Research

No role for gas in climate crisis – new report

171105 KM Eddie Thornton

Drone image of Third Energy’s KM8 site at Kirby Misperton, 5 November 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

As Third Energy prepares to start fracking in North Yorkshire, new research warns against bringing new sources of gas into production if Europe is to meet its climate targets.

The study by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Teesside University published today concluded that Europe must stop using gas within 18 years. Even short-term use of gas was incompatible with EU commitments under the Paris climate agreement.

The study found that under current emissions, the EU had just nine years left in a fair carbon budget required to limit warming to well below 2oC. Even with a managed phase-out, gas must go by 2035.

The research, commissioned by Friends of the Earth, comes as the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, is considering whether to approve fracking at Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site. If permission is granted, this will be the first high volume hydraulic fracturing in the UK since 2011. Other companies are preparing plans to sink shale gas exploration wells across the East Midlands and northern England.

The fracking industry has promoted shale gas as a “clean fuel” and a bridge to a low carbon future. It has predicted that gas will remain part of the UK energy mix until 2050 and beyond.

But the authors of the new study, Professor Kevin Anderson and Dr John Broderick, said fossil fuels, including natural gas, had no substantial role in an EU 2oC energy system beyond 2035.

They said:

“Within two decades, fossil fuel use, including gas, must have all but ceased, with complete decarbonisation following soon after.

“There is categorically no role for bringing additional fossil fuel reserves, including gas, into production.

“An urgent programme to phase out existing natural gas and other fossil fuel use across the EU is an imperative of any scientifically-informed and equity-based policies designed to deliver on the Paris Agreement.”

Professor Anderson, deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said:

“If the EU is to transform its energy system to align with the Paris temperature and equity commitments, it cannot continue with business as usual and must instead initiate a rapid phase out of all fossil fuels including natural gas. This needs to begin now and be complete within the coming two decades.”

Friends of the Earth fracking campaigner, Rose Dickinson, said:

“This report is stark:  Europe needs to cut gas use fast to play its part in avoiding catastrophic climate change. The UK also has a key role to play, and starting up a whole new fossil fuel industry in England would make this much harder. It’s another compelling reason why Energy Secretary Greg Clark must not allow fracking to go ahead in Ryedale, North Yorkshire. Rather than get locked into more fossil fuels, we must prioritise energy saving and renewable energy – that’s the only way to deal with the climate crisis”.

171105 KM Eddie Thornton2

Drone image of Third Energy’s KM8 site at Kirby Misperton, 5 November 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

Climate talks

Publication of the research coincides with the start of new UN climate talks in Bonn. For the next two weeks, negotiators from around the world will be discussing how to implement the Paris Agreement.

One of the key issues is likely to be what would be a fair rate for reducing emissions for different regions of the world.

EU member states are in the final stages of agreeing a 40% domestic emissions reduction by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

But a review by global civil society organisations suggests this isn’t a big enough cut to reflect Europe’s responsibility for climate change and capacity to tackle it. The review calculates that to be fair, the EU should be doing nearly five times more to mitigate climate change.

In their report, Professor Anderson and Dr Broderick spell out what the EU would have to do to  meet its fair share of a 2oC target. They say the EU must begin immediately to cut emissions by 12% a year – much faster than the 40% reduction by 2030.

The authors argued that the long-term use of gas and oil had been supported because climate models relied too much on what are known as negative emissions technologies, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. This has had the effect of closing down what the authors described as “more challenging but essential debates over lifestyle, profound social-economic change and deeper penetration of genuinely decarbonised energy supply.”

Their study also concluded that methane emissions were at dangerously high levels. Methane emissions from human sources, including the gas industry, were likely to add 0.6oC to global warming, they estimated. They also said the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) increased its climate change impact by an average of 20% and by up to 134%.

Recommendations

Friends of the Earth is recommending:

  • The EU’s energy system must be rapidly transformed to be fossil fuel free by 2030
  • The EU should immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies, including grants or loans to gas infrastructure projects
  • The EU and member states should stop support for all fossil fuel projects, stop any new exploration for oil, gas and coal and ban unconventional fossil fuels, including shale gas.

Links

Can the climate afford Europe’s gas addiction? Briefing by Friends of the Earth Europe

Natural Gas and Climate Change report by Professor Kevin Anderson and Dr John Broderick

51 replies »

  1. It is pure speculation PhilipP.
    What political measures taken? So far, we have a small handful of sites identified for tests to be conducted, and no production yet authorised. Yet, you extrapolate this into 1000s of wells, whilst others in the anti group say it will not be economic ie. no wells. It is everything to do with factions, neither of which yet have any factual data to refer to. Maybe speculation/fabrication will clarify in the future into fact but currently you are in confusion on that.

    • Martin. Do you take everyone for being so naive? Political measures include the granting of licenses, the statements in parliament, the meetings with lobbyists including those with global-warming-denial think tanks and their policy advisors, the confrontations (millions spent on police), the overruling of local democracies … I could go on. Then you only have to look at decline curves of shale gas wells to know that things don’t stop at a few wells, they have to multiply, virus-like, until the shale formation is saturated with a striped pattern of underground bore holes (imagine the underfloor heating pipe/cable layout to get the idea). If the aim isn’t to ramp up output with a very substantial game plan then why are the financial and political risk takers even bothering? There is no confusion. With between 1 and 5 million pounds needing to be spent per well (depending on whether its a simple test well or a major lateral job) do you honestly think the deep pocketed corporates and their investors are going to be interested at all if it wasn’t a business that could be rapidly scaled up? You use a most peculiar argument which is like saying ‘if we don’t build an airport here how are we going to know if it’s a good idea or not?’ or ‘let’s take a big risk with our air quality and water tables and carbon budget to see if the risk is real or not?’ Bonkers. Big financial and political risks are developed on big plans and assumptions and it’s not that hard to see where they are targeted.

  2. Oh dear, no place for gas, no place for nuclear, no place for wood chips, only intermittent, unreliable renewables or hugely expensive hydro or tidal projects and/or battery technology. How many old people will have to die in frozen poverty during the first “green” winter before we come to our senses.

    • So the only alternatives to old people dying of fuel poverty is to develop Nuclear and Shale Gas, how about improving the efficiency of poor insulated homes,fit better glazing, cladding, LED lighting, lets reduce our usage,retro fit all homes offices and work places fuel poverty is not either or….

  3. Just a reminder, tonight over 80% of homes are being heated by gas and 46% of our electricity is being produced by gas. So no role for gas, what’s going to replace it as a baseload reliable energy source? Sensible replies please, not “something will be developed”, “batteries will get cheaper”, “this technology looks interesting,” in other words no nonsense replies and/or wishful thinking. Remember to replace gas as a heating source will require a 3-4x expansion of electricity supply which will be required to be dispatchable in one large “lump” on a freezing cold windless evening. I really don’t want my grandchildren to return to a pre-industrial age. Address climate change, yes, but also address the energy needs of the population especially the poor.

    BTW at least the report acknowledges the CO2 impact of imported LNG, on which the UK will become increasingly dependent. I know, why not harvest our own onshore natural gas, that’s a good idea.

    • Rather bizarre, I find. “We” don’t want the gas to heat our homes that comes from right under our feet? But, “we” are perfectly content that the gas comes from Norway by pipeline or across half the world as LNG? And “we” don’t want coal fired or nuclear power either. I really do wonder what planet some of my compatriots live on, they don’t seem to live where I am, here on earth?

      • Fred.
        If ‘the gas to heat our homes that comes from right under our feet’ was safe to extract I’m sure the opinion would be different. However despite the NLP psychologies posted here about safety and robust regulations, the sad fact is that is not safe. Neither is the extraction of any fossil fuel, transported or not. Products from overseas come at a price, often costed in human lives. Products from stable countries still has to be transported, and you have to have something to trade back.

        The bottom line, in the past the general consumer of these products was not informed realistically of these ‘trade offs’. Things are changing, but lobbying companies clocking up a myriad of numbers on computers worldwide are reluctant to let go. And yes, there would be mass panic if they stopped suddenly, but as companies like Ørsted (Dong Energy) have made the change from fossil fuel to clean energy generation, it can and should be done sooner rather than too late. However, we ALL need to get our responsible heads on and work out what we can do, as individuals, companies and communities.

        If you use the tobacco industry analogy, we know it has not gone away. Addiction has stopped this, (to tobacco and to profits). But the impact has been reduced by political will and indeed the cost to the taxpayer via health implications. Sadly the companies, now outed are not obliged to pay up for the damage and cost to the health systems (and no, there is no blame them for their product prior to the health impacts being known, but surely after?) and this is and will be the same with dirty energy production. Offshore companies do not contribute their fair share of profits. Greedy investors who don’t contribute to companies an any way except allowing their money to be used to prop up ailing industries demanding greater payouts all move us away from a better future.

        And the reality? Cars are still on the road, heat is turned up – shorts in winter! People refuse to take responsibility, It only takes a small change by each person to make a significant difference. These small changes will be different for each of us; some will fit green energy generation to their homes, some will buy from clean energy generators, others will turn down the heat, wear suitable clothes, walk to school or work; it’s all it takes.

        We do all indeed live on this earth, some of us consume more than others; those of us who do, need to take stock and reduce the addiction, so that we can all live safely and within our means. Time for change. ALL change. Start here, right now and ALL have a future.

  4. Yeah right. It’s as simple as sticking a pipe in the ground and turning on the tap. If only. Perhaps hoping nobody will notice you guys (SW and FB) ignore the fact that it would take 10-20 years of intrusive, environmentally impactful risk-taking to get to the point of supply levels that you are talking about and use perversely simplistic arguments. Right now the ‘S curve’ of power storage developments – to iron out the intermittency issues connected with renewables – is accelerating now at around 30-40% per year. Likewise the prices connected with those systems are tumbling (witness the spectacular progress of offshore wind and the plummeting energy costs associated with that).

    Meanwhile the costs of climate devastation and impacts of further breakdown are almost incalculable. Please don’t bury your head in the sand on that front as well.

    • Philip P – you say “you guys (SW and FB) ignore the fact that it would take 10-20 years of intrusive, environmentally impactful risk-taking to get to the point of supply levels that you are talking about and use perversely simplistic arguments.”

      Philip, do you know of an energy generating technology that doesn’t involve risks? Do you know of one that doesn’t entail environmental damage? Shale gas is well understood and is used to supply a large proportion of the gas world wide (including offshore usage). Like all generation it carries environmental impact, but because of the density of the energy extracted, that impact is relatively limited.

      On the other hand, the renewables you favor do not benefit from very strong energy density and they will always be plagued by intermittency. When they are deployed at large scale, not only do they increase energy costs dramatically, but they necessitate a steep ramp in the mining of materials, the use of trucks to bring supplies, and the deployment of massive concrete installations. At scale they begin to destabilize the grid and they pervert the power markets, often causing the subsidization of cheap backup power – namely coal.

      Renewables will NEVER be cheap because of their intermittency. It may not be expensive to buy and install the infrastructure (although you will devastate the countryside by doing so) but they will always require large sources of backup power. If renewables were to be the sole power source, they would require backup power to meet a month’s worth of demand at minimum. You will NEVER have battery power sufficient to provide that backup because to build out that backup power would require materials in quantities that would drive prices through the roof – even if someone discovered a reasonable storage technology.

      The Green dream will not be realized. If it were, it would have a profoundly devastating impact on humanity.

      • Refricktion. With onshore unconventional gas, especially for the UK, you are not only talking about environmental impacts effectively on people’s doorsteps you’re talking about a nation of tea drinkers for whom water quality is very important… and that’s not just a tongue in cheek statement btw. Why is no one is talking about the value of water and about protecting and preserving it from contamination? Is it because no commercial value has been placed on it due to it being a public utility and it’s protection is regarded as a natural right? No amount of lying by big O&G will successfully cover up the fact that shale-gas related industry poses risks to groundwater, soil and air pollution, not to mention greenhouse gas emissions. The risks are real and the impacts have been noted for many years both professionally and by many many locals who live anywhere near the gas and drilling sites. There are plenty of less environmentally damaging ways and means of power generation and you’re clutching at straws to compare the impacts of wind and solar with a whole new onshore fossil fuel industry here.

        The first floating offshore wind turbines have been launched last month off Scotland – another step change: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-41652707
        Then for batteries, John Goodenough, the co-inventor of the hugely successful Lithium Ion battery system has come up with a new type (a ‘glass’ battery) which does not depend on lithium, can be made with the kinds of materials you would find in a recycling centre and has potentially three times the power capacity and hundreds of times the recharge cycles of LI. It’s development is being fast-tracked now by two major car manufacturer: https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/renewables/does-new-glass-battery-accelerate-the-end-of-oil
        I think I have more faith in human ingenuity than you Refriktion. I also want a habitable future for our planet. Finally – never say never.

        • “Why is no one is talking about the value of water and about protecting and preserving it from contamination? ”

          Are you serious?

          Do you honestly think that water contamination has not been explored by researchers and scientists? The EPA went on a 7 year witch hunt to find evidence of widespread contamination and came up empty handed. All they could find were isolated incidents where best practices weren’t followed and contamination resulted. But those incidences had nothing to do with fracking – no they were caused by poor well completion, spills, and not using proper liners.

          If water were contaminated in even 1% of cases, due to fracking, you would have massive liability issues in the US. You would have successfully prosecuted cases. You would have no more fracking happening. But you have none of this.

          “No amount of lying by big O&G will successfully cover up the fact that shale-gas related industry poses risks to groundwater, soil and air pollution, not to mention greenhouse gas emissions”

          You will have to alert the EIA and other independent scientific agencies to the massive cover-up which you imply. These independent scientists are under the deluded impression that natural gas has helped lower GHG emissions (even after taking into account fugitive emissions). I think that they also fully understand the risks associated with extraction, as these have been studied very closely over the last couple of decades.

          Glad to see battery technology evolve and improve. It will be an iterative process as it has been for the last 50 years. Yet the fact is anodes and cathodes will need some sort of material, and the scale requirements and costs of those materials will always be a factor. I’m comfortable in assuming that there will not be a large-scale, commercially viable answer for grid storage in the next thirty years.

          And BTW, your “renewables” have many other shortcomings. Are you fully aware of the risks and environmental consequences around those technologies?

          From a recent article where a community is fighting a wind installation: ” Property owners living close to wind turbines have complained about the pollution of wells, restriction of land use, fires, flying debris, health impacts, killing of wild life, property value diminution and inhabitability of homes.

          During and after construction, many municipalities are concerned about potential road damage, water pollution and financial damage to local economies.

          Many residents complain that once wind projects are completed, the province fails to meaningfully enforce regulations connected with their operation.”

          Helps to keep things in perspective, right?

          • Wrong Refricktion. You offer a masterclass in carefully selected words in order to present an illusory perspective only. The bans on fracking in many places in the world (including some States in the USA) rely on a growing body of scientific evidence identifying the risks posed by the shale gas industry. And I mean this industry in its totality – of onshore unconventional natural gas development, you cannot hide behind the ‘due to fracking’ phrase only much as you would like to. Pollution incidences are abundant wherever find the industry as EPA scientists themselves have testified to this outside of what they are officially allowed to publish. With the ‘Halliburton loophole’ in the U.S. there are legal exemptions in place for O&G from certain air and water pollution claims, then there’s the ‘Lone Pine’ process to nip a class action in the bud on that front, and Trump has appointed Scott Pruitt to further curtail the powers of the EPA and remove more regulations. Through legal manipulation claims against the problems caused by the gas companies (even multi-million dollar ones) are reduced to claims about compensation for ‘nuisance’ only.

            Wind farms in this country, as polls have shown, have far higher public acceptance than both fracking and nuclear. Nevertheless the government has removed all subsidies from their further developments. I notice you steered clear of commenting on the very successful march of offshore wind.

            • My use of “fracking” is in response to the ever-present claims against fracking made by your side. If you want to expand this to o&g operations in general, that’s fine by me.

              There is zero doubt that o&g extraction entails risks. We have been extracting these resources for hundreds of years, and we have experienced a number of calamities as a result. However, societies across the world have decided that the benefits of o&g extraction are far greater than the costs.

              Wind farms are more popular than o&g operations. But I have yet to see an a poll that poses the comparison accurately to include energy equivalence. And I know quite certainly that the public would not favor wind power to the point that it destabilizes the grid. Wind tends to be less popular with people who have to live in view of those farms.

              I haven’t “steered clear” of offshore wind. It is hindered by many of the same factors that hold onshore wind back. It is more expensive than onshore wind, and it is intermittent. It still needs massive backup power.

              I love renewables, but I’m also a pragmatist. Fairy dust won’t cut it with energy policy, Philip. Decisions are made for the long term and they cannot be made based on hype and hope.

            • Again you evade. The observations and science connected with my argument are, as stated, concerning onshore unconventional natural gas development ie HVHF and the impacts of all the processes associated with it . Its only two decades since natural gas from shale became a commercial possibility due to fracking process. It’s history and safety record do not match the claims you make for it.

            • You’re going to have to make up your mind, Philip. You criticize me for responding to claims against fracking specifically. So, I respond by expanding the argument to include o&g broadly, then you waffle back to narrow in on onshore hvhf operations.

              The science is behind both the broad and the narrow arguments for kerogen extraction. It doesn’t matter which you choose, but I would prefer if you kept to one rather than switching back and forth mid-argument, and attempting to criticize me when I haven’t predicted your capricious changes of heart.

              Slickwater, high volume, horizontal hydraulic fracturing didn’t catch on in significant scale until the late 1980’s, approximately 30 years ago, Philip. But I have yet to hear a coherent explanation as to why vertical fracking operations that were undertaken going back 60 years or more, are not relevant to the discussion. The physical concepts are more or less identical to what is accomplished today. The techniques and materials have been refined slightly, of course, but can you explain precisely what it is about those changes that makes fracking more dangerous today than it was then?

              I would argue that it is safer today than it was in 1950, so the track record over the last 60+ years is worth consideration.

              If you feel otherwise, then please explain whether you are advocating for a return to 1950’s technology for the fracking of UK shale?

              Thanks!

            • I was being very specific while you’ve tap-danced around. To quote from my earlier comment: “And I mean this industry in its totality – of onshore unconventional natural gas development” What is unspecific about ‘onshore unconventional natural gas development’ which we all know in this context refers to drilling into the UK’s shale formations – to apply the High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for gas extraction. The ‘totality’ bit is clearly referring everything connected to the process of shale fracking. Again, to hide behind the ultra specific (fracking only) part of the operation has merit only in that you clearly don’t want to be caught out deceiving people by referring to everything that goes with it, which doesn’t have a great track record. Yes you can say that safety practices have improved over the years but you cannot say that there’s much continuity between earlier production models and the modern business of HVHF shale gas extraction which was only being trialed in the 90’s and developed (too hastily for safety’s sake) into the large scale commercial practice this century.

              The percentage risks might be smaller these days but then you have to look at the well density (of current cluster-drilling and well-pad practices) to run the numbers. So what do we get? Even if we are very generous and say the risks from the fracking itself, and seepage from the (fracked) target layer is a tenth of one percent (0.1%), then taking just 4 out of the other 6 or so important risk factors stated in the EA’s guidelines i.e. on risks that can lead to serious environmental impacts (each has over twice the probability of the risks attached to the lowest level seepage), that’s 0.1% plus 4x 0.2% – being very conservative – you get a 0.9% probability of some failure or serious impact per well. Now taking your own, somewhat incredible figure of (up to) 60 wells per pad Refricktion you get the the rather alarming statistic of at least a 50% likelihood of serious environmental impacts per well pad. If you go instead with the (far more likely) scenario of 10-16 wells per pad you will still arrive at the same probability when you zoom out to look at 4 to six well pads within a 3-4 mile square block of the landscape.

            • Philip, You’re wrong in asserting that I’m trying to deceive anyone with respect to anything. That’s simply not my game. I will get as specific as you’d like or as broad as you’d like. If you need me to clarify anything, I am more than happy to do so. I apologize if it appears that I have tried to dodge anything but I assure you that is not my intent.

              My point is that while accidents have occurred, they have not been specific to fracking. Some of those accidents could (and do) happen in cases where the well is conventional or unconventional, and some of the accidents involving operations around fracking are not directly linked to the act of fracking. The rally cry of the anti-frack movement is that fracking causes water contamination. Yet there is not one proven case where fracking has caused contamination. It is more accurate to say that gas extraction operations have caused water contamination in isolated instances. It’s a very important distinction because the anti-fracking claim implies that there is a problem of systemic contamination due to frack fluid migration, when there is no such thing.

              Check your facts on hvhf. Industry records show that this began in the late 1960’s and began commercial production in earnest during the 1970’s. Hvhf was accompanied by horizontal drilling on a commercial scale in the late 1980’s.

              You vastly overestimate the risk of frack fluid migration when you assume 0.1%. The fact is that we have almost 2 million cases from which to sample in North America, and we have seen a 0.0000% incidence at this point. Fracking a couple meters from the bore hole 3 km below the surface with a number of impermeable geologic layers or “caps” in between the fluid and any aquifer (not to mention gravity, and the tendency of rock strata to filter impurities from water) indicates that the 0.0000% incidence rate is likely to remain intact.

              Your “alarming statistic” of 50% incidence rate per well pad, is alarming alright. It’s alarming in its propaganda and fearmongering value, but you can’t support it in any fashion. If we had an incidence rate that approached 0.1% here in the US, the industry wouldn’t even be around. 50% is laughable.

            • Well have to agree to differ. You are definitely practicing deception as there are thousands of complaints and problems caused by the fracking’s related industrial processes and yet again you hide behind the rhetorical device of ‘fracking’ as a semantic argument referring only to what’s happening 4000 feet or so beneath the surface while everyone else is referring to fracking as applied to the entire ene-to-end process). I’m saddened that you use truth in such a manipulative way to shape others’ opinions.

            • Philip, Fracking is relatively easy to define. You’ll find similar definitions all over the internet that match this one: “the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc., so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.”

              If you want to expand the definition of fracking to include everything that is done in a gas extraction operation, that’s fine by me, but it’s clearly not how practitioners and society understand the concept.

              Regardless, as I’ve stated, your free to call anything and everything “fracking” if it makes you happy. And I will even deign to agree to your definition, because the industry has to make sure that all of its activities around gas extraction are safe. So, if you want to call the truck driving across town with a delivery of material fracking, that’s okay by me. If you want to label surveying land as fracking, that’s okay too. If you want to call paying suppliers and communities fracking, great. Fracking can be anything you want it to be, Philip.

              None of this changes the fact that gas extraction (fracking) operations have proven to be relatively safe. They entail risks, like all industrial operations, but those risks are well defined, are manageable, and are limited in scale. There are complaints about fracking operations. I’ve never seen a case where there aren’t complaints about industrial operations located near residential areas, especially when the public perceives a chance to tap into deep pockets.

              The relative safety of fracking explains why it has been so successful where it is practiced, and why it is still growing into new areas in countries where it is currently practiced. It explains why so many more jurisdictions have approved fracking than have not approved it. It explains why the plurality of voters in the UK back fracking. The benefits of the technology simply outweigh the costs.

  5. So, we have oil demand predicted to carry on climbing through 2050, yet some poor souls believe the world will remove fossil fuels from the energy mix very shortly!

    I have no problem with a gradual increase in the use of alternative sources, but the reality is they will be gradual. You only need to look at a small example, Tesla, to see that for all the PR, deadlines are missed over and over again. Equally, it is simple to find alternative systems that have been rushed into that have mopped up large amounts of money and then found to be flawed economically and environmentally. Individuals get carried away with the “potential” and ignore the reality eg. forcing people to purchase electric vehicles that depreciate dreadfully in the first year because they become out dated so rapidly, will run the risk of a massive backlash, not only against that issue, but environmental decisions as a whole. (Remember the rush to diesels?)

    Whatever the EU decide, it will not alter the fact that gas will remain part of the UK energy mix past 2050. That is a period of at least 30 years to determine if UK can replace some of the imported gas with domestic gas. I shall not be replacing my gas boiler with a dried mammoth dung system just yet.

  6. Yes but we’re now getting past that point of wildly experimental alternatives and some very successful models are emerging (smart grids, distributed power-gen, utility scale battery systems, behind-the-meter storage, feed-in tariffs and so forth). To understand accelerating trends correctly you need to see how they point to a paradigm shift, and I think this one fast overtaking the ‘gradual’ that you point to. Old school thinkers need to put down their slide rules and linear equations and fasten their seat belts. The world is getting behind this change, and just in time … climate change is accelerating too, possibly too fast, but that shouldn’t stop us doing everything we can to stop contributing to it.

    All cars depreciate massively in their first year(s) Martin and there is no reason why electric cars should do more so. Fashion and conspicuous consumption will probably dictate a higher churn rate by early adopters and techno geeks, but with far fewer moving parts the all electric vehicles can be built to outlast conventional cars by a long measure.

    We use gas at home too. I have never suggested that gas is going to disappear overnight, it is not part of my argument. But it seems to be an implied argument for those pushing fracking – as if we’re all suddenly (somehow) going to freeze in winter and that we have no alternative but to turn to fracked shale gas.

  7. PhilipP-you really do put your foot in your mouth and ruin all the text you produce.

    Why make a comment about the depreciation of electric cars without checking the facts? Oh, yes they do. Hardly surprising really, but it is the reality. Produce a product which will be out of date next year and it DOES depreciate MASSIVELY. If you have been persuaded to buy, then you will find you have meekly taken part in an economic experiment. So, you buy at £30k and a short while later it may be worth £10k. Not a problem if you are happy with your purchase, but if you have a change of circumstances and need to replace with a different option, you are really caught out. Lease is essential, IMHO.

    Yes, we will continue to use gas, as you indicate. (Walk around a few new building sites-nearly all new houses will have gas systems. Nobody will pay for those to be trashed for at least 30 years.) The choice is whether we use our own or import. This report clearly states it is more environmentally beneficial for us to use our own. Add to that the taxation benefits to support those who have difficulties paying fuel bills, and the income that is already being paid out to local communities before we have even produced enough to fill an aerosol, with security of supply, and it is compelling. Certainly compelling enough to check out the possibilities.

  8. So. Back to the article.
    ‘The study by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Teesside University published today concluded that Europe must stop using gas within 18 years. Even short-term use of gas was incompatible with EU commitments under the Paris climate agreement.’

    Whatever the fossilized ideas that continue on this blog, one thing we know. With 2017 set to be the hottest year on record that wasn’t affected by El Nino that question is what are we all going to do about it?

    Clearly those that produce, sell, invest in fossil fuel will cry wolf and misdirect. Those who see the escalation towards extinction will make radical changes to their way of life. Somewhere in between the rest of us sit.

    No more gas, oil or coal is required. Reserves are larger than we can use. Nuclear is out of date and too dangerous. Clean energy is here. It increases every day despite the denial. The way we use energy has to change. Energy is not a right but a privilege.

    It is time to make changes, any that you can. Stop supporting greedy industrialization and broken capitalism and return to facing the huge responsibility of ALL of us to make the changes. It’s time to stop thinking and start doing.

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