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climate change

But net zero’s so cheap, save us all fortunes

Hundreds of thousands of homes across Britain will be in view of electricity pylons under a massive net zero expansion of the energy grid.

Three hundred towns and villages across rural England and Wales could be impacted by the thousands of electricity pylons needed to expand the National Grid to meet net zero targets, a government report has warned.

Oh Aye?


Weather warnings are in place across the UK as temperatures plunged below freezing overnight.

Snow hit parts of London on Friday and the icy conditions are forecast to continue throughout the weekend. It comes after temperatures plunged to their lowest since March.

Aren’t we now three or four years past the no snow ever again event?

How colonial

China and other big developing nations must pay into a fund to rescue poor countries stricken by the climate disaster, the EU’s climate chief has said as world leaders prepare to gather in Dubai for a crucial climate summit.

We very important white Europeans just must tell all those darkies and slit eyes how to spend their money. Don’t they all know that we are morally, ethically and intelligently superior?#


Oh, right

Questions of social and economic class must be at the centre of our response to the climate crisis, to address the huge inequalities between the carbon footprints of the rich and poor and prevent a backlash against climate policies, the economist Thomas Piketty has said.

Regulations will be needed to outlaw goods and services that have unnecessarily high greenhouse gas emissions, such as private jets, outsized vehicles, and flights over short distances, he said in an interview with the Guardian.

And who is going to be the Commissar who desides what is “unnecessarily high” then?

No Spud, sit down, this is not one of your ideas. Despite that being the ultimate Fat Controller position of course. For there’s now a metric to decde what will not be allowed to happen. But it’s a metric with discretion – discretion that will be, and yes it is will be – exercised by whoever is that Fat Controller.

You know, printing that book that says the Fat Controller is a poopie head would have unnecessarily high emissions so, sorry, no can do and so on. The flight to take the FC for a well deserved winter break in the Maldvies is *necessary*.

Err, no, bugger off

The UK’s leading offshore wind developer is in talks with Net Zero Secretary Claire Coutinho about the fate of its flagship project off the coast of Norfolk, after spiralling costs cast doubt over its viability.

Ørsted, the Danish renewable energy giant, is understood to be in talks with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, led by Ms Coutinho, about securing more generous subsidy arrangements for its Hornsea 3 wind farm project.

It would see 231 turbines installed off the coasts of Norfolk and Lincolnshire, generating power for 3m homes.

Subsidies for Hornsea 3 were agreed with the Government last year through contracts for difference (CfDs), with operators guaranteed a minimum price per megawatt hour (MWh) known as the strike price. Ørsted was promised £37.35.

If it’s more expensive then we don’t want it.

And this really is the correct answer too. Sure, saving the planet and all that. But only at a price. If the price is higher than that they goodbye planet.

No, really….

Good of you to tell us

Climate fatigue isn’t a sign that Europeans are in denial – it’s a sign of their fear
Francesco Grillo
While Europe is battered by the climate crisis, governments must reassure voters that green costs will be fairly shared

So it’s not that people are not willing to pay the costs now that they are becoming apparent then?

Well, yes:

But people are also terrified of what they believe will be the cost to individuals of the required energy transition.

Given the idiocies being demanded they’re right to be so too.

We need to transform what is seen as a public subsidy with no accountability into an investment whose impact is measurable in terms of results that voters can control.

But what if the investment isn’t regarded as being worth it?

Make up your damn mind

Until recently, my girlfriend and I lived in a steam-heated apartment in Manhattan. A creaky former tenement building, it had no radiators, just scalding-hot cast iron pipes that punched through the units like fire poles. The pipes terminated a few inches from our ceiling with valves that hissed and sputtered, leaking rusty orange water. And they weren’t just heaters, but alarms, clanking like pots and pans every morning around 6.45am when the boiler flipped on in the basement.

This 19th-century technology certainly heated our apartment – but far too well. So every wintertime we would have to throw the windows wide open just to cool down. (My girlfriend enjoyed the contrasting sensations, like ice cream on warm pie. “It always felt like a big waste of energy, but it was pleasant in its own old-school New York way,” she says.)

Indeed, steam still heats as many as 80% of New York City’s residential multifamily buildings, according to the non-profit Urban Green Council, as well as millions of homes across the north-east and midwestern United States – what the nonprofit calls the “Steam belt”. That means, in a climate emergency as energy prices spiral, tens of millions of Americans are probably opening their windows all winter to let cold air in because their homes are too well heated.

Why on earth is it this way?

He’s complaining about district heating systems just as the Greens insist we should have more of them.

Interesting point I hadn’t realised

Even if the continent is windy when it’s calm in the UK, or if it’s windy in Texas when it’s calm in California, the ability to send power where it’s needed depends on there being surplus generating capacity in the precise place where the wind is blowing.

If, say, it’s windy in Scandinavia but the rest of Europe is experiencing a lull, you need enough spare windfarms in the Baltic and Nordic seas to meet demand from almost half a billion people. That’s a huge amount of windfarms. Then again, the windy spot might be in the Atlantic, off the coast of Iberia. So you’d need to build the same enormous number windfarms again, this time off the coast of Portugal. The again, and again – basically every local neighbourhood would have to have enough capacity to supply the entire continent. Hopefully this shows that the idea is rather ridiculous.

Say – and let’s just invent some numbers – we’ve got 4 potential producing areas. They’re not correlated and we can rely on one of the four being fully operational at any one time. That then means that each of the four has to have enough capacity to power the entire system. And if five areas then five and so on. We rapidly run into massive overbuild, no?

Actually, it wouldn’t be long before direct carbon capture from the air would be cheaper. And if we could do that then we could make petrol and so on….

What annoys is how stupid these people are

Households could face extra taxes if they refuse to remove their gas boilers, a senior energy boss has suggested.

Emma Fletcher, who leads a project at Octopus Energy to encourage households to make their homes net zero, said that there needed to be a “carrot and stick” approach for people to switch to heat pumps.

And if we used the carbon tax, like we’re supposed to, then they already would, wouldn’t they?

Panic! Panic!

More than 40% of Antarctica’s ice shelves have shrunk since 1997 with almost half showing “no sign of recovery”, a study has found, linking the change to the climate breakdown.

Scientists at the University of Leeds have calculated that 67tn tonnes of ice was lost in the west while 59tn tonnes was added to the east between 1997 and 2021, resulting in a net loss of 7.5tn tonnes.


The Antarctic ice sheet is one of the two polar ice caps of Earth. It covers about 98% of the Antarctic continent and is the largest single mass of ice on Earth, with an average thickness of over 2 kilometers.[2] Separate to the Antarctic sea ice it covers an area of almost 14 million square kilometres (5.4 million square miles) and contains 26.5 million cubic kilometres (6,400,000 cubic miles) of ice.[3] A cubic kilometer of ice weighs approximately 0.92 metric gigatonnes, meaning that the ice sheet weighs about 24,380,000 gigatonnes.


A gigatonne is 1,000,000,000 tonnes.

24,380,000,000,000,000 tonnes. And 7,500,000,000,000 tonnes.

0.04%. Yes, it’s time to panic, isn’t it.

OK, fair enough

Climate crisis costing $16m an hour in extreme weather damage, study estimates
Analysis shows at least $2.8tn in damage from 2000 to 2019 through worsened storms, floods and heatwaves

OK, $300 billio a year in damages. Spending $trillions a year to deal with it is a bad idea then, isn’t it?

Well, yes,

At least 21 people died and more than a dozen others were injured on Tuesday night when a coach powered by methane smashed through the guard rail of an overpass near Venice and plunged 50ft to the ground, bursting into flames.

The mayor of Venice described the scene of the crash as “apocalyptic”.

Perhaps gaseous fuels aren’t quite the thing then?

Seriously gorgeous from Greenpeace

Back in 2014, Greenpeace invested US$400,000 to set up 70 kW of photovoltaic cells on the rooftops of public buildings throughout the village of Dharnai, a community of about 3,200 people in the Indian province of Bihar. The scheme also included batteries to store solar power for use when the sun was not shining. The village had been without electricity for three decades, so this project was welcomed with some excitement.

However, problems emerged almost immediately, and when dignitaries arrived to inaugurate the grid, villagers protested that they wanted “real electricity, not fake electricity”! By this they meant power from the central grid, generated mostly using coal. From the outset, the solar-plus-batteries system could not cope with demand and villagers were asked not to use things like televisions, fridges and incandescent lightbulbs.

In the end, for Dharnai, the project was an indirect success – it highlighted the plight of the village, and the following year the village was connected up to the regional electricity grid. Participation in the solar scheme fell. Electricity from the grid was also cheaper than that from the solar scheme. After three years the batteries stopped working and were never repaired, so while much of the infrastructure remains intact, the solar power is largely unused, barring some running of irrigation pumps which is offered for free. The main project site is now used as a cattle shed.

The best that can be said about this is not realising that seriously complex systems don’t survive in non-seriously complex places. A slightly harsher criticism is where in buggery was the maintenance budget?

The real answer is to laugh like a drain of course.

That Civitas report

Ewen Stewart is the director of Walbrook Economics which is a consultancy specialising in
the interaction of macroeconomics, politics and capital markets. Fiscal, monetary policy and
consumer research has been a core specialisation. Clients include major pension funds,
asset managers and hedge funds.
Ewen’s City career has spanned over 30 years’ where he worked for a number of major
investment banks including Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and ABN AMRO.
The author would like to thank Tim Knox for all his support and encouragement and without
whom this research would not be possible

Hmm. Now one of the reasons I steer clear of certain subjects (like, the “science” of global warming, vaccines etc) is that it’s all too easy to make this kind of mistake when you’re not steeped in teh area. Don;t have those immediate “‘Ang on!” moments when numbers lose track of orders of magnitude stuff.

I don’t even know if the ctiricism is right. But I am seeing it in a number of places, independently.


Laugh or get angry?

The media needs to cover the climate crisis as seriously as it covered Covid
Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope
With some exceptions, the news industry is still not responding to the true scale and danger of global heating


Jeebus. Up the propaganda, the peasants are seeing through it. But do we laugh about this or get tooled up and take care of ’em?

But the energy transition shouldn’t cost anything at all

The Tory former chancellor was told during an interview on Sky News this morning that the current tax burden is 36 per cent of GDP and it is set to rise to 38 per cent.

Asked if the UK was close to a “counterproductive” tax burden level, Lord Hammond said: “Yeah, I think we are. I think that there is a danger that taxation becomes so high that it interferes with the normal operation of the economy and it drives people to make investments and to carry out entrepreneurial activity elsewhere.

“The problem of course is worse than it sounds because we have also got a demographic profile that is going to see demand for public services pushes still higher. We have got the huge cost of the energy transition to finance.

“And we have also got to invest more in defence as the world has become a more dangerous place around us.

Everything gets replaced at some point. So, wait until it needs to be replaced then replace it. Job done.

This is also what the Nobel winner for the economics of climate change said we should do too. So why isn’t that the plan?