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Ellie Mae’s argumentation

I’m not going to use this column to argue that what Thatcher did to mining communities in the 1980s was inevitable, or that she was motivated to act out of environmental concerns, because those are such embarrassingly unfounded arguments that it would be insulting to debate them.

That’s inconvenient so I’ll not talk about that.

Desperately masculinist of me I know but it’s a rather feminine argumentation method.

Instead I would simply draw attention to the question Johnson was asked before he made his asinine remark: has he set a firm deadline for transitioning away from fossil fuels?

Now why do you suppose such a question would lead the prime minister to insult thousands of families in this country, many of them living in communities that voted Conservative at the last election? I’d wager his crude little outburst was a deliberate distraction from the fact that an honest answer would have involved admitting that no, there is no firm deadline. In fact, there isn’t anything – because the government scrapped its own industrial strategy a couple of months ago and replaced it with a “Plan for Growth”, which was condemned by the business, energy and industrial strategy committee as “short-termist, unclear and unwelcome” and “nothing more than a list of existing policy commitments, many of which are hopelessly delayed”.

Cool so we’ve lost of existing policy commitments which means we have a plan, right?

19 thoughts on “Ellie Mae’s argumentation”

  1. I know it’s extremely well worn now, but they really have memory holed Labour’s pit closures haven’t they?

    This combination of cowardly venal politicians and lying stupid journalists is going to hang us. Unless we get there first of course.

  2. Also the Blessed Margaret disowned all this Climate crap when she learned the truth about it in the early 90s.

  3. The longer we delay making a commitment to phase out fossil fuels and meet targets the better. Unlike other countries we don’t have geography that makes hydroelectric a boundless source of energy, or have geothermal power. Neither are we in a low latitude and have a climate that makes solar power efficient and plentiful when we need it most (winter) and tidal power is fringe technology barely able to survive in its harsh operating environment. The only renewable we have that supposedly matches our geographic location is fickle wind power. Wind power used to be used to grind corn, pump water and send ships sailing around the world. We stopped using it largely because it was so unreliable. Nuclear works but doesn’t support a “peaky” demand and is both very very expensive and unpopular.
    We are in a very bad place compared with many other countries. The very last thing we should do is “lead the way”.

  4. The Guardian is a national embarrassment – between this broad and Owen Jones there must be a global shortage of straw men…

  5. Good stuff AndyF. Boris’s (non)strategy sounds pretty good when you consider what the UK (doesn’t) need to do.

  6. lots of existing policy commitments which means we have a plan, right?

    Almost the opposite: a plan is developed by civil servants in the absence of policy; whereas a manifesto commitment is made by politicians but not backed up by the civil service.

  7. If only we could simply dig a hole in the ground and find stuff that we can use to give us heat and light.

  8. So many have so much time, money and hot air invested in the “Climate Crisis” that it is now simply impossible for them to admit that there isn’t one. Every unpleasant weather event that occurs anywhere in the world is cited as proof that the Climate Crisis is real. How can it be possible not to know that bad weather has always been with us? It is possible to keep believing that these events are becoming worse and more frequent, but only by deliberately keeping yourself ignorant of past events and the simple fact that they are not. The only glimmer of hope is that the lies can’t continue for ever, sooner or later reality will assert itself.

  9. @AndyF, Hydroelectric power projects kill people on a scale you would find it difficult to believe, especially compared to nuclear. I’d have a reactor at the end of my garden, but would never want a HEPP upstream of where I live, or given what happened to Casso, even several hundred metres below where I live.

  10. Re:Excavator Man’s Hydroplants killing people

    Wasnt that a case of boing boing boing splash kaboom ?

  11. “Nuclear works but doesn’t support a “peaky” demand and is both very very expensive and unpopular.”

    Nuclear is expensive because it’s being fought tooth and nail by the Usual Suspects, at every possible stage.
    Even storage of spent fuel isn’t much of a problem in the UK. Not with those very deep and extensive holes you dug over the ages…

    As for “peaky” demand.. Funny how those peaks disappear if you don’t run your distribution net starved to begin with. Especially when “climate goals” require an ever-increasing demand on electricity as a power source…

  12. Nuclear works but doesn’t support a “peaky” demand and is both very very expensive and unpopular.”

    Yes it does, just chuck another lump of uranium in the furnace.

  13. Otto says
    Also the Blessed Margaret disowned all this Climate crap when she learned the truth about it in the early 90s.
    Er, hasn’t that been memory holed too?

    As for Boris’s remark, it annoys the socialist Scots because he’s right. It’s high time we stopped sentimentalising those “close knit communities” who in fact resembled feuding families.

  14. The Meissen Bison

    Otto – boing boing boing splash kaboom

    Excellent – and topical in a way. I bet you’re a whiz at charades!

  15. Nuclear works but doesn’t support a “peaky” demand and is both very very expensive and unpopular.

    “Peaky” in the sense of doesn’t instantaneously spin-up and spin-down, sure but nor do most sources of electricity. Even on-demand hydro requires someone at the National Grid Control Centre to say “demand is rising, we need an additional 800MW over the next 15 minutes, so ramp up xyz Hydro power station”.

    Nuclear power stations are safety conscious because bad things happen with nuclear power stations when they’re ramped up and down rapidly, so they generally operate to provide the base load and run at a planned output with other (more peaky) sources providing the additional demand. Doesn’t always work though, you can have overcast days in the height of summer which reduces solar power generation and you can have calm days (or excessively windy days) which reduce wind power generation because they’re either becalmed or deliberately stopped to prevent them breaking.

    If we had more flexible safety regimes on the nuclear power stations (not the current fearful and paranoid bureaucratic dead hand) then nuclear could easily fulfil much of that peaky demand by using the variability between normal operating mode and “full power”. This is not quite as simple as “chuck another lump of uranium on the nuclear fire”, but that’s essentially the case.

  16. On the subject of “peakiness”, one of the problems of electric supply in the UK is the we’re dependent upon instantaneous supply because we have no easy means of power storage. Hydro electric supplies that in countries like Norway, Sweden and Malaysia because when they’ve got inexpensive electricity available off-peak they can use that to pump water from the spill pool up behind the damn for later use at peak demand. The UK just doesn’t have the geography for decent hydro, although we could make better use of what geography that we do have if we weren’t so sensitive to construction in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

    Having much of that UK geography held hostage by Wee Nicky Sturgeon and her gang of demented porridge wogs doesn’t help.

    If we’re serious about sticking with very variable forms of renewable electricity then either we need to move the bureaucratic and political hurdles in the way of strengthening our hydro electric power (including the long term costs of effective maintenance to prevent collapse) or start developing new ways of turning unused electricity produced that exceeds demand into a form that can be used later. That could be massive battery installations such as Tesla implemented in South Australia (of which I am NOT a fan) or something more technologically and environmentally friendly such as using the electricity to manufacture AND STORE hydrogen using electrolysis, this has the advantage of being useable in the short term for energy supply in a fuel cell and any excess can be used in the developing hydrogen fuel supply chain.

    My personal favourite is just building more small scale nuclear power stations using safe nuclear technology in the form of modular Liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTR’s), but given the hypocrisy and paranoia of the green lobby over the only genuinely reliable form of carbon free power generation, I doubt that would be allow.

    Still only a few years to go until we have fusion power, although they were saying that back in my science lessons in the 1970’s…


  17. I didn’t understand the boing boing bit, just that I’m glad that I wasn’t one of the Italian engineers who predicted a 30m high wave when Monte Toc slid into the Vaiont reservoir, and watched it rise to 240m high just before they all died, along with 2000+ others. Contrast that with under 50 for Chernobyl (the rest is anti-nuclear twaddle, the zero at Three Mile Island and Fukushima. Even Britain’s own Windscale fire – in a bomb-making plant – only led to some local dairy farmers needing to throw away some milk.

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