With Warsaw now a fading memory and the meager outcome still cause for concern that there really isn’t enough substance to build a robust global agreement upon, I signed up for The Radical Emission Reduction Conference at the Royal Society. This was held in London and put on by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Given the academic reputation of the Tyndall Centre and of course the credentials of the Royal Society, I was hoping for a useful discussion on rapid deployment of technologies such as CCS, how the world might breathe new life into nuclear and other such topics, but this was far from the content of the sessions that I was able to attend.
Rather, this was a room of catastrophists (as in “catastrophic global warming”), with the prevailing view, at least to my ears, that the issue could only be addressed by the complete transformation of the global energy and political systems, with the latter moving to one of state control and regulated consumerism. There would be no room for “ruthless individualism” in such a world. The posters that dotted the lecture theatre lobby area covered topics as diverse as vegan diets to an eventual return to low technology hunter-gatherer societies (but thankfully there was one CCS poster in the middle of all this).
Much to my surprise I was not really at an emission reduction conference (despite the label saying I was), but a political ideology conference. Although I have been involved in the climate change issue for over a decade, I had not heard this set of views on the issue voiced so consistently in one place. This was a room where there was a round of applause when one audience member asked how LNG and coal exporters in Australia might be “annihilated” following their (supposed) support for the repeal of the carbon tax in that country. A few of the key points coming from both the speakers and audience in the sessions I was able to stay for were;
- The human impact of development is a function of three variables; population, technology and affluence (another version of the Kaya Identity), which therefore argued for affluence to be reduced, given that population couldn’t be and technology was in a progression of its own.
- The recent World Trade Agreement in Bali was anti-climate in that the removal of further trade barriers would simply offer more opportunity for consumerism and therefore more emissions. This was cited as a “neo-liberal elitist trade agenda”.
- The current energy system is “a lousy way of powering our economy”.
- A climate movement is rapidly evolving and could be likened to the global anti-apartheid movement that developed throughout the 1970s and 1980s. This includes the current fossil fuel divestment advocates.
- Markets would not and could not deliver the necessary changes to the current energy system, even with the introduction of carbon pricing.
- Small and renewable is good. Even large scale renewable projects run by major utilities are seemingly unacceptable – local community generated renewable electricity is the only answer.
Another feature of the discussion was the view that like apartheid or the Berlin Wall, the change from the current state of the energy system to a zero emissions one (there is no 40% or 50% or even 80% reduction talk here) can happen overnight and be triggered in a similar way, i.e. a popular but peaceful uprising, hence the talk of a rapidly evolving “climate movement”.
The above is a flavour of the sentiment and there was plenty more, all articulated with great passion and deep concern. This is all very well and of course this group have every right to express their view, but for me the event highlighted one of the real problems associated with climate change; that it is an issue with a chasm between the two ends of the spectrum and the rest of us are left in the middle watching the exchange. Problematically, the chasm is a deeply rooted political one which questions the very role of government and the economic structure of society. Could anything be more difficult to arbitrate? Thinking back to Warsaw and although the UNFCCC is a more contained (and constrained) stage, elements of this divide play out there as well, which perhaps speaks to why there has been such limited progress.
None of this need be the case, which is probably why I felt a level of discomfort in the conference and why the UNFCCC process feels frustrating. Carbon pricing can make the difference, but we need to see it evolve and mature without the systematic attack it has endured to date (from all sides). Technology does have a key role to play, but it will take time for deployment on the scale necessary and both ends of that spectrum are essential – CCS on one side and zero carbon fossil fuel alternatives on the other. Finance is important, but big energy projects have attracted capital for decades so we shouldn’t position a required change in this as the critical enabler for success. Finally, patience is a virtue, like it or not this is now a project for the whole of the 21st century.
I have long visualized the CAGW movement as a “four legged stool”:
Leg 1 – zero global annual CO2 emissions (James Hansen, Bill McKibben, etc.);
Leg 2 – zero animal husbandry (Ban Ki Moon, UN FAO);
Leg 3 – population control (US Science Advisor John Holdren);
Leg 4 – wealth and income redistribution (Ottmar Edenhofer, third world nations); and,
Seat – global governance (UN)
You were apparently exposed to all components of this “stool” at the Royal Society conference. I don’t think such comprehensive exposure occurs very often, particularly in public forums, for what I believe are obvious reasons.
The unwillingness to discuss all of the components of the “stool” together tends to lead to incremental approaches to emissions control, which I believe would be the least economical approach possible. For example, the treatment of natural gas as a bridge fuel, which would require major investments in E&P, gas transportation infrastructure and power generation infrastructure, much or all of which would likely be regulated out of existence before the end of its useful life.
It would appear this whole utopia is to be predicated on a massive population reduction. Hence the current pressure to keep governments and their energy policy on message even as the collapse in solar activity starts to bite. 31000 excess deaths due to cold in winter 2012-13. An increase of 30%
Hello. Found a link to this blog on the Bishop Hill site. It sounds like you had some fun in Warsaw; what is it like mixing with such closed minds?
I think it is time we dropped the moniker “climate change”. Which climate is changing? The world climate? Is there a world climate? I can accept the idea of “global warming”, as that is a metric based upon something measurable – temperature. The idea that there is a global average of temperature is realistic; it allows that there could be some areas with larger differences, larger rises or even falls of local temperatures while the average rises, but how can global climate be defined? Indeed, the way we define the “climate change” of the Little Ice Age is by temperatures, so it would appear that the ONLY way to indicate “climate change” is by referring to changes in the average temperature; perhaps we should be more honest, and stop this rather insubstantial label of “climate change”, as we do not have climatometers, only thermometers. Whenever anyone rambles off about climate change, merely ask them what they mean by that phrase; how can they define it, and how can they measure it; there is little doubt that they will immediately fall back on rising temperatures.
Carbon pricing is a myth: CO2 has little, if anything, to do with global warming. Carbon pricing is just another very devious form of taxation, cunningly disguised to look like a proper trading medium. It is probably very attractive to companies like Shell, as there is a good chance that they may be able to make some profit out of it – not that I am denigrating them; if there is an opportunity presented, why should they not take advantage? CCS is another foolhardy pipedream, and the idea of zero-carbon emissions is… well… silly.
The premise of the conference is that based on the science a 2C target requires radical emission reductions sooner than later i.e. before 2020. If you don’t agree I’d like to hear why and how the 2C goal can be achieved.
“Much to my surprise I was not really at an emission reduction conference (despite the label saying I was), but a political ideology conference”
It always was, David, where have you been all this time?
David, you now seem to understand what’s driving the ‘catastrophists’, next you just need to realise that their science is corrupt and you will have true enlightenment.
Man-made CO2 emissions are NOT driving climate change, nature drives climate change, our influence is negligible. We need to stop black soot, chemical leaks, bad practice etc. CO2 is not the problem so a carbon tax will never work.
Welcome to planet Earth!
How many years did you happen to work on climate-related stuff before this discomfort kicked in?
In case you were doing other things at the time, it was 2003 when some science bigwig in the UK said climate change was worse than nuclear war. The argument has gotten worse, since.
You’re obviously begining to realise what a bunch of lunatics are jumping aboard the “Global Warming” (Or whatever the current buzzword is, as we’ve seen no statistically significant warming for 17 years now) bandwaggon.
Now, realising what a lovely revenue stream from all those subsidies that Shell could harvest, if they can pump “Carbon” into disused oil & gas fields, I can see why you’re so keen to promote this.
The true nature of the Climate Change Beast is emerging for all to see. We need to step back, as recommended by Lord Lawson and examine the historical climate data and determine the real impact of CO2 increase on climate. We are all entitled to our own opionions – but not our own selective data!!! The science is far from settled. The science/scientists have been highjacked by the left and used to force radical political change. As a former Shell employee I was once concerned that the O&G industry was at he heart of the CO2 problem in mining and producing fossil fuels and thus liberating CO2. Reading extnsively, subscribing to the Global Warming Ploicy Foundation and following many climate related Blogs I no longer share my previous views. Recent reading of the The Neglected Sun – Varenholt/Luning further supports that the science is far from settled. The realistic way forward as presented in Power Hungry – R. Bryce, is conversion to gas – then to thorium nuclear and in future nuclear fission. The wolrd has probably wasted billions chasing a false God. Could the money have been spent better?
David, it is always a shock when the scales finally fall from ones eyes.
You say you were surprised that you inadvertently found yourself at a “political ideology conference.” If you’ve “been involved in the climate change issue for over a decade” many people would be amazed at your surprise. The fact is that environmentalism generally has, over several decades, morphed into an ideologically driven philosophy and that “Climate Change” specifically has become its clarion call which, in the context of real world problems, is a shame. An even greater shame is that the RS, only if by association, lends its name to this farrago.
If I ran an organisation with the motto “Nullius In Verba” the last thing I would let through the front door is ideology. If it did get in I hope I would do the honourable thing and jump out the window!
As a professional securities analyst and a long-time Shell shareholder, I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to read what appears to be a Damascene epiphany. For far too long, Shell has kowtowed to activists who have hijacked climatology and environmentalism as a convenient means and stalking horse for political purposes. The entire overblown CAGW conjecture is a perfect example of “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness Of Crowds” and, unfortunately, Shell has been far too accommodating— to the detriment of society and shareholders.
The BIG GREEN movement epitomised by the catastrophists at places like the Tindall Centre have no interest in achieving a compromise when it comes to energy policy and the supply of cheap energy. BIG GREEN wants expensive energy, because this movement has been infiltrated by the hard left enviros who are only interested in taking the world back to the dark ages.
The only surprise here is why has it taken you and your sponsor this long to realise.
[…] Why have activists focused so much on global warming over other issues? Perhaps because as a vehicle it offered more leverage to make political and social changes they seek. As David Hume learned at the Radical Emission Reduction Conference at the Royal Society. […]
Mr Hone, a most welcome article. However I have to ask why you have only just realised what these people are about?
“Much to my surprise I was not really at an emission reduction conference (despite the label saying I was), but a political ideology conference. Although I have been involved in the climate change issue for over a decade, I had not heard this set of views on the issue voiced so consistently in one place.”
CCS is a failed costly and pointless fantasy.
Intermittent carbon-free power sources are unusable attempts to turn back the clock by centuries.
Real-world evidence of CO2 “forcing” of climate is nowhere to be found.
You attended a “Lets you and him commit suicide” conference. Doh.
I have also worked in the energy business for several decades and had an interest in the environment, and what drives changes in it, for almost as long.
I would argue that with the current epansion of the worlds population and the clear correlation between welfare, energy availability and local population group, there is a moral obligation to ensure the availability of reliable cheap energy to as many people as possible. Increasing costs and reducing efficiency by enforcing CCS cannot be beneficial.
Furthermore there are clear signs that the climate is stable orcooling, not warming., following the end of the last ~30year warming period in 1998. Currently sunspots are moving towards a level not seen since the 1650s, i.e. the Little Ice Age. There are well documented correlations between sunspot activity and both increases and decreases in temperature, and a well documented theory explaining the link (ref. Svensmark). This is more than can be said for the purported link between manmade CO2 and warming.
What really concerns me, and should concern our media and politicians, is that we may well be heading rapidly towards a significantly cooler world, with all the implications of that on food production and general health, rather than experiencing a gradual warming that, if it were to occur, would have mostly beneficial consequences.
In the mean time those of us working in the energy business see our companies under valued and tarnished due to the supposed emmission of harmful CO2, which actually encorages plant growth, from the burning of hydrocarbon fuels.
Hopefully you have seen the light, now what are you and your company (Big Oil lol) going to do now.
You’ve come this far. Can I recommend a radical look at the science now? By this I mean observation based science, not ‘science’ models.
I’m quite surprised, that you seem surprised, that the AGW believers you’ve suddenly noticed, have ever been anything other than a Luddite political movement. They’re simply riding a popular horse to try and revert the world to some imagined bucolic past. But while they dream and propose this, haven’t you noticed that none of them seem to wish to personally revert to this state now. They preach it, but don’t practice it, but they’re certain that they know more about how you should live your life than you do. I guess they haven’t noticed the present longevity humans enjoy from modernity. And they don’t seem to mind that the imposition of their political/economic system will reverse this. So they’ll save humanity, by making them die off??
And you’re suddenly surprised by this? Get a grip. The last thing they wish to do is actually discuss the real science and empirical information about all this AGW stuff. It would tarnish the dream.
It strikes me that these people will only be happy when we are living in caves and there are perhaps four or five thousand people in the British Isles, a few million around the world.
I wonder what Shell thinks about that scenario. There won’t be much of a market for oil or gas or anything really….
David – It looks like you might be taking the first steps towards the realization that the entire IPCC CAGW meme depends on the misuse of science for political ends.
I am one of the blogosphere’s old contrarian Realists or as I prefer to think Baconian empiricists. From the start the whole CAGW meme seemed really incredible to me based on common sense, thought and simple observations. Also because of the complexities of the climate system it seemed obvious that because of the uncertainty in parameterizing the initial conditions of the multiple variables involved and having had some experience in basin modeling there was no way that the model outputs would have any actionable credibility. In particular the IPCC- Met Office models in addition to this inherent weakness were also structured incorrectly. They are beautifully circular in that , in the inputs, the CO2 contribution is assumed to be dominant so that is what comes out at the other end. The result of this is that all the science and the vast amount of computer time used is actually irrelevant and the outputs merely reflect the various RCPs. Future temperatures from the models therefore simply depend linearly on the total amount of CO2 emission implied at any future date by each RCP.
The RCPs themselves are merely imaginary scenarios based on speculations on such things as population and the energy mix at various times in the future – in short pipe dreams.
There has now been no net warming for 16 years with CO2 up 8%. The earth has been cooling slightly since about 2003 and this cooling trend is likely to steepen until 2035 and perhaps continue for hundreds of year beyond that.
By now it is obvious that reality is diverging sharply from the models. Another forecasting method is required. In a series of posts on my blog at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com I have made forecasts of the coming cooling based on quasi periodic- quasi repetitive patterns in the temperature and solar data .
It is about time you looked at the data for yourself via the links provided at the blogsite above and began to steer Shell back to reality in climate matters.
One wonders if you have given any thought to why your company is funding these groups of loony socialists disguised as enviromentalists. Greenwashing is all well and good, but you really should learn to draw the line at bad science – and most of what the IPCC present is really poor – or risk the certain knowledge that shell financed its own downfall.
The LA Times featured cold fusion in ’89 before its debunking. Greens were aghast!
“It’s like giving a machine gun to an idiot child.” – Paul Ehrlich (mentor of John Cook of the SkepticalScience blog, author of “Climate Change Denial”)
“Clean-burning, non-polluting, hydrogen-using bulldozers still could knock down trees or build housing developments on farmland.” – Paul Ciotti (LA Times)
“It gives some people the false hope that there are no limits to growth and no environmental price to be paid by having unlimited sources of energy.” – Jeremy Rifkin (NY Times)
“Many people assume that cheaper, more abundant energy will mean that mankind is better off, but there is no evidence for that.” – Laura Nader (sister of Ralph)
-=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in carbon chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)
P.S. I present The Single Glance Green Bank Authority Scrapbook: http://k.min.us/iby6xe.gif
And exposure of simple dishonest graphsmanship: http://k.min.us/ibtB8G.gif
And lots of so-called “Moon landing deniers” who join the last head of NASA itself: http://i3.minus.com/ibyADs.jpg
And finally, some truly boring tide gauges, mangled into alarmist shape by drama queens: http://s22.postimg.org/ulr1dg7jl/Sea_Level_Two.jpg
Thank you, David Hone, for this interesting report, which was linked from Andrew Montford’s Bishop Hill blog. I’m not surprised at your observations. The ‘climate movement’ you refer to has increasingly over the last decade or so been encouraged, indeed egged on, by one-sided position statements on climate science emanating from professional bodies such as the Royal Society (whose founding motto ‘Nullius in verba’ seems to have been abandoned), the American Geophysical Union, the Institute of Physics and the Geological Society of London. High profile and formerly objective journals such as Nature and Science seem also to have also joined the climate crusade, making it difficult for legitimate scientific criticism of the orthodoxy to get into print.
It’s not surprising that mass media journalists, who generally have no scientific background and little opportunity to learn about the complexities and uncertainties associated with the study of climate, conclude that those who question the climate orthodoxy should be ignored or ridiculed. I suspect most lay-people, most scientists included, rely largely on the mass media to formulate their opinions on the climate change issue, as on most other issues where they themselves lack specialist knowledge. When I raise the topic of climate with otherwise well-qualified and well-informed friends and associates I commonly get a response to the effect that ‘Those climate sceptics are all in the pay of big oil (or big coal, or whatever)’. That’s usually about as far as the discussion gets.
Thank you again for your report.
Congratulations. You appear to have unearthed the “mother lode” of comments with this post. I do not recall ever seeing a comment thread this long on your blog.
Allow me to raise another issue for your consideration. I cannot imagine an area of science so focused on temperature and temperature change, yet so apparently disinterested in measuring temperature accurately. The documented shortcomings of the temperature measurement sites used to produce the global average surface temperature anomaly products (HadCRUT, GISS, NCDC) reportedly “require” that the data collected from them be “adjusted” before being used, thus rendering them “undata” or “non-data”. The fact that the same data, or some subsets thereof, are independently “adjusted” and then used to produce the anomaly products partially explains why the three anomaly products differ. The different approaches to dealing with missing data likely explains the balance of the difference in the reported anomalies. We do, however, know that at least two of the reported anomalies are in error; and, perhaps, all three.
The climate science community apparently views itself as the modern day, much improved embodiment of Rumpelstiltskin, able not only to spin straw (bad data) into gold (good data), but also to spin nothing (missing data) into gold (good data) as well. It is for this reason that I believe the current status of climate science is Grimm.
Similarly, considering the ensemble of climate models and the differing scenarios they produce, we know that at least all but one of them, perhaps all of them, are in error. We can observe that even the least catastrophist of those model scenarios are diverging from the reported temperature anomalies, which are themselves of dubious provenance.
An honest report from an obviously honest chap.
Thanks David, I wish more people could witness and bear testament to the scenes of hard-left green radicalism that you have witnessed. To many at that meeting you attended the science of CAGW (such as it is), is merely just an opportunity to advance a purely political agenda that would have us all starving to death on Stalinist-era collectivised farms.
I trust that Shell will want to make big efforts to have nothing to do with such zealots.
While I have no doubt that some in the Shell hierarchy are true believers in the CAGW myths and have an honest concern for the environment yet let us not forget that Shell is primarily an Oil and Gas company and has every incentive to price its chief competitor -coal out of the energy market by lobbying Governments to require CCS on power produced from coal. This is really what Shells support for the CAGW meme is all about.
Yes, I too wonder how it is that you are surprised.
So, I guess as a “climate change advisor” you have already decided where you stand. Maybe you just didn’t realize who was standing there with you.
Carbon Capture and Storage – is that what your catchy little acronym CCS stands for? I hope you realize that it’s total BS. You should read the posts above David, and then read them again. Many of those posters are heavy hitters.
Do you spend much time at climateaudit? You should. Given the surprise you expressed in this post, it’s clear to me that you aren’t well informed on the actual science involved. This is not a real good thing for a person who accepts the title of “climate change advisor.” I’m all for Shell selling oil and energy and all that, but I’m not for your company supporting junk science and the imposition of stupid “CCS” programs/carbon taxes.
Maybe this post means that you are going to get your conscience right, set your company straight, or go find some other work. I hope so, because up to now, you have clearly not been part of the solution, you’ve been part of the problem.
Here’s hoping that is about to change. You’ll forgive me though if I don’t hold my breath.
For all the vitriolic claims that AGW is an IPCC-led, fake-science conspiracy to take away all our money and freedoms, I would point out that the US Dept. of Defense has already mobilized many years ago (OFFICIALLY!) to prepare for the geopolitical consequences of changing climate that results in reduced food output, reduced access to potable water, increased damage due to more frequent and powerful storms, displaced coastal communities due to more frequent storm surges, etc, all of which will require increased military intervention when the desperate masses attempt to adapt in various less desirable ways. Indeed, the US Navy retired Oceanographer, Dr. David W. Titley, who has an academic background in weather and climate modelling, has publicly explained why he believes AGW is a serious, near-term threat, and if you take a few minutes to watch his presentation (look it up on youtube), you may understand a little better what all the worry is about.
there is much to say on your arguments and observations. But I was not there so I refrain to argue on this conference.
What I know however – unless we have rapid move to renewables and energy efficiency as the key solutions – is that we are indeed running into a non-manageable climate disaster the ever-more fragile world has not seen since probably a few million years when atmospheric CO2 levels were as high as today (400 ppm and rising) and resulting sea level was a few meters higher based on recent assessment by the SCRIPPS Institute. Sea levels that will mean the “death penalty” to many small Island nations, coastal areas and indeed mega-cities build close to the sea. Not today or tomorrow. But once we have the carbon injected in the atmosphere, up to 40% will stay there for at least 1000 years (IPCC, 2013) and continue its impact over decades and centuries. However, the speed with which that change happens today is frightening. We know from palaeontological analysis that in times of high temperatures and natural weather/climate pheneomena, CO2 enriched naturally by about 1-2 ppm per one or two centuries. This rate of enrichment is today happening in about one year.
Just one example: We know from most recent IUCN and IPCC assessments that ocean acidification from dissolved CO2, mainly from burning fossil fuels, is now 30% stronger than around 1900 and proceeds at a rate probably not seen by the oceans since 300 million years. And oceans have a plethora of jobs to do including food security for more than one billion people relying on fish mainly in developing countries as major protein source which in turn rely much on integrity of coral reefs for parts of their life-cycle – coral reefs which will be weakened and bleached and likely die off with unmitigated rate of ocean acidification. Not to talk about the huge biodiversity impact.
I’d say, “radical” are not the options to solve that embedded disaster, “radical” is to maintain Business as usual. Or Business as usual “light”.
Now, you say in your blog: “….that it is an issue with a chasm between the two ends of the spectrum and the rest of us are left in the middle watching the exchange.” Hmmmm. Are you (SHELL) in the middle of that? I must say, I were happy if that were the case. But it isn’t. SHELL is substantive part of the big carbon polluters. SHELL’s annual investments in oil & gas is rising unabated. It was $US billion 23,5 (2011); 29,8 (2012); and estimated 33,0 (2013). With about 80% of that upstream which is exploitation and drilling (Source: IEA, World Energy Outlook 2011, 2012, 2013). And based on your own company reports, SHELL’s investments into renewables (biofuels 1st generation) and low carbon technologies (I assume that is CCS?) came to about $US 300 million in 2012. Which is about 1% of your company’s total energy investment.
Sorry, but that is not convincing. I know that you personally take climate change serious but I am not seeing that reflected in your company’s activities, long-term planning and day-to-day investments. Which by the way is true unfortunately for all oil & gas companies.
Dr Norman Page, the overall environmental impacts of using natural gas are vastly smaller than the equivalent energy use of coal. Discounting AGW does not change this. Coal can be cheap or clean, but it cannot be both. Natural gas can be both cheap and clean, and its overall utility is vastly larger than coal.
And of course, the sheer stupidity of our government in believing any of the IPCC Science beggars belief. You are an Engineer Hone. No professional Engineer accepts that the real IR energy flux from the surface of the Earth to the Atmosphere is at the black body level to empty Space at 0 deg. K.
This, the equally ludicrous claim of 33 K GHE, a bad mistake by Hansen et al in 1981, and a serious misinterpretation of Tyndall’s Experiment of which the IPCC was warned in 1993, gives the imaginary ‘positive feedback’. And to offset the temperature rise, they then pretend it’s OK by using double low level cloud optical depth in hind casting.
This is institutionalised fraud. Shell has supported it for commercial gain. Ministers have prostituted themselves because of this fraud. The country’s power system can’t cope with the imminent new little Ice Age (Arctic Ice volume up 50% in a year according to ESA).
And to cap it all the EPA’s senior climate science expert is in the dock for a $multi-million fraud! In a year we’ll be exceeding 50,000 extra deaths per year from fuel poverty. Shell will have to take part of the blame as that death toll, far exceeding what the Nazis did in the blitz, every year, continues to soar.
David, some comments on the conference.
It is the first time that the Tyndall Centre had organised an event like this. They were open to any submissions from anyone, so if next time Shell wants give a presentation on a strategy for rapid roll-out of CCS technology, I am sure that Kevin Anderson will be very happy to see that given. There will be more such events, and hopefully more conventional groups like Shell or LSE (which does conventional economic work on the topic) will get involved.
It sounds like you missed the most inspiring talks: by a chap who is sustainability officer at a fire station in Dublin – he has rallied his colleagues, raised funds to restore their building which had “sick building syndrome” and was very energy inefficient. Over 5 years they have cut energy use by over 50%, saved significant amounts of money, and completed some 300 projects to improve energy and resource use at the fire station.
Another chap at a housing cooperative in Manchester has got home-owners doing their own refurbishments, resulting in significant reductions in energy use.
Those were examples of great leadership and entrepreneurship – whether done in the context of a private company, a cooperative or in employment is irrelevant in these cases, and we can be grateful that there are people who are motivated to help others in these ways.
There was a lot criticism of the “neo-liberal” model. The reason for this is that you can indeed track back certain phenomena like growth in energy usage to the social changes brought about with the advent of neo-liberal thinking. Of course it is not so simple to be a matter of cause and effect, but to deny a relationship between the two is as unrealistic as to say one is a direct cause of the other. Nonetheless it is natural that some people see neo-liberalism as a cultural and intellectual driver of some undesirable changes.
They also reminded us that neo-liberal thinking is a very new thing in the context of human history – and it is good for neo-liberal people to bear in mind the fact that their thinking is as revolutionary as other philosophies once were. It would be lovely to see appropriate humility among some of your correspondents, above.
There was a most thought-provoking talk by one chap from a group called The Corner House. He reminded us that there are different models for solving problems. There is the dominant “algorithmic” approach prevalent in western society, but there are others such as what philosopher Richard Rorty calls (I think I remembered right) “Science and Solidarity”. This latter approach is better for bringing together people in opposing camps. But requires a lot of humility.
Finally, re patience. We can be as patient as there is time available to achieve what we want to achieve in a given timescale. So a call for patience is best if it is in the context of a timescale and some associated objectives.
This is Kevin Anderson’s talk framing the conference:
AlecM, every single national acadamy of sciences in every country that has one has a statement of support for the science and conclusions documented by the IPCC. This is not a case of the IPCC acting on its own, and it is a massive falsehood on your part to imply that there is a significant, censured community of specialist atmospheric and related scientists and engineers that claim the IPCC findings are fraudulent. Warnings of AGW came from several sources long before the IPCC was formed! I highly recommend you listen to the retired Admiral Dr. David Titley, former Oceanographer for the US Navy, and hear what he has to say about AGW and the risks associated with it. Dr. Titley has a PhD in atmospheric and meteorological science, specializing in modeling and forecasting. And furthermore, if you are implying that it is wrong to use market mechanisms to promote technology transformation, and that it is immoral for those market mechanisms to allow individuals and companies to profit from them, then it is your ideology that is in question here, not David Hones or Shell’s.
Todd Flach: “Coal can be cheap or clean, but it cannot be both.”
I have to respond to this nonsense, because it definitely can, and not only with the following, but at a feedstock capacity of 1,000 tons a day (all manner of feedstock, including household waste, chemical waste, industrial waste, old tyres, algae, biomass, coal, coke, oil, gas, CO2, whatever), and at only $30 million a plant, Westinghouse Plasma Gasification makes a lot of sense, and blows the expensive White Elephant wind and solar insanity completely out of the water:
Look at the emissions! Or lack of them, rather.
We have ALL the solutions to problems already available to see us through the short and long term, either immediately available or available very soon. Lockheed Martin are on the verge of introducing a new filtration membrane that will dramatically reduce the cost of water desalination that is already cheap thanks to the Israeli’s, drip agriculture is already sorted (also thanks to the Israeli’s) and thanks to that new membrane is about to become viable in parts of the World that are presently sterile but have plenty of sunshine and access to salt water (the Sahara, the desert coast of southern Africa, Australia, etc., which can also be used to grow biomass as well as food, timber for construction, cotton for clothing, etc), and about $100 million investment in Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors would likely see LFTR rolling off production lines in about 5 years (though the Chinese are already onto this, but do we really want to be bound to China for intellectual property and having to buy off them?). LFTR can safely process all nuclear waste too.
‘Climate’ and its associated nonsense has been one of the biggest scams and momentous frauds, ever inflicted on humanity, and the extremist perpetrators and their aiders and abettors should be thrown in jail and have the keys disposed of. This will likely end up happening, if they are lucky.
As for you Mr Hone, it is always nice to see the penny finally drop, even if that drop is somewhat overdue.
Now let’s see Shell and others get behind things that actually work, instead of supporting such outrageous and blatant frauds and customer rip-offs.
Which will of course include starting to make campaign contributions to common sense people in common sense political Party’s, and stop funding lawless extremists into power, which they so passionately seek to grab. Remember, nobody can be trusted with power, which is why the Rule of Law denies access to it.
I must add that in their proper place, I am a huge fan of wind and solar (even to the point of designing a new type of wind generator blade).
That place is small demand off grid applications, and given the damage to grids that intermittent supplies such as wind and solar provide, I think it should be a serious criminal offense to connect such devices to a grid.
Remember, in a recent Winter Poland had to throw the switch on German electricity dumpling its alternative energy into its grid, because it was going to take down the Polish grid.
A National Grid needs three things: 1) reliable and economic base load generating capacity; 2) reliable and economic load following capacity; and 3) reliable and economic peak load generating capacity.
Wind and solar are simply incapable of providing any of those three.
To see how wind and solar (with water and diesel power with battery storage) should really be used properly, look at the setups that bluewater yachtsmen use.
Anything else, imho, is nothing but a self delusion, and that delusion shouldn’t be inflicted on the general population at massive and fruitless expense.
1.There is no such thing as consensus in science.
2. Meteorology and Climate Alchemy teach incorrect ‘back radiation’ physics.
3. The fact that there might be 10,000 or more people who accept the IPCC ‘consensus’ is no proof it’s correct.
4. The experimental evidence, 17 years no atmospheric warming, the past decade slight cooling (HADCRUT4), despite 8% increase in pCO2, confirms the ‘consensus’ is very wrong indeed.
Many like me, grizzled engineers in particular, who have spent a working lifetime outside academia solving real problems have proved, in different ways, that the iPCC science is a massive confidence trick. I assess it as having 13 mistakes in the basic physics, including a seriously wrong interpretation of Tyndall’s experiment. OK, you have to devise and transfer from other scientific areas the correct physics, but the atmosphere self-controls lower temperatures using CO2 as the working fluid of a heat engine.
As for the IPCC ‘consensus’, that was frozen for political reasons and the politicians and David Hone are running out of road to continue their aim of totalitarian control/getting rich by demonising plant food.
Sorry mate, the game is over, 10,000 plus Alchemists need to get new jobs and the Meteorologists and Climate Alchemy courses need to be revised so they don’t mix up a Radiation Field, the output of a pyrgeometer, and the net Irradiance which actually controls radiative heat transfer. Another way of putting it is that the two-stream approximation is an approximation, and you can’t apply it at an optical heterogeneity.
[…] MCFly writer Vicky Ramsden reports on the recent Radical Emissions Reductions Conference. For other accounts, see here and here. […]