Climate harm must be assessed for oil production sites, appeal court told

Environmental damage from burning oil in cars or planes should be assessed, as well as the benefits of oil production, campaigners told the court of appeal in London today.

Horse Hill oil site. Photo: Weald Action Group

A Surrey resident said councils must consider the greenhouse gas emissions from oil combustion when deciding whether to allow onshore extraction sites.

The case, brought by Sarah Finch, centred on the Horse Hill oil site, where an estimated 3.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide could be emitted during 20 years of oil production.

Surrey County Council told the court yesterday that it had taken into account the greenhouse gas emissions expected from the operation of the site when it granted consent for Horse Hill oil production in 2019.

But the council said an environmental impact assessment did not need to consider the much larger volume of emissions from the combustion of the oil.

It said these emissions were not an indirect effect of the site. Last year, the High Court ruled in the council’s favour.

Ms Finch’s case, backed by the Weald Action Group, argued today there was a contradiction between the way the council had assessed the greenhouse gas emissions from use of the oil and how it considered the economic benefits.

Barrister Estelle Dehon, for Ms Finch, said:

“Those benefits don’t arise from the oil coming out of the ground and stopping there. Those benefits arise and are obliged to be given great weight because of the use of the oil.

“If the benefits of the use of the oil … are all taken into account, so too the impact of the combustion of the oil should be considered as indirect effects in the same way.

“If, as a matter of principle, one is not lawfully able to assess the disbenefits, one wonders whether one is able to assess the benefits as well.”

David Elvin QC, for the site operator, Horse Hill Developments Ltd, and Richard Moules, for the Department of Levelling UP, said Horse Hill oil could not be used without the separate process of refining. Usable oil was not an end product of the Horse Hill site, they said.

Mr Elvin said:

“It is the refinery that produces the end product, whether fuel oil, or for use in pharmaceuticals or manufacturing.

“It is the effect of it being sold to a third party, which turns it into a usable product, that needs to be assessed. They [the third party] will have a better idea of the effect of the end product.”

Mr Elvin said Surrey County Council had been entitled to rule out an assessment of the impact of the use of the oil.

The council was right to say oil production was only one operation and the effect of transforming crude oil into a useable form was a separate process, he said.

Friends of the Earth, which supported Ms Finch, disputed this. It said in a written statement to the court:

“Fossil fuels destined for combustion as fuel are the end product of the [Horse Hill] development. The clue is in the name. Obtaining them for combustion is the very purpose of the development.

“The majority of that combustion will not take place at the site. Yet if those fossil fuels are not extracted, they will not be burnt and will not release greenhouse gas emissions.

“In terms of significant environmental effects, it does not matter where combustion occurs. It does not matter where the oil is refined, it does not matter if the fuel is burned in a factory in Malaysia or an SUV in Chelsea.”

The outcome would be the same, Friends of the Earth said: a worsening of global warming.

Ms Dehon said the planning process was the only point at which there could be an assessment of the climate impact of using all the oil that would be extracted from a site.

She said it was important to consider the impact of oil production because climate change would “continue to cause damage and compromise economic development.” She said:

“This is not a submission that climate change gets special treatment or that it is a special case. But the impact on climate, as with the impact on biodiversity, is important and must be assessed because of the ramifications for people and the planet.”

Judgement in the case will be published at a future date.

60 replies »

  1. OMG!

    FOE really are a joke. The first sentence from the written statement is just fake. A lot of oil is NOT combusted, but refined into products that are used without combustion. For starters. Anyone at FOE know anything about working the earth? Afterwards, clean your shovels, shears etc. and then wipe them over with an oily rag to help maintain them-otherwise you will be buying replacements pretty quickly, probably shipped from half way round the world!

    They may get away with it when shaking tins in the High Street but perhaps a bit more research before a court submission?

    Where has common sense gone to?

    • That is a strawman ploy of yours because both sides know that most of oil is combusted and a relatively small percent is used for non-combusted products.
      In North America for example, at least around 85% or more of the products from refining oil are combusted fuels. This figure I obtained from both US Energy Information Administration data and data from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
      Examples of % of a barrel of oil resulting in various non-combusted products: Lubricants: 1% (US EIA), 2% (CAPP), asphalt 2% (US EIA), 3% (CAPP). Petrochemical feedstock 2% (CAPP).

      Oil on “oily rags” = a lot less than 1% of a barrel of oil!

      • Not the US, or Canada, Henry.

        You obviously missed the “for starters” bit.

        But, whilst you row back from the FOE statement, it just highlights that it was an incorrect submission that required some rowing back from!


        ( “at least, around and in other countries” would not have been as concise, and probably binned.)

        If you would like to visit the refinery at Fawley you will find, like many refineries, there is a large chemicals plant next door. Co-incidence?

      • Thanks, Henry. Too much crucial misinformation and delaying – the new denying, other options exhausted – is getting under the wire!

        • Ahh, the “ONE of the primary purposes” author! (9.04am)

          Thanks, 1720, for your support.

          So, that’s two at the oars rowing back.

          Just a suggestion for FOE. When you produce a statement, or literature, proof read it. The first filter should be “is it factually correct”. If it is, then mess about as much as you like to get it exciting, maintaining that factual correctness. If you fall at the first hurdle anything that follows is wasted, and in another context, may get referred to the ASA. If the first hurdle is too much of a temptation, then politics may be a better bet.

  2. Surely by using our own oil we’re reducing the carbon footprint by not transporting it via super tanker from thousands of miles away.

    Just a thought.

    • Surely by burning any fossil fuels, we increase our carbon footprint and produce yet more CO2 and make climate change worse. We’re not reducing the carbon footprint, but just not increasing it by quite as much. Isn’t the solution to stop burning ANY fossil fuels ASAP? Period.

      • MP: Open your / FOE’s mouths and cause hot air, that’s a big cause to climate catastrophe! Easy seeing we don’t rely on you and yours to solve the energy crisis and resolve fuel poverty!

        • Now you’ve got the meaningless and worthless personal abuse out of the way Eli, do you have any rational argument disputing anything factual about my comment?

        • Mike Potter

          Isn’t that what the the transition to ‘Net zero 2050 is all about?

          The worlds energy policies are not able to change is 5 minuets without shutting down the world and starting again.

          These changes are all going to add lots inflation to the world with all the new infrastructure needed at every level of the economy to implement and the current 4.2% rate will soon be nothing compared to where it will be in a few years time.

      • So, Mike, there you are at 9.55pm using energy to post on your plastic (from refined oil) keyboard about “we”!!

        Seems it is okay for you but not okay for others.

        I recall the net zero plans for UK contain a bit about fossil fuels, apart from coal, being part of the energy mix up to and beyond 2050. Subsequently, there has been a convenient refusal to accept that part of the plan and commentary as if that was not the case. Well, it is and whilst that volume will be lower than before the plan, it will still be there. Sorry it is contrary to those who don’t want UK to produce the oil or gas it consumes, but I have no concern for them. Not even too much concern for the Nimbys as I have discussed matters with locals to existing on shore oil sites in UK and found a pretty general consensus that there are few concerns with the reality. I just would like the maximum proportion of oil used in UK to come from UK for a number of reasons, including that suggested by Scott. If the oil produced in UK is not the right type of oil for what is being used in UK, then I have no concern about it being exported as I recognize it will be produced to higher environmental standards than much of the other oil sources that could be acquired by the importing country. If it is being exported to be refined into products that are then returned to UK that is bonkers, and then UK should add to its refining abilities.

        Your ASAP should be set against the net zero plan and the life span of this proposal. If you are better at maths. than some of your buddies you may get the answer.

        • Is that a case of that myopic miss-perception presented there that has become all too common? From the post above:

          “So, Mike, there you are at 9.55pm using energy to post on your plastic (from refined oil) keyboard about “we”!!”

          Except that above there is this example that contradicts the time fixated narrative:

          November 17, 2021 at 11:59 pm”

          2 days earlier, and 2.0 hours and 4 minutes later than 9.55pm and typed on a plastic (from refined oil) keyboard no doubt? (as is the originator of the comment).

          Is it not strange that one of the very odd fixated obsession with time and plastic is applied to one post, and yet not the 2 days earlier post at a later time? Could it be perhaps because the later time post is perceived as being “on the same side” as the obsessively time and plastic fixated originator of the comment? And therefore immune from criticism? No….Surely not? No one could be that perceptually myopic or biassed….Could they? Hmmm….

          Not that when the posts are sent has any relevance to the “contributor” nor is it any of their business at all really. If more attention was put on the subject of the post, rather than some weird obsessional fixation on when it was posted, then maybe the conversation would progress.

          Perhaps to suggest some reasons why the proposition of time and plastic fixations are not even real, it would be better to point out these more rational explanations of why the proposition of time fixations are meaningless in real world in energy terms, or indeed, in any other terms:

          It could well be, that some people post using a battery powered phone or tablet. Maybe the power source is on an off peak economy meter. Off peak use is not only cheaper, it keeps the constant demand on power production at a steady rate, thereby smoothing out peaks and troughs in energy supply and demand (remember supply and demand?). Economy meters actually make power production more efficient. (That’s why they are called economy meters). That is surely quite obvious? However, apparently for one at least, it is not.

          Others generate their own power and are essentially off-grid for peak hours of demand and even supply surplus energy to power to the grid when not in use. And are therefore immune from such perceptively time fixated irrelevance.

          Without a relatively constant level of demand for a power station, the variation in demand upon energy production is inefficient due to the unavoidable variation in demand peaks and troughs. Without a constant demand to the power station, efficiency drops off until the next peak and then demand is too high and even more inefficiency is created as the power station has to ramp up delivery and consumption of its own energy source.

          That was why electric trams were far more efficient for the electricity power stations as they created a relatively constant level of demand which made the power stations more efficient. Until, that was, the electric trams were phased out and scrapped, and the rails and overhead wire systems were ripped out to make sure they could not be used again. Horse pulled traffic became thought of as “old fashioned” slow dangerous, smelly and unclean and were seen as inferior to individual fossil fuel and a few electrically powered cars and buses. There were still independently electrically powered versions around, but they were also phased out.

          Individual fossil fuel cars and buses were made more popular as a rich persons privilege for independent travel and did not need a stables and horse care and welfare. In that way, petrochemical, oil and gas corporations ensured that fossil fuel powered cars and buses were the only technological monopoly that was made available to maximised profit.

          As a result also people became more isolated in their own little perambulator cages, instead of sharing and talking. Buses and trains still are available.

          Even now, buses and trains are under political attack just as Paul Seaman points out. That also seems to be the case country wide. Buses and trains are be being removed and rail systems financially compromised, contrary to this useless bunch of politicians promises.

          But of course, all those real world facts wouldn’t be allowed to interfere with time fixated obsessions would they? Perhaps, that would be far too close to the actual real world for comfort?

          As you can see, comments that merely present unresearched tabloid style fake headlines in order to make a spurious point, are far better explored and clarified if one does a little research. Though of course, in order to incorporate the mathematics and physics of the real world, is preferable, not some miss-perceived obsessional version of “reality” which likes to claim such things, but never actually delivers anything but self generated fixations and obsessions.

          Never mind. All grist t’ mill lad.

          Have a nice day.

          • Didn’t start well.

            Don’t think E-G has been advising anyone against the use of fossil fuels on his/her keyboard at any time of the day. A fairly easy point of difference for even the myopic to observe. Maybe someone missed that? Maybe, but some? Nope.

            And the rest?

            Just more of the same. Try and create a narrative that is different to the reality and then debate with that narrative. (Strangely, I have had some very interesting and rewarding conversations within a car. I even became engaged to my wife in a car! Stationary, of course. Not sure I would have taken the risk in a train, bus or tram.) Perhaps a bit more than a little research is required?

            The subject of the post was to stop burning ANY fossil fuels. Nothing to do with trams, or even horses, but thanks for the diversion.

            Do have a nice weekend and enjoy some daylight. It usually comes free. Otherwise, Vit. D. supplementation may be a help.

            • Ha! Ha! Now its evasion and diversion as well?

              As you very well know, it was your own comment that displayed that odd time obsessed fixation of other peoples posts. I merely pointed out that you completely ignored the time of Eli Goth’s posted remark which was timed 2 days earlier, and 2 hours 4 minutes later than the 9.55pm post of Mikes. That exceeded that odd little fixated accusation of time and energy use. I even quoted it for you. Or did you misperceive that as well?

              So why didn’t you criticise Eli Goth for the time of his post? Was it because being “on the same side”, the time of his post was beyond criticism?

              Isn’t that a clear case of hypocrisy?

              However, that odd obsessive time of posting fixation, I showed to be not only irrelevant, but actually the exact quite opposite may well be true.

              Mike actually said later: “Oh, and yes chaps (yawn), I’m using a plastic keyboard and a battery that needs charging – currently with PV power, but fortunately it’s daylight hours and the lights are off.” Thanks Mike. So that energy criticism was wrong and so was the time fixation considering EG’s contribution, anyway wasn’t it.

              Besides, posting any time of the day, by whatever method, may actually save energy and make power generation more efficient by smoothing out the peaks and troughs in energy supply and demand. (remember supply and demand?)

              And of course, the main point is, everyone is free to post whenever they like without some odd silly comment that means nothing in the real world. Its another of those odd accusative fixations to criticise time of posts or whether keyboards are made of plastic or whether they use words like “we” (Hey! I just did a “we”) or how much energy is used when, what, where and who. In actual fact, its just odd fixated fantasy and imagination and has no relevance in the real world.

              Everything else I said followed on in perfect alignment with the resulting issue power station generation efficiency raised by that odd fixation with time and energy, and the further demise of public transport in London and the UK which Paul Seaman provided links to. But nice of you to notice at least some of it, even if it was only one imaginary fantasy side of a real world two sided conversation equation.

              However. Its always a pleasure to have these little diversion conversations.

              Enjoy your weekend too.

              Oh yes, and “We”!

              • And, when has EG advised fossil fuels should be removed from use, Phil C?? Maybe EG has noted that they are part of the UK energy mix beyond 2050.

                So, no hypocrisy. He/she has not posted to advise such. His/her use is not against that siren call made by him or her.

                Quite simple. You try and generate a fake narrative and then argue against it. Try dealing with the real narrative. It really is not that difficult.

                Why would I think of criticizing EG for not following advice/siren calls from the antis? I have seen no posts from EG to indicate agreement with them, so why should those calls be followed? It is up to those making the calls to follow them themselves, and then others may be more persuaded. Leading by example is not the antis strong point, I appreciate. That is the hypocrisy. Greens are pretty good at the same thing. Others not being convinced is them making up their own minds. They are not then expected to follow like sheep, even though they may be classified as not having the education to make up their own minds.

                Yes, everyone should be free to post when they like, and then be responsible for what they post. 10m liters aviation fuel per day comes to mind, not watered down that much by taking a bus, and does somewhat dwarf bashing a bit of plastic during the night. But I suspect that will not appear because that freedom of information regarding hypocrisy is somewhat artificially limited, although it has been previously freely offered. Perhaps discuss with those who have previously posted about creating a supply creates a demand?

                • Oops! Dear Oh Dear! What a strange attempt at excusing that faux pas old thing? Unfortunately its merely more evasion, avoidance and repetitive deception. Better to move on isn’t it? These ad nauseam, and ad infinitum attempts don’t actually achieve anything you know?

                  A bit sad really.

                  Give it up old chap. The real world out here is not so bad? All you have to do is pull back those total black out curtains and the light comes streaming in and exposes all those odd obsessions for what they are. Merely fantasies. Amongst all those word fixations and odd obsessions, can be found the “time of posting” fixation. That is what was the issue that I explained so clearly.

                  Maybe it will help to try actually reading what I said (twice!) instead of repetitively trotting out these miss-perceived myopias of only seeing one side of those oddly fabricated conversational fantasy equations?

                  Here we go again! No, old chap. I didn’t mention, nor had any comment, nor, to be more precise, any interest in what Eli Goth said at 11.59pm. I could barely distinguish amongst that garbled confusion of words what it was even meant to infer any way? Nor could anyone else by all accounts.

                  So No. That is not what I said. As you very well know, but refuse to admit. It was the time of Eli Goth’s post at 11.59pm that you are still ignoring whilst making silly time fixated comments about the time and energy consumption of Mike Potters 9.55pm post that is the real world issue that emerged from your post. Which I proved not only to be hypocrisy, considering Eli Goth’ time of post, which you hypocritically didn’t contest. But the exact opposite in both time and energy consumption is more than likely to be true. Hence the power station efficiency examples and comments to explain why that fixated assumption isn’t true.

                  Mike Potter himself confirmed that you were wrong in criticising his energy use. And I proved you were wrong in your “Mystic Smeg” assumptions of what effects there are on energy useage for any posting at any time whatsoever, on any subject. Quite the opposite may well be true.

                  But I always try to be fair. So I took great care to explain precisely why those fixated assumptions were wrong on both counts.

                  Sorry old thing. Its just one of those lessons to live up to in the real world. Should you ever decide to emerge to join us all out here that is?

                  Have a Nice Day in the Real World!



                • Ah, what do we have here?

                  A nice cohort from the chastity club, preaching abstinence.

                  (Fortunately, EG, doesn’t mean that others have to follow.)

                  One who doesn’t, yet calls for others to do what those others haven’t agreed to do, and is not doing himself.

                  Another who likes to make false claims of virtue but spoils it by posting of previous sins, as great as any then raged against. Bit like Vlad the Impaler planting a sapling.

                  And, a third, who just finds temptation too much to resist, with the excuse that it couldn’t be resisted because he/she didn’t have another means of expression!

                  It must be a very easy going set of rules for this group, with no Standards Committee to enforce.

                  Apart from those who can read and apply some standards.

                  However, back to the subject. Just picked my supply of sprouts for the week. (No transport emissions involved.) Will be on the look out for FOE to take me to task. Except, whilst common sense may not be too common, it will do for me.

                • Quote from Martin: ‘back to the subject’
                  Just reminded of Shere Khan the Tiger from The Jungle Book saying ‘hmmm, element of surprise’.
                  That couldn’t have been much further from the truth either.

                • Oh Dear Oh Dear? That unfortunate reflective mirror does get all that empty rhetoric in a reverse twist doesn’t it? Just going on ad nauseam and ad infinitum about those vague fantasy insinuations without any evidence or reference to the real world is a waste of time and space isn’t it. Unfortunately, this sentence only reflects your own words back to their source, but of course you know that, which is why its so evidently evaded and diverted away from its real reflected origin.

                  The rest is merely more empty rhetoric and typically vague allusions that cant be spoken out clearly and concisely. Because it will catastrophically rebound back to source, as you very well know.

                  “Quite simple. You try and generate a fake narrative and then argue against it. Try dealing with the real narrative. It really is not that difficult.”

                  And meanwhile, back in the the real world, and the subject of the Drill or Drop (the heading right at the top of the page, see it there?):

                  “Climate harm must be assessed for oil production sites, appeal court told.”

                  There is a very interesting documentary which can be watched and downloaded off the website Its about just who and what are the real owners of the organisations that are causing all the climate destruction and the greed and profit motives that are creating ecocide and destroying the environment worldwide.

                  There are also very revealing definitions of exactly what is the real meaning of economics and ecolology are. It says quite precisely what the real important factor in both economics and ecology are. The human race itself. Not the 1% of greedy corrupt exploiters who are merely parasites off the backs of nature and the rest of the human race.

                  “MONOPOLY” – Who Owns the World – “Best Documentary Ever”

                  The time (there is that word again! Oops!) from 08.30 which mentions Shell, Mobil, and Exxon and who owns and runs them reveals who owns these fossil fuel monopolistic giants.

                  Remember Shell and the fossil fuel pollution pandemic that is responsible for 1 in every five deaths worldwide? Just wont go away will it? No matter how hard its evaded? Oops!

                  Always a pleasure old chap. Enjoy the show!

                • Well said Mike.

                  Another fascinating documentary is here:

                  “We the People. The Re-Evolution of Politics and Economics”

                  Both are well worth the effort to watch and learn (for those that want to learn anyway?). Always better to watch something educational and informative. Rather than the endless obfuscating and evasive prevarication of some isn’t it?

                  Some late night economy watching for you to enjoy whilst simultaneously smoothing out the peaks and troughs of power stations energy generation.


            • Oh dear Martin, a problem with your selective reading again – your misquote: ‘The subject of the post was to stop burning ANY fossil fuels.’ What a convenient little misquote to support your usual agenda. Have a look what I really said. I won’t waste my time further.

      • Good question, Mike, to which the answer is – not for all of us. Those of us who delay by their pointless arguments the realisation by all that FF burning pollutes, and that more FF burning pollutes more, an assertion backed up by a spurious, to put it mildly, recourse to a mathematics which ignores arithmetic, are guilty of denial of anthropogenic climate change, a process which they, perhaps unwittingly – wits not being a strong point – promote at the expense of us all. Their argument is supported by a frequent reference to ‘reality’ – a reality unfortunately which has got us where we are, in which they revel and clearly hope to perpetuate – fossil fuels for ever. Not a reality in short which appeals to most of us. Yes, Mike, the solution is indeed to stop burning any fossil fuels as soon as possible, and immediately to halt the “insane” (John Kerry) search and extraction of yet more. I write as a hypocrite because I use a plastic keyboard (not having another) and because I’m using artificial light, (It’s dark otherwise.). What a level of argumentation!

      • Mike Potter

        Maybe that is why one of the major planks of the UK transition to Net zero is to remove the burning of fossil fuels by stopping the sale of new combustion engine vehicles by 2030 with them reducing there effects over the following period.

        I am sure that there are and will be many more initiatives following in many homes and industries in this country and around the world as we move forward.

        What is undeniable is that oil and gas will be needed as part of the transition process in production and materials to make it happen.

        It is well known that electric vehicles are far more polluting in there production than conventional vehicles with them only having a lower carbon footprint as they get towards 100, 000 miles on the road.

        • Worrying about EVs if true, MH. May I ask for your sources. Does this pollution include estimates of slave labour in the DRC?

          • Iaith1720

            There are many such articles as the one below


            • Also an interesting piece from Norway yesterday about the lost revenues from EVs. I note it is a major concern there as they have a higher percentage than many countries and are grappling with the way to replace lost revenue from fuel taxes. Perhaps not too great a burden for them as they have such high revenues from oil and gas to help fund their health, education etc. but it is a potential huge impact in the UK-over £20 billion per year.

              Yet to see any coherent explanation as to how this will be dealt with. Road tolls have been mentioned, but I suspect this is going to be a case of once you have bought one with this subsidy to make them look attractive there is this “lovely” surprise around the corner. I think I will wait and see what happens regarding hydrogen. That seems a lot more straight forward in terms of the way taxation could be applied, and infrastructure to support.

              Meanwhile, John Kerry will say one thing whilst flying around the world to say it, whilst back in USA there is an auction going on for 80m acres of oil and gas exploration for the Gulf of Mexico, and Biden has been begging OPEC to increase oil and gas output as US voters are getting upset about inflation and mid terms are approaching. That is the reality of those darned equations.

              • Martin Frederick Collyer

                Hydrogen seem like it will become the best option over time for vehicles and gas boilers in peoples homes though the current gas network system.

                Heat pumps will become white elephants.

                • I agree, MH, and a good job there are people like Sir Jim not only investing in the hydrogen production, but also a vehicle to use it. Hyundai have the technology to hand, it is just a case of refining it and getting it mainstream.

                  Short range city travel fits EVs, but once longer journeys are required they show their limits-remember they are basically a souped up golf cart.

                  My heat pump is great, but I use it for supplementary heat. I would not like to imagine the cost to my property to make it my main source of heat-certainly a lot more than £4k.

            • Thanks, again, MH. I suspect you’ve read this from Carbon Brief – thanks for the link, Paul – “ As electricity generation becomes less carbon intensive – particularly at the margin – electric vehicles will become preferable to all conventional vehicles in virtually all cases. There are fundamental limitations on how efficient petrol and diesel vehicles can become, whereas low-carbon electricity and increased battery manufacturing efficiency can cut much of the manufacturing emissions and nearly all electricity use emissions from EVs.”

        • See

          Figures depend on the green-ness of the electricity used to manufacture the car and battery, and recharge it.

          Nissan claim overall emissions for a Nissan Leaf are lower after 2 years of driving (25000 km) compared to an “average new conventional car”. Figures assume annual mileage of 12500 km. Over a 12 year lifespan, emissions are 1/3 those of the average car.

          An easier way to cut emissions is to use public transport more and cycle more. So disappointing we could be looking at “Huge cuts” in Tube, buses and cycle schemes according to the London mayor.

          • Perhaps London needs a Mayor who can manage public transport, Paul?

            This one seems to have had huge quantities of dosh to do so, with little benefit to the travelling public, whilst routinely coming out with his line of someone needs to do something, whilst delay and cost overruns continue.

            I also believe there has been some concern around the comparisons that have been made between an “average new conventional car” and comparison with a vehicle which is not an average new unconventional car. In general, I would rather take note of independent data on such things, recalling the manufacturer’s data regarding clean, efficient German diesels.

              • I don’t think there is any dispute on the fact that electric cars have higher emissions during manufacture.

                Confusion on the “break-even” point is because it depends on the green-ness of the electricity you use to recharge the vehicle. If you are using the “global average” energy mix (60% from fossil fuels), break even point is 110,000 km. If your electricity is wind or solar powered, the breakeven point is 49,000 km – a good argument perhaps for phasing out fossil fuels from power generation.

                The figures in the “This is Money” article refer to the XC40, an SUV. Perhaps if Volvo made smaller cars the maths would be different – and the overall emissions would certainly be lower.

                You also need to consider the various pollutants such as Nitrogen Oxides which are not emitted when you drive an EV.

                But, I agree that EVs are probably not the magic bullet they are being promoted as.

                Best option of the lot (if you can) is to ditch the car and walk/cycle/take public transport.

                • Paul Seaman

                  Very interesting.

                  Can you please explain what you consider will provide the alternative sources of power or energy e.g. Wind, Nuclear, Solar and how that infrastructure can be put into place practically within suitable timeframes?

                • You are right MH.

                  Looking at recent polls the public are not that keen to dramatically change their lifestyle to combat climate change, yet there is an increasing suggestion that they will do so. I see this as being a big problem regarding real progress. People will just reject the whole concept. I have even heard some younger folk complaining that their life is built around a shop at Tesco on a Friday night after work, and a top up of fuel at the same time to last them the next week. That can be achieved with hydrogen. If it can be cost competitive why not fast track that option? If it is not green hydrogen then the carbon needs to be sorted. Dogma should not enter into it.

                  Perhaps fusion will change the balance but that is still a bit of a long shot.

                  There needs to be much more emphasis on developing technology that allows the current lifestyles, or close to, being maintained. They may not be the lifestyles some like but they are what the majority seem to like and want maintained, and they have the votes to do so, and looking world wide there are billions more entering into that demographic. Maybe they will holiday in a yurt but then want to get back to something quite a bit different.

                  Leading a horse to water and then finding it won’t drink produces a dead horse-and no point flogging a dead horse. And, there do seem to be rather a lot of dead horses already in the renewables field.

          • So good to see a rational response in among the usual tosh and obfuscation Paul. I’ve long been saying that expanding and ‘improving’ road infrastructure has been proved to just increase traffic. Like everything else around climate change and CO2 emissions, the real key is REDUCTION. There needs to be a focus on safe active travel facilities (walking and cycling, including ebikes) and public transport. EVs and the fossil fuel promoted Hydrogen agenda will be of little help unless the energy is produced sustainably i.e. renewables. Of course it will be a gradual process, but it urgently needs to be speeded up and receive proper investment and political will. COP26 showed we’re not there yet. There’s a limit to how long the can can be kicked down a very short road with a cliff edge at the end of it.
            Oh, and yes chaps (yawn), I’m using a plastic keyboard and a battery that needs charging – currently with PV power, but fortunately it’s daylight hours and the lights are off.

  3. One of the primary purposes of oil production is combustion to produce energy. In view of the undisputed (save by delayers or deniers) deleterious effect on the planetary environment, this purpose should not be neglected when deciding whether to continue to permit such production.

    In much the same way, I would argue that an application to produce Zyklon-B primarily for mass murder should be refused, even though the gas has alternative possibly less lethal applications.

    That oil production here is unlikely to reduce oil production there – they after all can produce the same crass arguments concerning the advantages of local production to their own benefit as we can – should be clear to most people not enslaved to market forces, but who believe in the primacy of human agency. One plus one still equals two. The culminating effect on emissions is clear to most if not to those in thrall to those forces consciously destroying the planet.

    Good luck to Sarah in her efforts to have common sense prevail.

    • Iaith1720

      Common sense say that the emissions are already assessed by other regulations so that is unlikely to change, especially when the major contributing factor of the emissions is set to be removed as part of the transition.

  4. Oh dear, 1720.

    Have you not noticed that many oil exporting countries actually have more oil production than they have local demand eg. Venezuela? Are they going to say we should carry on producing the same for their exports if some of their export market reduces?

    What they would produce for local demand would not be a significant factor. And, in that respect then also look at the Middle East.

    Sorry to refer to the real world, but that is the one I live in, not the parallel one where maths. and physics is so confused.

    • Martin Frederick Collyer

      In the real world what would happen if countries like Venezuela stopped exporting oil and there GDP fell?

      This is the support for the nation and its people and what would the world need to do or be prepared to do to support countries like Venezuela into the proposed ‘New World’ without leaving its people in more poverty?

      Put your hands in your pockets and dig deep!

      • It is always interesting that there is
        ‘No Comment’ when it comes to anyone having to put there hand into their pockets to pay for the changes that many are expecting.

        Exactly like the insulate UK homes.

        ‘Do as I say not as I do’

        Phil C for all your extensive replays would you like to explain the practical examples you are personally implementing to lower carbon emissions that you believe that we should all follow.

        • I recall an aluminium keyboard, some while ago, MH! More recently, there were buses to work.

          However, there was a little Civil Engineering job that has produced downstream (oops!) the burning of 10m liters of aviation fuel per day. I have yet to do the research regarding the tonnes of concrete and the carbon emissions resulting from that, but 10m liters of aviation fuel per day alone will take some undoing (and that is just outgoing rather than incoming plus outgoing).

          So, I am all for sinners repenting but on that balance sheet, the end result will be a flea’s bite on an elephant’s behind.

          Even if E-G cut down upon his/her night time posting, I fear that would still not go close. And, a bit harsh of 1720 at 10.43pm to label as guilty of complicity in ecocide-I am sure the intention was full of integrity, not about personal gain, and a lack of understanding that supply leads to demand! “Build it, and they will come”. And, they have. Big trees grow from little acorns, but sometimes in places not expected. Oops again.

          Meanwhile, I did note an interesting snippet today linked to the auction of the Gulf of Mexico 80m acres for exploration. It has generated a bit of research in USA about the issuing of licenses. Seems that the Biden administration has been issuing them at a faster rate than the Trump administration! Seeing the number of rigs being deployed over the pond rising just about every week, I wonder how many more they have left to deploy. Interesting divergence between what people state and what they do.

          And then, there are the oil reserves being released! I just hope weather forecasts are accurate, otherwise things could go badly very quickly.

          • Well Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. What do “We” have here? A strange edifice resembling Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”? What could be the origin of that? It seems to be inhabited too.
            Some feint mumblings and mutterings from within? Something about “Sin” and “Repenting”? “Build it and they will come?” Perhaps its a religious prison confinement of its own making brick by obsessive brick? Self fabricated by the looks of it. Clearly no engineering knowledge or ability though. Its visibly crumbling and falling apart, only to be regularly fabricated from within. Why would one fabricate such an unstable edifice without any foundations? At least an engineer would have designed something that could remain upright? This inexpertly constructed edifice is barely able to support its own weight, let alone survive the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?

            The edifice seems to constructed of vague evasions, odd obsessions, vacuous diversions, fixated illusions and attempts to hide its own “sins” or perhaps, “spins” from view? The process of the dodgy wall fabrication appears to be to make up as many fake delusions about others, in order to protect the over inflated self image within? such edifices, however cant support their own weight, and inevitably come crashing to the ground, revealing the sorry image within. I wonder if it realises that? Apparently not. Quite sad really.

            Its also covered with some scrawls and graffiti too?
            [Edited by moderator]
            And lots of scrawled “we”‘s. A whole lot of “we we”s in fact. I had better step back, quite an unpleasant puddle of “we” there. The curious thing, is that, if you just move further down the wall, past the graffiti “=” sign. The entire edifice disappears. Perhaps the self confined inmate just cant perceive anything but one side of the “=” sign? A one sided equation? No, it cant be, there is no such thing….is there? Not in the real mathematical world anyway.

            So lets investigate how this self assembled edifice came to be shall we?
            There is a biblical reference: “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”. Advice I fear has been ignored for so long, the result has been this enormous Pink Floyd style wall of carelessly cast and quite poorly aimed stones. In spite one might say, of the sinning state of the consequently confined isolated caster.

            Isn’t there a high degree of hypocrisy from those perceptively myopic avoidance of its own responsibility, further compounded by a lack of contrition, and ignoring its own sinning and spinning obsessions? The answer to that is a resounding “Yes!”. There is another phrase that applies: “Practice what you Preach”. Good advice.

            There are more words barely discernible from behind the most graffiti stained edifice location. Lets listen to what its mumbling?
            Aluminum? No. Aluminium? Seeboard? No, Beeboard? Ahhh! Keyboard! What a strange obsession is that? There seems to be a lot more word obsessions and fixations, but they are barely discernible above all that mumbling.

            If only the incarcerated inmate had taken advice from a Qualified Civil Engineer? Then at least the resulting edifice would not have become so visibly and logically unstable.
            But as is only too typical of those who can only use and abuse the engineering feats of others. They have some sort of love/hate relationship with their own inadequacies in that respect, that they can only decry and criticise others for keeping them safe and alive in their little gas guzzler internal combustion engine cars, all on their lonesome. Doing what was it? 40,000 miles a year on roads and motorways made by others? Billions of litres of fossil fuels, trillions of tons of concrete.

            Sad isn’t it?

            Enjoy your day. I said “Enjo…..” Oh well, never mind…..

            • So, the Civil Engineer turns to being the Rude Engineer!

              However, being hoisted by your own petard, has a clue within the phrase. It is your petard. If you don’t want to be hoisted, don’t put your petard into the public arena. If you are happy to be hoisted and believe a smoke screen and a bus trip will somehow cover up 10m liters aviation fuel per day, well good luck. [Edited by moderator]

              I can still see that 10m liters of aviation fuel per day through the smoke. It is a rather large amount to try and hide. I suspect more smoke will be made but it will still not achieve the desired cover up.

              I would suggest avoidance of trying the engineering feats protecting humanity Joker. It has been tried before and was found to be exactly the opposite on multiple occasions. A few did get away with it, but 10m liters of aviation fuel per day in respect of climate change is a difficult one to set against a campaign about a small oil well in UK and maintain any credibility. I think that needs something like the engineering to enable man to explore space Ace to get anywhere near credibility.

              Someone once said:
              “It cannot be said too loudly or too often that those who connive in the continuing development of ffs are guilty of complicity in ecocide, literally the killing of our home”.

              I think you have your answer, MH. I was incorrect regarding the repent though.

              • Ahh! Still fantasy imagining and assuming but not getting anywhere too? Lets nip this nonsense in the buddy shall “we2 Hey! I did a “we”?

                Whenever that crumbling wall collapses under its own weight. The truth will finally seep in. So, lets just give it a bit of a push shall “we”? Hey! I did another “we”!

                Unfortunately you dont have the “foggiest” notion of anything to do with Civil Engineering, or “Rude” Engineering” for that matter. Lets fist disable and debunk these fake narratives that you are so fond of bandying about in the place of anything rational.

                Lets look first at the difference between your avowed 40,000 miles per year, in that little internal combustion engine gas guzzler all on your lonesome at 25% efficiency max, travelling around on motorways and roads that were engineered by people far better qualified than your good self and does an excellent job.

                How much fuel does an international plane use for a trip?

                Compare that to myself at a similar time, travelling around 12,000 miles a year in an Turbo Fan Jet engine airliner at 75% efficiency carrying maybe 450 to 850 other passengers. As I have said previously, modern Turbo Fan Jet engines, use fuel mainly for take off and landing, with a little extra for manoeuvring for height speed and changes of course, wind direction, and course corrections. Whereas a little internal combustion engine gas guzzler does around 25 miles per gallon, about 7.7 miles per litre. at 25% efficiency.

                “A plane like a Boeing 747 uses approximately 1 gallon of fuel (about 4 litres) every second. Over the course of a 10-hour flight, it might burn 36,000 gallons (150,000 litres). According to Boeing’s Web site, the 747 burns approximately 5 gallons of fuel per mile (12 litres per kilometre).”

                “This sounds like a tremendously poor miles-per-gallon rating! But consider that a 747 can carry as many as 568 people. Let’s call it 500 people to take into account the fact that not all seats on most flights are occupied. A 747 is transporting 500 people 1 mile using 5 gallons of fuel. That means the plane is burning 0.01 gallons per person per mile. In other words, the plane is getting 100 miles per gallon per person! The typical car gets about 25 miles per gallon, so the 747 is much better than a car carrying one person, and compares favourably even if there are four people in the car. Not bad when you consider that the 747 is flying at 550 miles per hour (900 km/h)!”

                An internal combustion engine car doing 40,000 miles per year, consumes approximately 25 mpg x 40,000 miles at 25% efficiency = 1,600 gallons per one passenger. A Turbo Fan Jet aeroengine airliner travelling 12,000 miles consumes approximately 100 mpg x 12,000 miles at 75% efficiency with 500 passengers = 120 gallons per passenger. An aeroengine airliner therefore is only consuming 13% of the gallons per mile, than a gas guzzling internal combustion engine car carrying one passenger!

                Don’t you just love mathematics?

                Wait! There’s more!

                • So lets also debunk and dispense with this quite ridiculous claim that is some fantasy world way, I am even remotely responsible for the, as yet unproven and unverified figure of 10.0 million gallons of aviation fuel per day at an unspecified location?

                  Did you giggle that by the way? Oops! In spite of all that empty rhetoric? Smack fingers!

                  I have said this all before, but some apparently only rely on fantasy and imagination and don’t actually read the facts of the matter.

                  The contract for the new Hong Kong international Airport and the connecting bridge to the mainland went out to tender and many applied for individual sections. My company made a successful bid and much to my surprise I was asked to go on six month secondment because there were sections that required my expertise. However, I was not the only one and twenty or so went to carry out their own expertise.

                  So sorry to have to re-educate you old thing, but the main aviation fuel storage, supply and distribution facilities was not part of my contract. My contract was to evaluate and specify the fire fighting station facilities and the maintenance and support facilities for the airport ground vehicles. The emergency ground vehicle fuelling stations and facilities. All emergency and operating facility support operations. I also had a similar duty to study the existing facilities at the existing international airport on the mainland. that was due, after a period of time, to be decommissioned, removed, cleaned out, and reinstated for future use. Again there were maybe 150 other staff on other disciplines.

                  In addition to myself, something like 250 other western staff working in all the other disciplines on the new international airport and similarly to work on the new bridge to the mainland. There were maybe thousands of others, Hong Kongers, Chinese, European, American and other nations. Insult them at your own peril. Look to your own laurels. Buck up and make the world a better place for all, not some miserable miserly 1% of greedy profiteers.

                  I also met my future wife to be there. God rest her lovely soul. Any comment from you on that, or indeed any more fake and false fraudulent nonsense about my having anything to do with aviation fuel usage at The New Hong Kong Airport being in any way down to me, will be treated with the appropriate degree of derision and will quickly inform you that you don’t know the slightest thing about it.

                  Consider your own Petard you have mistakenly and so clearly Hoisted yourself by. Come out from behind that wall into the real world. Confession, and repentance for sins is good for the soul. I suggest you apply it personally and religiously.

                  Better now? All out in the open now. However, If you persist in hiding behind that crumbling wall to make ignorant uneducated uninformed silly remarks. Then you will only have yourself to blame.

                  The consequences will be all your own.

                  Tear Down The Wall!

            • Please remember Drill Or Drop’s comment policy, in particular we discourage “playing the man not the ball” – criticising the person who made the comment rather than engaging with the issues they raised.

              We in the developed world could all do much more to slow climate change and help those in countries facing the threats of rising sea levels, floods and droughts.

              “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”

              • Precisely. I totally agree Paul. I was waiting for some common sense to prevail. But there was none forthcoming. Merely continued repetitive provocation, false accusations and unrepentant “playing the man not the ball”.

                Sorry I overstepped the mark. But I do tend to post just information if left to do so. But that is so often abused.

                Incidentally I sent two entirely reasonable and extensively detailed mathematical examinations of the facts in reply. Both without any extraneous returned nonsense. Trying to calm the situation. A forlorn hope, but I promised myself I would try. But neither actually showed up on the website. I have no idea where they went. Maybe that was what pushed my words over the top into no man’s land.

                Thanks for your post though Paul. Maybe it will get some results?

                • Sorry your comments disappeared, Phil C.

                  The system is more likely to treat longer comments as spam (since some spammers submit very long comments), and will also discard any mail with more than 5 links. These rules may look a bit tough, but it does save the site from being overrun with spam (currently we get at least 100 junk comments a day).

              • I thought the ball was about making efforts to control climate change, Paul. Surely that was what COP26 was about?

                Your last but one sentence seems to confirm that, and this particular item is about climate harm and oil production sites.

                The issue I raised was about the construction of an International Airport which appears to use 10m liters aviation fuel per day for outgoing flights once put into operation, and I would suggest downstream climate harm from that is somewhat greater than from Horse Hill. I have been perfectly polite in doing so, only referencing the rudeness that had been initiated, such as “phallic representations rhyming with brick” that you allowed, and is still evident.

                And, an International Airport would not function without emergency services. It was part of the contract. Inconvenient, but fact.

                • Hi Martin

                  The point I was making was that rather than criticising the commenter and his/her past actions, it is more useful to engage with the argument they are putting forward.

                  Discrediting an argument because of something done 20 years ago (when climate change was not such an issue) doesn’t take the debate forward in any useful way. Nor does criticising someone for posting after dark, rather than countering their arguments.

                  What I took away from CoP is that climate change is real, and it’s happening now to some of world’s poorest people – people who have contributed very little to the problem. Whatever happened in the past is done, and the CO2 is in the atmosphere for the next 100 years. What matters is what we all do next and (to borrow a phrase) Every Little Helps.

                  Apologies, I missed the remark you referred to and it will now be removed.

                • So there you have it Paul. More stones to The Wall. Unrepentant and incorrigible.
                  Now do you understand?
                  I rest my case. Thanks for your efforts anyway.
                  Off subject I know, but thinking about 100 years of climate change, and the consequences for us all, there are far more pressing human problems right here that are just as desperate.
                  Awful news about 30 and previously many more smuggled immigrants drowning due to some stupid internecine political dispute between Macron and Boris over fishing rights. Its always the innocent people who suffer from the crimes of politicians and crime syndicates. Where are the French and UK navy in this human catastrophe? Right on our collective doorsteps too.

                  Maybe ordinary people should consider ignoring insane politicians and independently setting up safe havens free from crime syndicates on both sides of the channel until some political sanity returns (!)? isnt it time we learned that politicians will never produce solutions? They only exploit problems.

                  Have a good day. I’m off to see No. 3 daughter today to bring her and her boyfriend back to a warm house for the weekend.

                • Thanks for that moderation, Paul, and your apology.

                  I will look with interest to see how the bit about what was done in the past goes.

                  Pretty much lets off many of the oil producing companies from much previous vitriol that has been dolled out. It is a new approach and one I suspect may give you a little extra work going forward editing out the greenwashing comments as companies readjust direction.

                  If people want to move forward and reduce energy use, then adjusting their activities to make best use of daylight is not a bad start. Many individuals already do so within the agricultural community as the seasons change. My parents certainly did. Flasks for water for hot drinks were also one they followed, so they only boiled a kettle once a day. They did enjoy remarkably low electricity bills.

  5. It cannot be said too loudly or too often that those who connive in the continuing development of ffs are guilty of complicity in ecocide, literally the killing of our home. To develop is to guarantee continuing use, probably well after the date when their use could have been discontinued. This is the logic of capitalism, the essentially selfish search for personal gain, and of course an example of supply leading to demand.
    Posted in the UK, so no sunlight just now and my keyboard assembled from locally grown acorns has been mislaid. Any more references to my late posting or keyboard materials will be deemed to derive from someone losing the plot(s).

    • Iaith1720

      Development of indigenous fossil fuels in this country has many benefits over importation including lower emmisions and economic benefits which will help drive forward the changes that many are calling for.

      The combustion engine, one of the leading causes of pollution in the world is on it’s way to extingtion in the UK as part of the transition to Net zero in 2050.

      There will be the more needed initiatives before the dependency on foccal fuels can be overcome.

      These initiatives will in themselves dive the need for further foccal fuels in the short term to produce the infrastructure to move forward wether it is for the charging points for electric cars, there production itself or the provision to create other forms of energy e.g. the manufacturer of wind turbines.

      Home insulation would help reduce the demand for heating and any associated carbons.

      Where are you on the road to your personal net zero?

      As Winston Churchill one said;

      ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country’

    • Well that is just plain wrong MH. Apparently you haven’t been paying attention? Or haven’t been listening to the comments? I have already explained years ago, ask your bitter buddy? The fact is MH, I have been essentially off grid and have even been supplying energy to the grid for years now.

      But as usual, due perhaps to short attention spans, you guys only like to trot out your own accusative agendas, while not declaring any requirement to do anything yourselves. And never actually look at the facts that have been laid before you so clearly.

      I would return the question to you, What efforts have you made to put your own hand in your pockets to pay for the changes that many are expecting on the road to “net zero”?

      Net zero what by the way?
      Net zero population growth?
      Net zero population reduction?
      Net zero population?
      Net zero finance?
      Net zero corruption?
      Net zero nature?
      Net zero climate change?
      Net zero methane?
      Net zero ecocide?
      Net zero deaths worldwide due to fossil fuel pollution?
      Net zero 6th major extinction level event?
      Net zero plastic?
      Net zero carbon? (we are all carbon)
      Net zero individual wealth?
      Net zero corporate wealth?
      Net zero ownership?
      Net zero happiness?
      Net zero greed and profit?
      Net zero greenhouse gasses?
      Net zero green-washing by fossil fuel corporations?
      Net zero government?
      Net zero politicians?
      Net zero hate?
      Net zero Love?
      Net zero family?
      Net zero care for anyone but yourself?
      Net zero cyber transhumanism?
      Net zero Klaus Schwab borg?
      Net zero disease?
      Net zero pandemics?
      Net zero tax for fossil fuel corporations? (already achieved by Rishi Sunak and plus a 30% bonus to fossil fuel corporations on top! An extorted “gift” from the UK tax payer?
      Net zero protest?
      Net zero demonstrations?
      Net zero Police?
      Net zero violence?
      Net zero war?
      Net zero fossil fuel propelled internal combustion engine vehicles?
      Net zero flight?
      Net zero travel?
      Net zero public transport?
      Net zero private transport?
      Net zero EV’s?
      Net zero gas?
      Net zero electricity?
      Net zero centralised corporate power production?
      Net zero locally owned and shared renewable power production?
      Net zero elderly?
      Net zero care for the elderly?
      Net zero responsibility for your own problems?
      Net zero blaming everyone else for your own problems?
      Net zero answers to embarrassing questions? (already demonstrated by some)
      Net zero answer your own question?
      Net zero Net zero?

      Have a Nice Net Zero Day.

  6. Kennedy, actually, MH. I don’t think he was quoting Churchill. But. I agree with much of what you say, save for the indigenous fossil fuels fir reasons already stated.

    • Well said Iaith1720. Yes, you are correct, it was indeed John F Kennedy who said those words in one of his famous speeches, not Winston Churchill.
      I like those locally grown acorn assembled keyboards, but the squirrels keep nicking them and carrying them away?
      Of course you can post whenever you like. I’d post later, but my batteries keep running out?
      At least the sun is shining today, time to search for that keyboard assembled from locally grown acorns?

      Enjoy the sunshine.

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