power stations. Nuclear power stations. You just know that’s not going to happen, right?

  26. I live just outside Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand and like most houses here, mine has a heat pump.The bit outside is about the size of a large suitcase and the inside part lives up near the ceiling in the corner of the living room.It does a good job of keeping the room comfortably warm regardless of the outside temperature.It does not however heat the rest of the house, central heating as is known in the UK is almost unheard of here.Does it cost much to run ? I don’t think so,I can’t compare electricity prices with the UK. I believe ours is Hydro generated.Because most houses here have one,prices for installation and servicing seem quite reasonable .

  27. Everybody has air-source HP in every room here for cooling and heating in ‘winter’.

    The newer ‘Inverter’ ones are quite efficient, pumping out about 4 x heat than the electricity they consume. Not very expensive either.

    However, they don’t produce a constant heat unless the outside conditions are perfect and we’ve fitted a wood-pellet burner in our new apartment.

  28. @ Bloke in Cyprus
    How good is it when’s there is a frost?
    When we in the UK really need central heating the marginal source of electricity is coal-fired with a generating efficiency of up to 37% (world average 31%) from which one has to deduct transmission losses averaging 8% https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmenergy/386/38607.html so your 4x is just above break-even in terms of fuel saved/consumed compared to a coal fire (in terms of CO2 emission, a gas boiler remains better).

  29. Air Source Heat Pump = air conditioning, useful in a climate with hot/humid summers and cool winters, not so good when the outside temperature is near freezing.

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