climate change

The new supersonic airliners

According to Bednarek, the airline historian, the future of flight needs to be focused on being energy efficient and less damaging to the environment, not on speed or size.

Well, OK, that’s your opinion. What does everyone else think?

Something we’ll find out when people can buy supersonic tickets again, isn’t it? Because what people want is the correct definition of “need”, right?

Well, yes, but it doesn’t matter

Airships for city hops could cut flying’s CO2 emissions by 90%

By all means try it out and see what happens.

But aviation is only 2% of emissions anyway. It’s simply not important to reduce them further.

That is, even if we accept – I know, I know – the initial claims it’s still true that reducing aviation emissions is a rounding error. Which does rather produce some wonder at the insistences made about it.

Love to know where this number comes from

According to HCVA, a classic car generates 563kg of C02 a year, which equates to 20pc of the emissions from powering a computer for a year.

2.5 tonnes of CO2 for one computer for one year? Actually, closer to 3 tonnes. The UK average emissions per capita are only just over 5 tonnes I think that’s without counting imported and embedded emissions.

A complete desktop uses an average of 200 Watt hours (Wh). This is the sum of the average consumption per hour of the computer itself (171 W), the internet modem (10 W), the printer (5 W) and the loudspeakers (20 W). Assuming that a computer is on for eight hours a day, the annual consumption comes to 600 kWh. That corresponds to CO2 emissions of about 175 kg per year, i.e. 1.75 % of the average annual emission of a Belgian.

A laptop uses considerably less: between 50 and 100 Wh that it is on, depending on the model. If it is used for eight hours a day, consumption therefore varies between 150 and 300 kWh/year. That corresponds to CO2 emissions of between 44 and 88 kg per year (or between 0.44 and 0.88 % of the average annual emission of a Belgian).

Someone, somewhere, is spouting bollocks, aren’t they?

Fortunately we don’t have to worry about this

A third of global food production will be at risk by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at their current rate, new research suggests.

Many of the world’s most important food-growing areas will see temperatures increase and rainfall patterns alter drastically if temperatures rise by about 3.7C, the forecast increase if emissions stay high.

It’s not going to happen. That projection of 3.7 C. Just not part of our future.

The ‘rising coal’ assumption on which the RCP8.5 climate model is based is implausible in the first place, but has now been shown to be false: the shift from coal to unconventional gas means that the world is on a much lower emissions trajectory than worst case scenarios assume.

However, many climate scientists continue to use – or misuse – the RCP8.5 scenario, claiming that it represents a plausible future under “business as usual” CO2 emissions.

Every year, thousands of scientists adopt it to make scary claims about future climate disasters while environmental journalists report these misleading claims to an unsuspecting public, unaware that the claims are based on a non-credible assumption.

Another, and equally valid, way to make the point is that to beat extreme climate change all that was ever needed was cheaper renewables. Renewables are cheaper – we’ve beaten extreme climate change.

This is fun

A dun question at least and perhaps we’ve a farming type that can tell us:

Instead of confining thousands of animals and managing their millions of litres of waste in lagoons that release methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), the Bradleys raise 200 pigs at a time on pasture and in wooded areas, where the animals’ manure is integrated into the ground naturally as fertiliser.

Does the decomposition process of pig poo differ in the two sets of circumstances? Does the atmosphere get less methane from one or the other?


Potatoes and lettuce will have to be replaced in the UK by small, mustardy root vegetables and dandelion leaves as a warming climate means we cannot rely on traditional crops, Kew Gardens has said.

We get most of our lettuce from Spain already. Climate change means w’ll get it from a bit of Spain 50 miles north of where we currently do.


Interesting question

Silicon fabs in Austin TX were closed over the power outage. They’re a several percentage of global production of certain types of ships.

Certain car manufacturers are halting production for lack of chips.

How much of the second is due to the first? That first being the penetration of renewables into the TX grid of course…..

This isn’t in fact the problem

Timmermans’ warnings reflect a growing concern among climate experts that politicians have failed to show people the benefits of a low-carbon society, which include cleaner air and water, more livable cities, and higher levels of health and wellbeing, as well as defusing the climate crisis.

Rather, we the people don’t think those things worth what we need to give up to gain them.

This is easy enough

Anglo American has struck a partnership with Umicore, of Belgium, to develop technology that would enable vehicles to be filled with hydrogen that is chemically bonded to a liquid.

The FTSE 100 miner said that using such “liquid organic hydrogen carrier technologies” could accelerate the adoption of hydrogen vehicles by avoiding the need for compressed gas refuelling infrastructure. It is funding Umicore to develop technology using Anglo’s metals as catalysts to separate the hydrogen back out of the liquid on board the vehicle to provide “a simpler and cheaper alternative to onboard storage of compressed hydrogen”.

Called methanol. Other alternatives are also available. Like, even, petrol……Although that does mean you don;t need the fuel cell either…..

The Germans and logic

Merkel’s failure to tackle Germany climate woes risks rise of Green power
Coalition government is the likely price for Chancellor’s perceived inaction on cleaning up nation’s act

UndSo, Hans. Angela’s idea of beating climate change with plans and directives has not worked.”

“Ja, so let’s vote Green and have more plans and directives to not beat climate change.”

This is something that the Stern Review warned about. Socialism, planned economics, is less efficient than market such. So, if we try to beat climate change via plans, socialism, then we will be doing it inefficiently. As humans do less of what costs more then we’ll do less climate change beating if we do it by socialism rather than markets.

It’s not obvious that Stern was wrong either. The UK and US have rather better emissions records than Germany despite the Energiewende…..

What a strange assertion

Insanely cheap energy’: how solar power continues to shock the world
Australian smarts and Chinese industrial might made solar power the cheapest power humanity has seen – and no one saw it coming

Bjorn Lomborg predicted exactly this in Sceptical Environmentalist. Of course, everyone shouted at him for having done so too……

There is no scenario in which this is true

Without climate finance, poor countries face a bleak future of extreme weather, water and food shortages, and climate-driven migration, which all threaten to reverse decades of progress in lifting people out of poverty.

If we actually go look at the science – yes, agreed, the science they tell us is science but all the same – there is no outcome in which the poor do not continue to get richer.

The SRES, the RCPs, anything from 2.0 to 8.5, from A1FI through to B2, there just isn’t a socioeconomic model in which the poor regress.

They’re lying that is, lying by their own evidence.

Well, no, not quite

Green markets cannot be just another gravy train if we are to save the planet

Actually, what we want is that green markets be exactly just another gravy train. Our whole desire is that folks make easy money by doing whatever it is that we want them to do. We desire to harness that capitalist greed that is – which is done by people making profits from what we desire to happen.

Far from us not wanting green markets to be like other ones that’s our actual entire desire.

Where do these bloody idiots come from?

The first policy is universal basic income (UBI) whereby a financial payment is made to every citizen, unconditionally, at a level above their subsistence needs. UBI is needed to break the link between work and consumption. Critically, there is a constant awareness that we all need to be ever more productive at work, otherwise someone else will take our job. In response we have all said: I work hard, so I deserve that fancy meal, new gadget or long-haul holiday. Increased consumption is the reward for being ever more productive at work. Indeed, it makes little sense to curb our consumption when we know we will have to be ever more productive at work, regardless of our choices.

We increase the ability of people to consume by providing a UBI and this will curb consumption?

Which short bus to school has this guy just stumbled out of?

The second policy framework is what I call universal shared services – others have argued for universal basic services, but what’s needed must be far beyond basic. Many countries have some of these, from healthcare to education. These are the services everyone needs and their delivery has society-wide effects. Core are health, education, energy, housing and leisure services. Providing these universally lowers financial costs due to economies of scale, and can substantially lower environmental costs.

Free at the point of use things reduce consumption in what manner? And can we imagine government provided leisure? Well, yes, actually, Dom Kulturi…….

Simon Lewis is professor of global change science at University College London and University of Leeds

Jeebus, the short bus delivers the professors to school these days?

Silly, silly

Arabica grows best in a cooler climate, with an average annual temperature of 19C, making it difficult to grow as the planet warms.

How much of the planet currently has a less than 19C average annual temperature? After a 2 – or 3, what the hell – C warming how much of the planet will have a 19C average annual temperature?

My best guess of that second is about the same amount as now. That is, there will still be that same amount of land in the right climate belt to grow the coffee.

It’ll be different land though. Which is what sparks this hunt for a replacement. That those currently growing coffee on this piece of land can switch as temperature does. As a global problem it doesn’t exist.

How very interesting

More than a third of the vast floating platforms of ice surrounding Antarctica could be at risk of collapsing and releasing “unimaginable amounts” of water into the sea if global temperatures reach 4C above pre-industrial levels, UK scientists say.

Researchers from the University of Reading said that limiting the temperature rise to 2C could halve the area at risk and avoid a drastic rise in sea levels.

Well, actually, not all that interesting. Because we’re never going to get to 4 oC, we’ve already done more than enough to avoid that.

Yes, yes, yes, I know, all codswallop anyway – but even using the usual COP and RCP and all that stuff, we’ve still done enough.

No it won’t you silly man

With the crucial Cop26 summit in Glasgow taking place in November, we are in a vital year of the decisive decade for the climate emergency. And deciding next month who runs England’s capital city will also be a defining question in whether we can win the fight against the accelerating climate crisis.

Which apparatchiki gets to have the two Zil parking spaces at the new HQ really won’t make an iota of difference to the global climate.

Silly man.