They’ve got the dark bit already

Households need to turn their thermostats down in winter to help Britain slash greenhouse gas emissions and hit Boris Johnson’s bid for a carbon-neutral Britain by 2050, energy bosses have said.

What with CFLs and LEDs we’ve got the dark, now they’re trying to insist upon the shivering in it bit.

OK, they’re only saying that the thermostat should be turned down from 19 to 18 but still.

There being a certain amusement to this. It’s only since the 1980s and the general availability of central heating that anyone has kept their house – as opposed to the odd room – this warm anyway. Odd to think that only a generation, generation and a half maybe, get to enjoy this nirvana……

44 thoughts on “They’ve got the dark bit already”

  1. “energy bosses have said”. Probably more to do with the fact that, thanks to Milliband, Greeneace, WWF, Friends of the Earth, Cameron, Clegg, Boris (the list is endless), the UK energy system is fucked and won’t be able to supply the energy needs of the country anyway.
    This will be compounded by the actions of the French, who have begun to turn off 14 of their nukes which will limit the leccy we can pull over the interconnect.

    Perhaps Ehrlich called it right but was out by 50 years: “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people…If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” — Dr. Paul Ehrlich

  2. As a callow youth, I wouldn’t have thought too much about them going for the oldies but as I am practically in that category now (although you would never know it due to my youthful looks, sparking intellect and ripped body) I’m beginning to feel they’ve got it in for me as I’m not elite enough.

    Surprisingly (?), cold kills oldies. 18ºC is not warm. All this homicidal and society crushing lunacy is due to man-made CO2 warming the atmosphere, which it manifestly doesn’t.

    Our society is built on cheap and reliable (nice word that) energy. There is no technical reason for not having it. All reasons are political.

    I am beginning to take this cr*p personally.

  3. Since the hysteresis of a typical thermostat is 2 degrees C the room temperature will be more like 16 degrees for much of the time.

  4. Failure to keep the rooms warm, especially with modern unventilated rabbit-hutches, will mean cold walls, encroaching damp, condensation, mould, fungal spores, hence a spate of respiratory infections in the inhabitants.

    They can then call that the ‘4th wave’ and keep the scamdemic going even longer.

    Will the officail thermostat checkers wear leather overcoats?

  5. We are told the UK is one of the best places in the world for wind power. We have over 24,000 MW of wind power capacity. Yesterday we were generating an average of 596 MW so we only had to resort to 809MW of coal and 14,276MW of electricity generation from gas. I do wonder if the people advocating policy ever look at the numbers.

    I also wonder how people can believe that climate change will make the weather more unpredictable, yet advocate energy sources that rely on traditional weather patterns.

  6. The Torygraph was running this comment piece, yesterday
    Suggesting that unless we buckle down & reduce carbon emissions the environmentalist extremists will take over & force us to. Seems to ignore the important detail, you can only govern a country with the compliance of the people governed. This true of even the most repressive dictatorships. The ruler rules with the consent of the Mum of the guard on the palace gates. All this extreme greenery is only acceptable whilst those supporting it don’t suffer personally the consequences. Which so far they haven’t. But notional greens forced to sit shivering in their houses won’t remain notional greens very long. I’d say they’re pushing the envelope. It’s not that the environmental extremists will take over. It’s that common sense will take over & sweep them away

  7. b.i.s.

    Exactly. That’s why the Greens are mainly affluent middle class types who find a bit of austerity quite palatable, given their relatively high levels of current consumption. When they realise what it really means – either because they have sat in the cold for a while, or someone has punched them in the gob – they will change their opinions.

  8. Eco-freakery is a poll tax on stilts a mile high waiting to happen for any government that starts to believe its own oral faecal output. The moment that people get handed orders to replace their nice efficient (and warm) gas boiler and bills for tens of thousands to do so is the moment they become a voter for whoever is opposing this stuff. The trick for any political party with an ounce of sense (which of course is none of them) would be to talk the talk while in power but do absolutely nothing practical that affects anyone, and let the other side implement it if they get into power, and are stupid enough to do so. At which point they can pivot and become the party opposing all the new restrictions and garner the grateful votes of millions.

  9. Indeed Jim is correct. When this gas boiler scrapping nonsense gets closer a political party opposed to eco madness will present itself. It will support internal combustion engines, gas boilers and point out that the UK produces about 1% of the emissions on the planet. It might also point out that the climate is driven by the sun not by carbon dioxide which is a rather poor ‘green house’ gas. It will say ‘we will scrap all these green taxes and give you cheaper electricity’ and build more power stations using a cheap and readily available British product, high quality anthracite coal. Open cast mined of course. I think it might be called the whatever happened to common sense party or something like that.

  10. BiS – lol

    The Earth is in trouble and it’s the most important crisis we face; everything else is second order. If we don’t act now, an entire way of life will be destroyed

    Ahhh, remember it was called the Torygraph?

    Canada suggests that climate change models, dismissed as alarmist, might have been too conservative. We are already up 1.2C on pre-industrial levels; we’re anticipated to hit 1.5C by early next decade.

    This is SERIOUS guys, it could get… slightly warmer!

    When, say, food becomes insecure or millions try to migrate here

    Imagine if millions tried to migrate here tho, that would be crazy.

    history also shows that when conservatives resist reform in the wake of changing conditions, they only delay the inevitable and make revolution more likely

    Conservatives are useless pussies who serve only to belatedly ratify whatever evils the Left vomits from its collective hellmouth and will probably be openly defending polygamous bestiality pedo-weddings by 2025.

    But how much normality can we really preserve? Here we have to be honest with voters on two counts

    The lisping catamite wants to be honest with you: your consumer lifestyle has to go. His five star foreign holidays, £1500 iDildos and lifelong PrEP prescription, not so much.

    I would literally rather slaughter hordes of upper middle class twats called “Tristan” than go on a bus. Bring on the climatastrophe, I’m praying for tidal waves.

  11. Jim
    I wish I shared your optimism too.
    This nonsense will be enshrined in “international law” obliging us to get our energy out of moonbeams and cucumbers, so the pols can point to these COPXXV shindigs and say Not Me Guv.

    As for an opposition to idiotic rules and regs, recall the behaviour of the Opposition to the covid hoax. Even when it was obvious that lockdowns and masks were useless, Starmer and his crew were calling out for more. Some “opposition”.

    The battle lines will be drawn between rulers and ruled. The rulers will absolve themselves from discomfort like UEFA officials and quarantine. It won’t be a fair fight.

  12. “You can only govern a country with the compliance of the people governed”

    Sadly, the ease with which the British have allowed themselves to become some of the most fearful (of Covid) people on the planet, doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence that they will suddenly rise up and tell the Eco brigade where to get off…

  13. I can’t even see how a heatpump system can be viable. It’s what I have in this apartment. Full airconditioning. And not the cheapskate version you get in holiday flats with units in a couple of rooms. This one’s fully ducted with thermostats in every room. For heating in the winter, it runs backwards. Instead of the compressor making the inside heat exchanger cold by making the outside hot, it does the reverse. Looking at the electricity bills , that’s costing around a hundred euros a month. And we’re very frugal. I’m fairly indifferent to cold & the people live here come from poverty. They’re used to suffering. They won’t use their own money to pay for comfort.And we don’t really have winters. January is about equivalent to a UK April.
    The efficiency of the system depends on the temperature gradient between the outside heat exchanger & the ambient air. The colder it is outside, the colder the outside heat exchanger has to be so the inside one gets hot. The flatter the gradient the harder the system has to work. The coldest it ever normally gets here is about 6 or 7 deg C for short periods.
    When the system is running in summer mode. (It’s a mere 32 today, I’m not bothering. But we’ve a predicted 40 coming along so maybe) condensation on the inside heat exchanger has to be piped away. That’s a lot of it, depending on humidity. In winter the condensation forms on the outside heat exchanger, because it’s cooler than the ambient air. But what happens when that reaches zero? The outside heat exchanger has to be significantly below zero to get a temperature gradient. It’s going to ice. Ice is a very effective insulator . Once it’s iced, the system stops pumping heat. In the sort of climate conditions you have in the UK in winter. Low temperatures, driving rain, virtually 100% humidity?
    Ground sourced? The science behind that one is the ground’s a pretty good insulator & stores the summer’s heat into the winter. For that you’re going to need one hulluva lot of ground to use as your heatsource. You extract too much heat from too small an area & the ground will ice. Once it does that, that’s the end of your heat pump system until next summer. Or maybe not then. Permafrost. Ask anyone who’s been up in the far north. Warm summer day, you dig down a couple of feet & you hit ice. That’ll survive until the next winter. Ice is an excellent insulator.

  14. The most significant ‘greenhouse gas’ is water vapour, which on Earth keeps average global surface temperature at about 14C. Without the 2% to 4% water vapour in the atmosphere, Earth could have a 93% CO2 atmospheric concentration like Mars – zero water vapour – and be very, very cold… ask Rover.

    Trace amounts of CO2 produced by Mankind’s activities can only have negligible, unmeasurable effect on near surface temperatures.

    It is for this reason the so-called evidence showing that Mankind exclusively or predominately ‘controls’ Earth climate system is never shown to the public or debated by learned people in public. The ‘evidence’ does not exist, global warming is actually too small to measure, Mankind’s contribution so small indiscernable from natural which is why they rely on computer models, bluster, claims – Mankind’s contribution is ‘at least’ 50% and ‘probably’ higher – but never the data to support these assertions.

    Having seen the false numbers, manipulated numbers, gross exaggerations, predictions that never materialised, the lies with respect to CoVid this past year, isn’t it just possible the same jiggery-pokery by the high priests of science, vested interests and political slime applies to ‘climate change’?

    You can fool all the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but not all the people all the time… apparently you can.

    Saturated fats.
    Cholesterol and heart disease.
    Red meat.
    Global overpopulation and famine.
    New Ice Age.

    Just a few other things they have been wrong about.

    The more they are wrong and the wider the mark the more they are believed, whilst those who were right get ignored – it’s a paradox.

  15. I do think the solution is to burn all the ecofreaks as biofuel. But alas I don’t think it’ll happen.

  16. Up until now politicians have been able to reduce emissions by building all the windmills etc. The only cost has been rising electricity bills, due to having to maintain two separate systems, one for when the wind blows and one when it doesn’t. Only a few pensioners have been offed by this, so no-one really cares, and oh look how clever we are.

    But now the easy wins have been got, and the tough stuff starts. I don’t think most people have the full picture. For instance take Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) where an unholy alliance of middle class virtue signallers and left wing councils conspire to stop the plebs driving past posh peoples houses. Cue local protests, but very few have been taken out.

    Look how willingly people have submitted to house arrest for 18 months, and rolled up their sleeves to have experimental medical treatments injected into them, for a disease 99.7% at least would survive. There are lots of individual battles, but very few people are connecting the bigger picture.

    The amount of crap that is about to come down on people is truly staggering, but I don’t see many signs of push back in the general population, and by the time they wake up it might be too late. The Soviet Union lasted 70 years, only now is Cuba showing any signs of resistance. The route up from the bottom is a long one.

    I’m afraid we’re in for several decades of excrement sandwiches. And most of the population will think themselves lucky.

    We are witnessing a pivotal point in history. The era of the White European as the power broker of the World is coming to a close. Even if we hadn’t firmly pressed the self destruct button the Indians and Chinese would still overtake us. And in Africa, on current projections, there will be something between 2 to 3 billion children born in the rest of this century. With the declining birth rates of the EU it’s population is a mere rounding error on this number.

    But still our leaders ponce around thinking they can control the weather in a 100 years time, when in fact they’ll be lucky to control their own bodily functions.

  17. Bloke in Spain.

    The important question is always… compared to what?

    Air/air heat pulps are not so efficient – which is why when subsidies were available in France they did not qualify. Air/water heat pumps have low running costs in Winter compared to LPG, oil and standard electric heating. But they are not cheaper than natural gas. Many Continental Countries being largely rural, do not benefit from piped gas except in large towns and cities, so heat pumps make economical sense, but in the UK probably not… unless of course you ban heating by natural gas. See how neat that is?

  18. “You can only govern a country with the compliance of the people governed”

    Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Norkie the Rocket Man would disagree with you. 100 million to 1.

  19. @Jim – I thought continued lockdown and lies might provoke a poll tax moment, but I was wrong. So I am nowhere near as confident as BiS that people will not comply. The UK seems to have an endless supply of compliance.

    This shit is in every party’s manifesto, who are you going to vote in to change it? Does anyone know a single big corporation or public sector body that isn’t 100% behind this?

    Of course the bitter irony is that, after spunking £300bn on giving a few 80-somethings an extra couple of years of life, they are now promoting measures which will kill substantial numbers of the elderly every winter.

  20. “You can only govern a country with the compliance of the people governed”

    I think that’s right. It’s how you get the compliance that matters, freely at the ballot box, or out of the barrel of a gun a la Mao. Consent is an entirely different matter.

  21. Re: We’re DOOMED

    People in East Berlin circa 1988 probably thought the Wall would outlive them. But history doesn’t go in straight lines.

    The moral of the story about teaching the horse to sing is never give up, never surrender.

  22. The CO2 con is that small changes in the concentration are amplified hugely by consequent changes in water vapour concentration. The models say this but the planet has disagreed so far.

    As for heat pumps, ground-sourced are much better, though expensive. Round our way a new house is being built, expense no object. The ground-sourced heat pump took 3 boreholes and the driller I spoke to said it was costing £20k just for the boreholes.

  23. “The Earth is in trouble and it’s the most important crisis we face; everything else is second order. If we don’t act now, an entire way of life will be destroyed.”

    He is stressing the huge importance and insisting on having to act now to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s exactly what we are warned to look out for with boiler room scams. Amusing as the call is for us to turn down our heating.

  24. Charles Moore wrote an article in the Torygraph recently saying that heat pumps were not terribly good. So yesterday they printed a response from a reader who said that the one in his five- bedroomed detached house in the middle of nowhere worked fine, thank you very much. So that’s all right then, nothing to worry about.

  25. The people across the road from us have got a heat pump. They moved into rural Sussex from Putney and spent squillions on the house, making it all nice and eco. They’ve got a massive wood-burner, too, and it seems to be lit whenever it’s cold.

  26. “Surprisingly (?), cold kills oldies.” I read an article once that referred to research that purportedly showed that it’s outdoor cold that kills oldies in Britain, not indoors cold. (How this was shown I don’t know.) Anyway, the writer concluded that the best thing that councils could do was build more bus shelters to keep poor, old people out of the wind and rain while they wait for their buses.

  27. Steve is right.

    Fight on is all we can do. If our foes win there is no future for most of us and only a short-term one for them.

    Paradise schemes for an elite created by turning the wheel of progress backwards are pipedreams. Once you try to turn back that wheel the idea it is under your control is an illusion. We are more likely to get Mad Max World than some elite feudalists paradise.

    Once people realise how shitty greenfreakery is then resistance–already begun –will grow massive. Which is why Bogus J wants vax pass-to-CCP social credit tyranny. Only way he has a chance to force the shite on us.

  28. I don’t fully understand why we’d need to do this. If we’ve all got homes fully insulated and are heating them using either hydrogen from excess wind or solar or, GSHP or ASHP, they’re practically carbon free anyway. Oh, wait, what’s that you say? Heat pumps aren’t capable of properly heating most of the homes into which they’re planned to be fitted?

    Surely not, that would be madness…

  29. “So I am nowhere near as confident as BiS that people will not comply. ”

    Compliance has been easy so far, no one has been that much put out, either in their pockets or in loss of amenity. On the eco front its meant higher electric prices, but thats been offset by more efficient appliances and lighting systems. I’m not aware that gas has had that much increase in price, so heating people’s houses hasn’t become a ‘Our house is cold because we can’t afford to heat it’ scenario yet. Petrol has gone up, but noticeably when it got too high because of taxes that triggered mass protests (who remembers the early Blair years fuel crisis now?) and politicians have noted the response and left petrol taxes largely where they were. A bit extra for inflation here and there but no fuel price escalator as they thought they could impose 20 years ago. Plus of course cars have become more economical, so there has been no sudden ‘I can’t afford to run my car’ moment.

    And compliance has been easy on the covid front as well, because the government has shovelled printed money at everyone to keep them sweet. Imagine what level of compliance you’d have got without all that furlough money, and all the money hosed at small businesses as well. Compliance has been bought.

    But thats not possible with the zero carbon bollocks. Thats got to be paid for by actual people. It can’t be done on funny money, not without destroying the entire monetary system anyway. People are going to have to lose their cars, lose their sunshine holidays, lose their houses heated to impossible levels (which I hate anyway, but each to their own), and pay more for the lower standard of living to boot. Eco-freakery is a well-to-do white middle class obsession, and when their obsession hits the masses in serious practical manners there will be a massive backlash. It could be something that unites the white working classes and all the UK’s disparate racial groups into a single political force – the poorest will get hit the hardest and the immigrant classes are disproportionately represented there. Don’t forget there is about 30-40% of the electorate that never votes. When they come out (as they did in Brexit) tectonic plates move.

  30. 19c is already cold (66F) and 18c is 64F – we ain’t trying to keep electronics cool here.

  31. Ze press release is not quite right. Remind me to correct the imbecile who sent it out. But first – the correction to the information.

    Britons vill not need to turn their thermostats down. I vill be doing it for zem. By then, all your carbon neutral heating dewices vill be connected to the internet, obligatorially. And from my Davos control centre, we will be deciding which good citizens have been good little xims and xers enough (and Xis, of course) that we can turn them up to 19.

    So there will be no need at all for any of you to worry about having to turn your own thermostat down to save ze polar bears! It is all fake news!

  32. Klaus gives another good reason not to bother with smart meters. They are smart for their masters –not you.

  33. Here’s a thought.

    The grid can already barely cope with current demand. There’s quite a few articles available on t’interwebs, but here’s one to get you started

    Yet, TPTB want to replace all our heating with electric heat pumps…
    At the same time as we all drive leccy cars…

    Where is all this electricity going to come from? Peak demand will be in winter. A cold, overcast, still day will have very high demand, but jaff all renewable generation capacity.

    Freezing in our houses it is then…

  34. “Built correctly, your house can be heated with a small herd of cats.”

    That may be true but the overwhelming majority of houses are already built, and not to that standard

    And most modern homes are not either

  35. @Jim
    I very much doubt there will be a rebellion over government greenery. The effects are too incremental. The general public in the UK have a long record of cravenness in confronting government. But it will set the scene. The rebellion will come over something else & will be by a minority. But when it happens, the government will find they’ve lost the support of the public. Rather than comply with the police they’ll ignore them. You can only govern a country with the consent of the populace. Without that, there’s too few of the agents of the government – the police, even the army – to compel obedience. And as I mention recently, the principal – the ruler rules with the consent of the Mum of the guard on the palace gates – comes into play. The State’s agents will not enforce the wishes of an unpopular government.

  36. Not just all the non-existent power stations, to wonder where they will come from.
    Nor the cost, noise and ineffectiveness of heat pumps.
    Nor the source of cobalt for Tesla-toasties
    Nor the lack of off street parking and charging for most cars.

    Have a look at this:

    Basically, the fusebox and feeder cable of every house, the buried feeder cable in every street and every local distribution network will need replacing, upsizing some 3x.

    It simply isn’t going to happen.
    What will happen is that the gas supply gets turned off, the grid fails and never returns in a reliable way, and the elite use diesel generators and armed guards. For a short while.
    Brazil meets Sarf Afrika meets Venezuela.

    Come home to a real fire: burn an ecoloon!

  37. @Tim the Coder: what the author of that report has missed is that the PTB have no intention of providing the masses with the same standard of living they have today, just electrically powered instead of fossil fuelled, they intend to reduce the standard of living by making everything electric (travel, heating etc) and then throttling the amount of electric you can get. Hence no upgrades to the Grid required. Electric cars will also be priced too expensively for the masses to afford one to start with, let alone plug it into the mains. That will be for the elites only. They’ll get to swan along the M40 to their weekend place in Oxfordshire with hardly a car in sight, while watching the plebs crammed cheek by jowl into busses and trains.

  38. “The general public in the UK have a long record of cravenness in confronting government. But it will set the scene. The rebellion will come over something else & will be by a minority. But when it happens, the government will find they’ve lost the support of the public. Rather than comply with the police they’ll ignore them. ”

    You are probably right about that, the trigger will be something else, it always is the insignificant straw that breaks the camel’s back.

    I do think though that there will be voting options available that become anti-eco-freakery, and they will (rather as UKIP did) do very well and begin to influence the mainstream parties. The good news is that in this era of instant communications starting a new political party and informing the public as to what you stand for is infinitely easier than it was when UKIP formed. We already have a couple of proto anti-eco parties in Reform UK and the Laurence Fox party, I’m sure others will spring up.

  39. @ BiS: “The State’s agents will not enforce the wishes of an unpopular government”

    They will as long as the State pays them. You only need look at the way the police have behaved over the last year or so: turning the other way when XR wreck the place, “Taking The Knee” so as not to offend the permanently offended, etc. But when ordinary folk DARE to protest about lockdown, they wade in mob handed. No doubt there will (eventually) be a tipping point, but by that stage the country will be a basket case…

  40. @dearieme

    I’ve seen the claim that it’s outdoors not indoors cold that kills too – tho it does seem to be disputed, since some studies do find links between cold indoor temperature and a range of Bad Things. Anyway, the underlying source I saw cited for the claim it’s outdoor cold that matters was a study in which elderly tenants in properties with unconstrained access to winter heating still died off in cold snaps like the rest of the population:

    Keatinge WR. Seasonal mortality among elderly people
    with unrestricted home heating. Geriatrics Digest 1987;
    5: 3-24.

    An interesting data point but certainly not the definitive word on the subject.

  41. In terms of review articles that pull a lot of other studies about temperature and health together, this one is short, readable and a bit old, though I don’t think its central points (cold snaps kills more than heat waves in the UK, about half due to coronary thrombosis, and about half the remainder due to seasonal rise in respiratory disease) is out of date:

    W. R. Keatinge (2002) Winter mortality and its causes, International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 61:4, 292-299

    A complete trudge to wade through, but more up to date and comprehensive, is the PHE review on indoor temperatures. Sadly its main findings are inconclusive – clearly very low indoor temperatures are bad for the elderly, though if there’s a threshold of what’s safe or even an optimal temperature, it’s not clear what it actually is. They reckoned 18 is probably safe from a threshold point of view but there isn’t a particularly impressive stack of evidence to support it.

    Minimum home temperature thresholds for health in winter – A systematic literature review

    That one also has some stuff about the link between indoor heating and BMI/obesity which crops up as a discussion point here sometimes. Unfortunately there seems to be research pointing both ways – turning up the thermostat might reduce or increase obesity depending on which study you look at…

  42. You’re not going to get ANY reliable data on the impact of cold if you are stupid enough to think all old people are the same. Most of the time our central heating is switched off and when it’s on I’ve set the thermostat at 17C to keep my wife happy: but if I’m alone in the room I’ll open the window.

    Just be sensible and say that if it’s colder then there is a greater risk of old people suffering.

    MUCH more importantly, we are burning coal to produce electricity *in mid-summer* – in fact every day since before mid-summer’s day the UK has been burning coal – so a heat pump with less than 400% efficiency is making greenhouse gas emission *worse* than a gas boiler.

    “Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad”

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