Politics

“UK support for new fossil fuels is beyond absurd” – how politicians and industry responded to Greta Thunberg

190423 Geta Thunberg meeting

Greta Thunberg meeting political leaders at Westminster, 23 April 2019

The 16-year-old Swedish climate campaigner, Greta Thunberg, has described the UK’s support for shale gas as “irresponsible” and “beyond absurd”.

Speaking to MPs at Westminster yesterday, she said:

“The UK’s active current support of new exploitation of fossil fuels – for example, the UK shale gas fracking industry, the expansion of its North Sea oil and gas fields, the expansion of airports as well as the planning permission for a brand new coal mine – is beyond absurd.

“This ongoing irresponsible behaviour will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.”

DrillOrDrop has compiled some reaction to her speech.

Government

Claire Perry MP, energy minister

“We are a highly gas dependent economy, as we know. We want to cut the amount of gas we use but it is a good transitional fuel.

“What we want to do is explore soberly and scientifically whether there are opportunities to extract gas onshore in a way that helps us with our energy security, and see if we can continue to generate jobs as a result of this.

“Why is it we trust the science so much on climate change but when it comes to the science saying shale gas extraction is safe, we refuse to listen.”

Source: Extract from response to parliamentary question by Ed Milliband MP

Government spokesperson

“The UK is a global leader in tackling climate change, going further than any other G7 nation by cutting our emissions by 40% since 1990 whilst growing our economy by two-thirds, and we have high ambitions to go further.

“That’s why we’ve asked our independent climate experts for advice on a net zero emissions target and set out plans to transition to low emission vehicles and significantly reduce pollution through our Clean Air Strategy.

“As we transition to a low carbon economy there will continue to be a need for oil and gas, which are projected to provide around two-thirds of our total primary energy in 2035. Continuing to manage production whilst reducing our overall usage of fossil fuels is the best way to meet our climate targets in a sustainable way.”

Source: Response to DrillOrDrop

Michael Gove MP, environment secretary

“As I listened to you I felt great admiration but also a sense of responsibility and guilt because I recognise I am of your parents’ generation. I recognise we have not done nearly enough to deal with the problem of climate change,” he said.

“Suddenly, thanks to the leadership of Greta and others, it has become inescapable that we have to act. Greta, your voice has been heard and we are all responsible for making sure that we listen and we respond and that we change.”

Source: Response to Greta Thunberg, quoted in The Times

Industry

Ken Cronin, chief executive, UK Onshore Oil and Gas

“The science should have the loudest voice in this conversation, which needs to go beyond just keeping fossil fuels in the ground. The climate impact of these fuels is primarily due to combustion, but there are many things that we use them for that do not involve this process, including the production of medicines, food and other vital life essentials. Even bicycles and home insulation are made using oil and gas.

“In the future hydrogen has been recognised as a potential ultra-low carbon option to replace methane. The most cost effective route for the production of hydrogen would be converting it from methane and storing the carbon through carbon capture and storage (CCS). In the medium term, with over 22 million of us using natural gas to heat our homes, the best decarbonisation solution is to stop the troubling trend of importing gas and instead produce it here, which would save 69 million tonnes of CO2 compared with LNG. On this basis we fundamentally believe there is a role for shale gas in the UK and more broadly internationally alongside other technologies and changes.”

Source: Response to DrillOrDrop

Nick Mace, environmental manager, Cuadrilla

“Establishing a shale gas industry here in the UK is absolutely compatible with and indeed critical for reducing global carbon emissions and supporting the country’s energy needs as we move towards creating more renewable energy.

“At the moment, renewables simply cannot create anywhere near enough energy to meet UK demand and shale gas has a vital part to play in providing a domestic gas supply with a lower carbon footprint than importing it from across the world in ships.

“It is important to look again at exactly how hydraulic fracturing works, understand the facts as opposed to the myths and welcome the opportunity to establish a domestic gas supply which can be part of progress on climate change as well as boosting our economy, create jobs and revenue for the UK.”

Source: Response to DrillOrDrop

IGas

“The UK has made considerable progress in decarbonising its economy. Since 1990, UK emissions have fallen by c.40%, according to the Government’s Committee on Climate Change. A significant element of this has been displacing coal in electricity generation and on a global basis this trend needs to continue.

“However, today, gas meets 40% of the UK’s primary energy requirements and heats 80% of British homes and it is clear from every forecast that we will continue to need gas as we transition to lower carbon alternatives. So the choice is where do we source that gas? It is better environmentally to utilise home grown gas rather than imported gas, even ignoring jobs, security and balance of payments.”

Source: Response to DrillOrDrop

Ineos

“The UK relies on gas to keep its homes, hospitals and businesses warm. 80% of UK homes need gas. The country currently spends £400m a month importing foreign gas. Using our own gas instead does not increase consumption – nor does it ignore the need for better insulation and efficiency, it simply means we spend UK money on UK gas. UK gas also has a lower environmental impact because it does not have to be shipped around the world.

INEOS takes its responsibilities very seriously – to this generation and the next. It is essential for renewable technologies continue to be developed and brought on-line. In the meantime, people still need to heat their homes and cook their food. Gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, and UK gas has a lower carbon footprint compared to imports

DrillOrDrop also invited comments from Third Energy, and the shale gas commissioner, Natascha Engel. Third Energy declined to comment. The others did not respond.

Other politicians

Barry Gardiner MP, shadow energy minister

“We are on track for catastrophic levels of global warming, yet in the UK we pride ourselves on the 40% reduction in emissions that we say we have achieved on 1990 levels, while achieving a 72% increase in GDP. But the truth is out there. Schoolchildren are teaching it to us. Those figures do not include aviation or shipping emissions. They do not include our imports, our exports and they have largely come from the clean power directive in the European Union, which forced us to announce an end to coal-fired power stations. That is why thousands of our schoolchildren are on climate strike: they know that we are not acting with the speed and seriousness that the climate emergency demands.”

Source: Parliamentary question to Claire Perry

William Hague MP

“It is time to recognise that these young activists are indeed focused on the right issue. The solutions presented by protestors in London or by Green parties around the world may be ill thought-out, but the analysis is now hard to gainsay. The film presented by Sir David Attenborough last week was compelling in its argument that there is perhaps only a decade left to avert the greatest threat Earth has faced in thousands of years.”

“Now the question is what to do about it, and unless conservatives around the world fully embrace the arguments for more urgent action they will find they are losing the support of a generation.”

“Conservatives around the globe should wake up – here at home but also American Republicans, Australian Liberals and German Christian Democrats – and listen to today’s 16 year-olds. They are becoming passionate about this issue, and they are right. But they need persuading that the answers will lie in excellence and freedom, not in command and control. That philosophy is not being offered to them at present.

“Providing it might well be the most important challenge on earth for the next leaders of the right.”

Source: Response to Greta Thunberg. Extracts from article in the Telegraph

Ed Miliband MP

“If we do not act, people will say in the future, “You knew the facts, but you did not care enough.” We will be known as the generations with the knowledge of what was to come but without the will or imagination to prevent it. We will be condemned, and rightly so. The right response to rebellion on our streets is to produce a revolution in climate leadership, and the time for action is now.”

Source: Parliamentary question to Claire Perry

Caroline Lucas MP

“It’s time more MPs of all parties prioritised the pursuit of shared priorities over the constant quest for things to disagree about. That’s why I am a founding member of the More United MP Network, a new platform for MPs of all parties to work together in the national interest, no matter which party is in power. The aim is to go beyond compromises fudged together in the mushy middle ground of our politics. There is an opportunity here for MPs to do something more radical and explore bold policies that can unite seemingly distant parts of our political landscape.”

“Tackling urgent climate dangers is one of the stated priorities for the network this year and there are ample grounds to expect that MPs of all parties would be willing to consider policies like no more airport expansion and better ways to measure the success of the economy than the infinite growth that is consuming our finite natural resources. Their time has come.”

Source: Extracts from article for I News While Brexit dominates, 50 MPs from seven parties are joining forces to get important issues back on the agenda

Layla Moran MP

“We must now seize the opportunity created by Greta. Politicians from all sides of the political divide must come together to tackle the biggest issue affecting not just the UK, but the world. First, the UK must declare a national climate emergency; local councils up and down the country are already doing so, but for the governments of the world to take note the UK must take the first step forward.

“Next, the government’s advisory body the Committee on Climate Change is about to report on the steps needed for the UK to have net-zero carbon emissions. This is the opportunity to act. The recommendations must be taken for what they are: an urgent to-do list for this Tory government.

“First, they must pass a new law mandating the government to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, or earlier if possible. The Tories must also reverse some of the most damaging decisions they’ve made for the climate, reversing subsidy cuts, bringing back zero-carbon homes, banning fracking and bringing forward the date for getting rid of fossil fuel powered cars. The Liberal Democrats have been at the forefront on climate change, calling for action long before Labour or the Tories, and we intend to stay there.”

Source: Independent

35 replies »

  1. I’m sorry but given the very stark warning by the IPCC and the consensus of scientific opinion we have about a decade or so to avert this catastrophe. This means we cannot seriously contemplate fracking, extracting new sources of fossil fuels along with granting consent for coal mines. The comments made by Claire Perry, government spokesperson and industry sum up exactly why we are on target to miss the next two carbon budgets by a wider than anticipated margin and why climate change has become the crisis it is. I honestly don’t know how these people continue spouting out the same empty words. They cannot ignore the fact that their policies are failing when they are on track to miss the next two carbon reduction targets, which were set at 2C not 1.5C. The gains made from closing down coal are gone. Reality is staring them in the face, yet they persist in this dangerous deception. The science is very clear and speaks with a very loud voice and what Greta Thunburg said is in line with science, from the others nothing but hot air.

  2. Claire Perry is obviously not fit for purpose, and I had to laugh when Cuadrilla has an environmental department. Even funnier when some of these “people in authority” think that economic growth and more jobs is part of the climate crises solution.

    There is no solution to climate catastrophe, species genocide, soil degredation, ocean acidification and polar ice melt. The nearest I’ve seen is this:
    https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/peter-gelderloos-an-anarchist-solution-to-global-warming

    a document that describes how a post-capitalist society might look like. Being ten years old the document is mis-titled, as there is no solution to global warming, but as a descriptor of a post-capitalist society it’s going to be the least worst future as far as I can calculate and imagine.

    • What Claire Perry should have said,

      What we want to do is explore soberly and scientifically whether there are opportunities to greatly increase and maximise the abundant renewable energy potential of the UK. We have proven that onshore wind is a clean and cheap energy supply with the majority of the public supporting it’s use so we are putting measures in place straight away to maximise all wind, solar, and energy saving expansion projects.

      As she didn’t say that, as someone who contributes to her salary I suggest we replace her with someone who understands the potential of the UK renewable energy market and all the employment and revenue it would bring and acts to maximise it’s huge potential.

      • Note the shale gas voices forgot to mention we export huge amounts of North sea gas but chirp on about imported LNG. No mention of reliance on Russian gas and freezing pensioners so some progress.

        • But, UK is still a large net importer of gas, John. UK exports a lot of things and then imports the same product/commodity in much bigger volumes. Cars come to mind, followed by aircraft etc. etc.

    • “Whilst the PM’s aides have attempted to pass off Mrs May’s absence as a simple administration error, her extraordinarily bleak voting record on environmental issues would surely have been highlighted at the meeting.

      Mrs May has repeatedly voted against measures to prevent climate change, including:

      • Voting against requiring a strategy for carbon capture and storage for the energy industry.

      • Voting against setting a decarbonisation target for the UK within six months of June 2016 and to review it annually thereafter.

      • Voting against the setting of a target range for the amount of carbon dioxide (or other greenhouse gases) produced per unit of electricity generated.

      • Voting against the requirement of environmental permits for hydraulic fracturing (fracking) activities.

      • Voting against a ban on the exploitation of unconventional petroleum for at least 18 months and against a review of the impact of such exploitation on climate change, the environment, the economy, and health and safety be carried out and published.

      • Voting in favour of selling off England’s public forest estate to private corporations.”

      ——

      How Claire Perry voted on Environmental Issues

      Generally voted against measures to prevent climate change
      2 votes for, 11 votes against, 5 absences, between 2011–2016

      Voted a mixture of for and against lower taxes on fuel for motor vehicles
      3 votes for, 9 votes against, 4 absences, between 2010–2013

      Consistently voted for selling England’s state owned forests
      2 votes for, 0 votes against, in 2011

      Almost always voted for higher taxes on plane tickets
      10 votes for, 0 votes against, 1 absence, between 2013–2017

      Generally voted against financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation methods
      1 vote for, 3 votes against, 2 absences, between 2011–2018

      Generally voted for culling badgers to tackle bovine tuberculosis
      2 votes for, 0 votes against, 2 absences, between 2013–2014

      Voted a mixture of for and against greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas
      2 votes for, 2 votes against, in 2015

      Consistently voted for new high speed rail infrastructure
      6 votes for, 0 votes against, between 2013–2018

      ——

      Environment secretary Michael Gove has voted against protecting wildlife and reducing emissions

      The new environment secretary Michael Gove described himself as a “shy green” in a 2014 speech.

      “We have a full repairing lease on this planet – not a freehold that allows us to do what we will,” he said to an audience at the launch of the Conservative Environment Network launch.

      But his voting record suggests that Mr Gove, who has formerly been the secretary for education and for justice, is a very “shy green”.

      Michael Gove’s Cabinet promotion is a sign of Theresa May’s weakness
      He has generally voted against measures to prevent climate change, protect wildlife and reduce emissions the parliamentary monitoring website They Work For You reveals.

      Against reducing emissions

      In 2016, he voted against reducing the carbon dioxide emission rate permitted in new homes.

      In 2013, he voted against setting a target range for the amount of greenhouse gases produced per generated unit of electricity.

      In 2012, he voted against requiring the UK Green Investment Bank to explicitly act in support of the target of reducing UK carbon emissions to 20% of 1990 levels by 2050.

      Selling off state owned forests

      In 2011 he voted in favour of selling off all 635,000 acres of public woodlands and forest preserved by the Forestry Commission.

      Supports fracking

      In 2015 he voted against requiring an environmental permit for hydraulic fracking activities. He also voted against a review of the impact of fracking on climate change and the environment.

      He did however support greater restrictions on fracking in National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty, World Heritage sites, and near to drinking water sources

      Wants to scrap laws protecting wildlife habitats

      During the Brexit campaign he said the rules governing the building of new homes in environmentally sensitive areas should be scrapped.

      The laws “massively increases the cost and regulatory burden for housing development,” he said.

      Wanted to remove global warming from curriculum

      As education secretary, he attempted to remove global warming from the geography curriculum in 2013 (it remained on the science syllabus).

      He said the motivation was slimming down the syllabus, rather than a disbelief in the science. The move was blocked by Ed Davey, who was Lib Dem Energy secretary at the time.

      Supports fox hunting and badger culling

      He voted for badger culls in 2012 and 2013.

      He supports lifting the ban on fox hunting.

      A shy green?

      “Michael Gove must be the shyest Green in the country,” said Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party.

      “To see his true colours you need go no further than his voting record.

      Caroline Lucas dismantles Michael Gove’s Environment Secretary appointment
      “Since taking office Gove has voted against targets to tackle climate change and voted in favour of fracking and putting a fossil fuel tax on renewables.

      “Consider this in light of his attempt to wipe climate change from the curriculum and his disregard for vital EU environmental protection and it is hard to think of a politician less qualified to serve as Environment Secretary.”

      ——

      How Caroline Lucas voted on Environmental Issues

      Generally voted for measures to prevent climate change
      15 votes for, 2 votes against, 2 absences, between 2011–2016

      Generally voted against lower taxes on fuel for motor vehicles
      7 votes for, 6 votes against, 3 absences, between 2010–2013

      Consistently voted against selling England’s state owned forests
      0 votes for, 2 votes against, in 2011

      Generally voted against higher taxes on plane tickets
      2 votes for, 7 votes against, 2 absences, between 2013–2017

      Generally voted for financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation methods
      4 votes for, 1 vote against, 1 absence, between 2011–2018

      Consistently voted against culling badgers to tackle bovine tuberculosis
      0 votes for, 4 votes against, between 2013–2014

      Voted a mixture of for and against greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas
      2 votes for, 2 votes against, in 2015

      Almost always voted against new high speed rail infrastructure
      0 votes for, 5 votes against, 2 absences, between 2013–2018

        • I have to say that all of the above voting records are from:

          https://www.theyworkforyou.com/

          I just gathered it, useful to know who voted for what though isnt it. Perhaps it would be interesting to see the lobbying figures and who and for how much they were directed at too.

          • “He did however support greater restrictions on fracking in National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty (etc)”

            This one is a bit dodgy Phil C, the bill was supposed to include an outright ban on fracking under these areas but was amended with a ban from 0-1200m depth, effectively allowing fracking since the target formations are generally much deeper.

            So it is a greater restriction, in that for the rest of the country fracking is banned from 0-1000m, but in fact the bill became a green light to frack under these areas.

            • Also bear in mind that since the IA definition of fracking was changed, fracking can no longer be regarded as fracking in many circumstances and would therefore be permissible in these restricted area. It wouldn’t be a good idea in terms of protecting votes mind! INEOS have already made clear their intention to drill under the North York Moors NP from offshore if necessary.

              • Well, Mike, perhaps TWO lots of royalties for the North Yorks Moors then! Those receiving the first lot seem pretty happy, positively ecstatic if more was to follow.

  3. It’s evident to see why certain people are trying to make out that the onshore o&g industry is “environmentally friendly” many of which have vested interests in it. Claire Parry’s condescending remarks show her yet again to be only interested in the economics. “It will create jobs and energy security”. Her party is simply not investing enough into renewables. Again, she and her colleagues do not want to listen to the scientists report from the IPCC ….I wonder why?

  4. Think of tick on a bulls butt, the UK is the tick and the butt is say India and China! The problem with climate change is beyond the actions of the UK if the world is neglectful of not reducing / reusing and recycling energy and being responsible but we are responsible of importing vast quantities of LNG / Fracked Gas from the West and our American friends are reaping the wealth and benefits. The climate carbon footprint of these tankers has to strike the conscience if the anti’s as it is them who doesn’t want home grown energy!
    Hypocrites…!!

    • Eli, you have such a blinkered view and seem to miss the point. The point being is that fossil fuels are the biggest contributor to climate change. Renewables have been arround for many years. This government could have been and should have been listening to the science decades ago. Perpetuating an industry that is largely to blame for climate change is nonsensical and it is now that drastic action needs to happen. Why didn’t governments act sooner? …Simple! Because you and I know, that it is just like the tobacco industry, advocating the health benefits of smoking, that was until the reseach proved beyond all doubt that it is a killer. We have used and abused the fossil fuel industry for too long. Vast investment needs to go into the renewables.

      • Nonsense, One. PEOPLE are the biggest contributor to climate change. There is a direct linkage to population growth and CO2 emissions. The data is there and quite clear.

        And then you have to add on to that there are now more middle class people in the world than poor people, and that also drives consumption.

        But, you can’t adjust those numbers so you shout at the moon.

        Vast investment? Sorry. That is money from tax payers and they will not stand for many more ill thought out schemes that return very little benefit and cost more than they should. Even some antis followed advice to go diesel!

        If you want improvement/change, it needs to be step wise and sound to keep the public on side. That’s unless you are a supplier of wind turbines or solar panels?

        You are also wrong about Governments not listening and not acting. If you want to look, you will find one certain Maggie Thatcher (a scientist) raised the issue many years ago, whilst shutting down the coal mines. Not a popular stance at the time! Perhaps, if UK was not the European economic basket case it was back then, the following N.Sea income could have been better utilised.

        • Meanwhile, back in the real world:

          Exxon confirms Fawley Refinery upgrade of £800m, increasing ultra-low sulphur diesel by almost 45%. UK imported about half its supply of diesel in 2017! Add more of the 270k barrels oil processed at Fawley taken from UK on shore supply and a double benefit. Oh no, treble. A reduction in the 2000 shipments, their emissions and risk to maritime pollution. Should help to add to the 27% of tax revenue from business, that was achieved in the last tax year. Sure Claire Perry could find something to do with extra tax income. Some new tech traffic lights?

          Back in the USA a bidding war in the Permian basin as Occidental tabled a higher bid for Anadarko than Chevron recently offered. Seems this “Ponzi scheme” making only losses is pretty popular.

          Saudis indicate they do not intend to increase oil production after US tightened constraints on Iranian output. Cost of living increase in UK on the way.

        • TW, it sounds as though you’re pretty much advocating a “Business as usual” approach. The 1.2 million were the children who have acknowledged the seriousness of climate change and understand that it will be them and their children who will have to deal with the consequences of our actions. So TW, in a sense, they are being/will be robbed. There has been an interest in finding ways to capture energy from the sun, wind, waves and other forms of far less harmful sources besides oil and gas. This government, in particular, have chosen to ignore science in order to keep the fossil fuel industry alive and its vast number of shareholders in economic wealth.

          As Phill C so eloquently points out, that we have to change, but change now! scientists and many well-informed individuals have been trying over decades to raise awareness of the need to change tack in order to protect our precious and finite resources. Sadly, those people were ignored and even laughed at, far worse, funding for R&D into renewables has always been a bone of contention with the government and is seen as far less important than continuing to support an industry that has caused damage on an epic scale in comparison to how long we have been here on earth.

          The protests carried out under the name of XR are simply because of this government have constantly ignored the scientists. People have been campaigning to bring about change regarding plastics for many years but ignored by the government, people have campaigned on aviation fuel but again …ignored. People have been campaigning to save bees, the most important pollinators on the planet …guess what? Yes! …Ignored.

          XR has highlighted in the only way possible, with peaceful non-direct action. It has overwhelmingly had the desired effect coupled with the actions of a very intelligent young 16 year-old from Sweedon who was more informed at the age of 9 than most adults in their fifties.

          Furthermore, Sir David Attenborough’s recent programme has also had a huge impact and gets the message across that we have a decade to change our ways. Once again, as Phill C highlights, it will be uncomfortable and worrying for a while, but we have no choice. People are demanding change and are expecting the fifth wealthiest government to seriously act and take strong leadership.

          Question is; if it wasn’t for XR, Greta or David highlighting the seriousness of climate change, what would the government be doing?

    • ‘who doesn’t want home grown energy!’

      Just to confirm, the wind and the sun are huge immensely powerful, infinite energy sources. The wind and sun available to the UK is ‘home grown’

      Maybe the reason some pro frackers don’t want renewables is because they think we would have to import the sun and the wind. They may have seen wind and sun being unloaded at the docks but I certainly have not.

      • John. But what happens to our gas central heating? Industry estimates are that it will take around 25years to convert all domestic gas boilers to electricity. Around 15kwh capacity will be required for an average home. Then you will have to upgrade the whole electricity supply network if no gas was to be used. Can renewables supply enough power to supply this huge demand 24/7? This is just a reality check for all to consider.

        • ‘Can renewables supply enough power to supply this huge demand 24/7? ‘

          The answer to that starts with the obvious question,

          Have we maximised the UK renewable energy potential?

          • John. Just think about the scale of meeting this demand. On a cold winter’s evening with no wind and no sun? Electricity costs around 4 times the cost of gas per kWh, at the moment without any new infrastructure. Who is going to pay for every boiler to be changed at around £2k per household? Who is going to pay industry costs? Who is going to upgrade the entire electricity network, as required? Just a reality check!

        • Green hydrogen gas Phil, made from using renewable energy, not methane and battery storage plus a huge increase in wind, solar and all other forms of carbon free energy. They are already trialling hydrogen gas in Leeds, unfortunately made by methane but far better to use renewables. Huge hydrogen gas storage being looked at in the Merseyside area. Yes we need investment but that creates sustainable jobs and a sustainable economy.

          https://cadentgas.com/about-us/innovation/projects/liverpool-manchester-hydrogen-cluster

            • Katy. Yes I know about hydrogen. But, if you use renewables to create hydrogen, the energy needs will still remain and when the wind don’t blow … etc. Also, will the safety case for a switch to hydrogen be approved due to the revised explosive range? We probably all accept the need to change but gas will be around for a long time. Better our own than imports?

      • Probably night time whilst high pressure sat over the UK then John! You certainly wouldn’t have seen them then.

    • Just a wee bit incomprehensible, Eli, [edited by moderator]. Knowing that the so-called developing world needs a little, and I mean a little, latitude in curbing emissions, surely it is even more incumbent upon us in the rich West to restrain our appetite for fossil fuels and at the same time boost investment in renewables. We’ve surely, at least most of us, got beyond the childish ‘He’s doing it so why can’t I.” This has been the attitude for the last fifty years. It does not seem to have improved matters.

      • The developing world will do what it wants, laith, whether we supply latitude! (Days of UK controlling the globe have long gone.) Do you think China will be persuaded to return to a one child policy?

        Investment in renewables is happening, certainly in the UK, but there needs still to be judgement where that investment is best applied. Too many UK schemes that have been too expensive or not worked properly. There is a fine balance between what consumers will pay as a premium against their judgement of a sound decision.

        You can invest in Tesla if you want to as an individual, but with them just posting a $700m loss for the first quarter and no way near paying a dividend you may only get a glow of satisfaction, and not much else. If that’s what you want, fine-but not likely to purchase much extra insulation or many solar panels with zero return.

        But, keep taking the easy route and suspect others are climate change deniers who don’t agree with you. In reality, you might find most are not, but just disagree with your way of dealing with climate change. Maybe a boycott of German car manufacturers until Germany has made the same progress as UK on emissions would have an instant impact? Don’t think so-too many people like German cars, but an effective move which actually requires no investment. Seems rejecting US chicken is one thing, German cars another.

  5. Ahh, Ken has seen the source of hydrogen-not sea water. Strange this is exactly what the scientists at Oxford and Cambridge have been suggesting for some while. (Actually, it is not strange.) The only gripe I have is where is the research to utilise the carbon rather than just to capture it? Valuable stuff carbon-see graphene. Need someone like Sir Jim to get to grips with that one. And how about fusion? That could make a nonsense out of current “transition”. See this blinkered government have quietly added more funding into that.

    Meanwhile, John has not maximised his return from alternatives. I know you used to be guaranteed £150k net per turbine per year, whether generating or not, but that scam has long gone. Big landowners will need to return to agriculture. Sorry, you could have done worse, and invested in Tesla at the wrong time and still awaiting a profit to pay out a dividend.

    Perhaps not buying wind turbines and cars from German suppliers who have a much more damaging impact upon climate change could start the ball rolling? Oops. That could be a step too far for some antis, even if you factored in their history from the 1940s.

    Just spoken to one of my sons today. His housing association have told him that they will now board up the fireplaces in their properties so no more wood burning! No replacement, no extra insulation. Perhaps they will supply a Swede to add extra heat output, or blame it upon the scientists and say with climate change no extra heating was thought to be needed, so it was not their fault when the Beast from the East (Sweden) repeats?

    Yep. All looks pretty convincing.

    Off to observe the footy now and see whether there are any narrow margins of 7-0!

  6. I am not sure why the media and public think her point of view should carry more weight than other scientific and expert opinions already risen in this debate.
    Her speech agenda sounded like a prepared statement from Labour and the Green rather than her own research. The publicity she has created doesnt mean the evidence and scientific rationale has changed since she skip class to take up the protesting. Her passionate point of view about her generation does not mean it is more valid than other people rights and current evidence in the debate.
    It seems the social network publicity has more power than logical deductions and evidence based reasoning these days.

    [Post corrected at commenter’s request]

    • Just because you took a dramatic step to express your point od view doesn’t necessarily mean your point of arguement is more valid than the other side in a contentious debate. If I start yelling and raise my voice louder doesn’t mean my point of view is more valid and logical.

      • To whome do you refer? There are 1.2 million children worlwide who struck for the climate responsibility, countless millions of adults worldwide. All of whome are saying that the climate and species extinction must be paramount priority above profit and recidivist jealously protected inertia.

        Are you referring to Greta Thunberg perhaps? Anna Taylor? Or any of the 1.2 million children, and what about the countless millions of adults who have been saying the same for years?

        If so, you clearly have not read a word she said. No raised voice, just her own school strike for the climate issue, just as many have done here. Fame and popularity are as much a surprise to Greta as anyone else.

        If you actually read what Greta said, she makes no specific claims or demands, and simply asked for climate change and species extinction to be top priority and for politicians to listen to the scientists warnings.

        Many of us have said just that for years right here, long before anyone had even heard of Greta Thunberg. But perhaps we are seeing that the obsession with celebrity is a double edged sword and once the press get a hold on it, then the result is inevitable. That is just another trap however.

        We are all ready seeing the character assassination knives being rolled out, just as we have seen so often here from various unscrupulous elements, and we will see more of that no doubt.

        None of that however will alter the basic premise, the human race must change and become responsible for our own actions, individually and collectively, or the consequences are too disastrous to contemplate.

        It will be painful and it will be frightening for those who are still desperately clinging to their old self serving certainties and comfort zones. We see that here too.

        No doubt the corporations and private interest elements are waiting in the wings to exploit that hero worship and public protest now and the inevitable change and attempt to highjack the people’s desire to radically transform society and its control systems into their own image.

        That too will come, but change is now certain and inevitable and, it is to be hoped, beneficial to everyone, and everything on this damaged planet, but that is not certain, and the process of change will have just as many pitfalls and caveats as the present insane suicidal control systems. We are all ready seeing the censorship and denial of voice being rolled out by the old guard in favour of the primary concentration on the “official view” on things.

        So we have to keep vigilant and not get trapped in mere hero worship or the alternative scapegoat blame and vicious personalisation of issues.

        And that is where we will just have to be aware of just how easy it is to offload our own responsibility to change ourselves and listen to others but not become once more reliant upon others to do things for us.

        Letting others take self interested control while we descend back into somnambulance is what has brought us to this ongoing disaster and is just more of the same insanity.

        But many are awake now and we see self styled self serving control freaks in government and corporations to be just what they are and where they have taken us. Mere frauds and crooks out for themselves.

        Never again, time to transform the human race into a forward looking evolutionary pro life and sane civilisation. Descending back into handing over our future to a greedy self serving few is no longer a viable option.

        Interesting times we live in, but no excuse to take our eye off the ball now or ever, the process of change is not anywhere near started yet, let alone over.

        • We seem to forget there are other 1.2 billions children who need affordable clean energy to survive and live. And btw it is a bit of exaggeration that their future are being robbed as claimed by Extinction Rebellion. We are all living in the same world. They are not the only one who care about making the world a better place. It seems a bit strange to think that one would try knowingly kill the environment they live in.

          • “It seems a bit strange to think that one would try knowingly (to) kill the environment they live in.”
            I agree, it does seem strange, but sadly it’s all too true and human nature for many who are blinkered, apathetic, resigned or driven by greed. It’s like the man who is told by his doctor he must give up smoking or must lose weight or stop eating fatty and sugary foods or he will be so ill he could possibly die. The man may be sensible and do as his doctor recommends OR he will make every excuse not to follow the good advice, stick his head in the sand, say it will never happen and why should he take any notice of anyone. He’ll justify to himself why he shouldn’t bother. The chances are then that he will be ill and possibly die.
            The difference is, with the bode scenario only that man may die. With climate change that man’s actions will have dire effects on many others too, both human and all other living things he shares this beautiful world with.

  7. It takes the words of a 15 year old shoolgirl to teach (and shame) those allegedly clever people that have been chosen to lead us. Have a read of the full speech at the link above. In mid flow, Greta said ‘Did you hear what I just said? Is my English OK? Is the microphone on? Because I’m beginning to wonder.’ Looking at the govt responses, many were clearly not listening, as it is full of the usual industry and complicit politicians denial, double speak, weasel words, half truths and complete silence in response to the science. The science according to around 97% of the genuine climate experts that is. At least Gove and Hague gave credible responses, but as Phil C points out, Gove is somewhat better with the rhetoric than with the delivery and action according to his voting record.
    We’ve now had 9 years of Tory mismanagement of climate change action and renewable development. Imagine how much further down the track we could have been with some genuine political will and investment. Presumable their industry chums haven’t told them that renewable energy generation also provides jobs and taxation, just without the atmospheric carbon, methane and pollution of fossil fuels once up and running.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.